Public confrontations with the Israel lobby’s systemic encroachments are the only means for politicians to beat it. In 2020 Minnesota Representative Betty McCollum stopped a massive coordinated Israel lobby media smear campaign in its tracks by accurately labeling AIPAC as a "hate group." Biden has the power to do the same, but unfortunately his entire career has been in servitude to injustice when it comes to Israel Palestine.
The Biden administration assumes power claiming it will reverse Trump administration policies it claims are harmful to Americans and the rest of the world. Biden will end the so-called Muslim ban – Executive order 13769 – on travelers from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia Sudan, Syria and Yemen. The US will rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change and cancel the Keystone XL pipeline. Biden will issue mask mandates, extend moratoriums on evictions and even rejoin the World Health Organization.
Absent from the announced Biden 100-day program are any proposed reversals of Israel policies implemented by the Trump administration that seriously harm the United States and rest of the world. Rolling back those policies would require bucking the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) which closely coordinates its activities with the Israeli government. One way to corral AIPAC would be to actually enforce the 1962 Department of Justice order that AIPAC register as an Israeli foreign agent.
A new controversy arises involving the humanitarian situation of the Palestinians in territories occupied by Israel. So far, Israel is the country that most vaccinated its population against the new coronavirus. Tel Aviv makes strong political propaganda with the success of its national vaccination program, which, in less than a month, immunized more than 25% of Israeli citizens. The partial victory over the virus has been a real political weapon for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is trying to regain his popularity by fighting the pandemic. However, the Jewish state is receiving strong criticism worldwide due to the exclusionary nature of its vaccination campaign, which excludes Palestinians, confirming in practice the existence of an institutional, ethnic discrimination in Israel.
Amnesty International recently launched a global campaign against Israeli discrimination, demanding that Tel Aviv to stop ignoring international vaccination recommendations and abandon discrimination in its national immunization program. In a recent statement, Saleh Hijazi, Amnesty International’s regional director for the Middle East and North Africa, stated: "Israel’s Covid-19 vaccine program highlights the institutionalized discrimination that defines the Israeli government’s policy towards Palestinians (…) While Israel celebrates a record-setting vaccination drive, millions of Palestinians living under Israeli control in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip will receive no vaccine or have to wait much longer – there could hardly be a better illustration of how Israeli lives are valued above Palestinian ones."
As a veteran concerned about issues of war and peace, I am happy to celebrate the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW), the important new international peace initiative. The "Nuclear Ban Treaty," as it is also known, was approved 122-1 by the UN General Assembly in July 2017, a clear expression of the will of the world’s people. On October 24, 2020, Honduras became the 50th nation to ratify the TPNW, triggering a 90-day period before it goes into force, on January 22.
None of the nine nuclear-armed nations have yet signed onto the Treaty. These nuclear powers are in violation of the 50-year-old Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, which requires them to negotiate in good faith to reduce and eventually eliminate all nuclear weapons. Instead, the U.S. and other nuclear powers are developing new generations of nuclear weapons, alarming many experts who believe the threat of nuclear war is greater than ever.
“If you only read one book this year on America’s unending ‘War on Terror,’ it should be this persuasive and devastatingly damning account of how the United States created the original al Qaeda terrorism threat by its own actions and then increased that threat by orders of magnitude by its wanton killings in one country after another in the name of ‘counter-terrorism.’ Once I started reading it, I couldn’t stop!” — Daniel Ellsberg, Pentagon Papers whistleblower and author of The Doomsday Machine: Confessions of a Nuclear War Planner
“Nothing has fueled the abuse of government power in the last 20 years like the ‘War on Terrorism.’ Scott Horton’s essential new book, Enough Already, is the key to understanding why it’s not too late to end the wars and save our country. Three administrations in a row have promised us a more restrained foreign policy. It is time we insisted on it.” — Ron Paul, M.D., former congressman and author of Swords into Plowshares: A Life in Wartime and a Future of Peace and Prosperity
On COI#58, Maj. Danny Sjursen, USA (ret.) joins Kyle Anzalone to break down Ethiopia, Mali, and Biden’s foreign policy team. Danny gives a brief history of Ethiopia and explains how the country’s conflicts with its neighbors. Danny explains how the Ethiopian Prime Minister won the peace prize, then use the prize to further his war efforts. He also breaks down Ethiopia’s internal politics and the recent civil war (plus the ongoing insurgency.)
Danny and Kyle discuss the civil war in Mali and the French intervention. Post-Libyan War France has been fighting jihadists groups throughout the Sahel region. In recent weeks, five French soldiers have died. France is now looking to exit West Africa. Danny and Kyle examine the neocons and humanitarian interventionists that are coming to power in the Biden administration and how they could expand America’s War on Terror.
I don’t have any personal war stories to tell. In my twenty years in the U.S. Air Force, I never saw combat. I started as a developmental engineer, working mainly on computer software, and morphed into a historian of science and technology who taught for six years at the USAF Academy. I worked on software projects that helped pilots plan their missions and helped the world to keep track of objects in Earth orbit. I taught military cadets who did see combat and served as the dean of students at the Defense Language Institute at the Presidio of Monterey, where I saw plenty of young troops cross the graduation stage with language skills in Arabic and Pashto and other languages as they prepared to deploy to Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. But no combat for me.
I got lucky. As one friend, an Army colonel, told me: any day you’re not being shot at is a good day in the Army. The result, however, is that I can’t tell exciting war stories that begin: “There I was” in Baghdad, or Kandahar, or Fallujah, or the Korengal Valley.