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Avocados in power: millennial upsets Democrat establishment

And Israel is not happy about it

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The Democrats apparently didn’t learn any lessons from their defeat in the 2016 elections. Instead of realizing their defeat as the loss of politics as usual, they preferred to simply point the finger at pretty much anything else, from fake news to bigotry, to ignorance, to you name it. Corporate owned politics in the Democratic Party is now realizing another defeat as a millennial has managed to upset a major congressional election by defeating one of the Democratic Party’s finest, Joseph Crowley.

In cheating Bernie Sanders out of the Democratic nomination, the Democrats ensured that they would not get the needed support of voters who were sick of the political game that the Clinton’s had been playing for decades. Now, one of Sander’s campaign organizers has brought that back to haunt them by ensuring that the Democrats would reap what they had sown.

Danielle Ryan, over at RT, reports:

A 28-year-old socialist has shaken up New York politics and sent shockwaves through the Democratic Party by defeating 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in the party’s congressional primary.

The political newcomer, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who was working as a server in a New York restaurant just nine months ago, is a former volunteer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 presidential campaign and comes from a Puerto Rican family. She won the primary with 57.5 percent of the vote in a largely ethnic-minority district.

Crowley, an establishment Democrat, who had been whispered about as a future leader of the party, had not faced a challenger from the left in 14 years — and his defeat will surely have come as a major shock.


In fact, Crowley was so assured of his victory that he made what was perhaps his fatal mistake: He skipped two debates with the millennial candidate and on one occasion sent a surrogate in his place — moves which came across, naturally, as arrogant snubs to both his opponent and to voters.

Since the defeat of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, progressives in the Democratic party — and outside it — have warned that this kind of complacency would hurt the party in the long run. They argued that the party needed to put forward more truly progressive candidates if it wanted to regain control of the House of Representatives in the November midterm elections.

Impervious to common sense and unwilling to learn the lessons from Clinton’s loss, the top dogs in the Democratic party were still reluctant to listen. In April, a secret recording was leaked, of House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer telling progressive candidate Levi Tillemann, who was running in Colorado’s Sixth District, that he should get out of the race to make room for Jason Crow, the candidate favored by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Tillemann ended up losing his primary to Crow, but the real lesson for Democrats is in New York.


Ocasio-Cortez’s victory sends a resounding message to the Democratic establishment: Progressives are demanding change — and the party can’t afford not to listen to them.

The Sanders-style Democrat ran on a socialist platform far to the left of Crowley. Her policies included abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE), medicare for all, free university education, criminal justice reform, and a federal jobs guarantee.

She also challenged the conventional wisdom that Democrats need to take massive donations from corporations in order to win. She took no corporate donations. Instead, she managed to raise more small donations than any other congressional candidate in New York, which allowed her to campaign sincerely on a platform for economic justice, while exposing Crowley as a centrist who does not represent real change.

Ocasio-Cortez’s victory should be seen as a test for Democrats. Are they, finally, willing to learn the lessons from Clinton’s defeat and the growing movement towards real progressive politics — or will they bury their heads in the sand?

The triumph of a 28-year-old socialist against one of the top figures in the Democratic party should be a wakeup call. It’s time for Democrats to ask themselves what could have been if they had had the foresight to nominate a likeable, less-divisive and more progressive candidate to run against Trump in 2016. Surely it is beginning to dawn on them that doing everything in their power to thwart Sanders and rig the primary against him was akin to shooting themselves in the foot.

Ocasio-Cortez will face off against Republican candidate Anthony Pappas in the November midterm elections and, if she wins, she will become the youngest woman ever to be elected to the US Congress.

But that’s not the only thing that is being upset by Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in New York. American foreign policy is witnessing its unpopularity amidst America’s growing number of Democratic Socialists and largest demographic, the millennials, who are not quite as beholding to politically driven ideologies as lens through which to perceive the world, tend to look at the situation as it is. Take Israel’s recent genocidal behaviour in Gaza, for example. Israel came out guns blazing, literally, shooting unarmed protesters, journalists, and nurses and millennials like Ocasio-Cortez are calling it what it is, a massacre.

The Jerusalem Post reports:

WASHINGTON — A 28-year-old progressive Democrat and former organizer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential bid ousted a ten-term party boss from his perch in Congress on Tuesday, touting a new era in Democratic politics that would shift the party, in her image, sharply to the left.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated Joseph Crowley in the Tuesday primary race in New York’s 14th Congressional District by campaigning largely on radical changes to immigration and welfare policy, such as abolishing US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and securing Medicare and federal jobs for all. Crowley has been Chair of the House Democratic Caucus since 2017.

But she drew attention from foreign policy circles upon her upset victory for a single tweet on Israel she published during her campaign, in which she characterized the killing of over 60 Palestinians on the Gazan border last month as a “massacre” and demanded congressional attention.

In an interview with Glenn Greenwald, a pundit with the Intercept, conducted earlier this month, Ocasio-Cortez explained her position in greater detail. Greenwald opened the discussion referring to “peaceful, unarmed protesters” killed on the Gaza-Israel border in the mid-May protests, although Israel and Hamas both note that 50 of the 62 killed were members of Hamas– categorized by Western governments as a terrorist organization– and were attempting to breach the border.

“My background is as an educator, an organizer and an activist. And I think I was primarily compelled on moral grounds, because I can only imagine if 60 people were shot and killed in Ferguson, or if 60 people were shot in killed in the West Virginia teacher strikes,” Ocasio-Cortez said, referring to civil rights and labor rights protests held in the US in recent years. “The idea that we are not supposed to talk about people dying when they are engaging in political expression just really moved me. And running for office, seeing ,like, the silence around this issue, has been a little interesting to me.”

Ocasio-Cortez noted that her family is Puerto Rican, a US territory “that is granted no rights or civic representation,” she said. “If 60 people were shot in protest of the United States’ negligence in FEMA and kind of keeping us on that island, I couldn’t even imagine if there was silence on that,” she added, referencing the slow federal response to devastation wrought to the island after Hurricane Maria hit last year.

The Democratic candidate also noted the diversity of her congressional district, and said that many Jewish and Muslim constituents had thanked her for the stance she took on Twitter. According to the Berman Jewish Data Bank, a project of the Jewish Federations of North America, roughly 29,000 Jewish residents live in the district– or 4% of the district population..

“People say in New York City this is political suicide, and so on, but I had a lot of my own constituents thanking me for taking that position,” Ocasio-Cortez continued. “I think that in the same lens that I looked at it, people, I think, are separating the actions and the status of the Palestinians from the greater geopolitics of the area. I think people are starting to just look at the humanitarian state of the Palestinian people through a humanitarian lens.”

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez’s former boss, has taken similarly hard lines against the Israeli government. He referred the violence in May, around the Palestinian commemoration of the “disaster” (Nakba) of Israel’s birth and the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, as a “tragic overreaction” by the IDF.

At the time, Sanders said the solution was a US-led response to the growing humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip, currently controlled by Hamas.

“I don’t even see this as a political issue, especially through the frame of that one incident, and especially coming from the background of an activist,” Ocasio-Cortez added in her interview with Greenwald. “I just think that we need to talk about these things, and we need to talk about the basic humanitarian rights that should be afforded to all people, including the freedom of political expression.”

That’s not the same political rhetoric that the Israel lobby has been circulating in Washington. As far as the traditional right and left are concerned, protesters were protesting and the bullets just came and the casualties just happened, as if the Israelis, who were claiming that they knew just where every one of their bullets was landing, had nothing to do with those killings.

As the millennials finally gain a foothold in American society, lots of things are going to be changing,  including politics, and Ocasio-Cortez is showing how that happens in way that is going to require some political adjustment. Maybe it’s all that avocado toast and kombucha that millennials are into.

 

 

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Nightcrawler136

So there’s hope for the US but it will be 20-30years before the millennials have an effect on policies!

ghartwell
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A significant window into what is happening in the Clinton-Democrats. Blame, denial and complacency is not leading to competitive politics. Does not look good for Democrats in mid-terms.

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“Ocasio-Cortez…won the primary with 57.5 percent of the vote in a largely ethnic-minority district.

Still, assigning her win to overwhelming electorate enthusiasm and energy might be premature. Keep in mind that yes, she upset the lazy old white dude, but the total vote count was barely 28,000 out of a district of 700,000+ people with 350,000 (+/-) registered voters. If that’s energized I’m wondering what ‘disinterested’ would look like.

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Kiev ‘Patriarch’ prepares to seize Moscow properties in Ukraine

Although Constantinople besought the Kiev church to stop property seizures, they were ignored and used, or perhaps, complicit.

Seraphim Hanisch

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The attack on the Eastern Orthodox Church, brought about by the US State Department and its proxies in Constantinople and Ukraine, is continuing. On October 20, 2018, the illegitimate “Kyiv (Kiev) Patriarchate”, led by Filaret Denisenko who is calling himself “Patriarch Filaret”, had a synodal meeting in which it changed the commemoration title of the leader of the church to include the Kyiv Caves and Pochaev Lavras.

This is a problem because Metropolitan Onuphry of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church which is canonically accepted and acts as a very autonomous church under the Moscow Patriarchate has these places under his pastoral care.

This move takes place only one week after Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople unilaterally (and illegally) lifted the excommunications, depositions (removal from priestly ranks as punishment) and anathemas against Filaret and Makary that were imposed on them by the hierarchy of the Moscow Patriarchate.

These two censures are very serious matters in the Orthodox Church. Excommunication means that the person or church so considered cannot receive Holy Communion or any of the other Mysteries (called Sacraments in the West) in a neighboring local Orthodox Church. Anathema is even more serious, for this happens when a cleric disregards his excommunication and deposition (removal from the priesthood), and acts as a priest or a bishop anyway.

Filaret Denisenko received all these censures in 1992, and Patriarch Bartholomew accepted this decision at the time, as stated in a letter he sent to Moscow shortly after the censures. However, three years later, Patriarch Bartholomew received a group of Ukrainian autocephalist bishops called the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in the USA, who had been in communion with Filaret’s group. While this move may have been motivated by the factor of Bartholomew’s almost total isolation within Istanbul, Turkey, it is nonetheless non-canonical.

This year’s moves have far exceeded previous ones, though, and now the possibility for a real clash that could cost lives is raised. With Filaret’s “church” – really an agglomeration of Ukrainian ultranationalists and Neo-Nazis in the mix, plus millions of no doubt innocent Ukrainian faithful who are deluded about the problems of their church, challenging an existing arrangement regarding Ukraine and Russia’s two most holy sites, the results are not likely to be good at all.

Here is the report about today’s developments, reprinted in part from OrthoChristian.com:

Meeting today in Kiev, the Synod of the schismatic “Kiev Patriarchate” (KP) has officially changed the title of its primate, “Patriarch” Philaret, to include the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras under his jurisdiction.

The primate’s new official title, as given on the site of the KP, is “His Holiness and Beatitude (name), Archbishop and Metropolitan of Kiev—Mother of the cities of Rus’, and Galicia, Patriarch of All Rus’-Ukraine, Svyaschenno-Archimandrite of the Holy Dormition Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras.”

…Thus, the KP Synod is declaring that “Patriarch” Philaret has jurisdiction over the Kiev Caves and Pochaev Lavras, although they are canonically under the omophorion of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, the primate of the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

Philaret and his followers and nationalistic radicals have continually proclaimed that they will take the Lavras for themselves.

This claim to the ancient and venerable monasteries comes after the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Patriarchate announced that it had removed the anathema placed upon Philaret by the Russian Orthodox Church and had restored him to his hierarchical office. Philaret was a metropolitan of the canonical Church, becoming patriarch in his schismatic organization.

Representatives of the Ecumenical Patriarchate have clarified that they consider Philaret to be the “former Metropolitan of Kiev,” but he and his organization continue to consider him an active patriarch, with jurisdiction in Ukraine.

Constantinople’s statement also appealed to all in Ukraine to “avoid appropriation of churches, monasteries, and other properties,” which the Synod of the KP ignored in today’s decision.

The KP primate’s abbreviated title will be, “His Holiness (name), Patriarch of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine,” and the acceptable form for relations with other Local Churches is “His Beatitude Archbishop (name), Metropolitan of Kiev and All Rus’-Ukraine.”

The Russian Orthodox Church broke eucharistic communion and all relations with the Ecumenical Patriarchate over this matter earlier this week. Of the fourteen local Orthodox Churches recognized the world over, twelve have expressed the viewpoint that Constantinople’s move was in violation of the canons of the Holy Orthodox Church. Only one local Church supported Constantinople wholeheartedly, and all jurisdictions except Constantinople have appealed for an interOrthodox Synod to address and solve the Ukrainian matter in a legitimate manner.

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Claims of Khashoggi death by fistfight expose Saudi brutality

The brutality of both state claims and unproven allegations in Khashoggi’s death raise serious questions about American alliances.

Seraphim Hanisch

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On October 2, 2018, Muslim Brotherhood member and Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, never to be seen or heard from again.

This chilling report has been answered with some horrifying and grisly stories about what happened – that he was dismembered while still alive, that his body parts were dissolved completely in acid, leaving nothing left.

Now after two weeks, the Saudi official word on what happened came out: He died in an unexpected fistfight in the embassy.

Really. That is the Saudi’s explanation. A fistfight. In an embassy. With 18 people detained as suspects in the investigation.

And apparently the Saudi government expects the world to accept this explanation and just let it go.

This situation has just exposed the true nature of this “ally” of the United States. Even Rush Limbaugh, a staunch supporter of all conservative positions in America, has spoken from time to time about the amazing disconnect in American foreign policy with regards to Saudi Arabia. He continued that on his radio programs on both October 18th and 19th, 2018, as shown in this excerpted transcript, with emphasis added:

I’m simplifying this, folks, but generally that’s what happens. So, by the same token, you could say that this militant terrorist Islam that we’ve known since 9/11 and maybe 10, 15 years prior, that has been sponsored by Saudi Arabia, by the Saudi royal family. It’s why so many people have been upset with so many American presidents being buddy-buddy with the king, whoever he happens to be. The Saudis always fund former presidents’ libraries. I mean, the Saudis had a good thing going. They had relationships with every president, former president and so forth.

And while they were selling us oil, sometimes. Cooperative or uncooperative, depending on the time, with price. But during all of that, they were the primary thrust for Wahhabi Islam. Now, here comes MbS (Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia), and he wants to just reform the hell out of the country, get rid of Wahhabism, bring in petrodollars competitors such as Hollywood and Silicon Valley and basically bring Saudi Arabia into the twenty-first century instead of the seventh. And there’s some people that don’t want that to happen.

And from the 19th:

Wahhabi Islam is where the really radical clerics and Imams are who are welcoming anybody they can into their mosques and just literally converting them into suicide bombers, terrorists, and what have you, under the auspices of Islam. And the Saudi royal family stood by and let it all happen. Whether they were instrumental in advocating it, don’t know, but Saudi-funded charities all over the world promoted Wahhabism.

And that’s when I went back to Mr. Buckley and said, “I don’t see how the Saudi royal family, the Saudi government can be separated from these 19 hijackers.”

Now in the rest of these transcripts, which are very interesting, Rush explains that Khashoggi was a Muslim Brotherhood member, and as such, stood opposed to MbS’ reform plans and actions. However the brutality of the alleged murder of Mr. Khashoggi, and the official “State version” account of his death are almost equally brutal. Death by fists? How is it that the United States considers such people allies?

President Trump is on record as saying that this explanation by the Saudi government is “credible.” However, this statement alone is out of context, so we bring you the entire statement:

This is not to be misunderstood as a Trump endorsement of belief. He points out that this is a first step, and that in his view it is a good one, but that is all.

Still, these events throw the real nature of the Saudi kingdom into sharp relief. They are the number one customer for US military equipment, now considered allies against Iran. In the complicated field of Middle East relations, the president’s caution is probably very wise for the moment. However, this is a nation which produced most of the 9/11 hijackers, which is said to be the last voice in what Islam is, and so promotes a very violent interpretation of an already violent faith.

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The news and information media got a great lesson in following something like “due process” with this matter, and while the President is doing that, this situation still invites some strong speculation. Allies that simultaneously seek an allied nation’s destruction do not seem like allies much at all. And embassies are usually held to be very safe places for people, not places where they meet their death in any way at all, let alone the cruel means alleged and later claimed.

This event may actually be very damaging to the Saudi Crown Prince’s effort to bring his nation out of Wahhabism and into some more kind interpretation of Islam, and indeed the West’s assessment of Khashoggi has taken to calling him a “teddy bear” when he is a Muslim Brotherhood member. Former US President Obama supported the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, and these people were so violent, killing Christians and destroying homes and businesses, that the Muslim Brotherhood’s uprising was followed by a second uprising from the more reasonable people in Egypt (which Obama promptly dropped).

If reports are to be believed, Mohammed bin Salman wants to end Wahhabism. It would seem to logically make sense that his agencies were involved in what happened to Kashoggi, who is a known critic of bin Salman. But if it really is true that the Saudi royals were not involved, then whoever it was certainly succeeded in stopping bin Salman’s efforts to modernize his country, at least for now.

 

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The future of war: UAE hires U.S. mercenaries to assassinate political leaders (Video)

The Duran – News in Review – Episode 137.

Alex Christoforou

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An investigation by BuzzFeed News has revealed that Middle East Monarchy, United Arab Emirates, hired U.S. mercenaries to assassinate political leaders and religious clerical leaders in war torn Yemen.

The U.S. ex-military, elite soldiers were paid by to kill those designated as “terrorists” by the UAE.

The UAE worked with the U.S. based mercenary-for-hire Spear Operations Group, founded by Israeli-American Abraham Golan, who told BuzzFeed News…

“There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen. I was running it.”

Spear Operations Group’s first target in Yemen was Anssaf Ali Mayo, the local leader of the Islamist political party Al-Islah, a party whose members include Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Tawakkul Karman.

Is this the future of war?

The Duran’s Alex Christoforou and International Affairs and Security Analyst via Moscow, Mark Sleboda discuss the stunning Buzzfeed News article that exposes the dangerous and dark assassination strategy of the United Arab Emirates, hiring American ex-soldiers to target and kill political enemies.

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Follow The Duran Audio Podcast on Soundcloud.

Authored by Aram Roston via BuzzFeed News…


The operation against Mayo — which was reported at the time but until now was not known to have been carried out by American mercenaries — marked a pivot point in the war in Yemen, a brutal conflict that has seen children starved, villages bombed, and epidemics of cholera roll through the civilian population. The bombing was the first salvo in a string of unsolved assassinations that killed more than two dozen of the group’s leaders.

The company that hired the soldiers and carried out the attack is Spear Operations Group, incorporated in Delaware and founded by Abraham Golan, a charismatic Hungarian Israeli security contractor who lives outside of Pittsburgh. He led the team’s strike against Mayo.

“There was a targeted assassination program in Yemen,” he told BuzzFeed News. “I was running it. We did it. It was sanctioned by the UAE within the coalition.”

The UAE and Saudi Arabia lead an alliance of nine countries in Yemen, fighting what is largely a proxy war against Iran. The US is helping the Saudi-UAE side by providing weapons, intelligence, and other support.

The press office of the UAE’s US Embassy, as well as its US public affairs company, Harbour Group, did not respond to multiple phone calls and emails.

The revelations that a Middle East monarchy hired Americans to carry out assassinations comes at a moment when the world is focused on the alleged murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi by Saudi Arabia, an autocratic regime that has close ties to both the US and the UAE. (The Saudi Embassy in the US did not respond to a request for comment. Riyadh has denied it killed Khashoggi, though news reports suggest it is considering blaming his death on a botched interrogation.)

Golan said that during his company’s months-long engagement in Yemen, his team was responsible for a number of the war’s high-profile assassinations, though he declined to specify which ones. He argued that the US needs an assassination program similar to the model he deployed. “I just want there to be a debate,” he said. “Maybe I’m a monster. Maybe I should be in jail. Maybe I’m a bad guy. But I’m right.”

Spear Operations Group’s private assassination mission marks the confluence of three developments transforming the way war is conducted worldwide:

  • Modern counterterrorism combat has shifted away from traditional military objectives — such as destroying airfields, gun emplacements, or barracks — to killing specific individuals, largely reshaping war into organized assassinations.
  • War has become increasingly privatized, with many nations outsourcing most military support services to private contractors, leaving frontline combat as virtually the only function that the US and many other militaries have not contracted out to for-profit ventures.
  • The long US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have relied heavily on elite special forces, producing tens of thousands of highly trained American commandos who can demand high private-sector salaries for defense contracting or outright mercenary work.

With Spear Operations Group’s mission in Yemen, these trends converged into a new and incendiary business: militarized contract killing, carried out by skilled American fighters.

Experts said it is almost inconceivable that the United States would not have known that the UAE — whose military the US has trained and armed at virtually every level — had hired an American company staffed by American veterans to conduct an assassination program in a war it closely monitors.

One of the mercenaries, according to three sources familiar with the operation, used to work with the CIA’s “ground branch,” the agency’s equivalent of the military’s special forces. Another was a special forces sergeant in the Maryland Army National Guard. And yet another, according to four people who knew him, was still in the Navy Reserve as a SEAL and had a top-secret clearance. He was a veteran of SEAL Team 6, or DEVGRU, the sources told BuzzFeed News. The New York Times once described that elite unit, famous for killing Osama bin Laden, as a “global manhunting machine with limited outside oversight.”

The CIA said it had no information about the mercenary assassination program, and the Navy’s Special Warfare Command declined to comment. A former CIA official who has worked in the UAE initially told BuzzFeed News there was no way that Americans would be allowed to participate in such a program. But after checking, he called back: “There were guys that were basically doing what you said.” He was astonished, he said, by what he learned: “What vetting procedures are there to make sure the guy you just smoked is really a bad guy?” The mercenaries, he said, were “almost like a murder squad.”

Whether Spear’s mercenary operation violates US law is surprisingly unclear. On the one hand, US law makes it illegal to “conspire to kill, kidnap, maim” someone in another country. Companies that provide military services to foreign nations are supposed to be regulated by the State Department, which says it has never granted any company the authority to supply combat troops or mercenaries to another country.

Yet, as BuzzFeed News has previously reported, the US doesn’t ban mercenaries. And with some exceptions, it is perfectly legal to serve in foreign militaries, whether one is motivated by idealism or money. With no legal consequences, Americans have served in the Israel Defense Forces, the French Foreign Legion, and even a militia fighting ISIS in Syria. Spear Operations Group, according to three sources, arranged for the UAE to give military rank to the Americans involved in the mission, which might provide them legal cover.

Despite operating in a legal and political gray zone, Golan heralds his brand of targeted assassinations as a precision counterterrorism strategy with fewer civilian casualties. But the Mayo operation shows that this new form of warfare carries many of the same old problems. The commandos’ plans went awry, and the intelligence proved flawed. And their strike was far from surgical: The explosive they attached to the door was designed to kill not one person but everyone in the office.

Aside from moral objections, for-profit targeted assassinations add new dilemmas to modern warfare. Private mercenaries operate outside the US military’s chain of command, so if they make mistakes or commit war crimes, there is no clear system for holding them accountable. If the mercenaries had killed a civilian in the street, who would have even investigated?

The Mayo mission exposes an even more central problem: the choice of targets. Golan insists that he killed only terrorists identified by the government of the UAE, an ally of the US. But who is a terrorist and who is a politician? What is a new form of warfare and what is just old-fashioned murder for hire? Who has the right to choose who lives and who dies — not only in the wars of a secretive monarchy like the UAE, but also those of a democracy such as the US?

BuzzFeed News has pieced together the inside story of the company’s attack on Al-Islah’s headquarters, revealing what mercenary warfare looks like now — and what it could become.

Full Story at BuzzFeed News…

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