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MintPress News

MintPress News
15 May 2024 | 7:12 pm

1. Leaked Docs Reveal British Intelligence’s Secret Exploitation of Palestinian Refugees


Leaked files obtained by MintPress News detail the intensive interest taken in Palestinians both within and without the country by British intelligence operatives and Foreign Office-funded and directed cutouts over many years. Collectively, the material leaves little room for doubt that the British government has long sought to covertly surveil, infiltrate, and manipulate Palestinians for malign ends while exploiting their suffering to serve London's geopolitical objectives.

Throughout the Syrian proxy conflict, British intelligence ran expansive psychological warfare programs, targeting the local population and Western citizens. The objective was to destabilize Bashar Assad's government and convince domestic and foreign audiences, including overseas governments and international bodies, that the Western-backed Free Syrian Army was a moderate, legitimate alternative and flood media globally with pro-opposition propaganda. A corrupt constellation of private contractors staffed by British military veterans and "former" spies delivered these clandestine campaigns.

Innovative Communications & Strategies (InCoStrat) was a particularly prolific participant in this effort. The firm was founded by Paul Tilley, Britain's former Ministry of Defence head of communications for West Asia, and Emma Winberg, a longtime MI6 officer, who subsequently married now-deceased White Helmets founder James Lemesurier. The leaked documents reveal that in Syria, she was tasked with the "management and development" of a local "network of interlocutors, key leaders and local coordinators":

[This network is] able to assist in the development of messages and influence through word of mouth, in difficult to reach areas. The knowledge gained through these interactions will generate the contextual understanding that provides the foundation for our communication campaigns, our ability to assess their effect and to provide detailed atmospheric reports that inform HMG of the developing situation in Syria."

Winberg is described as Britain's "lead on engagement with the Syrian armed opposition in Istanbul" while serving as a Foreign Office "Political-Military Officer" in Turkey from 2013 onwards. She cultivated "an extensive range of contacts in north and eastern Syria," meaning she was "trusted and respected by moderate opposition leadership figures." This may account for why InCoStrat avowedly "maintained a perfect record of safety and security for its staff" in the country, even while the company secretly operated in "areas under ISIS control."

Winberg harvested so much crucial intelligence in this role that her resultant insights represented a "core contribution" to British, European and US understanding and assessment of armed groups in Syria. Intriguingly, she was transferred to Istanbul directly from the British consulate in Jerusalem, a vital regional base of operations for MI6. While there, she reported on "violent extremist organizations" active in Gaza, "including during Operation Cloud Pillar" in November 2012, for which she was "commended internally."

Cloud Pillar saw Israeli Occupation Forces massacre almost 200 Palestinian civilians after assassinating high-ranking Hamas commander Ahmed Jabari. This was in keeping with MI6's strategy to "degrade the capabilities" of "rejectionists" of the pro-Zionist Palestine Authority. Winberg's close-range view of these events made her a compelling candidate for overseeing London's contribution to the proxy war from the perspective of her employers in British intelligence. Moreover, she was not alone among InCoStrat operatives in secretly surveilling Palestinian resistance firsthand.

One company staffer managed a $25 million "small grants programme to directly support community stabilisation, engage youth, and moderate actors in the Palestinian Territories" for US intelligence cutout USAID, 2005 – 2007. This placed them on the frontline of the Zionist entity's embarrassing defeat by Lebanon's Hezbollah in the summer of 2006 and concurrent "military incursion" in Gaza.

Along the way, they "reported on the political, economic, and security situation" locally, "including extensive reporting during internal instability in Gaza." Meanwhile, another InCoStrat operative's CV boasts that they "travelled and studied in Israel and Palestine, focusing on religious political movements," then "studied Palestinian refugees in Syria before the uprising." After that, they "worked with and trained Syrian activists in several different organisations."

 

'Improved Conditions'

It is a supremely striking feature that multiple InCoStrat operatives went straight from intently "studying" Palestinian refugees and armed groups to cloak-and-dagger management of the "moderate" Syrian opposition. In this context, what are we to make of the fact that British intelligence cutouts have, for many years, been heavily active in Lebanon's Palestinian refugee camps? Around 300,000 Palestinian refugees inhabit Lebanon, roughly half of them in camps administered by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

Living conditions are appalling, with overcrowding, poverty, and rampant unemployment. Discrimination towards Palestinian refugees at both a public and state level is commonplace. This intensified significantly due to untold numbers of displaced people – among them many Palestinians – pouring into Lebanon from neighboring Syria as a result of the grinding, 11-year Western proxy war against Damascus. Such a milieu inevitably produces a wide array of grievances among refugees, which can be malignly exploited by British intelligence.

Lebanon Israel Palestinians
Residents watch a protest by a Palestinian resistance movement at the Shatila Palestinian refugee camp in Beirut, May 11, 2024. Hassan Ammar | AP

Since 2009, Foreign Office contractor ARK—founded and run by MI6 operative Alistair Harris—has operated in Lebanon's 12 Palestinian refugee camps. In leaked files, the company boasts of its "granular understanding" of the camps' internal political, economic, ideological, religious and everyday dynamics. ARK's voluminous "local contacts" have "access throughout all camps and gatherings." This means that community-level discussions and activities of all residents can be influenced and spied upon, as required.

Such everyday, real-life insight is augmented by "daily monitoring of neighborhood-level WhatsApp groups." Meanwhile, local engagement with a social media platform created by ARK, Nastopia, is heavily monitored. The page, run by a 24-strong team of ARK-trained "youth reporters," is intended to increase demand for "community engagement and improved conditions" among camp residents. It promotes covertly Foreign Office-financed projects in the camps as "success stories" while serving "as a forum for online and offline discussion about social injustices [and] virtual space to talk about topics considered taboo in the camps."

ARK has spearheaded various community initiatives elsewhere in the "offline" realm. These include repairing and restoring streets and cemeteries, recycling, promoting small businesses, providing welfare to disadvantaged and disabled residents, managing nurseries and daycare centers, and even launching a local coffee shop. The leaked files describe this as "a popular place for youth to gather and promote civic engagement in their community and a shared Palestinian identity that bridges factional differences."  '

 

Contentious Politics

Insidious surveillance and manipulation components of these projects aside, one might reasonably argue that given the harsh internal environments of Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon, any effort to regenerate and improve conditions for residents of all ages and create a sense of community is a net positive. Yet, the ultimate purpose of these projects is to create a secret army of anti-government activists, which can be activated to stir up trouble if and when British intelligence wishes.

Of course, the leaked documents do not frame that objective in such terms. One file refers to the value of highlighting "success stories" in the camps as "enhancing the audience's confidence in their own ability to contribute to social change." In other words, encouraging Palestinian refugees to take matters into their own hands. This intention is articulated far more emphatically in a leaked March 2019 study conducted by ARK.

The document identified a segment of Beirut's diverse population that could be united in opposition to Lebanon's government and therefore mobilized to "affect positive social change" on their own initiative. The ideal target group was comprised of individuals who disavowed violence but not "other forms of contentious politics" and could be "influenced" to engage in certain "behaviors," such as protests, leafleting campaigns, and other community initiatives. The analysis explicitly characterized Palestinian refugees as an "important part" of such an effort.

Therefore, ARK pledged to both covertly and overtly promote the message that "change is possible and ordinary citizens have a role to play in achieving change" through propaganda campaigns and civil society initiatives. These would "highlight where change has been achieved or where threats to Lebanon's stability have been countered." In turn, the broader population of Lebanon would be well-educated on how "barriers" to reform can be overcome via direct popular action.

Seven months after ARK produced this study, large-scale protests engulfed the streets of Beirut. Western media immediately spoke of "revolution" in the country. Few outlets acknowledged that the unrest had begun in July of that year, when thousands of refugees inhabiting several camps commenced mass demonstrations, demanding reforms to local employment laws that barred them from numerous professions.

Coincidentally, in one leaked document, ARK boasts of how the company "takes pride" in ensuring refugees recruited to its illicit schemes receive "annual leave, sick leave, and health insurance," despite this not being "legally necessary" due to local legislation "discriminating against Palestinians."

 

'Future Transitional Syria'

Lebanon was a critical organizing nucleus for the Syrian opposition, which ARK directed and embedded with before the "revolution" started. A document circulated among anti-Assad elements in Beirut in May 2011, secretly intercepted by Syrian security services, set out a blueprint for events in the uprising to date and precisely what would subsequently transpire in Damascus.

The opposition proposed convening mass demonstrations in every major Syrian city so security forces "will lose control of all regions," be "taken unaware," and become "exhausted and distracted." This, along with "honest officers and soldiers" joining "the ranks of the revolution," would make "toppling down the regime" straightforward. Any crackdown on these protests was forecast to precipitate a Western "military strike," ala Libya. The opposition foresaw major news outlets playing a significant role:

Everyone should be confident that with the continuation of demonstrations today, media channels will have no choice but to cover the events…Al Jazeera will be late due to considerations of mutual interests. But we have Al Arabiya and Western media channels who will come forward, and we will all see the change of tone in covering the events and demonstrations will be aired on all channels and they will have wide coverage."

The Assad government did not choose to publicize this bombshell file for unclear reasons. It only became publicly available – and translated into English – through the work of the Commission for International Justice and Accountability (CIJA). The organization was spun out of ARK in May 2011 to prosecute Syrian officials for war crimes. Its first act was to covertly train opposition activists "in basic international criminal and humanitarian law" in service of a "domestic justice process in a future transitional Syria."

As the foreign-fomented crisis escalated into an all-out proxy war, CIJA began employing extremist groups to smuggle sensitive documentation out of abandoned government buildings in opposition-occupied areas of Syria, paying these factions – including al-Nusra Front and ISIS – vast sums for their services. While generating enormous amounts of fawning media coverage, the Commission convicted just two Syrian officials of war crimes, and only after the pair voluntarily defected and made numerous incriminating statements to their Western handlers.

Syria Anti-government fighter
An FSA fighter holds a bullet riddled poster of President Assad in Aleppo, Syria, March 30, 2013. Sebastiano Tomada | SIPA

This failure is, of course, attributable to the collapse of the British and US regime change project in Syria. Indeed, the success of CIJA's business model was wholly contingent on the violent overthrow of Assad and his government. The fact that the Commission was founded before the Syrian Arab Army was even formally deployed to Damascus amply demonstrates that CIJA and ARK had substantial grounds to believe that decisive Western intervention would be forthcoming at the earliest stages of the 'peaceful revolution.'

Per the intercepted document, so too did opposition activists in Lebanon in May 2011 – the same month CIJA was founded – which, of course, referenced then-ongoing NATO airstrikes on Libya. While such intervention didn't arrive as expected, arms and fighters promptly began flowing from Tripoli to Syria after that, in direct coordination with MI6. Many insurgents were former members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), who were freed from prison four years earlier by Muammar Gaddafi after an intervention from one of the group's founders, Noman Benotman.

Benotman claimed to have rejected political violence, embraced pacifism and democracy, and pledged to deradicalize the jailed LIFG fighters in return for their release. In 2010, he became President of the UK government-funded Quilliam Foundation, the world's first "counter-extremism" think tank. In this position, he was instrumental in securing high-level defections from Gaddafi's government during the civil war. The organization's avowed contribution to the NATO effort intensified existing suspicions about the spectral interests it might be serving.

After Quilliam shut down in April 2021, veteran journalist Ian Cobain made a startling disclosure. The Foundation had been secretly established by the Office for Security and Counterterrorism (OSCT), a shadowy British intelligence agency. London's spies had initially planned to fund the venture covertly, "with money appearing to come in from a Middle Eastern benefactor, but channeled by MI6." Instead, overt government financing was granted, a move "eventually judged within Whitehall to have been a mistake." An OSCT source lamented:

Should have run it from within the agencies. They do this sort of stuff all the time. And you never find out."

Palestinian-focused civil society organizations and initiatives are frequently constructed by British intelligence without participants or broader local populations learning the true sponsors and purposes they serve. With Israel openly planning to reconstruct a politically "moderate," Hamas-free Gaza post-genocide, it is incumbent to reflect on how any proposed replacement leaders will almost inevitably be one way or another "graduates" of MI6-sponsored programs and, therefore, British assets, whether knowingly or not.

Feature photo | A young Palestinian walks through the Palestinian refugee camp of Shatila in Beirut, Lebanon, May 15, 2024. Hassan Ammar | AP

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist and MintPress News contributor exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. His work has previously appeared in The Cradle, Declassified UK, and Grayzone. Follow him on Twitter @KitKlarenberg.

The post Leaked Docs Reveal British Intelligence's Secret Exploitation of Palestinian Refugees appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
13 May 2024 | 4:13 pm

2. IDF Rafah Assault Doomed to Fail: Analysis by Former US Special Operations’ Greg Stoker


MintPress News teamed up with Greg Stoker, a former U.S. Army Special Operations member turned anti-imperialist, to provide insightful analysis of the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) assault on Rafah, shedding light on why it is likely doomed to fail.

Stoker's examination begins with a stark revelation regarding the IDF's logistical hurdles. "The Israeli Army is grappling with a severe munition shortage," Stoker asserts, "not just limited to aerial bombs, but also extending to artillery." This casts doubt on the IDF's capacity to sustain a prolonged assault while preserving stockpiles necessary for deterrence against Hezbollah and other regional threats. He notes, "They may have enough to detonate Rafah into Oblivion, but they will not be able to level Rafah the way they want to and still maintain stockpiles for deterrence."

Moreover, Stoker highlights the IDF's historical ineffectiveness in detecting tunnel systems in Gaza despite occupying the Philadelphia Corridor along the Rafah Crossing. "They have thus far proven considerably ineffective," he remarks, emphasizing the operation's coercive nature aimed at pressuring Hamas into acquiescence.

Characterizing the entire operation as a "performative public relations stunt," Stoker questions its strategic efficacy. "The narrative that assaulting Rafah is requisite to defeat Hamas has been proven ludicrous," he asserts, citing Hamas' continued resilience in the face of Israeli aggression. Stoker further challenges the operation's legitimacy, citing Israeli intelligence veterans' projections of a multi-year timeline for Hamas' defeat.

Stoker warns of the operation's unsustainability in light of mounting casualties and dwindling resources. "Despite potential declarations of victory," he emphasizes, "the IDF lacks achievable goals, an exit strategy, and faces diminishing political capital." Recent statements from White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby underscore the operation's waning legitimacy.

The IDF's occupation of the Philadelphia Corridor along the Rafah Crossing ostensibly aims to locate and collapse smuggling tunnels from Egypt. However, Stoker highlights the IDF's historical ineffectiveness in detecting tunnel systems in Gaza. This occupation serves as a coercive tactic to pressure Hamas into accepting unfavorable terms, "It is just another pressure point to force Hamas into accepting a subpar deal by collectively punishing civilians," Stoker concludes, warning of the operation's unsustainability, citing a lack of achievable goals, exit strategy, and diminishing resources.

For further updates and analysis on this unfolding situation, watch Stoker's full analysis and follow MintPress News.

Greg Stoker is an activist, anti-imperialist, US Special Forces veteran and host of the @colonialoutcasts podcast.

The post IDF Rafah Assault Doomed to Fail: Analysis by Former US Special Operations' Greg Stoker appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
10 May 2024 | 1:30 pm

3. From PropOrNot to New Lines: How Washington is Weaponizing Media


New Lines Magazine purports to be an independent media organization. Yet it constantly attacks genuine alternative media who stray from Washington's official foreign policy line, all while employing many spooks, spies and other figures at the heart of the national security state.

Worse still, its parent organization, the New Lines Institute, has recently admitted to being directly funded by the U.S. government. MintPress News takes a closer look at this shady organization acting as Washington's attack dog.

 

A Slick, Well-Funded Organization

If you read the Wikipedia entries for many alternative media outlets, they are written off as fringe conspiracy websites pushing debunked foreign propaganda. MintPress News, for example, is described as a "far-left news website" which "publishes disinformation and antisemitic conspiracy theories." The Grayzone is similarly smeared as a "fringe" blog known for its "misleading reporting" and "sympathetic coverage of authoritarian regimes" such as Syria, Venezuela and China.

The evidence for these evidence-light smears comes primarily from the U.S. foreign policy journal, New Lines Magazine, a product of the New Lines Institute. New Lines is a very new organization that was established only in 2020. Despite this, it has already become a key player in setting U.S. agendas worldwide, boasting a staff of more than 50 and working with over 150 contributors. Headquartered on the prestigious Massachusetts Avenue NW (some of the most expensive real estate in the world), it sits between foreign embassies and many of America's most prestigious think tanks, a stone's throw – metaphorically and physically – from the White House.

New Lines describes its goal as "seeking to shape U.S. foreign policy" based on a "deep understanding of distinct regional geopolitics and value systems." It began by focusing solely on the Middle East but quickly expanded to cover Ukraine, China, Venezuela and other political hotspots that most concern hawks in Washington. It certainly shapes public debate, and its research and experts are regularly quoted in influential outlets like The New York Times, Washington Post, and CNN.

 

A Rogue's Gallery Of US Officials

New Lines presents itself as an independent organization, claiming that it is "one of the few think tanks in Washington with no foreign or local agendas." Yet its higher ranks are packed with former state officials.

Chief amongst them is New Lines Institute founder and president Ahmed Alwani. Alwani served on the advisory board of the U.S. military's Africa Command and influenced Washington's Middle East positions. His New Lines biography boasts that he "met the commanding generals of Fort Jackson, Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, Naval Station Norfolk and Joint Base Andrews as well as then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his staff numerous times during the Iraq War to consult on U.S. policy" – something many might not consider a badge of honor.

Alwani also founded Fairfax University, a controversial private educational institution that Virginia state regulators considered shutting down in 2019. Auditors found that "teachers weren't qualified to teach their assigned courses," academic quality was "patently deficient," plagiarism was "rampant," and students' English levels were "abysmally poor," making Fairfax look far more like a degree mill than a legitimate university.

New Lines' senior director, Faysal Itani, has a similarly notable past. Before joining the organization, Itani was simultaneously a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council – a NATO-funded think tank that serves as the brains of the military alliance, and an adjunct professor of security studies at Georgetown University – a department a previous MintPress News investigation exposed as a department filled with CIA agents that functions as a training ground for the next generation of American spies.

Another senior director, Nicholas Heras, was central to U.S. actions in Iraq and Syria. Between 2013 and 2014, Heras was a research associate at the National Defense University (an institution funded and overseen by the Pentagon). While there, he worked with military leaders at U.S. Central Command, Special Operations Command and the broader U.S. intelligence community, briefing them on matters relating to the two countries.

Other key New Lines staff members with similar pasts include Tashi Chogyal, who served in the Obama administration at the Department of Justice and as a special assistant to the administrator of USAID, an organization that has overseen a host of foreign regime change operations; Kamran Bokhari, formerly the Central Asia Studies Course Coordinator at the State Department's Foreign Service Institute; Tanya Domi, a 15-year U.S. Army veteran who also served at the State Department as a spokesperson and counsel for multiple American ambassadors to Bosnia and Herzegovina; Tammy Palacios, currently employed by the United States Military Academy as a counter-terrorism research fellow and Michael Weiss, a non-resident senior research fellow at NATO's Atlantic Council.

When it comes to attacking alternative media, Weiss, in particular, has a notable past. In late 2016, an anonymous organization called PropOrNot published a list of some 200 websites that it classified as routine peddlers of Russian disinformation. Many leading alternative media outlets were on that list, including MintPress News, WikiLeaks, Truthout, Truthdig, Naked Capitalism and Antiwar.com. The charges were false, but the effect was staggering.

The PropOrNot list went viral, boosted by mainstream outlets such as the Washington Post, which insinuated that a massive, Kremlin-controlled propaganda network was responsible for Donald Trump's electoral victory. Google, Facebook and other prominent social media platforms subsequently changed their algorithms to punish the outlets on the list and promote "authoritative" content like the Washington Post or Fox News. MintPress News lost more than 90% of its Google search traffic almost overnight, never to return. It was later revealed that PropOrNot was likely Weiss' brainchild, meaning that the hysteria over foreign government interference in our media was probably a domestic government-funded operation.

A number of other key New Lines staff also previously worked at Stratfor, an organization often referred to as the "shadow CIA," a private group carrying out intelligence gathering on behalf of the U.S. government.

 

Spy Games

Perhaps the most notable New Lines Institute employee, however, is non-resident fellow Elizabeth Tsurkov. Tsurkov is a Russian-born Israeli who, before joining New Lines, worked at a number of hawkish think tanks, including the Atlantic Council and Freedom House.

She grew up in Israel and served for many years in Israeli military intelligence, including during Israel's 2006 invasion of Lebanon. She also worked directly for former Israeli Minister of Interior and Deputy Prime Minister Natan Sharansky. In 2015, she published a photo of her at the Pentagon, claiming she was on a "special mission accompanied by the State Department."

Tsurkov was an obscure figure who only came to international attention in 2023 when she was arrested in Baghdad, carrying out what authorities described as a spying mission. The news made worldwide headlines, with many official figures in the West leaping to her defense, describing the charges as ridiculous.

It transpired that she had concealed her identity, entering Iraq on a Russian passport, and presented herself as a Russian researcher and supporter of Shia cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. A 2022 video interview shows Tsurkov in Baghdad dressed in a khimar – a modest black dress and head covering. "It is clear that Muqtada al-Sadr is a patriotic figure who rejects intervention from any country, whether in the West or the East… In my opinion, this should be the position of every Iraqi political leader," Tsurkov says, adding that the United States is an "oppressor" nation.


This is a blatant deception, given that she is a former Israeli intelligence officer who worked for NATO's think tank. In fact, Tsurkov has long taken hostile, anti-Shia positions, supported Sunni militias in Syria and championed U.S. military intervention in the region.

For years, she was one of the most outspoken Syria regime change hawks online, downplaying the U.S.-backed "moderate rebels'" connections to Al-Qaeda and even promoting the "Gay Girl in Damascus" blog – an online personality purporting to be a Syrian opposition organizer that was later unmasked as a pro-regime change hoax run by an American student at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

Tsurkov initially claimed she was in Iraq to conduct academic research for Princeton University. This was also the position taken by the Israeli government (whose laws prohibit its citizens from traveling to Iraq without special dispensation). "She is an academic who visited Iraq on her Russian passport, at her own initiative pursuant to work on her doctorate and academic research on behalf of Princeton University in the U.S.," stated the office of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Princeton, however, categorically denied that it had allowed her to go to Iraq on university business.

Thus, very little about her story makes any sense, leading many to conclude that Iraqi authorities were correct in their assessment of Tsurkov. Adding weight to this theory is the complete radio silence from New Lines since her arrest and imprisonment. In more than one year, neither the New Lines Institute nor its magazine has released so much as a sentence addressing the detention of one of the institute's more senior staff members.

In a video released in November, Tsurkov stated that she was actually in Iraq on behalf of the CIA and Israeli intelligence outfit Mossad. Her goals were to foment intra-Shia division and strife and to organize and support anti-corruption protests. She also said that she traveled to Syria to build ties between Israel and the (Sunni) Syrian opposition forces. Given that she had been detained for over half a year by this point, it is not clear if she was coerced into "confessing."

 

Attacking Alternative Media

Studying their output, it is clear that New Lines has two principal targets: nations the U.S. has deemed enemy states and alternative media outlets that question the narratives that New Lines and the U.S. government are trying to establish. Indeed, New Lines has spent years investigating alternative media, promoting a narrative that opposition to U.S. foreign policy equals being in the pay of official enemy countries.

A 2022 article titled "How the Pro-Putin West Is Coping With Russian Defeat in Ukraine" presented journalists such as Max Blumenthal and Michael Tracey, as well as renowned academic Professor Noam Chomsky as Kremlin admirers, and claimed that Ukraine's "lightning counteroffensive" and the "rapid territorial advances" had left Russia defeated. News of this defeat will no doubt surprise many reading in 2024. But this sort of disinformation about disinformation has become a common method of attacking and smearing anti-war voices.

Another article describes what it calls an "echo chamber" of Syria "conspiracy theorists." It mentions MintPress News and a host of other alternative media outlets, including Consortium News, Project Censored, Free Speech TV, Media Roots, Shadow Proof, The Grayzone, Truthout, Common Dreams and Antiwar.com.

New Lines again attacked MintPress News for our coverage of Latin America, claiming that we backed "leftist dictatorships" by "looking the other way" as they crushed protests. The report appeared particularly annoyed that we did not support the 2021 Cuban protests – a movement it lionized as an anti-racist uprising led by the local hip-hop community. MintPress showed that the Cuban demonstrations were led by artists funded, trained, and supported by the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID, which are part of the same network that funds New Lines.

Groups like the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) and the Center for Economic and Policy Research, as well as journalist Ben Norton and author and public intellectual Vijay Prashad, were also singled out for their support for anti-imperial governments in Latin America.

 

State-Funded Media

Considering its output, its constant support for U.S. policy and attacks on both domestic and international opponents of Washington, speculation was rife that the U.S. government was secretly funding New Lines. But the institute had always denied this, presenting itself as a neutral, agenda-free organization. That was, at least, until late last year when it announced that it had reached a "cooperative agreement" with the Modern War Institute at the United States Military Academy at West Point to "jointly develop actionable recommendations for U.S. global leadership to address pressing global security challenges." In other words, to plan out American military strategy. The New Lines Institute also noted that they would now "serve as an intellectual resource for solving military problems."

Days later, New Lines' "About Us" section was updated, removing all reference to being funded by the Fairfax Foundation and inserting a clause admitting U.S. government financial support, strongly suggesting that the military is now bankrolling it. It now reads (emphasis added):

Funding for The New Lines Institute is provided by the The [sic] Washington Institute for Education and Research, a 501c(3) nonprofit organization registered in Washington DC.

New Lines Institute accepts research grants and charitable donations from U.S. individuals, registered U.S. legal entities, and the U.S. Government in support of its research priorities, and only insofar as such support is in compliance with U.S. laws and regulations; aligns with the institute's vision, mission, purpose and principles; and falls within its core areas of expertise.

The news did not come as a shock to those paying close attention. "It will come as a surprise to no-one that New Lines is funded by the U.S. government," wrote investigative journalist Matt Kennard on Twitter. There is a certain tenor to the articles of these cut-outs that is instantly recognizable. Slightly critical—to be convincing—but only up to a point which leaves state narratives robust."

It will come as a surprise to no-one that New Lines is funded by the US government.

There is a certain tenor to the articles of these cut-outs that is instantly recognisable.

Slightly critical – to be convincing – but only up to a point which leaves state narratives robust. https://t.co/lWoHt00EVI

— Matt Kennard (@kennardmatt) April 3, 2024

Others were even more scathing. "Congrats to New Lines on their new collaboration with the Modern War Institute at West Point Military Academy," quipped The Grayzone's Aaron Maté; "A good reminder that people who smear Grayzone and other independent journalists as state-funded are often projecting."

 

Servants of Empire

With their quiet admission of U.S. government funding, New Lines joins an ever-growing list of organizations like Graphika and Bellingcat that present themselves as independent but are funded by the U.S. government. Former U.S. state and intelligence officials staff them and dutifully repeat U.S. government narratives and talking points.

Through their reports and studies, groups like New Lines launder Washington's narratives into the public domain, smuggled in under the guise of objectivity. Worse still, New Lines has been at the forefront of attacking and demonizing the few dissenting voices left in American society, their reports being used to further marginalize alternative media – the only place where serious domestic critique of U.S. foreign policy can occur. It is, therefore, doubly crucial that organizations like New Lines are understood for precisely what they are: the State Department's attack dogs.

Feature photo | Illustration by MintPress News

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.orgThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

The post From PropOrNot to New Lines: How Washington is Weaponizing Media appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
8 May 2024 | 3:02 pm

4. Documentary | Automated Apartheid: Walking Through Hebron Smart City


A silent sentinel watches over every corner in the bustling streets of Hebron, the largest city in the West Bank, where the ancient echoes of history collide with the modern hum of daily life. This sentinel is not a person but a network of surveillance technology known ominously as the "Hebron Smart City." Designed by Israeli authorities, this system blankets the city in a web of cameras, sensors and even automated weapons, tracking every movement of its Palestinian residents.

"Palestinians in Hebron are the most surveilled people on the planet," explains journalist and activist Mnar Adley, highlighting the omnipresence of cameras and face-scanning technology. Adley says that the area, also known as al-Khalil to Palestinians, has become a testing ground for Israel's surveillance apparatus, with advanced technologies like the "Wolf Pack" surveillance system in operation. This system collects vast amounts of data on Palestinians, including their personal details and movements, creating an atmosphere of constant surveillance.

Izzat Karake, a member of Youth Against Settlements, echoes this sentiment, noting the discomfort caused by constant surveillance. "Wherever I go as a Palestinian, I can see cameras," he told MintPress while pointing out dozens of Israeli military cameras lining the streets. "We are constantly under surveillance."

The Hebron Smart City, Adley explains, is more than just a collection of cameras and sensors; it is a symbol of Israel's relentless efforts to control every aspect of Palestinian life. Face-scanning cameras, known as Red Wolf, line every street, their unblinking gaze capturing the faces of every passerby without their consent. These images are then fed into Israel's Wolf Pack Database, a vast repository of information on Palestinians, all accessible through a mobile app, allowing them to track and monitor individuals with ease.

Amnesty International has condemned this mass surveillance project, denouncing it as "Automated Apartheid" in a scathing report. The system, they argue, reinforces existing practices of discrimination and segregation, further eroding the rights of Palestinians in Hebron at the hands of Israeli authorities, which the human rights group says has "a record of discriminatory and inhuman acts that maintain a system of apartheid. "The Israeli authorities are able to use facial recognition software – in particular at checkpoints – to consolidate existing practices of discriminatory policing, segregation, and curbing freedom of movement, violating Palestinians' basic rights," the report concludes.

This invasive surveillance technology that targets and monitors Palestinians compounds an already existing segregated system of apartheid in Hebron, where the city has been split into two zones, H1 and H2. These two segments of Hebron are separated by a militarized checkpoint that allows for the maintenance and expansion of an illegal Israeli settlement right in the middle of the Tel Rumeida neighborhood that overlooks the Palestinian city's marketplace.

This is where Youth Against Settlements was born after a Palestinian building that was initially occupied first by the Israeli military and later by Israeli settlers was reclaimed for Palestinian use through a nonviolent direct action and legal campaign. Once a bustling Palestinian neighborhood, Tel Rumeida now hosts over 700 illegal Israeli settlers, heavily armed and protected by the military. The main thoroughfare, formerly known as Shuhada Street, has been renamed "Chicago Street" by Israeli authorities in an attempt to erase Palestinian heritage.

Each year, Izzat and his colleagues with Youth Against Settlements hold an annual march called Open Shuhada Street campaign that draws international attention to the illegal siege of the city. Not only has Israel occupied and fragmented this neighborhood to make room for the Israeli settlers, but it's altering this area to Judaize the quarter – meaning planning to expand its colonization of the area to ethnically cleanse and displace Palestinians out of here, so Israeli settlers can take over. This military strategy is used to protect, expand and connect other Jewish settlements nearby in Israel's quest to ensure an ethno-Jewish state.

Hebron has seen some of the most violent settler assaults against Palestinians, especially after Hamas' surprise attack and Israel's subsequent assault on Gaza. In many cases, the armed settlers are escorted and protected by Israeli soldiers. Barbed wire covers Palestinian homes that are fenced in to protect them from Israeli settler attacks and harassment. But the intimidation doesn't end there.

An AI smartshooter sits atop a checkpoint on Shuhada Street, pointing directly at Hebron's marketplace, where thousands of Palestinians pass by each day. Israel installed the remote-controlled automatic turret gun in 2022. According to Israel's Army spokesperson, the AI smart shooter "is used as a dispersal measure "as part of the Army's improved preparations for confronting people disrupting order. However, the introduction of AI technology, such as the smartshooter, has only heightened tensions in the city. Residents walk through their own neighborhoods with a sense of unease, knowing that they are always under watchful eyes.

Just as Gaza has become a laboratory and showroom for Israel's "battle-tested" weapons, the success of the Hebron Smart City facial recognition technology and database through Wolf Pack to track Palestinians will be used for Israel to continue to profit off of its illegal military occupation of Palestine and surveillance of Palestinian civilians.

This "Automated Apartheid" only further establishes segregation of Palestinians and expands Israel's apartheid system and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians.

Mnar Adley is an award-winning journalist and editor and is the founder and director of MintPress News. She is also president and director of the non-profit media organization Behind the Headlines. Adley also co-hosts the MintCast podcast and is a producer and host of the video series Behind The Headlines. Contact Mnar at mnar@mintpressnews.com or follow her on Twitter at @mnarmuh.

The post Documentary | Automated Apartheid: Walking Through Hebron Smart City appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
7 May 2024 | 2:27 pm

5. Biden Is Deeply Concerned About Israel’s Behavior, Media Claims


President Joe Biden is deeply concerned and worried about Israeli behavior in Gaza. We know this because corporate media constantly tell us this.

Biden, we are told, is "outraged" by Israeli missile strikes that kill civilians, has privately warned that his administration's patience is wearing thin, ordered Netanyahu to do everything in his power to protect civilians and even branded Netanyahu an "asshole", in a sign of supposed increasing tensions between the two leaders.

Yet these leaks stand in total contrast to the very public actions of President Biden and his administration, which have repeatedly stated that there are no "red lines" that Israel could cross, effectively giving it a free hand to carry out whatever violence it wishes with no consequences. In this video for MintPress News and Behind the Headlines, MintPress Senior Staff Writer and Podcast Producer Alan MacLeod delves into this disparity and explains why we are constantly told that Biden does not like what is going on and not to believe our lying eyes.

Most of these stories, MacLeod notes, are based on little more than anonymous leaks from U.S. government officials and repeated credulously by sympathetic, well-connected reporters. These reporters ignore mountains of evidence to the contrary to carry weight for the administration, effectively helping them wash the blood off their hands and distance themselves from the genocide they are actively supporting. In doing so, corporate media who publish these stories are aiding the U.S. government to get away with murder and are doing a disservice to the public, who are increasingly turning against Israel and its actions.

Washington, after all, has approved more than $100 billion worth of arms sales to Israel since October 7 and has gone out of its way to protect Israel diplomatically, including blocking Palestinian statehood at the United Nations and threatening the International Criminal Court.

Every day, Palestinian homes, schools, hospitals and places of worship are being destroyed by U.S.-made bombs supplied to Israel with the blessing of President Biden. Corporate media, however, are trying to convince the public that Biden is deeply angry and concerned by the violence and by the positions that the Israeli government has taken.

MacLeod concludes that we need a truly independent media that will hold governments and other powerful entities to account. Unfortunately, if this example is anything to go by, we are a long way from having that.

Alan MacLeod is Senior Staff Writer for MintPress News. After completing his PhD in 2017 he published two books: Bad News From Venezuela: Twenty Years of Fake News and Misreporting and Propaganda in the Information Age: Still Manufacturing Consent, as well as a number of academic articles. He has also contributed to FAIR.orgThe GuardianSalonThe GrayzoneJacobin Magazine, and Common Dreams.

The post Biden Is Deeply Concerned About Israel's Behavior, Media Claims appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
6 May 2024 | 2:51 pm

6. The Dust Has Settled: The Aftermath Of Iran’s Retaliatory Strikes On Israel


In the wake of escalating tensions between Israel and Iran, MintCast brings you an exclusive interview with Seyed Mohammad Marandi, Professor of English Literature and Orientalism at the University of Tehran. Join MintPress as we delve into the unfolding events and gain insights into Iran's perspective.

As the world's attention remains fixated on the ongoing conflict in Gaza and the subsequent global student protests, focus has shifted to the broader implications of Israel's actions, particularly concerning Iran. Recently, Israel's bombing of the Iranian Embassy in Syria, followed by retaliatory drone attacks from Iran, sparked fears of further escalation. However, despite hawkish rhetoric from certain quarters, both sides seemed inclined to avoid further confrontation.

Against this backdrop, we sit down with Dr. Marandi to explore the mood in Iran amidst these turbulent times. Furthermore, we delve into the motivations behind Iran's missile strikes on Israel, shedding light on the strategic rationale behind these actions.

Moreover, Dr. Marandi addresses Iran's support for various groups across the region, including Ansar Allah in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon. We examine the extent of Iran's involvement and the underlying rationale guiding its foreign policy decisions.

We revisit Dr. Marandi's recent debate with TV host Piers Morgan, highlighting the nuances of language and the implications of demonizing terminology such as "regime," offering valuable insights into the power dynamics shaping media discourse on Iran and its adversaries.

Piers Morgan is being taught a lesson by Dr Marandi @PiersUncensored #Iran @s_m_marandipic.twitter.com/NKhLR2Vj38

— Soureh 2 (@Soureh_design2) April 18, 2024

In this episode, we also explore the complexities of Iran's nuclear program and the implications of its enrichment activities in the aftermath of the United States' withdrawal from the JCPOA. Dr. Marandi also analyzes Iran's economic strategies, including its burgeoning partnerships with Russia, China, and other BRICS nations, and the potential impact on its resilience against American sanctions.

Join MintPress as we unpack these pressing issues and gain a deeper understanding of Iran's perspective on the evolving geopolitical landscape in the Middle East.

MintPress News is a fiercely independent media company. You can support us by becoming a member of Patreon, bookmarking and whitelisting us, and subscribing to our social media channels, including YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram.

Subscribe to MintCast on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and SoundCloud.

Also, check out rapper Lowkey's video interview/podcast series, The Watchdog.

Mnar Adley is an award-winning journalist and editor and is the founder and director of MintPress News. She is also president and director of the non-profit media organization Behind the Headlines. Adley also co-hosts the MintCast podcast and is a producer and host of the video series Behind The Headlines. Contact Mnar at mnar@mintpressnews.com or follow her on Twitter at @mnarmuh.

The post The Dust Has Settled: The Aftermath Of Iran's Retaliatory Strikes On Israel appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
3 May 2024 | 7:15 pm

7. Exclusive: Yemen Braces For Impending Massive US-Led Air and Ground Campaign


Senior military officials in Sana'a have informed MintPress News of ongoing military preparations by the US, UK, and Saudi-led Coalition over the past two weeks. According to these sources, there are plans to initiate a significant aerial assault on the Yemeni mainland, focusing particularly on coastal regions in the west, as well as areas in the south near the Saudi border. This assault is expected to be accompanied by ground offensives carried out by factions aligned with the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

MintPress News sources indicate a probable escalation, coinciding with significant military reinforcements. Notably, squadrons of US F-16 aircraft have been arriving at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, located less than 200 kilometers from the Yemeni border. Additionally, extensive air transport activities involving weapons and equipment have been observed over the past two weeks, with US cargo planes shuttling to and from military bases in Saudi Arabia and Djibouti.

On April 29, the Aviano Air Base in Italy declared the deployment of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets from its 510th Expeditionary Fighter Squadron to the Middle East. As stated on the Aviano Air Base website, these F-16s are set to undertake a range of missions, including safeguarding civilian vessels in the Red Sea and Arabian Gulf as part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, alongside other crucial force protection and deterrence duties

Sources near the Saudi-led coalition-backed government in Aden revealed to MintPress News that the United States and Britain have ramped up their dialogue with the Ministry of Defense in the Aden administration. This surge comes in response to recent Yemeni activities in the Red Sea, the Gulf of Aden, and the Indian Ocean.

Military and political insiders in Sanaa informed MintPress News about the military exercise held on April 24. The event, dubbed "Desert Flag 9," saw the participation of Saudi Arabia, Israel, and other Arab nations at the Al Dhafra base in the Emirates. This maneuver is believed to be part of preparations for the announcement of a new military coalition, ostensibly aimed at safeguarding international freedom of navigation in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, and Indian Ocean. At the outset of the exercise, General Charles Keough, Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, lauded the collaboration among allies in countering perceived Iranian threats.

Numerous officials in Sanaa and among Ansar Allah have issued public warnings about alleged plans orchestrated by the United States and Britain, with support from certain Arab nations. The Supreme Political Council, the highest governing body in the northern region, has cautioned against any hostile escalation by the United States in Yemen. It asserts that ongoing suspicious preparations aimed at dissuading Yemen from supporting Gaza will prove futile. Emphasizing that any consequences of such escalation will extend beyond Yemen's borders, the Council has urged Saudi Arabia to prioritize its national interests over those of the United States.

It seems evident that Saudi and Emirati endeavors extend beyond merely challenging the naval blockade imposed by Ansar Allah on Israel, currently engaged in what many legal experts have termed a genocide in Gaza. Rather, indications suggest that these oil-rich nations may be poised to actively participate in an anticipated U.S. and U.K. military intervention. Their aim? To dismantle the blockade on Israel imposed by Yemeni forces and quell Ansar Allah's assaults on Israeli vessels—actions purportedly intended to halt the ongoing genocide and alleviate the siege on civilians within the embattled enclave.

In addressing the Yemen-Saudi border situation, Muhammad Ali Al-Houthi, a member of the Supreme Political Council, raised poignant questions: "Why does Saudi Arabia deliberately target civilians on the Yemeni border with French Caesar's cannons? Wouldn't it be wiser for the Saudi army to position these cannons near the borders of the northern kingdom to aid the people of Gaza?" He cautioned against reckless actions, stating, "Do not play with fire. We possess a strategic arsenal far beyond what you anticipate."

Hussein Al-Ezzi, serving as the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Sana'a government, issued a stark warning:

We are well aware of Washington's hostile intentions. Henceforth, we hold Washington accountable for any dire consequences resulting from its reckless actions against Yemen. It may soon find itself devoid of safe havens in the region, as its interests become a common target for all those who value freedom."

Seeking to entangle itself anew in the Yemen conflict and forge closer ties with Israel, the United States has pledged support to Saudi Arabia. This includes assistance for a Saudi nuclear program and designating Saudi Arabia as a major non-NATO ally. Talks are ongoing to solidify a joint defense pact and enhance security cooperation, as reported by Saudi media.

 

Impending Assaults on Critical Assets

The peril isn't just about the conflict's escalation, but also the neighboring nations getting entangled in operations beyond their control. This risks sparking another tragic conflict, impacting not only war-torn Yemen but also neighboring countries like Saudi Arabia.

MintPress sources have confirmed that, in the case of a U.S.-led ground invasion of Yemen, planned assaults by Ansar Allah will target not only U.S. interests and bases within the involved nations but also critical facilities and assets belonging to those participating countries, such as oil installations.

Ansar Allah has issued a grave threat of launching a large-scale and aggressive assault aimed at crucial installations, including oil facilities, in Saudi Arabia and the UAE. This ominous warning mirrors previous attacks, such as the devastating strikes on the Abqaiq oil facilities in September 2019, which resulted in a significant disruption to half of Saudi Arabia's oil production.

Ali al-Quhom, a Member of the Political Council of Ansar Allah, wrote on X, "The stage has changed, and with it, the rules of engagement have changed. Saudi Arabia and the UAE must realize this, and seven years are enough to learn the lesson. Yemen has become stronger with the increase in military capabilities at all levels. Escalation will be met with escalation, and this is a fixed and inseparable rule that will never change, ever. As you lost before, you will lose now, but this time your loss will be greater than before." He added:

There should be no submission or surrender on the part of neighboring countries to American, British and Israeli pressure and will, indicating that any American move from the territories of neighboring countries will lead to strong Yemeni responses, these countries will be the target of Yemeni operations, We have a target bank that includes strategic and vital targets in depth and in areas of economic importance."

 

Imminent Retaliation

Mounting tensions in Yemen and the broader region coincide with the withdrawal of an American aircraft carrier from the Red Sea. Yemeni analysts suggest that this move signifies not only the persistence of Yemeni operations targeting maritime navigation linked to the Israeli regime but also hints at a shift towards ground-based operations for a more extensive assault on Yemeni territory. Yemeni sources indicate that the departure of USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS Gravely from the Red Sea is part of the preparations for the coming assault.

General Shamsan, the head of the Military Spokesmen Committee in the Yemeni Army, informed MintPress that concurrent with the withdrawal of the American aircraft carrier, a squadron of aircraft has arrived at Saudi bases. This development aligns with diplomatic and political maneuvers. The Americans seem compelled to pivot towards attacks from land bases to mitigate potential heavy losses from retaliatory strikes against U.S. aircraft carriers and destroyers at sea.

While certain Yemenis perceive the withdrawal of the American aircraft carrier from the Red Sea as a triumph, numerous political, military officials, and analysts interviewed by MintPress regard Washington's move with deep suspicion, framing it within the context of ongoing operational preparations, as emphasized by Brigadier General Shamsan.

Last Friday, the U.S. Navy declared that USS Dwight D. Eisenhower and USS Gravely departed from the Red Sea after an almost four-month presence. Despite their deployment, the U.S. battle group was unable to impede Yemeni operations targeting maritime navigation associated with the Israeli regime, as these operations persisted.

Additionally, there's a possibility, as indicated by a Yemeni source linked to the coordination between Yemeni and Iraqi resistance forces, that certain groups within the Resistance Axis, notably the Iraqi resistance, may engage in retaliatory strikes against key American and Saudi targets in the region. This prospect hints at potential conflict not only in the Red Sea but also in the Strait of Hormuz and the Arabian Gulf, posing a genuine threat to American interests. However, such escalation could potentially be averted or delayed, especially considering the Russian front and the upcoming U.S. presidential elections.

 

Mounting Tension and Military Preparations

On the ground, clear signs of an impending conflict are emerging, particularly in the conflict zones of Taiz and Lahj, alongside other fronts. This coincides with significant military reinforcements being deployed by factions aligned with the Saudi-Emirati coalition from Aden to the strategic Tur al-Baha and Haifan fronts. These areas serve as vital contact points between Sanaa-aligned forces and coalition-backed militias. Tragically, in the Maqbanah area southwest of Taiz, an attack allegedly conducted by a drone affiliated with these factions resulted in the loss of two children and three women.

According to Yemeni military media, an American MQ9 drone was brought down above Saada Governorate while conducting a military operation. Footage released last Friday depicted Yemeni Armed Forces successfully shooting down the US MQ-9 aircraft using a missile.

مشاهد لعملية إسقاط الدفاعات الجوية للطائرة الأمريكية MQ9 أثناء قيامها بمهام عدائية في أجواء محافظة صعدةhttps://t.co/Hw6ko4NQVu#معركة_الفتح_الموعود_والجهاد_المقدس pic.twitter.com/6FcYTHoygh

— الإعلام الحربي اليمني (@MMY1444) April 27, 2024

In the days, military tensions between Yemeni forces and the American and British navies have surged to unprecedented levels. Reports indicate violent explosions along the coasts of Al-Khawkhah and Al-Mokha, spanning from Khor Amira, facing Bab Al-Mandab, to the southern shores of the country

Yemenis harbor a pervasive belief in the imminent likelihood of a ground invasion, a notion taken with utmost seriousness across the nation. Numerous officials, in interviews with MintPress, have openly discussed the potentiality of such an occurrence, grounded not in analysis but in raw data. Consequently, all regions, cities, and institutions have experienced a surge in recruitment efforts, operating under the banner of "Al-Aqsa Flood."

 

Yemen's Resolve Amid Escalating Tensions

While Yemenis are earnestly grappling with the looming prospect of escalation, their resolve extends beyond merely halting attacks aimed at ending the conflict in Gaza and lifting the blockade. They've heralded an unprecedented development targeting Israeli vessels across the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Aden, and Bab al-Mandab. On Tuesday, the Yemeni Armed Forces (YAF) launched strikes against two United States warships in the Red Sea and targeted the Cyclades bulk carrier, achieving precise hits. Subsequently, military media footage surfaced, showcasing the moment of the Cyclades ship's bombing in the Indian Ocean, underscoring the Yemeni army's capacity to execute operations hundreds of kilometers from the Yemeni coastline.

مشاهد لحظة استهداف سفينة (CYCLADES) بطائرة مسيرة والتي كانت متجهة إلى موانئ فلسطينَ المحتلة في البحر الأحمر pic.twitter.com/BNC4jPj1SM

— الإعلام الحربي اليمني (@MMY1444) April 30, 2024

In a televised address to the nation last Thursday discussing the latest regional developments, Ansar Allah leader Abdul-Malik al-Houthi stated that the Yemeni army is enhancing its presence in the Indian Ocean, aiming to block Israeli-affiliated vessels from navigating the Cape of Good Hope route or towards the Red Sea. He further remarked, "The Yemeni front will remain open, and the Yemeni Armed Forces' (YAF) operations in support of Palestine will continue."

Since Abdul-Malik al-Houthi's speech, four Israeli, American, and British vessels have been hit. The Yemeni Navy struck the British ship ANDROMEDA STAR and the Israeli MSC Darwin ship on Saturday, along with an American warship and another commercial vessel named MAERSK YORKTOWN, and the Israeli MSC VERACRUZ on April 24. Preceding these events, the Yemeni army conducted four operations targeting two Israeli ships and two American ships on April 10.

Following Abdulmalik al-Houthi's speech, four vessels affiliated with Israel, the United States and Britain were targeted by Ansar Allah. The Yemeni navy attacked the British vessel Andromeda Star and the Israeli MSC Darwinship on Saturday, as well as an American warship and a commercial vessel named Maersk Yorktown, and the Israeli MSC Veracruz on April 24. Prior to these incidents, the Yemeni army executed four operations against two Israeli ships and two American ships on April 10.

It's worth noting that Ansar Allah has turned down several American offers aimed at halting their maritime attacks in support of Gaza. These offers included recognition of their group, revocation of their terrorist designation, payment of government employee salaries, and the signing of a comprehensive agreement with Saudi Arabia to end the war and initiate Yemen's reconstruction.

Barbara Leaf, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, said in a press briefing that there are ongoing communications with Ansar Allah, urging the movement to engage in the Yemeni political process. However, she clarified that she wouldn't characterize the discussions with strong language at this point. Leaf emphasized that "Washington is employing all available means, both diplomatically and militarily, to deter the Houthis from their actions," which she described as "reckless" in the Red Sea.

Feature photo | Yemenis attend a massive rally against US-led airstrikes on Yemen and the Israeli offensive in the Gaza Strip in Sanaa, Yemen, March 1, 2024. Osamah Abdulrahman | AP

Ahmed AbdulKareem is a Yemeni journalist based in Sana'a. He covers the war in Yemen for MintPress News as well as local Yemeni media.

The post Exclusive: Yemen Braces For Impending Massive US-Led Air and Ground Campaign appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
3 May 2024 | 3:44 pm

8. From Gaza to Guantanamo: The Horrors of Western Imperialism


Over the past six months, we have witnessed some of the darkest moments in human history and some of the worst of its capabilities.

Every day, we collectively watch in horror as an apartheid state carries out war crimes against defenseless civilian populations with almost complete impunity – and with the near total support of Western leaders, who continue to funnel money, weapons and political protection to Israel.

Every day, images of war crimes are beamed to our smartphones, and the screams of babies, the wails of widows and the cries of fathers carrying their deceased children ring through our ears.

Tens of thousands of people have already been slaughtered. Officials in Washington simply repeat the mantra that Israel has a right to defend itself, even as it commits war crimes by destroying schools, hospitals and places of worship, deliberately starving a population under its control and heavily bombing populated civilian areas.

But not only is every war crime effectively signed off by Washington, but what Israel is doing in Gaza and beyond is the standard for American foreign policy.

The Israeli military has repeatedly used banned white phosphorus weapons in Gaza, burning down houses and melting peoples' skin.

Yet the United States has admitted to using the same weapons in Syria and Iraq and used depleted uranium in Fallujah. To this day, hospitals in Fallujah report a 2,200% increase in Leukemia rates and a 740% spike in the number of brain tumors.

Deliberate Israeli strikes have destroyed or damaged every single hospital in Gaza. The United States itself has a very long history of targeting hospitals, including in El Salvador, Yugoslavia, Grenada, Afghanistan, Somalia, Libya, Cambodia and Laos. In Syria in 2017, the U.S. dropped white phosphorus munitions on Syria's Raqqa hospital, killing at least 30 civilians.

Food supplies in Gaza are desperately low, with two-thirds of households currently limited to only one meal per day. The Israeli government is refusing to allow aid convoys into Gaza, leaving its residents to starve as acute malnutrition begins to set in.

Yet U.S. sanctions are deliberately crafted to produce the same result and have led to shortages of food in targeted countries, such as Iran and Venezuela. Meanwhile, a U.S. government document explicitly states that their Cuba sanctions are meant to "decrease monetary and real wages, to bring about hunger, desperation and [the] overthrow of [the] government."

We should rightly be shocked at the brutal Israeli treatment of Palestinian prisoners, which has included zip-tying limbs so tightly they needed to be amputated. But we should also remember what the U.S. did in Abu Ghraib and continues to do in Guantánamo Bay.

And while we watch ghastly videos of IDF atrocities daily, are they really so different from the "Collateral Murder" video released by Wikileaks in 2010, which showed U.S. forces massacring Iraqi civilians, including two journalists? A crime for which no one has been charged but for which Julian Assange remains languishing in a British prison.

To be clear, what Israel is doing in Gaza is terrible and amounts to genocide. But this is far from the first time this has happened; Israeli-style terrorism is standard U.S. foreign policy.

What Israel is doing in Gaza is just an outward expression of what the United States has done for decades to the Global South.

Since the end of World War II, the United States has dominated the world, overthrowing governments left, right and center, crushing movements for national liberation, and propping up brutal dictatorships across the planet. In 2016, the Washington Post reported that the U.S. tried to change other countries' governments 72 times during the Cold War alone.

Israel has been a key outpost of U.S. power in the Middle East since its creation in 1948. But that power is slipping. After its defeats and fiascos in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine and beyond and as nations like China rise, American influence is waning.

And what the war in Gaza has done has exposed the moral depravity of the so-called rules-based international order, as the U.S. and other Western powers make themselves look foolish carrying water for genocide while still trying to present themselves as the arbiters of morality on the world stage.

Benjamin Netanyahu is a war criminal, yes. But so is President Joe Biden, Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and all the other Western leaders backing Israel.

What Israel is doing is rooted in a standard Western policy that needs to be addressed in our own countries. Yes, Zionism is the problem, but it's only part of the problem. The overriding issue is Western imperialism, which creates this kind of ideology. And fortunately, we are seeing the beginnings of a moral awakening. Tens of millions of people around the world have taken to the streets for Palestine.

Students across college campuses in this country are occupying their universities, demanding their campuses divest from Israel and weapons manufacturers building the bombs Israel is dropping on Gaza.

We are shutting down weapons companies that supply the apartheid regime with arms like Palestine Action is doing in the UK, we are occupying the offices of our elected officials, and we are protesting on college campuses the world over.

And while many of Palestine's neighbors quietly assist Israel in its attack, Yemen, the region's poorest country, has enforced a Red Sea maritime blockade of Israeli ships in a bid to force Israel to end its siege on Gaza.

People have broken through the fog of war and see this for what it is. But we cannot rely on our elected officials to stop it because Israeli barbarity was made and perfected in the USA in the first place.

Mnar Adley is an award-winning journalist and editor and is the founder and director of MintPress News. She is also president and director of the non-profit media organization Behind the Headlines. Adley also co-hosts the MintCast podcast and is a producer and host of the video series Behind The Headlines. Contact Mnar at mnar@mintpressnews.com or follow her on Twitter at @mnarmuh.

The post From Gaza to Guantanamo: The Horrors of Western Imperialism appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
2 May 2024 | 8:23 pm

9. Inside Job? Ominous New Questions Surround Navalny’s Death


On April 27, the Wall Street Journal published an investigation based on as yet unpublished U.S. intelligence community assessments and anonymous briefings courtesy of "security officials from several European capitals," which concluded that Vladimir Putin neither orchestrated Russian opposition activist Alexei Navalny's death in prison two months earlier nor desired it to happen.

It was a belated and confounding intervention in a case that, after an initially intense frenzy of mainstream speculation and accusations, quickly went cold before vanishing from mainstream consideration entirely.

While exerting little domestic influence outside atypically liberal enclaves in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other major cities, Navalny was the U.S. and Europe's most cherished and prominent Putin detractor by some margin for over a decade before his death. His every publicity stunt garnered universal media attention, and the regular publications of his Anti-Corruption Foundation (FBK) on state official embezzlement and grift in Russia invariably broke the internet. Western human rights awards were routinely forthcoming.

After purportedly being poisoned on an inter-Russian flight by the FSB in August 2020, then recovering in Germany, he made a much-publicized "hero's return" to Moscow, at which point, he was summarily jailed. Despite giving regular interviews to the Western media from prison and testifying to the rotten conditions in which he was held, Navalny had largely faded from public consciousness by the time news of his death broke on February 16.

Immediately, the entire Western political, media, and pundit sphere was apoplectic. "Make no mistake. Putin is responsible for Navalny's death!" U.S. President Joe Biden forcefully declared. Meanwhile, Navalny's widow, Yulia, accused Russian authorities of "hiding his body" as they were "waiting for the traces of yet another of Putin's novichoks to disappear":

My husband could not be broken. And that's exactly why Putin killed him. Shameful, cowardly, not daring to look into his eyes or simply say his name. We will tell you about it soon. We will definitely find out who exactly carried out this crime and how exactly. We will name the names and show the faces."

Yet, on February 26, Ukrainian military chief Kyrylo Budanov "disappointed" everyone by announcing Navalny, in fact, died as a result of simple health complications – namely, a blood clot. The U.S. intelligence assessments cited by the Wall Street Journal, based on "some classified intelligence and an analysis of public facts," reportedly draw the same conclusion. Quite why this apparent confirmation took so long to surface isn't clear, although it delivered a "coup de grâce" to any and all suggestions Navalny was deliberately assassinated.

Since the invasion of Ukraine began, Western spying agencies and officials in Kiev have relentlessly spewed oft-intelligence insulting, illogical black propaganda about the proxy conflict. We must ask ourselves why the same sources that would have us believe Russian forces were at one point fighting with shovels, and Moscow blew up its own Nord Stream 2 pipeline, seek to shut down suggestions Navalny was murdered.

 

'Cataclysmic Loss'

Budanov's declaration decisively shunted Navalny's demise from international headlines. Such is the pace with which events move these days that it is perhaps forgotten that immediately following February 16, there was a concerted campaign by highly influential Western anti-Russian actors for the EU and U.S. to adopt a "Navalny Act." Under its auspices, the approximately $300 billion Russian assets frozen by Western financial institutions in the wake of Moscow's invasion would be seized and given to Ukraine.

At the forefront of this effort was billionaire Bill Browder, an investment manager who reaped untold sums from privatization and asset stripping in Russia during the 1990s and supported Putin's rise to power before being turfed from the country in 2005 on national security grounds. Since then, he has transformed himself into the Kremlin's most pugnacious overseas critic and an "anti-corruption" campaigner, despite giving up his U.S. citizenship to evade tax. Speaking to UnHerd on February 20, Browder talked a big game:

Now is the moment…Putin is willing to lose one million men, but to lose $300 billion would be a cataclysmic loss. All world leaders are looking for a way to hit Putin back for this murder. I've been working on confiscating these assets for the last two years, and the Navalny murder is the impetus to get it done."

Browder had good reason to believe this campaign would bear fruit. For almost 15 years, he has traveled the world telling journalists, lawmakers, and human rights organizations a shocking story of corruption, fraud, and murder at the highest levels of the Kremlin. In brief, he claims local officials forcibly seized the Russian division of his company, Hermitage Capital Management, to carry out a massive tax scam, reaping $230 million in the process.

According to Browder's narrative, he then set his "friend" Sergei Magnitsky, a gifted lawyer, on the case to determine what happened. The diligent sleuth duly uncovered the fraud and alerted authorities but ended up jailed on bogus charges for his courageous whistleblowing. He was then viciously tortured in prison in an attempt to make him retract his testimony before being beaten to death by guards for refusing.

Typically, Browder's audiences have been highly receptive. Over the years, his story has been immortalized in multiple articles, books, official reports and documentaries, influencing legislation and prosecutions in numerous countries. Every member of the "Five Eyes" global spying network and the EU have been successfully lobbied to adopt a "Magnitsky Act," which sanctions government officials overseas—particularly in Russia—for purported human rights abuses.

 

'Navalny Act'

In reality, Browder's entire Magnitsky fable is a tangled web of lies, fabrications, distortions, exaggerations, and libel. From the very moment he started spinning this deceptive yarn, sufficient open-source, public-domain evidence was available to disprove its every aspect comprehensively. Yet, it took a decade for mainstream journalists to conduct serious due diligence on his assertions. In November 2019, leading German news outlet Der Spiegel published a comprehensive demolition job, savagely indicting Browder's integrity in the process.

In the publication's words, Brodwer "has a talent for selling a set of facts so it supports his own version of events." Magnitsky was, in fact, neither a lawyer nor a whistleblower. He was a crooked accountant who had long-abetted Browder's fraudulent financial dealings in Russia and was justly imprisoned for these activities. This was confirmed by a damning ruling in August of that year by the European Court of Human Rights in a case brought by Browder and Magnitsky's family.

While the ECHR ordered Moscow to pay Magnitsky's relatives $37,500 due to a failure to protect his life and health, having identified shortcomings in the medical treatment he was provided in prison, no mention of murder or even unlawful killing was made in the judgment. Conversely, the court rejected suggestions his arrest and subsequent detention were "manifestly ill-founded" or that "authorities had…acted with bad faith or deception:"

The Court reiterated the general principles on arbitrary detention…It found no such elements in this case. The decision to arrest him had only been made after investigators learned he'd previously applied for a UK visa, booked tickets to Kiev, and hadn't been residing at his registered address. Furthermore, the evidence against him, including witness testimony, had been enough to satisfy an objective observer that he might have committed the offense in question."

Der Spiegel's investigation contained a striking passage, the obvious import of which was bizarrely ignored by the outlet. In it, Zoya Svetova, a Moscow-based human-rights activist who investigated Magnitsky's death in 2009, said:

What sense would it make to murder him? Magnitsky did not reveal any secret. They wanted testimonies against Browder. That was the motivation. He should have accused Browder of not paying taxes. Magnitsky was a hostage. He himself was of no interest to them. They wanted Browder."

Bill Browder
Anti-Russia campaigner Bill Browder speaking to the media outside the Old Bailey in London, December 19, 2018. Mr Perepilichnyy, 44, Dominic Lipinski | PA Wire

In other words, it was Browder who benefited from Magnitsky's death, not Russian authorities, which raises the grave prospect that it was the "anti-corruption" campaigner himself who was, one way or another, responsible for his accountant's tragic passing. Such a reading is amply reinforced by the sworn deposition of Russian opposition activist Oleg Lurie in a failed legal case brought by U.S. authorities against Russian-owned company Prevezon, based on Browder's bogus claim the firm's owners were beneficiaries of the $230 million fraud.

Lurie was concurrently incarcerated in the same prison as Magnitsky, and the pair crossed paths twice. The first time, the accountant was in a "happy mood," boasting of how he was held in a "big special block" for "white crime inmates," where cells had "plasma TV sets, refrigerators, kettles" and illegally installed telephones. The reason for his buoyancy, Magnitsky explained to Lurie, was that his Western employers would "save him…they would take him out of there" in a matter of days.

As Browder et al. wished for Magnitsky to "keep silence about their actions" and his own crime to be "not serious," he seemed assured that freedom was impending. Lurie warned him that "his attorneys and people who claim to be standing behind him are lying to him," but the accountant was unconvinced. Fast-forward a few weeks, and they met again. Magnitsky was "a completely different person at that time…a tangle of nerves," Lurie testified.

Magnitsky revealed that the "Western people who stood behind him deceived him…they demanded him to sign various documents" completely unrelated to his case, which would've implicated him in numerous serious crimes he didn't commit. As a result, "he had a feeling that he would never get out." Navalny, like Magnitsky, wasn't leaving prison anytime soon and almost certainly knew too much. Did his Western backers similarly consider it necessary to silence him?

At the very least, it is supremely puzzling that the Ukrainian government effectively torpedoed the "Navalny Act." After all, Kiev has, since the start of the proxy conflict, implored Western leaders to hand Russia's frozen assets to them in service of the country's reconstruction and the purchase of ever-more weapons and ammunition. The Act would've delivered on those demands. There was no clear need at all for Budanov to electively sabotage the narrative of Navalny as a Kremlin murder victim.

 

'British Spy'

There are also sinister echoes in the sudden mainstream "reverse ferret" on Navalny's untimely demise with the similarly mysterious and abrupt November 2019 passing of James Lemesurier, longtime British mercenary and military intelligence operative. Immediately following his fatal fall from the window of his lavish Istanbul apartment, Western sources rushed to convict Russia without evidence, claiming his death may have been – or was likely – a targeted assassination. The most prominent was Mark Urban, veteran BBC "defence" editor.

Within hours of Lemesurier's lethal crash landing, Urban took to Twitter, urging Turkish authorities to "conduct a thorough investigation" and "ascertain whether there was state involvement." His misgivings were in part perked by an "extensive black propaganda campaign by Russian and Assad media and their acolytes" in the months prior. In other words, critical, independent reporting raises grave questions about whether Lemesurier's "White Helmets" were the crusading humanitarian group universally portrayed in the mainstream or something far darker.

More substantively, "a former colleague" – whether of Lemesurier or Urban isn't clear – told the BBC journeyman, "I know the flat well, [and] it's not possible to 'fall' from that balcony." They strongly suspected foul play as a result. Seismic stuff, although curiously, these posts were quickly deleted due to Urban allegedly receiving "new information." The nature of this "information" and who supplied it has never been revealed. But immediately after that, the same sources that hitherto cried murder began labeling Lemesurier's death an unambiguous suicide.

To say the least, Urban is extremely well-connected in the Western military, security, and intelligence sphere and highly adept at withholding salient facts from public view. In July 2018, he revealed he'd serendipitously spent much of the previous year interviewing Sergei Skripal, who, along with his daughter, was purportedly poisoned in the British city of Salisbury three months earlier. In the intervening time, Urban fronted multiple BBC Newsnight reports about the incident without ever mentioning his personal relationship with the GRU defector.

For Urban – coincidentally once part of the same British Army tank regiment as Pablo Miller, Skripal's MI6 recruiter, handler, and Salisbury neighbor – to delete his incendiary tweets surely required a high-level intervention. At that time, as now, blaming Russia or Putin for anything and everything – including quite literally the weather – was a thoroughly safe option in the West, without any consequences attached. We are thus left to ponder how and why a long-serving, spook-adjacent British state 'journalist' was compelled to retract these charges.

Evidently, though, Urban's sources – the "former colleague" who clearly said too much aside – were keen that Lemesurier's end not be perceived or investigated as murder by anyone. Turkish media reports in the aftermath may provide a rationale for this. One article revealed James and his wife, Emma Winberg, a self-professed MI6 operative, "fought violently" outside an Istanbul restaurant just before his deadly plunge. Another suggested Lemesurier – a "British spy" – was "likely running away from someone before his death."

Fast forward to today, and again, interested parties are eager to dismiss suggestions a high-profile Western asset's death was the result of foul play. In Navalny's case, as with Lemesurier, those shadowy elements – the Ukrainian government and the CIA being just two publicly confirmed so far – had every reason to accuse Moscow of murder. Yet, they not only didn't but instead went to great lengths to remove any insinuation of deliberate killing from the equation. Make of that what you will.

Feature photo | Illustration by MintPress News

Kit Klarenberg is an investigative journalist and MintPress News contributor exploring the role of intelligence services in shaping politics and perceptions. His work has previously appeared in The Cradle, Declassified UK, and Grayzone. Follow him on Twitter @KitKlarenberg.

The post Inside Job? Ominous New Questions Surround Navalny's Death appeared first on MintPress News.

MintPress News
2 May 2024 | 3:31 pm

10. America is Rising for Gaza: What Should We Expect?


The mass protests at dozens of U.S. universities cannot be reduced to a stifling and misleading conversation about antisemitism.

Thousands of American students across the country are not protesting, risking their futures and very safety, because of some pathological hate for the Jewish people. They are doing so in a complete rejection of, and justifiable outrage over, the mass killing carried out by the state of Israel against defenseless Palestinians in Gaza.

They are angry because the bloodbath in the Gaza Strip, starting on October 7, is fully funded and backed by the U.S. government.

These mass protests began at the University of Columbia on April 17 before covering all of U.S. geography, from New York to Texas and North Carolina to California.

The protests are being compared, in terms of their nature and intensity, to the anti-war demonstrations in the U.S. against the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 70s.

While the comparison is apt, it is critical to note the ethnic diversity and social inclusiveness in the current protests. On many campuses, Arab, Muslim, Jewish, Black, Native American and White students are standing shoulder to shoulder with their Palestinian peers in a unified stance against the war.

None of them is motivated by fear that they could be drafted to fight in Gaza, as was, indeed, the case for many American students during the Vietnam War era. Instead, they are united around a clear set of priorities: ending the war, ending U.S. support of Israel, ending their universities' direct investment in Israel and the recognition of their right to protest. This is not idealism but humanity at its finest moments.

Despite mass arrests, starting in Columbia, and the direct violence against peaceful protesters everywhere, the movement has only grown stronger.

On the other side, U.S. politicians, starting with President Joe Biden, accused the protesters of antisemitism without engaging with any of their reasonable and globally-supported demands.

Once again, the Democratic and Republican establishments stood together in blind support for Israel.

Biden condemned the "antisemitic protests," describing them as "reprehensible and dangerous."

Israel Palestinians Campus Protests
Police advance on pro-Palestinian demonstrators in an encampment on the UCLA campus, May 2, 2024, in Los Angeles. Jae C. Hong | AP

A few days later, the U.S. House of Representatives speaker, Mike Johnson, visited the university under tight security, using language hardly suitable for a country that claims to embrace democracy, respect, freedom of expression and the right to assembly.

"We just can't allow this kind of hatred and antisemitism to flourish on our campuses," he said, adding: "I am here today joining my colleagues and calling on President (Minouche) Shafik to resign if she cannot immediately bring order to this chaos."

Shafik, however, was already on board, as she was the one who had called for the New York Police Department to crack down on the protesters, falsely accusing them of antisemitism.

U.S. mainstream media has contributed to the confusion and misinformation regarding the reasons behind the protests.

The Wall Street Journal, once more, allowed writers such as Steven Stalinsky to smear young justice activists for daring to criticize Israel's horrendous genocide in Gaza.

"Hamas, Hezbollah, the Houthis and others are grooming activists in the U.S. and across the West," he alleged, thus once more taking a critical conversation about U.S. support of genocide into bizarre and unsubstantiated directions.

U.S. establishment writers may wish to continue fooling themselves and their readers. Still, the truth is that neither Hezbollah nor Hamas 'recruiters' are active in Ivy League universities, where young people are often groomed to become leaders in government and large corporations.

All such distractions are meant to avoid the undeniable shift in American society, one that promises a long-term paradigm shift in popular views of Israel and Palestine.

For years before the current war, Americans have been changing their opinions on Israel and their country's so-called 'special relationship' with Tel Aviv.

Young Democrats have led the trend, which can also be observed among independents and, to some extent, young Republicans.

A statement that asserts that "sympathies in the Middle East now lie more with the Palestinians than the Israelis" would have been unthinkable in the past. But it is the new normal, and the latest opinion polls regarding the subject and Biden's dwindling approval ratings continue to attest to this fact.

Israel Palestinians Campus Protests
Pro-Palestinian demonstrators from the Columbia University are held in an NYPD corrections bus on April 30, 2024. John Lamparski | NurPhoto | AP

The older generations of American politicians, who have built and sustained careers based on their unconditional support for Israel, are overwhelmed by the new reality. Their language is confused and riddled with falsehoods. Yet, they are willing to go as far as defaming a whole generation of their own people – the future leaders of America – to satisfy the demands of the Israeli government.

In a televised statement on April 24, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described the protesters as "antisemitic mobs" who "have taken over leading universities," alleging that the peaceful protesters are calling "for the annihilation of Israel." His words should have outraged all Americans, regardless of their politics and ideology. Instead, more U.S. politicians began parroting Netanyahu's words.

However, this political opportunism will generate a blowback effect, not just in the distant future but also in the coming weeks and months, especially in the run-up to the presidential elections.

Millions of Americans are fed up with war, with their government's allegiance to a foreign country, with militarism, with police violence and with the unprecedented restrictions on freedom of speech in the U.S. and more.

Young Americans, who are not beholden to the self-interests or historical and spiritual illusions of previous generations, are declaring: 'Enough is enough.' They are doing more than chanting. They are rising in unison, demanding answers, moral and legal accountability and an immediate end to the war.

Now that the U.S. government has taken no action and continues to feed the Israeli war machine in its onslaught against millions of Palestinians, these brave students are acting themselves. This is certainly an awe-inspiring watershed moment in the history of the United States.

Feature photo | People stand atop a pile of barricades as they lead a chant at an encampment by students protesting against Israel at George Washington University, April 30, 2024. Mark Schiefelbein | AP

Dr. Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and the Editor of The Palestine Chronicle. He is the author of six books. His latest book, co-edited with Ilan Pappé, is 'Our Vision for Liberation: Engaged Palestinian Leaders and Intellectuals Speak Out.' His other books include 'My Father Was a Freedom Fighter' and 'The Last Earth'. Baroud is a Non-resident Senior Research Fellow at the Center for Islam and Global Affairs (CIGA). His website is www.ramzybaroud.net 

The post America is Rising for Gaza: What Should We Expect? appeared first on MintPress News.

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