• Private Mossad for Hire
    Inside an effort to influence American elections, starting with one small-town race.
    February 18 & 25, 2019
    By Adam Entous and Ronan Farrow

    (...) Psy-Group had more success pitching an operation, code-named Project Butterfly, to wealthy Jewish-American donors. The operation targeted what Psy-Group described as “anti-Israel” activists on American college campuses who supported the Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions movement, known as B.D.S. Supporters of B.D.S. see the movement as a way to use nonviolent protest to pressure Israel about its treatment of the Palestinians; detractors say that B.D.S. wrongly singles out Israel as a human-rights offender. B.D.S. is anathema to many ardent supporters of the Israeli government.

    In early meetings with donors, in New York, Burstien said that the key to mounting an effective anti-B.D.S. campaign was to make it look as though Israel, and the Jewish-American community, had nothing to do with the effort. The goal of Butterfly, according to a 2017 company document, was to “destabilize and disrupt anti-Israel movements from within.” Psy-Group operatives scoured the Internet, social-media accounts, and the “deep” Web—areas of the Internet not indexed by search engines like Google—for derogatory information about B.D.S. activists. If a student claimed to be a pious Muslim, for example, Psy-Group operatives would look for photographs of him engaging in behavior unacceptable to many pious Muslims, such as drinking alcohol or having an affair. Psy-Group would then release the information online using avatars and Web sites that couldn’t be traced back to the company or its donors.

    Project Butterfly launched in February, 2016, and Psy-Group asked donors for $2.5 million for operations in 2017. Supporters were told that they were “investing in Israel’s future.” In some cases, a former company employee said, donors asked Psy-Group to target B.D.S. activists at universities where their sons and daughters studied.
    The project would focus on as many as ten college campuses. According to an update sent to donors in May, 2017, Psy-Group conducted two “tours of the main theatre of action,” and met with the campaign’s outside “partners,” which it did not name. Psy-Group employees had recently travelled to Washington to visit officials at a think tank called the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, which had shared some of its research on the B.D.S. movement. In a follow-up meeting, which was attended by Burstien, Psy-Group provided F.D.D. with a confidential memo describing how it had compiled dossiers on nine activists, including a lecturer at the University of California, Berkeley. In the memo, Psy-Group asked the foundation for guidance on identifying future targets. According to an F.D.D. official, the foundation “did not end up contracting with them, and their research did little to advance our own.”

    Burstien recruited Ram Ben-Barak, a former deputy director of Mossad, to help with the project. As the director general of Israel’s Ministry of Strategic Affairs, from 2014 to 2016, Ben-Barak had drawn up a plan for the state to combat the B.D.S. movement, but it was never implemented. Ben-Barak was enthusiastic about Butterfly. He said that the fight against B.D.S. was like “a war.” In the case of B.D.S. activists, he said, “you don’t kill them but you do have to deal with them in other ways.” (...)


  • The early work of groundbreaking photojournalist Gordon Parks – in pictures

    Washington DC Government Charwoman, July 1942

    Photograph: Gordon Parks/Courtesy The Gordon Parks Foundation, National Gallery of Art, Washington and Library of Congress, Washington

  • Warren’s foreign policy shows she’s missing why Trump was elected | William M Arkin | Opinion | The Guardian

    The United States, Warren says, has embarked on “a series of seemingly endless wars, engaging in conflicts with mistaken or uncertain objectives and no obvious path to completion”. It’s fine rhetoric but the obvious path to completion is merely to end the wars. And yet the Bush White House couldn’t or didn’t want to. And Obama vacillated and expanded to the point where bombing and killing was being pursued in almost a dozen countries when he left office. And as for Trump? He’s done little and he’s been publicly admonished by his own secretary of defense when he decided he wanted to end just one of those conflicts.

    But “the United States”? Really? Other than Afghanistan after 9/11 – and that’s all – “the United States” didn’t embark on these wars. The national security community did. The government. Overtly, covertly, with high hopes or unwarranted self-confidence, they got their way.

    Who is the real culprit then? It isn’t Warren’s “elites”, the corporation, or Trump. It is Washington and its ability, indeed even its self-appointed duty, to stand in the way of anything that it sees as not in its interest.

    She may not think it, but Warren is merely genuflecting before this deep state, declaring her allegiance to a “muscular military” and calling for “strong yet pragmatic security policies”. She of course offers a laundry list of things that must be preserved or strengthened that’s non-military – from technological superiority to diplomacy to strong alliances. And she decries the military and civilian policymakers who “seem [in]capable of defining success”. But in her innocence as to why we are stuck in seemingly endless wars she also seems oblivious to the fact that she is already capitulating to the very forces that ensure that we can’t change anything.

    #complexe_militaro_industriel #etats-unis #guerres

  • Ilhan Omar has sparked panic in AIPAC

    Rep. Ilhan Omar has apologized for her inexcusably insensitive tweet. But the core issue behind her comment - whether the U.S. should continue to reflexively embrace the views of the Israeli government - won’t go away
    David Rothkopf
    Feb 13, 2019 2:37 PM

    U.S. Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota has apologized for her offensive tweet that suggested Israeli influence in the U.S. Congress was “all about the Benjamins.” But that does not mean that the core issue underlying the controversy surrounding the tweet, Representative Ilhan and new voices critical of Israel in U.S. politics, is likely to fade away.

    I’m not going to defend Omar.Her own apology was unequivocal and the tweet itself was, at best, inexcusably insensitive. But it is vitally important we distinguish between criticism of Israel and anti-Semitism. And, as importantly, we also must recognize the massive response against Rep. Omar for what it is - a spasm of fear about our changing times.

    >> Aaron David Miller: No, Israel and America Aren’t Breaking Up. Don’t Believe the Hype

    The entire infrastructure that has been built over the years to advance the interests of Israel in the U.S. is quaking in its boots - not because of the badly developed arguments of a rookie Congresswoman - but because of the coming generational change in U.S. views of Israel and because support for the Israeli government has been damaged among Democrats by the choice of the Netanyahu administration to so closely tie itself to Donald Trump and the Republican right wing in America.
    Supporters of US President Donald Trump cheer during a rally in El Paso, Texas on February 11, 2019
    Supporters of US President Donald Trump cheer during a rally in El Paso, Texas on February 11, 2019.AFP

    Rep. Omar damaged her own credibility by embracing an old anti-Semitic trope. There is no place for that in American politics. But even as she should be condemned, her views of Israel need to be heard. There is no reason all American views on a foreign government should be in lockstep.

    Quite the contrary, Americans who seek to protect and advance our interests should no more reflexively embrace the views of the Israeli government than they do those of a pro-Brexit UK government or an anti-refugee Italian government.

    Israel’s defenders would like the relationship to be deemed so important that it must not be criticized. This echoes the position, say, of the Saudis in the wake of the Khashoggi murder. And it is just as indefensible.

    A growing number of Americans realize that. Further, a growing number of American Jews feel the positions of the Netanyahu government are contrary to both U.S. interests and the values of Judaism, and thus the rationale for a Jewish state. In other words, they see Netanyahu’s actions as undermining the reasons Israel might have a special claim on their support.

    Indeed, no one, in fact, has done more to damage the standing of Israel than a Netanyahu government that has actively waged war on the Palestinian people, denied them their rights, responded disproportionately to threats and refused to acknowledge its own wrong-doing.

    Anti-Semites, with their stale and discredited attacks, can never do the kind of damage to the U.S.-Israel relationship that rampant Israeli wrong-doing can (especially when the Israeli government weakens the arguments against anti-Semites by embracing them, as in the case of Victor Orban in Hungary, or hugging those like Donald Trump who promote anti-Semites and anti-Semitic ideas about “globalists” or George Soros.)
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban share a light moment during the reception ceremony in front of the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, July 18, 2017.
    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his Hungarian counterpart Viktor Orban in front of the Parliament building in Budapest, Hungary, July 18, 2017Balazs Mohai/AP

    None of this is to diminish the real and ever-present threat of anti-Semitism. Which is why, of course, it is essential that we are careful to distinguish between it and legitimate criticism of the government of Israel.

    In fact, if we in the U.S. stand for what is best about America and hope for the best for Israel, then we must welcome those who would criticize Israel’s government not as our enemies but as the true defenders of the idea of Israel, and of America’s deep investment in the promise of that country.

    With that in mind, we must be careful that we do not allow the justifiable aspects of the critique against Rep. Omar to lead to a reflexive position where we silence active criticism of the Israeli government, or the worst actions of the State of Israel.

    Judging from comments in the media about her that pre-dated these statements, and comments about Rep. Rashida Tlaib, and comments about the “left” becoming anti-Israel, in my view we are in the midst of a pre-emptive push to combat the coming rethinking of the U.S.- Israel relationship.
    Feb. 5, 2019, photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington
    Feb. 5, 2019, photo, Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., left, joined at right by Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich., listens to President Donald Trump’s State of the Union speech, at the Capitol in Washington.J. Scott Applewhite,AP

    It will seize upon the fact that some elements who offer the critique of Israel are in fact anti-Semitic or tap into anti-Semitic rhetoric and traditions, in order to tar with the same brush those who legitimately disapprove of the behavior of the Israeli government.

    That would be a mistake. Because it would not only silence a debate we need to and deserve to have, but it would undermine the ability of the U.S. to be a force for positive change in Israeli policies - change that is necessary to the future of Israel and to U.S. interests in that region.

    We must combat anti-Semitism. But we should also combat those who have no tolerance for democratic processes, or who would seek a political purity test for politicians based on narrowly-defined, traditionalist, outdated guidelines.

    The future of the U.S.- Israel relationship - and the future of Israel, the Palestinian people and peace in the region - depends on our willingness to look past biases of all sorts to the facts on the ground, to the justice that is required and to our interests going forward.

    David Rothkopf is a foreign policy expert and author, host of the Deep State Radio podcast and CEO of The Rothkopf Group, LLC a media and advisory firm. His next book, on the national security threat posed by the Trump administration, is due out later this year. Twitter: @djrothkopf

  • Anti-BDS bill passed Senate, but trouble awaits in House
    Some Democrats are convinced the decision to tie the controversial bill together with motions on aid to Israel and Jordan and sanctions on Syria was designed to spark intra-Democratic fighting
    Amir Tibon Washington
    Feb 10, 2019 11:52 PM

    WASHINGTON – The Senate passed a bill last week that encourages state governments across the U.S. not to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel and its settlements in the occupied West Bank. The bill has since been introduced in the House of Representatives, but Congressional sources from both parties told Haaretz in recent days they doubt it will pass the House any time soon.

    The bill in question is called the Combating BDS Act. It passed the Senate as part of a “package” of Middle East-related bills after being introduced by Republican Senator Marco Rubio. The other bills in the package deal with non-controversial, consensus issues such as military aid to Israel and Jordan, and sanctions on the Assad regime in Syria.

    Rubio and Senate Republicans added the anti-BDS bill into the package, setting the stage for an intense fight about it on Capitol Hill. The reason is that civil rights organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union are concerned that the Combating BDS Act is unconstitutional and harms American citizens’ freedom of speech.

    The bill encourages the implementation of local legislation passed in recent years by half of the states in the U.S., putting limits on state governments’ abilities to sign contracts with supporters of boycotts against Israel or the settlements. Two such laws have been frozen by federal courts in Arizona and Kansas, following lawsuits by state contractors who said the laws harmed their freedom of speech. Similar lawsuits have recently been filed in Texas and Arkansas.

    When the package bill came up for a vote last week, 23 senators voted against it, including one Republican, Rand Paul of Kentucky. Many of those who voted against it clarified that if every aspect of the bill had been voted on separately, they probably would have supported the bills on assistance to Israel and Jordan and on sanctioning Assad, and would have only objected to the BDS bill, mainly because of concerns surrounding freedom of speech.

    Such a vote could take place in the Senate, where Republicans hold the majority, but not in the House, according to the Congressional sources who spoke with Haaretz. Democrats are convinced that the entire purpose of the Republican decision to add the anti-BDS bill into the broader Middle East package was to orchestrate an intra-Democratic fight over the issue, and force many Democrats to choose between their position on the free speech criticism of the bill, and their general opposition to BDS.

    The Democratic leadership in the House, which has a majority ever since the midterm elections, will most likely break up the package into a number of separate bills. That will allow the House to approve the non-controversial bills on security aid to Israel and sanctions on Syria, without immediately setting the stage for a new round of internal party tensions on the “constitutional right to boycott” question.

    While the other bills are probably going to see quick and easy approval, the anti-BDS bill could be up for a lengthy period of debate in the relevant House committees. There could also be an amendment process. In the Senate, for example, one Democratic senator, Gary Peters of Michigan, offered an amendment that would make it absolutely clear that the bill only refers to large companies, not to small businesses or sole proprietors. Another amendment offered to distinguish in the bill’s language between Israel proper and the settlements in the occupied West Bank.

    Lara Friedman of the Foundation for Middle East Peace, one of the most vocal opponents of the legislation, told Haaretz last week that Democrats in the House “can see what happened in the Senate and take a good guess that it will be even more controversial” in their chamber. “The only ones who benefit from seeing Democrats fight amongst themselves on this issue are the GOP and folks in the U.S. and Israel who want to see Israel turned into a weapon for partisan gain,” she added.

    AIPAC, the powerful lobby that supports the Israeli government, is urging Congress to pass the legislation. The organization wrote in its monthly publication, the Near East Report, that “Congress should take up and pass the Combating BDS Act as quickly as possible. This important bipartisan bill seeks both to protect states against claims they are preempting federal authority, and to demonstrate Congress’ strong support for state measures consistent with Congress’ historic commitment to oppose boycotts of Israel.”


    • En complément : attaquer Omar, Tlaib et Ocasio-Cortez, par imputation d’antisémitisme, pour explicitement diviser les Démocrates : McCarthy pressures Democrats to rebuke two Muslim lawmakers over alleged anti-Semitism

      Republicans are focusing their ire at the two Muslim women in Congress, accusing them of anti-Semitism and pressuring Democratic leaders to rebuke the lawmakers as attitudes in the party toward Israel shift from unquestioned support.

      The pressure on Reps. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) and Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) is part of a larger GOP effort to drive a partisan wedge into the traditionally nonpartisan relationship between the United States and Israel. Republicans are casting themselves as the more resolute defender of Israel, heightening the party’s appeal to traditionally Democratic Jewish voters.


      Ralph Reed, the head of the Faith and Freedom Coalition and an ally of the Trump White House, said Republicans are working to “change the center of gravity in the American electorate on the issue of Israel.”

      “The leftward drift of the grass roots of the Democrat Party, away from wholehearted and robust support of Israel, means you have people in that party who see Israel through the prism of apartheid and occupation,” he said. “That’s an opportunity for Republicans to say, ‘That’s not how we see Israel.’ ”

      Some Republicans have pointed to a recent phone call between Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), the high-profile young leader of her party’s hard-left wing, to British lawmaker Jeremy Corbyn, the head of the Labour Party who has come under intense criticism for tolerating anti-Semitism in his ranks.

      (Accessoirement donc : internationalisation de la manipulation anti-Corbyn…)

  • How the U.S. Weaponized the Border Wall

    Migrants die and disappear in staggeringly high numbers along the U.S.-Mexico border, as Washington over the years has shut down relatively safe, traditional urban entry points, forcing border crossers into hostile desert terrain. Migrants also sustain severe life-threatening or crippling injuries. They fall into mine shafts and break their backs. Dehydration damages their kidneys. Others are bitten by snakes or injured in chases. The tall metal fences that run as barriers along segments of (...)

    #FBI #CIA #capteur #frontières #migration #surveillance #militarisation

  • US court throws out lawsuit against academic boycott of Israel | The Electronic Intifada

    A federal judge in Washington, DC, on Monday dismissed a lawsuit against the American Studies Association over its decision to support the boycott of Israeli academic institutions.

    The ruling is a significant blow to efforts by Israel lobby groups to use courts to harass, intimidate and silence supporters of Palestinian rights in US universities – a tactic known as lawfare.

    In April 2016, several current and former members of the ASA filed the lawsuit against the group over its 2013 resolution backing the academic boycott.

    In his 20-page ruling, US District Judge Rudolph Contreras wrote that the plaintiffs had no standing to file a lawsuit seeking damages on behalf of the ASA, and that their individual damage claims came nowhere near the $75,000 minimum required for them to seek relief in federal court.

    At most, the individual plaintiffs could seek damages of a few hundred dollars to cover membership dues they allege were misappropriated, but they would have to find some other venue to pursue their claims, the judge found.

    “The court basically said, in no uncertain words, that the plaintiffs suing ASA lied when they claimed to have ‘suffered significant economic and reputational damage.’” Radhika Sainath, senior attorney with the civil rights group Palestine Legal, told The Electronic Intifada. “But, as the court explained, ‘nowhere’ in the lawsuit could the plaintiffs explain what that damage was. It didn’t pass the smell test.”

  • ¿Cómo sería una invasión de Estados Unidos en Venezuela? | Internacional

    Nicolás Maduro acude a unos ejercicios militares en Caracas, el 1 de febrero.

    • Venezuela y el efecto dominó
    • "Cinco mil soldados en Colombia", el apunte de Bolton sobre la crisis de Venezuela que sembró la intriga
    • Washington baraja más bien ataques quirúrgicos junto a aliados regionales. Una intervención militar se enfrentaría a una guerra de guerrillas por parte del chavismo

    El último combate directo entre las Fuerzas Armadas de Estados Unidos, por un lado, y de Cuba y la Unión Soviética, por otro, se produjo a solo 160 kilómetros de Venezuela. Fue en octubre de 1983, cuando EEUU invadió la isla de Granada, un país alineado con la Unión Soviética que estaba al borde de una guerra civil. Murieron 19 estadounidenses, 2 soviéticos, y 25 cubanos. La rumorología cubana afirma que, cuando llegaron a La Habana los más de 600 prisioneros que hizo EEUU en la isla, Fidel Castro los mandó a cortar caña de azúcar como castigo por haberse rendido.

    Ahora, 35 años después, la posibilidad de que EEUU, Cuba, y Rusia - la heredera de la URSS - vuelvan a enfrentarse se ha planteado en exactamente la misma región. Esta vez, en Venezuela. Washington no deja de decir, como expresó la asistente del secretario de Estado para Asuntos de las Américas, Kimberly Breier, en una rueda de prensa con periodistas europeos el jueves, que «aunque nuestra política se basa en una transición pacífica, hemos dejado muy claro que todas las opciones están sobre la mesa».

    En Venezuela ya hay cientos o miles de personas del aparato de seguridad cubano que controlan el Estado venezolano, a los que se suman entre varias docenas y 400 mercenarios rusos de la empresa Wagner Group que constituyen lo que el profesor del Colegio de la Guerra del Ejército de Estados Unidos Robert Ellis califica en una entrevista telefónica con EL MUNDO de «guardia de palacio de Nicolás Maduro». Como recalca Erick Langer, profesor de la Universidad de Georgetown, de cuyo Centro para América Latina fue director, mientras debatimos una posible intervención militar estadounidense, «Cuba y Rusia ya han intervenido».

    Washington no ha ahorrado simbolismos para demostrar que está dispuesto a intervenir. El caso más claro fue el del consejero de Seguridad Nacional, John Bolton, cuando apareció el lunes en una rueda de prensa en la Casa Blanca con un cuaderno con la anotación «5.000 soldados a Colombia». Unas palabras que, para Langer, «eran un puro show en el estilo clásico de Donald Trump para mostrarse más fuerte de lo que es», explica Langer.

    Además, una cosa es escribir «5.000 soldados» y otra muy diferente enviar 5.000 soldados. Y más si Colombia, como es el caso, no quiere. Dejando de lado el pequeño detalle de que con 5.000 soldados no se va a ningún sitio. En 1983, EEUU empleó 7.300 militares para invadir Granada, una isla con la mitad de superficie del Parque Nacional de Doñana y una población ligeramente inferior a la de Alcobendas.

    Ahora, aplíquese el mismo ratio a un país como Venezuela, con 30 millones de habitantes y un tamaño igual al de España, Italia, y Portugal juntos, con una geografía que incluye desde selvas impenetrables hasta montañas infranqueables, en una situación de caos político e institucional, con el aparato del Estado derrumbándose, y amplios sectores de la economía y del territorio controlados por mafias del narcotráfico y de la extracción ilegal de oro.
    Invadir un país así requiere decenas de miles soldados, si no más de 100.000. Y no es solo la dificultad técnica. Está también la política. Trump es un aislacionista y, como afirma Michael Shifter, presidente del Inter-American Dialogue, el think tank sobre América Latina más influyente en EEUU, «una acción militar de EEUU contra Venezuela sería contraria a los movimientos del Gobierno de Trump para retirar tropas de Siria o Afganistán».

    Y, aparte, hay otro problema. Estados Unidos ganaría la guerra sin ninguna dificultad. Pero ¿ganaría la paz? Es decir, ¿evitaría que sucediera un caos como en Irak tras la exitosa invasión estadounidense de 2003? Ése es un reto aún mayor, porque Venezuela ya tiene elementos de estado fallido, y una ocupación militar podría exacerbar el caos. Es un problema al que se suma el hecho de que los chavistas tratarían de organizar una guerra de guerrillas. Como explica Ellis, «la doctrina militar venezolana desde la época de Chávez se ha basado en hacer de las Fuerzas Armadas un ejército de resistencia». Ese mismo experto, sin embargo, considera que es más probable que el caos se estructure en torno al control de recursos y tráficos ilegales - en especial, cocaína - que por razones ideológicas.

    Ellis tiene una cosa clara: «Para evitar el riesgo de caos, es necesaria una transición bien pensada, consensuada con los militares, y que permita a Cuba y a Rusia salvar la cara». Venezuela ya ha generado más de tres millones de refugiados, la cifra más alta del mundo después de Siria. Nadie en la región quiere una transición a la democracia caótica, con o sin tropas estadounidenses, que agrave ese problema de refugiados.

  • La Russie va développer de nouveaux missiles, déclare Sergueï Choïgou

    [Sergueï Choïgou]
    Crédits : Yuri Gripas

    (intégralité de la dépêche)

    (Reuters) - La Russie doit développer d’ici à 2021 de nouveaux missiles à portée intermédiaire compte tenu de la décision des Etats-Unis de ne plus respecter le traité FNI, a déclaré le ministre de la Défense, Sergueï Choïgou, cité mardi par l’agence Ria.

    Donald Trump a annoncé la semaine dernière que les Etats-Unis se retireraient dans six mois de ce traité signé en 1987 pour éliminer tous les missiles de croisière et balistiques américains et russes tirés depuis le sol et ayant une portée située entre 500 km et 5.500 km.

    Washington, qui accuse la Russie d’avoir violé le traité FNI en développant un nouveau missile, le Novator 9M729 (SSC-8 pour l’Otan), a cessé de respecter ses obligations samedi, a annoncé le secrétaire d’Etat Mike Pompeo.

    Vladimir Poutine a déclaré le même jour que Moscou cessait à son tour de respecter ses obligations.

    Pour Sergueï Choïgou, la Russie doit augmenter la portée de ses missiles tirés depuis le sol, ce qui lui permettrait d’atteindre des cibles situées plus loin de ses frontières, notamment en Europe.

    Selon RIA, le ministre de la Défense a ordonné la reprise du développement d’un nouveau missile de croisière et d’un missile hypersonique tiré depuis le sol qui devront être opérationnels au plus tard en 2021.

    Vladimir Poutine a supervisé fin décembre un tir d’essai du missile hypersonique Avangard, capable de transporter des ogives nucléaires et conventionnelles.

    Il avait déclaré l’été dernier que la Russie serait bientôt capable de frapper n’importe quel point du monde en déjouant le bouclier antimissile des Etats-Unis.

  • Forget Tlaib and Omar, Democratic 2020 front-runners should worry Israel more

    While the new generation of pro-BDS lawmakers are making news, Democratic presidential contenders’ opposition to ’pro-Israel’ legislation signals a much deeper shift
    Amir Tibon Washington
    Feb 04, 2019

    WASHINGTON – Two newly elected congresswomen may be generating a lot of headlines, but Israeli officials are most concerned about the heated Senate debate about Israel in the past month than the pro-boycott statements of Democratic Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Ilhan Omar.

    While Israeli officials are worried about the media attention Tlaib and Omar are receiving – which is seen as helping to advance their views and possibly creating more support for them – they are not perceived as having the potential to weaken or delay pro-Israel legislation in Congress. The representatives’ ability to pass laws that would harm or upset the Israeli government is seen as even more limited.
    Haaretz Weekly Ep. 13Haaretz

    But talking with Haaretz, Israeli officials admit greater concern that close to half of all Democratic senators voted against the anti-boycott, divestment and sanctions legislation proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio (Republican of Florida) last week.

    Almost all of the Democratic senators who are potential 2020 presidential nominees – from Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris and Bernie Sanders (an independent who caucuses with the Democrats) to Sherrod Brown, Cory Booker and Kirsten Gillibrand – opposed the legislation, citing concerns over freedom of speech. The senators said that although they oppose BDS, they also oppose legislation that would force state contractors to sign a declaration saying they don’t boycott Israel or its settlements in the occupied territories.
    Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar smiling during a news conference with Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 30, 2018.
    Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar smiling during a news conference with Nancy Pelosi on Capitol Hill in Washington, November 30, 2018.Bloomberg

    The anti-BDS legislation being opposed by high-ranking Democratic senators and presidential hopefuls has been a flagship project of the pro-Israel lobby in the United States for the past decade. It has also received strong support and encouragement from senior officials in the Israeli government. The pushback on the Democratic side to the legislation, which is coming from the mainstream of the party, is more consequential in the long-term than the provocative statements of freshman members of the House of Representatives, according to Israeli officials.

  • ¿Qué se juega Rusia con su apoyo a Nicolás Maduro?

    Aunque lejos territorialmente, Venezuela y Rusia han sido cercanos aliados en los últimos años

    La corresponsal de la BBC en Moscú hace una análisis del apoyo de Rusia a Nicolás Maduro. Y aunque la retórica del Kremlin ha sido contundente y, en momentos, su respaldo hacia el gobernante chavista parece hasta incondicional, tiene límites

    A medida que la presión política y económica se intensifica sobre Nicolás Maduro, quien cree que hay una persona en la que puede confiar: Vladimir Putin.

    El Kremlin ha acusado al líder de la oposición, Juan Guaidó, de encabezar "un intento ilegal de tomarse poder" con el respaldo de Estados Unidos.

    Moscú ha dicho que hará «todo lo que sea necesario» para apoyar a Maduro como el «presidente legítimo» de Venezuela.

    Pero el apetito ruso por proteger las relaciones con Caracas podría ser más limitado de lo que su retórica sugiere.

    Por mucho tiempo, Moscú ha sido un aliado clave de Maduro, como también lo fue de su predecesor, Hugo Chávez, ambos férreos críticos de Washington desde su propio continente.

    «La relación es simbólicamente importante. Se trata de decir: ’no estamos solos, hay otros que son muy críticos de Estados Unidos y de la política de Occidente», explica Andrei Kortunov del Consejo de Asuntos Internacionales Rusos.

    Eso explica en parte por qué, en años recientes, Moscú ha expandido su cooperación con Caracas. Sus ventas de armas han aumentado, sus créditos se han extendido e incluso dos aviones bombarderos fueron movilizados en diciembre pasado como una muestra de su apoyo a la nación sudamericana.

    El respaldo ruso a Maduro en la actual crisis también se ve impulsado por el temor que generan potenciales levantamientos populares, en particular aquellos que puedan estar apoyados abiertamente por Occidente.

    «Políticas sociales impopulares, una población empobrecida y crisis económica en un contexto en el que se lucha contra todo el mundo y políticos… corruptos. ¿Adivinen a qué país nos estamos refiriendo?», señalaba, la semana pasada, el periódico ruso independiente Novaya Gazeta.

    Ese medio de comunicación intentaba presentar los paralelos con Rusia que cree que el Kremlin ve -y teme- en Caracas.

  • Trump n’exclut pas une intervention américaine au Venezuela

    Dimanche, lors d’un entretien télévisé, Donald Trump n’excluait pas l’envoi de troupes américaines au Venezuela

    L’envoi de troupes américaines au Venezuela n’est pas exclu, dit Donald Trump dans un entretien diffusé dimanche par CBS. "C’est certainement une option", dit le président des États-Unis dans les extraits diffusés par la chaîne. Washington, qui conteste sa légitimité, a reconnu Juan Guaido, chef de file de l’opposition et président de l’Assemblée nationale, en tant que chef de l’État par intérim.

    La Russie, la Chine et la Turquie continuent de soutenir le dirigeant socialiste, qui bénéficie toujours de l’appui, primordial, des forces armées vénézuéliennes. Important bailleur de fonds du Venezuela ces dernières années et allié de Nicolas Maduro, la Russie a appelé dimanche à la retenue.

    « L’objectif de la communauté internationale doit être d’aider (le Venezuela) sans ingérence destructrice de l’étranger », a estimé Alexandre Chtchetinine, directeur du département Amérique latine au ministère russe des Affaires étrangères, cité par l’agence de presse Interfax.

    Surprise !

  • BILD in Venezuela : »Mein Kind muss sterben, weil ich kein Geld habe

    Quelle : BILD / Giorgos Moutafis, Paul Ronzheimer

    Le weekend commence et vous avez droit de la part de BILD à un reportage à vous faire pleurer . On vous y explique à quel point la situation au #Venezuela est tragique. La version dans l’édition sur papier ne contient que cette information. L’édition en ligne révèle son caractère manipulateur et faux. Des textes et graphiques supplémentaires expliquent le déclin du Venezuela vers l’enfer sans mentionner la guerre de la bourgeoisie et des bandes armée contre l’état, ses institutions et les défenseur de la politique socialiste du président. Bien entendu le journal ne fait pas allusion au boycott des #USA et des manoeuvres des corporations comme la saisie des infrastructures d’export de petrole. La conclusion implicite s’impose : c’est la faute aux Chavez, Maduro et leurs hordes socilistes si le pays est dans un tel état.

    Le message au public allemand est évident : Soutenez la ligne de la chancelière et soutenez les sanctions contre le Venezuela afin de stopper la catastrophe. L’Allemagne n’enverra pas de troupes en Amérique latine mais les lecteurs peu conscients des détails de la manipulation de BILD acceuilleront avec soulagement l’invasion du pays par les armées des ètats-Unis et des pays voisins contrôlés par des gouvernements de droite.

    Prendre en hôtage emotionnellement le public est une technique de manipulation chère aux militaristes. Dans le cas du Venzuela on ne peut pas appeller à la défense de nos campagnes, alors il faut un enfant ou un petit chien prétendument victime de machinations socialistes.

    Je me rappelle encore que les USA ont envahi la petite île de Grenade pour moins que cela. Heureusement le Venezuela a davantage d’allié que la petite île de la noix de muscade.

    BILD in Venezuela »Mein Kind muss sterben, weil ich keine Dollars habe

    Hyper-Inflation +++ Nahrungsmittel werden knapp +++ Ein Land vor dem Kollaps

    von: PAUL RONZHEIMER und GIORGOS MOUTAFIS (Caracas) veröffentlicht am 01.02.2019 - 22:26 Uhr
    Wenn sie über die zwei kleinen Jungen spricht, die neben ihrer Tochter Valentina (5) im Kinderkrankenhaus von Caracas gestorben sind, kommen Hilmar (34) die Tränen.

    „Sie hätten Medizin gebraucht, nach einer Therapie, bei Ihnen in Deutschland wären sie jetzt noch am Leben“, sagt sie zu uns. „Ich habe so große Angst, dass Valentina auch sterben muss, weil es keine Hilfe gibt.“

    Es ist Freitagmorgen in Caracas, wir sitzen im Kindergarten von Valentina, gerade eben haben alle zusammen die venezolanische Nationalhymne gesungen. Valentina trägt eine Schutzmaske, jeder Keim ist gefährlich für sie: Das Mädchen hat Leukämie (Blutkrebs), entdeckt wurde die Krankheit 2017.

    Hilmar (34) kämpft für ihre krebskranke Tochter – aber weiß nicht, was sie noch tun soll Foto: Giorgos Moutafis
    Lesen Sie auch

    Interview mit Maduro-Widersacher Guaidó „Wer in Venezuela ins Krankenhaus geht, droht der Tod“
    Der Mann, der zum Erzfeind von Venezuelas Präsident Nicolas Maduro (56) geworden ist, der fürchten muss, jederzeit in seinem eigenen...

    BILD-Reporter in Caracas Diese beiden Fotos erklären Venezuelas brutalen Absturz
    Zwei Aufnahmen zeigen, was in Maduros Chaos-Land so schiefläuft. BILD besuchte den Supermarktbesitzer mit den leeren Regalen.

    Wer in Venezuela ins Krankenhaus kommt, hat ein hohes Risiko, dort zu sterben.

    Der Strom fällt aus, kaputte OP-Geräte, das Wasser ist schmutzig, Desinfektionsmittel fehlen. Aber das größte Problem: Es gibt kein Geld für teure Medikamente, die importiert werden müssen. Hilmar: „Ich habe der Regierung gesagt, dass mein Kind Leukämie hat, dass ich Hilfe brauche. Aber sie haben nur gesagt: Wir können nichts tun.“

    Hilmar musste das Geld für die erste Therapie privat auftreiben, hat ihr Auto und alle Habseligkeiten verkauft, wandte sich an Hilfsorganisationen, sammelte Spenden. Sie schaffte es, die erste Therapie zu finanzieren.

    Abgewetzte Matratzen: Wegen des fehlenden Geldes ist die Krankenhausausstattung in einem schlimmen Zustand Foto: Cristian Hernandez

    Zum Schaudern: Blick in ein Krankenhauszimmer in Venezuela Foto: Agustín Rodríguez/BILD

    Aber jetzt, knapp anderthalb Jahre später, braucht Valentina eine erneute Therapie. Und es fehlt wieder das Geld: Die einheimischen Bolivars sind wegen der Hyper-Inflation nichts mehr wert. „Wir müssen mit der Chemotherapie spätestens am Anfang des Sommers beginnen, aber uns fehlen noch mindestens 6000 Dollar. Wenn wir die Therapie nicht starten, droht meine Tochter zu sterben.“

    Die Mutter versucht in sozialen Netzwerken, Spender zu finden, wendet sich an berühmte Persönlichkeiten. „Es ist so schlimm in unserem Land, wie kann das alles passieren bei all dem Erdölreichtum, den wir haben?“

    Venezuela: Ölförderung 1970–2018 – Infografik

    Valentina ist trotz ihrer Krankheit ein aufgewecktes Mädchen, lernt Zählen und singt gerne Lieder. Aber am liebsten kuschelt sie mit ihrer Mutter. „Sie ist sehr tapfer, auch wenn sie ins Krankenhaus muss“, sagt Hilmar. „Ich habe aber jedes Mal Angst, weil die Situation dort so schlimm ist.“

    BILD-Reporter Paul Ronzheimer mit der kleinen Valentina (5) Foto: Giorgos Moutafis

    Chaos im Krankenhaus: Stühle, Kommoden und andere Ausstattung stapelt sich in einem Seitenzimmer Foto: Agustín Rodríguez

    Wer durch die Flure und Räume des Krankenhauses geht, bekommt das Schaudern. Zerfetzte Matratzen, dreckige OP-Räume, kaputte Türen. Viele Ärzte, die hier einst gearbeitet haben, sind ausgewandert, nach Argentinien, Brasilien oder Kolumbien. Die humanitäre Katastrophe Venezuelas wird nirgendwo so deutlich wie in den Krankenhäusern.

    Karte Flüchtlingsbewegungen aus Venezuela – info.BILD

    Heute wollen wieder Millionen auf die Straße gehen, weil sie diesen Zustand nicht mehr akzeptieren. Der selbst ernannte Interimspräsident Juan Guaidó will weiter Druck auf Nicolás Maduro ausüben.

    Auch Hilmar wird protestieren, sie sagt: „Die ganze Welt muss uns unterstützen. Es sterben in Venezuela Kinder, die leben könnten. Bitte helft uns!“

    Grenade (pays) — Wikipédia

    L’opposition se rassemble principalement au sein du New Jewel Movement (NJM) dirigé par Maurice Bishop (dont le père a lui-même été assassiné par le régime). Devant l’impossibilité de manifester légalement, celle-ci commence à organiser une branche militaire, l’armée révolutionnaire du peuple. Lorsque les dirigeants du mouvement apprennent qu’Eric Gairy s’apprête à les faire assassiner, ils choisissent d’opérer un coup d’État : le 13 mars 1979, un groupe de militants s’empare de l’unique caserne de la Grenade et désarment les soldats qui n’opposent que très peu de résistance4.

    Le NJM constitue un Gouvernement révolutionnaire du peuple présidé par Maurice Bishop, qui exprime son objectif : « Nous sommes un petit pays, nous sommes un pays pauvre, avec une population de descendant d’esclaves africains, nous faisons partie du tiers-monde exploité et, définitivement, notre défi est de chercher la création d’un nouvel ordre international qui mette l’économie au service du peuple et de la justice sociale ». Le nouveau gouvernement inquiète les États-Unis, qui avaient précédemment soutenu Eric Gairy, et dont l’ambassadeur avertit : « Le gouvernement des États-Unis verrait avec déplaisir toute inclinaison de la part des Grenadins à développer des liens plus étroits avec Cuba4. »

    Le régime s’emploie en particulier à développer des politiques sociales : un Centre pour l’éducation populaire est créé pour coordonner les initiatives du gouvernement en matière d’éducation, notamment des campagnes d’alphabétisation. L’apprentissage du créole de la Grenade est autorisé à l’école. Néanmoins, la tendance du gouvernement de Bishop à marginaliser le rôle de l’Église dans l’éducation contribue à la dégradation des relations avec le clergé. Dans le secteur de la santé, les consultations médicales sont rendues gratuites avec l’aide de Cuba qui fournit des médecins, du lait est distribué aux femmes enceintes et aux enfants. En économie, les autorités mettent en place un système de prêts financiers et de matériel à l’attention des agriculteurs, et des coopératives agricoles sont mises en place pour développer l’activité. Le gouvernement de Bishop s’emploie également à développer les infrastructures, notamment en construisant de nouvelles routes et en modernisant le réseau électrique. Enfin, le gouvernement s’attaque aux cultures de marijuana pour favoriser l’agriculture vivrière et faire baisser la violence4.

    À l’international, la Grenade est de plus en plus isolée. Le Royaume-Uni suspend ses aides économiques et les États-Unis usent de leur influence pour bloquer les prêts du Fonds monétaire international et de la Banque mondiale. La situation se dégrade également sur le plan intérieur : le 19 juin 1980, une bombe explose pendant un meeting au cours duquel Bishop devait intervenir. L’engin fait trois morts et vingt-cinq blessés. Bishop accuse ouvertement « l’impérialisme américain et ses agents locaux ». La responsabilité réelle de la CIA est cependant incertaine ; si elle avait en effet imaginé des opérations de déstabilisation, l’administration Carter y était opposée. En 1983, Bishop se rend finalement à Washington pour essayer de "négocier la paix". Au sein du gouvernement socialiste, des dissensions opposent une faction pro-soviétique et les partisans de Bishop. Le voyage à Washington de celui-ci est désavoué par le comité central du parti qui le destitue.le 14 octobre 1983 et le remplace par une direction collégiale. Le 19 octobre, une grève générale est déclenchée par les partisans de Bishop qui conduit à l’arrestation de ce dernier. Alors que les manifestants tentent de franchir les barrages pour le libérer, Il est assassiné par l’armée le 19 octobre 19834.

    Six jours après la prise de pouvoir par l’armée en octobre 1983, la Grenade est envahie par une coalition menée par les États-Unis. Cette intervention est demandée par l’Organisation des États de la Caraïbe orientale (OECO). La requête est rédigée à Washington5. L’opération est le plus grand déploiement américain depuis la guerre du Viêt Nam. La guerre est rapide et la coalition américaine (7 000 soldats américains et 300 hommes d’Antigua, la Barbade, la Dominique, la Jamaïque, Sainte-Lucie et Saint-Vincent, qui n’ont pas participé aux combats) vient rapidement à bout des forces grenadiennes (800 soldats, assistés par 784 Cubains - pour la plupart des ouvriers qui participaient aux travaux de construction d’un aéroport - et quelques instructeurs provenant d’URSS et d’autres pays communistes).

    #politique #Venezuela #impérialisme #cancer #enfants #Bild_lügt

  • In latest attack on intelligence agencies, Trump ignores where they actually agree - The Washington Post

    Triggering the president’s rage was an annual congressional hearing on global security threats, a routine event at which intelligence agency heads testified that #Iran, while still a global menace, is complying with an international agreement designed to prevent the country from acquiring nuclear weapons. Trump ridiculed that assessment and the intelligence leaders themselves.

    “The Intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naive when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong!” Trump wrote on Twitter. “. . . They are testing Rockets (last week) and more, and are coming very close to the edge. There [sic] economy is now crashing, which is the only thing holding them back. Be careful of Iran.”

    Trump added: “Perhaps Intelligence should go back to school!”


    • Donald Trump accuse le renseignement américain d’être « naïf » à propos de l’Iran

      « Les membres des services de renseignement semblent être extrêmement passifs et naïfs concernant les dangers que représente l’Iran. Ils ont tort ! », a tweeté Donald Trump au lendemain des témoignages devant le Sénat de Gina Haspel, la directrice de la CIA, et de Dan Coats, le directeur du renseignement, qui dressaient le tableau annuel des grandes menaces mondiales.

      Selon Gina Haspel, l’Iran respecte toujours « techniquement » l’accord conclu en 2015 avec les grandes puissances pour l’empêcher de se doter de la bombe atomique, dont les Etats-Unis se sont retirés l’an dernier comme l’avait promis Donald Trump pendant sa campagne.

      Et si les Iraniens envisagent de « prendre leurs distances » avec ce texte, c’est, a-t-elle noté, en raison de l’absence de retombées économiques, Washington ayant rétabli des #sanctions draconiennes contre Téhéran après son retrait, qui avait suscité la colère des alliés européens des Etats-Unis.

  • Why Vietnam Appeals as Possible Host for Trump-Kim Summit - The New York Times

    Vietnam, a former enemy of South Korea and the United States, has joined the global economy and become a strategic ally and robust trading partner for both countries.

    Vietnam and South Korea normalized relations in 1992, and Hanoi is now Seoul’s fourth-largest trading partner after China, the United States and Japan, with two-way trade valued last year at $62.6 billion.

    Vietnam and the United States normalized relations in 1995, two decades after North Vietnam defeated the American-backed South Vietnamese regime to end the Vietnam War. From 1995 to 2016 — a period of heady economic growth in Vietnam — trade between the United States and Vietnam grew to nearly $52 billion from $451 million. Hanoi is now among Washington’s fastest-growing export markets.

  • Au Conseil de sécurité de l’ONU, à propos du #Venezuela, on « dépoussière les vieilles expressions du temps de la Guerre froide : #pays_satellites ».

    El enfrentamiento entre Rusia y EE UU sobre el tema Venezuela en la ONU

    Vasily Nebenzya de Rusia y Mike Pompeo de EE UU se enfrentaron en el Consejo de Seguridad de la ONU
    Getty Images

    Hubo llamados a tomar posición por un lado u otro. Acusaciones de intento de golpe de Estado o desestabilización. Y hasta se desempolvaron viejas expresiones, como la de «países satélites».

    El Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas (ONU) reunido en Nueva York pareció volver a los tiempos de la Guerra Fría al abordar la crisis de Venezuela este sábado, con un choque directo entre Estados Unidos y Rusia.

    El encuentro ocurrió días después que el líder opositor venezolano, Juan Guaidó, se juramentara el miércoles "presidente interino" de su país y recibiera el reconocimiento de EE UU, Canadá y las mayores naciones de Sudamérica.

    Sin embargo, Rusia y China mantienen su respaldo a Nicolás Maduro, que acusa a Guaidó de querer dar un «golpe de Estado» dirigido por Washington.

    En este contexto, la reunión en la ONU convocada por EE UU —que estuvo representado por su secretario de Estado, Michael Pompeo— concluyó sin un acuerdo entre las grandes potencias.

    Pero marcó la primera vez que el Consejo de Seguridad discutió formalmente sobre Venezuela, reflejando hasta qué punto el país sudamericano se volvió un asunto de interés internacional y otro escenario del pulso global entre Washington y Moscú.

    Le Venezuela, enjeu de l’affrontement global entre É.-U. et Russie,… perspectives sombres pour les Vénézuélien·ne·s !

  • L’attaché militaire du Venezuela aux É.-U. soutien le président « légitime » Juan Guaidó

    Agregado militar de Venezuela en EE UU : Guaidó es el presidente legítimo

    Agregado militar de Venezuela en EE UU: Guaidó es el presidente legítimo
    El coronel José Luis Silva Silva, que había sido designado por Nicolás Maduro en 2014, también instó a que los demás militares cesen los ataques a los ciudadanos

  • Toward a democratic, not Jewish, state

    A civil alternative to the right’s doctrines – one God, one people, one land and one leader – is urgently needed, and whoever has the courage and inspiration to stand at this front will win it all
    Avraham Burg
    Jan 25, 2019 1

    The spirit in the election atmosphere is the spirit of the time, the insane Netanyahu spirit. That’s the wind blowing in the sails of his fervid supporters and defining his rivals. He is asking for the voters’ confidence to do more of the same and his opponents say “Just not Bibi.”
    Haaretz Weekly Ep. 13Haaretz

    For 35 years Israel has had no opposition. We have no experience and memories of alternative thinking anymore. There is nobody to offer a different kind of hope at the end of all the despair.

    >> Read more: Meretz leader Zandberg shines as stand-up comic in celebrity roast that showcased her party’s sad reality ■ The war that will decide Israel’s future won’t involve airstrikes, tanks or missiles

    Many years ago I contended for the leadership of the Labor Party, which at the time was stuck in the mire of the national unity government. It was characterized by no governance and little unity. That is exactly where the destruction of democracy and the nationalization of the political discourse, together with its turn to ultra-nationalism, began.

    At the time I planned to take Labor out of the government, to turn it into a civil alternative to the right’s doctrines – one God, one people, one land and one leader. I was told then: Your ideas are premature. Today I’m telling us all: In a moment it will be too late. Because this is exactly what is urgently needed, even more than before.

    In this sense Avi Gabbay is absolutely right to make the public commitment he is making – not to join Netanyahu’s next government. But this is an empty commitment. It deals with title and status, not with content. To replace Netanyahuism one must present a comprehensive, complete worldview.

    The right of recent years stands on five legs: sowing of fear, Jewish supremacy, abandonment of Western values, systematic weakening of the institutions of law and divisiveness.
    Get our daily election roundup in your inbox

    After so many years of such thorough indoctrination it’s not enough to say “I won’t sit in the same government with him.” It must be self-evident – what’s needed is to “turn from evil.” But what does it mean to “do good,” what is the ideological content that will heal Israel from Netanyahu’s curse?

    The renewal of Israel must stand on a foundation of civil equality. There is no other supreme value capable of uniting the variety of our identities, with absolute commitment to a democratic way of life. To achieve it we must set up a coalition for civil equality including various parties, movements and interests, all of which have one ultimate goal: changing Israeli discourse from ethnic domination to equal citizenship for all. The coalition’s agenda should include:

    Redefining Israel from “a Jewish-democratic state” to “a constitutional democracy in which part of the Jewish people has established its sovereignty, and which belongs to all its citizens.”
    Proposing a civil constitution including complete civil equality, secularizing the public sphere, separating state from religion, a fair distribution of public resources and decent, fair “rules of the game.”
    Significantly minimizing the Law of Return and closing all the automatic fast tracks granted on the basis of (at times dubious) genetic connection to the Jewish collective.
    Changing the Israeli security concept, from the obsessive amassing of power to the constant striving for long-term political arrangements, including with the Palestinian people.
    Waiving the monopolies and privileges of Israel and the Jews between the Jordan River and the sea. Turning it into a shared space as much as possible, in which every person is entitled to the same rights and every nation has the right to self-determination and confederate partnership in every walk of life.
    Implementing a policy of affirmative action and justice to redress past iniquities to the excluded and discriminated-against populations in Israel, centering on the Arab population, until the goals of civil equality are met.

    Yes, all these things mean a painful parting from the Jewish comfort and supremacy zones. It’s a dramatic evolution from the ideas of 1948 and 1967 to a new model of society, in a world of populistic madness stretching from Washington to Ankara and from Moscow to Balfour Street in Jerusalem.

    Anyone who has the courage and inspiration to stand at this front, and is ready to pay the price, will win it all. And make all of us winners.

  • Le shithole country se surpasse : Pompeo nomme Elliott Abrams envoyé spécial pour le Vénézuéla

    Le chef de la diplomatie américaine Mike Pompeo a nommé aujourd’hui un émissaire, Elliott Abrams, pour contribuer à « restaurer la démocratie » au Venezuela, où les Etats-Unis ont reconnu Juan Guaido comme « président par intérim » en lieu et place de Nicolas Maduro.

    Elliott Abrams, dont les grandes œuvres humanitaires sont ‘par exemple documentées ainsi sur Kikipédia :

    They accused him of covering up atrocities committed by the military forces of U.S.-backed governments, such as those in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, and the rebel Contras in Nicaragua.

    El Salvador

    In early 1982, when reports of the El Mozote massacre of hundreds of civilians by the military in El Salvador began appearing in U.S. media, Abrams told a Senate committee that the reports of hundreds of deaths at El Mozote “were not credible,” and that “it appears to be an incident that is at least being significantly misused, at the very best, by the guerrillas.”[13] The massacre had come at a time when the Reagan administration was attempting to bolster the human rights image of the Salvadoran military. Abrams implied that reports of a massacre were simply FMLN propaganda and denounced U.S. investigative reports of the massacre as misleading. In March 1993, the Salvadoran Truth Commission reported that over 500 civilians were “deliberately and systematically” executed in El Mozote in December 1981 by forces affiliated with the Salvadoran government.[14]

    Also in 1993, documentation emerged suggesting that some Reagan administration officials could have known about El Mozote and other human rights violations from the beginning.[15] However, in July 1993, an investigation commissioned by Clinton secretary of state Warren Christopher into the State department’s “activities and conduct” with regard to human rights in El Salvador during the Reagan years found that, despite U.S. funding of the Salvadoran government that committed the massacre at El Mozote, individual U.S. personnel “performed creditably and occasionally with personal bravery in advancing human rights in El Salvador.”[16] Unrepentant Reaganite Abrams claimed that Washington’s policy in El Salvador was a “fabulous achievement.”[17]


    When Congress shut down funding for the Contras’ efforts to overthrow Nicaragua’s Sandinista government with the 1982 Boland Amendment, members of the Reagan administration began looking for other avenues for funding the group.[18] Congress opened a couple of such avenues when it modified the Boland Amendment for fiscal year 1986 by approving $27 million in direct aid to the Contras and allowing the administration to legally solicit funds for the Contras from foreign governments.[19] Neither the direct aid, nor any foreign contributions, could be used to purchase weapons.[19]

    Guided by the new provisions of the modified Boland Amendment, Abrams flew to London in August 1986 and met secretly with Bruneian defense minister General Ibnu to solicit a $10-million contribution from the Sultan of Brunei.[20][21] Ultimately, the Contras never received this money because a clerical error in Oliver North’s office (a mistyped account number) sent the Bruneian money to the wrong Swiss bank account.[20]

    Iran-Contra affair and convictions

    During investigation of the Iran-Contra Affair, Lawrence Walsh, the Independent Counsel tasked with investigating the case, prepared multiple felony counts against Abrams but never indicted him.[20] Instead, Abrams cooperated with Walsh and entered into a plea agreement wherein he pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of withholding information from Congress.[22] He was sentenced to a $50 fine, probation for two years, and 100 hours of community service.

  • AP Exclusive : Anti-Maduro coalition grew from secret talks

    S’il était encore besoin de prouver le soutien US au coup d’Etat de Guaidó...

    The coalition of Latin American governments that joined the U.S. in quickly recognizing Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s interim president came together over weeks of secret diplomacy that included whispered messages to activists under constant surveillance and a high-risk foreign trip by the opposition leader challenging President Nicolas Maduro for power, those involved in the talks said.

    In mid-December, Guaido quietly traveled to Washington, Colombia and Brazil to brief officials on the opposition’s strategy of mass demonstrations to coincide with Maduro’s expected swearing-in for a second term on Jan. 10 in the face of widespread international condemnation, according to exiled former Caracas Mayor Antonio Ledezma, an ally.


      The Trump administration held secret meetings with rebellious military officers from Venezuela over the last year to discuss their plans to overthrow President Nicolás Maduro, according to American officials and a former Venezuelan military commander who participated in the talks.

      Establishing a clandestine channel with coup plotters in Venezuela was a big gamble for Washington, given its long history of covert intervention across Latin America. Many in the region still deeply resent the United States for backing previous rebellions, coups and plots in countries like Cuba, Nicaragua, Brazil and Chile, and for turning a blind eye to the abuses military regimes committed during the Cold War.

  • DAVOS-Big Oil is more talk than action on renewables - Iberdrola | Reuters

    The world’s largest wind-power producer, Iberdrola SA, has brushed off Big Oil’s embrace of renewable energy as “more noise” than action.

    Major oil and gas firms have been venturing into renewable power under pressure from climate-change policy, collectively spending around 1 percent of their 2018 budgets on clean energy, according to a recent study by research firm CDP.

    However, Iberdrola Chief Executive Ignacio Galan, who has led the Spanish utility for 17 years, shrugged when asked in a Reuters interview if Big Oil represented a competitive threat.

    It’s good that they have moved in this direction but they make more noise than the reality,” he said on Thursday on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

    Galan said returns on oil investment still far exceeded those typical of wind and solar projects and he doubted major oil companies would make a meaningful shift until that changed.

    They like to be enthusiastic but if they had to make a choice between a wonderful oil well and a good wind farm, I feel their heart will move in the traditional direction.
    He said U.S. states were more influential than Washington in terms of energy investment, and that several were looking to develop America’s first offshore wind farms, from Massachusetts down to North Carolina and New York across to California.

    The states are more and more committed to moving to renewables and the same is true of the cities and towns,” he said, adding that falling generation costs of renewable energy was a big driver of the U.S. adoption of wind and solar power.

  • Guaidó se juramentó como presidente interino de Venezuela

    Juan Guaidó, presidente de la Asamblea Nacional, se juramentó esta tarde como presidente interino de Venezuela con base en el artículo 233 de la Constitución.

  • Palestinian Authority tells U.S. it will stop taking aid to avoid multi-million dollar lawsuits - U.S. News -

    WASHINGTON – The Palestinian Authority informed the Trump administration that it will stop taking any form of government assistance from the United States at the end of the month, as a result of legislation passed last year by Congress.

    The law that led the PA to make this decision is the “Anti-Terrorism Clarification Act”, known as ATCA, which makes it possible for U.S. citizens to sue foreign entities that receive U.S. assistance for past acts of terrorism.

    The Palestinian decision could lead to the end of the U.S. support for the PA’s security forces. These forces work regularly with the Israeli military to thwart terror attacks. In his last appearance before the Israeli government last week, outgoing IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot said that the security coordination between Israel and the PA’s forces helps save lives and maintain stability in the region.

    >> Trump’s ’Arab NATO’ push against Iran comes to a head, and he’s the biggest obstacle | Analysis

    During 2018, the Trump administration cut all forms of U.S. civil assistance to the Palestinians, but it did not touch the security assistance, stating that the security coordination between the PA and Israel serves American foreign policy interests. Now, however, U.S. support for the PA security forces could end at the end of January, putting at risk the continuation of efficient security coordination.

    The ATCA bill, which the PA blamed for its decision, was promoted last year in Congress in response to rulings by U.S. courts that rejected multi-million dollar lawsuits against the PA. These lawsuits were filed by American citizens who were injured or lost loved ones in terror attacks committed by Palestinians, mostly during the Second Intifada. The Supreme Court in Washington affirmed a ruling by a lower court that the American legal system does not have jurisdiction to deal with such lawsuits.

    This led members of Congress to promote the ATCA bill, which states that U.S. courts will have jurisdiction to hear terrorism-related lawsuits against any foreign entity reviving U.S. government assistance. This means that if the PA will receive even one dollar of U.S. funding, it could face lawsuits asking for hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation. The law has also created concern in other countries in the Middle East that rely on U.S. assistance. It would not apply to Israel, however, because of the specific sources of funding through which Israel receives U.S. security assistance.
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    Only after the bill passed Congress and was signed into law by President Trump, senior administration officials became aware of its possible impact on security coordination. In recent months, the administration tried to negotiate a “fix” to the law together with lawmakers on Capitol Hill. As reported in Haaretz two weeks ago, these efforts have stalled because of the ongoing government shutdown.

    The PA’s letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, which was first reported over the weekend by NPR, could create a sense of urgency in Washington to solve the security assistance question.

    Two sources who are involved in the negotiations on the subject told Haaretz that a possible solution could emerge with the involvement of the CIA or the Pentagon, but its exact mechanism hasn’t yet been drawn in full. “Everyone wants a fix, but it’s still not clear how we can get it,” explained one of the sources, who asked not to be named in order to discuss politicallly-sensitive negotiations.

  • Trump Discussed Pulling U.S. From NATO, Aides Say Amid New Concerns Over Russia - The New York Times

    There are few things that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia desires more than the weakening of NATO, the military alliance among the United States, Europe and Canada that has deterred Soviet and Russian aggression for 70 years.

    Last year, President Trump suggested a move tantamount to destroying NATO: the withdrawal of the United States.

    Senior administration officials told The New York Times that several times over the course of 2018, Mr. Trump privately said he wanted to withdraw from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Current and former officials who support the alliance said they feared Mr. Trump could return to his threat as allied military spending continued to lag behind the goals the president had set.

    In the days around a tumultuous NATO summit meeting last summer, they said, Mr. Trump told his top national security officials that he did not see the point of the military alliance, which he presented as a drain on the United States.

    At the time, Mr. Trump’s national security team, including Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, and John R. Bolton, the national security adviser, scrambled to keep American strategy on track without mention of a withdrawal that would drastically reduce Washington’s influence in Europe and could embolden Russia for decades.

    Now, the president’s repeatedly stated desire to withdraw from NATO is raising new worries among national security officials amid growing concern about Mr. Trump’s efforts to keep his meetings with Mr. Putin secret from even his own aides, and an F.B.I. investigation into the administration’s Russia ties.

    A move to withdraw from the alliance, in place since 1949, “would be one of the most damaging things that any president could do to U.S. interests,” said Michèle A. Flournoy, an under secretary of defense under President Barack Obama.

    “It would destroy 70-plus years of painstaking work across multiple administrations, Republican and Democratic, to create perhaps the most powerful and advantageous alliance in history,” Ms. Flournoy said in an interview. “And it would be the wildest success that Vladimir Putin could dream of.”

    Retired Adm. James G. Stavridis, the former supreme allied commander of NATO, said an American withdrawal from the alliance would be “a geopolitical mistake of epic proportion.”

    “Even discussing the idea of leaving NATO — let alone actually doing so — would be the gift of the century for Putin,” Admiral Stavridis said.

    Senior Trump administration officials discussed the internal and highly sensitive efforts to preserve the military alliance on condition of anonymity.

    After the White House was asked for comment on Monday, a senior administration official pointed to Mr. Trump’s remarks in July when he called the United States’ commitment to NATO “very strong” and the alliance “very important.” The official declined to comment further.

    American national security officials believe that Russia has largely focused on undermining solidarity between the United States and Europe after it annexed Crimea in 2014. Its goal was to upend NATO, which Moscow views as a threat.

    Comme on le voit au début et à la fin de cet extrait, si les #USA quittent l’#Otan ce sera pas mal la faute de la #Russie de #"Poutine