The Avalanche – Snapshot 47 – Oct 11, ’19

Soldiers secure concertina wire to the existing border fence near the World Trade International Bridge in Laredo, Texas, April 11, 2019. (Sgt. Andrew S. Valles/Army)

“Democrats exclude Trump’s fascist anti-immigrant policies from impeachment inquiry” by Eric London (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

According to a New York Times report posted Tuesday night, President Donald Trump in March called for a fascistic pogrom against immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border. “Privately, the president had often talked about fortifying a border wall with a water-filled trench, stocked with snakes or alligators, prompting aides to seek a cost estimate,” the Times wrote.

“He wanted the wall electrified, with spikes on top that could pierce human flesh… later in a meeting, aides recalled, he suggested that they shoot migrants in the legs to slow them down.”

On Wednesday, the Times reported that the Department of Homeland Security will forcibly collect DNA samples from all detained immigrants for compilation in a national database, including children and asylum applicants.

That such Hitlerian proposals are discussed in the Oval Office by the president and his chief advisers—down to the details of cost—testifies to the depraved character of the entire American political establishment and shows that Trump’s immigration policies are calculated to abuse and terrorize immigrant workers…

Yet the Democratic Party has launched an impeachment inquiry not over Trump’s fascist policies, but over his subordination of the global interests of US imperialism to his own personal and political needs. The Democrats are basing their impeachment drive on a single phone call in which Trump, having withheld some $400 million in military aid to the far-right government of Ukraine, an ally against Russia, sought to use the release of the funds as leverage to force the Ukrainian president to investigate the corruption of Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden and his son.

The Democrats’ impeachment investigation is directed by the CIA and other intelligence agencies. These forces of extreme reaction have determined that Trump’s politics—no matter how criminal—must be excluded from the efforts to remove him from office.

Accordingly, only hours after the Times published the report on Trump’s proposal to shoot immigrants, the story had practically disappeared from the news cycle.

According to Alexander Mercouris, who in my view argues his case persuasively, Nancy Pelosi doesn’t even want to see Trump impeached. What has been initiated is a discussion of impeachment. Pelosi is going along with what others want and are clamoring for. For sure, Trump’s phone call was appropriate and not about Biden. It was part of an ongoing investigation by the US government into efforts to get rid of the president, efforts that involved a Democratic Party-connected company called Crowdstrike, which may have hard drives in Ukraine that will reveal the collusion ‘against Trump’. Apparently, It’s okay for them to spend 2 years trying to find evidence of Trump’s collusion with Vladimir Putin, which is now debunked, but it’s not okay for that same president to investigate ‘that’ collusion. Eric London’s above linked-to article is weak in certain respects. He unwittingly spreads the establishment’s lies about Donald Trump’s phone call to Volodymyr Zelensky. But his point about the Democrats killing talk about Trump’s ‘actual’ criminality and bad behavior is good.

related: “Trump wants to shoot people in the legs. The United States’ closest ally already does that.”

“American media shuts down the Epstein story” by Patrick Martin (WSWS)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

====== =
The corporate-controlled media in the United States has effectively shut down all reporting on the death of the politically connected multi-millionaire sex-trafficker Jeffrey Epstein, only one week after his body was discovered in a prison cell in the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Manhattan.

Epstein’s death was the most widely reported American event in the first few days of the week, with hours of coverage on cable television, the lead story on nightly network news programs, and pages upon pages of reporting in the New York Times, Washington Post and other leading daily newspapers.

There was ample reason for such attention, particularly by the standards of the sensation-obsessed American media. Epstein was, at least by reputation, both fabulously wealthy and dangerously predatory. He travelled in the highest circles of bourgeois society, hobnobbing with ex-presidents, future presidents, British royalty and numerous billionaires, some of whom he claimed to have enriched enormously…

After Epstein’s death, social media was filled with speculation about the unusual circumstances in which he died and the possible motives of highly placed and political powerful individuals for doing away with him. The corporate media went into overdrive, led by the New York Times, to denounce such questions as “conspiracy theories,” without foundation in evidence—although the lack of evidence was due to the silence of the police and prison authorities as they sought to come up with a plausible explanation…

This media silence is itself perhaps the most suspicious development in the entire Epstein case. Why was there no reference to the story which riveted public attention for several days last week? It had occasioned tweets by President Trump accusing various Democrats of collusion in his death, and statements by Democrats, such as New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a candidate for president, that the timing of Epstein’s death was “too convenient.”

If this had become a non-story only eight days after Epstein’s lifeless body was found, the question must be asked: what is the American media seeking to hide?

Again, the New York Times has taken the lead in the cover-up. It published a lengthy front-page story in its Sunday edition under the headline, “Epstein Feared Misery of Jail in His Final Days,” which has only one purpose: further shoring up the suicide verdict by painting a picture of Epstein as so desperate to avoid spending time in his cell that he brought his lawyers in for hours of consultation where he could sit in a conference room.
= ======

“We’re under attack” by ? (Off Guardian)

Here’s the notice found at the site linked-to above:

Since last Thursday – over a week ago – OffG has been under continued intermittent Distributed Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks from agents unknown.

Today around 7pm BST the attack increased in severity sharply and took the site down despite the defense measures we had in place. Since then we’ve been struggling to a) understand what type of attack it is and b) find better counter-measures.

It’s not proving easy. The loads on the server are dropping but are still high.

Until we beat this you’ll find the site is slow to load or completely unavailable.

Please bear with us during this trying time.

Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible!

Looking at some of the posts that my visitors have viewed led to the discovery that many of my links to sites that pertained to the Right To Protect (R2P) doctrine are dead. (Why they insist on putting a 2 in the place of T is beyond me.) “The Wide And Spacious Road Of Neoliberal Capitalism That Leads To Destruction” is a post I wrote and published on December 31, 2012.

A link in that post that originally went to a July 23, 2009 UN panel discussion, brought together by Miguel d’Escoto Brockmann, featuring Noam Chomsky, Gareth Evans, Ngugi wa Thiong’o and Jean Bricmont. (See Anthony Fenton’s Global Research article titled “The Responsibility to Protect,” in which he examines that discussion.)

Anyway, the link to Fenton’s dormant, or abandoned, website now returns something having to do with jazz. I don’t know whether that’s nefarious. (Anthony Fenton became invisible years ago when he quit publishing articles and blog posts in order to further his education. Exactly what he’s doing now, I don’t know. (When I first noticed Anthony Fenton’s absence, many years ago, and asked about it on the fakey Rabble [Canadian] website, I got jumped on for it. Some defended me, pointing out that I said nothing wrong at all just by asking an innocent question.) I then had to edit a few of my blog posts in which I had links to the UN panel convened by Brockmann. What I found most disturbing was the way the UN Webcast Archive entry for that panel, while still there, is now populated by only dead links. And I couldn’t for the life of me find the video on YouTube, which figures.

So I screen captured the section of the Archive and put it up into the cloud. Then I used the contact form at the bottom of the page on the UN Webcast Archive page to contact someone and let them know about the dead (all four of them) links in that entry and of course that form is useless. This is what I got when I tried to use it:

Kenneth L. Marcus (Photo: United States Department of Education)

“The Department of Education has launched a campaign against pro-Palestine voices on campus. Many saw it coming.” by Michael Arria (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Last June, the Trump administration nominated Kenneth Marcus for assistant secretary for civil rights and he was approved by the Senate despite getting no Democratic votes, 50-46. Marcus’ nomination was opposed by a number of organizations for a variety of reasons: he supported rolling back campus sexual assault protections, opposed Affirmative Action, and couldn’t identify one example where he disagreed with Donald Trump on the subject of civil rights.

Some of the deepest concerns about Marcus were voiced by activists and groups that advocate for Palestinian rights. Marcus was the founder and president of the pro-Israel Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights, an organization that aims to combat “the resurgent problem of anti-Semitism and anti-Israelism on university campuses.” Marcus has lobbied to push a definition of anti-Semitism (at the federal and state level) that includes criticism of Israel. He’s also pushed for the defunding of Middle East Studies programs at universities and called on congress to pass the Anti-Semitism Awareness Act, a bill that would censor pro-Palestinian voices on campuses.

Omar Barghouti (Image: Carlos Latuff)

“Israel prepares to deport BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti” by Jonathan Ofir (Mondoweiss)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

Israel’s Minister of the Interior says he is taking action to force Omar Barghouti, co-founder of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, out of the country.

I intend to act quickly to deprive Omar Barghouti of residency status in Israel… This is a man who does everything to harm the country and therefore must not enjoy the right to be a resident of Israel.

Aryeh Deri said he had directed the Population and Immigration Authority to prepare a legal opinion aimed at Barghouti’s deportation.

The announcement comes after Deputy Attorney General Dina Zilber notified Deri’s office that it had the authority to revoke Barghouti’s residency. The legal basis: a 2018 amendment to the residency law, listing “breach of trust” as a crime which may justify stripping a residency status. Barghouti married a Palestinian citizen of Israel, and lives under the residency status in the city of Acre.

Imagine it – the state “trusts” you to not take it to task for its violations, it “trusts” you to not complain and to accept these violations, and if you protest, even in a non-violent and civil manner, you have breached that “trust”…

For Israel, Barghouti proves that you can’t trust Palestinians to shut up, and that they need to learn it the hard way. But every step that Israel takes in its repressive attempt to silence dissent, becomes another reason to boycott it.

Personally, I think that as long as Omar can take his wife with him, then this is not a bad thing. Of course, Where do they intend to send him?

“Major Media Bury Groundbreaking Studies of Pentagon’s Massive Carbon Bootprint” by Joshua Cho (FAIR)

An excerpt from the above linked-to article follows:

In 2010, Project Censored (10/2/10) found that the

US military is responsible for the most egregious and widespread pollution of the planet, yet this information and accompanying documentation goes almost entirely unreported.

Use, Climate Change, and the Costs of War,” by Neta Crawford for Brown University’s Costs of War Project, confirmed previous findings that the US military is “the single-largest producer of greenhouse gases (GHG) in the world,” and that the Pentagon is responsible for between “77% and 80% of all US government energy consumption” since 2001, and that from the beginning of the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 to 2017, the US military emitted approximately 1.2 billion metric tons of CO2 equivalent.

The second study, “Hidden Carbon Costs of the ‘Everywhere War’: Logistics, Geopolitical Ecology, and the Carbon Bootprint of the US Military,” published by Oliver Belcher, Benjamin Neimark and Patrick Bigger from Durham and Lancaster universities in the Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers (6/19), found that if the US military were a country, its “fuel usage alone would make it the 47th largest emitter of greenhouse gases in the world, sitting between Peru and Portugal.”

Yet these groundbreaking studies received no coverage in virtually all the US’s biggest newspapers and TV news channels. An initial search in the Nexis news database from June 1 to October 4 of the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, NPR, PBS, ABC, MSNBC, CBS and CNN turned up nothing.

“A Loud Whoompfing Sound”

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