OBAMA’S FAREWELL SPEECH ~~ ‘WE COULD HAVE, BUT WE DIDN’T’

Outgoing president sheds a tear as he addresses his nation, delivering a statement inspired by the slogan that propelled him to the White House: ‘Yes we can…Yes we did.’

Even as Obama said farewell—in a televised speech of just under an hour—the anxiety felt by many Americans about the future was palpable, and not only in the Chicago convention center where he stood in front of a giant presidential seal. The political world was reeling from new revelations about an unsubstantiated report that Russia had compromising personal and financial information about Trump.

 

Full Report HERE

WHAT YOU DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT ELECTION MEDDLING

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Meddling in Elections
By Mazin Qumsiyeh, PhD

"For many years I have felt that the situation in the Middle East was very
nearly hopeless.  The fundamental problem for us is that we have lost our
freedom of action in the Middle East and are committed to policies that
promote neither our own national interest nor the cause of peace.  AIPAC
(the American-Israeli Public Affairs Committee) and its allied
organizations have effective working control of the electoral process.
They can elect or defeat nearly any congressman or senator that they wish,
with their money and coordinated organization" Senator William Fulbright

Just so that we do not forget who really meddles in US elections and US
politics all the time

AIPAC role in US elections


AIPAC is not the only group though it is the most visible that influences
US elections to serve Israeli (not American interests). Here is a partial
listing

We have to remember that it was Israel which pushed for the war on Iraq and
damaged US Politicians who opposed the war (e.g. the Israel lobby boasts of
its influence to get rid of US congress people like Paul Findley and
Cynthia McKinney). See

 And look at The Israel Lobby by John Mearsheimer and Stephen Walt

And then there are the billionaire Zionists like Sheldon Adelson who all
contending republicans for president court.

And who can forget that a Jewish lawyer by the name of Harry Katz talked to
head of AIPAC in 1991 and that the head of AIPAC boasted about theiur
negotiations” with Bill Clinton for support but only if the Zionists get
key cabinet positions (secretary of state and as his national security
adviser)

And can we forget that Prime Minister Netanyahu discarded protocol, snubbed
President Obama and addressed AIPAC’s US Congress in March 2015 interfering
directly in US Policy that was interested in best deal for the US (with
Iran). Thankfully, they did not succeed then to change Obama’s discourse so
they now ensured to have a successor who will annul the deal


Just last week, an Israeli diplomat was caught on tape boasting about
meddling in British elections and politics.


For more on politics, elections etc, see this chapter from my book “Sharing
the Land of Canaan” 

And this is only the tip of the iceberg. So please share these links to
show who really meddles in democratic elections. (Someone ought to write a
book)

Stay human
 

CLINTONS BLAME ‘ANGRY WHITE MEN’ FOR THEIR LOSS

Former US President Bill Clinton blames Comey, Russia, and ‘angry, white men’ for wife Hillary’s presidential loss.

It had nothing to do with the lies, the murders or the corruptness

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Bill Clinton: ‘Angry white men’ caused Hillary loss

Former President and one-time would-be “First Man” Bill Clinton placed the blame for his wife Hillary’s loss in the recent US presidential election squarely on FBI Director James Comey – and “angry, white men.”

According to Politico, Bill Clinton, responding at a spontaneous question-and-answer session at a New York bookstore to the question of whether President-elect Trump was smart, replied that “he doesn’t know much.”

However, “one thing he does know is how to get angry, white men to vote for him.” Analysis of election results has shown that blue-collar and middle class white men voted for Trump in large numbers, but also 40% of eligible women voters.

In addition, Clinton blamed Hillary’s loss on FBI Director James Comey, who had reopened an investigation into Hillary’s secret email server 11 days before the elections.

“James Comey cost her the election,” he said bluntly.

Clinton also accused the Russians of interfering in the election by hacking into the Clinton campaign’s emails.

“You would need to have a single-digit IQ not to recognize what was going on,” he claimed.

On Monday, the electoral college officially confirmed Donald Trump’s presidential victory.

 

 

Source

IMAGE OF THE DAY ~~ DAMN YOU AMERICA!

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TRUMP ~~ UNIFIER EXTRAORDINAIRE

What you are about to witness is historic; it is the will of the people to act collectively and in the service of the public good.

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Thank you Mr. Trump, the unifier

BILL’S LATEST ‘CHEER UP’ MESSAGE TO HILLARY

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And here’s the situation two years from now ….

THE LATEST POTUS ELECT POLITICALLY INCORRECT POTPOURRI

Views from Right Field

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IN PHOTOS ~~ IMMIGRANT SOLIDARITY DAY

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On IMMIGRANT SOLIDARITY DAY, 11/13, thousands of New York City’s citizens poured into the  street in front of Trump’s International Hotel singing and chanting with an anger and a militancy that resounded off the walls of the hotel.

“ No hate, no fear, everyone is welcome here”

“Muslim rights are human rights”

“F**k white supremacy”

“This is what democracy looks like”

“Black lives matter”

“Queer and proud”

“Women’s rights are human rights”

 

 They marched through the streets on route to Trump Towers on 5th Avenue.   Thousands of people filled the street from curb to curb. All traffic was stopped. The demonstrators turned on 5th Avenue to  pass Trump Towers where they would inform Trump of their resistance to his bigotry.   Police barricades were set up to prevent the thousands from reaching Trump Towers.  The demonstration was organized by immigrant rights groups. Nonimmigrant allies joined them in solidarity. This demonstration was one of many, involving thousands of people throughout the United States on a daily basis .

Photos and commentary © by Bud Korotzer

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IS THE NEW YORK TIMES ADMITTING IT IS FULL OF SH-T?

One can’t help but wonder what else the Times has been lying about …..

In the aftermath of Donald Trump’s electoral victory, the New York Times executive editor and publisher have promised readers to report world news more accurately.

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New York Times promises to start ‘reporting world news more accurately’ after Trump victory

‘Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?’ says the editorial

Matt Payton

In the aftermath of Donald Trump‘s electoral victory, the New York Times executive editor and publisher have promised readers to report world news more accurately.

Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr and executive editor Dean Baquet questioned, in a unprecedented move, whether the paper had underestimated Mr Trump’s support among American voters.

The left-wing media has been widely accused of failing to fully appreciate the scale of discontent at the politicial elite, of which Hillary Clinton was viewed by many as epitomising.

The New York Times and the Washington Post in particular were very critical in their stance and coverage of Mr Trump.

In October, the paper refused to retract an article in which two women accused Donald Trump of sexual assault, after the Republican presidential nominee threatened to sue the newspaper. In a letter, a lawyer for the Times all but dared the property developer to make good on his threat.

“We published newsworthy information about a subject of deep public concern,” wrote David McCraw, the paper’s assistant general counsel. “If Mr Trump disagrees, if he believes that American citizens had no right to hear what these women had to say and that the law of this country forces us and those who would criticise him to stand silent or be punished, we welcome the opportunity to have a court set him straight.”

The article featured interviews with 74-year-old Jessica Leeds, who said Mr Trump had groped her on a flight more than 30 years ago, and with Rachel Crooks, whom Mr Trump allegedly kissed “on the mouth” against her will as she introduced herself to him in 2005, when she was 22.

Published on Saturday, the editorial said: “After such an erratic and unpredictable election there are inevitable questions.

“Did Donald Trump’s sheer unconventionality lead us and other news outlets to underestimate his support among American voters?

“What forces and strains in America drove this divisive election and outcome?

“Most important, how will a president who remains a largely enigmatic figure actually govern when he takes office?”

The piece announced the paper’s plan to rededicate itself to reporting American and world news “honestly, without fear or favour”.

The editorial stated: “When the biggest political story of the year reached a dramatic and unexpected climax late Tuesday night, our newsroom turned on a dime and did what it has done for nearly two years – cover the 2016 election with agility and creativity.

“As we reflect on the momentous result, and the months of reporting and polling that preceded it, we aim to rededicate ourselves to the fundamental mission of Times journalism.

“That is to report America and the world honestly, without fear or favor, striving always to understand and reflect all political perspectives and life experiences in the stories that we bring to you.”

Mr Trump’s victory has been meant with widespread protests across America.

Thouands of marchers took to the streets of New York, Los Angeles and Chicago on Saturday night as protests continued. At least 25 cities have seen major anti-Trump demonstrations in the five days since the controversial businessman’s shock election victory.

THE TRUMP VICTORY ~~HOW AND WHY

This is the best analysis of the election that I have seen to date …

For many years, the U.S. — like the U.K. and other Western nations — has embarked on a course that virtually guaranteed a collapse of elite authority and internal implosion. From the invasion of Iraq to the 2008 financial crisis to the all-consuming framework of prisons and endless wars, societal benefits have been directed almost exclusively to the very elite institutions most responsible for failure at the expense of everyone else.

Democrats, Trump, and the Ongoing, Dangerous Refusal to Learn the Lesson of Brexit

Glenn Greenwald

THE PARALLELS BETWEEN the U.K.’s shocking approval of the Brexit referendum in June and the U.S.’s even more shocking election of Donald Trump as president Tuesday night are overwhelming. Elites (outside of populist right-wing circles) aggressively unified across ideological lines in opposition to both. Supporters of Brexit and Trump were continually maligned by the dominant media narrative (validly or otherwise) as primitive, stupid, racist, xenophobic, and irrational. In each case, journalists who spend all day chatting with one another on Twitter and congregating in exclusive social circles in national capitals — constantly re-affirming their own wisdom in an endless feedback loop — were certain of victory. Afterward, the elites whose entitlement to prevail was crushed devoted their energies to blaming everyone they could find except for themselves, while doubling down on their unbridled contempt for those who defied them, steadfastly refusing to examine what drove their insubordination.

The indisputable fact is that prevailing institutions of authority in the West, for decades, have relentlessly and with complete indifference stomped on the economic welfare and social security of hundreds of millions of people. While elite circles gorged themselves on globalism, free trade, Wall Street casino gambling, and endless wars (wars that enriched the perpetrators and sent the poorest and most marginalized to bear all their burdens), they completely ignored the victims of their gluttony, except when those victims piped up a bit too much — when they caused a ruckus — and were then scornfully condemned as troglodytes who were the deserved losers in the glorious, global game of meritocracy.

That message was heard loud and clear. The institutions and elite factions that have spent years mocking, maligning, and pillaging large portions of the population — all while compiling their own long record of failure and corruption and destruction — are now shocked that their dictates and decrees go unheeded. But human beings are not going to follow and obey the exact people they most blame for their suffering. They’re going to do exactly the opposite: purposely defy them and try to impose punishment in retaliation. Their instruments for retaliation are Brexit and Trump. Those are their agents, dispatched on a mission of destruction: aimed at a system and culture they regard — not without reason — as rife with corruption and, above all else, contempt for them and their welfare.

After the Brexit vote, I wrote an article comprehensively detailing these dynamics, which I won’t repeat here but hope those interested will read. The title conveys the crux: “Brexit Is Only the Latest Proof of the Insularity and Failure of Western Establishment Institutions.” That analysis was inspired by a short, incredibly insightful, and now more relevant than ever post-Brexit Facebook note by the Los Angeles Times’s Vincent Bevins, who wrote that “both Brexit and Trumpism are the very, very wrong answers to legitimate questions that urban elites have refused to ask for 30 years.” Bevins went on: “Since the 1980s the elites in rich countries have overplayed their hand, taking all the gains for themselves and just covering their ears when anyone else talks, and now they are watching in horror as voters revolt.”

For those who tried to remove themselves from the self-affirming, vehemently pro-Clinton elite echo chamber of 2016, the warning signs that Brexit screechingly announced were not hard to see. Two short passages from a Slate interview I gave in July summarized those grave dangers: that opinion-making elites were so clustered, so incestuous, so far removed from the people who would decide this election — so contemptuous of them — that they were not only incapable of seeing the trends toward Trump but were unwittingly accelerating those trends with their own condescending, self-glorifying behavior.

Like most everyone else who saw the polling data and predictive models of the media’s self-proclaimed data experts, I long believed Clinton would win, but the reasons why she very well could lose were not hard to see. The warning lights were flashing in neon for a long time, but they were in seedy places that elites studiously avoid. The few people who purposely went to those places and listened, such as Chris Arnade, saw and heard them loud and clear. The ongoing failure to take heed of this intense but invisible resentment and suffering guarantees that it will fester and strengthen. This was the last paragraph of my July article on the Brexit fallout:

Instead of acknowledging and addressing the fundamental flaws within themselves, [elites] are devoting their energies to demonizing the victims of their corruption, all in order to delegitimize those grievances and thus relieve themselves of responsibility to meaningfully address them. That reaction only serves to bolster, if not vindicate, the animating perceptions that these elite institutions are hopelessly self-interested, toxic, and destructive and thus cannot be reformed but rather must be destroyed. That, in turn, only ensures there will be many more Brexits, and Trumps, in our collective future.

Beyond the Brexit analysis, there are three new points from last night’s results that I want to emphasize, as they are unique to the 2016 U.S. election and, more importantly, illustrate the elite pathologies that led to all of this:

1. Democrats have already begun flailing around trying to blame anyone and everyone they can find — everyone except themselves — for last night’s crushing defeat of their party.

You know the drearily predictable list of their scapegoats: Russia, WikiLeaks, James Comey, Jill Stein, Bernie Bros, The Media, news outlets (including, perhaps especially, The Intercept) that sinned by reporting negatively on Hillary Clinton. Anyone who thinks that what happened last night in places like Ohio, Pennsylvania, Iowa, and Michigan can be blamed on any of that is drowning in self-protective ignorance so deep that it’s impossible to express in words.

When a political party is demolished, the principal responsibility belongs to one entity: the party that got crushed. It’s the job of the party and the candidate, and nobody else, to persuade the citizenry to support them and find ways to do that. Last night, the Democrats failed, resoundingly, to do that, and any autopsy or liberal think piece or pro-Clinton pundit commentary that does not start and finish with their own behavior is one that is inherently worthless.

Put simply, Democrats knowingly chose to nominate a deeply unpopular, extremely vulnerable, scandal-plagued candidate, who — for very good reason — was widely perceived to be a protector and beneficiary of all the worst components of status quo elite corruption. It’s astonishing that those of us who tried frantically to warn Democrats that nominating Hillary Clinton was a huge and scary gamble — that all empirical evidence showed that she could lose to anyone and Bernie Sanders would be a much stronger candidate, especially in this climate — are now the ones being blamed: by the very same people who insisted on ignoring all that data and nominating her anyway.

But that’s just basic blame shifting and self-preservation. Far more significant is what this shows about the mentality of the Democratic Party. Just think about who they nominated: someone who — when she wasn’t dining with Saudi monarchs and being feted in Davos by tyrants who gave million-dollar checks — spent the last several years piggishly running around to Wall Street banks and major corporations cashing in with $250,000 fees for 45-minute secret speeches even though she had already become unimaginably rich with book advances while her husband already made tens of millions playing these same games. She did all that without the slightest apparent concern for how that would feed into all the perceptions and resentments of her and the Democratic Party as corrupt, status quo-protecting, aristocratic tools of the rich and powerful: exactly the worst possible behavior for this post-2008-economic-crisis era of globalism and destroyed industries.

It goes without saying that Trump is a sociopathic con artist obsessed with personal enrichment: the opposite of a genuine warrior for the downtrodden. That’s too obvious to debate. But, just as Obama did so powerfully in 2008, he could credibly run as an enemy of the D.C. and Wall Street system that has steamrolled over so many people, while Hillary Clinton is its loyal guardian, its consummate beneficiary.

Trump vowed to destroy the system that elites love (for good reason) and the masses hate (for equally good reason), while Clinton vowed to manage it more efficiently. That, as Matt Stoller’s indispensable article in The Atlanticthree weeks ago documented, is the conniving choice the Democratic Party made decades ago: to abandon populism and become the party of technocratically proficient, mildly benevolent managers of elite power. Those are the cynical, self-interested seeds they planted, and now the crop has sprouted.

Of course there are fundamental differences between Obama’s version of “change” and Trump’s. But at a high level of generality — which is where these messages are often ingested — both were perceived as outside forces on a mission to tear down corrupt elite structures, while Clinton was perceived as devoted to their fortification. That is the choice made by Democrats — largely happy with status quo authorities, believing in their basic goodness — and any honest attempt by Democrats to find the prime author of last night’s debacle will begin with a large mirror.

2. That racism, misogyny, and xenophobia are pervasive in all sectors of America is indisputable from even a casual glance at its history, both distant and recent.

There are reasons why all presidents until 2008 were white and all 45 elected presidents have been men. There can be no doubt that those pathologies played a substantial role in last night’s outcome. But that fact answers very few questions and begs many critical ones.

To begin with, one must confront the fact that not only was Barack Obama elected twice, but he is poised to leave office as a highly popular president: now viewed more positively than Reagan. America wasn’t any less racist and xenophobic in 2008 and 2012 than it is now. Even stalwart Democrats fond of casually branding their opponents as bigots are acknowledging that a far more complicated analysis is required to understand last night’s results. As the New York Times’s Nate Cohn put it: “Clinton suffered her biggest losses in the places where Obama was strongest among white voters. It’s not a simple racism story.” Matt Yglesias acknowledged that Obama’s high approval rating is inconsistent with depictions of the U.S. as a country “besotted with racism.”

People often talk about “racism/sexism/xenophobia” vs. “economic suffering” as if they are totally distinct dichotomies. Of course there are substantial elements of both in Trump’s voting base, but the two categories are inextricably linked: The more economic suffering people endure, the angrier and more bitter they get, the easier it is to direct their anger to scapegoats. Economic suffering often fuels ugly bigotry. It is true that many Trump voters are relatively well-off and many of the nation’s poorest voted for Clinton, but, as Michael Moore quite presciently warned, those portions of the country that have been most ravaged by free trade orgies and globalism — Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa — were filled with rage and “see [Trump] as a chance to be the human Molotov cocktail that they’d like to throw into the system to blow it up.” Those are the places that were decisive in Trump’s victory. As the Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney put it:

Low-income rural white voters in Pa. voted for Obama in 2008 and then Trump in 2016, and your explanation is white supremacy? Interesting.

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It has long been, and still is, a central American challenge to rid society of these structural inequalities. But one way to ensure those scapegoating dynamics fester rather than erode is to continue to embrace a system that excludes and ignores a large portion of the population. Hillary Clinton was viewed, reasonably, as a stalwart devotee, beloved agent, and prime beneficiary of that system, and thus could not possibly be viewed as a credible actor against it.

3. Over the last six decades, and particularly over the last 15 years of the endless war on terror, both political parties have joined to construct a frightening and unprecedentedly invasive and destructive system of authoritarian power, accompanied by the unbridled authority vested in the executive branch to use it.

As a result, the president of the United States commands a vast nuclear arsenal that can destroy the planet many times over; the deadliest and most expensive military ever developed in human history; legal authorities that allow him to prosecute numerous secret wars at the same time, imprison people with no due process, and target people (including U.S. citizens) for assassination with no oversight; domestic law enforcement agencies that are constructed to appear and act as standing, para-militarized armies; a sprawling penal state that allows imprisonment far more easily than most Western countries; and a system of electronic surveillance purposely designed to be ubiquitous and limitless, including on U.S. soil.

Those who have been warning of the grave dangers these powers pose have often been dismissed on the ground that the leaders who control this system are benevolent and well-intentioned. They have thus often resorted to the tactic of urging people to imagine what might happen if a president they regarded as less than benevolent one day gained control of it. That day has arrived. One hopes this will at least provide the impetus to unite across ideological and partisan lines to finally impose meaningful limits on these powers that should never have been vested in the first place. That commitment should start now.

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For many years, the U.S. — like the U.K. and other Western nations — has embarked on a course that virtually guaranteed a collapse of elite authority and internal implosion. From the invasion of Iraq to the 2008 financial crisis to the all-consuming framework of prisons and endless wars, societal benefits have been directed almost exclusively to the very elite institutions most responsible for failure at the expense of everyone else.

It was only a matter of time before instability, backlash, and disruption resulted. Both Brexit and Trump unmistakably signal its arrival. The only question is whether those two cataclysmic events will be the peak of this process, or just the beginning. And that, in turn, will be determined by whether their crucial lessons are learned — truly internalized — or ignored in favor of self-exonerating campaigns to blame everyone else.

WORLD’S BEST CARTOONISTS REACT TO TRUMP’S VICTORY

We are honoured that our own Carlos Latuff was ranked with the best …

This is how the world’s best cartoonists are reacting to Trump’s victory

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With a mix of angry humor, barbed irony, and total disbelief, political cartoonists around the world are sharpening their pencils to illustrate something that can’t be explained in words: President-elect Donald Trump.

While some cartoonists are focusing on Trump’s misogyny, others are using their skills to highlight the racism and nativism that ran through his campaign. In most cases, the cartoonists are challenged to make the U.S. look more cartoonish than it’s become.

Many of today’s cartoons reflect a deep concern about the immediate future of a country that for centuries has been a beacon of democracy and freedom for those fleeing authoritarian regimes and economic chaos.

This is from Belgian cartoonist Lecctr

From Holland’s Hein de Kort:

Arabic news site Hunasotak depicted Trump as a meteor hurling towards Earth.

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Canadian cartoonist Ygreck on the need for his country to brace for U.S. refugees.

View image on Twitter

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For many Mexicans, Trump’s win was a big F-U to immigrants.

Mexican cartoonist Rapé mocked his own country’s president for his accommodating stance towards Trump.

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In Venezuela, cartoonist Edo highlighted recent comparisons between Trump and Latin American strongman Hugo Chávez.

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Brazil’s Carlos Latuff depicted Trump as a conqueror trampling U.S. democracy.

And he questioned how Trump will get on with other world leaders, when he doesn’t know anything about the world, and doesn’t seem to care.

Cartoonists in Colombia also highlighted the racist undertones of Trump’s campaign.

France’s satirical cartoon magazine Charlie Hebdo also targeted U.S. racism, and wondered what will happen to Obama now that he’s “once again a regular citizen.”

Australia’s Leahy highlighted the Kremlin’s bizarre role in the U.S. election.

And this, which doesn’t need any explanation, from Canadian cartoonist Michael de Adder.

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So well done, voters. Way to “Make America Great Again” in the eyes of the world.

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SOURCE

IN PHOTOS ~~ TRUMP SUCCEEDS IN UNITING THE COUNTRY — AGAINST HIMSELF

‘Not Our President’: Protests Spread After Donald Trump’s Election

Thousands of people across the country marched, shut down highways, burned effigies and shouted angry slogans on Wednesday night to protest the election of Donald J. Trump as president. (Full article HERE)

Here are photos from the protest in New York

Photos © by Bud Korotzer

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WILL PRESIDENT TRUMP MAKE PALESTINE GREAT AGAIN?

The only thing that can be said about President-elect Donald Trump with any confidence is that no one knows exactly what he will do.

Earlier in the campaign he insisted that he would be even-handed in dealings with Israelis and Palestinians, driving many of Israel’s most fanatical and neoconservative supporters into Clinton’s arms.

But facing a backlash, he quickly pivoted, promising Netanyahu he would recognize Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of the State of Israel,” and actively encouraging Israel to continue building colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank.

What will the 'new Goliath' do?

What will the ‘new Goliath’ do?

What will President Trump mean for Palestine?

On a day that most people expected not to see, we can say few things with certainty.

One of them is that Hillary Clinton would have been a disastrous president for those supporting the Palestinian struggle for their rights.

Her failed campaign pitched her as the natural successor to President Barack Obama, the Democrat who just unconditionally handed Israel the biggest military aid package in history.

During the Democratic primary campaign, Clinton marketed herself as a belligerent and violently hawkish ally of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu against the Palestinian people.

She vowed to make blocking the nonviolent Palestinian-led boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement a priority of her would-be administration.

She went out of her way to campaign against the mildest efforts to hold Israel accountable, including appealing directly to members of her United Methodist Church last spring to vote against divestment from companies that assist and profit from Israel’s occupation.

Clinton positioned herself as an anti-Palestinian extremist at a time when the Democratic Party base showed itself more open than ever to embracing Palestinian rights.

Her extreme support for Israel is just one of the many ways she and her party operatives pandered to donorsand revealed themselves to be out of touch with large segments of the country they had taken for granted.

But Hillary Clinton will not be president.

President Trump

The only thing that can be said about President-elect Donald Trump with any confidence is that no one knows exactly what he will do.

Earlier in the campaign he insisted that he would be even-handed in dealings with Israelis and Palestinians, driving many of Israel’s most fanatical and neoconservative supporters into Clinton’s arms.

But facing a backlash, he quickly pivoted, promising Netanyahu he would recognize Jerusalem as the “undivided capital of the State of Israel,” and actively encouraging Israel to continue building colonial settlements in the occupied West Bank.

Trump still showed flashes of unwillingness to appease. After winning his party’s nomination in July, he brushed off a reporter’s question about whether he would follow the “tradition” of other Republican candidates and visit Israel.

“It’s a tradition, but I’m not traditional,” Trump shot back.

Even if these changes reveal an erratic man with no fixed views, Trump’s most pro-Israel positions don’t differ much in substance from the policies of Obama, on whose watch settlement construction more than matched the pace during the term of President George W. Bush.

Visceral fears

In his victory speech last night, Trump returned to a regular theme: “We will get along with all other nations willing to get along with us … We’ll have great relationships. We expect to have great, great relationships.”

That will be little comfort to people in the US and around the world whose visceral fears are stoked by the forces that helped propel Trump’s rise: his racist baiting and incitement against Muslims and Mexicans, his boasts about sexually assaulting women, his denial of global warming and his indulgence of anti-Semitic white supremacists, including the Ku Klux Klan, which gave him its endorsement.

The Israeli counterparts of these vile American racists are celebrating Trump’s victory today.

Netanyahu congratulated Trump, calling him a “true friend of Israel.”

“I am confident President-elect Trump and I will continue to strengthen the alliance between our two countries and bring it to greater heights,” the Israeli prime minister added.

Naftali Bennett, the Israeli education minister who has boasted about his killings of Arabs, hailed the coming Trump era.

“Trump’s victory is an opportunity for Israel to immediately retract the notion of a Palestinian state in the center of the country, which would hurt our security and just cause,” Bennett said.

But the so-called two-state solution was already dead and Clinton would not have changed that.

Fighting back

The Palestinian cause has already shifted to a struggle for equality against an entrenched system of Israeli occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid anchored and rooted in support from the US bipartisan establishment.

Palestinians were not waiting for the result of the US election to decide which way their struggle would go.

Trump has won, but some things have not changed. Over the last decade, support for Palestinian rights has been rising in the United States, particularly among the young – and in the increasingly diverse Democratic Party base that has been utterly failed by its establishment leadership.

More than ever, people understand that US support for Israel comes not only from the same places where support for white supremacy, mass incarceration, unchecked police violence and US militarism and imperialism are strongest.

It also stems from the liberal, pro-human rights circles that championed Clinton, who more often than not equate colonizer and colonized, oppressor and oppressed, occupation and resistance.

This base has no choice now but to rally from its despair, which at any rate the election of either candidate would have precipitated, to keep organizing and fighting for its rights and the rights of people around the world.

The truth is, we had no choice but to wage that fight anyway.

TOON AND PHOTO OF THE HOUR ~~TRUMP’S VICTORY

Image by Carlos Latuff

Trump shocks the world. What comes next?

Trump shocks the world. What comes next?

Meanwhile, from cell block 101 …

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TWO VIEWS OF THE POST ELECTION WHITE HOUSE ~~ INSIDE AND OUT

These are possibilities …..

Hillary's Oval Office

Hillary’s Oval Office

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As Trump sees it ...

As Trump sees it …

The two candidates agree on one issue …. NO TO PALESTINE!

Image by Carlos Latuff

Image by Carlos Latuff

THE ELECTION THAT BRINGS THE CIVIL WAR TO MIND

I was always considered to be the rebel in my family. Years of involvement in Leftwing causes resulted in many an argument with other close relatives…

But, my views were usually respected as I never took an extremist position on anything.

moi

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Things are different today as the nation is divided by the election tomorrow. Families as well are divided for the first time since the Civil War. It’s a pathetic thing to watch, especially from the other side of the pond.

Having left the US in 1967, I gave up my right to vote in their elections. For this I am thankful as is my son.

There is an irony to my living here on the other side of the pond, in Israel…I came here in 1984 to visit my cousins. They were ardent zionists at the time, which I wasn’t and still am not. They returned to the States soon after my visit as Israel just wasn’t what they thought it was. I decided to remain here as I saw it as a perfect opportunity to continue being a ‘rebel with a cause’ and advocate for the full rights of the Palestinian people. It made more sense to me to do that within the borders of Israel than elsewhere. If you are  regular reader of this Blog you will know that 33 years later I am still the same rebel I always was.

But, getting back to the election …. there too I am the rebel. My family, like millions of other families is divided. Some for Clinton, some for Trump. In Israel one hears “who is better for the Jews”? NOT who is better for America.

America needs a President for AMERICA …. NOT for Israel!

America needs a President that is NOT a criminal or an idiot.

SO … I endorse neither.

America needs a President that will MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!!

So … I endorse nether.

Watch these two videos (by my fellow rebel)before you vote ….

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TEN DAYS THAT SHOOK THE WORLD AND THE US ELECTIONS

On the 7th of November 1917 the Bolsheviks took power in Russia putting an end to the Tsarist dictatorship that ruled their country for decades …

On the 8th of November 2016 a different type of revolution will take place in the USA, this time putting an end to the America we once knew and loved.

Even if you believe in the principle of non-interference in other’s internal affairs, the US is interfering with all of us. Its elections are likely to influence us more they do to most US citizens…

Whichever candidate wins, the people of America and the rest of the world lose

Whichever candidate wins, the people of America and the rest of the world lose

My fellow Blogger Yoav Haifawi posted the following on his Site Free Haifa, It’s a MUST read.

Sorry America, It is not YOU, it is US (*) …

Lessons from the USA election campaign

The coming elections in the US supplied an extraordinary drama, watched with both enthusiasm and disdain almost all over the world. If this is the most important democratic election for the most influential leadership position in the world, the scarcity of the debate about the real issues at stake must make people ask substantial questions about democracy. The identity and performance of the candidates, especially Republican Donald Trump, and the fact that an enormous establishment, with millions of people and billions of dollars, couldn’t produce a more respectable candidate, must raise even more substantial soul searching questions about the human nature.

The Big Picture

Lenin once said that, while the yellow press floods us with lies about everything, the good serious capitalist press feeds us with plenty of facts and information in order to hide the big picture. In the rest of this post I will try to relate to some of the big issues that all this election campaign and all the serious fact-finding and analysis around it are either ignoring or trying to hide…

Trump promises to “make America great again”. Clinton is trying to out-perform Trump’s patriotism by claiming that mighty America is as great as ever and couldn’t be diminished. But the whole election campaign is only a small animated illustration to the fact that the USA is not what it used to be.

The people of the US are famous for their ignorance of the world outside their borders. But for the last hundred years the fate and meaning of the USA, call it “greatness” or “the big Satan” or “imperialism” or “leader of the free world”, was not about what happens inside these borders but developed around its role as the strongest and finally the only world superpower.

This time is over. And it is not over because America became any smaller. It is over because we, the rest of the world, succeeded somehow to grow.

China’s rise, USA’s decline

In 2012, in one of the first posts in this blog, I presented an optimistic view on China’s rise. Let me try to sketch here in raw lines an optimistic view about America’s decline, or rather the decline of the North American imperialism.

First ask yourself what is “America”? Talking about the United States as “America” already ignores and marginalizes most of the people living in the American continents from Canada in the north to Chile and Argentine in the south. The population of the US is hardly a third of the almost billion people that live in the Americas. This naming that ignores your neighbors is only a symbol of the disregard toward and tramping over the people of the rest of the world…

Second, how do you define greatness? No doubt, at least when we speak about the most capitalist nation, that the economy is playing a central role in it. What most readers of the mainstream media might have easily missed is the “small” fact that the US is no more the biggest economy in the world. According to “The World Factbook”, a site maintained by the CIA, in 2015 China’s GDP (measured by purchasing power parity) was 19.7 trillion dollar, almost 10% more than the US’s 18 trillion. In fact China has already become the biggest economy in the world in 2014.

But this raw measure is far from revealing the whole picture. China’s economy is in a positive momentum, while the US (and the rest of the imperialist powers in Western Europe and Japan) failed to get their economies back on their feet after the 2008 world financial crisis. To hide this we can read every day articles about the “slowdown” in the Chinese economy, which means that it is developing steadily at 6-7% yearly. In China’s planned economy they build modern cities (no shanty towns there) for 300 million people that will move from their villages to the cities over the next 15 years – that alone is like building a brand new USA or Western Europe.

The difference between a rising productive power and a declining parasitic empire is illustrated as we look at the relations of the two economies with the outside world. According to the same source, China’s exports at 2.1 trillion are 40% higher than the US’s 1.5, while its imports at 1.6 are only 70% of the US’s 2.3.

The good jobs that went to China, manufacturing everything from steel to trains to computers and smartphones, are not such good jobs any more. They don’t pay western salaries. It is just that people around the world can now buy all of these things much cheaper. This is another reason why we don’t cry with our USA brothers.

China is a different kind of world power. Its 1.3 billion people made all the way from being one of the poorest people on earth, just fifty years ago, to the top of the world economy by hard work and (relatively) good management. They are the first great world power that didn’t gain its place through occupation and exploitation of other nations. This in itself is a basic fact to think about and a major reason for optimism.

Imperialism is not working any more

The hegemony of the Western powers, and over the second half of the 20thcentury the hegemony of the USA, enabled them to dictate the world division of labor and the terms of trade to the benefit of the big multinational capitalist companies. This was the source of the “good jobs” that the US and European citizens are now longing for. 80% of humanity was forced to sell its resources for cheap and work for pennies in marginalized agriculture or industry and serve as an open market for the Western developed economies.

After direct colonialism and military occupations were not sustainable any more, neocolonialism and neoliberalism served the same hegemony very well. In the second half of the 20th century, almost any local leader in the 3rd world that tried to do something to develop his country was either deposed or assassinated by agents of the USA. Look for the fate of Patrice Lumumba in Congo, Mohammad Mossadegh of Iran, Sukarno from Indonesia, Salvador Allende of Chile and Omar Torrijos of Panama, to name just a few.

Bloody dictatorships, regional wars, civil wars, ethnic cleansing, bombing and occupation – no cruelty was too much to force the subjugation of the third world – the vast majority of humanity – to imperialist rule. In the nineties, after the fall of the Soviet Union, there seemed to be no challenge left to the imperialist rule. By that time most 3rd world countries were under some form of sanctions by the “international community” for this reason or that. Real commodities prices, representing the terms of trade of the 3rd world, reached unprecedented historic lows (see graph taken from a study by David Jacks in NBER). The global gap between the starving majority and the prosperous imperialist center seemed widening forever.

But every party has its hangover. There came the surge of noisy protests at trade conferences and summits of the world imperialist leaders. There were the world social forums, looking for alternatives. When neoliberalism drove Argentine into an economic wall, mass mobilization casted away one government after another and brought to power (in 2003) the leftist Peronists, which refused to pay Argentine’s international debt. When, out of the blue, crazy Arab militants kidnapped airplanes and flew them into the WTC in New York, some people in the USA started to ask “why do they hate us?”

The empire tried to strike back to re-establish its authority, but somehow the world was not responding as expected. In 2002 the army in Venezuela tried to repeat the CIA coup scenario that worked so well in Latin America before, but the masses took to the streets and reinstated Hugo Chavez. When the US army occupied Iraq in 2003, it found that defeating the Iraqi army was the easiest part of it. Popular resistance made the occupation unsustainable and the ensuing US-imposed government in Iraq ended up doing business with China and closer politically to Iran, which is supposed to be the strategic rival of the US in the region. The US ended up burning about one trillion dollar in Iraq for no obvious benefit, (killing hundreds of thousands of Iraqis and destroying the lives of millions is nothing to count in world politics). It was about the same one trillion that were missing in its coffers when it financial system collapsed in 2008.

From Argentine to Iran, from Cuba to Sudan and Zimbabwe, when the Western powers were trying to force economic blockade of undisciplined third world nations, we’ve seen the new China factor. There is almost nothing you can’t buy in China these days. Over the last fifteen years the gap between the imperialist centers and the 3rd world started to contract. For the first time talking about “developing countries” doesn’t sound so hollow.

Dangerous curves ahead

Being optimist doesn’t mean that you should ignore the dangers ahead. One fact that makes the next period combustive is that while the USA is a declining economic power it still holds the strongest military by far. An irresponsible US president may try to use this power to try to “make America great again”. I do not think that there is a real danger that the USA can make itself the top world power again, but in the process of trying it can easily destroy humanity.

We have seen president Obama declaring his pivot to East Asia, trying to build all kind of military alliances in the region to contain China. We have read the capitalist media writing endlessly with running tears about the danger to World Peace from China building some artificial islands, while they see no danger in the easily preventable death of thousands of refugees in the Mediterranean and have little problem with the continuing killing of hundreds of thousands of Arabs in civil wars in Syria and Yemen.

Some good friends that are fed up by US interventions in our (and other) region(s) are hoping for a Trump victory. They believe it will be such a disgrace that it will accelerate the process of diminishing US influence worldwide. It could happen. You can forgive them if they are ready to sacrifice the US itself for another period of internal racist tension and upheavals. But as I see that the decline of US power is irreversible, and the main danger today is from a desperate attempt to reverse it, I wouldn’t recommend taking the pill that may kill you.

It is us, the people

I would like to finish with one more optimistic note about democracy in the USA and in general. When we speak about democracy we should look for the substance, not any symbolic representation. How much power people really have to control their future?

First start with what comes up in mind in this election, the qualities of the candidates… It is my humble opinion that the candidates in this election are not basically morally different from most candidates over the last decades. I think the main difference is that now we know much more about everything, including about the candidates past, their connections and obligations to the capitalist class, etc. The other factor that comes up in this election is that most people are angrier and less tolerant to the behavior of the candidates – only that they differ about their priority target for anger. So, even as there is no positive alternative in sight, we see that the basic balance of power between the establishment and the people is changing as a result of technological progress, education and the crisis of the system.

Second the content of democracy is not the “consumerist” free choice between Coca Cola and Pepsi, as many US elections used to be. Till now voters in Iran had more diverse options (consider Ahmadinejad vs. Khatami) and more influence about the general direction of the regime than US voters used to have. In this election for the first time a more profound option, the vaguely socialist Bernie Sanders, came anywhere close to be counted.

The US is not ripe for true change, but in this election it already raised the glass ceiling that prevented women from contesting the presidency, and it may have its first Ms President. Not a small change if you remember that women are allowed to vote there only since 1920.

The greatness of US imperialism left its people weak and helpless. It deprived them of free education and health care that are taken for granted in many much poorer countries. It made them work longer hours and be thrown to the dogs if they are not useful to the machine. If they are Native Americans, Black, Muslims or Hispanic they may be terrorized or humiliated. The only statistic in which the US leadership is unchallenged worldwide is the rate of incarceration.

While the US multinationals had the power to rule and rob the world, ordinary people could only run endlessly along the predesigned competition for career and consumerism, with minimal control over their own lives and no say about the future of their country.

Now, as the system is disintegrating, it is the time that the people will take control of their lives. The American people (from Canada to Argentine, NY & Texas included), like all the people of the world, will be the winners from the demise of US imperialism.

(*) Comment about the title

I don’t know whether you share my associations – so I may explain.

It is a common saying in “relations”, when a guy leaves a girl (or vice versa), that he tries to be nice and says: “It is not you, it is me”. Meaning, don’t blame yourself. I’m “not built for a lengthy connection”. It is intended to be polite, but as it became an easy pattern it is thought to be nasty.

I wanted to start with “Dear America” to emphasis the romantic cord – but many of my readers are too angry at “America” and may have no patience with my literature niceties…

But my American readers are really dear to me, and I hope they will find this piece somewhat consoling in these hard days.

ROBERT De NIRO TO TRUMP ~~ “YOU TALKIN’ TO ME?”

Image by Carlos Latuff

"You Talkin' to Me?"

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Hollywood icon Robert De Niro has a message for Donald Trump, and he’s not mincing words.

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The above is

NOT

  to be taken as a DesertPeace endorsement of Hillary Clinton!

There IS an alternative!!

Photo © by Bud Korotzer

aw9

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Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? None of the Above!

Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton? None of the Above!

AD OF THE DAY ~~ HILLARY’S PRESCRIPTION DRUG

hm

FUNNY ELECTION IMAGES

This Could Be Our Next First Lady. In this outfit he looks a lot like the late “Queen Mom” of England.

bc

Dealing with Ms. Potty Mouth

Finally turning over her EMails

 President Obama’s farewell speech

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