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North Korea, An Aggressor? A Reality Check By Felicity Arbuthnot

North Korea, An Aggressor?

A Reality Check

By

Felicity Arbuthnot

 

 

 

 

“ … war in our time is always indiscriminate, a war against innocents, a war against children.”(Howard Zinn, 1922-2010.)

“All war represents a failure of diplomacy.” (Tony Benn, MP. 1925-2014.)

“No country too poor, too small, too far away, not to be threat, a threat to the American way of life.” (William Blum, “Rogue State.”)   

 

 

 

 

 

August 24, 2017

The mention of one tiny country appears to strike at the rationality and sanity of those who should know far better. On Sunday, 6th August, for example, The Guardian headed an editorial: “The Guardian view on sanctions: an essential tool.” Clearly the average of five thousands souls a month, the majority children, dying of “embargo related causes” in Iraq, year after grinding year – genocide in the name of the UN – for over a decade has long been forgotten by the broadsheet of the left.

This time of course, the target is North Korea upon whom the United Nations Security Council has voted unanimously to freeze, strangulate and deny essentials, normality, humanity. Diplomacy as ever, not even a consideration. The Guardian, however, incredibly, declared the decimating sanctions: “A rare triumph of diplomacy …” (Guardian 6th August 2017.)

As US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, the US’ top “diplomat” and his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho headed for the annual Ministerial meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Manila on 5th August, a State Department spokesperson said of Tillerson:

“The Secretary has no plans to meet the North Korean Foreign Minister in Manila, and I don’t expect to see that happen”

Pathetic. In April, approaching his hundredth day in office, Trump said of North Korea:

“We’d love to solve things diplomatically but it’s very difficult.”

No it is not. Talk, walk in the other’s psychological shoes. Then, there they were at the same venue but the Trump Administration clearly does not alone live in a land of missed opportunities, but of opportunities deliberately buried in landfill miles deep. This in spite of his having said in the same statement:

“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”

A bit of perspective: 27th July 2017 marked sixty four years since the armistice agreement that ended the devastating three year Korean war, however there has never been a peace treaty, thus technically the Korean war has never ended. Given that and American’s penchant for wiping out countries with small populations which pose them no threat (think most recently, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya) no wonder North Korea wishes to look as if it has some heavy protective gear behind the front door, so to speak.

Tiny North Korea has a population of just 25.37 million and landmass of 120,540 km² (square kilometres.) The US has a population of 323.1 million and a landmass of 9.834 MILLION km² (square kilometres.) Further, since 1945, the US is believed to have produced some 70,000 nuclear weapons – though now down to a “mere” near 7,000 – but North Korea is a threat?  

America has fifteen military bases in South Korea – down from a staggering fifty four – bristling with every kind of weapons of mass destruction. Two bases are right on the North Korean border and another nearly as close. See full details of each, with map at (1.)

North Korea also has the collective memory of the horror wrought by the US in the three year conflict on a country then with a population of just 9.6 million souls. US General Curtis Lemay in the aftermath stated: “After destroying North Korea’s seventy eight cities and thousands of her villages, and killing countless numbers of her civilians … Over a period of three years or so we killed off – what – twenty percent of the population.”

“It is now believed that the population north of the imposed 38th Parallel lost nearly a third its population of 8 – 9 million people during the 37-month long ‘hot’ war, 1950 – 1953, perhaps an unprecedented percentage of mortality suffered by one nation due to the belligerence of another.” (2) 

In context:

“During The Second World War the United Kingdom lost 0.94% of its population, France lost 1.35%, China lost 1.89% and the US lost 0.32%. During the Korean war, North Korea lost close to 30 % of its population.” (Emphasis added.)

“We went over there and fought the war and eventually burned down every town in North Korea anyway, some way or another …”, boasted Lemay.

Gen. Douglas MacArthur said during a Congressional hearing in 1951 that he had never seen such devastation.

“I shrink with horror that I cannot express in words … at this continuous slaughter of men in Korea,” MacArthur said. “I have seen, I guess, as much blood and disaster as any living man, and it just curdled my stomach, the last time I was there.” (CNN, 28th July 2017.)

Horrified as he was, he did not mention the incinerated women, children, infants in the same breath.

Moreover, as Robert M. Neer wrote in “Napalm, an American Biography”:

‘“Practically every U.S. fighter plane that has flown into Korean air carried at least two napalm bombs,” Chemical Officer Townsend wrote in January 1951. About 21,000 gallons of napalm hit Korea every day in 1950. As combat intensified after China’s intervention, that number more than tripled (…) a total of 32,357 tons of napalm fell on Korea, about double that dropped on Japan in 1945. Not only did the allies drop more bombs on Korea than in the Pacific theater during World War II – 635,000 tons, versus 503,000 tons – more of what fell was napalm …’

In the North Korean capitol, Pyongyang, just two buildings were reported as still standing.

In the unending history of US warmongering, North Korea is surely the smallest population they had ever attacked until their assault on tiny Grenada in October 1983, population then just 91,000 (compulsory silly name: “Operation Urgent Fury.)

North Korea has been taunted by the US since it lay in ruins after the armistice sixty five years ago, yet as ever, the US Administration paints the vast, self appointed “leader of the free world” as the victim.

As Fort-Russ pointed out succinctly (7th August 2017):

“The Korean Peninsula is in a state of crisis not only due to constant US threats towards North Korea, but also due to various provocative actions, such as Washington conducting joint military exercises with Seoul amid tensions, and which Pyongyang considered a threat to its national security.”

This month “massive land, sea and air exercises” involving “tens of thousands of troops” from the US and South Korea began on 21st  of August and continue until 31st.

‘In the past, the practices are believed to have included “decapitation strikes” – trial operations for an attempt to kill Kim Jong-un and his top Generals …’, according to the Guardian (11th August 2017.)

The obligatory stupid name chosen for this dangerous, belligerent, money burning, sabre rattling nonsense is Ulchi-Freedom Guardian. It is an annual occurrence since first initiated back in 1976.

US B-1B bombers flying from Guam recently carried out exercises in South Korea and “practiced attack capabilities by releasing inert weapons at the Pilsung Range.” In a further provocative (and illegal) move, US bombers were again reported to overfly North Korea, another of many such bullying, threatening actions, reportedly eleven just since May this year.

Yet in spite of all, North Korea is the “aggressor.”

“The nuclear warheads of United States of America are stored in some twenty one locations, which include thirteen U.S. states and five European countries … some are on board U.S. submarines. There are some “zombie” nuclear warheads as well, and they are kept in reserve, and as many as 3,000 of these are still awaiting their dismantlement. (The US) also extends its “nuclear umbrella” to such other countries as South Korea, Japan, and Australia.” (worldatlas.com)

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov who also attended the ASEAN meeting in Manila, did of course, do what proper diplomats do and talked with his North Korean counterpart Ri Yong-ho. Minister Lavrov’s opinion was summed up by a Fort Russ News observer as:

“The Korean Peninsula is in a state of crisis not only due to constant US threats towards North Korea, but also due to various provocative actions, such as Washington conducting joint military exercises with Seoul amid tensions, and which Pyongyang considered a threat to its national security.”

The “provocative actions” also include the threatening over-flights by US ‘planes flying from Guam. However when North Korea said if this continued they would consider firing missiles in to the ocean near Guam – not as was reported by some hystericals as threatening to bomb Guam – Agent Orange who occasionally pops in to the White House between golf rounds and eating chocolate cake whilst muddling up which country he has dropped fifty nine Tomahawk Cruise missiles on, responded that tiny North Korea will again be: “… met with fire and fury and frankly power, the likes of which the world has never seen before.”

It was barely noticed that North Korea qualified the threat of a shot across the bows by stating pretty reasonably:

(The US) “should immediately stop its reckless military provocation against the State of the DPRK so that the latter would not be forced to make an unavoidable military choice.” (3)

As Cheryl Rofer (see 3) continued, instead of endless threats, US diplomacy could have many routes:

“We could have sent a message to North Korea via the recent Canadian visit to free one of their citizens. We could send a message through the Swedish embassy to North Korea, which often represents US interests. We could arrange some diplomatic action on which China might take the lead. There are many possibilities, any of which might show North Korea that we are willing to back off from practices that scare them if they will consider backing off on some of their actions. That would not include their nuclear program explicitly at this time, but it would leave the way open for later.”

There are in fact, twenty four diplomatic missions in all, in North Korea through which the US could request to communicate – or Trump could even behave like a grown up and pick up the telephone.

Siegfried Hecker is the last known American official to inspect North Korea’s nuclear facilities. He says that treating Kim Jong-un as though he is on the verge of attacking the U.S. is both inaccurate and dangerous.

“Some like to depict Kim as being crazy – a madman – and that makes the public believe that the guy is undeterrable. He’s not crazy and he’s not suicidal. And he’s not even unpredictable. The real threat is we’re going to stumble into a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.” (5)

Trump made his crass “fire and fury” threat on the eve of the sixty second commemoration of the US nuclear attack on Nagasaki, the nauseating irony seemingly un-noticed by him.

Will some adults pitch up on Capitol Hill before it is too late?

Notes

  1. https://militarybases.com/ south-korea/
  2. http://www.globalresearch.ca/ know-the-facts-north-korea- lost-close-to-30-of-its- population-as-a-result-of-us- bombings-in-the-1950s/22131
  3. https://nucleardiner. wordpress.com/2017/08/11/ north-korea-reaches-out/
  4. https://www.commondreams.org/ news/2017/08/08/sane-voices- urge-diplomacy-after-lunatic- trump-threatens-fire-and-fury

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The Trump Effect: Number of anti-Muslim groups in US ‘triples in a year’ Middle East Eye

Number of anti-Muslim groups in US ‘triples in a year’

#Islamophobia

Hate crime monitor says sharp increase has been fuelled by Trump’s ‘incendiary rhetoric’ and resurgence of white nationalism

A security official investigates the aftermath of a fire at the Victoria Islamic Center mosque in Victoria, Texas on 29 January (Reuters)

The number of anti-Muslim groups in the US nearly tripled from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year, according to an annual census of hate and anti-foreigner groups compiled by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a leading hate crime monitor.

In a report published on Wednesday, the SPLC said Donald Trump’s successful campaign for the US presidency had energised the “radical right” and contributed to an overall net increase in the number of hate groups from 892 in 2015 to 917.

“2016 was an unprecedented year for hate,” said Mark Potok, senior fellow and editor of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report magazine, highlighting the rise to influence of “white nationalist” activists such as Steve Bannon, Trump’s chief strategist who formerly edited the far-right Breitbart News website.

Young white men are being radicalised. It’s time to talk about it.

“The country saw a resurgence of white nationalism that imperils the racial progress we’ve made, along with the rise of a president whose policies reflect the values of white nationalists. In Steve Bannon, these extremists think they finally have an ally who has the president’s ear.”

An online map showing anti-Muslim hate groups in the US (Southern Law Poverty Center)

The SPLC said the overall number of hate groups likely understated the real level of organised hate in the US, as growing numbers of extremists were operating online and not formally affiliated with hate groups.

But it did record a fall in the number of organised anti-government armed militia groups, which it suggested may be due to the mainstreaming of far-right political ideas and ideologies previously confined to the political fringes.

Incendiary rhetoric

The report said that the dramatic increase in groups with a specific anti-Muslim agenda had been “fuelled by Trump’s incendiary rhetoric, including his campaign pledge to bar Muslims from entering the United States, as well as anger over terrorist attacks such as the June massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando”.

The magazine highlighted details of an alleged plot by three members of a group called the Kansas Security Force to blow up an apartment building housing more than 100 Somali-born Muslim immigrants and a mosque which was reported to have been planned for the day after last November’s election.

Asked by the New York Times about his support among far-right groups in November, Trump said: “I disavow and condemn them.”

The SPLC said that the growth had also been accompanied by an increase in hate crimes targeting Muslims. In a report in November, the SPLC said that nearly 900 incidents of hate and intolerance were recorded across the US in the days following Trump’s election.

It also cited an arson attack on a mosque in Victoria, Texas, just hours after Trump’s inauguration last month.

Trump’s presidency has sparked a wave of protests by civil liberties campaigners, with many taking to the streets to protest on the day of his inauguration and subsequently in opposition to a temporary ban on travellers from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US.

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If US Betrays Pakistan’s Trust Again, Redress May Not Be Possible

America is preparing to leave Afghanistan at the mercy of a lame government and an army of questionable loyalty.

The search for “good” Taliban is on in Afghanistan; the U.S. has announced that no action is to be taken against those who are not a threat to the U.S., including Mullah Omar.

The United States has said that after Jan. 2, 2015, the U.S. Army will not take any action against Mullah Omar and other Taliban leaders in Afghanistan if they pose no direct threat to the United States. Addressing a press conference in Washington, Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby said that the U.S. will not operate against anyone simply on the basis of their being Taliban members. Nevertheless, he used the occasion to clarify that those who fight will not be spared by any means. Kirby emphasized that any Taliban who operate against the U.S. or against its Afghan partners will automatically fall within the scope of the U.S. military operation.

Addressing the final news conference for the year last Friday, President Barack Obama reassured the American public that he is committed to his promise to end the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan at the end of 2014. Obama said that in less than even two weeks, the U.S. mission that has continued in Afghanistan for more than 13 years will come to an end. However, Obama gave full permission to his troops to combat extremists in the event of their becoming direct threats to the U.S. or to Afghan forces.

After 9/11, America’s enemies in this region were al-Qaida and the Taliban. The U.S. and its allies needed Pakistan’s cooperation in confronting these enemies, cooperation which Pakistan provided. With this cooperation, and with the use of modern arms and trained armies, the U.S. and its allies totally crushed Afghanistan. Ammunition and iron rained down on the land of Afghanistan, and land forces also employed their talents and weaponry to the full extent. Thousands of al-Qaida members and Taliban were killed, and at the same time, hundreds of thousands of innocent citizens were also killed, including children, old people and women. In the words of America, it broke the back of al-Qaida.

The Taliban were removed from power but could not be eliminated. They still exist as a force in Afghanistan and some other countries, and the U.S. has even carried out direct, as well as indirect and secret, negotiations with them at times. Although the U.S. stayed in Afghanistan for 13 years with full pomp and power, it could not realize its desire to completely eliminate the Taliban; nor could it persuade the Taliban to cooperate with the Afghan government. Now that a big part of the U.S. Army will be leaving Afghanistan in about a week and a half, without coffins, the Americans are hoping that the Taliban who continued to confront them for 13 years will start behaving like good children and pledge allegiance to Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah. This is not simply an illusion or a misconception on the part of the U.S., but inane thinking. The Taliban maintain a hold in many areas of Afghanistan and influence in several others; they are simply lying in wait for the U.S. and its allies to leave Afghanistan — when they can implement their plan to occupy Kabul.

Despite the presence of tens of thousands of military experts and their operations, the governments of the previous Afghan president, Hamid Karzai, and current President Ashraf Ghani have remained weak in most areas other than in cities such as Kabul. At the beginning of the coming year, following evacuation of NATO forces from Afghanistan, the government of Ashraf Ghani will have to face severe problems despite having full or partial authority in different regions. Perhaps the U.S. and the Afghan administrations are relying on the 150,000 members of the [Afghan] National Guard. But these are the very U.S.-trained soldiers who carried out dozens of attacks on their American teachers. It is possible that tomorrow these U.S.-trained soldiers will be seen standing in support of the Taliban in the same way that the army of President Hafizullah Amin joined the Taliban following the Russian evacuation.

The U.S. defeated Russia with help from Pakistan; it then took the route home, leaving Afghanistan in a state of anarchy and leaving Pakistan suffering to this day from the ill effects of its actions. Had the U.S. restored peace in Afghanistan by establishing a strong government there, the hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees would not still be a weight on Pakistan after 35 years. As it did in the past, the U.S. is once again leaving Afghanistan without any planning. Pakistan today is in the grip of terrorism and lawlessness that is stronger than any it experienced in the past. Pakistani Taliban — products of the Afghan[istan] War — have turned the whole country into an ammunition pile.

On Dec. 16 these terrorists, carrying out the worst example of brutality and barbarity in human history, bathed hundreds of children in dust and blood at the Military Public School in Peshawar. According to the brutal terrorists, this was retaliation for operation Zarb-e-Azb, being conducted by the Pakistani army to eliminate the terrorists. Following this incident, the whole country united under the Nawaz Sharif government for the elimination of terrorists. The prime minister lifted restrictions on the death penalty to be effective immediately. So far there have been six executions, while gallows have been constructed in prisons for more.

After the Peshawar incident, the government immediately called a conference of parliamentary parties in an effort to form a working group that would reach a consensus regarding a strategy. Yesterday, this group agreed on eight recommendations including the establishment of military courts and repatriation of Afghan refugees. The prime minister was briefed about these recommendations and, in this context, has called a meeting of parliamentary parties to approve an action plan based on the working group’s recommendations. The meeting will be attended by political leaders, including Imran Khan.

Along with execution of terrorists, the Pakistani army is conducting rapid operations in which 200 terrorists were killed within a week and twice the number arrested. In the most recent action in Karachi, 13 terrorists belonging to al-Qaida and the banned Tehrik-e-Taliban were killed in confrontations; arms and suicide jackets were recovered from them. About 300 suspected terrorists were arrested in operations carried out in Mansehra and Islamabad.

Pakistan helped the U.S. with its heart and soul in the war against terrorism, as a result of which, the flames of warfare that were extinguished in Afghanistan have started flaring up in Pakistan. Until yesterday, the U.S. was placing pressure on Pakistan to take evenhanded action against those who posed a danger to Pakistan as well as those who did not pose a danger to Pakistan, without discrimination. Now the U.S. is in search of “good” Taliban in Afghanistan.

Whether the matter relates to Pakistan or to Afghanistan, “good” Taliban are those who give up arms. Taking the position that we will not confront those who are not confronting us is equivalent to deceiving oneself. This thinking is no different from saying that “you cannot use your weapons; but if your reservations lead you to wield arms, then we will also retaliate.” Prior to the U.S. invasion, the nature of the Taliban position in Afghanistan was no different from this; they had not hurt U.S. interests and even bin Laden had not stood up with his gun in Afghanistan. Still, the U.S. placed a price of $10 million on Mullah Omar’s head. In light of the U.S. statement today, how would the U.S. treat him if he makes an appearance at the beginning of next year, decorate him with garlands?

America is preparing to leave Afghanistan at the mercy of a lame government and an army (the [Afghan] National Guard) of questionable loyalty. Further, the fire of terrorism is blazing in Pakistan. Should the U.S. once again leave Pakistan without its friendship and support — as it has done in the past — then Pakistan will eventually emerge from the morass after it faces difficulty. However, its trust in the U.S. will be finished and it will not wish to cooperate with the U.S. ever again. It is possible that in only a few months following evacuation, the U.S. will be in need of Pakistan’s cooperation in Afghanistan.

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I didn’t realize how often Muslims get kicked off planes, until it happened to me Niala Mohammad, The Guardian

I didn’t realize how often Muslims get kicked off planes until it happened to me

A humiliating experience opened my eyes to discrimination that has become common in post-9/11 America under the pretext of safety and security

 
 
My friend and I were removed from an American Airlines flight for requesting water and asking why we were still aboard an idling plane.
My friend and I were removed from an American Airlines flight for requesting water and asking why we were still aboard an idling plane. Photograph: Courtesy of Niala Mohammad

A recent news report documented the removal of two Muslim women working for the federal government from an American Airline flight. On its surface, the airline staff appeared to be upholding safety regulations, but in reality, they were engaging in discriminatory practices. I know this to be true because I was one of the two women. We were removed from the plane for doing nothing more than requesting water and asking why we were still aboard an idling plane for more than five hours.

Although the incident was humiliating it was also eye-opening. Until it happened to me, neither my friend nor I had realised how common this trend had become. Passengers are removed from an aircraft for benign reasons such as asking for a beverage, a child harness, speaking a foreign language, changing or upgrading seats, taking pictures, making videos, or questioning a long delay. It isn’t just about what happened to me – increasingly Muslims are a part of a cycle of discrimination that targets them due to their appearance.

American Airlines states that they prohibit “discrimination of any kind” and ensure that their “policies require that we treat all our customers in a fair and courteous manner and discrimination due to race, ethnicity, religion, or skin colour is not tolerated”. However, this was not reflected in the treatment that I and other passengers received.

Shan Anand, a young, turbaned, Sikh man along with three of his Muslim friends were removed from an American Airlines flight travelling from Toronto to New York earlier this year. When I asked Shan why he thought he and his friends were removed from the flight he said: “We know why it happened, right? There were four of us, three are Muslim and I am Sikh.” When Shan and his friends asked American Airlines why they were removed, they were told: “There were inconsistencies of their behaviour travelling as a group.” But the explanation made no sense to Shan – he was travelling in a group of six with two Latinos, three South Asians and one Arab, yet only the South Asians and Arab were removed. Shan and his travel companions were told that “the crew felt unsafe”.

“Unsafe”: a trigger word commonly used as an excuse by airlines under the pretext of ensuring safety and security post-9/11. Nearly all Muslims have at some point been subject to secondary security screening selection, but being thrown off a plane was an entirely new level of humiliation for me.

Measuring discrimination

Khurram Ali, the former civil rights director for the Council on American-Islamic Relation’s (CAIR’s) New Jersey chapter, explains that the pilot of an aircraft is given a list of those passengers that are marked with the infamous SSSS on their boarding pass. The SSSS or *S* indicates someone needs to be scrutinised a bit further by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). And although it is unknown if airline attendants have access to the names labelled SSSS by TSA on domestic flights, they do have access to their respective airline computer reservation system, which details passenger name and detailed information.

Although there is no published criteria used to select passengers for “random selection” or “suspicion”, Ali says: “It is happening to more and more people who are considered visibly Muslim.” Ali documented 27 airline discrimination complaint cases with three of those being “pulled off” or airline removal cases for CAIR’s New Jersey chapter during his short tenure. But as he pointed out, those numbers come nowhere near the amount being documented by CAIR on a national level.

CAIR has been fairly thorough in its documentation of discrimination against American Muslims, however, it is still in the process of aggregating data regarding Muslim airline passengers being “pulled off” planes. Corey Saylor, CAIR’s director of the department to monitor and combat Islamophobia, acknowledged that they “are seeing more airline cases”. But in regards to statistics, Saylor stated: “We do not have stats as of yet. We are working on it.”

The only cases the public is aware of are those documented in the media. I counted nine airline passenger removal cases involving American Muslims published in the media over the past 13 months. But if that isn’t indicative enough, just look at trending hashtags on social media like #FlyingWhileMuslim to understand and confirm the reality of rising discrimination.

The official reasons for removal of these passengers are all in relation to safety and security concerns. But there is no mistaking this trend toward discrimination of Muslims.. Here are a few examples:

  • Mohamed Ahmed Radwan made the flight attendant feel “uncomfortable” when he asked her why she called him out over the public tannoy with the words I will be watching you”. (American Airlines, December 2015)
  • Shan Anand (quoted above), a turbaned Sikh man, and three of his Muslim friends were removed for making the airline attendant and captain “feel uneasy” after they upgraded their seats. (American Airlines, December 2015)
  • Khairuldeen Makhzoom, a Berkley student, was removed after he was heard saying the phrase “inshallah” in Arabic at the end of a telephone conversation. (Southwest Airlines, December 2015)
  • Hakima Abdulle, a hijabi woman, made her aircraft flight attendant “feel uncomfortable” after switching seats with another passenger. (Southwest Airlines, April 2016)
  • Mohamad and Eaman Shebley (also hijabi) along with their three children were removed from their flight due to a “safety of flight issue” after asking for a child harness for their toddler. (United Airlines, April 2016)
  • Nazia (hijabi) and Faisal Ali, a young couple, were removed for making the flight crew feel “uneasy” because her husband was sweating, saying Allah and texting. (Delta Airlines, July 2016)

Many instances have gone undocumented due to fear of victims being further targeted, labelled troublemakers and being put on a “no-fly” list. The silent acceptance of these incidents has enabled airlines to dismiss the arbitrary treatment of select passengers as compliance with airline security regulations post-9/11. This policy is not effective and ultimately makes Americans feel marginalised in our own country.

Khairuldeen Makhzoomi, or Mark for those that have trouble pronouncing his name, recalls his experience with Southwest Airlines as “tearful and humiliating”. Makhzoomi came to America after his father was executed in Iraq by Saddam Hussain: “I experienced dictatorship in Iraq and now I am experiencing it in the freest country in the world.”

The discrimination Khairuldeen faced in Oakland, California, was anything but subtle. Khairuldeen detailed how he was removed from the aircraft, questioned by airline representatives and security, cornered against a wall, searched, sniffed by dogs in public and later interrogated privately by the FBI. Southwest Airlines representative and the authorities that removed him from the plane berated him for having spoken Arabic aboard the aircraft. Khairuldeen recalled the Southwest Airlines representative, stating: “Why would you speak that language knowing the environment in an airport?”

Khairuldeen said: “I was excited because we were talking about my upcoming graduation from UC Berkley, saying ‘inshallah’. You know, we use this word 30 to 40 times in any given conversation.” The rest of Khairuldeen’s conversation revolved around what they served for dinner at an event he attended which hosted the UN secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon. “I was telling my uncle that they served us chicken, mash potatoes and spinach for dinner at the event,” said Makhzoomi. Yet the authorities that escorted him and claimed to understand Arabic, accused him of “discussing martyrdom” in his telephone conversation.

An atmosphere of fear

Cenk Uygur, political commentator and co-founder of the Young Turks, believes that this issue goes beyond discrimination towards Muslims in particular. Uygur was also kicked off of an American Airlines flight but he doesn’t believe it was because of religion. “Was it religious? In my case, I don’t think it was racially motivated.” Uygur believes that the root of the matter boils down to power and compared airline attendant behaviour toward Muslims since 9/11 to police officers abusing their authority and using excessive force on African Americans. “After 9/11 airlines/flight attendants have taken up the ‘I can do whatever I want attitude’ in the name of security,” Uygur says. “In my opinion, the core of the problem is flight attendants are given unlimited power and they tend to abuse it. They tend to use their power on those they perceive to be powerless. And unfortunately, in America, the darker the skin colour the more powerless you are. And many Muslims tend to fit in that category.”

He adds: “By the way, it’s much harder on women because they are more visibly Muslim and they often bear the brunt of the burden of Islamophobia or discrimination.

“Donald Trump has given people permission to be Islamophobic and told them that it’s okay to discriminate against Muslims. Trump basically says, ‘If I become president I will systematically discriminate against them [Muslims],’” Uygur says.

Likewise, Khairuldeen Makhzoomi attributed the recent rise in discrimination towards Muslims to Donald Trump, saying, “Trump is using ‘Islamophobia’ to rise to political power.”

Trump’s statements have fostered and further instigated an atmosphere of fear and prejudice towards the estimated 6-7 million Muslims in America.

I’m an American and being labelled a safety threat is unacceptable in a country founded on tolerance and freedom.

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Trump -The Enigma By Peter Koenig March 05, 2017

But will the world’s fear of “Madman Trump” lead every one of the world’s 196 nations to surrender to the USA and allow its psychotic leader to don the purple robes and anoint himself World Emperor? As the British Parliament just said in response to Trump’s request to speak there: “Not bloody likely.” ~Veterans Today

Trump -The Enigma

 

He also seeks truth by telling truth; that Obama and Hillary created ISIS and the CIA created Al Qaeda, that 9/11 was not the way the Nine-Eleven Commission says it was, and that the Government lies about statistics. Poverty, unemployment, and inflation figures are much higher than those published by the various US statistical officesHe loves BREXIT, congratulating Teresa May for it, and joyfully predicts the end of the European Union and of the Euro. It would be a good thing for the world. But does he mean what he says? – As a megalo, he loves to be an Enigma.

The non- intervention policy – as candidate Trump he said he would not intervene in other countries’ affairs. Fair enough. That’s what most of the world wants; that’s what most of the Americans who voted for him want. Yet, Donald Trump, the almighty, along with his chief vassals of Europe, France, Germany and the UK, has just tried imposing new sanctions on Syria, among other deceitful allegations, because of some military commanders’ use of toxic gas attacks. By now, most of the informed world knows that this is a lie and nothing but a UN-proven lie – a lie that has been repeated since the beginning of the CIA imposed war on Syria in 2011 to justify ‘regime change’.

Both China and Russia opposed the motion. Mr. Putin went on a news conference saying that sanctions would not be helpful for the new peace negotiations in Geneva. – Of course, not. But that’s precisely what they are supposed to do- undermine the peace process. There are enough ‘outside’ negotiators in Geneva with brainwashed, preconceived ideas that Bashar Al Assad is a mass murderer, having killed ‘hundreds of thousands of his own people’. Literally.

 

President Trump may be wondering himself about the miracles and mysteries and confusions he creates. As a megalomaniac, he is the only one who knows everything. His ideas range and flash from right to left, crisscrossing the political spectrum to favor the globalized world – and yet he is largely acting against globalization – and in the ‘interest of people’. That would be great.

He also seeks truth by telling truth; that Obama and Hillary created ISIS and the CIA created Al Qaeda, that 9/11 was not the way the Nine-Eleven Commission says it was, and that the Government lies about statistics. Poverty, unemployment, and inflation figures are much higher than those published by the various US statistical officesHe loves BREXIT, congratulating Teresa May for it, and joyfully predicts the end of the European Union and of the Euro. It would be a good thing for the world. But does he mean what he says? – As a megalo, he loves to be an Enigma.

The non- intervention policy – as candidate Trump he said he would not intervene in other countries’ affairs. Fair enough. That’s what most of the world wants; that’s what most of the Americans who voted for him want. Yet, Donald Trump, the almighty, along with his chief vassals of Europe, France, Germany and the UK, has just tried imposing new sanctions on Syria, among other deceitful allegations, because of some military commanders’ use of toxic gas attacks. By now, most of the informed world knows that this is a lie and nothing but a UN-proven lie – a lie that has been repeated since the beginning of the CIA imposed war on Syria in 2011 to justify ‘regime change’.

Both China and Russia opposed the motion. Mr. Putin went on a news conference saying that sanctions would not be helpful for the new peace negotiations in Geneva. – Of course, not. But that’s precisely what they are supposed to do- undermine the peace process. There are enough ‘outside’ negotiators in Geneva with brainwashed, preconceived ideas that Bashar Al Assad is a mass murderer, having killed ‘hundreds of thousands of his own people’. Literally.

That’s the concept of some of the western negotiators. It is an outright shame that such people are allowed to help negotiate peace – even worse, they claim the right to rewrite Syria’s Constitution for a country without President Assad, who still has 80% of Syrians’ backing. Seriously? – Yes, very seriously. If it wouldn’t be a grave breach of a country’s sovereignty, it would be laughable. Who is sponsoring such nonsense anyway? The western world once again proves without impunity that they have no respect for human and civil rights, for those they consider below their boots. What would those foreigners say who are ‘negotiating’ a new Constitution for Syria, if foreigners were to decide on their own country’s Constitution? – Trump should know better. Is this the same Trump, who pledged not- intervention in foreign lands?

Trump, Netanyahu’s puppet – Or is it the ‘new’ Trump? The even more submissive Trump – submissive to Netanyahu’s Israel? Outranking by far his predecessor. – The little boy Trump we saw during the joint Press Conference with Bibi in Washington last month? – So sad and almost insulting to the American people, witnessing the President of the United States in total adulation of the Zionist-in-Chief. Surely, he may have swayed Trump’s good intentions away from staying out of other peoples’ and countries’ business. – The exceptional nation of the US of A is a sheer vassal of Israel, the Zionist-run 8-million people country in the Middle East, adamant to turn the entire zone into a huge chaos, a zone which they eventually hope to take over from the shiny Euphrates to Shiny Nile, much like the Brits did, by killing all the indigenous people in North America to eventually create an empire from Shiny Sea to Shiny Sea? – Not bad. But why would The Donald not know about it? And go along with such atrocities? Who twists his arm? How does one twist the arms of the President of the United States?

Peace with Russia – candidate, as well as President Donald Trump was pledging for a future peaceful relationship with Russia. However, when pressed, he is not a friend of Putin’s and doesn’t know whether he will get along with him. In any case, to deserve a friendly relation with the exceptional nation, Mr. Putin must return Crimea – return to whom? – to Kiev’s Nazi regime? Anybody who hears this must be thinking it’s a joke or sheer lunacy.

And withdrawing Russian troops from Ukraine? Anybody who says this and propagates it around the world is mad. People who by now haven’t gotten to the truth are insane. Because the truth is everywhere, except in the presstitute. Get away from the presstitute. Crimean people decided by a 97% majority to rejoin Russia, where they were during the past 300 years; and Ukraine – it is by now a little secret that the US Embassy in Kiev, helped by CIA, MI6, NATO and the EU vassal states, instigated the coup in February 2014 against the democratically elected – pro-Russian President Yanukovych. Rather than intervene in Kiev’s Washington and Brussels-driven Nazi war against her own people in the Donbass, Putin has explicitly refused the democratically voted demand by the Donbass people also to be reintegrated into Russia. Ukraine for hundreds of years was part of Russia.

Instead, President Putin has initiated the Minsk II Agreement of February 2015. Minsk II was a Russian initiative after Minsk I of September 2014 collapsed, mainly because the warring parties Kiev and NATO didn’t adhere to the accord. At Minsk II the leaders of Germany and France, Russia and Ukraine’s oligarch President, Poroshenko, shook hands for peace. For the west, this was mere propaganda, as they can say now, that Russia didn’t adhere to the deal. Lie after lie after miserable lie. Mr. Trump, despite his pledges to the contrary – and he said once as much as Obama was responsible for Maidan, the Kiev coup in February 2014 – is back-tracking on his own common sense. Did here too, Netanyahu’s evil wisdom prevail?

Sanctions – Trump was clear during his campaign and in the first days of his Presidency that he didn’t think sanctions were a good idea, especially not applied to Russia. Has he had a change of mind or a twist of arms? – The war industry, of course, does not like the notion of peace with Russia. The President of the United States has nothing to say. Is he a mere marionette of the war and security faction of the Deep State? Naturally, well accompanied by a bunch of stooges from Brussels. Never mind that these sanctions hurt Europe more than they hurt Russia. As Mr. Putin said repeatedly – thank god for the sanctions. They have helped Russia to become independent again, building her own agriculture and manufacturing capacity – let alone research and development which is already producing cutting edge technology, by far superior to the US-outsourced kind, coming from such low-wage countries like India.

Appointing Nikki Haley Ambassador to the UN – the new mandate for the former Governor of South Carolina is another ruse that should please Israel. Judging from her first moves in the UN body, Nikki Haley looks not much different from her predecessor, Samantha Power, especially when she flies such lies in the face of the world, like, “It is a sad day on the Security Council when members start making excuses for other member states killing their own people. The world is definitely a more dangerous place,” in response to Russia’s and China’s veto to the new western attempt to impose more sanctions on Syria.

She knows – or should know better. Trump definitely knows better. If he let her get away with this slander propaganda, it’s because he has been told to do so, or wants to bend over backwards to please his friend Bibi, and / or because he himself thinks the UN has become a useless body of blah-blah nations, devoid of any backbone; it should melt away, as it is unreformable in its current structure, like the EU. Both have been hijacked by the world’s Deep State of neocons. It’s time to wake up to this new reality.

Firing Michael Flynn, Mr. Trump’s first choice as National Security Advisor – was a horrible betrayal of a friend and possibly a peacemaker. Did Trump simply follow orders from non-peace-loving Pentagon masters – Deep state warriors? With that unsavvy move, the President lost all his respect from people, whose ethics weigh infinitely more than those of the Washington swamp. The no-nonsense strategist Flynn, who was about to seek harmonious relations with Russia, and would defend Trump’s non-intervention policy, is gone. The masters of the Pentagon, the military-industrial complex have won. – By firing, Flynn, did Trump hand over de facto his Presidency to neocon Vice-president, Mike Pence? Thanks to Pence who created a storm in a water glass about a private citizen talking to the Russian Ambassador, Flynn is out – and Trump has lost his worldwide standing.

NATO is outdated – superfluous – those were the wise words of candidate Trump. He repeated them, somewhat weakened after his inauguration – but not for long. The puppets in Europe were crying big Crocodile Tears; the newly appointed James “Mad Dog” Mattis, true to his name went to Brussels, telling his subjects that there was nothing to worry about; the US would continue protecting Europe with NATO against the evil Russians – but they had to pay up, sharing more of the cost of this expensive, but highly profitable enterprise, the weapons industry. He didn’t tell them the latter part. That was implicit, though. – We can assume that Mattis didn’t go to Brussels on his own initiative, but as the emissary of his boss, the President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States.

Increasing the Defense budget by US$ 54 billion – Trump’s recent announcement, wasn’t exactly a move towards peace. Earlier, within his first couple of weeks in the White House, Trump went to the Pentagon and told the generals to come up within a month with a plan on how to renew the war equipment, including the nuclear arsenal – sort of confirming Obama’s plan to put a trillion dollars into ‘nuclear renewal’ within the next ten years.

None of this smells of peace, or even of promoting harmonious relations with the rest of the world. It has nothing to do with wanting to become a nation of equals. And it goes way beyond simply ‘Making America Great Again’. It rather smacks of perpetuating Washington’s status of the exceptional nation – pure insanity.

Iran Bashing – calling her “The World’s Biggest State Sponsor of Terrorism”, – another outrageous lie destined to spread negative propaganda about Iran, to intimidate other countries from renewing their commercial dealings with Iran. After all, the ‘Nuclear Deal’ promised to abandon sanctions. Yet, Trump just started a new regime of sanctions. Trump also wants to ‘scrap’ or rip apart the 5+1 and Iran (Permanent Security Council Members, plus Germany and Iran) ‘Nuclear Accord’ of January 2016. This may not be easy, as there are more players involved than just the exceptional nation.

Trump and his aides, have been demonizing Iran already during his campaign and reiterated the groundless accusations after his inauguration. – Why? – He knows that there is no substance to back up his claims and that Iran is backed by Russia and China and that a direct confrontation with Iran would mean a clash – nuclear? -with Russia and possibly also with China. Is this a way of getting at Russia (and China) through the back-door? Or is it just one more goody for his Pal, Bibi? – We don’t know yet. But it is not excluded that Israel launches an attack against Iran – supported by Washington, of course. Any intervention by Russia would be considered an aggression on the US.
better is eternal chaos – leaving the arms and bankster business booming – reducing at the margin the world population by continuous merciless killing; by armed conflicts; by artificial food shortages; by clandestine sterilizations through GMOs (plus a myriad of deadly diseases potentially implanted in genetically engineered food seeds); by an out-of-bounds pharma-industry, today already responsible for one-third of annual deaths, right after cancer and heart failure – all with the goal of leaving more resources for the few. That’s ideal for the empire and those who are in command of the empire. In the meantime, saber rattling with nuclear warheads is an excellent tool for intimidation. Scared people are much more submissive.Truth be told, this appears to be sheer saber rattling. Nobody dares to attack Iran, which would mean attacking the entire axis of Middle East stability, China-Russia-Iran – and more, attacking the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), of which Iran is now a member. Confronting SCO would be aggressing one-half of the world’s population that commands one-third of the world’s GDP. That’s heavy stuff. More than a conventional WWIII. From there, nuclear is just an emotional breath away, or a tiny misunderstanding — who wants to risk that? – Least the war industry. Because once the planet is eviscerated, there is no more need for arms. Those few elitists who may survive, have killed their milk cow. Trump should know that. He is a businessman.

And on the domestic front….

The wall on the Mexican border – a promise, Trump seems adamant to keep. Has he been told how many particularly southwestern US businesses he would kill? Agriculture, hospitality and tourism, small businesses depend on illegal workers. They all do work Americans don’t want to do. So, there is no immediate alternative. Did Trump think this over?

Forced evictions of illegal immigrants from their often longtime homes in the US, fall in the same inhuman category. The trained brutes of US police enjoy this ‘new freedom’ to use force tremendously. A more generous, more civil and more human – and for both sides more beneficiary move would be granting all illegals with no criminal records – at least 97% – amnesty, with work visas or immigration status, depending on their situations.

But The Wall has become so abjectly popular among the non-thinking US rednecks that there seems to be no crawling back. Or is there, Mr. Trump? – Like coming to reason?

Renegotiating NAFTA – or abolish this nefarious trade deal altogether – yes, but done professionally. That should, in the long run, please both Mexico and Canada, as both of these countries have lost enormously for signing on the 1992 Clinton- imposed dotted line. Mexico alone lost 1.3 million farm jobs, as the US 2002 Farm Bill subsidized US agribusiness by as much as 40% of net farm income, thereby driving countless Mexican farmers into ruin. – So, renegotiating NAFTA would be welcome by Mexico and Canada, but surely that’s not the way Trump sees it. – Or has he or some of his economic advisors told him what is really at stake?

Bringing back jobs and Making America Great Again – the Trump slogan of the year. Probably coined by some members of the Deep State, to emulate Obama’s ‘Yes we Can’ – just coming through other lips, is nothing but the same trick – but with the naked emperor wearing differently shaded clothes. If Trump can pull this through – it would be truly amazing, a true feather in his hat. Of course, it doesn’t happen overnight, and it requires thorough planning. Just giving homecoming corporations tax breaks is not the solution. Analysts say it would take at least 20 years to build up a job base, mainly in the rust belt, that could rival what was there before the big exodus to cheap labor countries in the late 80s and 90s.

Not only would it help bring back job sovereignty to the US, it would be a tremendous blow to globalization; this evil structure created by the neocons and their institutions, FED, IMF, World Bank at the Washington Consensus Conference at the end of the 1980s. Globalization has had nothing but devastating effects for the large majority of the world population. This would clearly be an unparalleled trump in Trump’s basket. He seems to be serious, as he congratulated the British PM to BREXIT and doesn’t believe in the long-term survival of the European Union and the single currency, the Euro. And he is right.

Canceling the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement – and possibly also the highly controversial TTIP (Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) deal – would be a tremendous achievement for Trump. The people of Europe and of the 11 Pacific Countries might be forever thankful to Trump for his genius move. Never mind that he believes they would have been bad for the US of A. Let him. A good deed to the world, so anathema to his other business- oriented discourse. Here’s to the enigma Trump!

A trade war with China – may it be Trump’s soft version of Obama’s South China Sea aggression? He already announced a 45% import tax for anything coming from China that could be made in the US of A. Of course, this is first meant as an incentive for all the US corporations who outsourced their manufacturing to bring them back home. But, he thinks, by the way, it would hurt China as a rising star on the world economic horizon. It hardly would. Especially not in the long-run. More hurt would be the United States if China were to retaliate.

As of the end of 2016 Chinese foreign direct investments (FDI) since 2005 in the US cumulatively amounted to 109 billion dollars, a mere10% of all of China’s FDI, worldwide. But, they are accelerating. China’s FDIs in the US in 2016 with 45.6 billion were about triple those of 2015. This compares with about 644 billion dollars of US FDI in China over the past 15 years. Punishing China with steep import taxes is about as effective as ‘sanctioning’ Russia – namely almost nil. China has huge investments in Asia, in her principal export market. This is one area where Obama wanted to interfere with his pivot to Asia. The other one, of course, is military, by stationing about two-thirds of the US Naval Fleet in the South China Sea. They won’t be twiddling thumbs for long.

Let’s see what the twittering Trump does. Will he get the license to play business with China? Or will the Deep State of the Pentagon-Security clan get the best of him – through an arm-twisting provocation in the South China Sea?
———–
Trump, the enigma. These are just a few of the bountiful contradictions and controversies of the new Trump Administration. If he manages to stop Globalization, the nefarious trade deals set up under Obama, bringing back the workforce to the US, rehabilitating his country’s decaying infrastructure and bringing back security to the common citizen, plus decent health care and education – and foremost, keeping wars at bay, then he has achieved more for the US and the rest of the world than any of his predecessors for the last 100-plus years. – To be fair, The Donald, less than 50 days in office, deserves the benefit of the doubt, as anybody would who dares oppose and attack the “fake news” lie culture of western media.

Peter Koenig is an economist and geopolitical analyst. He is also a former World Bank staff and worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He lectures at universities in the US, Europe, and South America. He writes regularly for Global Research, ICH, RT, Sputnik, PressTV, The 4th Media, TeleSUR, TruePublica, The Vineyard of The Saker Blog, and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed  fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe. He is also a co-author of The World Order and Revolution! – Essays from the Resistance.

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