DISPATCHES FROM MOON OF ALABAMA, BY "B"
This article is part of an ongoing series of dispatches from Moon of Alabama
The pompous U.S. Secretary of State informed Congress that he will designate the Ansarallah movement in Yemen as Foreign Terrorist Organization. As Ansarallah, also known as the Houthi, is ruling over some 80% of Yemen's population such a designation will make aid deliveries to those people impossible:
The designation is to take effect on President Donald Trump’s last full day in office, a day before President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration on Jan. 20. Several aid groups pleaded on Monday for Biden to immediately reverse the designation. The Biden transition team has not yet expressed his intentions.
“Acting on day one cannot only be a figure of speech,” Oxfam America’s Humanitarian Policy Lead Scott Paul said. “Lives hang in the balance.”
Six years of war between a U.S.-backed Arab coalition and the Iranian-backed Houthi rebels have been catastrophic for Yemen. Most of its 30 million people rely on international aid to survive. The U.N. says 13.5 million Yemenis already face acute food insecurity, a figure that could rise to 16 million by June.
The threat of the designation has immediate consequences:
Yemen Solidarity Council @YSCouncil - 5:58 UTC · 11 Jan 2021
We are ceasing all operations in the United States for the time being, as well as putting a temporary halt to our intended plans for humanitarian fundraising.
Let it be known that the Trump Administration just criminalized foreign humanitarian aid to #Yemen.
The famine in Yemen is already acute:
[Seven-year-old] Faid weighs only 7 kg (just over 15 lb) and his tiny, fragile frame takes up barely a quarter of a folded hospital blanket. His family had to travel from Al-Jawf, 170 km (105 miles) north of Sanaa, through checkpoints and damaged roads, to get him there.
Unable to afford Faid’s medication or treatment, the family relies on donations to get him treated. Mohammed says malnutrition cases are on the rise and impoverished parents are forced to rely on the kindness of strangers or international aid to get their children treated.
Missing in almost all reports about the ghastly State Department act is the fact that Congress can easily prevent that the terrorist designation becomes reality. The State Department's designation of the Houthi comes under section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Paragraph 219 (8 USC 1189) a.3.B.ii of the law says:
Any designation under this subsection shall cease to have effect upon an Act of Congress disapproving such designation.
In April 2019 Congress voted to end all U.S. support for the Saudi/UAE war on Yemen:
The House voted 247 to 175 to send the resolution to the president’s desk, where it is likely to be met with a veto. Sixteen Republicans broke ranks and joined Democrats in the effort. The Senate passed the resolution last month, with seven Republicans voting in favor of it.
It is likely that a similar majority could be found now to stop the designation of Ansarallah. To immediately do this would only need some initiative from Congress leaders.
Unfortunately those leaders are currently busy with nonsensical stuff:
As the House prepares for impeachment, President Donald Trump faces a single charge — “incitement of insurrection” — over the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, according to a draft of the articles obtained by The Associated Press.
Lawmakers are set to introduce the legislation Monday, with voting mid-week. Pelosi’s leadership team also will seek a quick vote on a resolution calling on Vice President Mike Pence and Cabinet officials to invoke the 25th Amendment.
The four-page impeachment bill draws from Trump’s own false statements about his election defeat to Democrat Joe Biden; his pressure on state officials in Georgia to “find” him more votes; and his White House rally ahead of the Capitol siege, in which he encouraged thousands of supporters to “fight like hell” before they stormed the building on Wednesday.
On impeachment, House Democrats would likely delay for 100 days sending articles of impeachment to the Senate for trial, to allow Biden to focus on other priorities.
The 'insurrection' (as noted in the 14th Amendment, Section 3) apparently relates to last Wednesday's short and seemingly unplanned intrusion into the Capitol building by some Trump supporters. But that was more pantomime or slapstick action than a serious operation against the state.
It followed after a Trump rally speech which, yes, spoke of a 'fight' but only in the sense that any other political rally is calling on supporters to fight for the cause. In the context of Trump's other remarks at the rally it becomes obvious that was a purely rhetorical not literal use of that word:
After this, we’re going to walk down and I’ll be there with you. We’re going to walk down. We’re going to walk down any one you want, but I think right here. We’re going walk down to the Capitol, and we’re going to cheer on our brave senators, and congressmen and women. We’re probably not going to be cheering so much for some of them because you’ll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength, and you have to be strong.
We have come to demand that Congress do the right thing and only count the electors who have been lawfully slated, lawfully slated. I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.
To construe an 'incitement of insurrection' out of request to people to make 'peacefully' and 'patriotically' their 'voices heard' is pure nonsense. There is no passage in his speech that can be construed as the opposite. There is no call to storm the building or to tackle the police.
This second attempt to impeach Trump is purely for show. It would have little real world consequences. Trump will leave his office nine days from now and Biden will move in. This impeachment is a political stunt which will only increase the rift within the U.S. electorate.
Congress should stop wasting its time with such nonsense. It should immediately take action to prevent the State Department's terrorist designation of Ansarallah from coming into force. That move would allow aid flow to continue and it would prevent a worsening of the famine
The Capitol building incursion needs further investigation. Even while there was a lot of chatter in open source media that some of the Trump supporters might get rowdy, there was astonishingly little done to prevent them from causing trouble. There are questions:
Why did the Mayor of Washington DC explicitly reject federal help before the Trump rally happened?
Mayor Muriel Bowser @MayorBowser - 18:53 UTC · Jan 5, 2021
To be clear, the District of Columbia is not requesting other federal law enforcement personnel and discourages any additional deployment without immediate notification to, and consultation with, MPD if such plans are underway.
Why was Capitol Police chief Steven Sund told to not call for timely backup by the National Guard?
In an interview with The Washington Post, Sund said he had asked House and Senate security officials ahead of time for permission to request that the D.C. National Guard be placed on standby in case he needed quick backup. But he said he was turned down.
“If we would have had the National Guard we could have held them at bay longer, until more officers from our partner agencies could arrive,” he told the Post. He said his superiors had been uncomfortable with the “optics” of formally declaring an emergency ahead of Wednesday’s demonstration.
There was also a well timed diversion of police forces with a pipe bomb placed near the Republican National Committee headquarter. This delayed the arrival of more police forces at the Capitol:
“There was definitely a higher sense of urgency” on police radio traffic as rioters breached the east side of the Capitol, said Ashan M. Benedict, the head of the Washington field office of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, who was working with the Capitol Police at the nearby Republican Party headquarters, where a pipe bomb was found.
Mr. Benedict connected with a commander of the Capitol Police SWAT team who was inside the complex, who acknowledged that they needed immediate help but said he needed a moment to arrange the official request.
A.T.F. and F.B.I. teams were soon headed to the Capitol.
When Mr. Benedict and his deputy finally got into the building, it was madness, he recalled.
Who placed that diversion?
And who are the people who let all this happen?
Posted by b on January 11, 2021 at 18:51 UTC | Permalink
All captions by the editors, not the authors.
^5000The arch-hypocritical corporate media are our worst enemies.
They shamelessly block truth, peace, equality, and true democracy.
They are shills for those who murder the environment with impunity.
It's time you embrace YOUR media, the citizens' press.
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