Trumpian Deportation Fantasies and American Realities
In 2006, when I first began researching deportations, George W. Bush was president and quietly building a deportation machine in the Department of Homeland Security. Outside of small activist circles, few Americans knew that deportations had been rising since 1996 due to legislation signed by President Bill Clinton. Nor could anyone then have imagined that the next President would be a Democrat, the son of a Kenyan immigrant, and would make Bush look like a piker when it came to record-high deportations. Nor, for that matter, would anyone have dreamed that deportation would become a — possibly the — signature issue of the 2016 presidential campaign.
A depressing sameness characterized the speeches of presidential candidates to the recently concluded exercise in fervid conformity that is called the AIPAC annual meeting. Although the event and the organization ostensibly are dedicated to support for, and friendship with, the state of Israel, in practice the dedication was instead to the policies of the right-wing government that currently holds power in Israel, which is something different. There was nothing approaching a free and open discussion of what policies would be in the interest of the peace and security of Israel and that a true friend of Israel would support. There was no mention of the occupation that, in the course of nearly half a century, has become Israel’s defining characteristic and the single biggest barrier to Israel being able to enjoy a future as a democratic and Jewish state.
Knowledge makes the world go round. And my own odyssey around the world of knowledge, hopefully, can give birth to a “Science Spring” in the Middle East by completing a circle that began 70 years ago. That circle of destiny has taken me from the Nile Delta that was once the premier center of learning in its time to that foremost temple of science in today’s world, the California Institute of Technology, or Caltech, to being awarded the Nobel Prize, and back to Egypt where we are creating a Caltech for the Middle East — the Zewail City of Science and Technology.
I was born in Damanhur, Egypt and raised in a land of civilization and advanced knowledge from another era that, during the time of Ptolemy, spawned the Library of Alexandria and museum and educational center — that ancient beacon of learning believed to be tragically extinguished by the Roman conquerors. I spent my childhood in the city of Desuq, not far from where the Rosetta Stone was discovered. Egypt was also the home of the first university in the “modern world,” Al-Azhar, which was established in 970-972 A.D., and Cairo University, which was established a century ago.
It seems like only yesterday, because it was.
The electoral circus was sucking up all the political air and, but for a few welcome surprises, events were unfolding in predictable ways.
One welcome surprise was that opposition to neoliberalism was becoming mainstream. There had been the Occupy movements of 2011, of course; and, despite the best efforts of corporate media, there was some awareness of anti-austerity movements elsewhere. But, before Bernie Sanders’ campaign took off, none of this registered in our electoral politics.
Trans activist Janet Mock was chased away from an engagement at Brown University. Not by anti-LGBT forces—by students who saw even her slightest tie to Israel.
Earlier this month, a student group at Brown University launched a petition to pressure Janet Mock into canceling her scheduled lecture on the Providence, Rhode Island, campus.
One might assume this cohort was virulently homophobic or transphobic to discourage the transgender activist from serving as the keynote speaker selected by Moral Voices—a group whose mission for this academic year was to raise awareness about “violence against LGBTQ+ individuals and communities,” according to a statement by one of its co-chairwomen.
Backed by Russian airstrikes, Syrian army makes significant gains in bid to retake world-renowned archeological site
Islamic State fighters have laid mines and booby traps throughout the ancient ruins of Palmyra to counter the most concerted push yet by Syrian forces to retake the area it lost 10 months ago in one of the most emblematic moments of the war.
Syrian officials confirmed tanks and soldiers had advanced to within 500 metres of the centre of Tadmur City, adjoining the world-renowned archeological site, which became one of the terror group’s most-prized captures after a one-week siege last May.
It is duplicitous enough for the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to try to convince audiences outside his own country from time to time that he supports the creation of a Palestinian state. Worse still is that he portrays his efforts in this regard as being constantly thwarted by the Palestinians themselves.
In other words, Netanyahu would have us believe that he is a greater proponent of such a state than those who have been denied it by almost half a century of Israeli military occupation and colonisation.
Interviewed by Spiegel in 2005, Lee Kuan Yew observed, “The social contract that led to workers sitting on the boards of companies and everybody being happy rested on this condition: I work hard, I restore Germany’s prosperity, and you, the state, you have to look after me. I’m entitled to go to Baden Baden for spa recuperation one month every year. This old system was gone in the blink of an eye when two to three billion people joined the race—one billion in China, one billion in India and over half-a-billion in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.”
Here’s a video of IDF psychos attaching Palestinian journalists and civilians:
In the wake of the Brussels terror attacks, Donald Trump fleshed out aspects of his national security strategy that include weighing whether NATO is obsolete, an emphasis on the virtues of unpredictability on the part of an American president, the potential use of nuclear weapons against Islamic State as a last resort and a single-minded focus of earning the respect of Muslims around the world.
“They have to respect us,” Trump said of Muslims in a wide-ranging interview with Bloomberg’s Mark Halperin and John Heilemann set to air in its entirety on Wednesday’s episode of With All Due Respect. “They do not respect us at all and frankly they don’t respect a lot of things that are happening—not only our country, but they don’t respect other things.”
Dramatic loss of life in the terror attacks in Brussels: 34 killed and more than 180 wounded according to the latest reports.
Prior to the conduct of a police investigation, in the hours following the attacks, the Western media went into overdrive, intimating without evidence that the Islamic State (ISIS) operating out of Raqqa, Northern Syria was responsible for the attacks.
According to the Independent “Isis supporters have been celebrating the Brussels attacks online [social media] as speculation mounts that the group is behind a wave of deadly attacks in the Belgian capital.”
I have been filming in the Marshall Islands, which lie north of Australia, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Whenever I tell people where I have been, they ask, “Where is that?” If I offer a clue by referring to “Bikini”, they say, “You mean the swimsuit.”
Few seem aware that the bikini swimsuit was named to celebrate the nuclear explosions that destroyed Bikini island. Sixty-six nuclear devices were exploded by the United States in the Marshall Islands between 1946 and 1958 — the equivalent of 1.6 Hiroshima bombs every day for twelve years.
Bikini is silent today, mutated and contaminated. Palm trees grow in a strange grid formation. Nothing moves. There are no birds. The headstones in the old cemetery are alive with radiation. My shoes registered “unsafe” on a Geiger counter.
And here’s how technology can now literally put words in people’s mouths:
Last week, a UC Regents working group released a proposed set of Principles Against Intolerance, created in response to a series of anti-Semitic incidents on UC campuses. On March 23, the Regents will vote on whether to officially adopt those principles. Controversially, the document not only condemns anti-Semitism, but also anti-Zionism.
We asked UC faculty members to argue for and against the statement. Read the opposing view here.
As a professor at UCLA since 1969 and a witness to the rapid deterioration of our campus climate, I believe the working group’s statement is a genuine attempt to deal with a lingering problem that has caused Jewish students and their allies a great deal of agony, interfered with their studies and severely tarnished the reputation of our university system.
Jared Cohen, Google Ideas executive
One of Google’s interactive tools was reportedly meant to encourage defections from the Assad government, emails leaked by WikiLeaks have alleged
By tracking and mapping defections within the Syrian leadership, it was reportedly designed to encourage more people to defect and ‘give confidence’ to the rebel opposition.
It was allegedly described as a “pretty cool idea” by senior Clinton adviser Jake Sullivan, and Google said it had enlisted the help of Al Jazeera to broadcast the tool in Syria.
The deadly attacks on Brussels brought swift condemnation across the Middle East, but some countries seized the moment to criticize the West for adhering to policies that they said had planted the seeds for such acts of terrorism.
Syria’s embattled government, locked in a five-year fight against rebels seeking to topple President Bashar Assad, said the attacks confirmed “anew that terrorism has no borders.”
The attacks, a source with the Foreign Ministry was quoted as saying, represented “the inevitable result of wrong policies and sympathy with terrorism to achieve certain agendas and legitimizing it by describing some terrorist groups as moderate,” the spokesperson said.
An anti-Donald-Trump super-PAC is running ads in conservative Utah to try to convince Mormons not to vote for Trump — by slut-shaming his wife, Melania.
Vox News is reporting that Make America Awesome, founded by Republican strategist Liz Mair, is trying to increase turnout of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ahead of the Utah primary on Tuesday.
The super-PAC is trying to convince Mormons to vote for Ted Cruz rather than Donald Trump, who is not a favorite of GOP voters in the state (it’s not just Mitt Romney.)
Every time an act of terror or shooting occurs, Muslims closely watch the news with extreme trepidation praying that the suspect is not Muslim. This is not because these terrorists are likely to be Muslim but rather because in the instances where they happen to be, we see amplified mass media coverage and extreme unjustified hatred towards Muslims.
As a Muslim, I am tired of condemning terrorist attacks being carried out by inherently violent people who hijack my religion. I am tired of condemning these attacks to people who are calm and apathetic when Muslims are killed by these same radicalized terrorists.
Donald Trump began the day on Monday with a candid expression of his isolationist foreign policy. He told The Post’s editorial board that even our commitment to NATO was up for debate. (“When you look at the kind of money that our country is losing, we can’t afford to do this. Certainly we can’t afford to do it anymore. … NATO is costing us a fortune, and yes, we’re protecting Europe with NATO, but we’re spending a lot of money.”) To a greater degree than President Obama and certainly Hillary Clinton, Trump looks upon allies as a burden (“South Korea is very rich. Great industrial country. And yet we’re not reimbursed fairly for what we do.”) and sees neither an obligation to exert U.S. leadership nor any benefit derived therefrom. Hard as it is for Republicans to imagine, Trump would be worse for our allies, worse for the cause of freedom, worse for stability in the Middle East and therefore worse for U.S. national security than Obama.
«Democracy is a tramway – you climb on to get where you want to go, then you climb off.»
Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (1996)
By signing an agreement with Turkey to slow the influx of refugees – which happens to be illegal in international law – the leaders of the European Union have taken a step further in their pact with the devil. A large part of the 3 billion Euros annually allotted to Ankara will serve to finance support for the jihadists, and as a result will increase the number of migrants who are fleeing the war. Above all, by repealing the visa regulations with Turkey in the next few months, the Europeans are establishing free circulation between the Al-Qaïda camps in Turkey and Brussels. By crushing the Iraqi and Syrian people under the pressure of the jihadists whom they are indirectly financing, and abandoning the Turkish people to the dictatorship of President Erdoğan, they are preparing the foundations for a vast confrontation of which they will themselves be the victims.
We have arrived. Teeming, huddled. We have arrived to the edge and our shadows are now cast over the precipice. We have arrived at the threshold of mass American fascism. It is a discriminatory ideology as well as a state of mind and we as a nation have collectively arrived at that grim station. Unmistakably, we have arrived as evidenced by the very fabric and sinews of the divisive policies and personalities of the presidential forerunners: Clinton and Trump.
But let us here first define the term ‘fascism’. Let us look at the founder of modern fascism and how he defined it. No, the originator was not Hitler, nor was it Stalin or Mussolini; it was in fact another Italian by the name of Gabriele d’Annunzio, a popular poet and libertine who lived at the turn of the 20th century (1863 – 1938). His infamous manifesto was adopted thereafter by Hitler and Mussolini, adding their own brushstroke to the diabolical canvas.