After years of squabbling, President Trump and Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren are finally moving forward on their heritage dispute. In July, the president offered Warren a million dollar donation to the charity of her choice. All she had to do? Take a DNA test that could prove that she was indeed of Native American ancestry.
The Heritage of Elizabeth Warren
On Monday, following countless sparks between the two figures, Warren’s results came in. The test determined a strong probability of one Native American ancestor, from between six and ten generations back. This means that she is between 1/64th and 1/1024th Native American.
Just how much heritage is this, in perspective? Depending on the generation of the last ancestor, she could either be 1/64th, 1/128th, 1/256th, 1/512th, or 1/1024th. Of course, these are real, albeit small, numbers that do prove slight native ancestry.
However, the average European American, according to an ethnicity study with data collected by 23andme, is approximately 1/512th Native American. Thus, Warren has a 40% chance of having an average or below-average amount of Native American blood. Due to this finding, many are wondering whether it is right to consider Elizabeth Warren Native American. Even if the ancestor is in a more recent generation, the distinction over the average caucasian is relatively small. President Trump tweeted about this Tuesday, making note of the 1/1024th statistic.
Pocahontas (the bad version), sometimes referred to as Elizabeth Warren, is getting slammed. She took a bogus DNA test and it showed that she may be 1/1024, far less than the average American. Now Cherokee Nation denies her, “DNA test is useless.” Even they don’t want her. Phony!
One of the leading voices against Warren is the suddenly popular Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham. After a failed 2016 Presidential campaign, Graham was out of the spotlight for much of the past 2 years. Recently, though, he regained national attention with sharp remarks during the Kavanaugh hearings. Famously, he called the whole thing an “unethical sham”, noting that now-Justice Kavanaugh had “nothing to be ashamed of”.
On Tuesday, Graham retook the center stage with firm words about Warren’s ancestry and his own. Specifically, he believed that he would be able to have a higher percentage of Native American heritage.
“I think I can beat her”, the senator stated on Fox & Friends. He believes that his grandmother was part Cherokee, though admits that he could be wrong. Graham also said that he considers this his “Trump moment”, making a joke about the president’s reality show history.
A Xenophobic Addition?
Following his challenge, Graham also made a highly incendiary comment regarding his own ancestry. When the hosts asked him about his predictions, he came out swinging against Iran.
“I’ll probably be Iranian”, the Senator mused. “That would be, like, terrible.” After this, he did modify the statement, asserting that the Iranians are “bad leaders”, rather than bad people. He also made clear that he is “not in the Ayatollah Branch.” Despite these clarifications, many users on Twitter condemned the comments as racist and xenophobic.
This statement shows a drawing together of Graham and Trump over the past two years. Though the senator mocked then-candidate Trump’s foreign policy as isolationism during the campaign, their disputes have fizzled. Much of this comes in the wake of Trump’s increased hostility towards Iran. An enemy of the U.S. ally, Saudi Arabia, Iran often receives harsh words from the current administration.
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From its inception in 550 B.C., the Persian Empire reigned with fervor and might. The Persians carved out their territory that would expand across major parts of Eurasia, keeping the Greeks at bay, as well as other nations in pursuit of their own place in history. Ever since the first establishment of the Persian Nation-State, they have had to fight off other nations and were influenced by them. The biggest change first occurred in 637 A.D. when Persia fell into the hands of the nomadic Arabs at the Battle of Kadisiya which is close to the Euphrates River. Once the Arabs took hold of the Persian Empire, they brought with them Islam and Arabic, which forever changed the Persian language and religion casting out most Zoroastrianpractices. Zoroastrianism was not only the main Persian religion of choice, but it is often considered the first monotheistic religion of the world. After a long period of delegation, finding peace under the new regime and identity of the Persian Empire, in 1722 Afghan rebels had a degree of conflict with the Persian Empire, and they pursued the capturing of Isfahan. This seizing of a major city led the way for Russia and Turkey to also plunder their way through Persia, and by 1724 the Russians and Turks split the spoils among their militaries and elite.
By the 1800s to mid-1900s, the British and Americans had tight economic and personal relations with Persia. Although the British and Americans were both there to better petroleum and crude business in their favor, it was only the Brits that were seen as adversaries while the Americans were generally seen in favor by the Persian people. This was surely well-established when many Americans who were living in Persia in the early 1900s fought along the Persians’ and their rights in the Persian Constitutional Revolution from 1905 to 1911.
As quoted in the book, All the Shah’s Men, one person wrote, “…The American contribution to the improvement and, it was felt, the dignity of our impoverished, strife-torn country had gone far beyond their small numbers…Without attempting to force their way of life on people or convert us to their religion, they had learned Persian and started schools, hospitals, and medical dispensaries all over…” They went on to say, “The dedication of these exemplary men and women was not the only reason many Iranians admired the United States. American officials had spoken out to defend Iran’s rights. The United States sharply criticized the 1919 Anglo-Persian Agreement through which Britain acquired colonial powers in Iran.”
“That same year at Versailles, President Woodrow Wilson was the only world leader who supported Iran’s unsuccessful claim for monetary compensation from Britain and Russia for the effects of their occupation during World War I. In the mid-1920s an American envoy in Tehran was able to report that ‘Persians of all classes still have unbounded confidence in America.'” Of course, needless to say, it was also the US President, Woodrow Wilson, who would, unfortunately, lead America out of a more non-interventionist leaning foreign policy, into a hawkish mentality of a pursuit of war and control in the world from WWI to his constant concern for control over the Middle East. To this day, his policies plague American politics creating countless numbers of problems for the US and the world in an onslaught of political blowback.
In 1935, with relations with and influence from Nazi Germany, Persia’s name was changed to ‘Iran.’This was a cognate of the word ‘Aryan,’ as the Nazis were in pursuit of the origins of the actual Aryan nation of people, and Persia’s leader, Reza Shah, wanted to establish good relations with the growing German powers. Not only was this a means of changing the direction of the Persian nation, but it was also a way of aligning with the Nazis against the British and Russians who had plundered their land for well over a century. This allegiance to Nazi Germany would prove tragic for Iran in WWII, as in 1941, the Anglo-Soviet Allies invaded and ensured the Nazis could not keep reign over the region.
With growing tensions over the following ten years from the British setting up the Anglo-Persian Oil Company also in 1935, Persians’ boiling tempers over increased economic struggles, and the ongoing introduction and implementation of Socialism, after also being struck left and right by the British, Americans, Russians, Turks, Afghans, and others, Iran voted to nationalize the Anglo-Persian Oil Company. The name was then changed to the National Iranian Oil Company. This, then, led to Mohammad Reza Shah officially signing the 1951 declaration that the State was the sole owner of the company, and put Mossadegh as Iran’s Prime Minister.
Mossadegh’s office prompted news outlets around the world to respond and criticize from various perspectives. The British press criticized Mossadegh for being like Robespierre, very Socialistic in a negative way, after Iran essentially stole the company rights. While the US, on the other hand, praised Mossadegh for being like Thomas Jefferson freeing Iran from the British as Jefferson helped to free America from the British. Although, the British interpretation of the events was probably more accurate than the Americans’, both the British and the US colluded together in 1953 to overthrow Mossadegh and return the Shah.
In 1953, the CIA and Britain’s M16 staged a coup in Iran to overthrow Mossadegh because it was clearly evident that he was attempting to allow the Soviets into Iran instead of the Western Allies. The US policy at the time, the Truman Doctrine, stated that the US would come to the aid and defense of any people threatened by Communism. Mossadegh’s introduction of disorder within Iran was eventually the downfall of the Shah and allowed Socialists and Communists to infiltrate Iran ever since.
Iran has been continuously influenced by the outside world in that it has lost most of its military capabilities coming from the 5th largest military power in the world and then losing most of it all by the early 1980s after the Iran-Iraq war. Iran now continues to seek to create nuclear weaponry in order to better negotiate their place in the world and to possibly end many of the sanctions put on them by the US. The US and Iran used to have very good relations and diplomacy prior to the end of the Shah’s reign.
Today, Iranian leaders continue to utilize Diversionary War Theory “which states that leaders who are threatened by domestic turmoil occasionally initiate an international conflict in order to shift the nation’s attention away from internal troubles.” Many of the economic difficulties are not only due to the government seizing companies especially in the oil and natural gas industries, but also the sanctions brought on by the US. So, it is not as obvious that leaders in Iran are attempting to divert the attention of the economic struggles of Iran, rather there is some justification for their anger towards the US.
Iran’s justified anger with the US was initiated by the US’ infiltration and establishment of Mohammad Reza Shah and continued acts of aggression such as severe economic and travel sanctions, and completely encircling Iran with US military bases and battleships. Furthermore, since the US has now backed out of the Iranian Nuclear Deal that was being led by the Obama administration, Trump’s administration will most likely be reimplementing these heavy economic and travel sanctions, along with several others that are surely to assist in the near total destruction of Iran.
This, of course, is not to suggest that Iran is completely innocent. Iran has innumerable cases of human rights violations and a severally corrupt government which allows paying one’s way out of crimes and completely undermining the private sector as the Iranian government has the power to seize and control privately owned companies at near whim.
Overall, Iran has been shaped, influenced, benefited, and harmed by the international community from almost the beginning. The strife caused through interventionist policies of outside nations and States has also prompted internal domestic conflicts and turmoil for Iran. These instances of influence have led to destabilization and the pessimistic future for Iran. Although Iran has done everything they believed possible to leverage their negotiations by building nuclear weapons and attempting a Nuclear Deal with the US, unfortunately it has thus far failed. Iran’s past one hundred years has already been filled with chaos and confusion, surely the next one hundred will be the same as long as countries outside of Iran continue to intervene and act in hostility towards them; and if Iran continues to violate the rights of individuals within their borders, there is no hope for Iran as a country.
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On Sunday morning, following a speech by Iranian President Rouhani that threatened the United States with ‘the mother of all wars,” President Trump rattled off an incendiary verbal warning against the Iranian State via Twitter. In a message that was written in all caps for the world to see, the President demanded that Iran “NEVER, EVER THREATEN THE UNITED STATES AGAIN OR YOU WILL SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.”
This gaudy show of juvenile bullymanship is only the latest in a string of petty and dogged counter-intellectualism that has come to characterize a President who practically embodies “If it bleeds, it leads.” On the topic of American interventionism and a global democracy, Trump’s watery stance has seen him use Bush’s failure in Iraq as a campaign placard while also quietly stroking the dogs of war in response to Iraq’s wealthy and theocratic neighbors to the East. Trump’s blatant messages of unabashed aggression are similar in tone to those of every American President’s position (outside of Obama) when addressing Iran since the fall of the Shah. It brings a consistent and malignantly manufactured campaign of fear and mistrust with Iran that is striking in its uniformity of allegiance from both political ruling classes over the past century.
Americans were quick to lambast and mock the President by editing the tweet to include lyrics to their favorite pop songs. The flippant response from users is telling in its suggestion of two disconcerting truths: first, that the American people don’t take a word Mr. Trump has to say seriously, and more importantly, that they don’t believe they have a real and honest voice in the endless, bloody, transnational pursuit for ‘democracy’ and ‘justice’ that has symbolized and consistently dotted American foreign policy throughout their lifetimes. The sad poetry of the anti-imperialistic American politico is written in the meme markets of absurdity and anger.
Of course, much of the discussion regarding Iran is actually, at its core, an uninterrupted debate about Israel. Though we boast about a ‘special relationship’ with The United Kingdom, it is our ‘open secret relationship’ with Israel that has informed so many missteps in the region. Relations between The United States and Israel have only strengthened under Trump’s presidency as he moved the American embassy from Tel-Aviv to Jerusalem. Many see this action as a symbolic gesture of the unyielding political, ideological and military support for the Zionist state that has often sparred with Iran.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was said to be pleased with the tweet and called the President’s stance on the ongoing geopolitical unrest “strong.” As long as The United States has a financial and military obligation to Israel, these sorts of complex foreign entanglements will never cease. The complexities of the Iran-Israel relations in no way, shape, or form have any resonance with the fundamental ideas of an American republic and the simple aspirations of common Americans for life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
In their beds at night and in the fields of Idaho where wheat grows, Americans do not worry about Israel, Iran, or whichever cold war proxy that is drummed up next on the list. These decent people know inherently that it is the elite showmen of the political and media class that demand we place our foreign policy of death and imperialism before the domestic interests of food and family. They know it is rarely the neocolonialist class that is called upon to suffer the toils. It won’t be the President or Congressman’s children who end up dead on the battlefields across the sea.
The major tension between The United States and Iran dates back to the 1950’s when democratically elected President Mohammed Mossadegh nationalized all oil industries of Iran. Mossadegh advocated for secular democracy, demanded sovereignty from the British empire and was a champion of his people. It was the CIA, an unelected body, that overthrew the democracy of Iran in 1953 for their own slighted interests. They installed Reza Pahlavi as Shah against the wishes of the free people of Iran. And the American taxpayer, under the guise of democracy, funded the tyranny of Iran for oil resources through 1979 and the fall of the Shah.
With the triumphs of WWI and WWII at our backs, The New American Empire had taken its unrightful and post-philosophical seat as the ultimate arbitrator of good and peace throughout the free world. The ingrained policy of overextended foreign interventionism has yet to change much in the decades that have followed. Whether Korea, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Israel, or Palestine. “If it bleeds, it leads.”
The list goes on and the names begin to blur. The list grows, the enemies broaden and the financiers get richer. The pitiful truth of our misadventures in the post-classic wars is that they have never been about the intellectual triumphs of our miraculously free society or the merits of our material and philosophical splendor. They have gone against every bold aspiration of peace that lays face up for all to see in our first and bravest documents.
So let us be clear: the good people of the United States have no interest in war with Iran. That 60% of ‘independents’ who have given up on the political process are so disenfranchised by the ballot and the screen that they have given up on an idea without wartime. The American public has no interest in war with Syria, or Libya, or Afghanistan, or Russia, or Iraq. We want to be done with all of them. When the American people see Donald Trump tweeting about Iran, they wonder what stake any of us have in the businesses of people more than 8,000 miles from our shores?
They can’t remember Iran ever attacking an American city (because they haven’t.) They couldn’t name Rouhani if you offered them up a million dollars. When has it ever been our duty to be so pathologically involved and mindlessly uninformed as we are in 2018? Is this about nuclear weapons? If it is, how can we be in any position to lecture? Americans see through the blatant hypocrisy of our demands for a neutered Iranian nuclear program when our country currently holds almost half of the nuclear weaponry in existence. Whether Americans are left or right, they all want a few simple things. They want their family, their food, their property and to be left alone.
This brand of conservative isolationism is not rooted in ‘false comfort’ as George Bush warned during his 2006 State of the Union Address. According to a Pew Research Center survey conducted during the Second Iraq War, 42 percent of Americans agreed that the U.S. “should mind its own business internationally.” Furthermore, the study found that a staggering 84 percent of Americans preferred “protecting jobs of American workers” to only 24 percent who supported “promoting democracy in other nations.” It wasn’t that George Washington and the founders of our country were cold to the world. It was simply that they understood that bringing justice and peace outside our borders was a fool’s errand with a bottomless pit of unsolvable morality. Washington realized what the scale and scope of global policing meant in its over-extension of resources and personnel.
In his Farewell Speech to the country, President Washington warned of foreign entanglements. Madison, an ideological minarchist, was noted for his belief that the country should possess no standing army unless attacked. When Bush led the makeup war for his father’s disastrous missteps, the President called in over 400,000 reserve troops to fight and die on warm Arabian sands in the name of peace and freedom. Today, the utter size of the United States military is such that there is no going back. The brokers and dealers of blood and tyranny are too entrenched. There will be forever an enemy and Iran is just the latest in a string of foregone conclusions.
The president’s call to action, his drab demand, and fettered foolishness are not representative of Americans I know. They have always wanted, above all, peace. Harmonic, egalitarian, tolerant, loving, peaceful, they seek meaning in their lives. The great lie about contemporary America is this: for all of our terrible, marauding, unjust, vicious, serpentine, blood wars, it is not the people of this country who organize and instruct the death machine. It is not the people who cheer for the denigration of ancient art and the dehumanization of civilized peoples behind the callous drumbeat of ”freedom.’ Wars and more wars. Death and taxes. The ghoulish carousel of private interests and public lies that the American public is made to shoulder. New enemies and faces that never end. Don’t blink, you might miss the next war.
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Nuclear weapons are in season, and just like that old pair of jeggings in your mom’s closet, it doesn’t look like they will ever go out of style. While the trend originated in the United States, it’s found popularity all over the world, quickly becoming the hottest method of strategic deterrent and staying that way for over 70 years. According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, there are 9 countries which possess nuclear weapons – the United States, Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, and of course everyone’s favorite – North Korea, with the combined nuclear arsenal of all of the above listed countries totaling to over 16,000 nuclear weapons. “But wait” all you clever mathematicians are saying. “That’s only eight countries. Who’s the ninth?”
If I were to ask the average American to point to a country in the Middle East which possessed nuclear weapons, half of the votes would end up in Zimbabwe…but even if we were to pretend that most Americans knew basic geography, the majority of fingers would point to Iran. But what would you think if I told you that the real culprit was in fact, the Jewish state? There are nukes in the Middle East without a doubt; but they’re owned by Israel, not Iran.
Israel’s obsession with Iran has played a key role in distracting the world from its own nefarious nuclear pursuits, but Israel isn’t the only one that hypocritically denies nuclear development. American anti-proliferation think tanks regularly harass Iranian and North Korean developments, and international coalition inspector groups have conducted extensive investigations in countries who own nuclear weapons, with Israel being the exception, as always is the case.
The failure of these groups to demand transparency, or even conduct an investigation into, the possession of nuclear weapons demonstrates that these agencies are simply internationally sanctioned weapons against Iran and North Korea, and whose primary purpose is to restrict the nuclear development of select countries, rather than maintain international integrity or safety. Iran has historically practiced military conservatism, whereas Israel has repeatedly engaged in offensive campaigns in Egypt, Palestine, and Lebanon. Iran is within the Non-Proliferation Treaty, and submits itself to regular inspections from the International Atomic Energy Agency, whereas Israelneither recognizes the deal, nor accepts inspectors. Finally, and perhaps most notably,Iran possesses no nuclear weapons, whilst Israel totes up to 400.
Despite the fact that there are weapons of mass destruction in the most volatile and unstable region in the world, this is likely the first you’ve heard about Israel possessing nuclear weapons. Why is it that such crucial knowledge has been hidden from the world? What has been keeping Israel from strutting its stuff on the runway with all the other countries with nuclear weapons, and what is keeping American politicians from talking about it? The answer is simple: Politics.
The existence of Israeli nuclear weapons is the unspoken elephant in the room in American government. Everyone is aware of its existence, from the scientists working in federal laboratories, to the President himself. Likewise, everyone is equally aware that they are never to be acknowledged, or even spoken of. An investigation published by the Atlantic reported that “U.S. officials, even those on Capitol Hill, are routinely admonished not to mention the existence of an Israeli nuclear arsenal and occasionally punished when they do so.” Such was the case of James Doyle, the veteran nuclear analyst at Los Alamos National Laboratory, who paid the price for straying from Washington’s playbook. After writing an article which indirectly mentioned the existence of Israeli nuclear weapons, Doyle’s publications were made classified, his pay was docked, his home computer was searched, and he was censured, before eventually being fired from his position.
The American political machine guards Israel’s secret like OJ Simpson guards his innocence. The problem is that in both cases, everyone knows the truth.
At this point, if you’re like me you would ask “But if everyone knows the truth, why does it matter? What is the purpose in pretending otherwise?”
If you’re like me, you wouldn’t be surprised to learn that like almost everything else in American politics, the Israeli lobby is heavily involved in the issue. The motivation of the secrecy can be found in legislation drafted in 1976 regarding U.S. foreign aid and assistance. The law, known as the U.S. Arms Export Control Act, made it illegal to supply aid to countries found in violation of the National Proliferation Treaty, which was signed in 1968. In order to maintain the supply of weapons and diplomatic support between the U.S. and Israel, American officials arecounseled to never acknowledge the existence of the Israeli nuclear program, and instead pretend as if such a thing doesn’t exist. You don’t hear about Israeli nukes because Israel doesn’t want you to know that they are in violation of not only U.S. policy, but international law as well.
But then again, since when has Israel cared about international law?
American officials may be aware of the presence of Israeli nukes, but the figures regarding how many nuclear units remains unclear, partially due to the fact that politicians in both Israel and the U.S. deny their very existence. Rising above the BS and the obvious facade are whistle blowers from different origins, professing the truth about Israel’s nuclear program, and denouncing the lies that Israeli lobbyists have been spoon feeding American politicians for years. One such man is Mordechai Vanunu, the former Israeli nuclear technician who revealed his country’s secret nuclear program as early as 1986. Vanunu claimed that the number of nuclear weapons possessed by the Israeli government is near 200, with media outlets in Jerusalemreporting 115, and American Intelligence Agencies estimating as many as 400 nuclear weapons.
You’ve heard of bureaucratic incompetence, but miscounting 400 nukes as opposed to zero takes some Ralph Wiggum levels of stupidity. Far worse than clumsy government ineptness, this involves a more calculated and conscious lie that is being used to justify the support of an ethno-nationalistic state.
Trump may have paraded the concept of “America First”, but don’t let the enthusiastic slogans or his trade deals fool you. This is Israel’s America, and it has been since the moment American politicians prioritized the support of the Jewish state over the needs of the American people. Decades of hidden deals and billions of dollars have created a system that serves those who can afford it, and as of now, Israel wants America to stay silent.
Yes, Israel has nukes…but you didn’t hear it from me 😉
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After India’s government decided in early April to block official financial institutions from carrying out formal cryptocurrency transactions, trade activity has increased with strength.
Reports citing exchange operators, investors and observers say that Indians are quickly taking advantage of the three-month window given by the Reserve Bank for institutions to cut off cryptocurrency traders and exchanges.
Those that invest now are able to convert digital funds into the formal rupees currency and rupees into crypto, which can later be switched for other coins via the private trading platforms well established locally and internationally.
Prices of the unstable Bitcoin in India are back up to 618,000 rupees or $9,570 USD, recovering from a low of 350,001 rupees after the central bank’s announcement in early April.
Several investors, according to Reuters news agency, are holding out that New Delhi will curl back on their crypto legislation and instead regulate the cryptocurrencies over the complete ban.
Legislatures fear digital money could be used to finance illegal activities, with the finance minister saying that they should be banned from being used as a payment system.
A conglomerate including members from the central bank, the finance ministry and market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India is expected to soon formulate a recommendation on what to do next, local reports say.
This comes a week after Iran made a similar move, but for different reasons, with Tehran citing concerns of money-laundering amid an economic crisis proceeding a potential return of sanctions due to the United States pulling from the nuclear deal.
An Iranian official announced on Saturday that the country has developed a local digital currency.
“The central bank’s [ban] does not mean the prohibition or restriction of the use of the digital currency in domestic development,” government minister Mohammad Javad Azari-Jahromi was quoted as saying by state news agency IRNA.
“Last week, at a joint meeting to review the progress of the [local cryptocurrency] project, it was announced that the experimental model was ready.”
India, considered the world’s largest democracy, has been challenged in court by crypto traders, who say that the ban is unconstitutional, and pushing digital money out of the official banks is counterproductive as it will be easier for fraud to occur.
Lawyers are advising crypto clients to hold onto their investments and take a “wait and see” approach to the current situation, with some trading moving to peer-to-peer networks or social media services such as the popular Telegram app.
“Unlike fiat currency, prices of virtual currencies are based on people’s beliefs and aspirations,” BuyUcoin’s Thakral told Reuters.
“The long-term vision for us and the people who are investing now is that cryptocurrencies are here to stay.”