“I just want to congratulate you because I am hearing of the unbelievable job on the drug problem,” Trump said in the phone call, according to the transcript. “Many countries have the problem, we have a problem, but what a great job you are doing, and I just wanted to call and tell you that.”Duterte responded that drugs were a “scourge” of his nation. Trump then added: “I think we had a previous president who did not understand that.”
This would be a remarkable position for someone long affiliated with Richard Mack’s extremist Patriot organization, the Constitutional Sheriffs and Peace Officers Association, to hold. Among the core tenets of CSPOA dogma is the far-right “constitutionalist” belief that sheriffs represent the highest law of the land, and are capable of overturning or ignoring federal laws within their own jurisdictions. Moreover, Clarke’s history of incendiary remarks includes his advocacy of “a second American revolution.”
This post originally appeared on Middle East Eye under the title ‘Dennis Kucinich and the western left’s blind spot over Syria
If anti-authoritarian leftists want to take part in the fight against tyranny and extremism, they must be humble enough to accept that context matters, that things do not happen in a vacuum, and that it is not only about the West. Syrians’ right to narrate their own experiences must be given primacy. These are not mere details, and failure to do so inevitably puts us on the de facto side of the oppressors.
Earlier this year, the Newtown school board sent Trump a letter, asking him to denounce Alex Jones and the other Sandy Hook hoaxers, and to state definitively that Sandy Hook happened: “Jones repeatedly tells his listeners and viewers that he has your ears and your respect. He brags about how you called him after your victory in November. He continues to hurt the memories of those lost, the ability of those left behind to heal,” the school’s board wrote. Two months on, they have yet to receive a response.
According to a police statement, officers were responding to a 911 call reporting drunken young people when they heard gunfire from an “unknown altercation,” and then a car backed down the street toward them in an “aggressive manner.”
“Translation:” We don’t know what we are doing but we do know if we claim anything or anyone was being “aggressive” toward us, we can shoot to kill and get away with it.
The military’s official tally is anyway far below those of activists and monitoring groups.
3,000 in Iraq and Syria have died in coalition strikes since 2014.
Trump sees Pyongyang’s nuclear arsenal as the greatest danger facing U.S. national security, but he isn’t just inexperienced when it comes to foreign policy — he often veers into downright clumsiness. A recent example came two weeks ago, when he announced that he had directed a U.S. aircraft carrier to head toward North Korea as a warning — even though the vessel was actually heading in the opposite direction to take part in a maneuver near Australia. Whether it was a bluff or whether Trump had misunderstood something remains unclear — even as the vessel, the USS Carl Vinson, is now steaming toward Korean waters — but it does show the degree to which things can go wrong under this commander-in-chief.Following the numerous failures and defeats he has suffered early on in his presidency, Trump badly needs successes to present to his supporters as he passes the symbolically important 100-day threshold. An aggressive stance toward North Korea at least gives him the appearance of resolve and Trump hopes to demonstrate that he is able to stand up to the Pyongyang dictator. When he launched 59 missiles at Syria earlier this month, he received praise even from commentators who don’t normally have a kind word to say about this president. Because of Trump’s apparent addiction to public acclaim, it isn’t difficult to imagine the conclusions he drew.
While Netanyahu’s move appears to be extreme and quite dumb, it actually fits coherently with his government’s orchestrated campaign against Israeli human rights organizations over the last two years. In recent months Netanyahu has called on European governments to stop funding and cooperating with Breaking the Silence, and Israel’s education minister Naftali Bennett has already effectively banned Breaking the Silence from giving presentations in high schools.Netanyahu’s move is situated well within the context of an increasingly tyrannical government that has now upped its authoritarianism a notch. Israel has been censoring and restricting the freedoms of Palestinians since 1948, it has been applying similar tactics to Israeli leftists for years and is now taking that strategy to its biggest European ally. And Netanyahu knows he will not have to pay any consequences for it. Gabriel has already said cancellation of the meeting would be “regrettable” but would not hurt or affect Israel’s ties with Germany in any way.The ultimatum and refusal to meet with a German diplomat is reminiscent of the tactics used by the Israeli government against peace activists who began meeting with PLO representatives in the 1970s. In this sense, Israel is now treating Israeli organizations who document occupation as if they were Palestinians: Persona non grata. Now, anyone who wants to merely meet with or listen to these persona non grata is also an enemy. And just like in 1975, when Israel decided to legislate a law banning Israelis from meeting with PLO members, don’t be surprised if the Israeli government’s next move is to outlaw B’Tselem and Breaking the Silence.
“When it comes to the hunger strike by terrorists in Israeli jails, I take the approach of Margaret Thatcher,” Israeli defense minister Avigdor Lieberman wrote on Facebook, in reference to the former British prime minister who notoriously allowed Irish hunger strikers to die in prison in 1981.
According to Harue Craig’s account, and a family friend who spoke to the Mercury-News shortly after the incident, the Craigs had no idea that these were sheriff’s deputies, and they were scared that intruders were attempting to invade their home. Mrs. Craig says they were in the middle of dinner and clearly were confused by what was happening, and she was in fact cowering behind her husband when the deputies came into the home and fatally shot him.That family friend, Greg Delaney, who spoke with Mrs. Craig as well as witnesses, said that his friend Gene was “freaking out” that someone was trying to break in, and that the deputies’ actions are unconscionable. “They opened the door, saw that he had a gun, and shot him. … They killed him in front of his wife,” he said. “These people were trigger happy.”