The Peace Press — Wednesday, February 10 edition

Why is our new idiot, war-criminal, liar-in-chief President now imitating Trump by not rejoining the JCPOA with Iran? Is it because a hidden-hand behind Trump and Biden do not want that policy for the United States. Sure seems like it. It sure seems like the hidden-hand of the Deep State at work (or as President Obama termed it, the Blob). Almost like the politicians are just sock-puppets put there to entertain us and perpetually divide us all while the policy of the wealthy-elite-plutocrats remains unchanged from one administration to the next. Democracy my ass, we live in a plutocracy. Why else wouldn’t our idiot, liar-in-chief rejoin the wise policy of the JCPOA that kept Iranian nuclear ambitions in check?

Or is it the pseudo-Fascist-Apartheid-Oppressor-State-of-Israel that is running U.S. policy now? Word up to all stated adversaries of the United States — — — in order to protect yourselves from the threat of regime-change military intervention, developing nuclear weapons as a defensive measure is your best means for defense — — — that may sound unusual coming from a peace activist, but it is also very true. I find it terribly ironic, and sad, that perhaps the best way to defeat U.S. militarism is through nuclear proliferation. Dear U.S.-American-Empire — — — mark my words, you will yield or will be taught to yield. Get it????

Don’t let the neoconservative/neofascists of the Israeli stripe in the Biden Administration take this nation to war again — — — — -ramp up anti-war activism against war on Iran. Keep harshly criticizing Biden until he does so and f — — anyone on the hypocritical Left who doesn’t like this incessant harsh criticism. The longer Biden holds out, the more political damage we will intentionally inflict on him and his Trump-continuing policies.
REJOIN THE JCPOA!!!

“John Bolton, former U.S. national security adviser during the maximum pressure campaign, has explicitly written that his goal and the goal of the Trump administration was “regime change.”

Bolton has been advocating for war against Iran for nearly two decades.

Mark Dubowitz, chief executive of the hawkish Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a vocal regime change advocate, was also a signatory. At the beginning of the Trump administration, his organization submitted a seven-page memo to the White House outlining a plan for fomenting regime change in Iran.”

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/02/05/regime-changers-dont-want-biden-to-re-join-the-iran-nuclear-deal/

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Patrick Lawrence is back!!! (after likely ingratiating himself to power-insiders with his previous anti-China article, maybe they cut off his access? Who knows?) But this new article by Patrick Lawrence is a must read:

“We now watch as Biden and his foreign policy people effectively allow Israel to dictate the conditions under which the president can fulfill his campaign promise on Iran.”

A return to diplomacy: Let us hold this thought up to the light. Among all the promises President Joe Biden is going to break over the next four years, this will prove the most fraudulent and, in the larger scheme of things, the most consequential of his breaches.

As of last week, it is the crisis over the agreement governing Iran’s nuclear programs that stands to demonstrate the truth of this judgment. On Sunday Tehran appeared to put the Biden administration on notice that it has two weeks to get serious about reentering diplomatic negotiations, after which time the shutter will come down on the window of opportunity. As I have previously made clear in this space, I see no evidence that Biden’s national-security people will prove either serious or wise as they address this critical question.

In truth, there is very little American diplomacy to return to. The late and estimable Boutros Boutros–Ghali explained this memorably in Unvanquished, the memoir he published in 1999, after the U.S. forced him out as the UN’s secretary-general because he was not sufficiently obsequious. “Only the weak rely on diplomacy,” the celebrated Egyptian wrote. “The United States sees little need of it, for power is enough.”

How very on the mark. “The Roman Empire had no need of diplomacy,” the learned Boutros–Ghali elaborated. “Nor does the United States: Diplomacy is perceived by an imperial power as a waste of time and prestige and a sign of weakness.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/02/08/patrick-lawrence-the-diplomacy-of-no-diplomacy/

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Share Caitlin Johnstone’s Facebook post about Biden/Iran.

Excerpt from “Biden’s Iran Policy Is Just Trump’s Iran Policy With A Rainbow Flag Emoji”:

“Will the U.S. lift sanctions first in order to get Iran back to the negotiating table?” Biden was asked by CBS’s Norah O’Donnell.

“No,” the president replied.

“They have to stop enriching uranium first,” asked O’Donnell.
Biden nodded in response.

There are a few things that are ridiculous about this, the first being that the JCPOA does not require that Iran “stop enriching uranium” at all. As explained by Al-Monitor’s Arash Karami, the deal only calls for Iran to “keep its level of uranium enrichment at up to 3.67 %”, a level it only began exceeding when the Trump administration backed out of the deal and imposed sanctions. The administration later clarified that Biden meant Iran would have to return to its JCPOA levels before negotiations could begin, but the fact that neither the United States president nor the high-profile reporter interviewing him appear to have been clear on this says a lot about the vapid nature of America’s political/media class.

More importantly, this is confirmation from the horse’s mouth that Biden is in effect continuing Trump’s Iran policy. Trump began strangling Iran with crushing sanctions in an effort to force it to obey US dictates, and Biden is continuing that exact same strangulation while continuing to demand compliance with its dictates. The demands might be a little different, but the effect is identical since Tehran would never bow to either of them.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/02/08/bidens-iran-policy-is-trumps-iran-policy-with-rainbow-flag-emoji/

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“The 2020 elections raised a lot of hope around the world that the Iran nuclear deal could be saved, and that Joe Biden would approach the process with the same openness the Obama Administration did, and would reverse the Trump-era abandonment of the deal.

Biden was short on comments after the inauguration, however, and that left many wondering where he actually stood. Details are starting to emerge and again are pointing to the US and Iran finding themselves in a stalemate even when a straightforward deal is to be had.

Iran has been very clear from the start that they want sanctions relief from the US, which the Obama deal promised them and which they never got. Trump not only left the deal rather than honor it, but then spent years undermining sanctions relief from anyone else.”

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/02/07/biden-stalemate-with-iran-neither-side-wants-to-make-first-step-for-deal/

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Don’t believe the propaganda mostly emanating from Israel — — — — -remember, folks, the Israeli right-wing depends upon donations and donations surrounding the issue of Iran are high so the whole brouhaha about Iran is more about protecting a steady stream of donations than it is about any actual fear. If anything, it is Iran that should fear the aggressive, perpetual warfare policies of the States of Israel not the other way around.

The best way to mitigate nuclear proliferation and to resolve a great many other issues is diplomacy. Threats for force, maximum pressure campaigns and wars only make things far worse than before. Diplomacy works. REJOIN THE JCPOA WITHOUT CONDITIONS NOW!!!!!!

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/02/06/hawks-sound-alarm-as-iaea-reported-to-discover-radioactive-traces-in-iran/

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“If the United States and its partners return to the deal,” said the nation’s top diplomat, “Iran will reverse its actions. All the actions we are taking are reversible.”

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/02/08/iran-foreign-minister-tells-biden-us-violated-nuclear-deal-so-it-us-has-return

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“Thus, while the president’s rhetorical corrective — and vague promised policy shift — on America’s role in the Yemen catastrophe deserves a cautious (and perhaps equally vague) at-a-boy, Biden shouldn’t be the sole story here. A sober accounting of the U.S. role in this sordid affair demands systemic-, rather than personality-driven, debate and critique. Viewing multi-administration — Obama-Trump-Biden — policy analyses through electoral season lenses is precisely what keeps the war industry cash a’ flowing, and the Yemeni babes a’ dying.

The real story of America’s unforgivable fiasco is how and why such small (for us) dirty (for Yemenis) wars-by-proxy persist through supposedly transformative presidential transitions. For these post-9/11 forever wars, their formula is the disease, and must be fought according. Unfortunately, that means wading through wastelands of rhetorical distraction. Greasing the grotesque wheels of otherwise unexplainably obdurate US support for the Saudi terror war — which, according to recent UN numbers, has left 233,000 Yemenis dead and left some 80 percent of the population reliant on humanitarian aid — is a Washingtonese dialect of linguistic-gymnastics that’s long confuses We The People about what’s actually done our name.”

https://original.antiwar.com/Danny_Sjursen/2021/02/08/bidens-bolt-from-yemen-symbolic-step-systemic-limits-and-linguistic-gymnastics/

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“In a cliché-ridden foreign-policy speech delivered at the State Department on Thursday, President Joe Biden declared that “America is back” — on the global stage, presumably, as policeman of the world, but certainly not a disinterested policeman. The problem is that it never left.

Despite some uncouth rhetoric and regular New York Times headlines regarding “American isolationism,” Donald Trump never withdrew the U.S. government from its meddling role in the world. He baited Russia, China, Iran, Cuba, and Venezuela, and ended no war or US assistance to other wars. Far from leaving NATO or punishing its members for not paying more for their military forces, he oversaw its expansion — which had only one purpose: to aggravate Russia. Yes, Trump apparently removed some troops from Germany — does anyone have a good reason why they are still there? — but Biden promised to change that. He also wants to add Georgia and Ukraine to NATO, which of course — wink — would never make Russia nervous.

If that’s what he means by “America is back,” let’s us shout in unison: Thanks, but no thanks!

Not that we should be surprised by Biden’s position, considering that his foreign-policy team consists of Obama administration retreads who act as though there’s a world of difference between intervention and humanitarian intervention.”

https://original.antiwar.com/srichman/2021/02/07/imperial-america-which-never-left-is-back/

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“Strikingly the president skipped over some of the greatest foriegn policy challenges of his early term. The words “Kim Jong Un” or “North Korea” never left his lips. There was no mention of the 20-year war in Afghanistan or the pending May 1 deadline to withdraw the remaining 2,500 American troops there. He said he has directed Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to review the entire U.S. force structure worldwide, but aside from announcing that he is stopping a Trump plan to withdraw some 12,000 forces from Germany (only half were actually supposed to come home, the rest were headed to other NATO outposts), he said nothing about our country’s longest war in history.

As for the Iran nuclear deal and Washington’s return to it, he was silent, even though the JCPOA is probably the best example of multinational cooperation of the last decade, and Trump leaving it in 2018 the starkest exemplification of the former president’s disregard for diplomacy in his tenure.

But aside from Yemen, this was not a newsmaking speech. It was more of a pep talk, aimed in part at State Department employees hoping for a morale boost and their own reset after the lean and anxious years under Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, a political striver with his own agenda. “

https://responsiblestatecraft.org/2021/02/04/in-major-address-biden-says-america-is-back-but-what-does-that-mean/

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Peace saves soldiers lives — — — as the least year of peace with the Taliban clearly shows so if you truly support the troops, then keep protesting the wars and keep loudly agitating for REMOVING ALL TROOPS FROM AFGHANISTAN!!!! This is not a partisan issue — — — it is the correct policy for the troops, for the nation and for the people of Afghanistan who live under the constant threat of our military occupation.

“This means since the US and Taliban signed a peace deal in late February of last year, no US troops have been killed by the group. But with the withdrawal deadline approaching, the Taliban is vowing to again turn their weapons on US soldiers if they stay in Afghanistan past May 1st.

While the Biden administration has yet to make a formal announcement, the chances of a US withdrawal by May 1st seem slim. Last week, a congressionally mandated report was released that warned against the May 1st deadline, which could be all the excuse the US needs to stay.”

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/02/08/no-us-combat-deaths-in-afghanistan-over-past-year/

“A reassessment is what John Bahnsen is demanding. A longtime critic of America’s twenty-first century foreign policy, he believes the War on Terror — with its trillions in spending, thousands of military dead, and politically destabilizing effects around the world — has severely damaged the national security of the United States.”

https://bringourtroopshome.us/articles/Bahnsen-Article

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“The laughable campaign sales pitch the American people were suffocated with over the past year and before was that Joe Biden, apartheid “Israel’s man in Washington” as well as the de facto author of the Patriot Act, was going save us from President Donald Trump’s fascism and restore “normalcy.”

We were endlessly told that the Trump era’s racism and authoritarianism were an unfortunate, ugly aberration, a hiccup, in the long, progressive arc of history. An arc we are all encouraged to simply love and adore. Of course, all of this is ludicrous.

Biden, as Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, along with his right-hand man and now Secretary of State Antony Blinken, in their role overseeing hearings on whether or not to invade Iraq lied the American people into the second of almost four American wars. For thirty years, since this January, the U.S. has been bombing Iraq. As a result of the Iraq War, more than a million people were killed.

In his new book covering the sordid history of U.S. interventions and wars in the Middle East, Enough Already: Time to End the War on Terrorism, Scott Horton tells the story of Biden’s role rolling America into the invasion of Iraq.”

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/the-macabre-normalcy-of-joe-biden/

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“The president wants a foreign policy that puts America front and center in the world. He should take a lesson from history.”

“On July 4, 1821, Secretary of State John Quincy Adams stood before the U.S. House of Representatives to give an Independence Day address. He’d been invited simply to recite the Declaration of Independence, but in time was afforded the opportunity to give some additional remarks.

He mulled over the offer and eventually decided to use his platform to discuss America’s place in the world. Adams said of the young nation, “She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own.

How things have changed.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/what-joe-biden-can-learn-from-john-quincy-adams/

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“A massive humanitarian crisis and Houthi-led resistance forced President Joe Biden to change course on Yemen. But that won’t stop the US and Saudi Arabia from trying to impose imperial terms on the Yemeni people, scholar and author Isa Blumi says.”

https://thegrayzone.com/2021/02/07/biden-reduces-us-role-in-saudi-war-on-yemen-but-leaves-room-to-continue-crisis/

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“The US has five major military bases in the Philippines, 40 bases in Japan and Korea, and its 7th Fleet — based in Yokosuka, Japan — is Washington’s largest naval force. The US has also pulled together an alliance of Australia, Japan, and India — the “Quad” — that coordinates joint actions. These include the yearly Malabar war games that model interdicting China’s seaborn energy supplies by closing off the Malacca Straits between Malaysia and Indonesian island of Sumatra.

US military strategy in the area, titled “Air Sea Battle,” aims to control China’s south coast, decapitate the country’s leadership, and take out its nuclear missile force. China’s counter move has been to seize islands and reefs to keep US submarines and surface craft at arm’s length, a strategy called “Area Denial.”

It has also been mostly illegal. A 2016 ruling by the Permanent Court of Arbitration found China’s claims on the South China Sea have no merit. But to Beijing the sea is a vulnerable border. Think for a moment about how Washington would react if China held naval war games off Yokosuka, San Diego, or in the Gulf of Mexico. One person’s international waters are another’s home turf.”

https://original.antiwar.com/hallinan/2021/02/07/bidens-top-foreign-policy-challenge-avoiding-a-cold-war-with-china/

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“Ahmed Rabbani was kidnapped in 2002, a victim of mistaken identity who is being held on no charges and was tortured for years”

https://news.antiwar.com/2021/02/04/falsely-imprisoned-guantanamo-inmate-appeals-to-biden-for-release/

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“Financial de-platforming is censorship. People were given an opportunity to devote themselves to the vocation of creating media outside the gatekeeping apparatus of billionaire news institutions, which is arguably the single most important vocation anyone can give themselves to in our world right now, and they built their lives around their ability to do this. Now it’s being ripped away from them; their literal jobs are being taken away. They were offered a reason to think they’d be able to make a living doing very important work, and then they were sucker punched with what amounts to political censorship.

This has been a continually escalating trend for years. The general population is herded onto huge monopolistic social media platforms offering democratization of information where your voice can be heard, and then those platforms proceed to censor an increasing amount of political speech in increasing coordination with the U.S. government.”

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/02/05/youtube-financially-deplatforms-swath-of-indie-media/

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“Though they claim to champion privacy, companies like Google and Amazon are making a fortune contracting with the government.”

“More disturbing might be Big Tech’s aiding of law enforcement’s violations of the rights of individuals at home and contributions to the military’s violation of human rights abroad. Despite its reputation for independence, it has recently been revealed that Big Tech’s relationship with the American national security establishment may be stronger than was previously thought. At some tech firms, workforce opposition has arisen over company contracts with the military and law enforcement. Yet these employee objections have usually led the companies to hide such government business through the use of mundane and nondescript subcontractors.”

Big Tech has had a long-standing relationship with the U.S. government and military. During World War II, the government used IBM’s punch card technology to keep track of prisoners at unconstitutional domestic internment camps housing Japanese Americans, who even government reports admitted posed no threat to the American war effort. (At the same time, Nazi Germany was using similar IBM technology.)”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/big-techs-gravest-sin-working-with-the-security-state/

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“This is an issue that all Democrats, Republicans, independents, Libertarians should be extremely concerned about, especially because we don’t have to guess about where this goes or how this ends. What characteristics are we looking for as we are building this profile of a potential extremist, what are we talking about? Religious extremists, are we talking about Christians, evangelical Christians, what is a religious extremist? Is it somebody who is pro-life? [The proposed legislation could create] a very dangerous undermining of our civil liberties, our freedoms in our Constitution, and a targeting of almost half of the country.” ~ Tulsi Gabbard, former Congresswoman

This is how it begins.

We are moving fast down that slippery slope to an authoritarian society in which the only opinions, ideas and speech expressed are the ones permitted by the government and its corporate cohorts.”

“As investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald warns:

The last two weeks have ushered in a wave of new domestic police powers and rhetoric in the name of fighting ‘terrorism’ that are carbon copies of many of the worst excesses of the first War on Terror that began nearly twenty years ago. This New War on Terror — one that is domestic in name from the start and carries the explicit purpose of fighting ‘extremists’ and ‘domestic terrorists’ among American citizens on U.S. soil — presents the whole slew of historically familiar dangers when governments, exploiting media-generated fear and dangers, arm themselves with the power to control information, debate, opinion, activism and protests.

Greenwald is referring to the USA Patriot Act, passed almost 20 years ago, which paved the way for the eradication of every vital safeguard against government overreach, corruption and abuse.

Free speech, the right to protest, the right to challenge government wrongdoing, due process, a presumption of innocence, the right to self-defense, accountability and transparency in government, privacy, press, sovereignty, assembly, bodily integrity, representative government: all of these and more have become casualties in the government’s war on the American people, a war that has grown more pronounced since Sept. 11, 2001.”

https://original.antiwar.com/jwhitehead/2021/02/05/the-governments-war-on-domestic-terrorism-is-a-trap/

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“Adopting “counterinsurgency” tactics for use against wide swaths of Americans can only make the situation worse.”

https://reason.com/2021/02/05/americans-shouldnt-be-treated-like-isis-insurgents/

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“What went wrong at the outlet he co-founded, what’s wrong with the ACLU, and what might go wrong in the Biden administration.”

https://reason.com/2021/01/23/journalists-are-authoritarians/

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Fascism was defeated when Donald Trump was defeated? Ha!!!! Don’t make me laugh!!!! Got any other good jokes??!!?? Fascism is an objective of both political parties in this country from 1945 when the CIA brought over Nazis to work for the CIA and questioned them about how they so successfully created Nazism in Germany with the intent that they could replicate such a success inside the United States until now. The last 76 years of policy represent a bipartisan trajectory to convert the U.S. Republic into a modern fascist state. This trajectory transcends every Presidential administration and is a shared, subdued belief of wealthy congresspeople.

“Despite depending on separate news media that purvey different realities, the two corporate parties both serve a corporate dictatorship.”

https://www.blackagendareport.com/creeping-corporate-statism-aka-fascism

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An investigation “would not, for sure, bring my kids back to life,” said a survivor of an Israeli airstrike. “However, I am certain that I need to continue to try to find some sort of justice.””

https://www.commondreams.org/news/2021/02/06/better-late-never-palestinians-welcome-icc-decision-enabling-war-crimes-probe-israel

“Palestinian victims of Israeli war crimes from various generations will gain the right to seek justice after decades of occupation.”

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2021/02/06/game-changer-icc-will-take-israeli-war-crimes-and-apartheid-palestine

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“Now more than ever, it is crucial that we protect a robust and adversarial press,” the letter states.”

“We are deeply concerned about the way that a precedent created by prosecuting Assange could be leveraged — perhaps by a future administration — against publishers and journalists of all stripes.”

— Open letter

https://consortiumnews.com/2021/02/09/press-freedom-groups-urge-biden-doj-to-drop-disastrous-charges-against-assange/