Candidates Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, foreign policy


This 4 December 2019 video from the USA says about itself:

Bernie Sanders is distancing himself from [Elizabeth] Warren. Cenk Uygur, Emma Vigeland, and Ana Kasparian, hosts of The Young Turks, break it down.

From Politico:

Bernie Sanders‘ revolution has gone global.

As the Vermont senator battles Elizabeth Warren for the left wing of the Democratic Party, he’s increasingly tried to find an edge on foreign policy. Sanders has portrayed his candidacy as one part of a worldwide worker-led movement, praised … leftist leaders across the globe, and tried to articulate a foreign policy further afield of the establishment than Warren’s.

Sanders’ foreign policy views are a clear mark of distinction from Warren in a race in which their domestic agendas are viewed as very similar.

That view may not be 100% correct. As Senator Warren at first backed a Medicare For All plan similar to Sanders’; but later backtracked.

Left-wing leaders around the world see an ally in Sanders — Brazil’s Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva recently thanked him for his “solidarity” and Bolivia‘s ousted Evo Morales called him “hermano Bernie Sanders” — but have not publicly embraced Warren in the same way.

Against Trump and NATO, London protest video


This Washington Post video of today says about itself:

Watch live: Protest held against Trump in London as he attends NATO summit

Stop Trump Coalition” holds demonstrations in central London as President Trump visits the city for NATO summit.

European Union returns refugees to Libyan slavery


This 23 January 2018 video says about itself:

New videos expose torture of African refugees in Libya

New videos have emerged showing African refugees being abused in Libya. Illegal detention centres, extortion and slavery have become common as many people trying to reach Europe are either caught or returned to Libya.

Al Jazeera’s Osama Bin Javaid reports.

By Ben Cowles:

Monday, December 2, 2019

Europe suggests NGO rescuers hand refugees back to Libya’s ‘criminal groups’

THE European maritime authorities are ducking their responsibility for refugees crossing the Mediterranean and, worse, are referring NGO rescue ships to “criminal groups”, the refugee rescue fleet has told the Star.

Two NGO-operated ships, the Alan Kurdi and the Ocean Viking, saved over 100 people from unseaworthy boats during three separate missions in the central Mediterranean last Thursday after the refugees had fled human rights abuses in Libya.

Both ships contacted the Libyan maritime authorities, as international law dictates, but their calls were ignored.

Maltese and Italian authorities have been asked to provide the rescue ships with a port of safety, but none had been offered by the time the Star went to press.

Conditions on board the Alan Kurdi — operated by German charity Sea Eye and named after a three-year-old Syrian-Kurdish boy whose dead body washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015 — have deteriorated dramatically since it rescued 84 people last week.

“It’s insane. No-one is taking responsibility for this,” Sea Eye’s head of communication Julian Pahlke told the Star.

Sea Eye's crew pull refugees from an unseaworthy boat in the central Mediterranean

This photo shows Sea Eye’s crew pulling refugees from an unseaworthy boat in the central Mediterranean.

“Four people collapsed on board the ship on Sunday. Two people have collapsed today. A woman tried to kill herself on Saturday by jumping overboard. She was evacuated to Malta.

“Everyone on board is exhausted. It’s cold and it’s windy and people are sleeping on deck covered in blankets. Our team is so stressed that it’s getting hard for them to look after the rescued.”

When the Alan Kurdi’s crew contacted the maritime rescue co-ordination centres in Malta, Rome and even Bremen in Germany, the latter suggested that the ship should contact the Libyan coastguard.

“We are not going to do that,” Mr Pahlke said. “We are not going to break international law by handing refugees over to criminal groups and back to a war zone.”

The Ocean Viking — jointly operated by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders (MSF) — was in international waters between Malta and the Italian island of Lampedusa with 60 refugees on board as the Star went to press. Its crew also refused to break international law.

Libya cannot be considered a place of safety,” SOS Mediterranee director of operations Frederic Penard told the Star.

“Everybody says this every day, including European leaders and their governments. The situation in the country is very well documented.

“But at the same time, European leaders refuse to accept responsibility for the co-ordination of some of our cases, including the designation of a port of safety, and they keep referring us back to the Libyan coastguard, which is unable to provide a place of safety because their country is not safe.

“The European Union’s policies here are grossly incoherent. On the one hand, they clearly acknowledge that the situation in Libya is a problem, which clearly disqualifies the country as being safe. But on the other hand they refuse to abide by international maritime conventions.”

The EU withdrew all of its search and rescue ships in April after pressure from Italy’s then far-right … coalition government. Since then, a small number of NGO ships have been the only vessels in the Mediterranean carrying out the humanitarian work formerly done by the bloc.

Many NGO activists have been persecuted for their efforts and charities such as Sea Watch, Mediterranea Saving Humans, Mission Lifeline and Jugend Rettet have had their ships seized by the Italian and Maltese authorities.

MSF UK humanitarian representative Liz Harding warned that despite the EU’s extremely limited dedicated search and rescue presence in the Mediterranean, people continue to attempt to cross the world’s deadliest migration route.

Ms Harding told the Star: “MSF calls on EU member states, including the UK, to urgently provide proactive and sufficient search and rescue capacity in the Mediterranean Sea, as well as to end punitive actions against NGOs trying to provide life-saving assistance.

“Additionally, there must be sustainable, reliable and predictable disembarkation mechanism for survivors in safe places where they will be treated humanely and will be able to seek asylum. Libya is not, and cannot be considered, a place of safety.”

You can follow the Star’s coverage of the civil refugee rescue fleet here.

A FIVE-DAY standoff that left over 100 refugees stranded at sea finally came to an end today when the EU authorities allowed two NGO rescue ships to dock in Italy. The Alan Kurdi, operated by German charity Sea Eye, and the Ocean Viking, crewed jointly by SOS Mediterranee and Doctors Without Borders (MSF), saved the lives of 144 refugees last Thursday in three separate missions. It wasn’t until yesterday afternoon, however, when the Palermo mayor Leoluca Orlando responded to the Alan Kurdi’s plea for shelter on Twitter that the two ships were granted a port of safety: here.

‘It shouldn’t be civil society versus European governments’. SOS Mediterranee’s DAVID STARKE tells the Star how EU member states have abandoned their commitments to international maritime and refugee laws when it comes to rescues carried out by the civil rescue fleet.

German neo-nazi military officer charged with terorism


This 10 October 2019 video is called Right-wing terrorism In Germany.

By Dietmar Gaisenkersting in Germany:

Right-wing German Army officer Franco A. to be charged for terrorism

2 December 2019

Following an announcement last week, German ex-Army officer Franco A. is to appear in court on the charge of preparing an act of sedition. The information was contained in a recently published ruling by the German Constitutional Court dating from August 22.

The Frankfurt/Main Court of Appeals previously rejected a charge on this issue. However, the details now made public strongly suggest that the 30-year-old ex-Army officer is a neo-Nazi terrorist.

A. was arrested at Vienna’s airport in February 2017 as he sought to recover a weapon he had previously hidden in a toilet. Subsequent investigations revealed that he planned attacks with two accomplices, Maximilian T., and Matthias F., on high-ranking politicians and other public personalities. All three accused were found to possess large quantities of arms and ammunition.

Franco A. also registered as a Syrian refugee in Bavaria, with the apparent intention of blaming future attacks on refugees so as to stoke right-wing and xenophobic sentiment in Germany.

Alongside politicians, the death list included the name of Anetta Kahane, the head of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation, a target of hatred for the far-right. Nonetheless, Franco A. was released from prison in November 2017 on grounds of insufficient suspicion that he had committed a crime.

Just over six months later, in June 2018, the Frankfurt Court of Appeals dismissed the charge against Franco A. of preparing an act of sedition. The court claimed that although the preparations for the crime were far advanced, Franco A. had not carried them out, even though he allegedly had several opportunities to do so.

On this basis, the court reached the conclusion that there was a lack of suspicion that he had committed a crime. Additional charges, including violations of the firearms law and fraud, were to be dealt with in a trial at the Darmstadt District Court.

In response to this decision, the federal state prosecutor’s office appealed to the Constitutional Court, which has now ruled in favour of the appeal. The Court of Appeals must now hear the state prosecutor’s terrorism case.

The Constitutional Court gave little credibility to Franco A.’s defence. A. claimed that his statements and actions had been misinterpreted and misunderstood by the authorities. He was, in fact, always concerned about “peace, but never violence”.

In a lengthy three-part article in April 2019, the Neue Zürcher Zeitung followed this line in an attempt to rehabilitate Franco A. “The Berlin office of the NZZ has possession of hundreds of pages of files, audio recordings, and mobile phone videos related to the Franco A. case,” wrote the author, Benedict Neff. Neff added that he had repeatedly met with Franco A., his partner, and family members.

Neff could hardly contain his enthusiasm. “One notices that this is a soldier’s home,” he enthused, “due to its cleanliness. The apartment is spotlessly clean.” Franco A. is “still very fit, but his hair is bound in a short ponytail with strands falling over his brow. Nobody would consider him to be an officer any more. Rather, he looks more like an artist or a philosophy student. His beard remains.”

Franco A.’s partner, who was also interviewed in detail by the NZZ, was introduced as Sophia T. … She is the sister of A.’s accomplice, Maximilian T., who served alongside A. as a soldier in Illkirch, France, was briefly arrested, and now works as a personal adviser to Alternative for Germany (AfD) parliamentary deputy Jan Nolte.

The father of Sophia and Maximilian, Thomas Tischer, is a well-known neo-Nazi, who was active in the right-wing extremist Reichsbürger movement and the fascist National Democratic Party (NPD). The author Tobias Ginsburg, who conducted undercover research on the Reichsbürger movement, cited him as saying, “The world can be saved only with radical measures—by biologically exterminating billions and obliterating the Middle East with nuclear weapons.”

While the NZZ portrayed Franco A. as “misunderstood”, the Constitutional Court’s published ruling underscores his right-wing extremist, neo-Nazi outlook.

The defendant has a particular aversion to Jewish people, noted the ruling. “Zionism is conducting a systematic race war by sending millions of migrants to Germany, which will lead to a mixing of the races and the extermination of the German race,” states the ruling in summing up A.’s views. “He compared immigration to genocide and the social welfare state to automatised genocide,” continued the ruling. “Zionism is the root of all evil and the United States serves as a power to impose devilish interests.”

The ruling cited statements and writings, including, “My beliefs are my Germanness, that Israel governs the United States, and that Hitler stands above everyone else.”

Franco A. owned books such as Hitler’s Mein Kampf and the 1940 work The Wehrmacht—the Liberation Struggle of the Great German People. CDs with Nazi songs were also found in his possession.

According to Franco A.’s outlook, a terrorist is “a freedom fighter for the establishment of a just world,” wrote the Constitutional Court. “In an audio recording from February 2016, A. described his political opponents as ‘swines’ who he and his fellow believers would kill if they got in their way.” Franco A. stated in the recording, “I know you want to murder me, so I’ll murder you first.” Anyone not prepared to do this “may as well give up the struggle from the start.”

To contribute to “the retention of the German nation”, Franco A. planned to “use the fictive identity of a Syrian refugee” to launch attacks on “refugee-friendly” people, including current foreign minister Heiko Maas, Green Party politician Claudia Roth, and Anetta Kahane.

The planned attack on the head of the Amadeu Antonio Foundation was far advanced. It was already known that Franco A. carried out surveillance on a parking garage belonging to the organisation in Berlin and noted down car registration plates.

The Constitutional Court has connected this information with other events. In April 2016, he purchased a mounting bar for his long-sight Heckler & Koch G3 gun. Four days after carrying out surveillance on the garage, he performed firing practice with the gun, “suggesting that he was seeking to achieve improved accuracy with the weapon.” It is likely that soon afterwards, probably on July 28, the defendant acquired the pistol in Paris that he later concealed at the Vienna airport.

The claim that Franco A. merely wanted to meet Kahane for a discussion was deemed by the court to lack credibility.

All of this information paints a clear picture of the activities of Franco A. and his accomplices. It is all the more remarkable that the Frankfurt/Main Court of Appeals came to the conclusion in 2018 that it could not sufficiently justify suspicion of the commission of a seditious crime.

This underscores what the>World Socialist Web Site wrote following the dropping of charges in June 2018: “All of the evidence in the case suggests that Franco A. and his accomplices are merely a small portion of a much broader neo-Nazi network within the Army and the German state.”

We now know that Franco A. had contact with a large number of right-wing extremists, including figures with ties to the terrorist organisation National Socialist Underground. The extent of the right-wing extremist network in the state apparatus is also becoming ever clearer.

A prominent role in this is played by the state authorities in Hesse, not merely due to the Court of Appeals decision in the Franco A. case. When Halit Yozgat was murdered by the NSU in Kassel in 2006, Andreas Temme, an employee of the Hesse state intelligence agency, was at the crime scene. The state government led by Volker Bouffier (Christian Democrats, CDU) ensured that relevant files were suppressed for decades. Moreover, evidence shows that death threats sent to a lawyer representing NSU victims, which were signed “NSU 2.0,” were sent by people with connections to the Frankfurt police.

The AfD, which trivialises the Nazis’ crimes, glorifies the [Adolf Hitler] Wehrmacht and rails against refugees and protesting students, enjoys close ties to this right-wing network within the state. Fifteen percent of the AfD’s deputies in the federal parliament and 10 percent in state parliaments are former career soldiers, and 8 percent are former or fired police officers.

History is returning with full force. The political and corporate elites, as they did during the Weimar Republic, are once again turning to authoritarian and fascist forms of rule. The return of Germany to imperialist policies and militarism can be carried through only by suppressing all opposition and encouraging, building up and supporting the most right-wing forces.

While state agencies focus on covering up, financing and organising the right-wing extremist and terrorist activities of soldiers, police officers and intelligence service agents, protests against the AfD are criminalised and declared to be anti-constitutional. For example, the Sozialistische Gleichheitspartei (Socialist Equality Party) is described by the Secret Service in its Verfassungsschutz Report as left-wing extremist and anti-constitutional because it firmly opposes nationalism, militarism and the AfD, while advocating a socialist society.

A Jewish mother in Germany is taking her son out of a public high school because of frequent anti-Semitic comments in the classroom: here.