On Netanyahu, Israel, and US Politics

March 18, 2015 at 9:57 PM

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Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on Community Progressive Radio to discuss the Netanyahu electoral victory in Israel, and what it means both for the politics of Israel/Palestine, as well as the US.  Draitser explains that Netanyahu’s victory was fueled by racism and demagogy designed to appeal to the most radical elements of the extreme right in Israel and the occupied territories.  He adds that, though a more liberal opposition challenged Netanyahu and the Likud Party, there is a clear consensus built on colonialism and militant Zionism that regards the continued oppression of Palestinians as both legitimate and just.  Draitser adds that US politics will be increasingly pulled to the right in the run up to US elections in 2016, with both Republicans and Democrats espousing a pro-Israel consensus. These and other issues are discussed in this short interview.

Breaking the Resistance with Terrorism and Proxy Wars

March 17, 2015 at 11:44 AM

Breaking ResistanbceWith the situation in the Middle East seemingly spinning out of control, many political observers are left wondering what it all means. The war in Syria has been at the forefront of the news since 2011, and rightly so, as Syria has become the epicenter of a larger regional conflict, particularly with the ascendance of ISIS in the last year.

Undoubtedly, the mainstream acceptance of the ISIS threat has changed the strategic calculus vis-à-vis Syria, as the US prepares to launch yet another open-ended war, ostensibly to defeat it. And, while many in the West are willing to buy the ISIS narrative and pretext for war, they do so with little understanding or recognition of the larger geopolitical contours of this conflict. Essentially, almost everyone ignores the fact that ISIS and Syria-Iraq is only one theater of conflict in the broader regional war being waged by the US-NATO-GCC-Israel axis. Also of vital importance is an understanding of the proxy war against Iran (and all Shia in the region), being fomented by the very same terror and finance networks that have spread the ISIS disease in Syria.

In attempting to unravel the complex web of relations between the terror groups operating throughout the region, important commonalities begin to emerge. Not only are many of these groups directly or tangentially related to each other, their shadowy connections to western intelligence bring into stark relief an intricate mosaic of terror that is part of a broader strategy of sectarianism designed to destroy the “Axis of Resistance” which unites Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah. In so doing, these terror groups and their patrons hope to internationalize the war in Syria, and its destructive consequences.

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On Ferguson and Racism in America

March 13, 2015 at 1:18 PM

Eric Draitser of StopImperialism.org appears on RT to discuss the latest violence in Ferguson. Draitser notes that the shooting incident will be seized upon by the police and corporate media to demonize the legitimate protest movement, and to try to suppress the voices of resistance to police brutality and criminality. Draitser explains that Ferguson acts as a symbol for the larger social issues of institutionalized racism, socio-economic discrimination, and much more. He adds that grassroots movements dedicated to social justice are the only way to overcome the political and media establishment which seeks to suppress these issues.

EU Association Agreements: NATO Expansion By Other Means

March 12, 2015 at 4:43 PM

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The tragedy that has unfolded in Ukraine over the last fifteen months was entirely avoidable. There was no political, economic, or socio-cultural necessity for it; Ukraine was entirely capable of mutually beneficial relations both with Russia and the West. However, it was the EU Association Agreement, and the subsequent toppling of the democratically elected government of Viktor Yanukovych by an unholy trinity of oligarchs, fascists, and Euro-liberals, which precipitated the conflict raging today. However, the critical point is not merely what happened, but why it happened. Specifically, what were the policies and initiatives that created the conditions for the war?

While many, especially in the US and EU, are quick to unsheathe the eternal “Russian aggression” sword, the reality is that Russia made no provocative moves in Ukraine until long after the EU (and by extension the US and NATO) did. That is to say, Russia’s policies vis-à-vis Ukraine are a product of, not a catalyst for, the continuing conflict.

Rather, it was the EU Association Agreement, a fait accompli for Yanukovych, which forced Ukraine into a Hobson’s choice – either become a vassal of Europe and spurn Russia, or accept Russian partnership and risk destroying your own government. Yanukovych chose the latter, and today he has become a historical footnote.

But of course, the story does not begin and end with Ukraine. Rather, the narrative must reflect a broader regional context within which Ukraine was and is merely one part. Included in the geopolitical agenda of Western strategic planners (read imperialists) are both Georgia and Moldova, both of which are integral to the broader Western outlook in the post-Soviet space. In all three countries, the Trojan horse of EU Association Agreements has served as the pretext for NATO expansion.

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Washington’s Al Qaeda Ally Now Leading ISIS in Libya

March 10, 2015 at 10:04 AM

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The revelations that US ally Abdelhakim Belhadj is now leading ISIS in Libya should come as no surprise to those who have followed US policy in that country, and throughout the region. It illustrates for the umpteenth time that Washington has provided aid and comfort to precisely those forces it claims to be fighting around the world.

According to recent reports, Abdelhakim Belhadj has now firmly ensconced himself as the organizational commander of the ISIS presence inside Libya. The information comes from an unnamed US intelligence official who has confirmed that Belhadj is supporting and coordinating the efforts of the ISIS training centers in eastern Libya around the city of Derna, an area long known as a hotbed of jihadi militancy.

While it may not seem to be a major story – Al Qaeda terrorist turns ISIS commander – the reality is that since 2011 the US and its NATO allies have held up Belhadj as a “freedom fighter.” They portrayed him as a man who courageously led his fellow freedom-lovers against the “tyrannical despot” Gaddafi whose security forces at one time captured and imprisoned many members of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), including Belhadj.

Belhadj served the US cause in Libya so well that he can be seen receiving accolades from Sen. John McCain who referred to Belhadj and his followers as heroes. He was initially rewarded after the fall of Gaddafi with the post of military commander of Tripoli, though he was forced to give way to a more politically palatable “transitional government” which has since evaporated in that chaotic, war-ravaged country.

Belhadj’s history of terrorist activity includes such “achievements” as collaboration with Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Iraq, and of course his convenient servitude to the US-NATO sponsored rampage across Libya that, among other things, caused mass killings of black Libyans and anyone suspected of being part of the Green Resistance (those loyal to the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya led by Gaddafi). Although the corporate media tried to make a martyr of Belhadj for his alleged torture via the CIA rendition program, the inescapable fact is that wherever he goes he leaves a violent and bloody wake.

While much of this information is known, what is of paramount importance is placing this news in a proper political context, one that illustrates clearly the fact that the US has been, and continues to be, the major patron of extremist militants from Libya to Syria and beyond, and that all talk of “moderate rebels” is merely rhetoric designed to fool an unthinking public.

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