Tuesday, 31 October 2017

How to steal a billion-dollar American election with a pocketful of rubles

Robert Bridge is an American writer and journalist. He is author of the book, 'Midnight in the American Empire,' released in 2013. robertvbridge@yahoo.com
How to steal a billion-dollar American election with a pocketful of rubles
This week, the titans of social media will explain to stony-faced members of the Senate Judiciary Committee's Panel on Crime and Terrorism exactly how Russia purchased the 45th President of the United States for just pennies on the dollar.  
Although Russia jumped on the democratic bandwagon late in the game, and the capitalist gravy train even later, it appears Russian political technologists are already light-years ahead of the wolf pack when it comes to the election process, which - let’s be honest - has always been a tainted affair, even in fairy-tale Western capitals.
While US lobbyists are cunning enough to hedge their bets on both horses in every race, or join some shady Super PACs to get maximum bang for the buck, nobody has been able to determine - with absolute, rock-solid certainty - the outcome of any political contest.
That is, until now.
At this point, the more incredulous readers may wish to have a seat because the following news will send spasms of shock and awe to the very core of your democratic body.
Russia, the erstwhile ‘evil empire’ that only recently shook off the dusty cobwebs of communism, has mastered the democratic game of thrones with such impeccable precision that it is now able to buy any political candidate for about the going price of a German sports car, or a Spanish villa, take your choice. Despite considerable efforts to conceal the secret from annoying interlopers, the proverbial cat is out of the bag.
Consider Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook, a veritable global warehouse of friends, photos, and likes that the free world apparently can’t live without. After all, how else would we know what our friends had for dinner last night? But more to the point. Beginning on October 31, apparently to achieve maximum Boo! factor, company executives will have to explain, with perfectly straight faces, that 'Russia-linked' election-related posts (whatever that means) comprise less than one percent of all election-related posts.
In other words, out of Facebook's massive influx of ad content, ‘Russia-linked’ election posts amount to one in 23,000 posts, or some 0.004 percent of overall content. In September, the company revealed that 470 “inauthentic” accounts spent $100,000 on 3,000 ads around the time of the 2016 election. It's difficult to fathom that such a negligible influence could have the slightest impact on a billion-dollar, barnstorming US election. But never underestimate Russian resourcefulness! 

The Nobel literature prize should go to Russian Twitter accounts because apparently they have superhuman writing skills that control minds.
Russia’s success story in determining the outcome of the 2016 US election, becomes even more fantastic when we realize that more than half of the ads were posted on the social media platform after the election was over. Yes, when the legendary fat woman was already singing. The social media giant also admitted that “25 percent of the ads were never shown to anyone.” 
Needless to say, Russia is now the envy of every lobbyist and campaign manager on K Street, and that may explain why the US refuses to provide a shred of evidence that pulls back the curtain on this “Russian collusion.” This information is just too damn valuable and could break the entire US lobbying industry. Russia has found a way to take the unpredictability out of US elections, and save a lot of corporate dollars at the same time!
In an effort to deny Russia its victory parade, however, Facebook would only say the accounts were “likely operated out of Russia.” This is lamentable. After all, having spent so much time and effort devising such dirt-cheap and ingenious methods of electoral fraud and deception, would it be expecting too much to finally acknowledge Russia’s rightful place in the rogue’s gallery of political corruption? Alas, this appears to be the case.

--> 30,000+ Russian-linked accounts generated at least 1.4 million tweets during final stretch of campaign. http://www.businessinsider.com/twitter-russia-facebook-election-accounts-2017-10 
With disturbing predictability, Russia is written off as a basket case every time it tries to do something remotely positive - from hosting the Olympics, to intervening against terrorists. But now that Russia has finally found its calling – buying Western leaders for a fraction of the going price - nobody wants to acknowledge the debt! To paraphrase the journalist Greg Palast, 'is this the best democracy money can buy?' Certainly not! 
Facebook General Counsel Colin Stretch called Russia’s drop in the proverbial bucket a "new threat,” which, to be perfectly honest and humble, is probably about the same paltry amount one would expect to find from Lithuania, Libya or Latvia, although apparently, nobody thought to study the numbers from those countries, nor many others. Why you may ask. Well, because we are talking about ‘Russian influence’ and who could deny the dark and dangerous connotations that delicious-sounding phrase conjures up? ‘Russian influence.’ Ah, yes, the way it rolls off the tongue has an almost hypnotizing effect and is enough to make an American Neocon want to bomb something, anything. As far as a political marketing tool, ‘Russian interference’ is second to none. 
But we are getting ahead of ourselves.
There is also the question of Russia’s minuscule yet muscular presence on Twitter, which Donald Trump used with tremendous effect during his presidential campaign. In fact, he admitted he would not have been elected president without it.
“Tweeting is like a typewriter – when I put it out, you put it immediately on your show,” he told the Fox Business Network channel. “When somebody says something about me, I am able to go bing, bing, bing and I take care of it. The other way, I would never get the word out.”
And millions of other Twitterati feel exactly the same way. Bing, bing, bing! Yet somehow only Russia had the brains to steal an entire presidential election with the platform. Again, at unbelievably low prices.
Twitter probably won’t relieve the jitters of the Russian inquisition, despite the fact that a September 28, 2017, the company stated: “Based on our findings thus far, RT spent $274,100 on US ads in 2016. In that year, the @RT_com, @RT_America, and @ActualidadRT accounts promoted 1,823 Tweets that definitely or potentially targeted the US market."
Despite these very slim findings, Twitter recently banned all ads from RT and Sputnik, citing "election interference." While doing so, however, it failed to inform US lawmakers of its own multi-million dollar sales pitch for RT to buy ads during the election in question. Ah, those annoying details. 
As far as Google goes, the search engine said it found no evidence RT manipulated video hosting platform YouTube or violated its policies during the 2016 US election campaign. The two-page report fails to provide the smoking gun that some may have been hoping for.
The report also mentioned the use of YouTube by RT, which is the most-viewed global news network on the platform. “Some have raised questions about the use of YouTube by RT, a media service funded by the Russian government,” the document said. “Our investigation found no evidence of manipulation of our platform or policy violations; RT—and all other state-sponsored media outlets— remains subject to our standard rules.”
Needless to say, many US politicians will be watching the McCarthy-like show trials with great interest, determined to learn how Russia was able to serve as the American ‘king-maker’ in the US political system, placing the crown on the head of a very unlikely candidate, Donald Trump, a real estate developer, for crying out loud.
it is very doubtful that the assembled US Senators will learn anything at all from the deliberations, aside from whatever their vivid imaginations may conjure up. What else should we expect on Halloween?
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Spain's constitutional court cancels Catalonia declaration of independence

Published time: 31 Oct, 2017 11:57
Spain's constitutional court cancels Catalonia declaration of independence
Spain's Constitutional Court has overturned Catalonia’s declaration of independence, announced by the region’s government on Friday, the court spokeswoman said.
The news came as deposed Catalan President Carles Puigdemont was giving a speech in Brussels, his first since Madrid filed charges against him and he fled to Belgium. Earlier the Spanish attorney general filed a lawsuit against the secessionist leaders over their push for independence.
Speaking to journalists in advance of his speech, Puigdemont said: “I'm not here to ask for political asylum.”
The former leader said that he and his government were denouncing “the polarization of the Spanish justice system” and wanted to “show the world the serious democratic deficit that exists in the Spanish state.”
Minutes after the Constitutional Court decision, Spain's Supreme Court called on the Catalonian parliament speaker and five senior lawmakers to testify on November 2-3.
The Catalan parliament declared independence from Spain following a secret vote on October 27, which was boycotted by MPs supporting the union with Spain. In response, the Spanish Senate triggered Article 155, also known as the constitution’s ‘nuclear option,’ stripping the Catalan government of power. New elections will be held in the region on December 21, Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy said.  Puigdemont slammed Madrid for its “premediated aggression” and called for peaceful “democratic opposition.”
On Monday, Spain's Foreign Minister Alfonso Dastis said the political standoff between Madrid and Barcelona will not result in an independent Catalonia. Madrid could, however, expand the region’s autonomy, he said. 

Catalonia’s landmark referendum held October 1 saw the region overwhelmingly (over 90 percent) voting to break away from Spain. Fewer than 50 percent of those eligible to vote took part, with pro-independence supporters blaming Madrid’s crackdown, including blocking of polling stations and confiscation of votes, for the turnout.
Madrid called the vote illegal, and deployed thousands of extra officers from the National Police and Civil Guard ahead of referendum day. The Catalan health service later claimed that over 900 people in Barcelona and elsewhere in the region were injured, some of them seriously.

EU backs Madrid’s imposition of authoritarian regime in Catalonia

By Francis Dubois 

The European Union is supporting Madrid’s imposition of Article 155 of the Spanish Constitution to impose a puppet government in Catalonia. Giving Madrid a blank check to turn back the clock to the authoritarian policies of the fascist regime led by Francisco Franco, which fell in 1978 amid mass struggles of the Spanish working class, the EU is shattering whatever pretenses remain that it is a force for democracy.
As Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy prepares to dissolve the Catalan parliament, seize control of the regional state apparatus, beginning with the security services and the ministries, and purge the public service, the EU is fully backing him. Rajoy’s Popular Party (PP) government, supported by Spain’s other bourgeois parties, has readied tens of thousands of Guardia Civiland soldiers to carry though its attack on Catalonia.
The workers of both Catalonia and the rest of Spain have been led into this perilous situation as a result of the treacherous right-wing policies of the supposed “left” of the bourgeois political establishment, the social democrats and Podemos, and the reactionary pro-capitalist and pro-European Union perspective of the Catalan nationalist parties. All of these parties have supported the brutal austerity policies imposed on workers across Spain since the 2008 financial crisis at the behest of the EU and the European and international banks.
Despite the sharp conflict between the Spanish bourgeoisie and its Catalan nationalist counterpart, they are united in their determination to make the working class pay for the crisis of Spanish and European capitalism.
Madrid has given the powers of the impeached premier of Catalonia, Carles Puigdemont, to Spanish Vice-Prime Minister Soraya Saenz de Santamaría, who is charged with running the province and overseeing snap elections unilaterally set by Madrid for December 21. This is a sign that Madrid is moving toward a return to dictatorship. Saenz de Santamaría comes from a family intimately connected to the repressive apparatus of the Francoite regime.
Her grandfather, General José Antonio Saenz de Santamaría, played a leading role in the Francoite security forces after the Civil War, up until 1996, two decades after Franco’s death.
The EU is now backing the return to a similarly undemocratically installed regime. “I have one person I talk to in Spain, that is Prime Minister Rajoy… He wants to respect [constitutional rules] and he has my full support,” French President Emmanuel Macron said on Sunday while on a voyage to Guyana. Macron’s foreign minister, Jean-Yves Le Drian, said he did not recognize Catalan independence and wanted a “strong and united” Spain.
Germany “refuses to recognize the independence of Catalonia,” declared German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who added that she fully supported Madrid. Her spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said that Berlin supports the “clear” position of Rajoy, “who aims to restore order and calm.”
Even as it temporarily grants asylum to the impeached Catalan Premier Carles Puigdemont, the Belgian government is also backing Madrid. Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel indirectly exhorted the Catalan population to accept a military-backed regime, saying, “The political crisis can be resolved only through dialog. We are calling for a pacific solution that respects the national and international order.”
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg wrote on Twitter: “The Catalan issue must be resolved within the constitutional order. Spain is a faithful ally that strongly contributes to our security.”
On Friday, EU Commissioner Carlos Moedas had said: “What is happening now is very hard for everyone involved, but we as the European Union must defend Spain’s constitutional order.”
The encouragement by European governments of the imposition of some form of police-military dictatorship in Catalonia—the prelude to the imposition of such a regime more broadly across Spain and Europe—is a warning to the working class. EU governments are reacting to the Catalan crisis as an opportunity to impose dictatorial regimes in countries across Europe.
This is the outcome of a quarter-century of mounting austerity and militarism in Europe since the Stalinist bureaucracy’s dissolution of the Soviet Union. As class tensions rise as a result of explosive levels of social inequality, mass unemployment and social attacks that are the greatest since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the ruling class is repudiating even the outer forms of democratic rule. It is moving back toward the bloody and authoritarian capitalist regimes of the middle of the 20th century in Europe.
An article in the daily LAlsace titled “The Catalan powder keg” stated: “The government of Mariano Rajoy faces the difficulty of taking the reins in Catalonia without providing a pretext for opposition. The slightest excess, from one side or the other, could be the spark that sets off a situation ready to explode.”
Another regional French daily, Le Bien public, also called Catalonia “a powder keg” and concluded, “In such a very tense climate, violent excesses can never be excluded.”
It added, “Catalan nationalist militants, used to pacific resistance, will not let police arrest their leaders facing sedition charges and, in theory, up to 30 years in prison. Madrid can maintain its juridical firmness without committing the error of sending in the troops. But what no one can predict are the reactions of non-Catalan populations who make up entire suburbs of Barcelona and can be aggressive. ‘In meetings, in cafés, we avoid talking about it and that’s for the best. It’s a powder keg,’ said one social-democratic official from Barcelona.”
As the EU countries throw off the democratic mask, they are leaving the population no other future than a series of authoritarian police states, monitored by increasingly powerful police and surveillance forces capable of spying on all aspects of citizens’ lives.
In France, Macron is making permanent the state of emergency via the new antiterror law that creates a de facto police state. Another measure taken in parallel with this law is the creation of a planning staff bringing together the heads of the intelligence agencies and various security forces, which could lead to a police-military regime against social opposition.
Macron, who was marketed during this year’s presidential election as the democratic alternative to neofascist candidate Marine Le Pen, clearly signaled—by receiving Egyptian military dictator General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi a few days ago at the Elysée presidential palace—that he does not oppose dictatorship.
The only way forward is the independent political mobilization of the European working class in struggle against the reactionary measures of the Rajoy government and of the other EU states, demanding the withdrawal of Spanish troops from Catalonia and an end to the crackdown.
However, workers can carry out such a perspective only in opposition to the Catalan nationalists, whose perspective is to continue imposing austerity while building an independent Catalan capitalist state. This means as well a struggle against the pseudo-left parties, which either promote the Catalan bourgeois nationalists or defend the Spanish capitalist state, in both cases seeking to subordinate the working class to the European ruling classes. The way forward is the struggle to unite European workers under the banner of the United Socialist States of Europe.
The Catalan crisis has exposed the bankrupt and reactionary character of organizations such as Spain’s Podemos party and Unsubmissive France (LFI) of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which are hostile to all appeals to mobilize the workers in struggle against state repression. Podemos has consistently used “appeals for dialog” to pose as a party capable of resolving the crisis while strangling social opposition. It has finally aligned itself with the Rajoy government by backing its call for December 21 elections in Catalonia, and thus the broader repression organized by Madrid.
The French ally of Podemos, LFI leader Mélenchon, after having appealed to Macron to intervene with Rajoy, has now declared his support for Rajoy’s fraudulent elections. “I don’t want anyone to simply declare independence like that nor to repress independence. People must vote,” he said this weekend.


Will Trump Ever Learn to Not Play Chess Against Persians

Iran's President Rouhani embarrasses Trump administration with rebuff of secret meeting.

Change is coming
Change is coming
Tom is a regular contributor not only here at Russia Insider but also at Seeking Alpha and Newsmax Media. Check out his blog, Gold Goats 'n Guns and please support his work through his Patreon where he also publishes his monthly investment newsletter.

In all of my discussions of geopolitics, whenever someone begins to bring up Iran as a bunch of savages, parroting the neocon talking point, I remind them that they are Persians.
And the Persians invented chess.
Lumping Iran in with the dregs of the Arab world – ISIS, al-Qaeda, etc. – is not only ignorant but also dangerous.  Because by doing that you underestimate your enemy.  And that, my friends, is always the first step on the path to defeat.
Donald Trump better learn this quickly or his administration will be marked with one foreign policy blunder after another until we find ourselves approaching another Saigon Moment, most likely in Afghanistan.
Over the weekend Iran let it be known that the U.S. approached Iran for a secret meeting between Trumpand President Hassan Rouhani the day after Trump made one of the most ignorant speeches in the history of the United Nations.
And Rouhani flatly rejected the meeting.  Now last week,Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a public demand of Iraq to oust Iran’s Revolutionary Guard now that the war against ISIS was won.
Iraq told Rex in no uncertain terms to go stick it.
Has anyone noticed how little has been said about Turkey buying S-400 missile defense systems from Russia?  Oh, sure, this weekend a NATO General made some noise, but here’s an important NATO ally buying near state-of-the-art Russian missile defense systems and there is no real retaliation from Washington that caused Turkey to change its mind about this.

The Heart of the Deal

Trump’s extreme ‘carrot and stick’ form of international negotiations hasn’t worked once yet against anyone not already our satrap, i.e. Saudi Arabia.  It hasn’t yielded one result that could be considered a victory on the geopolitical battle field.
And there’s a reason for this.  Trump is playing poker while his opponents are playing chess.  Bluffing in chess is fundamentally different than poker.  And that’s why Trump can’t crack Putin in Russia, Jinping in China or Rouhani in Iran.
They see his moves coming a mile away and have already decided on what to do next, if anything.
Trump’s speech at the U.N. was a clarion call that we would begin aggressive monetary policy while maintaining belligerent diplomatic rhetoric and military posturing.  The strongest part of that three-pronged attack is the monetary one.
Iran is not scared of this.  Unlike in 2012 it has more allies to assist it in any further economic isolation – Russia and China.  But, it also has a surprising new ally in this, the European Union.  The EU is in such bad shape economically it welcomes new business with Iran, especially in partnering to rebuild Iran’s oil and gas output to pre-sanction levels.
Russia and China are better prepared to support Iran in its standing up to Trump’s bullying.  Both economies are far less dollarized than in 2012.  So many Russian banks have been sanctioned by the U.S. that it won’t cost them anything to do business with Iran.
China will simply ignore the sanctions now that the gloves have, in effect, come off.
While Trump barks at Iran, China is quietly trying to subvert Saudi Arabia by offering to buy that stake in Saudi Aramco they’ve been trying to IPO for nearly two years now.
Qatar, another of Iran’s new allies, just told the world what we already knew, that the U.S., Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar (and Israel too) conspired to destroy Syria by arming Wahabi Sunni headchopping animals; killing and displacing millions of Syrians who were then used as cynical pawns in European politics to destroy its culture as well.
Russia said no.  Iran said no.  China said no.
And now Trump thinks he’s going to use the Nuclear Deal as a bargaining chip to force things back to the way things were?

Rouhani’s Check Mate

By admitting they turned down a meeting with Trump Iran told the world they are no longer afraid of the U.S.  With the collapse of Plan B in Syria and Iraq to create greater Kurdistan, ISIS getting routed around the world and Russia running the table diplomatically at the same time, why should Rouhani take a meeting with someone who brazenly lied to the world about what was going on in Syria.
All of the things I’ve mentioned in this article are pawns and knights moving into position for the win.
Winning here is exposing the U.S’s duplicity ahead of political negotiations in Syria to ensure the removal of U.S. troops from the region.  In exchange for that Iran may be willing to give up its ballistic missile program.   More likely, once the U.S. troops are gone, the Republican Guard will exit Syria and Russia will be the policeman of Hezbollah and/or Hamas.
This is what the Russia/China/Iran alliance wants.  And now, they are in a position to get it.
Trump’s speech at the U.N. was so one-sided it ensured that Iran would rebuff his overtures to talk.  Sure, I know to never take Trump at his word and so too does Rouhani.  But, that doesn’t mean that he has to take Trump’s call when the phone rings.
More and more that speech at the U.N. looks to be an act of utter desperation, written by the Israeli wing of the Republican party, to force Trump into a policy stance that he would have to back up or lose what’s left of U.S. credibility in the Middle East.
And Iran saw it for what it was.  Now, it can go for the win. Check and mate.


Walls and Militarized Police: How Israel Is Exporting Its Occupation to US

U.S. Senate Bill S.720 is set to punish any individual or company that boycotts Israel for its violation of Palestinian human rights.
Israeli footprints are becoming more apparent in the U.S. security apparatus. Such a fact does not bode well for ordinary people from the United States.
U.S. Senate Bill S.720 should have been a wake-up call. The bill, drafted by the Israel lobby group, U.S. Israel Public Affairs Committee, as part of its "2017 Lobbying Agenda" is set to punish any individual or company that boycotts Israel for its violation of Palestinian human rights.
The severe punishment could reach a million dollars in fines, and up to 20 years in jail. Although political boycott has been sanctioned by the U.S. Supreme Court, the Congress wants to make a boycott of Israel the exception, even it means the subversion of U.S. democracy.
Still, protests are largely muted. The mainstream U.S. media is yet to take U.S. lawmakers to task, as hundreds of those elected representatives have already endorsed the unacceptable initiative.
Criticizing Israel is still a taboo in the U.S., where the Congress is beholden to lobby pressures and kickbacks, and where the media's script on the illegal Israeli military occupation of Palestine is even less critical than Israel's own media.
However, the infiltration of the U.S. government is not new. It is only becoming more emboldened, due to the absence of enough critical voices that are capable of creating a semblance of balance or a serious debate on the issue.
For years, ordinary U.S. citizens have been far-removed from the entire discussion on Israel and Palestine. The subject felt alien, marred by Hollywood propaganda, religious misconception and the lack of any understanding of history.
But in recent years, Israel has become an integral part of U.S. life, even if most people do not spot the Israeli influence.
"In the aftermath of 9/11, Israel seized on its decades-long experience as an occupying force to brand itself as a world leader in counter-terrorism," reported Alice Speri in the Intercept.
The successful branding has earned Israeli security firms billions of dollars. The massive payouts are the result of the exploitation of U.S. fear of terrorism while presenting Israel as a successful model of fighting terror.
In the last two decades, hundreds of top federal agents and thousands of police officers have, thus far, received training in Israel or through seminars and workshops organized on Israel’s behalf.
Groups like AIPAC, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs are, to various degrees, involved in turning the US police force into militarized units similar to the structure of the Israeli police.
As an occupying power, Israel has blurred the lines between the police and the army. In areas like occupied Palestinian East Jerusalem, both apparatus behave in a similar pattern. They ‘shoot to kill’ as a result of the slightest provocation or suspicion. Sometimes, for no reason at all.
Alex Vitale, an author and a Brooklyn College professor of sociology, described the nature of the regular trips made by federal agents and police officers to Israel.
"A lot of the policing that folks are observing and being talked to about on these trips is policing that happens in a non-democratic context."
This 'non-democratic context' involves the policing, humiliating and often outright murdering of occupied Palestinians. Instead of pressuring Israel to end its occupation of the Palestinians, the U.S. government is bringing Israeli 'expertise' to its own cities.
Indeed, the U.S. military-like police phenomena has made local cops look more like "an occupying force" than individuals sworn to protect the public.
Israel is exporting its occupation tactics to the U.S., with Israeli military contractors opening subsidiaries across the country, promoting their surveillance technologies, walls, border monitoring equipment and violent tactics.
People in the United States should be worried, but most are oblivious to the disturbing pattern because the media rarely sheds a light on the growing Israeli military influence on U.S. life.
An Israeli company, Elta North America, (a subsidiary of the Israel Aerospace Industry) was one of eight companies awarded a massive sum to produce a prototype for the wall that the U.S. intends to build along the U.S.-Mexico border.
The wall was one of the main pledges made by Trump during his campaign for the White House. Israel was the first country to rush in support of Trump's divisive words.
"President Trump is right. I built a wall along Israel's southern border. It stopped all illegal immigration. Great success. Great idea," tweeted Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, at the time.
Although his support of Trump angered Mexico and many people from the United States, Netanyahu knew of the lucrative investments in the years ahead only too well.
Indeed, U.S. border security has been a major source of revenue for Israeli companies.
One such generous contracts was the one granted by the Obama Administration to the Israeli company Elbit Systems. Valued at $145-million, the company provided surveillance equipment and built towers along the Arizona/Sonora U.S.-Mexico border.
Elbit also cashed in handsomely from Boeing in 2006 for its part in the "DHS' Strategic Border Initiative."
Magal Security System, the Israeli firm that has helped the Israeli military in tightening the siege on Gaza, is actively involved in the burgeoning U.S. security industry and was one of the first companies to pitch building the wall to cut off Mexico from the U.S.
Israel's illegal tactics are now the model through which the U.S. plans to police its cities, monitor its borders and define its relationship with its neighbors.
But the fact is that Israeli walls are not meant for defense, but rather to annex Palestinian and Arab land while feeding its own national phobias of threats lurking all around.
While the U.S.’ imprudent and violent response to Sept. 11, 2001, attacks has contributed to existing U.S. fears of the rest of the world, Trump's isolationist policies pave the perfect ground for further Israeli infiltration of U.S. government and society.
The evidence of all of this can now be found in major U.S. cities, its various borders and the surveillance system that has the potential to monitor every U.S. citizen.

Ramzy Baroud is a journalist, author and editor of Palestine Chronicle. His forthcoming book is "The Last Earth: A Palestinian Story." Baroud has a Ph.D. in Palestine Studies from the University of Exeter and is a Non-Resident Scholar at Orfalea Center for Global and International Studies, University of California.