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Sunday, 11 December 2016

No Reconstruction in Gaza–But Be Careful, It Might Become ‘Anti-Semitic’ to Say So

The video above shows us what the people of Gaza are living through currently as the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016 makes its way through Congress. The bill, which passed the Senate on December 1, would codify into law a definition of anti-Semitism that includes attempts to “demonize” Israel or hold it to a “double standard.” By the way, the “caravans” referred to in the video are portable buildings made of metal–basically what we would refer to in the United States as “mobile homes,” although I gather that the caravans given to Palestinians in Gaza do not quite meet the same safety standards as the mobile homes sold in the US.
But of course, if you’re a college student and you’re planning on criticizing the Zionist state over any of this, beware that requiring of Israel “a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation” could result in your school being denied federal funds should the new bill become law. If you’ve not read my article on the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, you can do so here.

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

Sayyed Nasrallah Praises the Excellent Relation with Aoun: Aleppo’s New Victory To Impact All Region

Hizbullah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah delivered on Friday a televised speech in which he tackled the latest Lebanese developments, particularly the formation of the government.
Sayyed Nasrallah Praises the Excellent Relation with Aoun: Aleppo’s New Victory To Impact All Region
At the beginning of speech, Sayyed Nasrallah congratulated the Muslims and Christians on the holy occasions coming in December.
His Eminence warned that the Muslims and Christians in the region are facing challenges on the cultural and existential level. “These threats start from Palestine, where “Israel” continues to target sanctities among which is preventing the Azan [praying calls],” he stated.
In parallel, the Resistance Leader repeated that US and some Western countries have assisted and funded the takfiris throughout the past few years, and this was declared by US President-elect Donald Trump and Joe Biden as well as being highlighted by Hillary Clinton’s emails.
On the same level, Sayyed Nasrallah hoped that the holy occasions will unite the people in the region in face of the takfiri threat
Commenting on the recent media fabrications concerning Hizbullah’s positions from the Lebanese internal files, he clarified that Hizbullah does not have so-called sources and the quoting of Hizbullah close sources is incorrect.
“Hizbullah does not have media, political or parliamentary sources or sources close to the party that speak to the press. Anything attributed to Hizbullah sources is unreliable,” he added, noting that Hizbullah also do not depend on so-called March 8 sources.
According to His Eminence, Hizbullah is not used to sending messages via friends or embassies. “We talk with others directly and we have the logic, credibility and courage to declare our positions in internal meetings and media,” he announced.
In parallel, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that Hizbullah does not use this approach and this is to respond to what has been attributed to Hizbullah about alleged messages to the new presidential tenure.
He went on to say: “We have previously said that after the presidential elections, we will witness a lot of disturbances targeting the relationships and alliances.”
Sayyed Nasrallah further mentioned: “We’re on the same relationship with the President and the head of the Free Patriotic Movement and the rest of our friends in the movement. There is constant contact and we always meet. And the relationship is completely positive. Our relationship with President Aoun is excellent and we are on daily contact with President Aoun and with President of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil.”
“We might have different viewpoints over some issues and this is positive in discussing things and I stress that we do not need to send messages,” he added.Turning to the talks between the Free Patriotic Movement and Lebanese Forces, Sayyed Nasrallah announced that Hizbullah isn’t “busy with addressing the Lebanese Forces and its decisions. Our battle is outside Lebanon and isn’t concerned with local politics.”
He also revealed that when the dialogue between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces took place, Hizbullah was informed of it. “We did not have any negative response and this does not bother us. However, we said if this thing can lead to the election of General Michel Aoun for the presidency, we welcome it.”
Moreover, Sayyed Nasrallah underscored that some sides are spreading rumors that Hizbullah is exerting all its efforts on breaking the relationship between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces. “Some are trying to give the impression that Hizbullah is preoccupied with the issue of the Lebanese Force’s relation with the Free Patriotic Movement. This is not to underestimate the Lebanese Forces, which is an essential force, but everyone knows that we are busy somewhere else.”
Once again, he reiterated: “Our relation with President Aoun and the Free Patriotic Movement is excellent and built on deep trust,” advising all sides not to try to stir discord between Hizbullah, AMAL and the Free Patriotic Movement.
“Some sides are seeking to create a battle between the bilateral Shiite [parties] and the [bilateral or tripartite] Christian alliance. But they are delusional. There’s no battle here,” Hizbullah Secretary General confirmed, warning that “delusional battles will only lead to delusional results.”
As His Eminence stressed that Hizbullah’s battle is outside Lebanon and isn’t concerned with local politics, he stated: “Our battle will draw the future of the region. Hizbullah’s major battle now is against Daesh because if the latter had gained control over Syria and Iraq a catastrophe would have emerged.”
Sayyed Nasrallah further said: “We have no problem with President Aoun’s relationship with the Gulf countries, we were actually happy with the Saudi delegate’s visit to President Aoun.”
Meanwhile, he also announced: “We do not put a veto on General Aoun’s visit to Saudi Arabia and no one should put a veto on the president’s visit to Syria and Iran. We have no problem with the Lebanese president’s visit to any country he wants, except for the enemy, which we all agree on.”
Referring to Marada Movement leader MP Suleiman Franjieh, His Eminence said: “It’s every group’s right to be represented with a main portfolio.”
“We in the Christian arena, as friends and allies, have the right to return the relationship between the Free Patriotic Movement and Marada back to the normal,” he stated.
Assuring the Lebanese people that all the political parties are concerned of forming a government and that no one seeks to obstruct that, Sayyed Nasrallah emphasized that we are in constant contact with House Speaker Nabih Berri.
“There are those who tried to show that Speaker Berri is disrupting the formation of the government and this is not true. There are also those who are trying to show that Hizbullah or minister Franjieh are disrupting the formation of the government and this is unfair.”
“There are a lot of titles regarding the government’s formation that were agreed on as the form of representation and the number of ministers. The vast majority of ministerial portfolios were represented and there is a problem over one or two portfolios and the representation of the forces.”
Meanwhile, he said: “It is enough that President Aoun has the one third plus one in the parliament,” cautioning that there are those who are spreading claims as if the country was on the brink of civil war.
“Those who are targeting the Presidency, confidence in Lebanon and the confidence of the Lebanese in the political future are those who are making mountains out of molehills and exaggerating titles,” Sayyed Nasrallah added.
Regarding the divisions between local parties on the country’s new electoral law, His Eminence called on rivals to separate the formation of the government from talks on the new vote law.
“The legislature body can meet and agree on a new vote law that meet the aspirations of the Lebanese people away from talks on the formation of the new government that isn’t for the Presidency and President Aoun already said that task of this government is to set an electoral law and to hold parliamentary elections,” he explained.
Sayyed Nasrallah further stressed the importance of dialogue on the Lebanese arena, “With dialogue we can help each other and solve all the issues.”
On the electoral law, His Eminence announced Hizbullah’s support for the adoption of a proportional system. “We back the calls for separating the issue of the electoral law from the cabinet formation process,” he said, noting that “the only law that can lead to building a State is one fully based on proportional representation and on turning Lebanon into a single electorate or several large electorates.”
Assuring that Hizbullah doesn’t use regional developments in the internal issues, Sayyed Nasrallah declared that his party will not use the victory in Aleppo for political gains.
In this context, he urged the Lebanese to set aside regional developments. “Our fate and choice if we are seeking to build a strong nation is to strengthen our coexistence and civil peace, to cooperate and engage in dialogue and to accept each.”
“Major developments are currently happening in the region, similar to the battles in Aleppo and the new victory that will impact all the battles in the region,” he said, noting that “we are at a decisive and important stage… but I will not tackle the developments in the region until things are clear and the scenery will talk about itself.
Moreover, His Eminence unveiled that the region has entered a new stage. “We’re not ashamed of its path… We are publicly present in more than one arena.”
Source: al-Ahed news 
09-12-2016 | 23:03
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River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!

Saturday, 10 December 2016

The 2016 “Saker man of the year”: the American “basket of deplorables”

December 08, 2016
Yeah, once again, I am going to engage in that silly business when I pretend that my blog is a “respectable media outlet” and, as such, to give myself the proper credibility and gravitas I have to copy Time magazine and others and chose a “man of the year”.  This year, however, this truly was a no-brainer.  The 2016 “man of the year” is, of course, the American “basket of deplorables.
No, not Trump.  Trump might well be Time’s man of the year, but as far as I am concerned, this man is just a promise, and he will remain that to me until he delivers on what he has promised the American voter.  No, the real heroes of our story today are, of course, the millions who dared defy the Empire and who voted for Trump.
Voting in the USA 1
The American voter who inflicted the worst bitch-slap to the US propaganda machine (aka “the mainstream media”) ever.  What happened in this election is nothing short of the biggest defeat in the history of propaganda.
As an ex Cold Warrior who studied the Soviet media for a living, I can say that the US media nowadays is infinitely worse in its willingness to not only lie, but condescendingly deny the obvious, show a total lack of conscience or even basic decency.  US presstitutes give prostitution a bad name.
The American voter was subjected to the most intensive (and, probably, expensive) propaganda barrage in history.  Keep in mind that in overtly dictatorial regimes most adults realize that they are being lied to.  In the USA, every American is brainwashed from birth to believe that the US press is the best and freest in the world and that the US democracy is also the best and freest in the world.  To vote for Trump, the US voter had to go against every single sacred dogma the US Empire has tried so hard to indoctrinate its subject in.  This is far harder than one would think.  Those interested in this topic can consult this article on the Asch conformity experiments or Milgram’s famous experiment on obedience and authority.
This is what the Empire has done to America
This is what the Empire has done to America
Furthermore, the psychological pressure was so intense that I can testify to the fact that many American were actually *afraid* of admitting that they would vote for Trump.  The atmosphere of rabid hatred against Trump and total intolerance and demonization of his supporters was such, that many Americans decided to hide their preference for Trump.  Some even pretended that they would vote for Hillary.  I know people who even lied to their own family members.
And, predictably, in the typical Neocon-style, as soon as it became clear that Trump would be elected, the US presstitutes began pouring out their hatred on the American people.  If in Britain only the old people could vote for the Brexit, in the USA all the Trump voters were described as poorly educated racists (“racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic” to quote Hillary).  I don’t recall ever seeing such an outpouring of hatred towards an entire nation (except, maybe, the typical hatred the Russian liberals have for the “common” Russian people).
But, apparently, the American people have had too much lies told to them.  From the pseudo-patriotic ramblings of Dubya to the endless list of promises betrayed by Obama – the “common” folks whom Hillary referred to as the “basket deplorables” finally fought back the only way they could – they voted not only for Trump and against Hillary, but also against the regime, the polity, the power structure and the 1%ers who control it.
The main consequence of this vote will probably not be an amazing Trump presidency (I have the greatest reservations about the man and his entourage) but the fact that yet again the very legitimacy of the US political system has been discredited.
Think about it: thanks to the “Occupy Wall Street” movement it has become mainstream public knowledge that the USA are run by about 1% of its population (in reality it is far less than 1%, but nevermind that).  So far from being a regime “of the people, for the people and by the people” we know all know that it is a regime “of the 1%ers, for the 1%ers and by the 1%ers”.  Strike one.  With the Trump election, we know also see that the USA is run by a bizarre cocktail of minorities who only have one thing in common: their hatred of the majority.  Strike two.  And, last but not least, it is now also clear that the US media is the most obnoxious, immoral and arrogant propaganda machine in world history.  Strike three.
Where does this leave the Empire?  As a joke or as an abomination.  Probably a mix of both.
How about the USA themselves? They are clearly an occupied country, occupied not by an external invading force, but by an internal enemy who subjugated the USA to its own alien agenda and worldview.
As for the American people, at least the “basket of deplorables” they are now the objective allies of all the other nations on the planet who struggle to free themselves from the yoke of the AngloZionist Empire.
By voting against the Empire the American people have sent a powerful message to the rest of the world “not in my name”.  In Russia, this message was received with outright enthusiasm by the people even if experts were mostly much more cautious.  I have always said that there the “other West”, the West of the regular people who do not support what their rulers do, but who are unable to meaningfully oppose it.  The vote against Hillary showed the world that the American people don’t want an Empire, all they want is make *America* (i.e. the USA, as opposed to world Empire) great again.
Voting in the USA 4
Oh, I know, I already see the trend in Trump nominations.  And yes, believe me, I am extremely skeptical about all this.  But none of that healthy skepticism makes any difference to the fact that the vote against Hillary and the AngloZionist 1% rulers of the USA was a seminal, beautiful, liberating and heroic moment in for not just the USA, but for the rest of the planet too (with Hillary, we were all heading for a nuclear war with Russia).
The way the American “basket of deplorables” defied their oppressors was nothing short of beautiful.  And this is why the American “basket of deplorables” is my “man” of the year 2016.
The Saker
PS: for all those who will get upset at my use of the word “American”, I have just added the following paragraph to my “terminology” page:
Addendum: American. I guess I should also explain why I do use the word “American” when the correct word would be “USAn” or “United Statesian” or something equally ugly.  Well, precisely: these are ugly.  Alas, there is no equivalent in English to the Spanish “Estadounidense“.  The same thing for Russian which also lacks such a word and uses “Amerikanets/Amerikanskii” instead.  Okay, I know.  the USA is a small subsection of the Americas and Americans are obnoxious (and ignorant) for calling themselves “Americans”.  But, in truth, “USAns” are “Americans” since they live in the Americas, it’s just the implied exclusion of the others from that category which is so irritating.  So, anyway, I apologize for this surrender to modern-speak but I just don’t have the courage to fight this losing battle and, frankly, I have bigger fish to fry.  But yeah – I am therefore guilty as charged🙂
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the Blog!


– The New York Times
– The Washington Post
– NBC News
– CBS News
– ABC News
– The Huffington Post
– Rolling Stone
– BBC News
– Sky News
– Financial Times
– Politico
– New York Daily News
– L.A. Times
– USA Today
– US News & World Report
– Gawker
– Newsweek
– Time
– Business Insider
– Daily Beast
– Yahoo News
– Daily Kos
– Young Turks
– Slate
– Raw Story
– New Yorker
– Buzzfeed
– MoveOn
– Think Progress
– Media Matters
– Wonkette
– Center for American Progress
– Little Green Footballs
– The Economist
Below is a list of fake news reporters who colluded with the Clinton campaign to promote fake news.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and there are many reporters within these organizations who do not peddle fake news and have spoken out against the mainstream media’s effort to brand dissenting opinion as “fake news”.
For example, Matt Taibbi (no fan of Infowars), has called the Washington Post’s fake news blacklist “disgusting” and “shameful”.
Glenn Greenwald, who has worked with several of the organizations on this list in the past, also completely eviscerated the credibility of the “fake news list” being used by the Washington Post.
The entire “fake news” narrative being pushed by the mainstream media has nothing whatsoever to do with concerns over people being misled.
If that were the case, the mainstream media itself would stop habitually lying to the American people and its trustworthiness wouldn’t be in the toilet.
The whole “fake news” narrative is clearly part of a dirty tricks campaign to pressure governments, Google, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other tech giants to censor information that is inconvenient to the establishment, for which the mainstream media serves as a mouthpiece.
We are competing with the mainstream media and they’re not happy about dissident voices challenging their monopoly on reality. That’s why they’re forced to resort to underhanded and deceptive means through which to silence their ideological opposition.
By circulating this article and this fake news list, we are not calling for these outlets to be censored, we are simply drawing attention to the fact that the very same entities who cry “fake news” are the primary sources for the most damaging, harmful and woefully inaccurate fake news stories in the history of modern journalism.

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

New Attack on BDS: ‘Anti-Semitism Awareness Act’ Passes Senate Unanimously

By Richard Edmondson
The latest assault on BDS and the Palestine solidarity movement seems to have arrived in the form of S.10, known as the “Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016,” a bill that was introduced into–and adopted by–the US Senate all in one day and without discussion, on December 1.
You can track the bill here. It’s aim is to provide a “definition of anti-Semitism” for purpose of enforcing anti-discrimination in education programs and activities. Basically it seeks to codify, or put into law, a definition of anti-Semitism that was put forth by the State Department in 2010, one which cites efforts to “delegitimize” Israel as an example of “contemporary” anti-Semitism.
The definition was coined by the State Department’s “Office to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism”–yes, there really is such an office within the State Department, the head of which is given the royal title, no less, of “Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism” or SEAS.
The current SEAS is Ira Forman, former Executive Director of the National Jewish Democratic Council. The SEAS in power in 2010, when the “Defining Anti-Semitism” paper was published, was Hannah Rosenthal. You can go here to see the full definition, although I am also reproducing it below.
The bill has been pushed by the Anti-Defamation League. Specifically it seeks to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, with special focus on the the Act’s Title VI, described in the text of S.10 as “one of the principle antidiscrimination (sic) statutes enforced by the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.”
Under the bill, any attempts to “demonize Israel,” which could include “drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis,” would be defined as anti-Semitism. Universities which tolerate speech of this type on campus would be in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and presumably could be denied federal funding.
Sen. Tim Scott, R-SC
Well, if you’re going to attempt to amend the Civil Rights Act of 1964, who better to lead the charge for you than an African-American member of Congress? S.10 was introduced by Sen. Tim Scott, one of only two African-American Republicans in the Senate.
Another backer of the bill is Sen. Robert Casey, a Democrat from Pennsylvania, who is listed as a co-sponsor. Both Scott and Casey are cited in an ADL press release put out on December 2 hailing the Senate’s passage of the measure.
“ADL played a central role in working with U.S. Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Bob Casey (D-PA) in crafting and promoting the legislation,” the press release states.
Also classified as anti-Semitism under the measure would be applying any kind of “double standard” to Israel. This would include requiring of the Jewish state “a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation,” and could also include “multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations.”
Also telling the obvious truth about who owns or controls the vast majority of the major media would be anti-Semitic as well, or specifically, as the bill would have it–spreading “the myth” about “Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.”
Accusing Jews of being “more loyal to Israel” than their own nations would equally be anti-Semitic, as would of course (it goes without saying) questioning the holocaust.
“We welcome the Senate passage of this important legislation, which will help the Department of Education and Department of Justice to effectively determine whether an investigation of an incident of anti-Semitism is warranted under federal education anti-discrimination laws,” said ADL CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.
The fact that this bill was introduced into the Senate and passed unanimously and without discussion all in one day provides glaring testimony in its own right about Jews “controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions”–or at least Congress at any rate.
Perhaps aware of the potential public relations blowback, a few Jewish writers have come out in opposition. One of these is Rachel Roberts, whose political correctness and angst-imbued manifesto in The Forward includes references to “stories my father told me about being young and Jewish in the 1950s” and likely will leave you rolling your eyes in places. A considerably more readable commentary is provided by Jacob Sullum in the New York Post, and there is also an article in the Jewish Business News allowing for the fact that “many” see the measure as “an attack on free speech,” an analysis that also questions whether the bill might in reality be “a bad idea.” Aside from this, however, Jewish opposition to the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act of 2016 seems overall kind of sparse.
Below is the text of the definition adopted by the State Department in 2010. Should it become institutionalized as the law of the land by being incorporated into the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it will not merely be “an attack on free speech” or a “bad idea.” It will, if viewed from an incremental standpoint and with the surety that more such legislation will come down the pike in the future, likely be a step toward criminalization of any criticism of Israel and a further eroding of the First Amendment.
Defining Anti-Semitism
Washington, DC
June 8, 2010
“Anti-Semitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.” –Working Definition of Anti-Semitism by the European Monitoring Center on Racism and Xenophobia

Contemporary Examples of Anti-Semitism

  • Calling for, aiding, or justifying the killing or harming of Jews (often in the name of a radical ideology or an extremist view of religion).
  • Making mendacious, dehumanizing, demonizing, or stereotypical allegations about Jews as such or the power of Jews as a collective—especially but not exclusively, the myth about a world Jewish conspiracy or of Jews controlling the media, economy, government or other societal institutions.
  • Accusing Jews as a people of being responsible for real or imagined wrongdoing committed by a single Jewish person or group, the state of Israel, or even for acts committed by non-Jews.
  • Accusing the Jews as a people, or Israel as a state, of inventing or exaggerating the Holocaust.
  • Accusing Jewish citizens of being more loyal to Israel, or to the alleged priorities of Jews worldwide, than to the interest of their own nations.

What is Anti-Semitism Relative to Israel?

EXAMPLES of the ways in which anti-Semitism manifests itself with regard to the state of Israel, taking into account the overall context could include:
  • Using the symbols and images associated with classic anti-Semitism to characterize Israel or Israelis
  • Drawing comparisons of contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis
  • Blaming Israel for all inter-religious or political tensions
  • Applying double standards by requiring of it a behavior not expected or demanded of any other democratic nation
  • Multilateral organizations focusing on Israel only for peace or human rights investigations
  • Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, and denying Israel the right to exist
However, criticism of Israel similar to that leveled against any other country cannot be regarded as anti-Semitic.

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

The Mad Man Theory: Trump & Taiwan'

The Mad Man Theory: Trump & Taiwan'

The Mad Man Theory: Trump & Taiwan’

In Niccolò Machiavelli’s 1517 «Discourses on Livy» the famous Italian historian and political philosopher argued that sometimes it is «a very wise thing to simulate madness». The «Madman» theory was indeed a consciously deployed facet of President Richard Nixon’s foreign policy. The Nixon administration carefully projected a deliberate image of President Nixon as a volatile, erratic, almost deranged hot head. The objective was to create confusion among American adversaries, primarily in the Communist world, and unnerve them due to the unpredictability the «madman» Nixon engendered thus keeping them off balance allowing America to set the agenda, control responses, seize the initiative, keep US enemies constantly guessing and keep hostile provocations to the minimum for fear of a disproportionate response from the «unhinged» Nixon. President Nixon’s infamous Chief of Staff H. R. Haldeman, wrote that Nixon had confided to him:
«I call it the Madman Theory, Bob. I want the North Vietnamese to believe I’ve reached the point where I might do anything to stop the war. We’ll just slip the word to them that, ‘for God’s sake, you know Nixon is obsessed about communism. We can’t restrain him when he’s angry — and he has his hand on the nuclear button’ and Ho Chi Minh himself will be in Paris in two days begging for peace».
Nixon’s National Security Advisor and later Secretary of State, the brilliant Dr Henry Kissinger, was in on the act and portrayed the 1970 US incursion into Cambodia as a symptom of Nixon’s «instability». I can just imagine Nixon conferring with Kissinger before a diplomatic meeting and telling him: «Right Henry, this is how we are going to play. I’ll storm in and wave my arms around, talk about how I feel like bombing the hell out of such and such, spit some profanities out and then storm off. You will then rush in and say ‘ now you can understand what I have to deal with! Leave it to me. I’ll calm the old man down». Could it be that the new President-elect of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is also employing the «Mad Man» theory? Indeed, as Polonius put it in Shakespeare’s Hamlet: «Though this be madness, yet there is method».
Over the weekend of December 2nd the news came through that the new President-elect had broken with over 35 years of diplomatic precedent and protocol with regards to the United States most strategically important bilateral relationship. Mr. Trump did something which would on the surface seem fairly innocuous. He took a congratulatory phone call from the President of Taiwan. Tsai Ing-wen.Then, all hell broke loose within the normally calm and ordered world of diplomatic affairs. This was due to the fact that no American President or President-elect has spoken with the President of Taiwan since 1979 when the Carter administration, building on the great legacy of Nixon and Kissinger’s visionary 1972 «Opening to China», embraced the Chinese concept of «One China» and officially terminated diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan), though unofficially relations continued much as they had with American arms shipments to Taiwan. The American Embassy in Taiwan became the American Institute, a private nonprofit corporation though still staffed by American diplomats. Under the Taiwan Relations Act signed into law by President Carter the United States would maintain «unofficial» relations with the people of Taiwan, but all official inter-governmental relations between the American Government and Taiwanese Government ceased , including official interactions between American and Taiwanese Presidents.
All of this diplomatic ambiguity was due to the dispute between Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China dating all the way back to 1949 and the Communist victory over General Chiang Kai-shek’s Kuomintang US backed nationalists in the Chinese civil war. The Kuomintang nationalists fled to the island of Taiwan were they set up shop and claimed to be the sole and legitimate Chinese Government for all of China including the Communist controlled mainland. Until Nixon’s «Opening to China» in the 1970s the United States maintained the fiction that the tiny island of Taiwan under the defeated nationalists represented all of China’s billion plus people and recognised it as the sovereign Chinese Government rather than the authority of the People’s Republic in Beijing. President Nixon, Dr Kissinger and later President Carter determined that this fiction could no longer continue and it was unwise to continue to try to isolate and alienate Beijing. So they prudently switched American recognition away from Taipei towards Beijing. While Taiwan had always claimed to be the rightful China, the People’s Republic had always viewed it as part of it’s true China.
So from Jimmy Carter to Ronald Reagan, George Bush Snr to Bill Clinton, George Bush Jnr to Barack Obama, none of them have engaged officially with their Taiwanese counterparts and American Presidents have embraced officially the «One China» position of Beijing while still conducting unofficial relations with Taipei. This all changed, to a certain degree, over the weekend of December 2nd 2016, with the telephone call between US President-elect Donald Trump and Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wei. Trump tweeted with regards to the phone call: «The President of Taiwan CALLED ME (Trump’s capitals) today to wish me congratulations on winning the Presidency. Thank you!”. The President-elect followed this up with a further tweet: « Interesting how the US sells Taiwan billions of dollars of military equipment but I should not accept a congratulatory call».
The Chinese Foreign Minister reacted in the usually calm, measured, nonchalant style of Chinese diplomacy brushing off the phone call as nothing more than a «petty trick» on the part on the Taiwanese. But soon after Trump went on a the rampage on Twitter once again with critical tweets regarding China: «Did China ask us if it was OK to devalue their currency and build a massive military complex?» I don’t think so!» Well, of course not Mr. Trump, the fact is China is a sovereign, independent country who does not need to «ask» the permission of the United States to do anything! After this fracas the Chinese Government lodged a «solemn representation» with the White House reminding the Americans of the «One China» policy and the delicate equilibrium that has existed over the issues of Taiwan and has served American-Sino relations well for over three decades.
There was much amusement in the press that the incoming President seemed to be oblivious to the finer points of US-China diplomatic relations and that this latest blunder was evidence that Mr. Trump was clueless about international affairs. A Bull in a China Shop? Perhaps. Or perhaps it was more calculated than that. Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager (who reminds me of something straight out of The Stepford Wives or the Brady Bunch) shot down the notion that Trump is ignorant of the nuances of America’s relationship with the second largest economy on the planet and rising superpower. Reports surfaced that Bob Dole, the 1996 Republican Presidential nominee, had his law firm lobby the Trump campaign on behalf of the Taiwanese Government for a new approach to US-Taiwan relations and the Republican Party Platform unveiled at their 2016 Convention evidenced stronger language on the subject of China. By accepting a phone call, and on the surface superficially that is all it was, Mr. Trump and his advisers could have calculated that with a low grade act they could at once signal a coming change in how the United States deals with China without inflicting any serious material damage on the relationship. Trump repeatedly throughout his campaign spoke in negative terms regarding China and how, falsely, it is «raping» the American economy.
There are some such as the deeply objectionable John Bolton and other neoconservative nutters, dinosaur Cold War Warriors and ultra nationalists around Mr. Trump who are itching for a confrontation, if not outright fight, with China. Please forgive the lapse into science fiction but when it comes to some of the things I hear and read about the foreign policy team around Trump I am reminded of the words of the Shakespeare quoting Klingon General Chang to Captain Kirk during the Battle of Kitomer in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country while he is bombarding the defenseless Enterprise: «Now be honest Captain, warrior to warrior. You do prefer it this way don’t you? As it was meant to be. No peace in our time. Once more on to the breach, dear friends».
Shortly after the protocol breaking Trump-Tsai phone call and the Trump China bashing twitter rampage the President-elect appointed his Ambassador to China, the Republican Governor of Iowa, Terry Branstad, who also happens to be a good, old friend of President Xi Jinping. They have known each other since the 1980s. It was probably one of Trump’s best appointments to date and the Chinese Foreign Ministry was delighted. Was this a master class in the madman theory attempting to confuse the Chinese and keep them off balance? Maybe so. But Mr. Trump should also be aware in the Chinese he has more than met his match, perhaps even his superior. These type of «mad man» stunts will not keep the Chinese off balance. They are far more adept at gaining the upper hand. In many ways when it comes to the American-Sino relationship, they already do enjoy the upper hand. Trump beware.

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Sayyed Nasrallah Calls for Internal Unity: Don’t Bet on Defeated Regional Schemes

December 9, 2016
Hezbollah Secretary General Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah delivered a televised speech in which he tackled Lebanese internal files and stressed that a cabinet will eventually be formed as unity is the only solution in front of the Lebanese.
Speaking on Friday, Sayyed Nasrallah hoped that “the coming holidays will be occasions for unity and cooperation in the face of existential threats in order to preserve our existence and dignity, especially with the great developments taking place today in our region, like the developments in Aleppo and the coming victory there which will spread in the entire region”.
As his eminence assured that media outlets that publish news quoting “sources from Hezbollah” shouldn’t be considered credible sources, he stated that “when Hezbollah has something to say, it says it clearly through its well-known official figures”.
In this context, Sayyed Nasrallah indicated that “recently, there were attempts to damage internal relations and alignments, and I assure the Lebanese that we are in front of a crucial period”.
“Our relationship with President Michel Aoun and the leadership of the Free Patriotic Movement is excellent and it will always be based on deep trust that was established in the most critical period,” he said.
Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that “we are on daily contact with President Aoun as well as President of the Free Patriotic Movement Gebran Bassil and other leaders in the party. The overall atmosphere is positive and I assure to everyone that we are not in need of sending any messages”.
As for rumors about Hezbollah having concerns about the relationship between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese Forces, his eminence pointed out that “these are attempts to portray that Hezbollah is occupied with the Lebanese Forces, however Hezbollah is occupied somewhere else, and that place will draw the future of the region…”
“Imagine that Al-Nusra Front or ISIL took control over Syria and Iraq. Where would the region be standing?” he added.
“I want everyone to know that when the dialogue between the Free Patriotic Movement and the Lebanese forces took off, we were informed about it and we did not show any negativity… nothing in this agreement bothers us, so I ask the Lebanese Forces to cool down,” Sayyed Nasrallah said.
In parallel, Hezbollah secretary general referred to “rumors that Hezbollah had worries about the Lebanese president’s relationship with the Gulf countries, especially after the Saudi delegation’s visit to Baabda Palace,” and stressed that “the president has the right to travel wherever he wants and receive whoever he wants… We are in front of a new era which will draw new relations for the benefit of Lebanon with all the countries except for the enemy which we all agree on.”
About the government formation, his eminence assured that “there wasn’t any side that did not want the formation of the government in the nearest time… It is enough for us that Aoun has more than one third + one in the cabinet which is a guarantee for us in the major national issues…”
Moreover, he emphasized that all the political leaderships should cooperate to overcome the minor obstacles to form a cabinet before the coming elections, asserting that pointing fingers at each other in this issue is a failed policy, all parts should rather communicate to reach a solution.
In conclusion, Sayyed Nasrallah pointed out that “since 2011 until today, we have been telling all the Lebanese powers not to rely on regional developments in their internal policies… and even though we are connected to a regional axis… we did not approach the Lebanese files through our victories in Aleppo. We as Lebanese don’t wait for regional changes, our fates as Lebanese can only be drawn through dialogue and accepting one another… and instead of creating illusive battles, and for those waiting for the regional developments, I tell them that the region has entered a new stage as some schemes have been defeated, so let us cooperate with the Lebanese president and the appointed prime minister to protect our country and solve its problems.”
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Syrian Army Purges Terrorists, Washington Attempts to Save Them from Total Collapse, Russia Deploys Chechen Military Police to Syria ~ [Reports, Videos]

Russia Deploys Chechen Military Police To Syria

(SouthFront) ~ Russia is deploying the military police from its Republic of Chechnya to Syria according to an amateur video appeared in the Social Media on December 7. The video allegedly shows preparations of over 100 Chechen military police members before their dispatch to Syria from the military base in Hankala, a settlement near the Chechen Republic’s capital – Grozny.
According to reports in the Russian media, Chechen fighters will guard crucial infrastructure, civilian and military objects in Syria. Russian experts suggest that at least a part of Chechen fighters will be dispatched to the city of Aleppo. With the full liberation of the city, the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance will have to improve humanitarian and security situation in the city damaged by the war.
Earlier, the head of the Chechen Republic, Ramzan Kadyrov, announced that some Chechen units already operate in Syria along with other units of the Russian Special Forces.
In total, Syrian government forces liberated from militants 50 neighborhoods of eastern Aleppo, the Russian Reconciliation Center in Syria announced in a statement late on Wednesday.
Last evening, the Syrian army and its allies further peneterated Jaish al-Fatah defenses south of the Aleppo Citadel and liberated the neighborhoods of Bab al-Nayrab, Salheen, al-Qasileh and the al-Madi station.
Meanwhile, the so-called “Aleppo rebels” asked a 5-day ceasefire for as they said “the medical and civilian evacuation from the eastern part of the city of Aleppo”.
In other words they want the time to receive supplies and reinforcements. Because the only reason why civilians cannot leave the militant-held area of Aleppo via established corridors is that the so-called “rebels” prevent them from this. There is a little chance that the situation could be changed during the ceasefire.
The Syrian army and the National Defense Forces have liberated the village of Hawsh Ash Shalaq and cut off the road between al-Shifuniyah and Autaya in the Eastern Ghouta region of Rif Damascus province.
Now, the army and the NDF are developing their advance iin the direction of Hawsh Dawahra and the nearby military base. If government forces succeed in this, they will be able to use the Duma-Hashabiyah road to operate in the region and to pose multipletactical threats to remaining Jaish al-Islam forces.

Syrian Army Purges Terrorists, Washington Attempts
to Save Its Mercenaries from Total Collapse

(SouthFront) ~ Jaish al-Fatah and Fatah Halab militant coalitions’ defenses are collapsing in the Syrian city of Aleppo under the pressure of pro-government forces.
Late on December 6 and early on December 7, the Syrian army, the National Defense Forces (NDF) and Liwa al-Quds set control over the areas east and north of the Aleppo Citadel and seized the almost whole neighborhood of Old Aleppo, including the Umayyad Mosque. The advance took place amid a panic in the rebels’ ranks and reports that now the so-called “moderate” opposition is ready to discuss a deal on withdrawal from the city.
A big group of Fatah Halab (a local coalition of militant groups in Aleppo city) fighters even surrendered to government forces near the Aleppo Citadel. The army and its allies are developing the advance against militants.
US Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Tuesday that he expects to meet with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov later this week for further talks on a proposal for the rebels’ departure and is “not aware of any specific refusal” to follow the initially discussed agreement.
Earlier on Tuesday Lavrov said that the US withdrew its initial proposal on militants withdrawal and wants to suggest new terms and conditions that the Syrian-Russian-Iranian alliance will have to follow in Aleppo.
This US move faced a hardline reaction in Moscow and the Russian minister (Sergey Lavrov) announced that all militants refusing to leave Aleppo will be eliminated. It looks Kerry is busy as a bee in his attempt to save al-Qaeda linked militant factions in the city. However, he has little chances to achieve this goal.
When Aleppo is liberated, over 25,000 pro-government fighters will be free to participate in further operations against militants across the country. The most likely direction of the next major advance of government forces is the province of Idlib. The storm of al-Bab is less likely because this could lead to a significant escalation with Turkey.
Last week, the US House passed a defense bill that included language authorizing supplies of anti-aircraft missiles to rebel groups fighting in Syria, The Washington Post reported Tuesday. On Friday, the bill passed in the House 375 to 34 and could be voted in the Senate within the week. If the bill succeed, it would be a green light for supplies of MANPADs to so-called “opposition factions” in Syria. There are no doubts that as result missiles will be received by Jabhat al-Nusra and other al-Qaeda groups, as a major part of the all previous weapon delivers to rebels. This will pose a major threat to the aviation in the region.

SOURCES: South Front South Front Submitted by SyrianPatriots ~ ~ ~ Please support the SouthFront project by PayPal: or via: or via: ~ ~ ~ The real SyrianFreePress.NETwork at 

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