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Alabama Congressman Introduces Single Lined Bill To Repeal Obamacare

Alabama Congressman Introduces Single Lined Bill To Repeal Obamacare

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 11:05 AM PDT

We Are Change

Alabama congressman U.S. Rep. Mo Brooks, R-Huntsville, introduced a single lined bill in the U.S. House of Representatives to repeal Obamacare.

“This Act may be cited as the ‘Obamacare Repeal Act,’” the bill states.

The bill used just one sentence to repeal Obama’s legislation.

“Effective as of Dec. 31, 2017, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is repealed, and the provisions of law amended or repealed by such Act are restored or revived as if such Act had not been enacted,” the bill stated.

The act also repeals another bill signed into law by former President Barack Obama – the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010. The health care aspect of the law is also considered a part of Obamacare AL.com reported.

Brooks introduced the bill after he announced last week that he would oppose the Republican health care legislation by Paul Ryan. He dubbed Obamacare 2.0 which was later pulled from a House floor vote because it did not have enough support to pass.

“If the American people want to repeal Obamacare, this is their last, best chance during the 115th Congress,” Brooks said. Those Congressmen who are sincere about repealing Obamacare may prove it by signing the discharge petition.

Obamacare Repeal Act by pgattis7719 on Scribd

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Man Arrested For Throwing Suspicious Package, Causing White House Lockdown

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 09:56 AM PDT

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The White House was locked down for about 45 minutes early Tuesday morning following reports of a suspicious package near the grounds.

The unknown man allegedly approached a uniform officer at 15th Street and Pennsylvania Ave at around 10:15 a.m, yelled that he had a bomb and threw something over the White House fence.

The package was discovered near the North Lawn and the man was later detained by the Secret Service.

Suspicious package investigation continues; suspect in custody! pic.twitter.com/O25gr5B72f

— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) March 28, 2017

Reporters and journalists took to Twitter shortly before 10:30 a.m., saying the White House was placed on lockdown, the lawns were cleared and they were locked inside.

BREAKING: White House evacuating the North lawn pic.twitter.com/l0iyAcP8gD

— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) March 28, 2017

NEW: Secret Service agents just cleared all media/visitors off White House North Lawn. Snipers seen roaming property.

— Peter Alexander (@PeterAlexander) March 28, 2017

Reporters in the West Wing waiting for the lockdown to end. pic.twitter.com/UhT9BwAdom

— Trey Yingst (@TreyYingst) March 28, 2017

The Secret Service confirmed they were investigating a “suspicious package” discovered near the White House and added that road closures were in effect.

.@SecretService investigating suspicious package near @WhiteHouse grounds. Road closures in effect.

— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) March 28, 2017

USSS is investigating suspicious package; security perimeter established & members of the public & media are being moved to safe a distance

— U.S. Secret Service (@SecretService) March 28, 2017

The lockdown comes after a series of security breaches by people jumping the White House fence have raised new questions about the agency’s ability to protect the White House grounds. One woman was arrested three times for jumping the fence – or, alternatively, for “trying to see the President” as CNN absurdly put it.

She jumped the fence. What the fuck is this headline? https://t.co/m57oTCxOzO

— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) March 27, 2017

Are these incidents isolated episodes of random crazy people – or is someone testing Secret Service response times at the White House?

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Cities Must Now Certify They Are Not A ‘Sanctuary City’ – Or Lose Federal Funding

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 09:16 AM PDT

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U.S. state and local governments must now certify they are not a ‘sanctuary city’ for illegal immigrants in order to receive Department of Justice grants.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced today the federal government will be cracking down. Any local government that is proven to be a city that systematically does not enforce the federal immigration laws will be penalized.

Sessions stated that there were over 200 circumstances in the past week where illegal immigrants allegedly involved in drug trafficking, hit and run, rape, pedophilia, and murder were not detained in accordance with federal immigration law.

“Such policies cannot continue. They make our nation less safe by putting dangerous criminals back on the streets. Today, I am urging states and local jurisdictions to comply with these federal laws” Sessions said.

The Verdict from Sessions: Certify Compliance or Lose Grant Money

Sessions threatened to pull grant money from any local government which doesn’t comply with federal laws. Sessions said “the Department of Justice will require that jurisdictions seeking or applying for Department of Justice grants to certify compliance with 1373 as a condition of receiving those awards”

The law that he is referencing says that no government authority; state, local, or federal, cannot “prohibit, or in any way restrict” the sending or receiving information regarding the immigration status of any individual.

This action by Sessions is seemingly connected with Trump’s executive order, titled “Enhancing Public Safety in the Interior of the United States,” it states the Trump administration’s policy, among other things, is to “ensure that jurisdictions that fail to comply with applicable Federal law do not receive Federal funds, except as mandated by law.”

Furthermore, the executive order states that immigrants who fit the following categories will be prioritized for removal:

In other words, it looks like the Trump administration is sticking to President Trump’s campaign promise of ‘cracking down on illegal immigration.’



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U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley At AIPAC: Palestinian Won’t Get Top UN Post

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 09:04 AM PDT

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U.S. United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley has proclaimed that the U.S. won’t allow former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad to secure “one of the highest positions” at the UN.

In a speech expressing her support for Israel at the AIPAC conference, Haley explained why the U.S. had blocked a former Palestinian prime minister’s appointment to lead the UN’s Libya mission. She further noted that the Trump administration “was disappointed” by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’ intention to appoint Fayyad as the UN’s next special representative to Libya.

“So when they decided to try and put a Palestinian former Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in one of the highest positions that had ever been given at the UN, we said no and we had him booted out,” Haley said at the annual Policy Conference of the American-Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) on Monday.

“That doesn’t mean he wasn’t a nice man,” she continued, adding “that doesn’t mean he wasn’t good to America.”

Haley also said that until Palestine “comes to the table, until the UN responds the way they’re supposed to, there are no freebies for the Palestinian Authority anymore.”

She additionally stated that when the UN passed a resolution demanding an end to Israeli settlement building on occupied Palestinian land, “the entire country felt a kick in the gut.”

“Never do we not have the backs of our friends. We don’t have a greater friend than Israel. And to see that happen was not only embarrassing, it was hurtful,” Haley said.

Haley also criticized a report released in March, in which author Richard Falk, a Princeton professor emeritus, described Israel as an “apartheid state” which Israel demanded a retraction on and the director resigned.

“For too long, the UN has been unfairly biased in favor of the Palestinian Authority to the detriment of our allies in Israel,” Haley said.

“And a ridiculous report, the Falk Report, came out. I don’t know who the guy is or what he’s about, but he’s got serious problems. Goes and compares Israel to an apartheid state. So the first thing we do is we call the secretary general and say, this is absolutely ridiculous,” she said.

Palestine’s independence has been recognized by 136 of the 193 UN member nations so far.

Ambassador Nikki Haley stated that the days of “Israel-bashing are over we won’t turn a blind eye anymore.”

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Former Ohio Mayor Facing Life In Prison For Rape of 4-Year-Old

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 08:54 AM PDT

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Richard Keenan, the former Mayor of Hubbard, Ohio, is facing life behind bars for raping a 4-year-old girl over a three-year period.

Keenan says the four-year-old was a “willing participant” in his sexual act.

He was the mayor of Hubbard, Ohio, from 2010 to 2011.

Keenan was indicted last September on eight counts of gross sexual imposition, four counts of attempted rape, and eight counts of rape.

He pled guilty to 20 counts of sex crimes, including eight counts of rape, WYTV reported. Keenan reportedly agreed to a life sentence with the eligibility of parole after ten years.

According to court documents, the abuse began as early as September 2013 when the victim was just a mere four-years-old and continued for three years until the victim was seven-years-old ending in September of 2015.

He was arrested on August 18 and released on bond the very same day, according to jail records. Despite multiple attempts from several media outlets, J. Gerald Ingram, the former Ohio mayor’s attorney, has refused to comment on the crimes his client is accused of.

Keenan once described himself as a man of faith, according to The Washington Post.

Keenan made the confession to his wife, a pastor, a social worker and his brother and sister-in-law according to the filing by Assistant Prosecutor Gabriel Wildman, Vindy.com reported.

When Keenan’s wife confronted him about the allegations, he responded, “I did it.”

“It gives the victim some closure. Obviously, keeps this young child from having to testify and I think it’s a good result given all the facts and circumstances,” said Wildman.

Keenan’s bond was revoked until his sentencing with Assistant Prosecutor Wildman stating that Keenan was a risk to himself and others.

“Obviously, we feel it’s inappropriate that he’s out. We feel that given the nature of the crimes and what he’s pled guilty to, the public has an interest in him being incarcerated,” said Trumbull County Assistant Prosecutor Gabe Wildman.

Judge Peter Kontos agreed, revoking Keenan’s previous $75,000 bond. Keenan is now being held in Trumbull County Jail until his sentencing. He will undergo a pre-sentencing investigation, which could take a few weeks.

It is unclear how the former Ohio mayor came into contact with the child.

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Russia Eyes Libya As Putin Expands Presence Across The Middle East

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 01:03 AM PDT

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Russia Eyes Libya As Putin Expands

Article via The Anti-Media by Darius Shahtahmasebi

Russia has had a busy month regarding its affairs in the Middle East. On March 9, Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The next day, Putin met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and on March 14, Russian Deputy Minister Mikhail Bogdanov met with Libyan General Khalifa Haftar’s envoy in Moscow.

Khalifa Haftar has emerged the most powerful leader in eastern Libya, a region through which 60 percent of Libya’s oil supply passes.

According to the Guardian, Russia has also deployed special forces to an airbase in western Egypt near the border with Libya. The move has added further concerns in Washington about Moscow’s role in the war-ravaged nation.

While testifying to the Senate’s foreign relations committee, the chief of the Pentagon’s Africa command, General Thomas D Waldhauser, said, “Russia is trying to exert influence on the ultimate decision of who and what entity becomes in charge of the government inside Libya.”

He accused Russia of “trying to do in Libya what they are doing in Syria.”

However, Washington’s criticism of Russia’s support for the Libyan warlord is somewhat hypocritical considering that even the Guardian admits the U.S. backed Haftar to overthrow Gaddafi in 2011.

Nevertheless, according to the Jerusalem Post, E.U. diplomats are worried that Haftar, with Russian backing, could be successful in taking over much of Libya.

However, as Foreign Policy notes:

“Russia is becoming increasingly involved, trying to fill the void left by the collapse of the U.N. track and the disinterest of both the Trump administration and the Europeans. It is unclear what Moscow really wants in Libya, but it seems to be pursuing a strategy that acknowledges the de facto partition of the country, promising both political and military support for Haftar’s battle in the east while signing contracts for oil and discussing business opportunities in commodities trading and future construction projects with the institutions in Tripoli. While there are reports that Russian special forces may be helping Haftar, there is still no evidence of decisive Russian military support for the LNA, and it is fair to say that the Kremlin is diversifying its political investment in the country by talking to all sides.

Unsurprisingly, the U.S. just announced it will keep an unspecified number of ground troops stationed in Libya for an indefinite period of time.

Libya, an Iraq-style fiasco that neither the U.S. or the E.U. wants to take responsibility for, could end up being snatched by Russia as its newest ally in the Middle East, a membership that includes Iran, Syria, and Egypt, to name a few.

As Western influence throughout the region is waning, Russia’s appears to be growing. America’s failure to provide stability to Libya — and its decision to destroy the country in the first place — may ultimately backfire, as warring parties may start to look elsewhere for security and support. Libya is the latest country out of a number of various countries who are arguably relying less on the U.S. and strengthening ties with Russia, instead.

Creative Commons / Anti-Media / Report a typo

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Trump Asks Why Intelligence Committee Isn’t Probing The Clintons

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 12:59 AM PDT

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Article via Zero Hedge

Following a day of drama involving the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee, Devin Nunes, who has been under constant onslaught by Democrats ever since his disclosure last week that Trump had indeed been the object of surveillance, and whose Democrat peer at the Intel panel, Adam Schiff, on Monday night called for Nunes to recuse himself, moments ago Trump waded into the news cycle when he asked on Twitter why the House Intelligence Committee is not investigating the Clintons for various ties of their own to Russia.

He then slammed the ongoing anti-Russian witch hunt, saying “the Russia story is a hoax.”

“Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech, money to Bill, the Hillary Russian ‘reset,’ praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!” Trump wrote in two tweets Monday night.

Why isn’t the House Intelligence Committee looking into the Bill & Hillary deal that allowed big Uranium to go to Russia, Russian speech….

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017

…money to Bill, the Hillary Russian “reset,” praise of Russia by Hillary, or Podesta Russian Company. Trump Russia story is a hoax. #MAGA!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017

Trump’s rhetorical questions come amid a news cycle which as discussed on various occasions today has focused on the Republican chair of the Intel Committee, Nunes, who is under fire for briefing Trump about classified material he reviewed last week without sharing the information with committee Democrats.

On Monday it was revealed that Nunes had secretly visited the White House grounds one day before announcing incidental surveillance of President Trump’s transition team. His visit raised questions about whether the White House could have been was the source of the intelligence Nunes reviewed.

Democratic lawmakers have now called on Nunes to recuse himself from the committee’s probe into Russia’s interference in the United States presidential election. Nunes on Monday evening said the chairman would not step aside from the investigation.

The republican lawmaker has claimed that his findings had no relevance to the Russia probe, even as the committee examines the unmasking and leaking of surveillance information as part of that investigation.

* * *

In a follow up tweet, Trump took another stab at the House Freedom Caucus, who he said snatched “defeat from the jaws of victory” – following Friday’s failure to repeal and replace plan for ObamaCare.  That followed a Sunday tweet in which he said the conservative House Freedom Caucus, along with the Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America, had “saved” Planned Parenthood and ObamaCare.

The Republican House Freedom Caucus was able to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. After so many bad years they were ready for a win!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017

Finally, Trump brought it full circle, touching on Friday’s failure to repeal Obamacare, saying “the Democrats will make a deal with me on healthcare as soon as ObamaCare folds – not long. Do not worry, we are in very  good shape!

The Democrats will make a deal with me on healthcare as soon as ObamaCare folds – not long. Do not worry, we are in very good shape!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 28, 2017

This article first appeared on ZeroHedge.com and was authored by Tyler Durden.

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In Latest Escalation, U.S. Sending 300 Paratroopers Into Mosul

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 12:47 AM PDT

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Officials Insist Latest Deployment Is ‘Temporary’

Article via Antiwar

Yesterday, reports began emerging that the Pentagon was intending to send more combat troops into western Mosul, the latest in a long line of escalations of US military involvement in the battle over Mosul, with an eye toward getting Iraq’s stalled offensive back on track.

Today, the Military Times finally got the specifics of the deployment, with officials saying that two infantry companies and a route-clearance platoon will be sent to Mosul, paratroopers numbers somewhere around 300 fighters, which will officially be labeled an “advise and assist” operation.

And a “temporary” deployment. Officials have labeled thousands of the ground troops in Iraq as “temporary” to avoid putting them in the official count of how many US troops are deployed to Iraq, even though in this case, as in so many others, there is no specific deadline for ending the deployment.

Officially, there are 5,262 US troops in Iraq, and that number won’t change, no matter how many more troops are sent. The real figure is well over 6,000 already, and not well documented, as the “temporary” troops are excluded from any official counts.

This article first appeared on Antiwar.com and was authored by Jason Ditz.

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ISIS Threatens Iran For Tolerating Jews

Posted: 28 Mar 2017 12:36 AM PDT

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Rare Farsi Video Slams Iranian Govt for Offering Protection to Religious Minority

Article via Antiwar

ISIS has released a new propaganda video, this one unusually in Farsi language and directed specifically at Iran, threatening to destroy the current government of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and declaring Khamenei a “cursed person.”

The video singles out Iran for criticism because of its tolerance for its Jewish minority, saying that they are trying to “deceive the Sunnis” by presenting themselves as against the US and Israel while tolerating Iranian Jews living safely under government protection and having temples in Iranian cities.

Iran has had a Jewish minority living in its territory for some 3,000 years, and with estimates of as many as 25,000 Jews living there, is unique among Middle East nations in having such a community, with other nations in the region not tolerating their Jewish minorities after the establishment of Israel.

ISIS has been extremely hostile toward  Iran since their founding, as a Sunni jihadist group that got its start attacking an Iranian-backed Shi’ite government in Iraq, and while it’s not surprising to see ISIS singling out Iran as an enemy, it is surprisingly to see the nature of their narrative.

This article first appeared on Antiwar.com and was authored by Jason Ditz.

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If Aleppo Was a Crime Against Humanity, Isn’t Mosul?

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 06:48 PM PDT

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Article via FPIF

When U.S. rivals committed atrocities in Aleppo, Western talking heads were appalled. But when the U.S. supports them in Mosul? Silence.

Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city and the last major Islamic State stronghold in the country, is nearly under Iraqi government control.

The Islamic State, or ISIS, has occupied the city since June 2014. Now, with the help of U.S. airpower, the entire eastern portion of the city has been retaken, and roughly 33 percent of Mosul is in Iraqi government hands. ISIS is “completely surrounded,” according to Western-coalition officials.

But what’s happening in Mosul could be called “massacre” just as easily as it could be called “liberation.” And the choice of words and focus is instructive.

Don’t Call It Aleppo

Compare it to the feverish Western coverage of the siege of rebel-held Aleppo by Russian and Syrian government forces.

Just three months ago, on the eve of Aleppo’s fall to the Syrian regime, the New York Times declared that Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad, Russian president Vladimir Putin, and Iran were “Aleppo’s destroyers,” and decried the slaughter of civilians and intense shelling of residential neighborhoods. There was little discussion of the rebels, many of which had received U.S. funding or weapons at some point during the conflict — and almost all of which had engaged in severe violations of human rights of their own.

The Times assigned complete responsibility for the disaster to the Syrian government, which it said had “ignored the demands of peaceful protesters and unleashed a terrifying war.” That position unsurprisingly mimicked the U.S. government’s. (The U.S. ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, even compared the fall of Aleppo to the Rwandan genocide and the massacre at Srebrenica.)

If stripped of the hyperbole, the Times was not wrong. The population of Aleppo had been subjected to a brutal siege carried out by the Syrian military and its allied militias. Barrel bombs had devastated the city for years, destroying primarily civilian infrastructure such as mosques, hospitals, and schools. Humanitarian access to the eastern half of the city was made difficult by regime checkpoints and attacks.

In February 2015, the Syrian government expelled the UN officials responsible for coordinating humanitarian access, while both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch condemned the siege of Aleppo as a crime against humanity.

Meanwhile, in government-held areas of Aleppo, the Syrian regime operated as a police state usually does: by arresting and torturing dissenters. The report released by the UN Human Rights Council on March 1 makes it clear that that the Syrian regime is guilty of heinous crimes in Aleppo, including summary execution and the use of chemical weapons.

And while it is gross negligence for the Western press to completely ignore the crimes of U.S.-backed rebels, there is ample justification for focusing disproportionately on the crimes of the Syrian government and their Russian backers, who possess a disproportionate share of firepower and therefore possess the greatest potential to unleash devastation at a moment’s notice.

In Iraq, the fall of Mosul looks remarkably similar to the fall of Aleppo — but without the same sort of Western denunciation.

Torture and Murder in Mosul

The obvious distinction between the two battles is that eastern Aleppo was occupied by U.S. and Gulf-backed rebels, while the universally despised Islamic State occupies Mosul.

There is no moral equivalency between the two, but we would do well to remember that life in Aleppo under the rule of extremist groups such as Ahrar al-Sham, Jahabat al Nusra, and Nour al-Din al-Zenki wasn’t pleasant either. These groups engaged in and continue to engage in widespread human rights abuses, persecute religious minorities, and implement draconian laws.

Not all rebel groups in Aleppo were hardline reactionaries, and even if they were it would hardly excuse the Syrian and Russian siege and slaughter. Likewise, the occupation of Mosul by the Islamic State does not justify the wholesale destruction of parts of the city by U.S. airpower. Nor does it justify the abuses by the U.S.-backed Iraqi government and its allied militias.

The battle of Mosul began in earnest in mid-October 2016, with Kurdish and Shia militias tasked with taking back villages surrounding the city while Iraqi forces entered Mosul itself, all while the U.S.-led coalition provided support from the air.

A number of these Shia militias, including the Badr Brigades and the Hezbollah Brigades, had previously detained, tortured, and disappeared fleeing civilians during the sieges of Tikrit and Fallujah. The Iraqi government has a similar record of cruelty, to say nothing of the U.S. military — which had very recently twice turned Fallujah, the “city of mosques,” into a city of rubble.

As Iraqi forces and allied militias began to re-take Mosul’s suburbs, they began to abuse the civilians that came under their control.

To no one’s surprise, militia fighters carried out “revenge attacks” against suspected collaborators. But the abuses carried out by the Iraqi military are undoubtedly worse. Videos show Iraqi forces torturing young boys with hammers and running them over with tanks. The Iraqi military carried out summary executions of both captured Islamic State militants and civilians in villages surrounding Mosul. These violations continued well into the offensive. As recently as late January, images and videos of Iraqi forces torturing and executing captives were still being released.

Crimes from the Sky

As in any modern conflict, crimes committed by ground forces are particularly unsettling for their visibility and their plain inhumanity, but the worst crimes come from the sky. The Iraqi military and their allied militias are brutal indeed, but they are no match for the barbarism of U.S. airpower.

The toll of coalition airstrikes worsened dramatically once Iraqi and allied forces had retaken the surrounding villages and began to enter the densely populated city from the east. By early January, the Iraqi military had retaken eastern Mosul with “significant humanitarian cost to civilians,” the casualty-tracking site AirWars.org reports. U.S. airstrikes in Mosul increased 33 percent in January, it calculates, and “a record number of civilians were killed,” including whole families.

By late January, the UN counted 1,096 people killed during the offensive, half of them civilians. That toll has only continued to increase in recent days as the Iraqi military pushes west.

Just as in Aleppo, civilian buildings such as hospitals and mosques have been the targets of U.S. attacks. In one incident, Nineveh Media Center — Mosul’s main news outlet — was hit, killing an estimated 50 civilians. Activists claimed the center was targeted due to its publication of ISIS propaganda, which even so would be a disturbing and violent attack on press freedom. Elsewhere, U.S. Apache helicopters, along with Iraqi ground forces, shelled and pummeled buildings in the Dawasa neighborhood, killing 130 civilians.

White phosphorus, a chemical weapon capable of burning human flesh to the bone, has also been used by coalition forces in the city.

It is estimated that the coalition killed up to 370 Iraqi civilians, including scores of children, in the first week of March alone. In the words of one Mosul resident, “Now it feels like the coalition is killing more people” than ISIS.

International Law

The United Nations has routinely expressed “deep concern” that coalition airstrikes were targeting civilian infrastructure in Mosul. To compound matters, fuel, food, and water are quickly running out. The UN and other humanitarian organizations place the blame squarely on the U.S.-imposed three-month siege that cut all supply lines to the city. Essential food items are “virtually unattainable” for many of Mosul’s inhabitants, the New York Times reports.

Excuses for the slaughter abound, and they are both entirely familiar and unconvincing.

The standard response is that the Islamic State hasn’t allowed civilians to leave Mosul and instead uses them as “human shields.” This is likely true — but it was also true in rebel-held Aleppo, according to the UN Human Rights Council. This didn’t stop the editors of the New York Times from condemning Russian airstrikes that devastated the city.

In fact, bombing densely populated cities anywhere is guaranteed to kill civilians. The U.S. and its coalition partners know this. They simply don’t believe those civilians matter enough.

The State Department rejects any comparison to Aleppo, an Obama-era spokesman said, since “in Mosul you have an entire coalition of some 66 nations who have planned for months” with “the vast support and legitimacy of the international community.”

This statement is absurd. War crimes don’t get a pass when more nations participate in them.

And the use of the word “legitimacy,” which has precisely no legal meaning, is meant to distract from the fact that Russia’s intervention in Aleppo was also legal under international law — no less so than Washington’s in Iraq, since both countries have welcomed by the respective regimes they’re fighting to preserve. However, the legality of the intervention does not absolve one from the obligations imposed by international humanitarian law in the course of the intervention.

The Scoundrel’s Last Refuge

In the end, all attempts at differentiating the siege of Mosul from the siege of Aleppo reduce to the scoundrel’s last refuge: It’s acceptable when we do it. It’s no surprise that Western talking heads purport to care very much about a massacre committed by a rival power, which we can’t do much about in any case, while either ignoring or supporting a different massacre carried out by U.S. hands.

Furthermore, what’s happening in Mosul is in danger of being repeated. President Trump has already increased the frequency of drone bombings and U.S. raids — a sign that he harbors even less concern for civilian life than did President Obama. The U.S. recently announced it will deploy another 400 troops to Syria to assist in the battle for Raqqa, Syria.

By Voice of America News: Scott Bobb reports from Aleppo, Syria – Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons

Above all, there is little evidence that removing the Islamic State from Mosul by shelling and bombing dense civilian neighborhoods will result in lasting stability.

Once the U.S. destroys a city, directly or indirectly, it summons the kind of chaos and resentment that guarantees it will soon need to intervene militarily once again to safeguard its newly constructed client.

What happens after Mosul? Look to Fallujah, where disdain for both the Iraqi government and the U.S. runs high in the aftermath of multiple coalition campaigns. What happens after Raqqa? Look to Damascus, where suicide bombing has increased after the rebel “defeat” in Aleppo.

Many Iraqis residing in Mosul will be glad to be free of the Islamic State, but many will also be mourning the loss of their family members. And if history is any guide, they will blame the U.S. occupier and its client government in Baghdad.

This report prepared by  for Foreign Policy In Focus

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NBC News Hires Obama White House Press Secretary, Suggests Trump Should Call Obama

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 04:35 PM PDT

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NBC News hired former White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest as a news analyst, as announced today. While introducing him on live TV, he was told that he would have to “wear your analyst hat, not your Democrat hat.”

Earnest smiled it off before immediately attacking the Trump administration. When asked who is to blame for the Republican failure to repeal major parts of ObamaCare, Earnest said:

“Well, it turns out that governing is actually a lot more complicated, and in many ways, more difficult than campaigning. The challenge of this starts at the top, and if you’re going to be president of the United States, and you actually want to go out and solve problems for the American people, then you have to figure out the way to get it done. If you are not going to be willing to make calls to the other side, and actually try and build bi-partisan legislation, then you’re going to have trouble”

Immediately making a clear reference to failed Republican effort over the past few weeks to repeal and replace ObamaCare, Earnest suggested that President Trump should even perhaps call Barack Obama:

“The telephone line still works, so if he wants some advice or some insight, I’m confident that President Obama, who is interested in the success of the country, would be happy to share his experience with President Trump.”

NBC Today Show reporter Savannah Guthrie immediately followed up with this comment by saying: “That sounds like the press secretary’s answer” before ending the show. This provides evidence that NBC News was not looking for a fair and unbiased analyst, but rather someone with the Democrat prestige and credentials of Earnest to be on their show.

Watch the full interview below:

NBC announced the hire by a memo, which has since circulated around various news sources. The memo reads:

“A native of Kansas City, Josh graduated from Rice University with a degree in political science and policy studies. With his wealth of experience and insight, Josh will be a great addition to our roster of contributors and will be an asset for our two networks as we continue to cover the White House, Congress and politics beyond the Beltway.”

What this hire proves is what alternative media have proven for years: mainstream outlets like NBC are nothing but propaganda for globalist puppets like Obama.

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VIDEO: The Solution To The West’s Biggest Problems Is Clear, But What Is Trump Doing?

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 02:46 PM PDT

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In this video, Luke Rudkowski showcases the perceived threats against the western world, revealing a major problem with the West, while covering both foreign policy and geopolitical news.

We give you a context of the story that is not getting the major attention it should.

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The post VIDEO: The Solution To The West’s Biggest Problems Is Clear, But What Is Trump Doing? appeared first on We Are Change.

South Africa – Accused Of Covering Up Genocide of White Farmers

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 02:42 PM PDT

We Are Change

Accused of genocide for covering up grisly murder scenes of white farmers in the past, spanning from 1994 to 2012, South Africa continues to deny these claims. New reports are being published providing us with recent attacks in detailed information. It appears more ‘racially motivated attacks against white farmers’ still continues to this present day.

Last month in February 2017, on a remote farm in Dullstroom, a small town in the northeast of South Africa, about 150 miles from the nearest capital city. A British woman named Sue Howarth, 64 and her husband Robert Lynn, 66, were disturbed at 2 a.m. They awoke to three men in balaclavas breaking into a window of their home.

The House of Sue and Robert.

The window where the attackers entered the home.

“I woke up because the dogs were barking and there was a racket at the bedroom window. After I stood up, I heard glass breaking. I suppose that is when they started shooting at us. I assumed they missed,” Lynn said.

The couple native to the area for 20 years were then, still in their pajamas loaded up in their own truck, driven to a roadside where they were dumped off and shot.

One of the unidentified men wearing balaclavas hit Lynn over the head with his gun and ordered him to lie down. His hands were bound with baling twine.

Lynn continued, “They kept on asking where the money is. I told them that we don’t keep the money, but they would not believe me.”

He handed his attackers a money clip and his bank cards telling them they would be able to withdraw R1,000 a day from his accounts, plus the couple of hundred Rand he had in the money clip.

Lynn was then taken into the living room, covered with a blanket and shortly after his attackers began burning his legs and chest. The robbers began stabbing and cutting him with a knife to get him to confess more information they thought he was hiding.

‘They were looking for things we just don’t have. I said to them that whoever gave them their information, gave them the wrong information. One of them replied with ‘No they didn’t,” Lynn stated.

Still calling to his wife who did not answer, Lynn was smacked over the head with a gun and told to shut up. He was then put into the back of their Nissan Hardbody double cab, where they pulled a bag over his head. Lynn finally heard his wife, Susan, moaning as she was thrown into the back as well.

At first, Lynn thought they were driving to Dullstroom to withdraw money. However, they turned around and headed towards the back roads past Belfast and Siyathuthuka towards Stoffberg instead.

“They kept on stopping and going. When they stopped for good, they pulled me out of the vehicle by my hair,” continued Lynn.

The attackers then walked him into a field where he had to crawl through a barbed wire fence and was ordered onto his knees.

“That was the last thing I remember. I thought I was dead after that until I looked up and saw the stars,” Lynn said.

It took quite some time before Lynn could free himself and crawl back to the road. When Lynn was successful at freeing himself, he crawled to the road where he could hear Susan moaning. He crawled across the ditch to the other side and found her lying there, hands tied behind her back and bleeding from the head.

“I didn’t know what to do. I could see that she was in a very bad state. I could sit with her but the best thing would be to try and get help. So I stood next to the road. Five trucks and two cars passed me. Hooting as they did,” Lynn said.

Miraculously, Lynn survived and managed to wave down someone passing by. Howarth, who police said was “unrecognizable” from her injuries, had multiple skull fractures, gunshot wounds and “horrific” burns to her breasts.

Howarth also had a bag stuffed down her throat. How she managed to survive that long, breathing with a bag in her throat remains a mystery. She was rushed to the hospital and placed on life support. Sadly, two days later at 9:30 a.m., Tuesday morning, Susan Howarth passed away from her injuries never regaining consciousness after the attack.

Sue Howarth was well known at sheepdog trials in the area.

“Susan was a great girl. She imported ingredients for pharmaceutical products, like the active ingredient in Guronzan C,” Said Flynn.

Lynn has since returned home, to deal with the sadness and mourn the loss of his best friend and is trying to pick up the pieces in Dullstroom.

He says that he was amazed at how good people have been to him. But he will never be able to forget what evil people are capable of.

Attacks such as this and others being reported are horrific and unfathomable. But in South Africa, attacks of this nature are frequent. So far, this year, there has been over an estimated amount of 70 attacks and approximately 25 murders in similar attacks against white farmers.

Although the government believes that biggest motive for attacks is robbery, there is racial discontent on some farms. White farmers believe that attacks are racially motivated.

Another attack earlier this month, a woman named Nicci Simpson was found, along with three dead dogs. Simpson was found lying in a pool of blood, where the attackers “used a drill to torture her,”  Police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini stated.

As more and more attacks continue to happen in South Africa, the government and law enforcement agencies continue to deny such allegations of a potential genocide that could be manifesting.

Police have stated that they cannot provide effective protection due to the large geographical areas that need to be monitored. A lack of funding is another factoring cause, they also claimed.

Police forces are simply not available due to funding and fail at providing any sufficient help currently.

‘Farmwatch’ groups have linked together through the radio to nearby farmers who can provide mutual assistance. Local private security is a great example as they are more likely to respond and be on site quicker. Local voluntary groups that come together for mutual assistance and protection stand a far better chance at combatting against these brutal attacks and preventing them in the future.

The post South Africa – Accused Of Covering Up Genocide of White Farmers appeared first on We Are Change.

Trump Is Taking The U.S.-Saudi Relationship To The Next Level

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 01:07 PM PDT

We Are Change

Despite his tough campaign rhetoric, President Donald Trump has opted for a policy of appeasement to Saudi Arabia – including a $200 billion investment into the Saudi economy amidst sweeping cuts to U.S. foreign aid.

Article via Mint Press News by Whitney Webb

One of the major tenets of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign was his promise to bring about “complete American energy independence,” a promise that won him the unwavering support of the U.S. fossil fuel industry and several key endorsements. After his election, Trump appeared to remain committed to this pledge, vowing last November to block all oil imports from Saudi Arabia in order to secure domestic energy independence from “our foes and the oil cartels.”

But Saudi Arabia, as fate would have it, did not stay on Trump’s list of “foes” for very long. Trump’s first meeting last week with a member of the Saudi royal family – Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman –marked a “historic turning point,” not only for Trump’s own policies regarding the Gulf monarchy, but for U.S.-Saudi relations as a whole, according to a statement issued by the Saudis after the meeting.

The statement, issued by the deputy crown prince’s senior adviser, added that U.S.-Saudi relations during the Obama era “had undergone a period of difference of opinion.”

It continued:

“However, today’s meeting has put things on the right track, and marked a significant shift in relations, across all political, military, security and economic fields. All of this is due to President Trump’s great understanding of the importance of relations between the two countries and his clear sight of problems in the region. […] After this historic meeting today, cooperation between the two countries will be in its upmost level.”

Considering the long-standing “special relationship” between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, it’s hard to imagine how the two nations could align even more closely in their policies. But Saudi Arabia’s multiple foreign entanglements that are intended to extend its influence – along with the U.S.’ addiction to Saudi oil – offer Trump the opportunity to prove himself as “a true friend” of the Saudis “who will serve the [Wahhabi] Muslim World in an unimaginable manner.”

However, more seems to be happening behind the scenes. As political analyst Catherine Shakdam told MintPress: “on paper it very much appears as if the Trump administration has given in to Saudi Arabia’s lobbying activities and essentially decided to toe Riyadh’s line against Iran to preserve whatever financial ties exist in between the two allies.”

Yet, with the Saudis “unraveling at the seam,” Shakdam argues that “[Trump’s] stance depends on where the wind will blow next.” This raises the question: could this latest meeting be yet another attempt by Trump to keep foreign leaders – even long-time regional allies – on edge?

Saudi Arabia’s Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, left, walks into the West Wing of the White House in Washington escorted by Mark E. Walsh, center, Deputy Chief of Protocol, Friday, June 17, 2016.

The Waning U.S.-Saudi “Special Relationship”

Though U.S. foreign policy consistently puts the country’s own interests above any guarantees based on “loyalty,” the long-standing “special relationship” between Saudi Arabia and the U.S. will not be an easy one to shake. Ever since the post-World War II era began, the Saudis and the U.S. have had a relationship where the U.S. offers the Saudis military and geopolitical “security” in exchange for the Saudi’s most valuable resource: its oil.

This relationship has dominated U.S. foreign policy interests in the Middle East for the better part of the last century, especially after the 1970s, when U.S.-Saudi relations went to the next level with the advent of the petrodollar system.

Despite the petrodollar system’s binding of Saudi (and OPEC) oil sales to the value of the U.S. dollar, events in recent years have shown that not even this powerful system has been enough to keep the U.S. “loyal” to Saudi interests as it had in the past. This manifested most noticeably during the Obama administration, culminating in the Iran nuclear deal – a pact harshly criticized by the Saudis, as well as Trum.

In addition, Obama further angered the Saudis by telling them to “share the neighborhood” with Iran, their greatest regional and economic rival. However, Obama kept relations civil, partly through his massive arms sales to the Saudi kingdom.

Though Trump has adopted rhetoric that the Saudis are eager to hear regarding Iran, his administration’s recent statements on the Iran nuclear deal suggest that he may also adopt a position similar to that of the Obama administration. Last Tuesday, Christopher Ford, the White House National Security Council’s senior director for weapons of mass destruction and counter-proliferation, said the Trump administration will honor a 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. This latest announcement stands in stark contrast to Trump’s prior statements on the Iran deal, as well as the Saudi’s belief after last week’s meeting that Trump and the Saudis share an alarmist view “on the gravity of the Iranian expansionist moves in the region.”

This latest about-face from the new presidential administration suggests that its previously aggressive stance on Iran may have been a form of posturing meant to please regional allies like Israel and the oil-rich Gulf monarchies. In an interview with MintPress, Shakdam alluded to this, stating that Trump’s change of heart could mean that “the Trump administration is buying itself some time before moving against Saudi Arabia and in favor of Iran.”

But Iran’s “flourishing regional influence” may make a restoration of relations with the Islamic Republic too attractive for Trump to pass up, especially considering that the current president is first and foremost a businessman. Over the last decade especially, Iran has developed a “resistance” economy in response to ongoing U.S. sanctions and other similar measures, a development that has paid off significantly, particularly in the diversification of the Iranian economy and the growth of its electricity exports and increasing economic cooperation with Eurasian nations, as well as geopolitical rivals like Turkey.

Iran’s economic ascendancy is becoming difficult to ignore. As Shakdam pointed out, “A rapprochement in between Iran and the U.S. makes perfect geopolitical sense…economically Iran’s market would offer a much-needed breathing space and guarantee growth. If we consider that the U.S. values capitalism above all else, then a change towards Iran makes perfect sense.”

Iran is increasingly becoming a more attractive potential ally in the region, despite decades of animosity in U.S.-Iranian relations, as Saudi Arabia continues to struggle economically due to its economic reliance on oil exports. While Saudi Arabia’s oil dominance has allowed it to wield great influence in the region for decades, declining oil prices in recent years have taken a drastic toll on the Saudi economy.

In the Saudi kingdom, economic growth is expected to slow to 0.9 percent in 2017, a significant drop from the 10-percent growth seen in 2011, when the price of crude oil was significantly higher. As a result of the slowdown, Saudi Arabia’s credit rating took a major hit on Wednesday when Fitch downgraded the nation due to its soaring fiscal deficit and declining balance sheet.

With the regional influence of the Saudis waning and Iran ascending as a regional power, can the U.S. afford to continue shunning Iran while the powerful and influential Saudi monarchy continues to wane?

A Yemeni soldier looks at the graffiti of U.S. drone strike painted on a wall as a protest against the drone strikes, in Sanaa, Yemen, on Dec. 21, 2013. (Photo: Mohammed Mohammed/Xinhua)

War In Yemen Another Key Factor

Though the U.S.’ shifting positions regarding the long-time geopolitical rivalry between Saudi Arabia and Iran is key to gauging Washington’s true intentions in the region, the Saudi conflict in Yemen is another important theater in assessing whether Trump will ultimately emerge as the “true friend” that the Saudis are now expecting.

Since March 2015, the Saudis have been waging a brutal war in Yemen that is bordering on genocide, all with the express intention of maintaining influence and control over the nation’s most strategic geographical feature – the Bab al-Mandab strait, critical to the region’s oil trade. In an effort to drive out resistance to foreign influence in Yemen – led by the Houthi religio-political movement – the Saudis have committed multiple war crimes, resulting in a massive humanitarian crisis that claims the lives of an estimated 1,000 children every week.

While the U.S. has remained silent about Saudi war crimes in Yemen and “assisted” the Saudi campaign with airstrikes and massive arms sales, the Obama administration tried its best to avoid adopting a major role in the conflict while also honoring the decades-old U.S.-Saudi arrangement of security-for-oil.

But under Trump, U.S. involvement in Yemen has already escalated. As Foreign Policy reported, Trump recently dropped more bombs on Yemen in one week than Obama did in an entire year. Not only that, but the now infamous Navy Seal raid in Yemen also happened on Trump’s watch, a raid that was badly botched and resulted in the loss of many civilian lives.

These increases seem to suggest that Trump is seeking to win the approval of the Saudis – at least on this front. However, several analysts have argued that Trump’s escalation of U.S. involvement in Yemen is unlikely to go any further than it already has. Gregory Gause, a professor of international affairs at Texas A&M University and a Saudi specialist, told Bloomberg that “I do not think that the Trump administration wants to get more deeply involved in Iraq, Syria or other places where the Saudis would want help in turning back Iranian influence.”

Shakdam shared Gause’s perspective, saying “President Trump may agree to a few airstrikes [in Yemen] so that he could score military brownie points with Riyadh, but I don’t expect any real commitment. A lot of [U.S. involvement in Yemen] is military posing.”

However, recent suggestions that Trump has little chance of achieving his domestic policy goals “in the absence of starting a new war” could alternatively mean that Trump may be seeking the support of the Saudi military in the event that such a war were to emerge from any one of the armed conflicts currently taking place in the Middle East. The U.S.’ involvement in Yemen, then, could just be another form of appeasement.

President Donald Trump meets with Saudi Defense Minister and Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, March 14, 2017. (AP/Evan Vucci)

Appeasement As Protection – Saudis Could Still Crash The Dollar

Even if Trump and his administration are considering pivoting toward Iran out of economic interest, they will be forced to appease the Saudis regardless. While Saudi influence is diminishing as its national economy weakens, the oil-rich Gulf kingdom still has the ability to unleash economic armageddon upon the U.S. if it so chooses – all thanks to the petrodollar system.

The petrodollar system is dependent on the Saudis and other members of OPEC conducting their oil sale transactions in U.S. dollars, a system that creates artificial demand for the dollar and thus artificially increases the dollar’s value. As the continued existence of this system is dependent on Saudi cooperation, the U.S. cannot blatantly reject its alliance with Saudi Arabia without suffering major consequences. Over the years, the Saudi government has made this quite clear stating blatantly on several occasions that OPEC could crash the dollar if the oil-producing bloc chose to price oil in alternative currencies.

In fact, the Saudis have used the petrodollar system as a bargaining chip in the past, threatening economic warfare against the dollar when they have felt threatened by changes in U.S. policy.

For instance, last year, Saudi Arabia threatened to liquidate its U.S. assets and crash the dollar if Congress were to pass a bill allowing the Saudis to be held responsible for their role in the terror attacks of September 11. Though the bill passed, the Saudi threat did not materialize due to an Obama-brokered billion-dollar arms sale to the Saudis – another example of appeasement in action.

The recent meeting between the Saudi deputy crown prince and Trump also shows more evidence of the U.S. bowing to Saudi interests. According to a White House statement issued after the meeting, Trump voiced his support for a new U.S.-Saudi program in which the U.S. will invest – both directly and indirectly – more than 200 billion dollars in the struggling Saudi economy over the next four years.

Supporting such a massive investment plan is a clear method of appeasement, considering that Trump recently proposed “dramatic reductions” in foreign aid. Saudi Arabia will likely be excluded from these reductions – just as it was excluded from his temporary travel ban.

But despite Trump’s best efforts to remain predictable and play both sides in the rivalries that dominate Middle East politics, he may have bitten off more than he can chew. He will eventually be forced to choose between the economic interests of the U.S. and its long-standing alliances in the region.

This article first appeared on MintPressNews.com and was authored by Whitney Webb.

The post Trump Is Taking The U.S.-Saudi Relationship To The Next Level appeared first on We Are Change.

Financial Crash and False Flag? Noam Chomsky Predicts a Dark Future for Trump Regime

Posted: 27 Mar 2017 12:43 PM PDT

We Are Change

Historian, economist, philosopher and libertarian socialist Noam Chomsky has recently taken shots at the Trump administration, saying that they will cause another financial crash. Chomsky is also reportedly now throwing around the idea of a potential false-flag attack to boost support.

Chomsky claims that Trump will eliminate regulations on corporations, allowing more money to be made by CEOs, and less for workers. He asserts that this is going to help lead to another financial crash:

“Soon as Trump was elected, and since stock values and financial institutions escalated to the skies, they’re delighted. He’s going to eliminate regulations, let them make more profit. Of course, it will lead to another crash, but that’s somebody else’s problem. Taxpayers will take care of that.”

It seems that Chomsky also recently took shots at the departed Obama administration while paying respects to the movement of Bernie Sanders, saying:

“They [the working class] had a real need for hope and change. Well, they didn’t get hope, and they didn’t get change… Suppose that people like you, the people who formed the Sanders movement, would present an authentic, constructive program for real hope and change. It would win these people back… Many of the Trump voters could have voted for Sanders if there had been the right kind of activism and organization… It’s been done in the past under much harsher circumstances” (Watch below).

Chomsky seems to be skeptical that Trump is really an anti-establishment president. As reported in the Independent, Chomsky said that Trump’s cabinet, “is drawing from the billionaire class, largely financial institutions, and military and so on; in fact, take a look at the stock market, that tells you how anti-establishment he is.”

As Chomsky is saying here, it has been both historically and presently possible to conduct a political revolution through the ballot box. We all witnessed the election of seemingly anti-establishment Trump only months ago. Being an outsider to the political arena, it is no wonder that Trump has since compared himself to Andrew Jackson, who won the presidency in 1828 in a similar manner.

That’s not to say comparing yourself to Andrew Jackson is a great idea. He did put down an attempt at a centralized bank, but he also did many things that would make a common historian wonder why Trump even wants to affiliate himself with that name.

Trump had previously presented himself as someone who was outside of the political establishment, but his association with people from Goldman Sachs, who financed both Barack Obama and George Bush at convenient times, are evidence of the opposite. In fact, there are so many financial elites in Trump’s cabinet that it’s been since termed the “richest cabinet in U.S. history.”

As reported by Alternet, Chomsky has also thrown out some words of criticism for Trump’s cabinet, saying:

“The old Republican establishment is pretty much pushing through the kinds of programs that they have always wanted. And now they have a kind of open door that is Trump’s cabinet, which draws from the most reactionary parts of the establishment.”

Chomsky Also Predicts a Possible False-Flag

Chomsky is also seemingly concerned about the future of the Trump administration, especially regarding his previous claims, that they might even consider taking advantage of a “staged or alleged” terrorist attack. As reported by Alternet, Chomsky said:

“I think that we shouldn’t put aside the possibility that there would be some kind of staged or alleged terrorist act, which can change the country instantly.”

Chomsky believes that this may occur in order for Trump to maintain his popularity, and/or to find a scapegoat to explain why his policies are failing.

This is all of course if they do fail. Only months into the Trump administration, it is fair that we let him put in his time, and see what he can do for America.

The post Financial Crash and False Flag? Noam Chomsky Predicts a Dark Future for Trump Regime appeared first on We Are Change.

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