NATO summit kicks off in Wales on hotspot issues

NEWPORT, Britain, Sept. 4 (Xinhua) -- The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) on Thursday kicked off its 26th summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, southeast Wales of Britain, with nearly 60 world leaders invited to attend the two-day gathering.

  • Published in World

Can Tampa ever reconnect with Havana?

If your ancestors emigrated from Europe, you might trace your roots to Ellis Island in the early 1900's. If you're a Cuban American from Tampa, your Ellis Island is likely Ybor City around the same time.

Many Cuban Americans' ancestors likely arrived in Tampa on a steamer from Havana to work in the cigar industry. They arrived long before Castro's communist revolution in 1959.

Tampa native and Cuban American Mario Nunez wants to find the birthplace of his grandfather, born in Cuba in 1892.

"Somebody who has Irish ancestry, Chinese ancestry, they can go to their mother country and find the land from where their grandparents came. I'm restricted from doing that," lamented Nunez.

THE LONG EMBARGO

He's restricted by the U.S.A.'s embargo on Cuba imposed in 1962. Many Cubans who left the Island around the time Castro took power in 1959 continue to support the embargo, but many Cuban Americans in Tampa, some of them third- or fourth-generation Americans, have a different view.

"We've tried [the embargo] for 53 years," said Victor Rudy DiMaio, whose Cuban grandmother came to Tampa in the early 1900's.

He supports lifting the embargo and restoring the historic connection between Tampa and Havana. Port Tampa Bay is the closest deep water port to Havana.

"And I don't mean just an opportunity to make money," says DiMaio. "I see an opportunity to reconnect."

TAMPA-HAVANA RECONNECTION?

Nunez says he doesn't expect the embargo to be lifted overnight, but he believes individuals should be able to get licenses from the U.S. State Department to independently visit Cuba.

Currently, to visit and spend money in Cuba legally, Americans must usually go through licensed agents or charter services who are authorized to put together groups for humanitarian, cultural, or educational purposes.

Nunez says it can be expensive and time consuming to join some of those groups. Both he and DiMaio recently traveled to Cuba and they believe more from Tampa will follow.

"They're some of the most resourceful people on the planet," offered Nunez. "They've taken making lemons into lemonade to a whole, new level."

Nunez wasn't able to find cousins still living in Cuba, but plans to return to renew the search for his Cuban roots.

  • Published in Cuba

Beyoncé and Jay Z's trip to Cuba did not violate sanctions, US says

American music industry power couple Beyoncé and Jay Z did not violate US sanctions on Cuba by traveling to the communist-ruled island last year, a US government review has found.

“We found no indication that US sanctions were violated, and we concluded that the … decision not to pursue a formal investigation was reasonable,” said the review by the Treasury Department’s office of inspector general dated on Wednesday.

The four-day visit in April 2013 was a cultural trip that was fully licensed by the Treasury Department, organizers said at the time.

The long-standing US trade embargo against Cuba prevents most Americans from traveling to the island without a license granted by the US government.

Two Cuban-American members of Congress, both Republicans representing south Florida and supporters of a firm stance on Cuba, had asked the Treasury Department for information on what type of license the couple obtained for their trip.

Beyoncé and Jay Z celebrated their fifth wedding anniversary in Havana and were greeted by big crowds as they strolled through the Cuban capital. They were instantly recognized despite the past half-century of ideological conflict that separates the two countries.

The visit was planned as a “people-to-people” cultural visit and involved no meetings with Cuban officials, or typical tourist activity such as trips to the beach, organizers said at the time.

The trip included visits with Cuban artists and musicians, as well as several nightclubs where live music was performed, and some of the city’s best privately run restaurants, known as “paladares”.

Beyoncé and Jay Z were among a bevy of American stars to visit the island in recent years, joining actors Bill Murray, Sean Penn and James Caan. But the pair were the first to cause such a stir everywhere they went.

While it has kept the embargo in place, the Obama administration has eased restrictions on travel to Cuba for academic, religious or cultural programs.

  • Published in Culture

US special ops forces tried to rescue hostages in Syria but failed, officials say

The Obama administration sent U.S. troops to Syria recently to attempt to rescue hostages being held by Islamic State militants, including journalist James Foley, but failed to find them, the Pentagon said Wednesday.

Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Admiral John Kirby said in a statement that the mission to rescue the Americans targeted a "captor network" inside the militant group, and included air and ground elements. 

"Unfortunately, the mission was not successful because the hostages were not present at the targeted location," Kirby said.

A senior U.S. official also told Fox News the troops apparently just missed the hostages, as the Americans were believed to have been at the site just a few days prior to the mission.

Lisa Monaco, the assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counterterrorism, said in a statement that the Obama administration chose to authorize the mission because of the "national security team’s assessment that these hostages were in danger with each passing day in ISIL custody."

An investigative source told Fox News that the "top-tier" group's mission included rescuing at least three Americans, including James Foley. The American photojournalist's horrific beheading by Islamic State militants, also known as ISIS or ISIL, was shown on a YouTube video Tuesday night.

Foley's killers are holding another American journalist, Steven Sotloff, who they have also threatened to kill. Islamic State militants are also believed to be holding an American aid worker.

A senior U.S. official told Fox News that the operation, which took place a couple of months ago, included "several dozen" special operators, multiple aircraft and at least one drone. 

An additional U.S. military source told Fox News that the mission lasted for a few hours. After the troops did not find the hostages at the location where they were believed held, the troops found information that led them to a second compound. 

At this compound, the source said, the troops engaged in a firefight with the militants, killing several including some "significant" members. No U.S. lives were lost but one servicemember sustained minor injuries. 

The senior U.S. official said after the militants were killed, the troops swept the area and found the hostages were not there. The troops had hoped to find "several" American hostages, the official said. 

NSC Spokesperson Caitlin Hayden said in a statement that the administration had not planned to release details of the operation, out of concern for the safety of the hostages. However, she said, it became clear Wednesday it would be reported in the media and the administration had "no choice but to acknowledge it." 

Kirby said the U.S. is committed to rescuing its captive citizens, and "uses the full breadth of our military, intelligence and diplomatic capabilities to bring people home whenever we can."

"In this case, we put the best of the United States military in harm's way to try and bring our citizens home," he said.

Monaco said President Obama "could not be prouder" of the troops who carried out the mission.

"Their effort should serve as another signal to those who would do us harm that the United States will not tolerate the abduction of our people, and will spare no effort to secure the safety of our citizens and to hold their captors accountable," she said.

Foley, a New Hampshire-born journalist who specialized in chronicling life in the world's most dangerous places, disappeared in northern Syria in November 2012 while freelancing for Agence France-Presse and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. 

Foley, who had previously worked in Afghanistan for Stars and Stripes, was not seen or heard from again until the shocking and brutal video, in which his executioner blamed U.S. air strikes on the Islamic State in Iraq, surfaced.

  • Published in World

Press Release by the Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C.

The Cuban Interests Section in Washington, D.C, would like to inform the recipients of the services provided by its Consular Office that, in spite of the efforts made, it has not been possible to find a U.S. or foreign bank with offices in the United States or abroad to operate our bank accounts yet, due to the regulations derived from the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by the U.S. government against Cuba and the unfounded designation of Cuba as “a state sponsor of terrorism.”

The Interests Section will continue to work toward a solution that would allow normalizing the work of its Consular Office, which has aggravated in the current context because of the increased financial persecution by the United States against Cuba, manifested, among others, in the imposition of huge fines to foreign banks by virtue of the extraterritorial enforcement of the blockade, violating the International Law.

In light of the above, the Interests Section has decided, as a temporary solution, that its Consular Office continue to provide the services announced on May 15, 2014, for renewal and extension of the validity of passports belonging to Cuban citizens residing in the United States, who have made reservations to travel to Cuba until December 31, 2014.  The aforementioned services are to be obtained, directly in the Cuban Consular Office in Washington, D.C., by travel agencies with a working relationship with the Consular Office.

The Interests Section reiterates that services related to humanitarian cases will continue to be expedited and that, pursuant to the Cuban migration laws in force, Cuban citizens living abroad must hold a valid passport to enter the national territory.

August 19, 2014

  • Published in Cuba

Dawn Yanquis

Why is President Obama still allowing covert operations in Cuba? It's just one failed disaster after another.


The idea of "democracy promotion" sells well in Washington -- it's practically untouchable. But yet another investigation into the covert action programs targeted against Cuba, published on Aug. 4 by the Associated Press, shows in vivid detail how amateur and feckless they are. Despite public statements about seeking a "new beginning" with Havana, U.S. President Barack Obama has continued -- even ramped up -- the clandestine activities on the island started by his predecessor, bringing the total resources wasted on the Cuba programs to well above a couple of hundred million dollars.

The effort has also cost us valuable prestige on the island and throughout Latin America, and Fidel Castro must have cracked a smile at it all as he celebrated his 88th birthday last week. It's time to stop these absurd programs and implement policies that will promote democracy, as they have in many countries.

The operations undertaken by former President George W. Bush and Obama have been both clandestine and covert, according to AP reports and the investigations the Senate Foreign Relations Committee (SFRC) conducted when I was on its staff in 2010 to 2011. In fact, the State Department and USAID obsessively concealed the U.S. hand behind them, keeping that information from most of the people involved. Rather than "promoting democracy," their focus has been on regime change, and their objective has been to persuade Cubans to confront the Castro government to achieve it -- as if we knew better how they should build their future. This approach has created entrepreneurial dissidents eager for cash disbursements, and undercut the legitimate activists who see it as merely a continuation of a failed policy of embargoes, diplomatic isolation, and covert actions for the past five decades.

This new generation of covert operators does not hail from intelligence agencies, and they are not subject to the scrutiny imposed on real spooks. Nor do congressional oversight committees receive briefings of these operations necessary for appropriate oversight. When I was a senior advisor to SFRC chairman Sen. John Kerry, the State Department and USAID told us during a meeting that was supposed to be a briefing that neither we (nor the chairman) were cleared to know what they were doing in Cuba. "People would die" was their excuse. The operations are planned, executed, and self-evaluated by the State Department, USAID, and their "partners" -- the corporations and government-subsidized NGOs receiving millions of taxpayer dollars a year.

In response to an AP report about the programs in April, Obama spokesmen claimed that they were not secret but merely "discreet," and not intended to incite political action in Cuba. (USAID defended itself with a list of eight facts about the program.) The information that inside sources have detailed for the AP and to the SFRC, however, make a mockery of such statements. USAID subcontractor Alan Gross, who's been in a Cuban hospital-prison for four years, was deploying sensitive government-controlled technology to create a secret communications system. He told CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer that his task was to set it up and "test to see if it works," apparently for future unspecified political operations. The administration claims still that Gross was merely helping the Jewish community across Cuba get Internet access, but Gross's remark to Blitzer and comments he's made to visitors in prison indicate that expanding Internet access was essentially an afterthought. Neither the supposed Jewish beneficiaries of his program, nor the "mules" -- as USAID called them in its emails -- smuggling gear to him in Cuba were aware of his real objective.

The AP revealed that the program, called Project ZunZuneo, linked unwitting Cubans -- unaware of the U.S. funding and objectives -- through cellphone networks with the purpose of encouraging them to engage in flash-mob protests and other anti-regime activities to "renegotiate the balance of power between the state and society," according to project documents. Other operations adopted a health care cover -- such as AIDS prevention -- to organize unsuspecting Cubans to undertake politically motivated activities. The White House spokesman who responded to the AP report in April apparently was never briefed on these operations.

More revelations are forthcoming, as people associated with the programs share their stories with news outlets. On the SFRC staff, we heard from professionals from USAID and the State Department -- privately, out of a fear of retribution -- about concerns over their agencies' embrace of the clandestine operations. Their stories were serious enough that Kerry, already leery of the initiatives that had resulted in Gross's arrest, put a hold on the programs for some months, allowing them to resume only after receiving a promise that they'd received a rigorous review. The State Department reneged on the promise, and the leaks have slowly been coming. Among the stories that whistleblowers shared confidentially with us back in 2010 were USAID's false-flag operations in Central America -- recently reported by the AP based on its own sources -- to recruit individuals, all unaware of the U.S. funding and regime-change objectives, to travel to Cuba to teach their counterparts how to organize politically. They were taught how to communicate through code and pass police interrogation.

We also learned from insiders that, under the rubric of "democracy promotion," some of USAID's "partners" were simply paying people $50 cash -- a lot of money in Cuba -- to join anti-government protests, without knowing they were funded by the U.S. government. Others were distributing "informational products," including attacks on the Cuban Catholic Church, that were inconsistent with U.S. policy and values. And in 2011, a USAID grantee offered congressional staff bottles of fancy rum after a session boasting about how, in attempting to influence host governments' policies toward Cuba, he coordinated protests in Europe using U.S. tax dollars (without, incidentally, the knowledge of U.S. embassies in those countries).

The spy-vs.-spy tenor multiplies the harm that the operations represent to all involved. The secrecy of Gross's activity and his encrypted communications systems looked like an intelligence operation, making his defense many times harder and his Cuban prison term longer. Cash subsidies for political activities undermine participants' credibility and subject them to more hostile government treatment. Governments friendly to Washington feel betrayed when they are targeted by the political influence operations afoot in their capitals.

It's hard to judge how the Cuban people really feel about all this. According to sources within the human rights community, those who take our cash love it, and those who don't, don't. But most Cubans aren't as easily manipulated as our policy assumes they are, and a large number of them have got to resent that Cuban counterintelligence scores win after win against Washington. Cuban TV has shown videos, including a series that ran from March to April of 2011, of the State Department and USAID's agents doing their work, with voiceover commentary mocking the yanquis' arrogance in assuming they were undetected.

Cubans indeed want change, but it's clearer than ever that they want it to be evolutionary -- as seems to be happening now -- rather than revolutionary, destabilizing, and destructive. Raúl Castro's cautious opening of the economy has been tortuous, but paring back state enterprises and allowing space for certain private business is indeed changing Cubans' relationship with the government in a way that they welcome. Many Cubans obviously wish they had the wealth of their brothers in Miami, but much of the rhetoric coming out of Miami for decades has also made them risk-averse. The regime-change programs, like the 60-year trade embargo, have not only failed to achieve their stated purposes; their approach -- heating the pressure-cooker to the point of exploding -- does not enjoy support beyond those directly benefiting from them.

If Obama wants to argue that covert operations to effect change in Cuba will work and are in the U.S. national interest, then he should make that case. And he should run the programs under a presidential finding -- as required by law -- and through the intelligence community, rather than policy agencies and their profit-making partners.

But democratic transitions in many countries show that there are vastly more effective ways of facilitating change -- through trade, tourism, and an array of social and cultural interactions. Before President George W. Bush shut them down in favor of his "Initiative for a New Cuba" in 2002 and his measures "hastening the end of the Cuban dictatorship" in 2004, the United States did a lot in Cuba that arguably helped people feel a sense of ownership of their future. Book exchanges, cultural and academic outreach, and visitor programs showed Cubans that we are more than an imperial ogre pushing just one, self-serving vision of their future. People-to-people contacts are a lot more effective than any covert action at getting information and resources to Cubans seeking a better life.

If President Obama's goal is to help Cubans have a better future, then he should stop the silliness, pull back the spies, get the U.S. government out of the way, and let the American people -- in business, academia, culture, even tourists -- take the lead. 

  • Published in Cuba

Noam Chomsky: US role crucial to Israel's crimes

Hideous. Sadistic. Vicious. Murderous. That is how veteran academic and author Noam Chomsky describes Israel’s month-long offensive in Gaza that killed at least 2000 people and left almost 10,000 injured.

Democracy Now!’s Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalezspoke to the US intellectual and world-renowned dissident, who has written extensively about Israel and Palestine, about Israel’s latest bloody campaign of terror. An abridged version of the first part of the interview is underneath. The full interview, in two parts, can be watched at the bottom.

* * *

Forty years ago, you published Peace in the Middle East?: Reflections on Justice and Nationhood. Your 1983 book, The Fateful Triangle: The United States, Israel, and the Palestinians, is known as one of the definitive works on the Israel-Palestine conflict. What is your comments on what has just taken place?

It’s a hideous atrocity, sadistic, vicious, murderous, totally without any credible pretext.

It’s another one of the periodic Israeli exercises in what they delicately call “mowing the lawn”. That means shooting fish in the pond, to make sure that the animals stay quiet in the cage that you’ve constructed for them.

After this, you go to a period of what’s called “ceasefire”, which means that Hamas observes the ceasefire while Israel continues to violate it.

Then there is an Israeli escalation and Hamas reaction. Then you have a new period of “mowing the lawn”. This one is, in many ways, more sadistic and vicious even than the earlier ones.

What of the pretext that Israel used to launch these attacks? Does it have any validity?

As high Israeli officials concede, Hamas had observed the previous ceasefire for 19 months. The previous episode of “mowing the lawn” was in November 2012.

There was a ceasefire. The ceasefire terms were that Hamas would not fire rockets — what they call rockets — and Israel would move to end the blockade and stop attacking what they call militants in Gaza.

Hamas lived up to it. Israel concedes that.

In April, an event took place which horrified the Israeli government: A unity agreement was formed between [the governments of] Gaza and the West Bank, between Hamas and Fatah.

Israel has been desperately trying to prevent that for a long time. Israel was furious. They got even more upset when the US more or less endorsed it, which is a big blow to them. They launched a rampage in the West Bank.

What was used as a pretext was the brutal murder of three settler teenagers. There was a pretence that they were alive, though Israel knew they were dead.

Of course, they blamed it right away on Hamas. In fact, their own highest leading authorities pointed out right away that the killers were probably from a kind of a rogue clan in Hebron, the Qawasmeh clan, which turns out apparently to be true. They’ve been a thorn in the sides of Hamas for years. They don’t follow their orders.

But that gave the opportunity for a rampage in the West Bank, arresting hundreds of people, re-arresting many who had been released, mostly targeted on Hamas. Killings increased.

Finally, there was a Hamas response: the so-called rocket attacks. And that gave the opportunity for “mowing the lawn” again.
Why does Israel do this periodically?
Because they want to maintain a certain situation. For more than 20 years, Israel has been dedicated, with US support, to separating Gaza from the West Bank.

That’s in direct violation of the terms of the Oslo Accord 20 years ago, which declared that the West Bank and Gaza are a single territorial entity whose integrity must be preserved. But for rogue states, solemn agreements are just an invitation to do whatever you want.

So Israel, with US backing, has been committed to keeping them separate.

And there’s a good reason. If Gaza is the only outlet to the outside world for any eventual Palestinian entity, whatever it might be, the West Bank — if separated from Gaza — is essentially imprisoned. It has Israel on one side, the Jordanian dictatorship on the other.

Furthermore, Israel is systematically driving Palestinians out of the Jordan Valley — sinking wells, building settlements. They first call them military zones, then put in settlements.

That means that whatever cantons are left for Palestinians in the West Bank, after Israel takes what it wants and integrates it into Israel, they would be completely imprisoned. So keeping them separate is a key goal of US and Israeli policy.

The unity agreement threatened that. Because one of Israel’s arguments is: How can they negotiate with the Palestinians when they’re divided?

What do you make of the continued refusal of one United States administration after another despite official US opposition to settlement expansion, to call Israel to table over this?
Your phrase “officially opposed” is correct. But you have to distinguish the rhetoric of a government from its actions, and the rhetoric of political leaders from their actions.

We can easily see how committed the US is to this policy. For example, in February 2011, the UN Security Council considered a resolution calling on Israel to terminate its expansion of settlements.

What happened? [US President Barack] Obama vetoed the resolution. That tells you something.

Furthermore, the official statement to Israel about the settlement expansion is accompanied by what in diplomatic language is called a wink — a quiet indication that we don’t really mean it. So, for example, Obama’s latest condemnation of the recent, as he puts it, violence on all sides was accompanied by sending more military aid to Israel.

What about Israel’s argument that Hamas is refusing to negotiate a ceasefire?
The broad response is that 100% of the casualties and the destruction and the devastation and so on could have been avoided if Israel had lived up to the ceasefire agreement from November 2012, instead of violating it constantly.

With the siege of Gaza, Israel has been keeping Gaza on what they’ve called a “diet”, Israeli official Dov Weissglas’s famous comment. This meaning just enough calories allowed so they don’t all die — because that wouldn’t look good for Israel’s fading reputation — but nothing more than that.

Israeli experts calculated precisely how many calories would be needed to keep the Gazans on their diet, under siege, blocked from export, blocked from import.

Fisherfolk can’t go out to fish. The naval vessels drive them back to shore. A large part, probably over a third and maybe more, of Gaza’s arable land is barred from entry to Palestinians. That’s the diet.

Meanwhile Israel continues the ongoing project of taking over the parts of the West Bank that Israel intends to annex in some fashion, as long as the United States continues to support it and block international efforts to lead to a political settlement.

What’s your assessment of the impact on the already abysmal relationship between the US government and the Arab and Muslim world?

First of all, we have to distinguish between the Muslim and Arab populations and their governments—striking difference. The governments are mostly dictatorships. And when you read in the press that the Arabs support us on so-and-so, what is meant is the dictators support us, not the populations.

The dictatorships are moderately supportive of what the US and Israel are doing. That includes the military dictatorship in Egypt, a very brutal one. Saudi Arabia is the closest U.S. ally in the region, and it’s the most radical fundamentalist Islamic state in the world. It’s also spreading its Salafi-Wahhabi doctrines throughout the world, extremist fundamentalist doctrines.

The US prefers radical Islam to the danger of secular nationalism and democracy.

And these Arab regimes hate Hamas. They have no interest in the Palestinians. They have to say things to mollify their own populations, but again, rhetoric and action are different.
But it’s not just the Muslim populations. So, for example, there was a demonstration in London recently, which probably had hundreds of thousands of people, protesting the Israeli atrocities in Gaza. And that’s happening elsewhere in the world, too.

It’s worth remembering that—you go back a couple decades, Israel was one of the most admired countries in the world. Now it’s one of the most feared and despised countries in the world.

Israeli propagandists like to say, well, this is just anti-Semitism. But to the extent that there’s an anti-Semitic element, which is slight, it’s because of Israeli actions. The reaction is to the policies. And as long as Israel persists in these policies, that’s what’s going to happen.

When you pursue a policy of repression and expansion over security, there are things that are going to happen. There will be moral degeneration within the country. There will be increasing opposition and anger and hostility among populations outside the country.

You may continue to get support from dictatorships and the US, but you’re going to lose the populations.

It’s not the only example in history. There are many analogies drawn to South Africa, most of them pretty dubious, in my mind. But there’s one analogy which I think is pretty realistic.

In 1958, the South African government, which was imposing the harsh apartheid regime, recognised that they were becoming internationally isolated.

We know from declassified documents that in 1958 the South African foreign minister called in the US ambassador. He essentially told him, “Look, we’re becoming a pariah state … everyone is voting against us in the United Nations. We’re becoming isolated.

“But it really doesn’t matter, because you’re the only voice that counts. And as long as you support us, doesn’t really matter what the world thinks.”

If you look at what happened over the years, opposition to South African apartheid grew. There was a UN arms embargo. Sanctions began. Boycotts began.

It was so extreme by the 1980s, that even the US Congress was passing sanctions, which Reagan had to veto. He was the last supporter of the apartheid regime.

As late as 1988, Reagan declared Mandela’s African National Congress to be one of the more notorious terrorist groups in the world. So the US had to keep supporting South Africa.

Finally, even the United States joined the rest of the world, and very quickly the apartheid regime collapsed.

Now that’s not fully analogous to the Israel case. There were other reasons for the collapse of apartheid, two crucial reasons.

One of them was that there was a settlement that was acceptable to South African and international business, simple settlement: keep the socioeconomic system and allow some Black faces in the limousines.

That’s pretty much what’s been implemented, though not totally. There’s no comparable settlement in Israel-Palestine.

But a crucial element, not discussed here, is Cuba. Cuba sent military forces and tens of thousands of technical workers, doctors and teachers and others, and they drove the South African apartheid regime’s military out of Angola, and forced them to abandon illegally held Namibia.

And more than that, as in fact Nelson Mandela pointed out as soon as he got out of prison, the Cuban soldiers, who incidentally were Black soldiers, shattered the myth of invincibility of the white supermen. That had a very significant effect on both Black Africa and the white South Africa.

It indicated to the South African government and population that they’re not going to be able to impose their hope of a regional support system that would allow them to pursue their operations inside South Africa and their terrorist activities beyond.

And that was a major factor in the liberation of black Africa.

What about US rhetoric in criticising some of Israel’s actions?

What we have to ask is: What are they doing? There are things that the US could do very easily. You can look at the Indonesia-East Timor case. When the United States, [former president Bill] Clinton, finally told the Indonesian generals, “The game’s over”, they pulled out.

US power is substantial. And in the case of Israel, it’s critical, because Israel relies on virtually unilateral US support.

There are plenty of things the US can if it wanted. In fact, when the US gives orders, Israel obeys. That’s happened over and over again. That’s completely obvious why, given the power relationships. So things can be done.

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