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Domestic strife will shrink the Empire - Richard Haass, President of CFR, from Peter Myers

(1) Kissinger: "if UN troops entered Los Angeles to restore order.  Tomorrow they will be grateful!"(2) Those Statues won't go back up(3) US city bans brutal Israeli military training of police forces(4) Israeli counter-terrorism forces impart a "us against them" approach to U.S. Police(5) U.S. Police under pressure to end exchange programs with Israel(6) Domestic strife will shrink the Empire - Richard Haass, President of CFR(1) Kissinger: "if UN troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful!", America would be outraged if UN troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there was an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all people of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the world government.This is widely reported on many sites as coming from the Bilderberg Conference (1991) Evians, France, purportedly recorded by a Swiss diplomat, but no such recording has ever been provided.(2) Those Statues won't go back upFrom: Eric Walberg <>Subject: Re: Cultural Revolution launched by Woke Elitespeter! this is indeed a cultural revolution. those statues won't go back up. columbus and lee are dead meat. that educates the entire people in the twinkling of an eye.finally the confederate beast has been slain. it's epic. we must celebrate. watching the youtube of the natives dancing around the toppled statue of columbus is thrilling.yes, the trans stuff will be the hangover, when we realized we've been had.but the move back has started with greere, rowling and many more really articulate women. heather mallick 'came out.'we have a war on two fronts. supporting the cleansing of the public spaces is right. there is good and bad nostalgia. we should never glorify the bad.supporting the real feminists -- greer, rowlings etc is also right. vive la difference!Why we shouldn’t call women ‘menstruators’(3) US city bans brutal Israeli military training of police forces city bans brutal Israeli military training of police forcesJune 9, 2020 at 7:45 pmA US city in North Carolina has banned the training of its police force by Israel’s military, in the aftermath of the brutal police killing of Black American George Floyd, reported The New Arab.Durham council voted unanimously 6-0 to adopt the ban, after a petition by activists garnered more than 1,400 signatures amid days of global protests against racism and police brutality sparked by the killing of Floyd. The council said the ban extends to any country that offers military-style training to its police force."The Israel Defence Forces and the Israel Police have a long history of violence and harm against Palestinian people and Jews of colour," the Demilitarize! From Durham2Palestine petition said."They persist in using tactics of extrajudicial killing, excessive force, racial profiling and repression of social justice," it added."These tactics further militarise US police forces that train in Israel, and this training helps the police terrorise black and brown communities here in the US," the petition said.The move makes Durham the first city to ban the training of its force by Israeli police and military. However, more could follow as authorities across the US take drastic action to address anti-Black racism and police brutality amid some of the country’s largest ever protests.A number of human rights groups and activists have claimed that the use of lethal force is fueled by the two-way exchange of information and training between high ranking police responsible for this violence in the US and Israeli security officials.Floyd’s death sparked an outpouring of public anger about racially-motivated police brutality, triggering calls for the defunding of police departments in America and reforming school curriculums to include colonial historyOn Sunday, a majority of council members in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, have voted to abolish the city’s police department, less than two weeks after the killing of unarmed Floyd.(4) Israeli counter-terrorism forces impart a "us against them" approach to U.S. Police U.S. Police, Refusing Israeli Training Is Not BDS – It’s Common SenseAlready accused of not doing enough to protect the lives of people of color, U.S. law enforcement would do well to stay away from joint programs with security forces that routinely oppress PalestiniansSari BashiPublished on 04.12.2018Decisions last week by two American police departments to withdraw from a training seminar with the Israeli police are fueling debate within Israel and the United States about the merits of the BDS movement – the 2005 Palestinian civil society call to boycott cooperation with official Israeli institutions, even where the activity itself is otherwise innocuous. BDS activists aim to pressure Israel to end the occupation, grant equal rights to Palestinian citizens of Israel and realize the right of return for Palestinian refugees, much as sports boycotts were a tool to pressure South Africa to end Apartheid. Yet thus far, most of the American individuals and institutions canceling their Israel-related activities have done so not as part of a general boycott but rather due to concerns about complicity in specific and serious human rights abuses. That was true for Airbnb’s decision to stop listing properties in unlawful Israeli settlements, and it is true of decisions by the Vermont State Police and Northampton, Massachusetts police department to cancel their planned training in Israel.Since 2001, U.S. government agencies, together with nonprofit groups like the Anti-Defamation League, have sponsored police seminars for American police officers to learn from the Israeli experience in dealing with terrorism. A number of American civil society groups oppose the cooperation, expressing concern over the influence of Israeli military style policing tactics on U.S. police officers, at a time when the Movement for Black Lives is highlighting police brutality and unlawful use of lethal force against people of color.Of particular concern is the "us against them" approach of the Israeli security forces, many of whom treat Palestinians as security threats while publicly articulating a commitment to protect Israeli Jews, including Israeli residents of West Bank settlements.Israel is an occupying power in Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, and with the exception of periods of active combat in certain locations, international policing standards apply to encounters between security officials and Palestinian demonstrators and suspects. That is true inside Israeli towns and cities, at demonstrations along the Gaza border fence, and inside the West Bank. Of course, police should protect Israelis, but a half century of control over millions of Palestinians creates obligations to protect Palestinians, too.Those obligations are unfulfilled. Security forces fail to protect Palestinians from attacks by settlers (indeed, their obligation is to safely remove the settlers from the West Bank). They use lethal force even when not strictly necessary to protect life, and use excessive force against demonstrators, including at nonviolent protests. Just 3 percent of investigations into police complaints filed by Palestinians hurt by Israeli citizens resulted in a conviction.The problem begins at the highest level, with public statements by senior police officials encouraging a shoot-to-kill policy against Palestinians suspected of attacking Jews. "Everyone who stabs Jews or harms innocent people – should be killed," Jerusalem District Police Commander Moshe Edri said, following the fatal shooting in 2015 of a Palestinian child suspected of stabbing two Israeli Jewish youths. Police Minister Gilad Erdan warned that "every attacker who sets out to inflict harm should know that he will not likely survive the attack." Military officials have a somewhat better record of public instruction, and it was Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot who admonished: "I don’t want a soldier to empty a magazine on a girl holding scissors."Treating Palestinians as potential attackers and Jews as members of a club to be protected extends to inside Israel, including surveillance, racial profiling and excessive use of force as part of a dual law enforcement system that discriminates against Palestinian citizens.Meanwhile, Palestinians – like people of color within the United States – argue that their security needs are ignored. In the first eight months of this year, Israeli security forces and settlers killed 204 Palestinians in Israel, Gaza and the West Bank, including at least 77 non combatants, and wounded more than 21,000, mostly non combatants, according to the UN.  Palestinian attackers killed seven Israelis during that time, including four non combatants, and injured 88, including 59 non combatants. The May 2018 attack by police on Palestinian human rights activist Jafar Farah and the January 2017 fatal shooting of Yaakob al-Kiyan in Um al-Khiran are examples of how dangerous it can be to be Palestinian in Israel.It is no wonder that American police forces – accused of not doing enough to protect the lives of people of color and especially black men and boys – are questioning the wisdom of adopting Israeli practices that pit police officers belonging to the dominant group against communities from the oppressed minority. That’s not participation in a boycott but rather an attempt to avoid learning from a bad example.Sari Bashi is a visiting Robina Foundation human rights fellow and visiting lecturer at Yale Law School.(5) U.S. Police under pressure to end exchange programs with Israel Police Under Pressure to End Their Relationship With IsraelPolice departments have been sending their leaders to Israel to learn about the country's counterterrorism strategies since the 1990s. But growing opposition is pushing some to rethink these exchange programs.CANDICE NORWOOD   |   DECEMBER 20, 2018Since the 1990s, dozens of U.S. police departments have been participating in exchange programs with Israeli police to learn about counterterrorism.Opposition is growing and has lead several departments to denounce them or end their participation.Critics argue that they sanction Israel's treatment of Palestinians and have negative consequences for minorities in America.When the International Olympic Committee announced that Atlanta would host the 1996 Summer Olympics, security for such a massive event was an immediate concern.As part of their preparation, local police traveled to Israel to learn about its security and counterterrorism strategies. In May alone, Israel saw a total of 684 "terrorist events," according to an Israeli government website. By contrast, since 1980, there have been 11 notable terrorist attacks with fatalities on American soil."It's an art over there," says counterterrorism expert Maria Haberfeld, a professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a former member of the Israeli Defense Forces. "If you're dealing with this for so many decades, then there is definitely expertise."Since the Atlanta Games, nonprofits and private companies around the United States have sponsored law enforcement exchanges with Israel. Dozens of U.S. police departments, including those in Boston, Chicago, New York City and Washington, D.C., have either sent representatives to Israel or hosted Israeli police members to share their experiences.Georgia State University criminologist Robert Friedmann -- who was raised in Israel and launched the Georgia International Law Enforcement Exchange (GILEE) to help police secure the Atlanta Games -- says these exchange programs provide an opportunity for U.S. police to learn counterterrorism prevention and response from a country with significantly more experience.But critics of these programs, which include human rights groups, view them as a problematic sanctioning of the country's treatment of Palestinians."We think these exchange programs are really harmful. We think they are harmful in lifting up and valorizing Israeli occupation," says Stefanie Fox, deputy director at the Jewish Voice for Peace (JVP). "We don’t think [U.S.] officials need to be learning tips and techniques from occupying security forces."JVP argues that the relationship with Israel has negative consequences for minority groups in the U.S. and will exacerbate mass surveillance, racial profiling and use of force.Friedmann calls these claims "shameful and despicable.""They make the causal attribution that participation in this program teaches police to kill and oppress minorities," he says. "That doesn’t offend my Jewishness, it offends my intelligence."But the JVP's efforts are having some success.This month, the Vermont State and Northampton, Mass., police departments withdrew from an Israel trip organized through the Anti-Defamation League. In April, activists successfully lobbied the Durham, N.C., City Council to issue a statement denouncing international police exchange programs with "military-style training."While Vermont Police spokesman Adam Silverman says the summit was helpful for a previous police leader, when members of the community expressed concerns with this year’s trip, the department "agreed that it would be in the best interests of the Vermont State Police for Col. Birmingham to withdraw his participation."Northampton Police Chief Jody Kasper echoed a similar sentiment."It’s a very divisive issue," she says. "[We] decided that it is in the best interest of the community to not attend."Jazmynne Williams, a member of the Demilitarize Durham2Palestine campaign that petitioned the North Carolina city, says it's important to recognize the troubled racial history of U.S. policing in addition to Israeli-Palestinian relations when considering how such a program would affect residents.But Steve Pomerantz, a former FBI assistant director and current homeland security director for the Jewish Institute for National Security of America (JINSA), believes these critics are conflating the issues of policing and militarization. Since 2002, Pomerantz has overseen annual Israel trips with about 15 U.S. law enforcement leaders. He says the program does not teach military tactics but focuses on sharing information for how Israel "organizes and responds to terrorism."David Friedman of the Anti-Defamation League also disputes any connection between the exchange programs and military strategy. But a 2016 itinerary for an ADL Israel trip includes meetings with Israeli border police, a security briefing at Ben-Gurion International Airport, and briefings with current and former representatives of the Israeli Defense Forces -- the country's military unit.Friedman says U.S. participants in these programs have given "incredibly positive feedback."Henry Stawinski, police chief for Prince George’s County, Md., has completed a number of international exchange programs. Whether they take place in Israel or elsewhere, he says they help to "cultivate a broader perspective." In particular, he says he found value in learning about crowd management and security considerations for a transient metropolitan area. (Prince George’s County is part of the Washington, D.C., region.)Gil Kerlikowske, a former Seattle police chief and commissioner of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, participated in JINSA’s Israel trip. He says the discussions "were quite technical about suicide bombings and identification" as well as evidence collection. Not long after Kerlikowske returned to the U.S., a shooting at the Seattle Jewish Federation in 2006 left one person dead and five injured."[The program] was particularly helpful in dealing with mass casualties," he says.Interest among police departments has increased over the years, according to directors of police exchanges. But as law enforcement agencies continue to face public pressure to sever their ties to Israel, Haberfeld says U.S. police departments need to balance terrorism-fighting strategies with what's best for the public interest. Haberfeld cautions against "blindly" implementing tactics from other countries."There are things that can be learned, but they always have to be in the context of the legal system in a given country," she says. "It’s a combination of looking at what works and determining at what price."(6) Domestic strife will shrink the Empire - Richard Haass, President of CFR"will likely quell much of the remaining appetite to intervene abroad"Richard Haass Crisis at Home Makes the United States Vulnerable Abroad Policy By ExampleCrisis at Home Makes the United States Vulnerable AbroadBy Richard HaassJune 5, 2020{photo} Protesting against police violence in New York City, June 2020 Andrew Kelly / ReutersAnalysts of international affairs rarely focus on how the domestic condition of the United States shapes the country’s influence and role in the world, but today the connection could hardly be more relevant. The United States is currently experiencing three upheavals simultaneously: the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic aftershocks of that emergency, and the political protests and in some cases violence sparked by the videotape of the killing of George Floyd, a 46-year-old African American man, by police officers in Minneapolis.The three crises of this moment will undoubtedly affect the foreign policy of the United States, which for three-quarters of a century has been the preeminent power in the world. Indeed, recent developments could have a profound and enduring impact on American influence. Unless the United States is able to come together to address its persistent societal and political divides, global prospects for democracy may weaken, friends and allies of the United States may rethink their decision to place their security in American hands, and competitors may dispense with some or all of their traditional caution.The World Is WatchingThe example the United States sets at home and the image it projects abroad can either magnify American power or detract from it. For all that foreign policy is commonly understood to be the province of officials and diplomats—consultations, negotiations, communiques, démarches, summits, and more—foreign policy by example is no less real. Through example, a country communicates its values and furnishes a context for all that its representatives say and do. At times, the United States has stood as a paradigm to countries that demanded accountability from their leaders; at other times, the United States has failed to live up to its highest ideals and thereby undermined its calls for other countries to treat their people better.Today’s American travails have been widely seen and heard outside the United States. Globalization is a conveyor belt—one that in this instance carried stark images of police brutality across the globe. If one lesson of COVID-19 is that what starts in Wuhan does not stay in Wuhan, one lesson of the killing of George Floyd is that what happens in Minneapolis does not stay there. Comparisons between the current situation and the United States of 1968 are overdrawn, in no small part because what is going on now is arguably more serious, but one mantra from that time remains apt: "The Whole World is Watching."As if to prove that point, spontaneous demonstrations against racism and police brutality have sprung up around American embassies in Europe and elsewhere. But the context in which they did so is worth elucidating. Confidence in the American example has been waning for years, the result of prolonged political division and dysfunction within the United States—the pervasive gun-related violence that no other society allows or can identify with, the prevalence of opioid addiction and related deaths, the financial mismanagement that led to enormous global hardship in the crisis of 2008, the rise of inequality, the poor infrastructure that greets most visitors to the country, and much else. U.S. President Donald Trump, moreover, has proven to be as controversial, and in many cases as unpopular, abroad as he is at home.Confidence in the American example has been waning for years. The American response to the COVID-19 pandemic reinforced doubts about American competence. That the novel coronavirus would reach American shores was inevitable, given the nature of the pathogen and the initial failure of both China and the World Health Organization (WHO) to contain it and warn the world of it. What was not inevitable was that the disease would take the toll it did. The lack of protective equipment for first responders and hospital staff; the inability to produce at scale accurate, quick tests for either the virus or the antibodies; the delayed and then inconsistent messaging about wearing masks and social distancing—these failures are the country’s own. The result is more than 100,000 fatalities, millions of infections, and a deadly American course no one wishes to follow.The United States has long retained many positive features when seen from abroad: excellent universities, innovative companies, and a tradition (currently compromised) of openness to immigration. The election of Barack Obama in 2008 and 2012 seemed to show that racism had abated to a significant degree; the gains of the civil, women’s, and gay rights movements were a source of inspiration elsewhere; and even the country’s multiple experiences with impeachment seemed to showcase a system in which no person was above the law. Now, however, the image of a United States consistent with former President Ronald Reagan’s "shining city on a hill" grows ever more distant in the eyes of the world.As that image recedes, the capacity diminishes for the United States to present itself as a model for others to emulate. So, too, does the ability of the United States to criticize or pressure other countries for their failings. A good deal of evidence suggests that Chinese leader Xi Jinping was on the defensive at home for China’s initial inadequate response to the COVID-19 outbreak. But the United States’ poor showing essentially took Xi off the hook, as invidious comparisons could not be drawn. For all of Washington’s talk, it squandered the opportunity to take a tough stance vis-à-vis China on the pandemic.Democracy is in recession around the world, and the ability of the United States to arrest that retreat is likewise in decline. The current political crisis, moreover, has likewise hindered U.S. prospects for promoting and protecting democracies abroad. Human rights and democracy promotion have long been a staple of American foreign policy—partly for normative reasons, because Americans believe that such principles enhance the meaning and value of life, and partly for practical reasons, because many U.S. policymakers believe that democracies act with restraint not just toward their own citizens but toward others and in so doing, make the world less violent. Now, democracy is in recession around the world, and the ability of the United States to arrest that retreat is likewise in decline. A case in point is China, which has countered Washington’s criticism of its actions in Hong Kong by pointing to U.S. behavior at home.What happened in Washington, D.C. on Monday night, June 1, was particularly consequential in this regard. A peaceful protest in the public space across from the White House was broken up, not because it was a threat to order but to serve a political purpose. The White House made a bad situation worse by deploying military units to Washington. But the rights of free speech and assembly, including public protest, are constitutionally guaranteed and stand at the core of American democracy. Public trust requires that federal law enforcement agencies and the military not be politicized. Terrible images from that night traveled across the world. Not lost on either international viewers or American citizens was the dangerous precedent the incident set in a country just five months away from what is sure to be a hard-fought election.Power in RetreatThe turmoil in the United States, set before the eyes of the world, raises questions about American power. To distinguish between absolute power and available power is useful here. The country’s absolute power, above all military and economic power, is still considerable. The bigger question concerns its available power. Is a country with 42 million people unemployed, a declining GDP, shuttered factories, widespread protest that at times turns violent, and deep internal divisions in a position to act internationally?The answer to this question is anything but clear. Available power consists not just of military and economic instruments but also the ability and the will to use them—and this measure is the one most sensitive to the condition in which the United States now finds itself. The impulse to turn inward and do less in the world was already rising after the United States overreached in Afghanistan and Iraq. Now, the country faces formidable domestic strife, which will likely quell much of the remaining appetite to intervene abroad, however justified on occasion it might be. Some of those who bemoan American missteps over the past two decades may welcome such an inward turn. But no less dangerous than overreach is underreach—a United States that fails to act to protect its interests. Such a United States will not be able to isolate itself from a world in which viruses, greenhouse gases, terrorists, and cyberattacks cross borders at will.The perception that the United States has been shorn of much of its available power will likely affect the decision-making of other countries. The danger is that foes will see a United States weakened and distracted and move to take advantage. Some, arguably, already have. China has moved or spoken aggressively on Hong Kong, its contested border with India, and Taiwan. Russia has brazenly interfered with the operation of U.S. planes and ships. North Korea is continuing to expand its arsenal of nuclear weapons and missiles, and Iran is slowly but steadily breaking through the limits established by the 2015 nuclear agreement. Such opportunism has been growing for some time, given the U.S. withdrawal from international undertakings, the current administration’s failure to vocally support U.S. alliances, and reports that Washington is seeking to negotiate the departure of American forces from Afghanistan absent conditions of anything approximating peace. Where would-be foes are tempted to advance, allies will feel anxious, with some choosing to defer to a powerful neighbor and others choosing to take matters into their own hands by accumulating or using military force. U.S. interests and stability will suffer either way.The danger is that foes will see a United States weakened and distracted and move to take advantage.The moment is therefore dangerous. Three decades after the end of the Cold War on terms more favorable than any optimist could have hoped, the state of the world is deteriorating. A traditional security agenda has reemerged, including a revisionist Russia, a rising and more assertive China, and ever more capable hostile middle powers, such as Iran and North Korea; what is more, these concerns share the field with a new security agenda that includes terrorists with global reach, climate change, and pandemics.The United States that faces this daunting agenda is weakened, divided, and distracted. But the threats will not manage themselves or disappear; nor can the United States shield itself from the adverse consequences of inaction. History has no pause button: the world cannot be expected to wait until the United States sorts itself out. To the contrary, the need is urgent for the United States to come together—to root out racism, restore its economy, and bridge its political divisions—sooner rather than later, for both its own sake and the world’s.RICHARD HAASS is President of the Council on Foreign Relations and the author of The World: A Brief Introduction. Copyright © 2020 by the Council on Foreign Relations, Inc.