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Wednesday, December 28, 2016

A Significant Resolution on Israel - The New Yorker

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"Last Friday, the United Nations Security Council unanimously passed Resolution 2334, with a dramatic abstention by the Obama Administration. The resolution called on Palestinian leaders to take ‘immediate steps to prevent all acts of violence against civilians, including acts of terror,’ and refrain from ‘incitement and inflammatory rhetoric.’ Its real target, though, was Israel’s settlement project, which, the resolution sharply claimed, has ‘no legal validity and constitutes a flagrant violation under international law and a major obstacle to the achievement of the two-State solution and a just, lasting and comprehensive peace.’

Later in the day on Friday, I spoke to Robert Malley, the special assistant to the President on the National Security Council, the senior adviser for the campaign against isis, and the White House co√∂rdinator for the Middle East, North Africa, and the Gulf. In February, 2011, the Obama Administration vetoed a similar U.N. condemnation of settlements—opposing fourteen other members of the Security Council and a hundred and twenty co-sponsors from the General Assembly. Why abstain now, I asked Malley, and not then? ‘A real difference is that efforts to advance negotiations were ongoing in 2011,’ Malley told me. ‘We were concerned not to interfere with a process that had some prospect of progressing. That’s not the case since Secretary Kerry’s efforts in 2014. We are at an impasse. There is no prospect of resumption of serious meaningful talks between the sides, so the argument that a U.N. resolution would interfere with negotiations doesn’t hold much water.’

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(Via.)   A Significant Resolution on Israel - The New Yorker:

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Aleppo’s “Evacuation” Is a Crime Against Humanity - The New Yorker

"Last Thursday, as forces loyal to the Syrian government advanced through eastern Aleppo and despondent civilians there wondered whether they would be massacred, Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad, stood in a sunlit courtyard in Damascus, dressed in a crisp blue suit, and compared his victory to the births of Jesus Christ and the prophet Muhammad. Just as our calendars count the years before and after those events, he explained, “I believe that we will talk about history—and not just the history of Syria but of the entire world—as before and after the liberation of Aleppo.” He rocked back and forth on his heels, waving his arms and raising his eyebrows, unable to conceal his excitement.



So, characteristically, an autocrat inflates his place in history. But, in this case, it’s worth acknowledging that Assad has a point: the significance of Aleppo’s collapse is far greater than its physical territory, its ancient history, and its former splendor. For more than four years, Western governments and the United Nations stood by, watching, as Assad and his backers ostentatiously ignored the laws of war, and residents of eastern Aleppo live-streamed their own extermination. Now, along with tens of thousands of civilians, the credibility of the powerful countries and institutions that could have helped them, but didn’t, lies in Aleppo’s rubble and blood."





Aleppo’s “Evacuation” Is a Crime Against Humanity - The New Yorker

Friday, December 16, 2016

Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters | World news | The Guardian

A Chinese navy warship has seized an underwater drone deployed by an American oceanographic vessel in international waters in the South China Sea, triggering a formal diplomatic protest and demand for its return from the United States, a US defense official told Reuters on Friday.

The incident – the first of its kind in recent memory – took place on Thursday north-west of Subic Bay just as the USNS Bowditch, an oceanographic survey ship, was about to retrieve the unmanned, underwater vehicle (UUV), the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“The UUV was lawfully conducting a military survey in the waters of the South China Sea,” the official said.

“It’s a sovereign immune vessel, clearly marked in English not to be removed from the water – that it was US property.”

The Chinese seizure will add to concerns about China’s growing military presence and aggressive posture in the disputed South China Sea, including its militarization of maritime outposts.


Chinese warship seizes US underwater drone in international waters | World news | The Guardian

Sunday, December 04, 2016

At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News

We must understand what happened here. Native peoples were shot with rubber bullets, tear gas and violence until White veterans arrived. This confirms the analysis that minority rights are not protected in America unless it effects a significant group of Whites. The victory was won and the government violence stopped only when famous Whites arrived. Non White lives still do not matter in America. "The vets, led by Wesley Clark Jr., son of retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark, began arriving in force today to help protest against the controversial crude oil pipeline project in North Dakota.
They are joining the months-long demonstration at a moment of heightened drama: The North Dakota governor has issued an emergency evacuation order for protesters around the site, which follows a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deadline for demonstrators to leave the area by Monday, Dec. 5."


At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News

At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News

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We must understand what happened here. Native peoples were shot with rubber bullets, tear gas and violence until White veterans arrived. This confirms the analysis that minority rights are not protected in America unless it effects a significant group of Whites. The victory was won and the government violence stopped only when famous Whites arrived. Non White lives still do not matter in America. "The vets, led by Wesley Clark Jr., son of retired general and former presidential candidate Wesley Clark, began arriving in force today to help protest against the controversial crude oil pipeline project in North Dakota.

They are joining the months-long demonstration at a moment of heightened drama: The North Dakota governor has issued an emergency evacuation order for protesters around the site, which follows a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers deadline for demonstrators to leave the area by Monday, Dec. 5."

(Via.)  At Least 2,000 Veterans Arrive at Standing Rock to Protest Dakota Pipeline - ABC News:

Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement | The Nation

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“On the Tuesday after the election, two dozen pastors gathered in the back room of a Lower Manhattan church to begin plotting the resistance. Most of the faith leaders were immigrants, and all of them members of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and activists. Since its founding in 2007, the coalition has worked on the front lines in the fight to protect undocumented New Yorkers from detention and deportation.

The meeting began with a prayer—‘We pray you will give us all the right to remain in justice, in solidarity and in truth’—delivered by a soft-spoken Mexican priest, first in Spanish, then in English. Updates from the past week followed—reports of congregations in crisis, sleepless nights spent consoling worried parents, tearful children afraid to go to school. The mood was tense but focused, and before long they’d arrived at the main item on the agenda."

Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement | The Nation (Via.)

Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement | The Nation

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“On the Tuesday after the election, two dozen pastors gathered in the back room of a Lower Manhattan church to begin plotting the resistance. Most of the faith leaders were immigrants, and all of them members of the New Sanctuary Coalition of New York City, an interfaith network of congregations, organizations, and activists. Since its founding in 2007, the coalition has worked on the front lines in the fight to protect undocumented New Yorkers from detention and deportation.

The meeting began with a prayer—‘We pray you will give us all the right to remain in justice, in solidarity and in truth’—delivered by a soft-spoken Mexican priest, first in Spanish, then in English. Updates from the past week followed—reports of congregations in crisis, sleepless nights spent consoling worried parents, tearful children afraid to go to school. The mood was tense but focused, and before long they’d arrived at the main item on the agenda."

Inside the Churches That Are Leading New York’s Sanctuary Movement | The Nation (Via.)