We bring to the attention of our readers the following text of Osama bin Laden’s interview with Ummat, a Pakistani daily, published in Karachi on September 28, 2001. It was translated into English by the BBC World Monitoring Service and made public on September 29, 2001.
The authenticity of this interview remains to be confirmed. It is available in recognized electronic news archives including the BBC. Its authenticity has not been questioned.
The interview tends to demystify the Osama bin Laden persona.
Osama bin Laden categorically denies his involvement in the 9/11 attacks. Bin Laden’s statements in this interview are markedly different from those made in the alleged Osama video tapes.
In this interview, Osama bin Laden exhibits an understanding of US foreign policy. He expresses his views regarding the loss of life on 9/11. He focusses on CIA support to the narcotics trade.
He also makes statements as to who, in his opinion, might be the likely perpetrator of the September 11 attacks.
This is an important text which has not been brought to the attention of Western public opinion.
We have highlighted key sections of this interview.
It is our hope that the text of this interview, published on 28 September 2001 barely a week before the onset of the war on Afghanistan, will contribute to a better understanding of the history of Al Qaeda, the role of Osama bin Laden and the tragic events of September 11, 2001.
This interview is published for informational purposes only. GR does not in any way endorse the statements in this interview.
Michel Chossudovsky, September 9, 2014
Full text of September 2001 Pakistani paper’s “exclusive” interview with Usamah Bin-Ladin
Kabul: Prominent Arab mojahed holy warrior Usamah Bin-Ladin has said that he or his al-Qa’idah group has nothing to do with the 11 September suicidal attacks in Washington and New York. He said the US government should find the attackers within the country. In an exclusive interview with daily “Ummat”, he said these attacks could be the act of those who are part of the American system and are rebelling against it and working for some other system. Or, Usamah said, this could be the act of those who want to make the current century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. Or, the American Jews, who are opposed to President Bush ever since the Florida elections, might be the masterminds of this act. There is also a great possibility of the involvement of US intelligence agencies, which need billions of dollars worth of funds every year. He said there is a government within the government in the United States.
The secret agencies, he said, should be asked as to who are behind the attacks. Usamah said support for attack on Afghanistan was a matter of need for some Muslim countries and compulsion for others. However, he said, he was thankful to the courageous people of Pakistan who erected a bulwark before the wrong forces. He added that the Islamic world was attaching great expectations with Pakistan and, in time of need, “we will protect this bulwark by sacrificing of lives”.
Following is the interview in full detail:
Ummat: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?
Usamah [Osama bin Laden]: In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the earth as an abode for peace, for the whole mankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and Momin true Muslim people of Pakistan who refused to believe in lie of the demon.
I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.
Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.
There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia?
Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims .
The US has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates.
However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that, it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of United States, or the latter itself considers them as its enemies. Or the countries, which do not agree to become its slaves, such as China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria, and the former Russia as received .
Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.
According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.
Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This funding issue was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger.
They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of 40bn dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance.
Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US president, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.
Ummat: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching an attack on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa’idah declare a jihad against these countries as well?
Usamah: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam says and what the enemies of Islam want?
Al-Qa’idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to encounter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa’idah wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad.
We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel countries, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women, and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic shari’ah jurisprudence for such individuals, organizations, and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Amir ol-Momenin the commander of the faithful Mola Omar and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.
Ummat: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the US is not too difficult. US experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is al-Qa’idah not targeting their economic pillars?
Usamah: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom.This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word.
Ummat: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, inciting the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines, and TV channels.
Usamah: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim world but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today’s world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.
Ummat: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa’idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?
Usamah: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause.
The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.
Ummat: What will the impact of the freeze of al-Qa’idah accounts by the US?
Usamah: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa’idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, al-Qa’idah has more than three such alternative financial systems, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path.
These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa’idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.
Ummat: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?
Usamah: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usamah but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usamah and it will remain as such even when Usamah is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property, and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the after life. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.
Ummat: What do you say about the Pakistan government policy on Afghanistan attack?
Usamah: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the wrong forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized, and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedin and the Afghan people. Then these are the same Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.
Copyright Ummat in Urdu, BBC translation in English, 2001
Read about Osama Bin Laden in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller
According to Chossudovsky, the “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.
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The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history. a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.
September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society.
A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.
Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion.
9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of “Police State USA”.
September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest.
At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.
CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”
Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.
Former CIA Director James Woolsey, without mentioning Afghanistan, pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, “I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution.”
That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.
The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage war on Afghanistan on “humanitarian grounds”, with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the “international community”. Several prominent “progressive” intellectuals made a case for “retaliation against terrorism”, on moral and ethical grounds. The “just cause” military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11.
In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country in Central Asia of 30 million people.
The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.
Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet- Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: “he turned against us”.
The 9/11 Commission Report has largely upheld the “outside enemy” mythology, heralding Al Qaeda as the “mastermind” organization behind the 9/11 attacks.
The official 9/11 narrative has not only distorted the causes underling the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, it has also erased the historical record of US covert support to international terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and “Western Civilization” are threatened.
Without an “outside enemy”, there could be no “war on terrorism”. The entire national security agenda would collapse “like a deck of cards”. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.
After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive Al Qaeda “outside enemy” had been fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.
The 911 Reader is composed of a carefully selected collection of key articles published by Global Research in the course of the last eleven years.
9/11 was an important landmark for Global Research. Our website was launched on September 9, 2001, two days prior to 9/11. Our coverage of 9/11 was initiated on September 12, 2001.
Within this collection of more than 60 chapters, we have included several important reports from our archives, published by Global Research in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. These articles provide a focus on issues pertaining to the 9/11 Timeline, foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the attack on the Pentagon, the issue of insider trading on Wall Street in the days preceding 9/11 pointing to foreknowledge of the attacks.
What prevails is a complex web of lies and fabrications, pertaining to various dimensions of the 9/11 tragedy. The falsehoods contained in the official 9/11 narrative are manifold, extending from the affirmation that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind, to the assertion by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that the WTC buildings collapsed due to the impacts of fire. (see Part III).
Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?
Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?
According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), “Enemy Number One” was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last eleven years.
DAN RATHER. As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.
This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.
(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.
CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]
CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]
The foregoing CBS report which is of utmost relevance indicates two obvious facts:
1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;
2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.
U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld: “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.
October 7, 2001: Waging America’s 9/11 War of Retribution against Afghanistan
The immediate response of the US and its allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting “terror mastermind” Osama bin Laden. By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Taliban were complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.
Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.
This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, “confirmed” by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.
On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration’s declaration of war on Afghanistan, invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.
An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) is an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security. Under any stretch of the imagination, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon cannot be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.
Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government –through diplomatic channels– offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice. These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America “does not negotiate with terrorists”.
The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001. The timing of this war begs the question: how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away. Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations. The war on Afghanistan was already in the advanced planning stages prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.
The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, almost immediately following 9/11 with the adoption of the PATRIOT legislation and the setting up of a Homeland Security apparatus, under the pretext of protecting Americans. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.
Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset
Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of “Islamic terrorism” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.
Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.
“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the [Islamic] Jihad.” (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)
”The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings….The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..”, (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)
Under the Reagan administration, US foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and endorsement of the Islamic “freedom fighters”. This endorsement has not in any way been modified.
In a twisted irony, throughout the post 911 era, US intelligence in liaison with Britain’s MI6, an Israel’s Mossad, continues to provide covert support to the radical Islamist organization allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Al Qaeda and its various affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and factions within the Free Syria Army (FSA) are directly supported by the US and NATO.
In a bitter irony, the US and its allies claim to be waging a “war on terrorism” against the alleged architects of 9/11, while also using Al Qaeda operatives as their foot-soldiers.
Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official,
Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987.
Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)
VIDEO (30 Sec.)
The Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings
Based on the findings of Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was not caused by fire resulting from the crash of the planes:
In more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise fires (most of them very hot, very large and very long-lasting), not one has collapsed, ever. So it behooves all of us, as your own former chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, Dr. James Quintiere, said, “to look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of these collapses.”
Let’s start with temperatures – 1,340° F. temperatures, recorded in thermal images of the surface of the World Trade Center rubble pile a week after 9/11 by NASA’s AVIRIS equipment on USGS overflights. Such temperatures cannot be achieved by oxygen-starved hydrocarbon fires. Such fires burn at only 600 to 800° F. Remember, there was no fire on the top of the pile. The source of this incredible heat was therefore below the surface of the rubble, where it must have been far hotter than 1,340 degrees.
Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., who was hired for the Building 7 cleanup, said that “molten steel was found at 7 WTC.” Leslie Robertson, World Trade Center structural engineer, stated that on October 5, “21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.” Fire department personnel, recorded on video, reported seeing “molten steel running down the channel rails… like you’re in a foundry – like lava from a volcano.” Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter, saw a crane lifting a steel beam vertically from deep within a pile. He said “it was dripping from the molten steel.” Bart Voorsanger, an architect hired to save “relics from the rubble,” stated about the multi-ton “meteorite” that it was a “fused element of molten steel and concrete.”
Steel melts at about 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the temperature of the World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 fires as estimated by NIST. So what melted the steel?
Appendix C of FEMA’s BPAT Report documents steel samples showing rapid oxidation, sulfidation, and intergranular melting. A liquid eutectic mixture, including sulfur from an unknown source, caused intense corrosion of the steel, gaping holes in wide flange beams, and the thinning of half-inch-thick flanges to almost razor-sharpness in the World Trade Center 7 steel. The New York Times called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”
NIST left all of this crucial forensic evidence out of its report. Why? Because it didn’t fit in with the official conspiracy theory.
Last year, physicist Steven Jones, two other physicists, and a geologist analyzed the slag at the ends of the beams and in the samples of the previously molten metal. They found iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine – the chemical evidence of thermate, a high-tech incendiary cutting charge used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. The by-product of the thermate reaction is molten iron! There’s no other possible source for all the molten iron that was found. One of thermate’s key ingredients is sulfur, which can form the liquid eutectic that FEMA found and lower the melting point of steel.
In addition, World Trade Center 7′s catastrophic structural failure showed every characteristic of explosive, controlled demolition. … The destruction began suddenly at the base of the building. Several first responders reported explosions occurring about a second before the collapse. There was the symmetrical, near-free-fall speed of collapse, through the path of greatest resistance – with 40,000 tons of steel designed to resist this load – straight down into its own footprint. This requires that all the columns have to fail within a fraction of a second of each other – perimeter columns as well as core columns. There was also the appearance of mistimed explosions (squibs?) at the upper seven floors on the network video recordings of the collapse. And we have expert testimony from a European demolitions expert, Danny Jowenko, who said “This is controlled demolition… a team of experts did this… This is professional work, without any doubt.”
Fire cannot produce these effects. Fire produces large, gradual deformations and asymmetrical collapses. Thermate can produce all of these effects used in conjunction with linear shaped charges. If the thermate is formed into ultra-fine particles, as has been accomplished at Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is called super-thermate, and is very explosive.(Richard Gage, January 2008)
The following AE911Truth Video provides irrefutable evidence that the WTC center towers were brought down through controlled demolition.
According to David Ray Griffin: “The official theory of the collapse, therefore, is essentially a fire theory, so it cannot be emphasized too much that fire has never caused large steel-frame buildings to collapse—never, whether before 9/11, or after 9/11, or anywhere in the world on 9/11 except allegedly New York City—never.” (See David Ray Griffin).
According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, based on solid scientific analysis and evidence, the collapse of the WTC towers was engineered through controlled demolition. While AE11Truth does not speculate on who might be behind the conspiracy to bring down the WTC buildings, they nonetheless suggest that the carrying out such an operation would require a carefully planned course of action with prior access to the buildings as well as an advanced level of expertise in the use of explosives, etc.
The Collapse of WTC Building Seven
The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed. The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7. CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event. (See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)
CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.
Coverup and Complicity
The 911 Reader presents factual information and analysis which points to cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
This body of articles by prominent authors, scholars, architects, engineers, largely refutes the official narrative of the 9/11 Commission Report, which is reviewed in Part IV. It dispels the notion that America was attacked on September 11, 2001 on the orders of Osama bin Laden.
This is a central issue because US military doctrine since 9/11 has been predicated on “defending the American Homeland” against Islamic terrorists as well as waging pre-emptive wars against Al Qaeda and its various “state sponsors”. Afghanistan was bombed and invaded as part of the “war on terrorism”. In March 2003, Iraq was also invaded.
Fiction prevails over reality. For propaganda to be effective, public opinion must firmly endorse the official 9/11 narrative to the effect that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks. A well organized structure of media disinformation (Part XI) is required to reach this objective. Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend also requires defying as well smearing the 9/11 Truth Movement.
Throughout the post 9/11 era, a panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.
In turn, 9/11, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.
September 11 and Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.
What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.
With September 11 there are no verifiable “facts” and “concepts”, because 9/11 as well as Al Qaeda have evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of media disinformation and war propaganda.
Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.
Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally.
Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?
People’s capacity to independently analyse World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!
The routine use of 9/11 and Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion. It prevents people from thinking.
All of these complex Al Qaeda related occurrences are explained –by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.
The Alleged Role of Iraq in the 9/11 Attacks
9/11 mythology has been a mainstay of war propaganda. In the course of 2002, leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, “Osama bin Laden” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” statements circulated profusely in the news chain. While Washington’s official position was that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks, insinuations abounded both in presidential speeches as well as in the Western media. According to Bush, in an October 2002 press conference:
The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions — its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. .,.. We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability — even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source [Iraq], that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America. President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002)
Meanwhile, a new terrorist mastermind had emerged: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.
In Colin Powell’s historic address to the United Nations Security Council, in February 2003, detailed “documentation” on a sinister relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was presented, focussing on his ability to produce deadly chemical, biological and radiological weapons, with the full support and endorsement of the secular Baathist regime. The implication of Colin’s Powell’s assertions, which were totally fabricated, was that Saddam Hussein and an Al Qaeda affiliated organization had joined hands in the production of WMD in Northern Iraq and that the Hussein government was a “state sponsor” of terrorism.
The main thrust of the disinformation campaign continued in the wake of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It consisted in presenting the Iraqi resistance movement as “terrorists”. The image of “terrorists opposed to democracy” fighting US “peacekeepers” appeared on television screens and news tabloids across the globe.
Iran: Alleged State Sponsor of 9/11
In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the same alleged “state sponsorship” of terrorism accusations emerged in relation to Iran.
In December 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran was condemned by a Manhattan court, for its alleged role in supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.
The investigation into Tehran’s alleged role was launched in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission “regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers”. The 91/11 Commission’s recommendation was that the this “apparent link” required “further investigation by the U.S. government.” (9/11 Commission Report , p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).
In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran) “U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case”.
According to the plaintiffs attorneys “Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained “how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi’a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the “Great Satan”) and Israel (the “Lesser Satan”)”. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided “training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings.” (See Iran 911 Case ).
This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.
Ironically, while Washington accuses Iran and Afghanistan of supporting terrorism, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the “state sponsorship” of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America’s humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa.
In Syria Al Qaeda units were recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command: “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels.” (http://www.debka.com/article/21255/ Debkafile, August 31, 2011).
In Libya, jihadists from Afghanistan trained by the CIA were dispatched to fight with the “pro-democracy” rebels under the helm of “former” Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj:
Western policy makers admit that NATO’s operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda’s AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel in his article, “The New Al Qaeda Menace,” admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO’s intervention in Libya, and that AQIM’s base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the region. http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-natos-pan-arab-terrorist-blitzkrieg/
Table of Contents of the 9/11 Reader
In Part I, the 911 Reader provides a review of what happened on the morning of 9/11, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, at Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM), What was the response of the US Air Force in the immediate wake of the attacks? Part II focusses on “What Happened on the Planes” as described in the 9/11 Commission Report.
Part III sheds light on what caused the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. It also challenges the official narrative with regard to the attack on the Pentagon.
Part IV reviews and refutes the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report.
Part V focusses on the issue of foreknowledge by Western intelligence agencies. Part VI examines the issue of how foreknowledge of the attacks was used as an instrument of insider trading on airline stocks in the days preceding September 11, 2001. The bonanza financial gains resulting from insurance claims to the leaseholders of the WTC buildings is also examined.
Part VII focusses on the history and central role of Al Qaeda as a US intelligence asset. Since the Soviet-Afghan war, US intelligence has supported the formation of various jihadist organizations. An understanding of this history is crucial in refuting the official 9/11 narrative which claims that Al Qaeda, was behind the attacks.
Part VIII centers on the life and death of 9/11 “Terror Mastermind” Osama bin Laden, who was recruited by the CIA in the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. This section also includes an analysis of the mysterious death of Osama bin Laden, allegedly executed by US Navy Seals in a suburb of Islamabad in May 2011.
Part IX focusses on “False Flags” and the Pentagon’s “Second 9/11″. Part X examines the issue of “Deep Events” with contributions by renowned scholars Peter Dale Scott and Daniele Ganser.
Part XI examines the structure of 9/11 propaganda which consists in “creating” as well “perpetuating” a “9/11 Legend”. How is this achieved? Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda, the alleged 9/11 Mastermind is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events.
Part XII focusses on the practice of 9/11 Justice directed against the alleged culprits of the 9/11 attacks.
The legitimacy of 9/11 propaganda requires fabricating “convincing evidence” and “proof” that those who are accused actually carried out the attacks. Sentencing of Muslims detained in Guantanamo is part of war propaganda. It depicts innocent men who are accused of the 9/11 attacks, based on confessions acquired through systematic torture throughout their detention.
Part XIII focusses on 9/11 Truth. The objective of 9/11 Truth is to ultimately dismantle the propaganda apparatus which is manipulating the human mindset. The 9/11 Reader concludes with a retrospective view of 9/11 ten years later.
Timeline: What Happened on the Morning of September 11, 2001
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
“Foreknowledge” and “Failure to act” upholds the notion that the terrorist attacks (“act of war”) “waged by Muslims against America” are real, when all the facts and findings point towards coverup and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
The main justification for waging this war has been totally fabricated. The American people have been deliberately and consciously misled by their government into supporting a major military adventure which affects our collective future.
9/11 Ringleader connected to secret Pentagon operation
- by Dr. Daniele Ganser – 2005-08-27
Atta was connected to a secret operation of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the US. A top secret Pentagon project code-named Able Danger identified Atta and 3 other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.
According to Chossudovsky, the “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.
On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.
The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic.
The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.
Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.
The latest Salafist murders of Sufi and other moderate Muslim leaders in the Caucasus are apparently part of what is becoming ever clearer as perhaps the most dangerous US intelligence operation ever—playing globally with Muslim fundamentalism.
Previously US and allied intelligence services had played fast and loose with religious organizations or beliefs in one or another country. What makes the present situation particularly dangerous—notably since the decision in Washington to unleash the misnamed Arab Spring upheavals that began in Tunisia late 2010, spreading like a brushfire across the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Morocco—is the incalculable wave upon wave of killing, hatreds, destruction of entire cultures that Washington has unleashed in the name of that elusive dream named “democracy.” They do this using alleged Al-Qaeda groups, Saudi Salafists or Wahhabites, or using disciples of Turkey’s Fethullah Gülen Movement to ignite fires of religious hatred within Islam and against other faiths that could take decades to extinguish. It could easily spill over into a new World War.
Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus
Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR. One of the best-organized of these was the Gülen Movement of Fethullah Gülen, leader of a global network of Islamic schools and reported to be the major policy influence on Turkey’s Erdogan AKP party.
Gülen was quick to establish The International Dagestani-Turkish College in Dagestan. During the chaotic days after the Soviet collapse, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation officially registered and permitted unfettered activity for a variety of Islamic foundations and organizations. These included the League of the Islamic World, the World Muslim Youth Assembly, the reportedly Al-Qaeda friendly Saudi foundation ‘Ibrahim ben Abd al-Aziz al-Ibrahim.’ The blacklist also included Al-Haramein a Saudi foundation reported tied to Al-Qaeda, and IHH,  a Turkish organization banned in Germany, that allegedly raised funds for jihadi fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, and was charged by French intelligence of ties to Al Qaeda. Many of these charities were covers for fundamentalist Salafists with their own special agenda.
As many of the foreign Islamists in Chechnya and Dagestan were found involved in fomenting the regional unrest and civil war, Russian authorities withdrew permission of most to run schools and institutions. Throughout the North Caucasus at the time of the Chechyn war in the late 1990’s, there were more than two dozen Islamic institutes, some 200 madrassas and numerous maktabas (Koranic study schools) present at almost all mosques.
The International Dagestani-Turkish College was one that was forced to close its doors in Dagestan. The College was run by the Fethullah Gülen organization.
At the point of the Russian crackdown on the spread of Salafist teaching inside Russia at the end of the 1990’s, there was an exodus of hundreds of young Dagestani and Chechyn Muslim students to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other places in The Middle east, reportedly to receive training with the Gülen movement and various Saudi-financed organizations, including Salafists.  It is believed in Russia that the students trained by Gülen supporters or Saudi and other Salafist fundamentalist centers then were sent back to Dagestan and the North Caucasus to spread their radical strain of Islam.
By 2005 the situation in the Caucasus was so influenced by this Salafist intervention that the Chechen Salafist, Doku Umarov, cited by the UN Security Council for links to Al-Qaeda, unilaterally declared creation of what he called the Caucasus Emirate, announcing he planned to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law encompassing the entire North Caucasus region including Dagestan. He modestly proclaimed himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. 
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Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition
Salafism, known in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism, is a fundamentalist strain of Islam which drew world attention and became notorious in March 2001 just weeks before the attacks of September 11. That was when the Salafist Taliban government in Afghanistan willfully dynamited and destroyed the historic gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan on the ancient Silk Road, religious statues dating from the 6th Century. The Taliban Salafist leaders also banned as “un-islamic” all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.
Afghani sources reported that the order to destroy the Buddhas was made by Saudi-born jihadist Wahhabite, Osama bin Laden, who ultimately convinced Mullah Omar, Taliban supreme leader at the time to execute the act.
Before and…After Salafist Taliban …
While Sufis incorporate the worship of saints and theatrical ceremonial prayers into their practice, Salafis condemn as idolatry any non-traditional forms of worship. They also call for the establishment of Islamic political rule and strict Sharia law. Sufism is home to the great spiritual and musical heritage of Islam, said by Islamic scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam, going back centuries.
As one Sufi scholar described the core of Sufism, “While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and will become close to God in Paradise–after death and the ‘Final Judgment’– Sufis believe as well that it is possible to become close to God and to experience this closeness–while one is alive. Furthermore, the attainment of the knowledge that comes with such intimacy with God, Sufis assert, is the very purpose of the creation. Here they mention the hadith qudsi in which God states, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I loved that I be known, so I created the creation in order to be known.’ Hence for the Sufis there is already a momentum, a continuous attraction on their hearts exerted by God, pulling them, in love, towards God.” 
The mystical Islamic current of Sufism and its striving to become close to or one with God is in stark contrast to the Jihadist Salafi or Wahhabi current that is armed with deadly weapons, preaches a false doctrine of jihad, and a perverse sense of martyrdom, committing countless acts of violence. Little wonder that the victims of Salafist Jihads are mostly other pacific forms of Islam including most especially Sufis.
The respected seventy-five year old Afandi had publicly denounced Salafist Islamic fundamentalism. His murder followed a July 19 coordinated attack on two high-ranking muftis in the Russian Volga Republic of Tatarstan. Both victims were state-approved religious leaders who had attacked radical Islam. This latest round of murders opens a new front in the Salafist war against Russia, namely attacks on moderate Sufi Muslim leaders.
Whether or not Dagestan now descends into internal religious civil war that then spreads across the geopolitically sensitive Russian Caucasus is not yet certain. What is almost certain is that the same circles who have been feeding violence and terror inside Syria against the regime of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad are behind the killing of Sheikh Afandi as well as sparking related acts of terror or unrest across Russia’s Muslim-populated Caucasus. In a very real sense it represents Russia’s nightmare scenario of “Syria coming to Russia.” It demonstrates dramatically why Putin has made such a determined effort to stop a descent into a murderous hell in Syria.
Salafism and the CIA
The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported. Salafism is sometimes also called the name of the older Saudi-centered Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a minority originally-Bedouin form of the faith originating within Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia since the 1700’s.
Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism give the following description of Saudi conditions under the rigid Wahhabi brand of Islam:
“Women living under Saudi rule must wear the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; they have limited opportunities for schooling and careers; they are prohibited from driving vehicles; are banned from social contact with men not relatives, and all personal activity must be supervised including opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” These Wahhabi rules are enforced by a mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) who patrol Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They raid homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths.” 
It’s widely reported that the obscenely opulent and morally-perhaps-not-entirely-of- the-highest-standards Saudi Royal Family made a Faustian deal with Wahhabite leaders. The deal supposedly, was that the Wahhabists are free to export their fanatical brand of Islam around to the Islamic populations of the world in return for agreeing to leave the Saudi Royals alone. There are, however, other dark and dirty spoons stirring the Wahhabite-Salafist Saudi stew.
Little known is the fact that the present form of aggressive Saudi Wahhabism, in reality a kind of fusion between imported jihadi Salafists from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabites. Leading Salafist members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were introduced into the Saudi Kingdom in the 1950’s by the CIA in a complex series of events, when Nasser cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood following an assassination attempt. By the 1960’s an influx of Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia fleeing Nasserite repression, had filled many of the leading teaching posts in Saudi religious schools. One student there was a young well-to-do Saudi, Osama bin Laden. 
During the Third Reich, Hitler Germany had supported the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the British in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Marc Erikson describes the Nazi roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thus:
…as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini.
After the defeat of Germany, British Intelligence moved in to take over control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, for financial and other reasons, the British decided to hand their assets within the Muslim Brotherhood over to their CIA colleagues in the 1950s. 
According to former US Justice Department Nazi researcher John Loftus, “during the 1950s, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now, when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Dr Abdullah Azzam, became the teachers in the madrassas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.” 
“Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not,” Loftus continues. “They think that Islam–the Saudi version of Islam–is typical, but it’s not. The Wahhabi cult has been condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. Wahhabism was only practised by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia–that’s how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence.” 
Loftus identified the significance of what today is emerging from the shadows to take over Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and the so-called Syrian National Council, dominated in reality by the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly led by the more “politically correct” or presentable likes of Bassma Kodmani. Kodmani, foreign affairs spokesman for the SNC was twice an invited guest at the Bilderberg elite gathering, latest in Chantilly, Virginia earlier this year.
The most bizarre and alarming feature of the US-financed regime changes set into motion in 2010, which have led to the destruction of the secular Arab regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muhammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the secular regime of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, and which have wreaked savage destruction across the Middle East, especially in the past eighteen months in Syria, is the pattern of emerging power grabs by representatives of the murky Salafist Muslim Brotherhood.
By informed accounts, a Saudi-financed Sunni Islamic Muslim Brotherhood dominates the members of the exile Syrian National Council that is backed by the US State Department’s Secretary Clinton and by Hollande’s France. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied, not surprisingly to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohammed Morsi who recently in a meeting of the Non-Aligned in Iran called openly for the removal of Syria’s Assad, a logical step if his Muslim Brothers in the present Syrian National Council are to take the reins of power. The Saudis are also rumored to have financed the ascent to power in Tunisia of the governing Islamist Ennahda Party, and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad. 
Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror
Indicative of the true agenda of this Muslim Brotherhood and related jihadists today is the fact that once they have power, they drop the veil of moderation and reconciliation and reveal their violently intolerant roots. This is visible in Egypt today under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.
Unreported in mainstream Western media to date are alarming direct reports from Christian missionary organizations in Egypt that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already begun to drop the veil of “moderation and conciliation” and show its brutal totalitarian Salafist colors, much as Khomeini’s radical Sharia forces did in Iran after taking control in 1979-81.
In a letter distributed by the Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a Christian Egyptian missionary wrote that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood “announced they would destroy the country if Morsi didn’t win, but they also said they will take revenge from all those who voted for [his opponent Ahmed] Shafiq, especially the Christians as they are sure we did vote for Shafiq. Yesterday they began by killing two believers in el Sharqiya because of this,” the missionary added, speaking on condition of anonymity.
This report came only weeks after Egyptian State TV (under Morsi’s control) showed ghastly video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims. The footage showed a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. As one man was heard chanting Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity, another man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat began to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”), according to transcripts. In the letter, the Egyptian missionary leader added that, “soon after Morsi won, Christians in upper Egypt were forcibly prevented from going to churches.” Many Muslims, the letter claimed, “also began to speak to women in the streets that they had to wear Islamic clothing including the head covering. They act as if they got the country for their own, it’s theirs now.” 
Already in 2011 Morsi’s Salafist followers began attacking and destroying Sufi mosques across Egypt. According to the authoritative newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Today’s Egyptian), 16 historic mosques in Alexandria belonging to Sufi orders have been marked for destruction by so-called ‘Salafis’. Alexandria has 40 mosques associated with Sufis, and is the headquarters for 36 Sufi groups. Half a million Sufis live in the city, out of a municipal total of four million people. Aggression against the Sufis in Egypt has included a raid on Alexandria’s most distinguished mosque, named for, and housing, the tomb of the 13th century Sufi Al-Mursi Abu’l Abbas.
Notably, the so-called “democratically elected” regime in Libya following the toppling of Mohamar Qaddafi by NATO bombs in 2011, has also been zealous in destroying Sufi mosques and places of worhip. In August this year, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed “grave concern” at the destruction by Islamic Jihadists of Sufi sites in Zliten, Misrata and Tripoli and urged perpetrators to “cease the destruction immediately.”  Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt. 
The explosive cocktail of violence inherent in allowing the rise to power of Salafist Islamists across the Middle East was clear to see, symbolically enough on the night of September 11,th when a mob of angry supporters of the fanatical Salafist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, murdered the US Ambassador to Libya and three US diplomats, burning the US Consulate in Bengazi to the ground in protest over a YouTube release of a film by an American filmmaker showing the Prophet Mohammed indulging in multiple sex affairs and casting doubt on his role as God’s messenger. Ironically that US Ambassador had played a key role in toppling Qaddafi and opening the door to the Salafist takeover in Libya. At the same time angry mobs of thousands of Salafists surrounded the US Embassy in Cairo in protest to the US film. 
Ansar Al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic law” in Arabic) reportedly is a spinoff of Al-Qaeda and claims organizations across the Middle East from Yemen to Tunisia to Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Ansar al-Sharia says it is reproducing the model of Sharia or strict Islamic law espoused by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq. The core of the group are jihadists who came out of an “Islamic state”, either in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, or among jihadists in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.
The deliberate detonation now of a new round of Salafist fundamentalist Jihad terror inside Muslim regions of the Russian Caucasus is exquisitely timed politically to put maximum pressure at home on the government of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.
Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backer of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically. At the same time, Obama’s sly message to Medvedev to wait until Obama’s re-election to evaluate US intent towards Russia and Putin’s cryptic recent comment that a compromise with a re-elected President Obama might be possible, but not with a President Romney,  indicate that the Washington “stick-and-carrot” or hard cop-soft cop tactics with Moscow might tempt Russia to sacrifice major geopolitical alliances, perhaps even that special close and recent geopolitical alliance with China. Were that to happen, the World might witness a “reset” in US-Russian relations with catastrophic consequences for world peace.
F. William Engdahl* is the author ofFull Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order
 Dan Peleschuk, Sheikh Murdered Over Religious Split Say Analysts, RIA Novosti, August 30, 2012, accessed in
 UN Security Council, QI.U.290.11. DOKU KHAMATOVICH UMAROV, 10 March 2011, accessed in http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQI29011E.shtml. The UN statement reads: “Doku Khamatovich Umarov was listed on 10 March 2011 pursuant to paragraph 2 of resolution 1904 (2009) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “recruiting for”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” the Islamic Jihad Group (QE.I.119.05), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01), Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) (QE.R.100.03) and Emarat Kavkaz (QE.E.131.11).”
 David M. Herszenhorn, Putin Says Missile Deal Is More Likely With Obama, The New York Times, September 6, 2012, accessed in http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/world/europe/putin-calls-missile-deal-more-likely-if-obama-wins.html. According to an interview Putin gave on Moscow’s state-owned RT TV, Herszenhorn reports, “Mr. Putin said he believed that if Mr. Obama is re-elected in November, a compromise could be reached on the contentious issue of American plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Russia has strongly opposed. On the other hand, Mr. Putin said, if Mr. Romney becomes president, Moscow’s fears about the missile system — that it is, despite American assurances, actually directed against Russia — would almost certainly prove true.
“Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term? Theoretically, yes,” Mr. Putin said, according to the official transcript posted on the Kremlin’s Web site. “But this isn’t just about President Obama. “For all I know, his desire to work out a solution is quite sincere,” Mr. Putin continued. “I met him recently on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where we had a chance to talk. And though we talked mostly about Syria, I could still take stock of my counterpart. My feeling is that he is a very honest man, and that he sincerely wants to make many good changes. But can he do it? Will they let him do it?”
A deluge of articles have been quickly put into circulation defending France’s military intervention in the African nation of Mali. TIME’s article, “The Crisis in Mali: Will French Intervention Stop the Islamist Advance?” decides that old tricks are the best tricks, and elects the tiresome “War on Terror” narrative.TIME claims the intervention seeks to stop “Islamist” terrorists from overrunning both Africa and all of Europe. Specifically, the article states:
“…there is a (probably well-founded) fear in France that a radical Islamist Mali threatens France most of all, since most of the Islamists are French speakers and many have relatives in France. (Intelligence sources in Paris have told TIME that they’ve identified aspiring jihadis leaving France for northern Mali to train and fight.) Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of the three groups that make up the Malian Islamist alliance and which provides much of the leadership, has also designated France — the representative of Western power in the region — as a prime target for attack.”
What TIME elects not to tell readers is that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is closely allied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG whom France intervened on behalf of during NATO’s 2011 proxy-invasion of Libya – providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.
As far back as August of 2011, Bruce Riedel out of the corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Brookings Institution, wrote “Algeria will be next to fall,” where he gleefully predicted success in Libya would embolden radical elements in Algeria, in particular AQIM. Between extremist violence and the prospect of French airstrikes, Riedel hoped to see the fall of the Algerian government. Ironically Riedel noted:
Algeria has expressed particular concern that the unrest in Libya could lead to the development of a major safe haven and sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadis.
“Crucially, still in 2007, then al-Qaeda’s number two, Zawahiri, officially announced the merger between the LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). So, for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same – and Belhaj was/is its emir. “
“Belhaj,” referring to Hakim Abdul Belhaj, leader of LIFG in Libya, led with NATO support, arms, funding, and diplomatic recognition, the overthrowing of Muammar Qaddafi and has now plunged the nation into unending racist and tribal, genocidal infighting. This intervention has also seen the rebellion’s epicenter of Benghazi peeling off from Tripoli as a semi-autonomous “Terror-Emirate.” Belhaj’s latest campaign has shifted to Syria where he was admittedly on the Turkish-Syrian border pledging weapons, money, and fighters to the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” again, under the auspices of NATO support.
Image: NATO’s intervention in Libya has resurrected listed-terrorist organization and Al Qaeda affiliate, LIFG. It had previously fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now has fighters, cash and weapons, all courtesy of NATO, spreading as far west as Mali, and as far east as Syria. The feared “global Caliphate” Neo-Cons have been scaring Western children with for a decade is now taking shape via US-Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari machinations, not “Islam.” In fact, real Muslims have paid the highest price in fighting this real “war against Western-funded terrorism.”
LIFG, which with French arms, cash, and diplomatic support, is now invading northern Syria on behalf of NATO’s attempted regime change there, officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007 according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC). According to the CTC, AQIM and LIFG share not only ideological goals, but strategic and even tactical objectives. The weapons LIFG received most certainly made their way into the hands of AQIM on their way through the porous borders of the Sahara Desert and into northern Mali.
A leading member of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group indicated the organization may have acquired some of the thousands of powerful weapons that went missing in the chaos of the Libyan uprising, stoking long-held fears of Western officials.”We have been one of the main beneficiaries of the revolutions in the Arab world,” Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a leader of the north Africa-based al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], told the Mauritanian news agency ANI Wednesday. “As for our benefiting from the [Libyan] weapons, this is a natural thing in these kinds of circumstances.”
It is no coincidence that as the Libyan conflict was drawing to a conclusion, conflict erupted in northern Mali. It is part of a premeditated geopolitical reordering that began with toppling Libya, and since then, using it as a springboard for invading other targeted nations, including Mali, Algeria, and Syria with heavily armed, NATO-funded and aided terrorists.
French involvement may drive AQIM and its affiliates out of northern Mali, but they are almost sure to end up in Algeria, most likely by design.
Algeria was able to balk subversion during the early phases of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011, but it surely has not escaped the attention of the West who is in the midst of transforming a region stretching from Africa to Beijing and Moscow’s doorsteps – and in a fit of geopolitical schizophrenia – using terrorists both as a casus belli to invade and as an inexhaustible mercenary force to do it.
We are publishing full text of today’s address of the Russian President Vladimir Putin to the members of Vaidai International Discussion Club. This year the main topic of the event was The World Order: New Rules or No Rules?
Colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, friends, it is a pleasure to welcome you to the XI meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club.
It was mentioned already that the club has new co-organisers this year. They include Russian non-governmental organisations, expert groups and leading universities. The idea was also raised of broadening the discussions to include not just issues related to Russia itself but also global politics and the economy.
I hope that these changes in organisation and content will bolster the club’s influence as a leading discussion and expert forum. At the same time, I hope the ‘Valdai spirit’ will remain – this free and open atmosphere and chance to express all manner of very different and frank opinions.
Let me say in this respect that I will also not let you down and will speak directly and frankly. Some of what I say might seem a bit too harsh, but if we do not speak directly and honestly about what we really think, then there is little point in even meeting in this way. It would be better in that case just to keep to diplomatic get-togethers, where no one says anything of real sense and, recalling the words of one famous diplomat, you realise that diplomats have tongues so as not to speak the truth.
We get together for other reasons. We get together so as to talk frankly with each other. We need to be direct and blunt today not so as to trade barbs, but so as to attempt to get to the bottom of what is actually happening in the world, try to understand why the world is becoming less safe and more unpredictable, and why the risks are increasing everywhere around us.
Today’s discussion took place under the theme: New Rules or a Game without Rules. I think that this formula accurately describes the historic turning point we have reached today and the choice we all face. There is nothing new of course in the idea that the world is changing very fast. I know this is something you have spoken about at the discussions today. It is certainly hard not to notice the dramatic transformations in global politics and the economy, public life, and in industry, information and social technologies.
Let me ask you right now to forgive me if I end up repeating what some of the discussion’s participants have already said. It’s practically impossible to avoid. You have already held detailed discussions, but I will set out my point of view. It will coincide with other participants’ views on some points and differ on others.
As we analyse today’s situation, let us not forget history’s lessons. First of all, changes in the world order – and what we are seeing today are events on this scale – have usually been accompanied by if not global war and conflict, then by chains of intensive local-level conflicts. Second, global politics is above all about economic leadership, issues of war and peace, and the humanitarian dimension, including human rights.
The world is full of contradictions today. We need to be frank in asking each other if we have a reliable safety net in place. Sadly, there is no guarantee and no certainty that the current system of global and regional security is able to protect us from upheavals. This system has become seriously weakened, fragmented and deformed. The international and regional political, economic, and cultural cooperation organisations are also going through difficult times.
Yes, many of the mechanisms we have for ensuring the world order were created quite a long time ago now, including and above all in the period immediately following World War II. Let me stress that the solidity of the system created back then rested not only on the balance of power and the rights of the victor countries, but on the fact that this system’s ‘founding fathers’ had respect for each other, did not try to put the squeeze on others, but attempted to reach agreements.
The main thing is that this system needs to develop, and despite its various shortcomings, needs to at least be capable of keeping the world’s current problems within certain limits and regulating the intensity of the natural competition between countries.
It is my conviction that we could not take this mechanism of checks and balances that we built over the last decades, sometimes with such effort and difficulty, and simply tear it apart without building anything in its place. Otherwise we would be left with no instruments other than brute force.
What we needed to do was to carry out a rational reconstruction and adapt it the new realities in the system of international relations.
But the United States, having declared itself the winner of the Cold War, saw no need for this. Instead of establishing a new balance of power, essential for maintaining order and stability, they took steps that threw the system into sharp and deep imbalance.
The Cold War ended, but it did not end with the signing of a peace treaty with clear and transparent agreements on respecting existing rules or creating new rules and standards. This created the impression that the so-called ‘victors’ in the Cold War had decided to pressure events and reshape the world to suit their own needs and interests. If the existing system of international relations, international law and the checks and balances in place got in the way of these aims, this system was declared worthless, outdated and in need of immediate demolition.
Pardon the analogy, but this is the way nouveaux riches behave when they suddenly end up with a great fortune, in this case, in the shape of world leadership and domination. Instead of managing their wealth wisely, for their own benefit too of course, I think they have committed many follies.
We have entered a period of differing interpretations and deliberate silences in world politics. International law has been forced to retreat over and over by the onslaught of legal nihilism. Objectivity and justice have been sacrificed on the altar of political expediency. Arbitrary interpretations and biased assessments have replaced legal norms. At the same time, total control of the global mass media has made it possible when desired to portray white as black and black as white.
In a situation where you had domination by one country and its allies, or its satellites rather, the search for global solutions often turned into an attempt to impose their own universal recipes. This group’s ambitions grew so big that they started presenting the policies they put together in their corridors of power as the view of the entire international community. But this is not the case.
The very notion of ‘national sovereignty’ became a relative value for most countries. In essence, what was being proposed was the formula: the greater the loyalty towards the world’s sole power centre, the greater this or that ruling regime’s legitimacy.
We will have a free discussion afterwards and I will be happy to answer your questions and would also like to use my right to ask you questions. Let someone try to disprove the arguments that I just set out during the upcoming discussion.
The measures taken against those who refuse to submit are well-known and have been tried and tested many times. They include use of force, economic and propaganda pressure, meddling in domestic affairs, and appeals to a kind of ‘supra-legal’ legitimacy when they need to justify illegal intervention in this or that conflict or toppling inconvenient regimes. Of late, we have increasing evidence too that outright blackmail has been used with regard to a number of leaders. It is not for nothing that ‘big brother’ is spending billions of dollars on keeping the whole world, including its own closest allies, under surveillance.
Let’s ask ourselves, how comfortable are we with this, how safe are we, how happy living in this world, and how fair and rational has it become? Maybe, we have no real reasons to worry, argue and ask awkward questions? Maybe the United States’ exceptional position and the way they are carrying out their leadership really is a blessing for us all, and their meddling in events all around the world is bringing peace, prosperity, progress, growth and democracy, and we should maybe just relax and enjoy it all?
Let me say that this is not the case, absolutely not the case.
A unilateral diktat and imposing one’s own models produces the opposite result. Instead of settling conflicts it leads to their escalation, instead of sovereign and stable states we see the growing spread of chaos, and instead of democracy there is support for a very dubious public ranging from open neo-fascists to Islamic radicals.
Why do they support such people? They do this because they decide to use them as instruments along the way in achieving their goals but then burn their fingers and recoil. I never cease to be amazed by the way that our partners just keep stepping on the same rake, as we say here in Russia, that is to say, make the same mistake over and over.
They once sponsored Islamic extremist movements to fight the Soviet Union. Those groups got their battle experience in Afghanistan and later gave birth to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. The West if not supported, at least closed its eyes, and, I would say, gave information, political and financial support to international terrorists’ invasion of Russia (we have not forgotten this) and the Central Asian region’s countries. Only after horrific terrorist attacks were committed on US soil itself did the United States wake up to the common threat of terrorism. Let me remind you that we were the first country to support the American people back then, the first to react as friends and partners to the terrible tragedy of September 11.
During my conversations with American and European leaders, I have always spoken of the need to fight terrorism together, as a challenge on a global scale. We cannot resign ourselves to and accept this threat, cannot cut it into separate pieces and use double standards. Our partners expressed agreement, but a little time passed and we ended up back where we started. First there was the military operation in Iraq, then in Libya, which got pushed to the brink of falling apart. Why was Libya pushed into this situation? Today it is a country in danger of breaking apart and has become a training ground for terrorists.
Only the current Egyptian leadership’s determination and wisdom saved this key Arab country from chaos and having extremists run rampant. In Syria, as in the past, the United States and its allies started directly financing and arming rebels and allowing them to fill their ranks with mercenaries from various countries. Let me ask where do these rebels get their money, arms and military specialists? Where does all this come from? How did the notorious ISIL manage to become such a powerful group, essentially a real armed force?
As for financing sources, today, the money is coming not just from drugs, production of which has increased not just by a few percentage points but many-fold, since the international coalition forces have been present in Afghanistan. You are aware of this. The terrorists are getting money from selling oil too. Oil is produced in territory controlled by the terrorists, who sell it at dumping prices, produce it and transport it. But someone buys this oil, resells it, and makes a profit from it, not thinking about the fact that they are thus financing terrorists who could come sooner or later to their own soil and sow destruction in their own countries.
Where do they get new recruits? In Iraq, after Saddam Hussein was toppled, the state’s institutions, including the army, were left in ruins. We said back then, be very, very careful. You are driving people out into the street, and what will they do there? Don’t forget (rightfully or not) that they were in the leadership of a large regional power, and what are you now turning them into?
What was the result? Tens of thousands of soldiers, officers and former Baath Party activists were turned out into the streets and today have joined the rebels’ ranks. Perhaps this is what explains why the Islamic State group has turned out so effective? In military terms, it is acting very effectively and has some very professional people. Russia warned repeatedly about the dangers of unilateral military actions, intervening in sovereign states’ affairs, and flirting with extremists and radicals. We insisted on having the groups fighting the central Syrian government, above all the Islamic State, included on the lists of terrorist organisations. But did we see any results? We appealed in vain.
We sometimes get the impression that our colleagues and friends are constantly fighting the consequences of their own policies, throw all their effort into addressing the risks they themselves have created, and pay an ever-greater price.
Colleagues, this period of unipolar domination has convincingly demonstrated that having only one power centre does not make global processes more manageable. On the contrary, this kind of unstable construction has shown its inability to fight the real threats such as regional conflicts, terrorism, drug trafficking, religious fanaticism, chauvinism and neo-Nazism. At the same time, it has opened the road wide for inflated national pride, manipulating public opinion and letting the strong bully and suppress the weak.
Essentially, the unipolar world is simply a means of justifying dictatorship over people and countries. The unipolar world turned out too uncomfortable, heavy and unmanageable a burden even for the self-proclaimed leader. Comments along this line were made here just before and I fully agree with this. This is why we see attempts at this new historic stage to recreate a semblance of a quasi-bipolar world as a convenient model for perpetuating American leadership. It does not matter who takes the place of the “Evil Empire” in American propaganda, the USSR’s old place as the main adversary. It could be Iran, as a country seeking to acquire nuclear technology, China, as the world’s biggest economy, or Russia, as a nuclear superpower.
Today, we are seeing new efforts to fragment the world, draw new dividing lines, put together coalitions not built for something but directed against someone, anyone, create the image of an enemy as was the case during the Cold War years, and obtain the right to this leadership, or diktat if you wish. The situation was presented this way during the Cold War. We all understand this and know this. The United States always told its allies: “We have a common enemy, a terrible foe, an Evil Empire, and we are defending you, our allies, from this foe, and so we have the right to order you around, force you to sacrifice your political and economic interests and pay your share of the costs for this collective defence, but we will be the ones in charge of it all of course.” In short, we see today attempts in a new and changing world to reproduce the familiar models of global management, and all this so as to guarantee their [the US’] exceptional position and reap political and economic dividends.
But these attempts are increasingly divorced from reality and are in contradiction with the world’s diversity. Steps of this kind inevitably create confrontation and countermeasures and have the opposite effect to the hoped-for goals. We see what happens when politics rashly starts meddling in the economy and the logic of rational decisions gives way to the logic of confrontation that only hurt one’s own economic positions and interests, including national business interests.
Joint economic projects and mutual investment objectively bring countries closer together and help to smooth out current problems in relations between states. But today, the global business community faces unprecedented pressure from Western governments. What business, economic expediency and pragmatism can we speak of when we hear slogans such as “the homeland is in danger”, “the free world is under threat”, and “democracy is in jeopardy”? And so everyone needs to mobilise. That is what a real mobilisation policy looks like.
Sanctions are already undermining the foundations of world trade, the WTO rules and the principle of inviolability of private property. They are dealing a blow to liberal model of globalisation based on markets, freedom and competition, which, let me note, is a model that has primarily benefited precisely the Western countries. And now they risk losing trust as the leaders of globalisation. We have to ask ourselves, why was this necessary? After all, the United States’ prosperity rests in large part on the trust of investors and foreign holders of dollars and US securities. This trust is clearly being undermined and signs of disappointment in the fruits of globalisation are visible now in many countries.
The well-known Cyprus precedent and the politically motivated sanctions have only strengthened the trend towards seeking to bolster economic and financial sovereignty and countries’ or their regional groups’ desire to find ways of protecting themselves from the risks of outside pressure.We already see that more and more countries are looking for ways to become less dependent on the dollar and are setting up alternative financial and payments systems and reserve currencies. I think that our American friends are quite simply cutting the branch they are sitting on.You cannot mix politics and the economy, but this is what is happening now. I have always thought and still think today that politically motivated sanctions were a mistake that will harm everyone, but I am sure that we will come back to this subject later.
We know how these decisions were taken and who was applying the pressure. But let me stress that Russia is not going to get all worked up, get offended or come begging at anyone’s door. Russia is a self-sufficient country. We will work within the foreign economic environment that has taken shape, develop domestic production and technology and act more decisively to carry out transformation. Pressure from outside, as has been the case on past occasions, will only consolidate our society, keep us alert and make us concentrate on our main development goals.
Of course the sanctions are a hindrance. They are trying to hurt us through these sanctions, block our development and push us into political, economic and cultural isolation, force us into backwardness in other words. But let me say yet again that the world is a very different place today. We have no intention of shutting ourselves off from anyone and choosing some kind of closed development road, trying to live in autarky. We are always open to dialogue, including on normalising our economic and political relations. We are counting here on the pragmatic approach and position of business communities in the leading countries.
Some are saying today that Russia is supposedly turning its back on Europe – such words were probably spoken already here too during the discussions – and is looking for new business partners, above all in Asia. Let me say that this is absolutely not the case. Our active policy in the Asian-Pacific region began not just yesterday and not in response to sanctions, but is a policy that we have been following for a good many years now. Like many other countries, including Western countries, we saw that Asia is playing an ever greater role in the world, in the economy and in politics, and there is simply no way we can afford to overlook these developments.
Let me say again that everyone is doing this, and we will do so to, all the more so as a large part of our country is geographically in Asia. Why should we not make use of our competitive advantages in this area? It would be extremely shortsighted not to do so.
Developing economic ties with these countries and carrying out joint integration projects also creates big incentives for our domestic development. Today’s demographic, economic and cultural trends all suggest that dependence on a sole superpower will objectively decrease. This is something that European and American experts have been talking and writing about too.
Perhaps developments in global politics will mirror the developments we are seeing in the global economy, namely, intensive competition for specific niches and frequent change of leaders in specific areas. This is entirely possible.
There is no doubt that humanitarian factors such as education, science, healthcare and culture are playing a greater role in global competition. This also has a big impact on international relations, including because this ‘soft power’ resource will depend to a great extent on real achievements in developing human capital rather than on sophisticated propaganda tricks.
Two articles in Friday’s Washington Post reporting chemical weapons attacks in Iraq and Syria are part of a general propaganda campaign by the mainstream media to turn the operation against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) into a war to overthrow the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria.
A front-page article headlined “Jihadist launched chemical assault” reports that ISIS forces deployed chlorine gas in an attack last month against Sunni police officers in the Iraqi city of Duluiyah, approximately 60 miles north of Baghdad. The officers reported being overcome by a cloud of yellow gas which hung low to the ground, consistent with chlorine gas. The attack reportedly sickened at least 11 officers who were taken to a nearby hospital and treated with oxygen and anti-inflammatory medication for shortness of breath.
According to the Iraq Defense Ministry, ISIS has obtained significant quantities chlorine from water treatment facilities where the chemical is used to chlorinate water to prevent the spread of water-borne disease. Improvised chlorine bombs were used previously by Al-Qaeda in Iraq, the predecessor of ISIS, at the height of the Sunni insurgency against the US occupation in 2006 and 2007.
There have been other reports in recent weeks of the use of chlorine gas by ISIS in Iraq. According to soldiers who managed to escape an ISIS attack last month on the Saqlawiyah military base in Anbar Province, chlorine gas was deployed as part of the brutal assault which killed approximately 370 soldiers. ISIS fighters reportedly fired chlorine gas canisters into the base.
The Al Nusra Front is suspected of being responsible for a chlorine gas attack in March of last year that killed 26 Syrians, including 16 Syrian soldiers. The Al Nusra Front seized control of the Sheikh Suleiman military base in western Aleppo as well as a chlorine factory at the end of 2012, giving them access to chemical weaponry. Sheikh Suleimna, also known as Base 111, is believed to have been an important site in Syria’s chemical weapons program.
The Post’s editorial titled “Obama gives Syria’s Assad another pass on chemical weapons,” seizes on the recent reports of use of chlorine weapons by ISIS in Iraq to press for the overthrow of the Assad regime in Syria. “The Islamic State, too, may be using chlorine,” the editorial states, but “the difference is that, while the United States has mobilized a coalition against the Islamic State, Mr. Assad is taking advantage of the fact that the U.S. strategy in Syria is to ignore him.”
The paper states quite bluntly that “the Assad regime is once again blatantly violating the ‘red line’ drawn by Mr. Obama against the use of chemical weapons—and getting away with it.” The editorial quotes Simon Limage, a State Department nonproliferation official, who said that the “evidence strongly suggests the Assad regime is the culprit.”
The editorial cites a report published this week by the Institute for the Study of War (ISW), a Washington, D.C. think-tank which laid blame for 18 recent alleged chlorine gas attacks in rebel held areas on the Assad regime. The ISW was founded and is overseen by Kimberly Kagan, the sister-in-law of Robert Kagan, one of the founders of the neoconservative Project for a New American Century. Robert Kagan served as an advisor to Generals Stanley McChrystal and David Petraeus during President Barack Obama’s 2009 surge in Afghanistan.
The editorial concludes that Obama’s refusal to establish a no-fly zone or target the Syrian military has given the Assad regime “a pass.” The conclusion which the Washington Post intends for its readers draw is that a massive military campaign must be undertaken immediately to oust Assad.
Ironically this propaganda for war is published on the same day that the Post’s news reporting vindicates earlier exposures of the Western-backed “rebels’” responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria that were largely ignored by the mainstream media at the time.
UN special investigator Carla Del Ponte stated in May of last year that investigators had “strong, concrete suspicions” of the use of sarin gas “on the part of the opposition, the rebels, not by the government authorities.”
Plots by Al Qaeda in Iraq, the precursor to ISIS, and Al Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the Al Nusra Front, were broken up in May and June of last year. The groups were accused of planning to manufacture and deploy chemical weapons, including sarin and mustard gas.
The Iraqi Defense Ministry arrested five members of ISIS in Baghdad who were allegedly seeking to deploy chemical agents against crowds of Shia pilgrims via remote controlled planes. Turkish authorities claimed to have broken up a plot by the Al-Nusrah Front to launch a sarin gas attack either inside Syria or on the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey.
Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh exposed claims by the imperialist powers that Assad was responsible for a sarin gas attack on the rebel-held Damascus suburb of Ghouta in August last year as a calculated fraud. Hersh reported that Al Nusra also had the capability to deploy sarin gas in Syria but never came under suspicion from the US. This remarkable exposure of claims that had served as the principal pretext for the Obama administration’s aborted plan to launch air strikes against Syria at the time was subsequently buried by US media.
The Washington Post is seizing upon the most recent claims of chemical weapons attacks in Iraq and Syria as part of a cynical maneuver in the Obama administration’s drive to oust the Assad regime. The yellow press is churning out this propaganda in an attempt to prepare the general population for an escalation of the current military operations against ISIS into an all-out war for regime change in Syria.
More information is available that suggests the the government had advance information that ebola was coming to the US and that the government expects a much larger outbreak of the disease in the US than it admits.
Keep in mind that Washington is evil and has been killing people in seven countries for thirteen years based entirely on lies. Keep in mind that Washington has a long list of countries that it has destabilized. Most recently Washington overthrew the elected government in Ukraine and is currently working on the remaining independent governments in the Middle East, Russia, and China as Tony Cartalucci’s article documents:
The crackdown on peaceful protesters by police in Ferguson, Missouri violated numerous US and international laws, according to a report published Monday by Amnesty International.
The report, The streets of America: Human rights abuses in Ferguson, extensively documents systematic acts of police violence against peaceful protestors and the arrest and assault of media and international observers. It details the suppression of rights protected under the US Constitution, international law and international human rights agreements.
The report comes as police are “stocking up on riot gear,” as a report in the Associated Press put it, in preparation for renewed protests next month in the event that a grand jury fails to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson police officer who shot unarmed teenager Michael Brown on August 9.
“What Amnesty International witnessed in Missouri on the ground this summer underscored that human rights abuses do not just happen across borders and oceans,” said Steven W. Hawkins, executive director of Amnesty International USA.
Hawkins added, “Standing on W. Florissant Avenue with my colleagues, I saw a police force, armed to the teeth, with military-grade weapons. I saw a crowd that included the elderly and young children fighting the effects of tear gas.”
Police confronted protesters while “armed with semi-automatic weapons and leashed police dogs,” the report noted. “Officers moved among the protesters using armored vehicles which are more commonly seen in a conflict zone rather than the streets of a suburban town in the United States.” It added, “Some of the officers had… no names, badges, other identifying information visible.”
The report concluded, “In all, more than 170 individuals were arrested during the first 12 days of protests since Michael Brown’s death,” more than three quarters of arrests were for the ad-hoc charge of “failure to disperse.”
The report also documents the attack on free speech and the media. “Legal and human rights observers as well as members of the media have repeatedly been obstructed” by police, it noted.
“From August 13 through October 2, at least 19 journalists and members of the media were arrested by law enforcement with others subjected to tear gas and the use of rubber bullets… Reporters for CNN, Al Jazeera America and other outlets report being harassed or physically threatened.”
When Ron Johnson of the Missouri Highway Patrol, who nominally headed the police response in the area, was asked in a press conference why members of the press were being targeted for arrest, he replied, “It is difficult to tell who is media, and who is disguising themselves as such.”
In one particularly shocking event, the report recounts how Ryan Devereaux of The Intercept and Lukas Hermsmeier of the German Bild-Zeitung were shot with rubber bullets and arrested while fleeing from a barrage of tear gas.
The report recounts,
“After coming out [from] behind a cover with their hands in the air, shouting, ‘Press!’ and ‘Journalists’ and ‘We’re media!’ [an] officer allowed them to pass. However, as Devereaux and Hermsmeier continued walking with their hands in the air, shouting ‘Press!’ the same officer shot rubber bullets at them, hitting both journalists in the back. Out of fear, they dove behind a car. The officers approached with guns pointed and arrested them.”
On another occasion Amnesty International observers were threatened by police while seeking to leave a protest scene after determining that they were in danger from tear gas and rubber bullets.
“One officer directly in front of the delegation pointed his weapon at the delegation and shouted ‘get on the ground!’ A staff member at the front of the delegation knelt on the ground and informed the officer, ‘We are human rights observers.’”
In another incident, “Amnesty International witnessed an officer with the St. Ann Police Department in Missouri point his AR-15 semi-automatic rifle at a group of journalists and threaten to kill them.”
The Amnesty International report noted that the practice of pointing firearms at peaceful protestors violates US law and international rules. “Under the U.N.’s Basic Principles for the Use of Force and Firearms by Law Enforcement Officials, law enforcement officials shall not use firearms against persons except in self-defense or defense of others against the imminent threat of death or serious injury.” In addition, “An officer pointing a gun at close range at an unarmed individual who is not presenting a threat would also be excessive use of force under U.S. law.”
The report concluded that the police attempt to “collectively punish” local residents and peaceful protestors. It noted that the imposition of a curfew “limited not only the rights of those who were demonstrating peacefully, but also the freedom of movement of the general public in Ferguson who were required to be off of the streets after midnight each night.”
The illegal and unconstitutional character of the police response was summed up by an injunction issued by a federal judge earlier this month against the so-called “five second rule,” an arbitrary directive that police used to abrogate the constitutionally protected freedom of assembly. The judge said the order allowed “police officers, if they felt like it, to order peaceful, law-abiding protesters to keep moving rather than standing still.” She concluded, “As it was applied in this case, the practice…violates the constitution.”
The Amnesty International report, together with the nationwide militarization of the police and the ongoing wave of police killings, makes a mockery of the claims by the United States military and politicians that the aims of the US’s endless series of wars and international provocations is to defend “human rights.”
In 2008 media studies scholar Jack Bratich introduced the concept of conspiracy panics to interpret powerful government and media reactions to the “collective intelligence” activities enacted by laypersons and evident within broader forms of popular culture.
The idea is useful when observing how over the past several weeks mainstream media outlets have busied themselves decrying various critiques of the US government’s response to the Ebola phenomenon, the government’s potential intentions concerning the predicament, and speculations on the disease’s uncertain origins and means of diagnosis as a similarly dangerous “strain of contagion”: “the Ebola conspiracy theories.”
The conspiracy theory term essentially designates inquisitive perspectives and analyses that have been generated by corporate media nor routed through salaried journalists’ Rolodexes of conventional establishment sources—in this instance experts in healthcare, academe, government, and the corporate sector itself.
Rejecting or explaining away differing perspectives on how powerful institutions operate is a foremost function of mainstream media. From this worldview alternative media outlets, many of which provide valuable insights on Ebola and a host of other events and concerns, are understood by corporate media managers as so much “noise” in society’s informational and explanatory conduits that they perceive as essentially belonging to them.
Yet unlike would-be terrorist attacks or political assassinations, the Ebola phenomenon is one that fundamentally involves an understanding of and ability to interpret scientific and medical evidence and procedure–things most journalists know little more of than the broader public they seek to serve.
Thus in the midst of such a “crisis” what passes for a good deal of journalism is in fact a propitious platform for the high-level public relations maneuvers of interested parties—in particular certain government agencies and for-profit healthcare and pharmaceutical companies which are closely intertwined via the revolving doors often linking them.
Despite the complex and uncertain terrain of such sourcing and reportage it is telling how corporate media move to condemn what essentially amounts to practical wariness and critical thinking, both of which have become increasingly essential in light of the multitude of events—from 9/11 and the so-called “war on terror” to “weapons of mass destruction” and the Boston Marathon “bombing” spectacle—where such media have at best failed in conducting due journalistic diligence and at worst have intentionally misled their audiences and readerships into accepting dubious if not largely invented narratives that pervert public discourse and impair popular memory.
Academics in particular are well aware of the tentative and thus potentially manipulative nature of what constitute “truth” and “truth claims.” In the humanities especially “truth” itself is commonly deemed to be socially and historically constructed.
Along these lines, events and issues are frequently deemed “controversial” by those seeking to frame a perceptible disagreement by parties authorized to analyze pertinent facts. Lacking such approval are those falling outside the accepted parameters of debate.
Yet such a disingenuous stance is commonly open to contradiction. In its quest to bolster the Ebola conspiracy panic and disparage unwelcome parties to the exchange, the New York Times’ Alan Feuer recently called upon cultural studies scholar and University of Florida law professor Mark Fenster. “’The truth is that we do rely on private corporations to develop and produce our pharmaceuticals,’” Fenster remarks.
“’While we may not like that fact, it’s not so hard or paranoid to imagine private companies acting in their own best interests.” According to Fenster, “The theory works … because it is ‘truthy,’ to borrow from the comedian Stephen Colbert.” In other words, “it has just enough veracity ‘that it rings true when carried to Ebola.’”
Fenster’s 1999 volume, Conspiracy Theories: Secrecy and Power in American Culture, employs a cultural studies approach which at its core upholds and often celebrates “truthiness”—or the relative notion that truth is akin to that which passes for such and is overall socially and historically constructed. This allows Fenster to proceed throughout the book to conveniently omit important facts concerning momentous events such as the JFK assassination, the Oklahoma City bombing, and 9/11, in order to establish and sustain an object of study that in reality is as much a component of the CIA’s prolonged psychological warfare program against the American public  as it is a doctrinal strategy to corrupt entire intellectual enterprises, in particular US journalism and academe.
Most of the journalistic and scholarly analyses of “conspiracy theories” that carry the implicit burden of “objectivity” are far less excusable. While they feign outrage at unorthodox (thought often accurate) ideas and commentary, they succeed as commonplace demonstrations of the bias they condemn, suggesting a recurrent balance between society’s two main ideological engines that form the bulwark of the established order. “Power,” George Orwell reminds us, “is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of your own choosing.”
 Jack Z. Bratich, Conspiracy Panics: Political Rationality and Popular Culture, Albany: State University of New York Press, 2008.
On Wednesday, just two days after a “radicalized” man ran over two Canadian soldiers in a mall parking lot, a gunmen opened fire at Canada’s National War Memorial and at Parliament Hill, killing one soldier and wounding a security guard. He was later killed by an armed guard.
Within less than two days, rhetoric has risen unusually high for Canada in the wake of what have been called “terror attacks,” bringing terrorism home along with fresh demands for new police powers.
This time, the new powers would include ‘preventive arrests,’ potentially taking the country down the slippery slope of guilty-until-proven innocent authoritarian policies.
Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney is giving more indications of how the government intends to strengthen Canada’s security laws in the wake of Wednesday’s attack in Ottawa on Parliament Hill.
The minister told Radio-Canada on Friday that the government is eyeing the thresholds established in Canadian law for the preventive arrests of people thought to be contemplating attacks that may be linked to terrorism. Officials are considering how to make it easier to press charges against so-called lone-wolf attackers.
“The challenges are the thresholds — the thresholds that will allow either preventive arrest, or charges that lead to sentences, or more simple operations,” Blaney said in French. “So what the prime minister has asked is for us to review in accelerated manner the different mechanisms that are offered to police to ensure everyone’s security.”
A bill was already in the works prior to the shootings to strengthen the Canadian Security Intelligence Services’ (CSIS) powers; Prime Minister Stephen Harper had already announced changes including his belief police powers needed to be increased.
“In recent weeks, I’ve been saying that our laws and police powers need to be strengthened in the area of surveillance, detention and arrest,” he said as MPs returned one day after a gunman killed a soldier and made his way into Centre Block on the Parliament Hill. (CBC News)
That makes this shooting very convenient for Harper’s agenda; now in the wake of this week’s shooting, Harper has stated that work will be “expedited”.
Questions already abound as to where suspect Michael Zehaf-Bibeau even got his the Winchester 30-30 rifle he used in the shooting. Due to his criminal record, Zehaf-Bibeau was already prohibited from owning a gun; in fact, Canadian courts had already issued the man a standard lifetime gun ban due to a violent conviction. Even without that ban, however, this guy couldn’t have obtained the gun in any legal way.
If anything, first and foremost it just proves that gun control doesn’t work. Regardless, in Canada there is no right by law to bear arms. “Canadians, unlike Americans, do not have a constitutional right to bear arms,” the Canadian Supreme Court ruled in 1993.
As Tony Cartalucci of Land Destroyer Report notes, the same plot had been scripted by the FBI just a month prior:
In mid-September A Rochester man, Mufid A. Elfgeeh, was accused by the FBI of attempting to provide material support to ISIS (undercover FBI agents), attempting to kill US soldiers, and possession of firearms and silencers (provided to him by the FBI). The FBI’s own official press release stated (emphasis added):
According to court records, Elfgeeh attempted to provide material support to ISIS in the form of personnel, namely three individuals, two of whom were cooperating with the FBI. Elfgeeh attempted to assist all three individuals in traveling to Syria to join and fight on behalf of ISIS. Elfgeeh also plotted to shoot and kill members of the United States military who had returned from Iraq. As part of the plan to kill soldiers, Elfgeeh purchased two handguns equipped with firearm silencers and ammunition from a confidential source. The handguns were made inoperable by the FBI before the confidential source gave them to Elfgeeh.
It was warned that only an inoperable firearm stood between Elfgeeh’s arrest and his successful execution of deadly plans hatched by him and his undercover FBI handlers. This script, written by the FBI to entrap Elfgeeh, would be followed almost to the letter in live attacks subsequently carried out in Canada resulting in the death of two Canadian soldiers.
Cartalucci goes on to point out another troubling detail. Like so many other heavily publicized terror attacks, Zehaf-Bibeau was already under both Canadian and U.S. government surveillance prior to the event, with the suspected shooter listed as a “high-risk traveler” who had his passport revoked prior to the shooting:
It is very likely that the recent attacks in Canada involved at least one “informant” working for the FBI. Because the FBI uses confidential informants to handle suspects, if a plot is switched “live,” the informant will be implicated as an accomplice and the FBI’s covert role will remain uncompromised…
With both suspects having been on both US and Canadian watch lists – it is very likely undercover agents were involved in either one or both cases. While many possibilities exist, Western security agencies should be among the first suspects considered as potential collaborators…
And of course —
Conveniently, both suspects are now dead and little chance remains of ascertaining the truth of who they were in contact with and how they carried out their deadly attacks.
Canada’s domestic terror threat level was quietly elevated just days before by CSIS intelligence, issuing a medium-level ‘could occur’ threat advisory for the first time since 2010. Unlike the often hyped and exaggerated public threat assessments in the U.S., this was an internal determination among the intelligence agencies, and signals likely prior knowledge.
So what did they know and when did they really know it?
Also, as in many highly publicized shootings with government ties, initially police reported multiple shooters. In the end, the story changed, naming Zehaf-Bibeau as the only shooter.
Former public safety minister Stockwell Day told CBC News, “There are always limitations, and this is what we have to realize in a free and democratic society. Any time you increase your security, you decrease your freedom somewhere.” [emphasis added]
And there you have it.
Terrorism — monitored and enabled by undercover informants — used as a catalyst to break down civil liberties and accumulate more state power.
Melissa Melton is a writer, researcher, and analyst for The Daily Sheeple, where this first appeared, and a co-creator of Truthstream Media with Aaron Dykes, a site that offers teleprompter-free, unscripted analysis of The Matrix we find ourselves living in. Melissa also co-founded Nutritional Anarchy with Daisy Luther of The Organic Prepper, a site focused on resistance through food self-sufficiency. Wake the flock up!
The exchange occurred on Friday during a House hearing on the federal government’s response to the disease. Massie also asked Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary Dr. Nicole Lurie about the transmissibility of Ebola.
Torbay said he is not a medical professional and tried to skirt the issue. Dr. Lurie said Ebola is present in perspiration but did not concede it may be spread on a bus. She also conceded that Ebola can live outside the body on inert surfaces.
Rep. Massie’s questions and the answers by Torbay, Lurie and Maj. Gen. James Lariviere indicate Ebola can be passed on in a bus or other public transport – for instance, the subway car used by a Doctors Without Borders physician hours before checking into a hospital where he was diagnosed with Ebola.
The question is, then: Is the government simply inept and incapable of handling a national health care issue, or are they hiding the truth from the American people for other, more nefarious reasons?
If Torbay and Lurie know Ebola can be passed on to others through sweat – and who in a crowded bus has not touched a pole or straphanger where sweat from an ill person may be present? – and they are hiding or avoiding telling people about the dangers, they should not only be fired, but brought up on charges of endangering public health.
October 24 at the Valdai International Discussion Club meeting in Sochi, Russia’s President Putin correctly and justifiably denounced Washington for destabilizing the world in order to serve its own narrow and selfish interest and the interests of the private interest groups that control Washington at the expense of the rest of the world. It is about time a world leader denounced the thuggish neocon regime in Washington. Putin described Washington’s double standards with the Roman phrase: “What is allowed for God [the US] is not allowed for cattle [the rest of the world].”
Curiously, the Russian media has not, at this time of writing, produced an English translation of Putin’s full remarks. Perhaps the Russian media do not realize the importance of Putin’s words. Too much of the Russian media is owned by foreign interests who use the access to Russian readers to attack and discredit the Russian government. It is amazing that the Russian government allows Washington’s propaganda within its own ranks. Perhaps Moscow accepts Washington’s propaganda among Russians in order to protect the broadcasts in the US of RT, RIA, and Voice of Russia. But the balance is uneven. The Russian broadcasts in the West report otherwise unreported news; they do not defame America.
I did not see any reporting of Putin’s address in the US print and TV media. Clearly in the US there is an absence of public discussion of US foreign policy and foreign reaction to it. A country in which propaganda and silence rule out awareness and public discussion is not a democracy regardless of what it calls itself.
Washington long ago learned the dark art of silencing truth with defamation. Washington used defamation to overthrow Iran’s elected leader, Mossadegh in 1953, to overthrow Congo’s prime minister Patrice Lumumba in 1960, to overthrow Guatemala’s President Arbenz in 1954, to overthrow Venezuela’s President Hugo Chevez in 2002, a coup that was cancelled by the Venezuelan people and military who threw out Washington’s stooge replacement and reinstalled Chavez, to overthrow Ukraine’s elected President Yanukovych in 2013, to overthrow Honduras President Manuel Zelaya in 2009 , to overthrow in 2013 Mohamed Morsi, president of the first democratically elected government in Egypt’s history, to overthrow Gaddafi in Libya, Saddam Hussein in Iraq, in ongoing efforts to overthrow Assad in Syria and the government of Iran, and in failed attempts to overthrow Indonesia’s Sukarno, Ho Chi Minh in Vietnam, and Castro in Cuba.
Today Washington’s target is Vladimir Putin. This is the height of folly and hubris. Putin’s public support far exceeds that of any American president in history. Currently, the level of public support for the Obama regime and the US Congress is far too low to be compatible with a functioning democracy. If the US is actually a democracy, it is the most dysfunctional democracy in world history. Practically no one, except the powerful private interest groups who own Washington, supports the US government. Everyone else despises Washington.
As the result of 13 years of murderous destruction of life and property in the Middle East and Africa, a dysfunctional and collapsing US economy, and a display of unrivaled arrogance, Washington has destroyed America’s soft power. Abroad only the deluded few and those paid by US-financed NGOs still have a good opinion of the United States.
In all world polls, the US ranks as the greatest threat to world peace. Washington has made our country a despised nation, and we the people have done nothing about it.
You would never know this from the US print or TV media or even from most of the UK and Western European media. As I reported on October 16, Udo Ulfkotte, a former editor of one of Germany’s most important newspapers, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, has written a best-selling book in which he reports that the CIA owns everyone of significance in the major European media. In his own words Udo Ulfkotte says that he was “taught to lie, to betray and not to tell the truth to the public.”
As a former Wall Street Journal editor, Business Week columnist, columnist for the Scripps Howard News Service, columnist for a German magazine and French and Italian newspapers, I observed and experienced the gradual impoundment of any dissent from Washington’s line. It became clear that the path to journalism success in the West was to lie for the Establishment in Washington, largely a private establishment along with the dark off-budget “security” agencies bolstered by the neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony.
Much of Russian media and Putin’s advisors are fully aware of Washington’s media campaign to defame President Vladimir Putin. http://en.itar-tass.com/russia/756160 The internet site Russia Insider today asked the pertinent question: “Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin?” As Russia Insider makes clear, the answer is most certainly.
Click the URL above and view the front pages of the UK Sun, Daily Mirror, and Daily Express. I would bet that these are front pages designed in Washington or Langley and are in fact paid ads by the CIA or National Endowment for Democracy or by one of the Republican or Democrat organizations that sponsor Washington’s overseas propaganda.
Of course, these UK rags can be dismissed as sensational junk comparable to the US versions that are for sale at grocery store checkout counters–”movie star abducted by aliens in UFO.” So scroll down the page of the above URL and look at the covers of Newsweek and The Economist. Once these were respected publications. Today I would bet that no one reads them and that they are dependent on CIA subsidies for their existance. Nevertheless, they impact the European, Canadian, Australian, and Japanese media and no doubt the media of other countries on the borders of the US empire. These gullible fools still think that America has a free press.
Be sure to notice this section of the report from Russia Insider:
“The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.
“Here are some examples they point to:
Portraying him [Putin] as a scheming dictator trying to rebuild a repressive empire.
Claiming he personally ordered the murder of a number of journalists, and personally ordered a KGB defector to be murdered with radiation poisoning.
Frequently citing unsubstantiated rumors he is having an affair with a famous gymnast.
Allegations that he has stashed away billions for his personal benefit, without providing evidence.
Recent article in newsweek claiming he leads a luxurious and lazy lifestyle, sleeping late.
Recent article in NYT focusing on a supposed personal arrogance.
Hillary Clinton mentioning in speech after speech that he is a bad guy, a bully, that one must confront him forcefully.
Mis-quoting him on his regret about the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Articles about a supposed super-luxury villa built for him in southern Russia.
The over-the top headlines in the western media (they were worst of all in Germany) portraying him personally responsible for murdering the victims of MH17.
And soft stuff – magazine covers making him look sinister, monstrous, etc.”
If you are not already aware, I am pleased to introduce you to The Saker, a pseudonym for a high level US military analyst who lives in Florida. No, it is not me. Be sure to read Saker’s interview with Russia Insider which is at the bottom of the article:
Every day readers ask me what they as individuals can do. Some possibly are government trolls who hope I will answer “overthrow the government” so that I can be arrested as a terrorist. My answer to the question is that people are powerless until enough of them are informed. If people become informed and will take a stand, then the people can force the government back under their control. If this does not or cannot happen, democracy in America is dead, and our life as a free people protected by the Constitution and law against the power of the state is finished.
Possibly America is already finished and will now finish the rest of the world in its insane neoconservative drive to establish Washington’s hegemony over the entire world.
Russia and China are not going to submit to being Washington’s vassals and India had enough of being a colony under Great Britain. If the crazed hegemons in Washington persist, nuclear war will be the outcome.
How did Obama manage to botch U.S. foreign policy so stunningly? The promising speeches he gave in 2008 earned him the Nobel Peace Prize. But his inspiring words have since been buried in the rubble of Libya, Palestine, Iraq, and Syria. The region that once viewed Obama as a peace messiah now rejects him as a warmonger. And with every new foreign policy zigzag Obama only finds fresh “threats” while never managing to find the path to peace.
Obama would like peace in theory, but doing so requires he shake up his Middle East alliances. The U.S. stands pigeonholed in tightly-wound alliances with the most hated regimes in the world, sandwiched between the global pariah Israel and the brutal totalitarian dictatorship of Saudi Arabia. The other important U.S. ally is war-hungry expansionist Turkey, while the smaller U.S. allies are the remaining Gulf state monarchy dictatorships.
Allies like these make peace impossible. Obama recognizes that these friends restrict the ability of the U.S. to retain regional credibility. Consequently, there has been much speculation about a massive shift in U.S. alliances that hinges on peace with Iran, possibly supplemented by strengthening the alliance with Iraqi Kurds.
Americans and Iranians would celebrate a peace between nations, but this scenario now seems off the table. After “talking” peace with Iran for the first time in decades, Obama chose the warpath yet again.
This decision was finalized recently when the “ISIS deal” was struck between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, again cementing this ugly alliance. In exchange for Saudi Arabia attacking ISIS, the U.S. would commit to war against the Syrian government, which the Saudis want toppled to undermine their rival Iran. The Syrian rebels that Saudi Arabia agreed to train — with $500 million from U.S. taxpayers — will be used against the Syrian government, not to fight ISIS. The U.S. allies in the region understand the war against the Syrian government as a first step to war against Iran. Even if a nuclear deal is struck between the U.S. and Iran the path to war will have been set.
Economics is a key reason that U.S. allies want Iran destroyed. Iran stands as a competitor for markets and investment throughout the region, and the destruction of Syria and Iran would open up new markets for the vulture-like U.S. allies. The economic oil war between Saudi Arabia and Iran has recently heated up, with Saudi Arabia selling oil at extra low prices to put political pressure on Iran. This, coupled with the ongoing “economic war” that Obama is waging, has the potential to weaken Iran via internal chaos, softening it up to possible invasion if the Syrian government falls.
Iran’s military is another reason the U.S. wants regime change. There are U.S. military bases scattered around the Middle East, though none in Iran, which has a powerful regional military force that patrols the strategic Strait of Hormuz, jointly controlled by Iran and Oman. It’s intolerable for the U.S. and Saudi Arabia that one fifth of the world’s oil production must pass through this Iranian controlled area.
Iran’s regional power is bolstered by its political and religious connections throughout the Middle East. Not only does Shia Muslim Iran exert automatic authority over Shia majority Iraq, but also over Shia Hezbollah and Shia-led Syria. This region-wide dynamic is often referred to as the “Shia Crescent.” There also exist sizable oppressed Shia populations in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Yemen, and Turkey that act as intrinsic political thorns in the sides of these Sunni sectarian governments, giving Iran a powerful political base in each case.
For example, when Saudi Arabia recently announced a death sentence for a popular Shia cleric, Iran responded that there would be “consequences” if the sentence were carried out, thus re-enforcing Iran’s self-portrayed position as “defender of the Shia.”
In Yemen there already exists a strong Shia insurgency against the pro-U.S. Sunni government that is using al-Qaeda-linked fighters against the Shia; the results of the conflict will either empower Iran or weaken it.
These regional religious tensions have been exponentially deepened by the U.S.-led coalition against the Syrian government, which has relied on systematic Sunni Islamic sectarianism to attract jihadist fighters and a flood of Sunni Gulf state donations.
The Sunni fundamentalism in Syria — loosely based on the Saudi fundamentalist version of Islam — views Shia Muslims as heretics worthy of death. The executions of Shia in Syria have reverberated throughout the Middle East, acting as an implicit threat to Shia Iran while increasing tensions in the Shia populations of Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and beyond. The regional Shia backlash against the Sunni fundamentalists have strengthened Iran’s regional influence, one likely reason why Obama made the peace-killing deal with Saudi Arabia against ISIS and the Syrian government.
Saudi Arabia and Israel are adamant that the U.S. make no peace with Iran. Both sent strong messages after Obama’s 2013 last minute decision not to bomb the Syrian government, and his brief flirtation with Iran. Saudi Arabia went as far as refusing a seat on the UN Security Council. Israel protested the decision too, after it had lobbied heavily in the U.S. Congress through AIPAC to ensure the bombing took place.
The Kurdish Question
Turkey has long assisted the U.S. in attempting to topple the Syrian government, and has recently been insisting on a U.S. enforced “no-fly zone” in northern Syria, which would be directed against the Syrian government, since ISIS has no air force. Turkey has no good intentions in Syria, and has long wanted to grab easy oil-rich land for itself; which happens to be where the Kurdish population in Syria resides.
The call to enforce a no-fly zone to “protect the Kurds” on Turkey’s border, if achieved, will be similar to the no-fly zone in Libya — to create a “humanitarian corridor” — that was used instead to create a massive U.S.-led bombing campaign for regime change.
The Kurdish people face the same situation they’ve faced for hundreds of years: other nations have used the Kurds for their own self-interest. The Kurdish people want and deserve their own independent nation state, but they’ve been betrayed countless times in the past and the situation now seems no different. Promises are made and arms given to the “good” pro-U.S. Iraqi Kurds, while across the border in Turkey another faction of Kurds are labeled terrorists and repressed by the government.
Recently, the Kurdish Syrian town on the border of Turkey was invaded by ISIS and militarily defended by the “bad Kurds” of the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) an affiliate of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) who are based in Turkey. The Turkish military watched across the border as ISIS relentlessly attacked Kobani, while the Turks used military force to prevent Turkish Kurds from crossing the border into Syria to help defend the Kurdish city.
This reinforced perceptions that ISIS was, in part, a Turkish creation, since Turkey’s border has long been an uncontested point of entry for foreign jihadists to enter Syria. Turkey defended its actions by essentially equating the Kurdish PYD and PKK with ISIS, dismissing all of them as “terrorists.” In Turkey, Kurdish protests erupted against the government’s actions and inactions in Kobani, leaving 40 dead. Protests also occurred in other Kurdish regions including Iran.
Turkey ultimately proved that it fears the Kurds more than ISIS, and further proved that negotiations with its domestic Kurdish population will never result in an independent Kurdistan on any inch of Turkish territory. Turkey will likewise be violently opposed to any creation of an independent Kurdish state in Iraq or Syria, since it would empower the Turkish Kurds while preventing Turkey from grabbing the oil-rich regions for itself.
This dynamic acts as an impossible barrier for the Obama administration to “re-balance” its Middle East alliances by using the Kurds. No nation with a sizable Kurdish population — Iran, Turkey, Iraq, Syria — will buy in to a possible U.S. policy of Kurdish statehood, since they would lose the oil-rich territory that the Kurds live on.
Not only would the U.S. lose regional allies by advocating Kurdish independence, but if such a state were to emerge, it would be a weak nation, since the Kurds are already divided into various factions, and thus not strong enough for the U.S. to rely on to achieve regional objectives.
Consequently, Obama feels compelled to continue down the same war-torn path as his predecessors. But Obama’s perspective is colored by his assumption that the United States must remain the regional power in an area thousands of miles from its border, and that U.S. corporations should dominate the oil, banking, weapons selling, and other markets in the region.
The U.S. is long past the point where it can claim that its Middle East goals are “peace, stability, and democracy,” especially after invading and destroying Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, and now the dirty war against Syria. The oil, minerals, and other wealth that attracts the U.S. corporations that steer U.S. foreign policy prevent any real lasting peace to be achieved. The logic of corporate America is to crush the competitor by any means necessary.
Peace with Iran and Syria could be achieved if Obama told the world the truth about the above dynamics in the region, and treated Iran and Syria with the respect that an independent nation deserves, while working to curb the power of Israel and Saudi Arabia, who both depend on U.S. financial, military, and political support.
But instead Obama has dug in his heels and re-enforced alliances that demand the continuation of the Syrian war, and after that Iran. A war-shredded region remains on the bloody path to a potentially even wider war, while the billions of U.S. tax dollars funding this genocide will remain unusable for domestic projects like job creation and climate change reduction and preparedness. During this election season both Democrats and Republicans agree on continuing Middle East war.
Prime Minister Steven Harper and the Canadian federal government are using the shooting rampage on Parliament Hill as a justification for imposing surveillance and detainment measures that they were already implementing and going forward with.
On October 22, 2014 a solitary gunman named Michael Zehaf-Bibeau (originally Michael Joseph Hall) from the city of Laval, Quebec went on a shooting spree in downtown Ottawa, the capital of Canada.
Firstly, it was reported that there were shootings in the Rideau Centre which from the northern side of the Mackenzie King Bridge faces National Defence Headquarters (NDHQ), the nerve of Canada’s Department of National Defence (DND). This proved to be false or wrong. The gunman had killed a reservist guard in front of the National War Memorial and then made his way northward to Parliament Hill.
Secondly, it was reported that there were multiple gunmen. As a result all government employees were not allowed to enter or leave their respective buildings throughout the interprovincial National Capital Region, which includes the city of Gatineau. Although the police did the right thing in taking precautions to make sure that there were no other gunmen and declined to give explanations, the public was led to believe that there were multiple shooters. This justified the lockdown and suspension of mobility that took place for hours.
A lot of important questions also remain unanswered. NBC News reported on October 8, 2014 that US intelligence officials told it «that Canadian authorities have heard would-be terrorists discussing potential ISIS-inspired ‘knife and gun’ attacks» inside Canada. Canadian officials, however, dismissed the report. Did US intelligence know something that its Canadian counterparts did not know? Why the contradictions?
Another important question is the following: how could an armed gunman that had already started a rampage make his way into the Centre Bloc of the Canadian Parliament unchallenged? Anyone that has been to Parliament Hill knows that there is a relatively large armed presence on the whole area and, specifically, at the entranceway and doors which is comprised of Canada’s national police force (the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), the local municipal police (the Ottawa Police Services), and two special federal forces (the House of Commons Security Services and Senate Security).
Framing: Media Discourse and Government Policy Links
Also, if he was indeed in touch with terrorist groups, how was he communicating with them?
Complicating the picture is the case of Martin Couture-Rouleau. Couture-Rouleau is a French-Canadian who became a Muslim in 2013. He deliberately hit two Canadian soldiers with his car in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec on October 20, 2014. One of the soldiers would later die.
Couture-Rouleau would be chased by the police and then gunned down after his hit-and-run attack. Although the fatal hit-and-run murder in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu is a criminal act, it has been presented as terrorism and linked to Canada’s involvement in the fighting in the Middle East.
The two attacks respectively in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa have no connection whatsoever, but have been portrayed as part of some coordinated attack plan. The hit-and-run attacks have been added to the narrative of what happened on October 22 to construct the image of an all-out battle. This is part of what sociologists call a moral panic.
What exactly motivated the gunman in Ottawa? It appears that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was not part of some intricate plot against Canada by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). He had a criminal record and appeared to be psychologically deteriorating from increasing narcotics usage. He was troubled by hallucinations and heavy drugs, and became a Muslim relatively recently. According to information coming from people who knew him, it appears that he was upset with «the government» for not leaving him alone. This anger could be tied to the social workers and parole officers in his life and a suffocating feeling of being caught in a downward spiral.
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was staying at the Ottawa Mission, a homeless shelter, between two weeks and a month. Before he went on his rampage, he told other people at the homeless shelter to pray because the world was coming to an end. In this context, it is also important to ask: how a psychologically troubled man staying at the Ottawa Mission homeless shelter could get a weapon?
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, however, has been portrayed to varying degrees as an ISIL member, which is being used to support the narrative that Canadians are under immediate threat from the ISIL by societal actors that sociologists call «moral entrepreneurs». The goals of moral entrepreneurs is to change societal norms, values, laws, and regulations. In this case the moral entrepreneurs want to sell a security agenda.
Although the gunman that attacked Parliament Hill was a French-Canadian (who had adopted both the last name of his Arab-Canadian stepfather and his French-Canadian mother’s maiden name) that spent most of his life being a Roman Catholic Christian (starting off as a devout Christian and then falling out of practice over the years), he has been portrayed or framed differently. From the start there was a tacit drive to give him an Arab and Muslim persona. Even when his identity was discovered, his Arab-Canadian stepfather was portrayed as his biological father. The adoption of his stepfather’s Arabic last name was tacitly presented as a marker of his Muslim identity, even though he was a Christian when he adopted the Arabic last name alongside his mother’s maiden name due to legal reasons.
Very telling was how the media initially described Zehaf-Bibeau. He was referred to as a «Canadian-born man.» This is very deceptive language and discourse that needs to be critically analyzed. When someone is called «Canadian-born» it means that they are not really Canadian, but are merely born in Canada. Referring to a Canadian citizen in these terms conceptually strips them of their Canadian identity and otherizes them as a foreigner that does not belong to the collective.
The Media Reaction
Many Canadians are proud of their media’s reaction and have contrasted it to the sensationalism of US media. Although the media in Canada was much calmer than how the US media would have reacted under similar circumstances if the same incident took place in the United States, it was still emotionally charging the atmosphere with a sense of siege on Ottawa. Headlines and news broadcasts included titles like «Ottawa under attack.» Ottawans were liberally afraid that the ISIL was attacking Canada’s shores.
Speculation about a Middle East connection kept being raised throughout the day. By the time that Prime Minister Harper spoke in the evening, it was clear that he wanted to link the events in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa to the Middle East and the terrorism panic to justify his national security agenda. When Harper said that Canada would not be intimidated, it was hollow posturing against an enemy being constructed in the imagination of Canadians.
The media coverage, the massive lockdown in Ottawa’s downtown core, and the national measures taken by the federal government created an atmosphere of panic in Ottawa and across Canada. Under this type of atmosphere, people can act unpredictability or abnormally and they are willing to make concessions to the government that they would not normally agree with making. In other words, when societies are gripped by fear many of their members are willing to forfeit their civil liberties and let them be stripped by the authorities.
The New Normal and the Striping of Civil Liberties
When the Rideau Centre was stormed by three armed robbers in 2003 and half the local police force’s fleet was sent after two of them who had escaped, the same panic did not exist nor did the media give it as much urgency or attention. Arguably the danger to safety was much greater then, even though an important national institution was not being attacked.
Legally speaking, Martin Couture-Rouleau and Michael Zehaf-Bibeau are murderers. Instead of treating them as criminals, the politicized and psychologically-charged terms of «terrorism» and «terrorist» are being applied. All the laws to deal with these criminals are in place in Canada, but new legislation is instead being made that also has the potential to be used against legitimate dissenters who oppose government policy.
Moreover, the police are being militarized under the new security paradigm of fighting terrorism. The day after the attack on Parliament Hill, on October 23, the severity of the police reaction to a homeless man crossing a yellow police line is testimony to the change in security habitus and tensions among the police in Ottawa. The measures that the Harper Government wants to normalize also include control and censorship over the internet, the unconstitutional and illegal act of taking citizenship away, and removing the mobility rights granted by the Canadian Charter of Right and Freedoms. The last measure has already begun with the confiscation of passports.
All Canadians have the right to leave and enter Canada freely, unless they have committed a crime. The government wants to have the legal authority to confiscate passports on mere suspicion without evidence. In the case of Martin Couture-Rouleau, he was detained and had his passport taken away when he wanted to go to Turkey in June or July 2014. The police could not arrest him and had to let him go, because of his views. «We could not arrest someone for having radical thoughts. It’s not a crime in Canada,» RCMP Superintendent Martine Fontaine explained in an October 21, 2014 press conference.
The position of the RCMP says a lot about where the Harper Government wants to go with its new security paradigm. It wants the ability to arrest people for their views.
Even more dangerous is the flirtation with the idea of revoking citizenship. Already unconstitutional precedents are being set for removing it among the so-called Western coalition of countries that consistently pay lip service to democracy and then stand shoulder to shoulder with dictatorships like Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Jordan, and Qatar. For example, the British Parliament took steps to remove British-born Asma Al-Assad’s British citizenship in 2012 simply on the account of the fact that she was Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad’s wife.
The Canadian legal system does not treat everyone equally and all people are not equal in the court system. Non-citizens are disadvantaged compared to Canadian citizens. In this context, the threat of stripping citizenship away is being viewed instrumentally as a way of circumventing the domestic laws and rights protecting citizens. Without these rights the government can indefinitely detain someone without charge, put them on trial in special security courts where they will not even be told what the evidence against them is, and be prevented from accessing a lawyer. This has been the case of some non-citizens living inside Canada that have been held on security certificates for years.
The idea of taking citizenship away is also a political issue being used to politically cater to segments of different societies in various countries that have xenophobic views and dislike certain strata in their societies for various reasons.
Ignoring the Roots of the Problem
There is an old saying that society gets all the criminals it deserves. What is meant by this is that many criminals arise out of a structural problem in society.
It is no coincidence that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau once asked to be detained to fight his cocaine and crack addiction. Both attackers in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Ottawa were drug users and had psychological problems that needed to be helped. In the case of the gunman in Ottawa, he tried reaching out for help and felt a toxic feeling of hopelessness and not belonging.
Instead of looking overseas or blaming outside forces, Canada needs to look inside. The roots of the problem include the declining social services of Canada that have progressively faced government cutbacks and austerity measures. By blaming the ISIL and the internet the government is also refusing to acknowledge this failure and the marginalization of many members of Canadian society that are not getting the help they need.
The Slippery Slope and the Harper Government’s Dirty Hands
There is a call for Canadians to be vigilant against an inflated terrorist threat from the ISIL. This is why Prime Minister Steven Harper and his government are doing their best to portray the events in Canada as an extension of the front in the Middle East. Redefining criminals as terrorists is helping reinforce this perception. Canadians and the citizens of other countries, however, should be vigilant over their rights and freedoms that took centuries of struggle to obtain.
Changing the criterion for the granting of citizenship is a whole different topic, but its removal is a dangerous and slippery slope. Although the claims are that these type of measures are for the greater good or public safety, the historic record has shown that the suspension of civil liberties has been used for ulterior motives.
As a final note, the same people inflating fears of terrorism in Canada have also supported it overseas. It should never be forgotten that Prime Minister Steven Harper and his cabinet supported the «terrorists» they now claim to oppose. The Harper Government tacitly encouraged Canadians to go fight in places like Libya and Syria for the sake of assisting Washington’s foreign policy of regime change. Canada even armed the militants linked to Al-Qaeda in Libya with drones and weapons in 2011 and allowed private security firms (mercenaries) to assist them. This should not be overlooked when people question how such a state of affairs has arisen.
Important details have emerged that strengthen the case against the Harper Government as intellectually dishonest opportunists.
(1) The Toronto Star originally reported on October 20, 2014 that multiple witnesses confirmed that Martin Couture-Rouleau’s hands were in the air in surrender when he was shot. Here is a passage from the article:
«Witnesses who spoke with the TVA network Monday afternoon said they saw a man emerge from the flipped vehicle that was lying in a ditch on the side of the road. The man had his hands in the air and was walking toward police when at least one officer opened fire on the suspect. The witnesses said they heard up to seven gunshots.»
Later the article would redact this and be re-edited.
(2) A Canadian investigative journalism webpage (FreeThePressCanada.org), noticed that before the scene was secured in Ottawa at 10:54 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT) that the US news network CBS reported the following:
«The gunmen has been identified by U.S. officials to CBS News as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian national born in 1982.»
This was many hours before Canadians were even told the gunman’s identity or that he was alone. The CBS article would even be edited to remove Zehaf-Bibeau’s name or any mention that the US government was aware of it. Although security can be cited for this, it can also be looked at politically as part of a means of keeping the public in suspense and allowing a state of shock to reverberate across Canada so that the Harper Government can justify its foreign policy and security initiatives.
A terrible tragedy befell the nation’s capital yesterday, when a shooter opened fire at government sites in Ottawa. A full investigation must begin to assemble the details, as the flames of hysteria are fanned in the public consciousness. The words “terror” and “terrorism” have been tossed around so casually, that nowadays any hardened criminal would classify as a terrorist according to the Harper Government and mainstream news sources. For that matter, political activists who take issue with the government’s policies at home and abroad are referenced in the same manner.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, social media is rife with suspicion that this horrendous event may represent a false flag operation, to assist the government’s dismantling of civil liberty and human rights in the name of war, profit, political posturing and public control.
That’s not to say this wasn’t an act of terrorism. Maybe it was, but surely it’s too early to reach a conclusion when the names of suspects hadn’t been released to hypothesize a motive. Or had they?
At 10:13am EDT, The Globe and Mail‘s Josh Wingrove reported that tactical officers were pointing guns at every parliamentary journalist on site. (Post since removed from Twitter.)
Ottawa police tactical officers are here and very kindly pointed their guns at every reporter, ordering hands in the air and us to ground
While Canadian news personalities were at police gunpoint, American outlets like CBS News and the Associated Press had a full story to sell, complete with the dead shooter’s name.
Before the scene was secure at 10:54am EDT, a joint release was published to identify the culprit. It stated,
“The gunmen has been identified by U.S. officials to CBS News as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian national born in 1982.”
By 4:58pm EDT, the story was edited to remove the shooter’s name, or any mention of the U.S. government’s knowledge.
The only problem is no one could update the Google database quick enough with these changes, so the original information still appeared with general search results.
The story was altered again in the evening, when the Canadian government allowed the name of a shooter to be released and American media added law enforcement to their list of official sources. They also added a middle name, Abdul, to emphasize the suspect’s Islamic ties with an accusation of terrorism.
As members of parliament begin to piece this tragedy together, they’re advised to inquire how American intelligence knew the name of a ‘possible terrorist’ as the mayhem was still unfolding. How did Americans know when Canadians didn’t, and how was this information so widespread that American media and Google had access to distribute, but domestic reporters on the scene did not.
Canadian parliamentary bureau chiefs didn’t posses the same information as their U.S. counterparts and faced the barrel of police guns as a press narrative was provided on their behalf by another country. If this is dubbed an act of terrorism that American sources had knowledge about to pre-report, then why weren’t steps taken to prevent the violence?
Many have questioned how a gunman could enter parliament with a rifle unnoticed, in spite of the massive security and busy lineups. Some are calling for greater state police control and warmed to relinquishing their Charter rights, in an effort to fight the new war on domestic terrorism. Something has to justify police militarization since the War on Drugs has been transformed into a lucrative product of capitalism.
The Liberal Party of Canada campaigned against the Harper Government’s ‘politics of fear’, but when they tasted the fear for real this time, the opponents relented and threw their support behind the Prime Minister. The party press release was carefully worded and commendable under the circumstances, but it does resort to the word “terrorize” and submits to the government’s long term agenda.
All Canadians who pay attention to the news are acutely aware of a creeping police state and the loss of privacy rights in the tradeoff. In fact, one Liberal MP, Joyce Murray, proposed Bill C-622 to gain oversight of CSIS and CSEC, so Canadian law enforcement can’t overstep its bounds to the degree that’s been revealed through Snowden leaks.
The journalist who brought these Snowden leaks to light is in town to promote his new book about the overreaching powers of a surveillance state. Glenn Greenwald will be speaking just a few blocks from Parliament Hill, in the same neighbourhood that’s under lockdown. It’s purely coincidental that he wrote a scathing piece about the Canadian government and co-dependent media’s abuse of the word “terrorism” a day earlier.
Meanwhile, the NDP noticed a different terrorism anomaly regarding the violence in Quebec on the day before as well. The Prime Minister’s Office was accused of planting a foreboding comment in Question Period, that preempted police reports of a “possible terror attack against soldiers”.
Public Safety Minster Steve Blaney reported the Monday event was “clearly linked to terrorist ideology”, but the Toronto Star reported multiple witnesses saw the suspect with his hands in the air, when at least one police officer opened fire. They also say a knife was “lodged into the ground near where the incident occurred”.
Forsaking journalism ethics, the Toronto Star surprised industry watchers by editing this story without providing a notice to reflect the consequential changes. Now the article claims the suspect was an Islamic radical, who emerged from the vehicle with a knife in his hands. There is no mention of any witnesses who saw his hands in the air and the knife was no longer lodged in the ground. All information from witnesses was removed without explanation, or apology for reporting incorrectly at the onset if indeed the witnesses were mistaken. The French press at TVA still values the eye witness accounts, but no English speaking media reflects these reports from the scene.
This TorStar article was more than edited and qualifies as being replaced entirely, having lost its tone, facts and spirit from the original published version. It was radically changed to support the government’s narrative and censored independent sources that previously appeared, replacing them with quotes from the Harper administration that focus on the suspect’s motive for Islamic terrorism.
If it wasn’t for smaller newspapers syndicating the Toronto Star‘s original content, there would be no proof of the first comprehensive version. Professional journalists don’t normally condone editors changing the spirit of their work without a disclaimer, especially when five reporters collaborated to produce the same entry. The history created by print newspapers also couldn’t be erased with the click of a button, before the media migrated to internet based reporting that appears to lack mechanisms of accountability.
These two examples oppose each other due to the disparity between facts and there is no footnote to reflect this glaring incongruency. The Toronto Star has been a leader in journalism ethics and wouldn’t alter published pieces to discredit their own reporting without a reason being provided. That is, until they and a bevy of established journalists who remained silent, had a taste of the politics of fear.
It remains to be seen if the New Democratic Party will throw its support behind the Harper Government, as Mulcair deliberates about a public statement that is yet to be released. NDP caucus members who were barricaded in an office describe a loss of safety and feelings of fear though.
Any reasonable person should be afraid when gunshots are flying from hostile individuals, but will the politics of fear be allowed to dictate a terrorism narrative in place of the facts? The Opposition’s privacy and ethics critic, MP Charlie Angus, also describes gunshots around 10am EDT, while American media had solved the event by 10:54am EDT and members of parliament were still being detained without access to the same information.
If the U.S government could assess a terrorist attack on Canadian soil before the Canadian government was aware, then why was it not prevented? On the same token, if the Canadian government was in the middle of mayhem, then how did Americans obtain information that wasn’t available to affected bureaucrats from their own intelligence and law enforcement agencies? What powers does America have over Canada that Canada doesn’t have itself? If a shooting on government property can be solved before it’s even finished, then why wasn’t CSIS, CSEC, DHS and the NSA capable of early intervention? After all, the Wednesday shooter was already placed on the government’s watch list.
The timing is incredible and may very well be motivated by the war against ISIS/ISIL. Canada shed its peacekeeping status for more aggressive combat that generates profits for the Canada Pension Plan and Nigel Wright, with the potential to invite ideological backlash. This is not disputed. An unbiased investigation is required, but the public should be patient for confirmed, judicial facts; bearing in mind political motives, various narratives and the race to sell fear.
Due to terrorism accusations made by the Harper Government that took up most of the day, no mainstream news reported the bill’s passage later in the same day. CBC was the only major outlet to mention the bill on Monday, but they neglected to note the House of Commons vote or passage of this legislation at any point in the story. They presented the information as incremental progress while failing to report its successful, parliamentary completion.
This too presents a problem with ethical journalism, but CBC has seen its fair share of challenges since the Harper Government appointed ten Conservative donors to the board of directors, with influence over the public broadcaster’s direction.
Regardless, the only mention of Bill C-13 passing arises from a Saanich News editorial. The smaller publication urges everyone to be vigilant as this legislation completes the last step of approval (ascent) with senate, that is dominated by a Conservative majority.
Surprisingly, the senate passed a first reading of Bill C-13 the very next day. It accomplished that hurdle expediently on Tuesday, but this wasn’t reported by any source whatsoever. Senators then scheduled a second reading in two days’ time, on Thursday, October 23, 2014. The only lapse in this process was the Wednesday parliamentary shooting.
By today Bill C-13 may see the quickest passage through any bureaucracy in the democratic world, without the public or media noticing and while legislators are reeling from the ominous smell of gun smoke. Neither the parliamentary reporters who stared down the barrel of a police gun on Tuesday, nor the members of parliament who were barricaded, would be rested very well.
Plus there’s an RCMP press conference about the Wednesday shooting that will surely distract attention from the new law. In the days ahead, it’s likely they’ll tout Bill C-13 as a way to catch terrorists, also under the guise of cyberbulling and even though being watch listed with preexisting surveillance powers didn’t prevent Michael Zehaf-Bibeau from taking action.
This brings us to what’s at stake. The taboo nobody wants to evaluate. The decision senators will have to make while recovering from a psychologically traumatic breach of personal security.
We’re talking about public data surveillance, or what closely resembles stalking.
There are plenty of ambiguous words used to describe big data monitoring, but few understand what it means or how deeply it’s abused behind the sealed doors at CSEC. Warrantless internet surveillance has the potential to track a target’s GPS movements with updating by the minute. It can penetrate the entire chain of communication between an individual and their contacts, including strangers who make reference to the target by any degree of separation across the world wide web. The technology has predictive behaviour capabilities. Every citizen caught in this widespread dragnet is psychologically assessed through language semantics and assigned a persuasion, to determine if any of them presents a public relations issue, or if the original target has too much influence to garner support for their business, political and/or social beliefs.
Five Eyes governments have established media surveillance programs specifically. They surveil news topics and journalists, to monitor the reporter’s effect on public perception. When anyone posts a news link on any form of social media, all comments are collected and ranked for government and law enforcement dissemination. Canada spent $20 million and hired 3,300 staff to spy on journalists and political opponents since 2012. The European Commission and United States does the same, in this vacuum of nonexistent legislation to protect the public’s privacy in the modern age. Instead of updating constitutional rights to reflect modern technology, they’ve crafted legislation like Bill C-13 that revokes those rights entirely.
This goes beyond the confines of metadata and only the Privacy Commissioner of Ontario has taken up the cause, likely to the chagrin of political parties that have begun to use similar technology against their opponents during elections. Whatever good this intrusive spying could accomplish is outweighed by the bad. Michael Sona only possessed a list of phone numbers and intentions, let alone mapping of the entire public’s thoughts and updates on the location of political foes by the minute.
If anyone physically tailed a political candidate, volunteer or supporter every minute of the day and night, or attempted to record every one of their exchanges, it would be considered criminal harassment. If that person also tailed every contact who spoke about their target and psychologically assessed them to create charts, it would surpass Hollywood’s fascination with the complex plotting of serial offenders.
But this isn’t fiction and warrantless internet surveillance can be used to harm a civilian, based on their political beliefs. In the United States it’s already used to surveil judges in addition to journalists, adding a difficult challenge to the essence and appearance of democracy. The dialogue is strictly controlled to conceal these uses and they’re couched in the terrorist argument, to discourage the public from searching deeper.
The Harper Government was first to import these tactics to Canada. Then the Liberals and NDP followed suit, claiming they’d be at a disadvantage for electoral purposes. As the public was being shocked into the idea of domestic terrorism, Bill C-13 passed without discussion to transform Canada into a surveillance state that permits this behaviour outright.
Residents have been told if they don’t break the law there is nothing to fear. This subverts any purpose for the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms and replaces that document with a Trust Me clause from the government. It replaces the core legal relationship between citizens and law enforcement with unrestrained power and no need for oversight to justify its use. It imperils evidentiary laws that are designed to protect the innocent.
To hear what this technology and warrantless surveillance can do to ordinary families when abused, a comprehensive interview with an affected Canadian journalist can be heard at the season premier of The View Up Here. This clip begins at 3:15 (to avoid some technical issues) and surprising revelations develop as the process and ramifications of surveillance are explained by example. The interview further details government censorship of the press in North America, with international consequences. It’s two hours long and worth the investment if the public wishes to retain its right to have beliefs or join like-minded groups with one another.
Beyond the dry language of legislation, this is how the words of Bill C-13 can be utilized by an aggressive government, law enforcement and the Five Eyes intelligence community. Suggested reading provides the history and development of technology and related policies in Canada, the United States and Europe. It was becoming law in Canada when the airwaves were filled with terrorism accusations and the government expected no one to notice. It also relates to media surveillance that could explain a few altered stories, removed posts and political misunderstanding within the party apparatus itself.
The Washington neo-cons and their allies in the US State Department and Obama Administration are clearly furious with China, as they are with Russia’s Vladimir Putin. As both Russia and China in recent years have become more assertive about defining their national interests, and as both Eurasian powers draw into a closer cooperation on all strategic levels, Washington has decided to unleash havoc against Beijing, as it has unleashed the Ukraine dis-order against Russia and Russian links to the EU. The flurry of recent deals binding Beijing and Moscow more closely—the $400 billion gas pipeline, the BRICS infrastructure bank, trade in rubles and renminbi by-passing the US dollar—has triggered Washington’s response. It’s called the Hong Kong ‘Umbrella Revolution’ in the popular media.
In this era of industrial globalization and out-sourcing of US industry to cheap-labor countries, especially to China, it’s worth taking note of one thing the USA—or more precisely Washington DC and Langley, Virginia—are producing and exporting to China’s Hong Kong. Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has been targeted for a color revolution, one that has been dubbed in the media the Umbrella Revolution for the umbrellas that protesters use to block police tear gas.
The “umbrellas” for Hong Kong’s ongoing Umbrella Revolution are made in Washington. Proof of that lies not only in the obscenely-rapid White House open support of Occupy Central just hours after it began, following the same model they used inUkraine. The US State Department and NGOs it finances have been quietly preparing these protests for years. Consider just the tip of the Washington Hong Kong “democracy” project.
Same dirty old cast of characters…
With almost by-now-boring monotony, Washington has unleashed another of its infamous Color Revolutions. US Government-steered NGOs and US-trained operatives are running the entire Hong Kong “Occupy Central” protests, ostensibly in protest of the rules Beijing has announced for Hong Kong’s 2017 elections. The Occupy Central Hong Kong protest movement is being nominally led by a 17-year-old student, Joshua Wong, who resembles a Hong Kong version of Harry Potter, a kid who was only just born the year Britain reluctantly ended its 99-year colonial occupation, ceding the city-state back to the Peoples’ Republic. Wong is accompanied in Occupy Central by a University of Minnesota-educated hedge fund money man for the protests, Edward Chin; by a Yale University-educated sociologist, Chan Kin-man; by a Baptist minister who is a veteran of the CIAs 1989 Tiananmen Square destabilization, Chu Yiu-ming; and by a Hong Kong University law professor, Benny Tai Yiu-ting, or Benny Tai.
Behind these Hong Kong faces, the US State Department and its favorite NGO, the US Congress-financed National Endowment for Democracy (NED), via its daughter, the National Democratic Institute (NDI), is running the Occupy Central operation. Let’s look behind the nice façade of peaceful non-violent protest for democracy and we find a very undemocratic covert Washington agenda.
Start with Chu Yiu-ming, the Baptist minister chosen to head Occupy Central. The most reverend Chu Yiu-ming is a founder and sits on the executive committee of a Hong Kong NGO– Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor (HKHRM). HKHRM as they openly admit on their website, is mainly financed by the US State Department via its neo-conservative Color Revolution NGO called National Endowment for Democracy (NED).
They state their purpose: “HKHRM briefs the press, the United Nations, local and overseas governments and legislative bodies on Hong Kong human rights issues both orally and through written reports.” In their 2013 Annual Report, the NED reports giving Rev. Chu Yiu-ming’s HK Human Rights Monitor a grant of US$ 145,000. You can buy a boatload of umbrellas for that. Chu’s HKHRM also works with another NED-financed creation, the Alliance for Reform and Democracy in Asia (ARDA).
When Occupy Central top honchos decided to (undemocratically) name the very reverend Chu as leader of Occupy Central this past January, 2014, Chu said it was because “I have more connections with different activist groups, and experience in large-scale social campaigns.” He could have named NED as activist group and the CIA’s 1989 Tiananmen Square as a ‘large-scale social campaign,’ to be more specific. The Baptist preacher admitted that he was named de facto leader of Occupy Central by two other leading organizers of the civil disobedience movement, Benny Tai Yiu-ting and Dr Chan Kin-man, who wanted him “to take up” the role.
Benny Tai is also familiar with the US State Department. Tai, law professor at the University of Hong Kong and co-founder of Hong Kong Occupy Central, works with the Hong Kong University Centre for Comparative and Public Law which receives grants from the NED subsidiary, National Democratic Institute for projects like Design Democracy Hong Kong. The Centre Annual Report states, “With funding assistance from the National Democratic Institute, the Design Democracy Hong Kong website was built to promote a lawful and constructive bottom-up approach to constitutional and political reform in Hong Kong.” On its own website, NDI describes its years-long Hong Kong law project, the legal backdrop to the Occupy demands which essentially would open the door for a US-picked government in Hong Kong just as Victoria Nuland hand-picked a US-loyal coup regime in Ukraine in February 2014. The NDI boasts,
The Centre for Comparative and Public Law (CCPL) at the University of Hong Kong, with support from NDI, is working to amplify citizens’ voices in that consultation process by creating Design Democracy Hong Kong (www.designdemocracy.hk), a unique and neutral website that gives citizens a place to discuss the future of Hong Kong’s electoral system.
The Hong Kong wunderkind of the Color Revolution Washington destabilization, 17-year-old student, Joshua Wong, founded a Facebook site called Scholarism when he was 15 with support from Washington’s neo-conservative National Endowment for Democracy via its left branch, National Democratic Institute and NDI’s NDItech project. And another Occupy Central leading figure, Audrey Eu Yuet recently met with Vice President Joe Biden. Hmmmm.
Cardinal Zen and cardinal sin…
Less visible in the mainstream media but identified as one of the key organizers of Occupy Central is Hong Kong’s Catholic Church Cardinal Bishop Emeritus, Joseph Zen. Cardinal Zen according to the Hong Kong Morning Post, is playing a key role in the US-financed protests against Beijing’s authority. Cardinal Zen also happens to be the primary Vatican adviser on China policy. Is the first Jesuit Pope in history, Pope Francis, making a US-financed retry at the mission of Society of Jesus founder (and, incidentally, the Pope’s real namesake) Francis Xavier, to subvert and take over the Peoples’ Republic of China, using Hong Kong as the Achilles Heel?
Vice President Joe Biden, whose own hands are soaked with the blood of thousands of eastern Ukraine victims of the neo-nazi civil war; Cardinal Zen; Reverend Chu; Joshua Wong; Benny Tai and the neo-conservative NED and its NDI and a bevy of other State Department assets and NGO’s too numerous to name here, have ignited a full-blown Color Revolution, the Umbrella Revolution. The timing of the action, a full two years before the Hong Kong 2017 elections, suggests that some people in Washington and elsewhere in the west were getting jumpy.
The growing Eurasian economic space of China in conjunction with Putin’s Russia and their guiding role in creating a peaceful and very effective counter-pole to Washington’s New World (dis-)Order, acting through organizations such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the BRICS, is the real target of their dis-order. That is really quite stupid of them, but then, they are fundamentally stupid people who despise intelligence.
F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”
Image: National Jordanian and Israeli flags are seen on the Naharayim bridge on the border between Israel and Jordan north-eastern Israel October 22, 2014. Source: Reuters
Vitaly Churkin, Russia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations has announced that Russia will back a resolution calling for a Palestinian state, if one is presented. “Russia will support the resolution establishing the terms for Israeli withdrawal and the creation of the Palestinian state if it is presented to the UN Security Council,” Churkin said. “If the resolution is presented, we will vote for it.”
His comments come after Palestine’s delegation to the UN decided not to present a resolution on statehood to the UN Security Council on Oct. 21, as was expected. The expected resolution was believed to lay out concrete terms for the creation of a Palestinian state and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, by 2016.
Churkin’s promise to support Palestine did not come as a surprise. Russia has long supported the idea of creating an independent Palestinian state, and Russian diplomats have often expressed this position publicly. At a meeting in Cairo this month on rebuilding in the Gaza Strip, Mikhail Bogdanov, the Russian President’s Special Representative for the Middle East, said: “We believe that the Palestinian cause is just, and that the Palestinian people have the right to self-determination, to create their own state.”
Russia’s support for Palestine raises questions of the country’s relationship with Israel. Russian speakers make up one-fifth of Israel’s population and Israel not only declined to support the West’s economic sanctions against Russia, but also intends to increase its supplies of agricultural products to Russia.
Russian experts agree that Russia takes little risk in supporting a resolution for Palestinian statehood because the chances of Palestinian statehood becoming a reality are slim.
“Israel understands that Russia supports Palestine. Almost the entire world supports Palestine, so what?” said Georgy Mirsky, a research fellow at the Institute of World Economics and International Relations at the Russian Academy of Sciences.
“It is all a game, because the real situation in Palestine, the one on the ground and not in the UN corridors, does not change. Israel will not permit the creation of a full-fledged Palestinian state for many reasons, among which are the problem with the status of East Jerusalem, the issue of the settlements, the problem of Israeli troops of the border with Jordan and the millions of refugees who are ready to pour into Palestinian territories.”
Churkin also believes that the resolution, should it be introduced, has little chance of being passed. “The chances of the resolution being adopted are slim, since such a resolution will most likely be vetoed by the United States,” Churkin said in an interview with Russian news agency RIA Novosti.
Grigory Kosach, a professor of history at the Russian State University of the Humanities Institute, thinks that Russia’s willingness to support the Palestinian resolution is a step in the right direction, since Russia has not always been able to successfully maintain a balance in its relations with Palestine and Israel:
“Russia indeed has excellent relations with Israel and if we look at how Russia’s position on the creation of the Palestinian state has varied throughout the years, we will see that sometimes economic gains from cooperation with Israel prevailed over the political advantages in supporting Palestine. Of course it’s good that now Russia is supporting the initiative to create a Palestine state, but how realistic is this project?”
In his opinion, the recent statements of support for Palestine by Russian officials are intended to irritate the U.S. “In many ways this move aims to annoy the US and also, by supporting Palestine, Russia strengthens its political standings in the Arab countries.”
Image: The Carl Vinson Carrier Strike Group is currently deployed to the area supporting maritime security operations, strike operations in Iraq and Syria as directed, and theater security cooperation efforts in the 5th Fleet AOR. (Photo: AFP/ HANDOUT / US NAVY / MC2 Scott Fenaroli)
The Iraqi people and their political leadership were optimistic when the United States first announced its intention to form an international military coalition to assist Iraq in its war against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). At the time, everyone assumed that a solution was close and that Western jet fighters will wipe out ISIS. They all believed that the Obama administration will be Iraq’s savior from terrorism.
Since the beginning of the military campaign on August 7, the coalition’s warplanes have not launched any significant strikes on the Iraqi territories that changed the course of the war against ISIS or blocked the supply road linking militants in Syria’s Raqqa to those in Iraq’s Mosul.
According to Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby, the coalition costs Iraq over $6.7 million a day, but it has yet to find an opening that would enable Iraqi ground forces to recapture regions under ISIS control.
Further proving the inefficacy of the airstrikes, ISIS recently mobilized 2,000 militants in the city of Mosul in northern Iraq. They boarded hundreds of cars and brandished their guns as they held military parades, even though coalition planes were carrying out daily raids on the north. The planes have seemingly missed the large crowds.
From August 8 to September 2, the sorties of coalition planes have cost the Iraqi government $260 million, representing the first payment of the total cost of the aerial campaign on Iraq and Syria so far, estimated at $424 million. The remainder is to be settled in the coming period. It is worth noting that the use of one F-16 jet for an hour costs about $24,000.
However, making these payments contradicts with the declarations of Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari who affirmed in the past that “Iraq will not pay anything to the international coalition for its military campaign in Iraq,” adding that “the participating countries will will be responsible for these costs.” This suggests that the Iraqi government was not aware of the details of the coalition’s agreement signed in New York.
Ali al-Saray, a journalist keeping track of the coalition’s strikes said
“the international air campaign only postponed ISIS’ advancement, and with time they started to realize how hard it would be to settle the matter after the militants changed their techniques and hid among civilians, then somewhat stopped their public parades.”
Speaking to Al-Akhbar, Saray indicated that
“Iraq, its allies in the region and in the world, and the parties that want to get rid of ISIS are realizing the need to consider new strategies in the fight against the group. This is why everyone has started to talk about a Sunni ‘spearhead’ fighting an organization mostly supported by Sunnis.”
“The [anti-ISIS coalition’s] air force will never be able to end the war on its own, it can never win it, and it may go on for many years,” Saray added, calling to “come up with a new strategy which would require some forces on the ground, especially a Sunni force that has to take the decision to oust ISIS.”
Political analyst Walid al-Sheikh told Al-Akhbar that “with ISIS’ expansion in different regions, the aerial aspirations of the international coalition have not risen to the expectations.”
“ISIS’ structure was not shaken despite the claims by the US military command about the importance of these airstrike” Sheikh said, further explaining that “the latter (the US command) may be using this as a strategy to mount pressure on [Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar] al-Abadi so he approves a ground incursion as a fait accompli due to the decline of the Iraqi military.”
Western media, which reported on the international coalition with great fanfare, has remained quiet about the results of the coalition’s strikes that were not even revealed by the Iraqi military forces. Meanwhile, the Obama administration and Pentagon officials only talk about the financial costs.
As a matter of fact, officials in Washington have admitted that the airstrikes have only accomplished 10 percent of the set plan, suggesting that there is a long term strategy which will take at least one year, as was previously announced by President Barack Obama. At the time, Obama’s declarations contradicted former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s assertion that ISIS will be crushed within a short period of time.
Ever since the onset of the aerial campaign, coalition aircrafts have focused on the border region between Mosul under ISIS control and Iraq’s Kurdistan in the north, raising suspicions that the West is actually worried about its own interests and is not fighting terrorism, especially since some threatening rallies have emerged near Baghdad, but the West has so far refrained from targeting them.
A source knowledgeable about the meetings held by US advisers in Baghdad revealed to Al-Akhbar that “ the coalition made some errors during airstrikes which led to the destruction of weapons and other equipment destined to the Peshmerga and union forces, costing about $5 million.”
Pro-government paramilitary groups also announced that coalition planes had targeted them by mistake.
The UK government’s highly unpopular ‘pilot’ badger culls have just come to the end of the second year of a four-year programme. Even without the independent oversight, monitoring and auditing by an Independent Expert Panel (IEP), discarded by the government after last year’s slating by the IEP, the culling has been as much of a failure as last year, despite the National Farmers Union (NFU) hailing it as a ‘success’.
But the NFU has been steering this policy of slaughtering our badgers for years. Ever since the first bovine TB-infected badger was found in 1971, to the surprise of animal scientists, farmers who dislike the controls and testing of cattle that can reduce the incidence of bTB have had something other than farming practices to blame.
Strict testing and bio-security controls had almost eradicated bTB by the late 1960s, and complacency set in. The very actions that had brought the disease under control were dropped. Once badgers came into the picture farmers started to cull them. To their annoyance in 1973 the badger was given some, but not enough, protected status. Even so, in 1975 ‘strategic culling operations’ were being carried out by gassing. This was banned in 1980 but the killing went on. Unfortunately, so did the rise in TB.
The NFU, for commercial reasons, doesn’t like vaccination as a method of tackling serious disease in farm animals. It blocked the vaccination against foot and mouth disease in the disastrous 2001 outbreak. MP Eric Martlew, speaking in the parliamentary debate on FMD in April 2001, said “I believe that no matter what the Government say, they will not persuade the NFU to accept vaccination.”
Big farmers can’t successfully export vaccinated cattle. It would have cost them over £250 million a year in lost trade. But as a result of their veto millions of animals were slaughtered; farmers lost their herds, their livelihoods and their lives through suicide. It cost the country billions. Even worse, TB testing was dropped during the outbreak and afterwards farms were restocked with untested cattle. The incidence of bovine TB rocketed. Would that have happened if the NFU had allowed vaccination?
And of course, they blamed the badgers and the NFU lobbied for a cull.
In 2005 the Department of Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (Defra) produced a consultation report on badger culling. In its introductory paragraph it says:
“The Government has decided further measures should be implemented now to reduce cattle to cattle spread. But international experience indicates it is not possible to contain and eradicate bovine TB if its background presence in wildlife is left unaddressed.”
Both Defra and the NFU have been selling the ‘international’ line unremittingly. Killing wildlife comes before any other option. The RSPCA picked the whole of Defra’s report to pieces:
“The RSPCA is… concerned that there is a lack of balance in the document. Shortly after its publication the Independent Scientific Group (ISG) stated in an open letter to stakeholders that the paper was inaccurate in important aspects. The advice of the Science Advisory Council (SAC) – set up by Defra to provide expert, independent and published advice on science policy and strategy – is ignored. Additionally, very selective and misleading use is made of scientific material. The end result is one that appears to be designed to advance a cause rather than a balanced document and… calls into question Defra’s commitment to evidence-based policy making.”
In addition, why had Defra chosen to ‘consult’ with so few bodies (with some emphasis on agri-business) while ignoring major environmental and wildlife organisations like itself? For each of the questions posed by Defra, the RSPCA has negative responses. And then the NFU raises its head again:
“The RSPCA is concerned… that a decision about a badger killing policy may be introduced because of “the need to win co-operation with farmers on introducing movement testing and compensation, and the wider objective of industry, over time, bearing a progressively greater share of the costs of bTB controls.” This could imply that badger killing might be introduced as a sort of quid pro quo in relation to the farming industry rather than on grounds of the wider issues of sustainability and scientific evidence. This concern is reinforced by the policy decision by the NFU not to co-operate with Defra on pre-movement testing until the government announces a cull of badgers and the recent Defra announcement to delay the introduction of such testing.”(my emphasis)
Reporting to the Parliamentary Committee for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, Professor John Bourne, head of the ISG, said:
“You ask how the scientific information has been handled by the media and by Defra and I’m bound to say I don’t think it’s been handled terribly well…I was obliged to write to Ministers complaining that the scientific information presented in the exercise was inaccurate and also stating that two of their proposed culling proposals would in fact make the situation worse. I’m sad to say, yes, I don’t think they [Defra] have done a very good job of it and one of our comments in the final report is that Defra do seem to be unable to handle scientific data and translate that in to policy… it would be really helpful if Defra embraced the science and stimulated discussions with the NFU based on the science to develop science-based policies”.
The NFU did not get its badger cull. In 2008 the Environment Minister Hilary Benn told Parliament:
“Having listened carefully to a wide range of views from scientists, farming, veterinary and wildlife organisations, and many others, and having considered all the evidence, I have decided that while such a cull might work, it might also not work. It could end up making the disease worse if it was not sustained over time or delivered effectively, and public opposition, including the unwillingness of some landowners to take part, would render this more difficult.
“I do not think it would be right to take this risk. Therefore – and in line with the advice I have received from the Independent Scientific Group – our policy will be not to issue any licences to farmers to cull badgers for TB control, although we remain open to the possibility of revisiting this policy under exceptional circumstances, or if new scientific evidence were to become available.”
Instead, the government put in place 6 badger vaccination schemes along with pre-movement testing and cattle control regimes. But the NFU didn’t give up. They threatened a judicial review and other legal actions over Benn’s ban on badger culling saying, “we remain committed to supporting a challenge to what we believe is an unlawful restriction on producers’ ability to take action to prevent the spread of TB on their farms.”
I like the word ‘producers’. This is about big business, not small struggling farms. And note, they also, in partnership with the pro-hunting group Countryside Alliance, made a deal with the Tories: give us the badger cull and we will give you the rural vote in the 2010 general election.
In 2009 Wales took the decision not to cull its badgers but instead to put in place annual testing for cattle and strict bio-security and movement controls – with the result that they have cut their incidence of bTB by 50%, something the Welsh branch of the NFU tries to deny.
Following the election in 2010 almost the first thing the Tory-led coalition government did was to cancel 5 of the 6 areas for badger vaccination trials and start planning to kill badgers, despite the lack of any new scientific evidence that culling was the answer. The guns would have preferred to get out and start shooting straight away, but culls take time to organise, particularly if the public are going to object. Defra and Natural England, which would be issuing the licences, had to tread with care.
While Defra did its best to make the whole exercise look scientific, with monitoring and setting up the Independent Expert Panel to audit the results, the NFU set up a culling company for each area where the killing would take place. There was much talk of ‘good marksmen’ etc. Unfortunately, men with guns do not necessarily equate with fieldcraft and accurate knowledge of badger numbers.
Culling was supposed to start in 2012 but had to be postponed. There were too many badgers, too much rain, not enough policemen and farmers couldn’t be confident of being ready in time. There were more arguments over badger numbers the following year, ending up with the culling period being extended because the guns couldn’t kill enough, prompting the now-famous quote from the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson; “the badgers have moved the goalposts.”
And all this while, the NFU, aided by Paterson, kept repeating that all badgers in TB ‘hot spots’ had TB, all TB in cattle was down to badgers, and that the only way to halt TB in cattle was to kill the badgers. Oh yes, and bovine TB is the greatest threat to farming, out of control and getting worse each year, this despite Defra figures showing that, little by little, TB was decreasing. It was really not the problem it was hyped up to be.
It was not surprising that, with no other advice from the NFU and Defra, most farmers were persuaded to support the culling and hate the people protesting against it. And while it truly is devastating for a farmer to see his herd succumb to TB, the NFU never mentions the larger-by-far number of cattle slaughtered because of lameness or mastitis. And Defra has stopped recording those figures. Do they not want to tackle the issue of poor husbandry?
When the culls finally started in 2013, the then NFU President Peter Kendal said:
“I am confident however that through the combined efforts of farmers, the NFU and government over the last year to illustrate the impact TB has on farms, and the scientific basis for badger control, more people than ever recognise the need to address the disease in badgers.”
But the public weren’t swayed by the ‘scientific basis’ then, and even less so now. Almost 90% of people are against any more culling. And they were right. Last year’s culls failed on numbers and humaneness and also, I think, on safety. So what does Defra do? It lowers the number of badgers to be killed this year but gives huge margins, between 316 and 1,776 for Somerset, and between 391 to 1,292 for Gloucester, figures that were dismissed as ‘rubbish’ by many experts. To be on the safe side Somerset’s target was 316 and Gloucester’s 615 And just to be sure of ‘success’ it gets rid of any independent oversight and auditing.
It didn’t work. On the day the culls ended up pops Andrew Guest of the NFU with this statement:
“I think generally we are pretty pleased with how it has gone. In large parts of the area we are seeing very few badgers left on the ground now. Unfortunately there are one or two areas where we haven’t been able to be as effective as we’d like to because of the actions of protesters but largely we are very happy with it.”
In Devon, Dorset and Cornwall they had been busy planning for badger culling next year. The NFU wants to make the culling areas bigger so that there aren’t enough anti-cull people to get in the way. Everyone was gung-ho for more killing.
Unfortunately, the Guardianpublished figures leaked to Team Badger by someone working for Natural England – in Somerset they managed to kill 315 badgers and in Gloucester the total killed was 253. Defra has neither confirmed nor denied the leaked figures. Unlike last year, no extension has been allowed ‘for political reasons’.
The word is that, with two failures in two years, the culls will not be rolled out to other areas; and the current Environment Secretary Liz Truss, who has been very silent about the culls, has reportedly been told to abandon the culls until after next year’s election. The Labour Party has already committed to scrapping the culls if it comes into power. Politicians have to take account of the fact that the hated badger cull is among the top 5 issues that constituents contact their MPs about.
That all went well then. The NFU blamed the protestors. Some of the guns had blamed really good weather with bright moonlit nights when they couldn’t use their infra-red sights. I’m surprised they didn’t blame the badgers. It really is time someone put the NFU out to grass. Both farmers and wildlife deserve better.
And if you haven’t quite got the message – Defra has its headquarters in Smith Square, London. The NFU’s London headquarters are in… Smith Square, London.
A small private plane, a Falcon 50 en route to Paris, crashed on takeoff Tuesday night at the Vnukovo airport. Witnesses claim the pilots did not notice a snowplow on the runway. Everyone on board was killed – the two pilots, a flight attendant, and the sole passenger, Christophe de Margerie, the chief executive of Total, France’s largest oil company.
Sources from the Russian Investigative Committee report that they are currently weighing four potential explanations for the accident: pilot error, dispatcher error, misconduct on the part of the snowplow driver, or weather conditions – some parts of the Moscow region were shrouded in fog that night.
The investigation released a statement claiming that the snowplow driver, Vladimir Martynenko, had been intoxicated. The plane crash at Vnukovo occurred when the wing of the private Falcon 50 jet collided with the snowplow, which, according to the media “was sitting at the intersection of two runways, in a no-access area.” Sources from various media outlets familiar with the details of the crash reported: “The captain of the aircraft decided to go ahead and try to complete his takeoff. But he did not have enough speed. The front wheel of the business jet’s chassis clipped the snowplow, which led to the catastrophe.”
But, according to information from the lawyers and the airport service bureau, the driver, Mr. Martynenko, was very experienced, with a long work history, and was completely sober. He had also passed the usual, mandatory medical inspection before he began his shift, which was documented by the doctor in his journal, and on the basis of which he received his driving log from the mechanic and then began his shift.
Soon however the Russian Investigative Committee posted a video from the scene of the crash on its website and stated, “it is obvious that what happened was not caused by a horrific, tragic confluence of events, as airport spokesmen are trying to present it, but by the criminal negligence of officials who could not properly synchronize the work of the airport employees.”
The voice and parametric flight-data recorders were removed from the Falcon, and French investigators are expected to arrive in Moscow to work alongside the Investigative Committee.
This strange tragedy on the Falcon that took the life of the president of Total oil company, Christophe de Margerie, raises too many questions that have no answers.
What was said and done by Christophe de Margerie
De Margerie was probably one of the most steadfast supporters of preserving relations with Russia, and he opposed the sanctions. In fact, he defiantly came to the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in May, claiming that refusing to attend would be anti-Russian, although many other companies stayed home.
Once sanctions were imposed against Russia, de Margerie condemned that policy. He felt that Europe should not simply emulate the actions of the United States, because the relationship between the EU and Russia is much stronger than that of Russia and the US. He publicly stated: “I believe in people’s wisdom and responsibility. In a global economy one can’t just say: I’m going to suspend operations in Russia, or Iraq, or wherever. Russia cannot be isolated, even if all ties to Europe are lost. People need to understand that an embargo doesn’t work.”
De Margerie also opposed restrictions on Russian gas shipments to Europe. One may recall that such demands were heard during the anti-Russian hysteria among EU politicians. It was argued that European technology is so advanced that they could easily significantly limit those shipments. But “if European gas supplies from Russia are halted, Europe will have to pay more for gas, buying it from more remote regions, and shipping it will become more complicated,” he said. “We will have a problem this winter if there is a cut in supplies and if it is cold – that is obvious. Can we live without Russian gas? The answer is no. Are there any reasons to live without it? I think … it is a no.”
And this summer, de Margerie made what the US considers to be his most subversive statement. He spoke out against the preeminence of the US dollar in international payments. Although the idea would be beneficial to Russia, our country has not yet carried out plans to force those who purchase our resources to pay for them in rubles, in order to strengthen our currency. “There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars,” stated de Margerie in July. “Doing without the (U.S.) dollar, that wouldn’t be realistic, but it would be good if the euro was used more. The dollar occupies too large a niche in the international oil and gas trade. The fact that oil prices are quoted in dollars per barrel does not mean that payments actually have to be made in that currency. There are no valid reasons to pay for hydrocarbons in the American national currency.”
De Margerie sincerely believed and repeatedly stated that Ukraine and Russia are part of Europe and attempts need to be made to resolve the crisis as quickly as possible. And in recent months,Christophe de Margerie actively lobbied to have the Mistral naval assault ship sent to Russia.
And here is the last public statement (link in Russian) made by the chief executive of Total, Christophe-Gabriel-Jean-Marie Jacquin de Margerie: “Russia has a lot of friends and partners in the West. We don’t consider that Russia can be isolated from the major global economic and political process. I’m absolutely confident that the policy of openness, which helped us overcome so many obstacles together in the past, should be continued.”
So whose toes did the president of Total step on?
Never forget that classic, always reliable question – “Cui bono?” (who benefits?) That needs to be asked, not only if one assumes that what happened was merely a deadly accident – because there are just too many strange coincidences surrounding the tragedy of de Margerie’s death. They simply do not fit together and actually make it seem less likely that it was truly a chance occurrence.
Take a look at these coincidences: First of all, there are the statements and actions of the chief executive of Total, de Margerie, which are flatly at odds with the principal position adopted by the United States, both in terms of anti-Russian sanctions, as well as (most importantly!) his statement about the “alternative to using dollars to pay for oil.” Then there is the scene of the accident – Moscow, which is the capital of the “Evil Empire” located somewhere between the Ebola epidemic and Islamic terrorists. There is the “excellent” timing – the same day as de Margerie’s meeting with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, at which the chief executive of Total stated, “Actually, if I don’t like sanctions, it is because I believe they are both unfair and unproductive … And that it is a failure of diplomacy, when the only tools left are sanctions.” What happened that day looks a bit like a symbolic hint to all other global business leaders (and leaders of more than business) who are backing Russia. A hint that you can never rest easy if you hold this view of the world – an outlook that is so at odds with the actions and principles of the “Great Power of the USA.” Of course accidents do happen. Sometimes we see an entirely coincidental confluence of events.
I make no claims that there is any direct evidence at present supporting the theory that a premeditated murder of Christophe de Margerie was committed for the benefit of the United States. And none of this even adds up to a coherent theory – it’s just a string of uncontested events and facts that fit together in a completely logical sequence that neatly eliminates the patchwork of all those supposedly random coincidences.
And how could it have been done? With its many years of experience, the American intelligence services can easily stage bigger events than the assassination of the head of a large company in a third country. And there are plenty of ways to arrange such a scenario – ranging from the bribery or blackmail of anyone involved in the events through a host of intermediaries, to interference in various types of networks and internal communication signals, including human-factor causes, as well as technical innovations – none of which the rest of the world knows anything about for now or at which it can only guess. But it seems we’re likely to never know the real answer to the question “Who killed de Margerie?”
Serena Shim (Screenshot from youtube video by PressTV News Videos)
The suspicious death of US-born journalist Serena Shim, and the deafening silence on the story in the US, is merely the latest example of the blatant double standard employed by the Western media.
Shim, a 29 year old American journalist of Lebanese descent, had been covering the ongoing war in Syria, specifically the current battle between ISIS militants and Kurdish forces near the Syrian town of Kobani, from the Turkish-Syrian border. Shim was traveling in a rental car back to her hotel after reporting from the Turkish town of Suruc near the Syrian border, when the car was allegedly struck by a heavy vehicle, killing Shim.
While Turkish authorities quickly contended that her death was an accident, many around the world, including executives and senior staff members of Press TV – the Iranian news agency for which Shim was working – have expressed doubts about the circumstances of her death, describing it as“suspicious.” Such suspicions are clearly warranted as the alleged accident came just one day after Shim expressed fears for her own safety after receiving death threats from Turkish intelligence (MIT). In an interview with Press TV just after being accused of being a spy and receiving the threats, Shim stated:
“I’m very surprised at this accusation – I even thought of approaching Turkish intelligence because I have nothing to hide… I am a bit worried, because…Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists…so I am frightened about what they might use against me… We were some of the first people on the ground –if not the first people – to get that story of…militants going in through the Turkish border…I’ve got images of them in World Food Organization trucks. It was very apparent that they were militants by their beards, by the clothes they wore, and they were going in there with NGO trucks.”
This revealing interview highlights the fact that Shim, unlike many Western journalists reporting on the Syrian conflict, was actually involved in a serious investigation, including documenting the collusion between Turkish intelligence and militant extremists to smuggle fighters and weapons into Syria. While this aspect of the Syrian conflict has been documented by Reuters, the New York Times, and others, Shim was on the ground covering the story, getting documentary evidence including photos and video of the militants in NGO trucks, a blatant violation of international law. It is precisely this damning evidence of Turkey’s involvement in the Syrian war that likely sparked the death threats against her and, quite likely, led to her possible assassination.
Shim’s tragic death has sparked outrage, not to mention tremendous grief, from her family and colleagues who have called for a thorough and impartial investigation into the circumstances of her death. Condolences and expressions of sorrow from around the world have come pouring in to both Press TV and the Shim family. However, quite conspicuously, there has been a near total media blackout in the West, especially in the United States, the country of which Shim was a citizen.
When Are Journalists’ Deaths Newsworthy?
In the wake of Shim’s death and the shameful lack of coverage it has received in the West, disturbing questions emerge as to the attitude of Western media toward the assaults, kidnappings, and killings and/or suspicious deaths of journalists. Specifically, major media outlets and their respective governments and corporate owners must explain why certain journalists’ deaths are international news stories sparking global outrage and serving as the pretexts for military engagement, while others are conveniently swept under the rug, receiving at best a passing mention.
The international outcry over the kidnapping and beheading of James Foley dominated the headlines for weeks, and served as the immediate justification for the US-led airstrikes against ISIS in Syria. Aside from glowing tributes to Foley from nearly every major media organization, and a memorial page dedicated to him and his fans established by Reporters Without Borders, even President Obama spoke of Foley, describing him as “a man who lived his work, who courageously told the stories of his fellow human beings, who was liked and loved by friends and family…We will do everything we can to protect our people and the timeless values that we stand for.” Such high praise coming from the President himself demonstrates the political and social significance of Foley’s death for the US.
And yet, Serena Shim who, like Foley, was a US citizen receives no such coverage. There are no glowing tributes from news organizations, most of which haven’t even bothered to report on her suspicious death. There are few stories even mentioning the incident and, the few that there are, painstakingly attempt to frame the incident as an accident, validating the assertions of Turkish officials, despite there having been no investigation, and the more-than-coincidental death threats she had received just hours before. There has been no public statement as yet from Reporters Without Borders or any other press freedom organization charged with protecting and promoting freedom of the press and the universal protection of journalists. Why? What is the difference between Serena Shim and James Foley that explains the striking disparity in the media coverage and public outcry?
US freelance reporter James Foley (AFP Photo / Nicole Tung)
It’s What You Say and Who You Work For
Serena Shim’s death illustrates quite clearly the double standard applied by Western media and policymakers; Foley’s death was a national tragedy, Shim’s death a mere footnote at best. The inescapable fact is that this disparity is due not to whom they were, but rather who they worked for. Foley was a willing participant in the US-NATO war in Libya, “embedding” himself with the so called“rebels” who, thanks to a massive NATO bombing campaign that effectively destroyed Libyan military capabilities, participated in the overthrow of Muammar Gaddafi and the government of the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya.
Foley presented a picture of heroism and self-sacrifice on the part of the rebels, many of whom had direct links to al-Qaeda and global terrorist networks stretching from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia, portraying them as true patriots liberating their country of a brutal dictator. In effect, Foley was one of the chief propagandists for the NATO operation in Libya, shooting photographs that became central to the image Washington and NATO wanted to portray.
In stark contrast, Shim was working for Iran’s Press TV, a news outlet funded by the Iranian government which provides a counter-narrative to the one presented in the Western media. Press TV’s reportage has been critical of the international operation against Syria, including countless reports, debates, and analysis of the role of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Washington, Tel Aviv, and others in fomenting the war thus far.
Press TV has been deeply critical of US policy vis-à-vis Syria and Iraq, and has presented numerous reports questioning the role of international actors in those conflicts. Shim herself was killed just hours after breaking the news of militant extremists crossing the border into Syria with the assistance of Turkish intelligence, using World Food Program trucks. This bombshell story substantiated the countless other reports dating back to 2012 of Turkish intelligence’s involvement in precisely this sort of operation.
And so, it is clear that the media and government response to the death of journalists directly correlates to the kind of reporting being done. If you are journalist who works for a Western media outlet, and substantiates and propagates the Western narrative, then you are a hero and your death is a national tragedy that elicits a swift response. If, however, you are a journalist who works for a non-Western news organization, and is critical of the West and its policies and actions, then your death is simply not newsworthy and will be quickly forgotten. Such double standards, hypocrisy, and egregious immorality typify Western attitudes towards journalists and the role of the media.
Reuters / Yannis Behrakis
Sadly, Not the First or Last Time
Perhaps the most appalling aspect of this story is the fact that Shim’s death is only the latest in a long line of journalists’ deaths in recent months and years that have been almost entirely ignored by the Western media. From Ukraine to Syria and Gaza, journalists have been killed in alarming numbers while their stories are suppressed in the West.
In Eastern Ukraine, a number of Russian journalists have been assaulted, kidnapped, tortured, and/or killed by the US-backed regime’s military and paramilitary forces. In June 2014, Igor Kornelyuk and Anton Voloshin, both employed by Russia’s Rossiya TV channel, were killed near Lugansk. Despite repeated denials from the Kiev regime regarding the deliberate targeting of journalists, eyewitness accounts from the scene allege that the Russian journalists were specifically targeted by the Ukrainian forces. Viktor Denisov, the surviving member of the news crew, explained, “One hundred percent it was not accidental fire, it was an aimed action from the National Guards’ side.” Despite this eyewitness account, coupled with the shocking footage that Denisov obtained of the attack, there was almost no coverage of the incident in the international press.
Also in June 2014, Anatoly Klyan, a cameraman from Russia’s Channel One television, was killed by forces loyal to the US-backed regime in Kiev. Shot in the stomach while aboard a bus full of mothers of army conscripts that was shelled by Kiev’s military forces, Klyan died before he could make it to a hospital. While there were initial stories covering the incident in the Western media (mostly from British news outlets), there was no international outcry to protect journalists in Ukraine, no heightened scrutiny of the crimes of the Kiev military and paramilitary forces, no pressure exerted on President Poroshenko by his Western backers. One could be forgiven for thinking that the incident was quietly swept under the rug in hopes that it would be forgotten.
In August 2014, Rossiya Segodnya (formerly RIA Novosti) photojournalist Andrey Stenin was killedwhen the car he was travelling in was attacked by Ukrainian forces, along with a number of other cars carrying civilians out of the conflict zone. Stenin was reportedly missing for over a month until it was finally confirmed that he had been killed. While he was believed to have been kidnapped, there were some expressions of support and calls for his release, particularly from the Committee to Protect Journalistswhich has documented a number of crimes committed against journalists, especially Russian journalists, by Ukrainian authorities. However, beyond the professional community, there was decidedly little outcry, especially in the West where news of his disappearance and death went nearly unmentioned.
People walk past a coffin with the body of Russian photojournalist Andrey Stenin during a memorial service in Moscow, September 5, 2014 (Reuters / Sergey Karpukhin)
The deaths of these and other Russian journalists in Ukraine are, sadly, not the only attacks on non-Western journalists. Iran’s Press TV, which is now mourning the loss of Serena Shim, is all too familiar with this story. In September 2012, Press TV’s Damascus correspondent Maya Nasser was killed by a sniper while on air reporting on the attack on the Syrian army’s general staff headquarters. The fact that he was killed by a sniper, an obvious deliberate targeting of a journalist, should have made him a cause célèbre for media organizations around the world. And yet, they remained mostly silent because Nasser was not part of the Western media, and was instead reporting inconvenient facts that disputed the Western narrative of “moderate rebels” fighting against “the brutal dictator Assad.” The obvious lesson here is that journalists are legitimate targets if their reporting runs counter to the agenda of Washington and its allies.
Finally there is the tragic case of Gaza, a veritable killing field for journalists, where at least eight journalists were killed by Israeli forcesduring their war on Gaza in the summer of 2014. While the International Federation of Journalists lodged its formal protest with the United Nations against the targeting of its colleagues, and other organizations such as Al Haq conducted thorough investigations of the incidents, the issue was almost entirely ignored by Western media, especially US media which rather predictably provided a one-sided portrayal of events on the ground in Gaza. While much of the US media uncritically reported from the comfort and safety of Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Amman, and other cities, Palestinian journalists were losing their lives to report the horror taking place on the ground in Gaza. The silence from Western media was deafening.
It is critical to reiterate the fact that the Western media, which is always so keen to trumpet its commitment to freedom of the press, among many others, is conspicuously silent on the deaths of colleagues who happen to work for non-Western outlets. It would seem that outrage is more a function of ideology than of genuine support for fellow journalists. In this way, the Western media makes itself complicit in the crimes. By abrogating their responsibility to objectively report the facts, not to mention stand in solidarity with fallen colleagues around the world, the Western media exposes itself as an appendage of the US-NATO imperial system.
The UN refugee agency says the crisis in Ukraine has forced more than 824,000 people from their homes as tensions continue in the country’s troubled eastern regions.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) released the figure on Friday, saying around 95 percent of those displaced come from the war-torn eastern regions.
Among those who have fled, at least 430,000 were living within Ukraine as of yesterday, up 170,000 people since the start of September.
In addition, another 387,000 have fled to neighboring Russia, while 6,600 have applied for asylum in the European Union (EU) as well as 581 in Belarus.
According to the UNHCR, the ongoing fighting in the eastern regions between government troops and pro-Russian forces, “and the resulting breakdown of basic services, continue to drive more people from their homes.”
The UNHCR also warned of the looming winter, saying “it was racing to help some of the most vulnerable displaced people cope with expected harsh winter conditions.”
The UN refugee agency said the areas which are in greatest need of help were around Donetsk, Kharkiv, and Kiev as well as in the central region of Dnipropetrovsk and the southern region of Zaporizhia regions.
This comes as sporadic clashes continue on an almost daily basis despite the signing of a ceasefire pact by the two sides in September.
Ukraine’s mainly Russian-speaking regions in the east have been the scene of deadly clashes between pro-Russia protesters and the Ukrainian army since the government in Kiev launched military operations in mid-April in a bid to crush the protests.
According to the latest figures by the United Nations, over 3,700 people have been killed and at least 9,000 others injured in the conflict in eastern Ukraine during the past six months.
Joshua Blakeney has pointed out that Adrienne Arsenault of CBC reported last night that in the weeks leading up to the two so-called ‘terror’ incidents that took place this week in Quebec and Ottawa Canadian authorities had been running war games exercises depicting such attacks.
The relevant commentary starts at 1:52 of the video below:
According to Arsenault,
They [Canadian authorities] may have been surprised by the actual incidents but not by the concepts of them. Within the last month we know that the CSIS, the RCMP and the National Security Task Force … ran a scenario that’s akin to a war games exercise if you will where they actually imagined literally an attack in Quebec, followed by an attack in another city, followed by a tip that that ‘hey some foreign fighters are coming back from Syria.’ So they were imagining a worst case scenario. We’re seeing elements of that happening right now. … [Canadian authorities] may talk today in terms of being surprised but we know that this precise scenario has been keeping them up at night for awhile.
What an amazing coincidence that Canadian intelligence ran a drill envisioning an attack first in Quebec, then another city. On Monday October 20 a man identified as Martin Rouleau supposedly ran over two Candian soldiers with his car in a mall parking lot in the city of Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu in Quebec. And yesterday, as we know, one soldier was gunned down in Ottawa followed by a siege on the parliament itself. Authorities and media are claiming that both suspects were converts to Islam who had become “radicalized.”
What are the chances that these mock terror drills are just a coincidence? In nearly every instance of a major terrorist occurrence in the West, it has been revealed that intelligence services were conducting war games exercises mimicking the very events that later come to pass. On the day of the London subway bombings in 2005 British authorities ran drills depicting the exact attack scenario that transpired later in the day. On 9/11 multiple US agencies were running drills simulating jet hijackings. And now we have confirmation that Canada’s intelligence services were doing the same thing.
It has also been revealed that both suspects in the two incidents this week were being monitored by both US and Canadian intelligence for some time prior to their alleged attacks.
Non-Aligned Media will continue following this story as more information comes out.
On Wednesday, a jury of eight women and four men in a federal district court in Washington, DC convicted four Blackwater mercenaries for their role in the 2007 Nisour Square massacre. The jurors found one of the contractors guilty of murder and another three guilty of manslaughter for firing hundreds of rounds of ammunition and grenades at Iraqi civilians in Baghdad in a brutal operation that left 17 dead and another 20 wounded.
Coming seven years after the crimes were committed, the verdict is a welcome development. The jury’s decision—which went against the expectations of the media and the political establishment—no doubt expressed the jurors’ revulsion over the barbaric actions that were described in detail in the courtroom, including through the testimony of dozens of Iraqi eyewitnesses and victims. They were allowed to see for themselves the brutal reality of a war that was largely hidden from the American public.
This verdict is a reflection of a broader popular opposition in the United States to the crimes perpetrated by the American military and the legions of private mercenaries that have been hired to reinforce its operations all over the world.
However, the claim by officials in the Obama administration’s Justice Department that the verdict represents, in the words of one of the chief prosecutors, “a resounding affirmation of the commitment of the American people to the rule of law,” is part of a political whitewash and cover-up.
In fact, the actions of Blackwater employees—Nicholas Slatten (found guilty of murder) and Evan Liberty, Paul Slough and Dustin Heard (found guilty of manslaughter and using a machine gun to carry out a violent crime)—are the product of a deeper and more fundamental crime: the launching of the war of aggression against Iraq and the continuing eruption of imperialist violence of which this war was a part.
Countless atrocities have been committed as part of these wars, some of which have come to light, while many more remain hidden: The systematic leveling of Fallujah in 2004 by US Marines, initiated in response to the killing of several Blackwater mercenaries and resulting in the deaths of well over 1,000 Iraqis; the Haditha massacre, in which a group of US Marines killed 24 unarmed Iraqis in November 2005, for which only one soldier was convicted of dereliction of duty; the incineration of a religious school in Pakistan by CIA drones in October 2006, killing at least 68 children; the massacre of 47 people attending a wedding party in Nangahar province, Afghanistan in July 2008, and a similar mass killing in Kandahar province that killed 63 only four months later…
The perpetrators of these crimes remain at large. They include top officials in the Bush administration (President Bush himself, former Vice President Dick Cheney, former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and many others), who planned and launched a war on the basis of outright lies. They include top military and CIA officials, who carried out a war of terror against the peoples of Iraq and Afghanistan, employing torture and mass killings as an instrument of policy. They include the leaders of the Republican and Democratic Parties, who sanctioned wars that have led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. And they include leading personnel in the mass media, who worked to sell these wars to the American people.
Since coming into office in 2009, a central focus of the Obama administration has been to prevent any accountability for the crimes that have been committed—and continue to be committed—by the military and intelligence apparatus. The Democratic president and his key aides are among the many unindicted co-conspirators.
It is instructive to compare the jury decision on the Blackwater massacre to a hearing the day before in front of another district court judge in New York City. That case involves the ongoing attempts by the Obama administration, spanning six years, to block the release of 2,100 photos of torture carried out by the US military in both Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House has sought to keep the photos secret en masse on “national security” grounds—a rationale that it has also used to cover-up NSA spying, forced feeding of Guantanamo Bay inmates and other crimes. Judge Alvin Hellerstein has given the administration a December 12 deadline to provide specific reasons for withholding from public view each of the photographs.
According to a report yesterday in the WSWS, the torture photos
“are said to be more disturbing than those released in 2004 showing the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib…They include soldiers pointing guns at the heads of detainees who are hooded and bound, soldiers beating detainees with their fists or objects, soldiers posing with groups of bound and restrained prisoners, soldiers posing with corpses, and, in at least one case, a female soldier pointing a broomstick at the rectum of a hooded detainee.”
The maneuvers of the Obama administration in the courtroom come at the same time as the White House continues its attempts to prevent the release of a Senate investigation into “medieval” torture, including “holding [detainees] under water until the point of death,” carried out by the CIA. Earlier this year, the CIA was caught spying on Senate staffers preparing the report, and the Obama administration has since worked with the spy agency to ensure that if anything is released, it will be heavily redacted.
According to human-rights lawyer Scott Horton, in an interview with The Intercept, “the battle plan” of CIA Director John Brennan and the Obama administration is to delay release of the CIA report until after the midterm elections in November. They hope that an anticipated victory in the Senate for the Republican Party will ensure that the report is permanently buried, without requiring the Democrats to perform this dirty deed themselves.
The reason for the White House’s determination to cover up the crimes of the Bush administration is clear enough. In the words of Faulkner, “The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
Torture, drone assassinations, massacres, extra-judicial killings—such are the methods of the American ruling class in asserting its interests all over the world. The Obama administration has continued and deepened the policies of its predecessor. It is currently escalating another war in the Middle East, while preparing new and even bloodier crimes. In Ukraine, it has worked with mercenaries embedded with right-wing and fascistic organizations as part of operations to assert US dominance in Eastern Europe. A recent document released by the US Army outlines a strategy of preventive war in every region of the world, singling out China and Russia as particular potential targets.
The Nissour Square massacre is not the exception, but the rule, not the product of a few “bad apples,” but the organic outcome of the criminality of American imperialism. Justice will not be served until those directing this policy at the highest levels of the military-state apparatus find themselves in a position similar to the convicted Blackwater mercenaries.
Canada’s Conservative government is seeking to exploit the killing of two Canadian Armed Forces’ soldiers in separate incidents this week to dramatically shift politics further to the right.
Speaking in parliament Thursday—the day after a gunman fatally shot a soldier at Ottawa’s National War Memorial, then entered the main block of the national parliament—Prime Minister Stephen Harper vowed to greatly strengthen Canada’s national security apparatus.
“Our law and police powers,” declared Harper, “need to be strengthened in the area of surveillance, detention and arrest.” He continued, “I assure you that work—which is already underway—will be expedited.”
Since Monday’s hit-and-run killing of a Canadian Armed Forces’ warrant officer in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, Harper and his government have gone into overdrive to promote the false narrative that Canada is under “terrorist” assault.
The government’s response to Wednesday’s events was extraordinary. It enacted the Canadian state’s National Anti-Terrorism Plan, which involves the coordinated mobilization of all sections of the national-security apparatus, including the military; placed large sections of downtown Ottawa under lockdown for ten hours; and ordered Canadian Armed Forces’ bases across the country to go on high alert.
In conjunction with Washington, the joint US-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) increased its “alert posture,” ordering additional fighter jets to be ready to take to the skies at a moment’s notice.
Yesterday, heightened security remained in effect across the country, at Parliament Hill and the provincial legislatures, other public buildings and on public transport. Politicians and representatives of the police, military and intelligence apparatus all made statements warning Canadians to get used to enhanced security measures disrupting day-to-day life .
A somber Harper went out of his way to paint Canada as under siege in a brief, nationally-televised address given Wednesday evening—that is long after it had become apparent, if it was ever in serious doubt, that there had been only a single gunman.
He repeatedly used the words “terrorist” and “terrorist attack,” claimed the two incidents constituted an attack on Canada and democracy, and sought to channel popular revulsion over them behind Canada’s leading role in the new US war in the Middle East.
The reality is that both of this week’s killings were carried out by lone, misguided and disorientated individuals. All reports indicate that they were not members of a “homegrown” anti-government group, let alone of a foreign terrorist organization.
The Ottawa shooter, Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, was living in a homeless shelter in the days before his shooting spree. Residents at the Ottawa shelter told reporters he had behaved extremely erratically.
At a press conference yesterday afternoon, RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson confirmed that there was no link between Zehaf-Bibeau and Martin Couture-Rouleau, the “radicalized” Muslim convert who carried out Monday’s attack in St-Jean.
If the Harper government, aided and abetted by the corporate media, is framing these tragic incidents as terrorist acts, it is because such a narrative serves predetermined reactionary politically ends.
The immediate goal is to rally support for Canada’s participation in the new Mideast war and to rush through legislation giving further repressive powers to the national-security apparatus.
In doing this, the government and Canada’s ruling elite are following a now well-trodden path. Since the September 11, 2001 events, terrorist attacks and scares have been repeatedly exploited to advance an agenda of military aggression abroad and attacks on democratic rights at home. Right-wing measures that would previously have been impossible to implement due to public hostility have been pushed through in a deliberately-fostered climate of fear, hysteria and nationalist militarism.
Within weeks of 9/11, Canada’s then Liberal government, following the lead of the Bush administration, adopted a draconian anti-terrorism law. Its provisions include a catch-all definition of “terrorism” that could be used to suppress political strikes and vast new powers for the Communications Security Establishment Canada (CSEC), the Canadian partner of the US National Security Agency or NSA.
Canada also took on a major role in the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, deploying combat troops to that impoverished country for a decade and embarking on a rearmament drive. By 2011 Ottawa was spending more in real, inflation-adjusted terms on the military than any time since the end of the Second World War.
Harper has been among the most bellicose of western leaders, defending Israel’s war crimes against the people of Gaza and stoking NATO’s confrontation with Russia over Ukraine. Most recently, his government deployed a fleet of fighter planes and almost 700 military personnel to join the new war the US has unleashed on the Middle East, so as to shore up and extend Washington’s domination of the world’s most important oil-exporting region.
Harper and the ruling elite are acutely aware that there is widespread popular opposition to their war agenda—that is, to their plans to secure the Canadian bourgeoisie a “place at the table” in the imperialist reordering of the Middle East and Eurasia. Asked in early September why he hadn’t endorsed the US-British call for all NATO countries to spend at least two percent of GDP on the military, Harper was forced to concede that the Canadian people would not “understand” such a decision.
Harper’s gratuitous reference to the war in the Middle East in his Wednesday night speech makes clear the Conservatives intend to use this week’s events to try to silence and intimidate the war’s millions of opponents and create the political climate to expand Canada’s role. Already last week, the head of the armed forces said the deployment, currently slated for six months, will most likely have to be extended.
As Harper indicated in his remarks to parliament Thursday, the government was already planning to give the country’s national-security agencies significant new powers. Indeed, a draft bill was to have been tabled in the House of Commons on Wednesday.
The government had signaled that this legislation would allow CSEC and Canada’s premier spy agency, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), to work even more closely with the NSA and the other foreign intelligence agencies, including in the tracking of Canadian “terrorist” suspects who go abroad.
The government had also said that it would amend the 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act to give CSIS informants blanket immunity. This would mean not only that the identity of CSIS informants would have to be protected in all legal proceedings, but that they could not be questioned by defence lawyers and even judges.
The government has not announced a new date for the tabling of this legislation. This strongly suggests that it intends to redraft it to include still more anti-democratic measures, calculating that it can now stampede them through.
These changes will add to the broad range of capabilities already at the disposal of the intelligence services. Since 2001, CSIS and CSEC have seen their budgets explode. With the government’s full support they have arrogated new powers, such as the right to systematically spy on the metadata of Canadians’ electronic communications.
No one should be under any illusion that the opposition parties will mount any serious resistance to the government’s plans to use this week’s events to intensify its militarist foreign policy and attack on democratic rights.
The Conservative government has only widened and deepened the right-wing policies of its Liberal predecessor. The trade union-supported New Democratic Party (NDP) has supported Canada’s participation in a series of US-led wars and interventions, including the 1999 war on Yugoslavia, the Afghan war, the 2004 overthrow of Haiti’s elected president and NATO’s 2011 “regime change” war in Libya.
These parties’ opposition to the current Canadian Armed Forces’ combat mission in Iraq is an exercise in cynicism and hypocrisy that has been motivated by electoral calculations, concerns that the current war, like the 2003 Iraq war, will redound against imperialist interests, and fears it will fuel social opposition at home.
Both the Liberals and the NDP have kept an almost total and complicit silence about CSEC’s spying on Canadians and its major role in the NSA’s gargantuan global spy network.
Predictably they have responded to Wednesday’s events, by rallying round the Harper Conservative government, lending credence to its tendentious claims that Canada is under attack.
NDP leader Thomas Muclair said the Ottawa shooting had been “designed to strike at the very heart of our democracy—at the heart of who we are.” In a display of “national unity,” Mulcair embraced Harper following the prime minister’s right-wing address Thursday morning.
How a non-event becomes an “event” that ends in anti-climax
When Mumia Abu-Jamal was the pre-recorded speaker at a Goddard College commencement in Plainfield, Vermont, in 2008, almost no one outside the Goddard community paid any attention. This year, when Goddard announced that students had chosen Mumia to do a return engagement at their graduation, Philadelphia police, politicians, media, and Fox News went crazy with angry rhetoric aimed at curbing free speech.
In the end, this breakdown in civil society resulted in nothing worse than hundreds of police-instigated threats of violence to the Goddard community. For the sake of security, Goddard moved the graduation up three hours, with no public announcement, and the full-house ceremony for 24 students went forward with private security and without incident.
In the week between the announcement and the event, “Mumia Abu-Jamal” the symbol served once again as a triggering Rorschach blot exposing aspects of American character in 2014, reflecting and denying realities decades and centuries past. In a sense what Goddard students provoked with their commencement speaker choice was a weeklong confrontation between the symbolic “Mumia Abu-Jamal” and the actual Mumia Abu-Jamal, without much success in joining them in there single, complex reality.
What does “Mumia Abu-Jamal” actually mean, or should he just be?
Understanding “Mumia Abu Jamal” in full requires more time and space that is available here. The man and the symbol and those who pillory him all have significant complexity, both real and unreal. There are at least two contexts that are fundamental to understanding the Mumia phenomenon itself and the mini-drama it produced at Goddard:
First, whatever else he is, Mumia is a political prisoner and has been a political target at least since he was 15. Mumia was born in 1954 as Wesley Cook. As he became an articulate member of the Black Panther party (until he was 16) and a representative of black resistance generally, he was targeted for his political expression by police agencies that included the FBI and its illegal COINTELPRO program. On December 9, 1981, radio reporter Mumia was moonlighting as a cab driver. He was on the scene when officer Daniel Faulkner made a traffic stop of Mumia’s younger brother, William Cook. In the next few moments, Faulkner was shot and killed and Mumia was shot and disabled. Little else about the event is reliably clear. Anyone who takes the time to look disinterestedly into the record of the investigation and subsequent trials will soon understand that Mumia’s conviction for killing officer Faulkner may or may not be a miscarriage of justice in terms of Mumia’s actual guilt, which remains unproved. Mumia denied his guilt at trial and ever since. The investigation and judicial process are so fundamentally flawed in so many ways, they offer the best evidence that Mumia’s conviction is morally and factually insupportable.
Second, and probably more important for context, is the abiding corruption of the Philadelphia legal system, both police and courts. At the time of Mumia’s arrest, he had been talking on the radio about police corruption. At the same time, there was a federal investigation going on that would lead to the conviction of 31 Philadelphia police officers. In 1981, Officer Faulkner, 26, was working undercover inside the department, gathering evidence against his fellow officers. Another wave of Philadelphia police corruption and brutality in the 1990s came to be known as the 39th District scandal. In July 2014, federal prosecutors indicted six officers in “what Philadelphia’s police commissioner described as one of the worst cases of corruption,” according to CNN. CBS Philly has a special page for Philadelphia police corruption. Currently, after some 20 years of abusing civil forfeiture laws to pad city budgets (by an average $6 million a year), Philadelphia faces a class action lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice seeking to end the abuse, which includes an inherently corrupting conflict of interest.
When you’re under fire, it’s useful to have a distracting scapegoat
One of the epicenters of reflexive Mumia-bashing is the 325,000 member Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), whose website has no prominent (if any) expressed opposition to police corruption. The Order was instrumental in unscrupulously attacking an Obama administration nominee for U.S. Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Dept. of Justice, who eventually withdrew his name from nomination. Attorney Debo Adegbile, 48, was fully qualified to serve, but the FOP opposed him because he had, as part of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, tangentially participated in Mumia Abu-Jamal’s appeals process. None of this was improper, but the FOP used inflammatory guilt-by-association in a McCarthyite campaign that effectively intimidated Democratic Senators into joining their prejudiced Republican colleagues in race-based opposition to a qualified candidate for the “sin” of representing the “wrong” client, an expectation of attorneys actually expressed in the U.S. Constitution. Given its Mumia-obsession, the FOP was quick to join the counter-constitutional attack on personal and institutional free speech at Goddard.
Founded in 1863 as a Universalist seminary in the Green Mountains, Goddard College has about 600 students, most of whom are not college-age and most whom are not on campus most of the time. Accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Goddard offers undergraduate degrees as well as Masters degrees in fields including Education, Health Sciences, Psychology, and Creative Writing. Mumia Abu-Jamal first came to Goddard in the 1970s, earning his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1996 from prison. In 2008, graduating students unanimously and “proudly” chose Mumia to give a pre-recorded commencement speech at Goddard. On August 10, 2008, he gave his speech, apparently without incident and without much media or other attention. Having had that experience, Goddard made a routine announcement on a Monday, setting off a chain of events, with these highlights:
September 29, 2014.
Goddard publicized Mumia’s October 5 speech in a matter-of-fact press release with this headline:
Mumia Abu-Jamal to Give Commencement Speech at Goddard College
Inmate Journalist and Goddard Graduate to Address Newest Class of Radical Thinkers
The release noted that Mumia was convicted for the 1981 murder of officer Faulkner and was serving a sentence of life in prison without parole. The release quoted interim college president Bob Kenny saying, almost prophetically: “Choosing Mumia as their commencement speaker, to me, shows how this newest group of Goddard graduates expresses their freedom to engage and think radically and critically in a world that often sets up barriers to do just that.”
The same day the Burlington Free Press picked up the news in a brief, bland item that began: “Goddard College students have chosen a famous alumnus as their fall commencement speaker, but his remarks have been pre-recorded and he won’t be at the ceremony on Sunday.” The Free Press was apparently alone in this reporting. So far, so calm.
September 30, 2014.
Philadelphia’s CBS local station broke the calm with a story that began: “A small Vermont college is poking a lot of people in the eye by having convicted cop-killer Mumia Abu-Jamal as its commencement speaker next Sunday.” Fox News also pushed the story: “A man serving life in prison for killing a Philadelphia police officer in 1981 has been selected as a commencement speaker at his Vermont alma mater.”
The spin on the story was inspired by the president of the Philadelphia Fraternal Order of Police, John Nesby, who is quoted saying: “We have somebody who’s a convicted murderer, who’s in prison, and they’re allowed to be able to have special privileges. It just seems the only one being penalized here is [officer Faulkner’s widow] Maureen Faulkner and she’s fed up with it.” The CBS headline read:
Convicted Cop-Killer Mumia Abu-Jamal Selected As Commencement Speaker For College In Vermont
CBS also reported Corrections Department spokeswoman Sue McNaughton trying to distance the department from controversy, saying that: Mumia is merely making use of his phone privileges. He’s done this before in the past. He’s made other commencement addresses. They’re not live, from what I understand. They’re recorded and then played…. the department does not endorse Mumia’s speech, but he has the right to talk.
Picking up on the cue from the Philadelphia FOP, the Vermont Troopers’ Association president, Michael O’Neil, wrote a public letter to the Goddard president, “on behalf of the 280 members of the Vermont Troopers’ Association and the families of slain police officers….” O’Neil asked the college to rescind the invitation, writing in part:
“Your invitation to this convicted murderer demonstrates an absolute disregard for the family of Danny Faulkner…. While our nation is searching for solutions to gun violence in our schools and communities, we are outraged that Goddard College is hosting a man who shot and killed a police officer. A college commencement ceremony should be conducted to honor the achievements of graduates, not provide a forum for recognition of a convicted killer.”
The Troopers Association did not respond to questions submitted in writing.
October 1, 2014.
Using some language word-for-word from the Philadelphia FOP letter, the national office of the Fraternal Order of Police issued what it titled:
STATEMENT OF NATIONAL PRESIDENT CHUCK CANTERBURY ON COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS BY COP-KILLER ABU-JAMAL
Canterbury, like McNeil, urged “that Goddard College rescind its invitation to this repugnant murderer.” Despite the police pile-on, the story gained little traction nationally. The Washington Post played it fairly neutrally, first referring to Mumia as “an infamous American prisoner.”
October 2, 2014.
The Vermont Police Chiefs Association joined the law enforcement chorus against Goddard and Mumia. The head of the association, Vergennes Police Chief George Merkel was quoted saying:
“It is beyond belief that an educational institution would even consider such an act of disrespect to the family of slain Philadelphia police officer Daniel Faulkner and the law enforcement community of Vermont…. It obviously means nothing to the school administration and graduates that Mumia Abu-Jamal murdered Officer Faulkner in cold blood by shooting him five times.
While we support the protection of individual rights in Vermont, we find the choice of this convicted murderer as a commencement speaker offensive, and shows a lack of judgment on behalf of the college and its graduates, as well as a total disrespect for the family of the slain officer, who was sworn also to protect individual rights….”
The only member of Congress to take a public position, apparently, was Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania, who wrote an outraged letter to Goddard in which said, among other things:
“Is there any crime so heinous that Goddard would not reward the perpetrator with a spot as commencement speaker? I cannot fathom how anyone could think it appropriate to honor a cold-blooded murderer….”
Earlier in the year, Toomey led the effort to deny the appointment of Debo Adegbile to the Justice Dept., because Adegbile had had the temerity to give meaning to the Constitution’s promise that Mumia should have adequate counsel.
The Pennsylvania Department of Corrections joined the official outcry against hearing the voice of “a convicted cop killer.” A spokesperson described a proper speaker. Ironically, that description also fits Mumia: “a commencement speaker worthy of their time such as a survivor of crime to impart things like resiliency, courage and strength.”
The National Review offered a smooth, cleverly argued critique of Goddard’s choice of Mumia, beginning with the G.K. Chesterton warning against being “so open-minded that your brains fall out.” At the end, the piece sarcastically suggests:
“Perhaps Goddard’s graduating class is not so intellectually atrophied and morally adrift as to actually think that entertaining a cop-killer as its commencement speaker was a bold, revolutionary decision. Perhaps they just invited Goddard’s most distinguished graduate.”
Vermont Public Radio exaggeratedly reported that “Goddard College is facing a storm of criticism for inviting a man convicted of murdering a police officer to speak….” Vermont Public Radio did not mention that it used to broadcast Mumia’s radio programs when they were carried by National Public Radio (until another political attack drove them off the air).
As a Goddard spokesman pointed out, Mumia speaks from a unique perspective, an “an imprisoned African-American male,… an under-represented and almost invisible population.” Goddard Community Radio, WGDR-WGDH FM, currently carries Mumia’s syndicated Prison Radio show, at 7 PM on Sunday.
“Murder is wrong. Free speech is right…. these exist together.”
Without responding formally to police demands to cancel Mumia, Goddard pushed back. Goddard communications manager Samantha Kolber sent out two tweets about an hour apart that evening:
10:28 PM – “Free people have a right to decide for themselves what they want to hear.” - @MumiaAbuJamal
In an interview, Kolber had said that the graduating students “chose Mumia because to them, Mumia represents a struggle for freedom of the mind, body, and spirit. Those were values important to this graduating class.”
Late that same day, a North Carolina prison released an ex-police commander to a halfway house, after three and a half years behind bars. The former Chicago police officer was Jon Burge, 66, convicted of perjury and obstruction of justice relating to his participation in using torture to coerce false confessions from men in custody. Although a final count is uncertain, police commander Burge took part in torturing more than 100 black men, sometimes using electro-shock.
A Chicago police pension board has affirmed Burge’s $4000-a-month police pension. The capture and conviction of Burge, as well as settlements to victims, is estimated to have cost $120 million to Chicago taxpayers.
The police organizations attacking Goddard College have not objected to the public paying a convicted police torturer some $48,000 a year in retirement.
Twitter was busy, and there was also Mumia support). Goddard reported these to the Vermont State Police, who said through a spokesperson that they planned to investigate the source of the threats and would keep in touch with the college in case the college needed help. According to VTDigger:
Goddard has received hundreds of phone calls, about one per minute Friday, and letting all of them go to voicemail, Goddard spokesperson Samantha Kolber said. College officials were responding to only the most urgent calls, she said. Some of the calls threatened violence and sexual assault.
To Police and Politicians: “Hands Off Goddard College!”
That was the headline of a piece in Counterpunch, an appeal by two college professors, one from the City College of New York, the other from the Princeton Theological Seminary. They note, in support of both Goddard and Mumi that: “His death sentence was ruled unconstitutional in 2001, and finally vacated in 2011.”
They characterize Mumia as “a political prisoner, who was framed in the courts for his political beliefs and affiliations,” whose supporters include Amnesty International and Bishop Desmond Tutu.
They characterize his current attackers as guardians of “a center that quashes the right to speak of needed voices from among the marginalized and politically repressed, they cease being a center worthy of public respect.
They conclude that:
“The students occupy the moral and intellectual high ground. Let them proceed without intimidation by officials who command guns and prisons. The youth of today, those who must forge tomorrow’s freedom and real democracy, should be neither chained nor intimidated by guardians of the old center.”
October 4, 2014.
The Fox News program FOX&friends continued attack on Goddard and Mumia. Officer Faulkner’s widow, Maureen, and Sen. Toomey were guests and the views of the guests and anchor were predictably one-sided and without nuance.
Reinforcing the dominant narrative that requires Mumia to be a one-dimensional Black Panther cop-killer, pictures of Mumia typically show him as a much younger man, with long dreds, and sometimes a threatening appearance. The very pro-Mumia website of Rachel Wolkenstein, one of his attorneys, has a picture from 2012 showing Mumia with his wife and attorney Wolkenstein.
October 5, 2014.
The graduation ceremony went off without reported incident.
The college hired private security to supplement college staff, since relying on Vermont police who had been attacking the college all week didn’t seem rational. As it turned out, some 20 police were busy peacefully protesting the graduation. Interesting work all around with the “serve and protect” thing.
There might have been a bigger protest, but Goddard had quietly and privately changed the time of the ceremony from 4 PM to 1 PM. Mumia’s pre-recorded speech (audio only, though often reported as video) was not his best work, but adequate to the occasion. One highlight, when he spoke more personally, first of the 1970s:
“Let me say something that I’ve never said before: when I came to Goddard, I was intimidated. Although teachers and adults told me that I could do the work, I rarely believed them. I felt woefully unprepared. But guess what? Goddard gave me confidence, and I never lost that feeling….”
And then he spoke of the 1990s:
“In one of the most repressive environments on earth (Death Row), Goddard allowed me to study and research human liberation and anti-colonial struggles on two continents: Africa and Latin/Central America. I think you for that grand opportunity….”
In Philadelphia, uniformed police there held a 30-minute silent vigil at the site of a plaque commemorating Officer Faulkner, an event organized by the FOP to honor Maureen Faulkner and her husband and other fallen police officers.
“Once again, my family and I find ourselves being assaulted by the obscenity that is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
On Sunday October 5th, my husband’s killer will once again air his voice from what masquerades as a prison, and spew his thoughts and ideas at another college commencement. Mumia Abu-Jamal will be heard and honored as a victim and a hero by a pack of adolescent sycophants at Goddard College….
Shame on Goddard College and all associated with that school for choosing to honor an arrogant remorseless killer as their commencement speaker. Unfortunately, this is something that I am certain they will be proud of for the rest of their lives.”
She accuses Mumia of hating America, she blames Goddard for hiding behind the First Amendment, she calls that “a convenient way to dodge their responsibility to take a moral position on this situation.” Moments later, she contradicts this and describes the moral position she says they’ve already taken:
“Let’s be honest. The instructors, administrators and graduates at Goddard College embrace having this killer as their commencement speaker not despite the fact that he brutally murdered a cop, but because he brutally murdered a cop.” [emphasis added]
If that paranoia is heartfelt and widespread in the FOP and other police associations, police might consider why anyone would believe such a thing, whether out of rage or guilt. And they might wonder what effect it has, on others and themselves, to demonize supposed cop-killers while giving killer cops a pass.
Is it being used by certain forces for broader political purposes? Fresno State University Criminology Professor Jason Kissner discusses the important series of articles he’s written for Global Research dissecting the Ebola phenomenon and its accompanying media frenzy.
Dr. Kissner received his undergraduate degree in Philosophy from the University of Florida. He also holds graduate degrees from Cornell University’s Law School and Florida State University. His work has appeared in numerous academic journals and alternative news outlets, including Global Research and American Thinker.
Il 3 febbraio 2011, tra la caduta di Ben Ali e quella imminente di Mubarak, il senatore statunitense John McCain fece una dichiarazione sbalorditiva, mentre la piazza araba era in piena ebollizione: « Questo virus si diffonde in tutto il Medio Oriente » . Non parlava del virus Ebola, né di qualche altra malattia contagiosa, ma piuttosto della famosa « primavera » araba. Un simile paragone « epidemiologico » non è, a dire il vero, del tutto gratuito, da parte di questo specialista della « esportazione » della democrazia
Il virus secondo McCain
E’ noto il ruolo svolto da McCain nelle rivoluzioni colorate  e nella primavera araba . Infatti, oltre ad essere un senatore statunitense, egli è anche il più alto responsabile dell’International Republican Institute (IRI) che, con il National Democratic Institute (NDI), è uno dei quattro organismi satelliti della National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Ricordiamo che la NED è finanziata da un budget votato dal Congresso e che i suoi fondi sono amministrati da un consiglio di amministrazione, nel quale sono rappresentati il Partito repubblicano, il Partito Democratico, la Camera di Commercio USA e il sindacato American Federation of Labor-Congress of Industrial Organization (AFL-CIO). La NED, attraverso i suoi organismi (specialmente l’IRI e il NDI), forma, mette in rete, sostiene e finanzia gli attivisti per la democrazia (e soprattutto filo-occidentali) in tutto il mondo, nei paesi presi di mira dall’amministrazione statunitense. E’ stato così durante le rivoluzioni colorate (Serbia, Georgia, Ucraina e Kirghizistan), ma anche nella rivoluzione « verde » (Iran)  o nella « primavera » araba . La connessione tra la NED e il governo statunitense è stata posta in evidenza, et questo da molto tempo, da Allen Weinstein (uno dei suoi fondatori), che ha dichiarato nel 1991 che la NED fa oggi quello che la CIA faceva in segreto 25 anni fa .
McCain definisce i movimenti per la democrazia in Medio oriente un “virus” (video in inglese non sottotitolato)
Ma torniamo alla nozione di «virus» nella definizione della contestazione data da McCain. Il senatore, che si era accontentato di circoscriverne la zona « endemica » al Medio Oriente, l’ha rapidamente estesa ad altri paesi di grande importanza strategica per gli Stati Uniti : la Russia e la Cina. Infatti nel novembre 2011 ha dichiarato: « Questa primavera araba è un virus che contagerà Mosca e Pechino » .
Secondo McCain, la promavera araba dovrà investire anche l’Iran, la Russia e la Cina (14 settembre 2011)
Qualche giorno dopo, McCain preciserà il proprio punto di vista sulla Russia, rivolgendosi direttamente a Vladimir Putin, twittando : « Caro Vlad, la primavera araba si avvicina a voi » . Vero che McCain avrebbe potuto dire la stessa cosa qualche anno prima soltanto sostituendo l’espressione « primavera araba » con « rivoluzione colorata ». Non aveva infatti già tentato invano di « esportare » la democrazia nella Russia post-sovietica appoggiando il movimento « Oborona » ?
D’altronde è del tutto evidente che gli avvenimenti ucraini di qualche mese fa — conosciuti come Euromaïdan — s’inseriscono nel continuum di azioni che hanno come obiettivo di screditare Putin, destabilizzare la Russia e ridurre il suo campo di influenza geopolitica. Quello che non è stato possibile fare direttamente in Russia, potrebbe ottenersi usando l’Ucraina come un cavallo di Troia.
E’ per questo che McCain si è recato personalmente a Kiev per parlare direttamente ai ribelli di Maïdan il 14 dicembre 2013. « Noi siamo qui per sostenere la vostra giusta causa, il diritto sovrano dell’Ucraina a scegliere il proprio destino liberamente e in assoluta indipendenza. E il destino che desiderate si trova in Europa », ha chiarito . Ricordiamo che il senatore statunitense in Ucraina si muove su un terreno conosciuto. Vi era infatti già stato nel febbraio 2005  per incontrare i suoi « pupilli » della rivoluzione « arancione » che aveva ampiamente finanziato. Ma stavolta vi è stata una rimarchevole novità : non ha avuto remore a mostrarsi in pubblico con il leader di Svoboda, un partito ucraino apertamente ultra nazionalista, xenofobo e di ispirazione neonazista.
McCain sulla scena del Maidan, il 14 dicembre 2013
La seconda terra presa di mira dal « virus » primaverile di McCain è la Cina. E, come la Russia, anche questo paese ha un cavallo di Troia : Hong Kong.
Come bene spiega Xiao Chen, un giornalista cinese che lavora a Hong Kong, « Nella rivalità tra Stati Uniti e Cina, Hong Kong è una pedina importante (…) Non è facile per gli Stati Uniti provocare disordini in Cina, ma è facilissimo dare fastidio a Hong Kong… » .
Il virus a Hong Kong
Le manifestazioni che hanno scosso questa regione amministrativa cinese sono espressione di una campagna di disobbedienza civile molto bene orchestrata, destinata a fare pressione sul governo cinese per ottenere un vero suffragio universale alle prossime elezioni. Essa, a ben vedere, ha tutti i caratteri di un movimento di contestazione del tipo « rivoluzioni colorate ».
Sono quattro gli ingredienti necessari per mettere in movimento una « rivoluzione » di questo tipo : dei giovani attivisti motivati e mobilitati, una ideologia non violenta di opposizione al governo, un idoneo addestramento e dei finanziamenti.
Nel caso di questa ex colonia inglese, i protagonisti del movimento di protesta, inizialmente battezzato « Occupy Central with Love and Peace » (OCLP) sono per lo più giovani studenti hongkonghesi della Federazione degli studenti di Hong Kong (HKFS), insieme a un certo numero di politici dissidenti della vecchia guardia. Il nome del movimento è ispirato a quello di « Occupy Wall Street » con un tocco locale, « Central », che è il più importante quartiere degli affari di Hong Kong .
Il modus operandi adottato nel corso delle manifestazioni corrisponde fedelmente a quello già osservato nei paesi toccati dalle rivoluzioni colorate (Serbia, Georgia, Ucraina e Kirghizistan) e dalla « primavera » araba (soprattutto Tunisia e Egitto). E’ oramai di pubblica notorietà che alcuni attivisti di questi diversi paesi sono stati formati dal Centro di azione e di strategie non violente applicate (Center for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies – CANVAS). Con sede nella capitale serba, CANVAS è un centro di formazione per attivisti in erba, diretto da Srdja Popovic, egli stesso ex leader del movimento Otpor, che ha giocato un ruolo di massima importanza nella caduta di Slobodan Milosevic nel 2000.
Il Centro è finanziato dall’IRI di McCain, ma anche da altre organizzazioni statunitensi di esportazione della democrazia, come Freedom House o l’Open Society Institute (OSI) del miliardario George Soros, illustre speculatore finanziario statunitense . CANVAS effettua un lavoro di formazione secondo l’ideologia di resistenza individuale non violenta teorizzata dal filosofo e politologo statunitense Gene Sharp. Ha pubblicato un manuale dal titolo « La lotta non violenta in 50 punti »  nel quale vengono enumerati i metodi di azione non violenta, quali l’uso di slogan e simboli, la fraternizzazione col nemico, gli atti di preghiera e cerimonie religiose, le veglie e i canti, ecc.
Srdja Popovic mostra la edizione serba de « La lotta non violenta in 50 punti »
Tutte queste tecniche (e molte altre) sono state utilizzate dai dissidenti di vari paesi che sono stati formati da CANVAS. « La fraternizzazione col nemico » è stata certamente quella che più ha colpito. Per « nemico », si intendono le forze dell’ordine schierate contro i dissidenti. Si sono quindi visti a Kiev, Bichkek, Il Cairo o Tunisi, attivisti che distribuivano fiori o vettovaglie ai poliziotti e ai militari, fraternizzando con loro. Allo stesso modo, a Hong Kong, si sono scorti degli studenti tendere fiori e vettovaglie ai burocrati della città, fin dal primo mattino .
Diversi giorni prima dell’inizio della mobilitazione, gli attivisti dell’OCLP hanno pubblicato sul loro sito un « manuale della disobbedienza », dove spiegano tra l’altro la filosofia della disobbedienza civile e le regole della protesta non violenta, oltre a fornire raccomandazioni riguardo al cibo e al modo di vestirsi e a giudiziosi consigli in caso di arresto . Questa lista di istruzioni per il « perfetto manifestante » è abbastanza completa ma per nulla originale. Viene in mente quello assai simile che avevano pubblicato sul loro sito gli attivisti egiziani del « Movimento del 6 aprile » (protagonisti della caduta di Mubarak). Era intitolata « Cosa fare in caso di arresto » . E’ necessario ricordare che molti militanti del Movimento del 6 aprile sono stati formati da CANVAS ?
Cosa rara in un contesto di tal genere: Srdja Popovic in persona ha elogiato il movimento OCLP in un articolo pubblicato su Slate, definendo i suoi aderenti come i « manifestanti più educati del mondo » . « Non sono giovani idealisti, sono degli operatori politici avvertiti che conoscono il segreto del successo della resistenza non violenta » ha affermato. Aggiungendo: « Con la sua fedele adesione alla non violenza « Occupy central » ha dimostrato preparazione, formazione e disciplina, una combinazione assai rara in molti movimenti ».
Possibile che Popovic sia coinvolto in questa formazione? Appare plausibile alla luce del suo incondizionato sostegno all’OCLP e dell’amplissima copertura garantita al movimento sulla sua pagina Facebook  e su quella di CANVAS . E sembra ancora più evidente, a giudicare dalla meticolosa organizzazione delle manifestazioni e dal modus operandi. Anche il mutamento del nome del movimento da OCLP a una denominazione più « canvassiana » come « rivoluzione degli ombrelli » non è casuale.
Loghi della “rivoluzione degli ombrelli”
Il quarto e fondamentale ingrediente di questo tipo di « rivoluzioni » è sul versante finanziario. Infatti, malgrado le apparenze, queste proteste di massa non sono né spontanee, né intrinsecamente autoctone. Esse sono il frutto di una lunga e minuziosa preparazione e beneficiano di generosi finanziamenti da parte di organizzazioni specializzate nella « esportazione » della democrazia e di una ditirambica copertura mediatica di ampiezza planetaria. Nessuno potrebbe schierarsi contro la virtù, vero? Dei giovani, per la maggior parte studenti, che manifestano « pacificamente » e « amorevolmente » contro la “dittatura”, reclamando giustizia e democrazia. Cosa c’è di più nobile?
Ma, come dice il proverbio, « la virtù è come i denti : più è bianca e più è falsa ».
Il finanziamento del virus
Analizziamo dunque i finanziamenti delle varie organizzazioni che gravitano intorno alla dissidenza hongkonghese e ai loro leader.
Quando un gruppo di contestazione per la democrazia, che predica peraltro la non violenza, si scontra con un governo autoritario, inevitabilmente compare sulla scena una organizzazione « dirittidelluomista », A Hong Kong questo ruolo spetta a « Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor » (HKHRM). Diretto da Yuk-kai Law, il HKHRM è regolarmente sovvenzionato dalla NED. Infatti i rapporti annuali della NED mostrano che, tra il 2007 e il 2013, quest’organizzazione di difesa dei diritti dell’uomo ha ricevuto circa un milione di dollari in finanziamenti diretti .
Oltre ad avere stretti rapporti con la NED, il direttore del HKHRM è in contatti con Freedom House, come dimostra il fatto che quest’ultima ha pagato tutte le spese del suo soggiorno negli Stati Uniti . L’attiva presenza di Freedom House a Hong Kong è stata anche osservata da alcuni specialisti delle relazioni sino-USA .
I rapporti della NED di cui si è detto prima menzionano anche somme versate al NDI nel 2009 e 2012 « per favorire la sensibilizzazione nei confronti delle istituzioni politiche di Hong Kong e il processo di riforma costituzionale e sviluppare la capacità dei cittadini – soprattutto gli studenti universitari – a partecipare in modo più efficace al dibattito pubblico sulle riforme politiche […] ». Le somme totali per questi due anni superano i 700.000 $ .
Sul sito del NDI, si può leggere in proposito : « Tra il 1997 e il 2011, il NDI ha organizzato una serie di missioni a Hong Kong per promuovere l’elaborazione del quadro delle elezioni, lo statuto di autonomia, lo Stato di diritto e le libertà civili oltre alle prospettive e le sfide della democratizzazione » .
Benny Tai è co-fondatore del movimento OCLP e uno dei suoi leader. Professore aggregato di Diritto all’università di Hong Kong, è anche membro del Consiglio di gestione del « Centre for Comparative and Public Law » (CCPL) della stessa università. Secondo il rapporto di attività 2011-2013, il CCPL è un centro che ha per missione di « diffondere la conoscenza del diritto pubblico e le questioni dei diritti dell’uomo » . La relazione tra questo centro e il NDI viene menzionato nello stesso rapporto : « Il CCPL ha ricevuto un finanziamento del National Democratic Institute (NDI) per ideare e realizzare un sito internet sui modelli di suffragio universale, dove il grande pubblico possa discutere e fornire commenti e idee sul metodo di suffragio universale più appropriato per Hong Kong ».
Questa informazione trova riscontro sul sito del NDI : « Il CCPL dell’Università di Hong Kong, col sostegno del NDI, lavora per dare risalto alla voce dei cittadini in questo processo di consultazione con la creazione di « Design Democracy Hong Kong » (www.designdemocracy.hk), un sito unico e neutrale che fornisce ai cittadini un luogo dove discutere del futuro elettorale di Hong Kong » (29).
Presentato come un « superdotato della rivoluzione » , Joshua Wong, uno studente di 17 anni, è indubbiamente la figura più mediatizzata del movimento OLCP. Il suo precoce attivismo ha riempito le pagine dei media « mainstream » che riferiscono della sua « epica » lotta contro l’adozione nelle scuole di Hong Kong di un nuovo programma scolastico mirante a sviluppare il sentimento patriottico cinese. Per opporsi a questo progetto, egli ha co-fondato un movimento studentesco chiamato « Scholarism » e mobilitato migliaia di manifestanti. Il progetto è stato alla fine ritirato nel 2012 : aveva solo 15 anni.
Il giovanissimo leader della protesta studentesca, Joshua Wong
Ma questo ritratto è stato recentemente scalfito in un articolo pubblicato da Wen Wei Po, un giornale hongkonghese definito (per screditarlo) come filo-cinese dai media occidentali. Si legge che « ambienti statunitensi hanno scelto Wong tre anni prima e hanno lavorato con lui per trasformarlo in superstar politica» . Secondo l’articolo, Joshua Wong sarebbe stato in stretti rapporti col personale del consolato USA a Hong Kong e avrebbe ricevuto forti somme di denaro .
La notizia non è del tutto nuova. Le ambasciate statunitensi dei vari paesi toccati dalle rivoluzioni colorate o dalla « primavera » araba si sono sempre comportate così. Per prima cosa individuano gli attivisti dotati di capacità di leadership; quindi stringono stretti rapporti con loro e li finanziano: viaggi tutto pagato, formazione negli Stati Uniti o all’estero, partecipazione a conferenze o simposi, incontri con personalità USA di alto rango, ecc. E’ il caso di molti attivisti come, per esempio, il serbo Srdja Popovic , la yemenita (e Premio Nobel per la Pace) Tawakkol Karman , gli egiziani Adel Mohamed e Bassem Samir , i tunisini Slim Amamou e Emna Ben Jemaa .
L’articolo del Wen Wei Po menziona anche l’intento dell’amministrazione statunitense di infiltrare le scuole di Hong Kong. Di primo acchito, questa accusa sembra iscriversi nelle teorie del complotto. E tuttavia non si tratta di un’affermazione falsa, stando a quanto dice il dottor Shen Benqiu dell’università di Guangzhou (Cina). In un interessantissimo articolo sulle relazioni tra Stati Uniti e Hong Kong, pubblicato nel 2012 (vale a dire più di due anni e mezzo prima di OCLP), egli nota che « Gli USA attribuiscono grande importanza alla giovane generazione di Hong Kong perché sperano di trarre profitto dalla loro scarsa identificazione con la Cina continentale » . Più precisamente, precisa che « due novità si sono registrate dopo il 2007. Prima di tutto le ONG statunitensi hanno ampliato i loro rapporti di collaborazione a Hong Kong includendo, oltre alle fazioni politiche, anche gli istituti di insegnamento superiore (…). La seconda novità è che gli obiettivi delle ONG statunitensi si sono progressivamente estese ai giovani, alle donne e al lavoro, ponendo l’accento sulla gioventù ». Per dimostrare la sua tesi, Shen Benqiu cita diverse attività della NDI e di altre organizzazioni satelliti della NED.
Intervistato dalla CNN, il giovane Wong ha dichiarato : « Il popolo non dovrebbe avere timore del governo. E’ il governo che dovrebbe temere il suo popolo ». Una frase ispirata dal best-seller di Gene Sharp « From Dictatorship to Democracy » (Dalla dittatura alla democrazia) e un principio insegnato da CANVAS.
Le attività di Yuk-kai Law, Benny Tai e Joshua Wong, tre figure emblematiche della dissidenza hongkonghese, illustrano in modo pedagogico l’ingerenza delle organizzazioni statunitensi di « esportazione » della democrazia. I primi due rappresentano la vecchia guardia, mentre il terzo proviene dai movimenti giovanili hongkonghesi, che, secondo il dottor Shen Benqiu, vengono prioritariamente curati dall’amministrazione USA
In un articolo estremamente dettagliato, Tony Cartalucci cita altri attivisti dell’OCLP, precisandone i rapporti con NED, il NDI o il Dipartimento di Stato USA . Citiamo a titolo di esempio Martin Lee, il presidente fondatore del Partito Democratico di Hong Kong, Audrey Eu Yuet-mee, la presidente del Partito civico o il cardinale Jospeh Zen.
Piccola precisazione a proposito di Martin Lee : il 4 aprile 2014, è stato ricevuto alla Casa Bianca dal vicepresidente Joe Biden e, il giorno precedente, da Nancy Pelosi, la speaker del partito democratico alla Camera dei Rappresentanti.
Questa evidente ingerenza statunitense nel dossier di Hong Kong, attraverso le sue organizzazioni di « esportazione » della democrazia, ha fatto dire a Wang Haiyun, vicepresidente dell’Istituto cinese di ricerche sulla storia delle relazioni sino-russe, che il suo paese dovrebbe seguire l’esempio della Russia, che obbliga le ONG finanziate dall’estero a iscriversi come « agenti stranieri ». « Possiamo seguire l’esempio della Russia e varare una ‘legge sul denaro straniero’ onde bloccare l’infiltrazione di forze straniere e sventare il pericolo di una rivoluzione colorata », ha concluso nel suo articolo del luglio 2014 .
Secondo le attese, gli Stati uniti hanno fornito il loro sostegno ai manifestanti:
« Noi seguiamo da vicino la situazione a Hong Kong. Dovunque nel mondo, gli USA sostengono le libertà fondamentali, come quelle di pacifica manifestazione e di espressione riconosciute internazionalmente. Esortiamo le autorità di Hong Kong a dare prova di moderazione e i manifestanti ad esprimere le loro opinioni pacificamente. Gli Stati Uniti sostengono il suffragio universale a Hong Kong in conformità con la Legge fondamentale, ed appoggiamo le aspirazioni del popolo di Hong Kong » .
La risposta a questa dichiarazione viene da John Ross, dell’università Renmin di Cina che ha scritto sulla sua pagina Sina Weibo: « La copertura data dai media occidentali ai fatti di Hong Kong e semplicemente troppo ipocrita. Nei 150 anni in cui i coloni inglesi hanno regnato su Hong Kong, la Gran Bretagna non ha mai permesso alla popolazione di Hong Kong di eleggere il loro governatore, e la cosa non ha mai creato alcun problema agli Stati Uniti. La Cina ha adottato un sistema di governo di Hong Kong assai più democratico di quello della Gran Bretagna, ma gli Stati Uniti hanno vivamente protestato contro il governo cinese» .
Il virus preparato dal senatore McCain nel suo laboratorio di « esportazione » della democrazia riuscirà a infettare il « Porto dei Profumi »  pe poi contaminare tutta la Cina?
Niente è meno certo. Tutto dipenderà certamente dalla virulenza del ceppo virale, ma anche dalla disponibilità di un efficace vaccino
Un esercito moderno del terzo millennio si basa su un sistema integrato ricognizione-attacco, in grado di rilevare e monitorare continuamente il nemico per determinarne le debolezze e il momento ottimale per distruggerlo.
L’unica forma di assicurazione in combattimento, nota nella scienza militare, è il rilevamento in tempo reale della posizione dei combattenti nemici, lo stato del loro materiale bellico e trarne le intenzioni da movimenti e manovre nello spazio e nel tempo. A differenza di altre forme di ricognizione, la ricognizione aerospaziale ha il vantaggio di coprire l’intero teatro delle operazioni militari. Nel 2014, l’esercito russo completò la realizzazione di nuove strutture da ricognizione, basate sul complesso da ricognizione-attacco progettato per assicurare il dispiegamento immediato delle forze con la massima precisione e a distanze di diverse centinaia o migliaia di chilometri. Con queste complesse strutture, la Russia ora possiede quei sistemi di ultima generazione che solo gli statunitensi avevano. La NATO è consapevole del fatto che, a causa della nuova struttura da ricognizione, l’esercito russo ormai conosca molto bene la posizione di tutte le forze e i mezzi degli eserciti dei Paesi della NATO vicini alla Russia. Può rilevare in tempo reale ogni nuovo dispiegamento di truppe NATO nelle aree lungo i suoi confini. Va ricordato che il successo di qualsiasi operazione di terra è impensabile senza l’uso di velivoli senza equipaggio (UAV) che, con termocamere a infrarossi e vari sensori, pattugliano i cieli 24 ore su 24. Negli ultimi dieci anni, i combattimenti in aree popolate contro la guerriglia urbana sono stati efficaci proprio per l’uso simultaneo di droni, cacciabombardieri ed elicotteri d’attacco.
Gli eserciti moderni, della Federazione russa come gli Stati Uniti, utilizzano un programma complesso, su tre livelli di raccolta ed elaborazione dati, per formarsi un quadro completo della situazione nel teatro delle operazioni terrestri. Oltre alle informazioni raccolte da oltre un centinaio di satelliti militari russi, dotati di sensori di vario tipo. Il primo livello è fornito da 4-6 minivelivoli senza equipaggio (UAV) tipo Zala 421-08 (Strekoza) disponibili ad ogni battaglione delle forze di terra dell’esercito russo. Sono silenziosi, propulsi da un motore elettrico, con un raggio di 30 km e una quota di volo di 2000 m.
36 altri droni Jakovlev Pchela-1 T e Rubezh (simile allo statunitense RQ-7 Shadow) a corto raggio e quota di volo di 2500-3600 m, sono assegnati a brigate di fanteria, d’artiglieria e aeroportate russe. Sono dotati di dispositivi elettro-ottici agli infrarossi e sensori in grado di distinguere un bersaglio in movimento e rilevare lo spostamento di decine di centimetri dell’ombra di un uomo a una distanza di 700 m. I droni a corto raggio hanno un’autonomia di 2-4 ore, con un campo di osservazione totale ma con scarse apertura e profondità. Ecco perché le brigate carri armati russi, che hanno un alto ritmo offensivo, devono dotarsi, entro il 2015, di quattro velivoli senza pilota da ricognizione con autonomia intermedia Dozor 600, simile all’MQ-1B Predator statunitense. L’equipaggiamento di navigazione è un FLIR che include videocamera diurna e agli infrarossi, telemetro laser e un proiettore laser per dirigere le armi. Come l’MQ-1 Predator ha un sensore di movimento SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar); il Dozor è dotato di sistemi subalari cui poter appendere due missili laserguidati, due lanciarazzi o 6 bombe da 20 kg.
Il secondo livello di raccolta ed elaborazione dei dati è strettamente legato a tutte le unità in campo, ed è composto dalla flotta di elicotteri russi in supporto alle forze di terra. Si tratta in particolare degli elicotteri da ricognizione e attacco Mi-24V/Mi-35, Mi-28 e Ka-52 Alligator. I sensori di navigazione FLIR, il sistema di gestione dei dati di tiro e di ricerca dell’elicottero sono montati nella speciale carenatura MMS sul muso del velivolo. L’equipaggiamento comprende una telecamera diurna e una ad impronta termica notturna, un piccolo radar a frequenze millimetriche e un telemetro laser per dirigere armi ad alta precisione. Il terzo livello di raccolta ed elaborazione dati è la ricognizione strategica, rappresentata da aerei da ricognizione a lungo raggio. La Russia possiede 17 droni furtivi Skat, simili al tipo RQ-170 Sentinel statunitense usato in Afghanistan, con una quota massima di 12000 metri e un’autonomia di 4000 chilometri.
Ma alla base rimangono essenzialmente i velivoli da ricognizione ELINT, con a bordo equipaggi specializzati. La Russia ha 20 velivoli Il-20M1, con un’autonomia di 6500 chilometri e quota di volo di 11800 m, in grado di pattugliare i cieli per 12 ore senza rifornimento. L’Il-20M1 ha un team di otto specialisti ELINT e un radar ad alta potenza. Il radar Kvalat-2 rappresenta su schermi digitali la mappa del terreno lungo la rotta fino a una distanza di 300 km. Nella memoria del processore, una scheda viene registrata confrontando automaticamente la mappa per rilevare la comparsa di mezzi da combattimento nemici o modifiche ai dati già raccolti nella memoria. La ricognizione tramite “radiolocalizzazione” avviene con le apparecchiature Romb-4 per rilevare segretamente e visualizzazione sullo schermo la posizione di tutti i trasmettitori terrestri che operano fino ad una distanza di 500 km. Con la memoria del processore, è possibile identificare nuovi radar della difesa antiaerea, centri comando di battaglioni, brigate e corpi d’armata, o cambi delle postazioni già note. Altri specialisti a bordo del velivolo operano con sensori nello spettro visibile e a infrarossi ad alta risoluzione. Tutte le informazioni raccolte vengono trasmesse immediatamente attraverso una linea-dati video criptata a una rete automatizzata di gestione C4I dello Stato maggiore tattico. Per via delle apparecchiature di bordo, il costo dell’Il-20M1 è diverse volte superiore a quello di un aereo di quinta generazione F-22. Inoltre, l’esercito russo usa per la ricognizione ad alta quota, 42 caccia MiG-25RB appositamente modificati per la ricognizione. Volano a 3470 km/h (Mach 3,2) a una quota massima di 24400 m. La Russia utilizza anche una squadriglia di bombardieri strategici (Tu-142/Tu-95M), che volano ad una velocità di 920 km/h a una quota di 12000 m.
La complessa struttura ricognizione-attacco della ricognizione aerea è soggetta all’avanzato sistema automatizzato C4I dello stato maggiore tattico, che svolge le seguenti funzioni: comando, controllo, comunicazioni, computer ed informazioni relative all’interoperabilità. I sistemi C4I russi rappresentano l’ultima generazione di microprocessori e apparecchiature per comunicazioni via satellite, compresi sensori da sorveglianza e controllo. Inoltre, questi sistemi dispongono di potenti memorie e server di ultima generazione, con crittografia digitale sicura su tutto lo spettro delle frequenze, rendendo le interferenze impossibili. C4I assegna automaticamente il target individuato a sistemi d’attacco terrestri (artiglieria, missili superficie-superficie), sistemi navali a bordo di navi o sistemi aerei a bordo dei velivoli da combattimento, in funzione della loro portata. Ucraina, Polonia, Stati Baltici e Romania hanno sistemi da ricognizione rudimentali e non possono nemmeno sognarsi di avere mai un sistema da ricognizione-attacco integrante il C4I. Anche se l’Ucraina non ha una struttura da ricognizione paragonabile a quelle della Russia, il rapporto di forza tra il suo esercito e quello del Donbas (8 a 1 numericamente, qualitativamente 1 a 20), a favore dell’esercito ucraino e con supremazia aerea assoluta, non è stato ancora sfruttato nella cosiddetta operazione antiterroristica contro i separatisti nel Donbas. La vetustità degli equipaggiamenti da ricognizione aerea ucraini, risalenti agli anni ’50-’60, costringono questi aerei a volare entro la portata dei missili mobili dei combattenti della Novorossija. Questi hanno potuto abbattere quattro aerei da ricognizione ucraini, mettendo fine ai voli da ricognizione dell’esercito di Kiev. Il governo di Julija Timoshenko fece la cosa più stupida degli ultimi 23 anni, ritirando e abolendo nel 2006 l’ultimo squadrone bombardieri e ricognizione ucraino, dotato dei supersonici Tu-22M3. I 43 velivoli Tu-22M3 ereditati alla dissoluzione dell’ex Unione Sovietica potevano volare a 2000 km/h (Mach 1,88) a 14500 m di quota. Se l’Ucraina fosse stata veramente interessata ad acquisire piattaforme aeree con moderni sistemi di ricognizione, forse ci sarebbe stata un’altra situazione sul campo di battaglia.
On the one side are Republicans, who resent taxes and self-identify with rich people who say that government is basically a huge waste of money and only private business is efficient and productive.
On the other side are Democrats, who don’t resent anything and who say that government is good enough to be worth the taxes that are paying for it.
Neither party is “pro-government,” and both parties are “pro-private-enterprise” or pro-corporate; so, what America actually has is two conservative parties, one of which — the Republicans — is extremely conservative.
Those are the only two political parties that have a history and a donor-base that’s big enough to stand a chance of winning 99% of elections in America; so, third parties exist here only to draw off more support from voters of one of the two real parties than from the other, and thus to throw elections in close races and thereby use their voter-base of fools so as to enable them to extort something from one of the two real parties. Otherwise, they’re simply stupid, all the way from their bottom to their top.
That’s the reality of the ideological ‘debate’ in the United States increasingly during recent decades: conservatism versus extreme conservatism, the latter of which is otherwise called “fascism.”
How did this ideologically monotonous, all-conservative, America come about?
Republican donors have simply been winning. They especially won in the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-Republican to 4-Democrat Citizens United decision that makes a corporation (either profit or nonprofit) a “person” with the special privilege to donate unlimited and even secret cash to any and all political campaigns.
In November 1933, the founder of today’s form of extreme conservatism or “fascism,” Benito Mussolini,” defined what fascism is, by saying (see page 426 there) that it’s “corporationsm”: he wrote that “the corporation plays on the economic terrain just as the Grand Council and the militia play on the political terrain. Corporationism is disciplined economy, and from that comes control, because one cannot imagine a discipline without a director. Corporationism is above socialism and above liberalism. A new synthesis is created.”
In other words, he said: corporations are more efficient than any government can be; so, governments should be run like corporations are — top-down by a decisive CEO — in order to get things done that government wants done, and to do it quickly and efficiently, not to waste money.
Mussolini’s teacher was Vilfredo Pareto, who defined the very concept of “efficiency” that’s used in today’s economic theory; he said that it’s simply transactions in which all participants are participating voluntarily. In other words: there is no government over them, no regulator of the economy; there are just trades, transactions, these being voluntary, like in the idealized economy. (But, he ignored what ‘voluntary’ means; he instead used a self-invented term “ophelimity” for that, in order to ward off questions to which he had no answer: all of the important questions — such as “Taxes aren’t voluntary; are they therefore automatically inefficient, bad, welfare-reducing?” And: “If someone buys or sells on the basis of misrepresentations, was the transaction ‘voluntary’?” Pareto was just a con-artist in the intellectual sphere, but a very successful one.)
Mussolini promised to “make the trains run on time”; he would be the CEO to do that, so that people could go efficiently about their private business, while he tried to minimize the role of government in the economy. To him, government was just a necessary evil, and should be run more like a corporation is run. Bureaucracy wasn’t seen as the evil; government bureaucracy was, and he wanted to reduce it to a minimum, transferring it to private corporations, which would supposedly be more “efficient.” He invented the privatization of what had been government, tax-supported, functions. In September 2009, the European University Institute issued their RSCAS_2009_46.pdf, titled “From Public to Private: Privatization in 1920’s Fascist Italy,” (subsequently retitled “The First Privatization: Selling SOEs” in the 2011 Cambridge Journal of Economics) by Germa Bel, who said in her summary:
“Privatization was an important policy in Italy in 1922-1925. The Fascist government was alone in transferring State ownership and services to private firms in the 1920s; no other country in the world would engage in such a policy until Nazi Germany did so between 1934 and 1937.” She particularly noted: “In his first speech as a member of the Italian Parliament in June 1921, Mussolini said: ‘The State must have a police, a judiciary, an army, and a foreign policy. All other things, and I do not exclude secondary education, must go back to the private activity of individuals.’”
That policy was subsequently taken up by Augusto Pinochet in Chile, Margaret Thatcher in Britain, and Ronald Reagan in the U.S., because the ideology, fascism, gradually became normalized throughout the West, via corporate-backed people such as Milton Friedman and other extremist conservatives; and liberals merely rejected it, they didn’t offer any coherent ideology to replace it.
The Cold War against the communists had given fascism a privileged position: one couldn’t talk against “the free market” without running up against Joseph R. McCarthy’s anti-communist witch-hunts or other people’s similarly far-right nationalist demagoguery, which meant that there was really no acceptable alternative to fascism, in the West.
Then, when communism fell, and when it became replaced (under the guidance of the Harvard economics department, thoroughly Paretian of course) in the 1990s, with fascisms, and massive privatizations of previously state-owned assets, there was no clear alternative anywhere to fascism. Mussolini had won WWII, after his death — first in the communist countries, then in the rest. Aristocrats were now firmly in control worldwide.
What the Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court did in their Citizens United decision was simply to carry this privatization-ideology more fully into the sphere of U.S. political campaigns. The five fascist ‘Justices’ didn’t refer to Benito Mussolini, but, if they had been honest, they would have — and they wouldn’t have referred at all to the U.S. Constitution, which, certainly in its original intent, was anti-corporate.
The author of the Declaration of Independence and the third U.S. President, Thomas Jefferson, wrote, on 12 November 1816, to his long-time friend Dr. George Logan of Philadelphia, about the “profligacy” of England’s government, wasting resources to prop up its international corporations, which Jefferson said had brought about “the ruin of its people” in order to benefit aristocrats. He said, “This ruin [in England] will fall heaviest, as it ought to fall, on that hereditary aristocracy which has for generations been preparing the catastrophe [meaning creating the catastrophe (by corrupting the government), not meaning to prepare for the catastrophe]. I hope we shall take warning from the [English] example [e.g., the British East India Company] and crush in it’s [sic] birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial of strength and bid defiance to the laws of our country.”
On 26 December 1827, he wrote to William B. Giles, warning that “younger recruits, who, having nothing in them of the feelings or principles of ’76, now look to a single and splendid government of an aristocracy, founded on banking institutions, and moneyed incorporations under the guise and cloak of their favored branches of manufactures, commerce and navigation, riding and ruling over the plundered ploughman and beggared yeomanry. This will be to them a next best blessing to the monarchy of their first aim, and perhaps the surest stepping-stone to it.” He was forecasting fascism, as America’s enemy.
Benjamin Franklin was equally clear about this. In James Madison’s extensive account of the proceedings at the U.S. Constitutional Convention that wrote the U.S. Constitution, Madison recorded, on 10 August 1787, concerning a proposal that had been put forth by a certain proponent of slavery, Charles Pinckney (sometimes spelled “Pinkney”), to restrict voting only to people who had property, that (in Madison’s paraphrase of Benjamin Franklin’s speech), Franklin had asserted on this date, that:
“the possession of property increased the desire of more property — Some of the greatest rogues he was ever acquainted with, were the richest rogues. We should remember the character which the Scripture requires in Rulers, that they should be men hating covetousness — This Constitution will be much read and attended to in Europe, and if it should betray a great partiality to the rich — will not only hurt us in the esteem of the most liberal and enlightened men there, but discourage the common people from removing to this Country.” (Precursing the Statue of Liberty: it didn’t just happen — our Founders were planning for it.)
Madison immediately added there: “The Motion of Mr. Pinkney was rejected by so general a no, that the States were not called.”
Not only did Franklin’s statement sway the entire convention; it caused Madison himself, ever-afterwards, to change his mind from ambiguity to clearly favoring persons over property.
Thus, in 1821, he wrote that:
“there are various ways in which the rich may oppress the poor; in which property may oppress liberty. … It is necessary that the poor should have a defence against the danger. … Under every view of the subject, it seems indispensable that the mass of citizens should not be without a voice, in making the laws which they are to obey, & in choosing the magistrates, who are to administer them, and if the only alternative be between an equal & universal right of suffrage for each branch of the Govt. and a confinement of the entire right to a part of the citizens, it is better that those having the greater interest at stake namely that of property & persons both, should be deprived of [that] half their share in the Govt.; than, that those having the lesser interest, that of personal rights only, should be deprived of the whole.”
Alexander Hamilton was fairly quiet about this matter at the Convention, but he had already been fully on record as having written, on 23 February 1775, in his The Farmer Refuted, that:
“no Englishman who can be deemed a free agent in a political view can be bound by laws to which he has not consented, either in person or by his representative. … It is therefore evident, to a demonstration, that unless a free agent in America be permitted to enjoy the same privilege [as in England], we are entirely stripped of the benefits of the constitution, and precipitated into an abyss of slavery. For we are deprived of that immunity which is the grand pillar and support of freedom. And this cannot be done without a direct violation of the [then-existing British] constitution.”
Hamilton was saying that one of the reasons a revolution against the King was necessary is that the King was violating the British Constitution, by denying all (non-slave) colonists an equal right to vote, irrespective of how wealthy they might happen to be.
However, the fascist jurist Antonin Scalia famously said, with glee, in the 12 December 2000 Bush v. Gore case (5 Republicans beating 4 Democrats), that, “the individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States.” Scalia refused to mention that that’s not because the original intent of the Founders wasn’t overwhelmingly in favor of equal voting rights for all non-slaves. (But women were yet another traditionalist issue too hot to touch in that era.) Scalia’s Constitutional “originalism” rejects the original intent of the Founders, but instead is based upon the bigoted intent of the most-conservative Americans and even Britishers during that time, as constituting our Constitution’s “original intent”; and, so, Scalia is unalterably opposed to the concept of one-person-one-vote, and he does all that he can to amplify the voting-power of the wealthy, via increasing the influence of money over our ‘elections.’ This naturally tends to transform one-person-one-vote into one-dollar-one-vote (which is the fascist ideal: rule by dollars, instead of rule by voters).
The entire thrust of Republican Supreme Court ‘Justices,’ in regards to electoral disputes, has been based far more upon the attitudes and values of people such as Benito Mussolini, than reflecting people such as Benjamin Franklin. Big-money has taken over, and liberals haven’t provided any alternative to that ideology. But Franklin did. And Jefferson did. And Madison did. And Hamilton did. Many of America’s great Founders did.
This fact is being ignored, because the wealthy interests who have financed conservative scholars don’t want it to become known. And liberal aristocrats, such as George Soros, serve more to distract such debates than to finance authentically progressive scholars, such as Zephyr Teachout, the author of the brilliant “Constitutional Purpose and the Anti-Corruption Principle”. In a briefer and more down-to-earth vein than Teachout’s, is my own “Republicans on the U.S. Supreme Court Are Wrong:
The Original Intent of the U.S. Constitution Was Progressive.” Such progressive writings are marginalized, because people like Soros, Gates, the Kochs, and the Waltons, are of only two basic types: some of them (the few ‘liberal’ aristocrats) ignore the ideological issue, but the others of them are strongly ideological, finance conservative scholars, and thus determine what type of thinking is ‘respectable’, and what types are not. (Truth doesn’t equate with their ‘respectability’.)
The conservatives have pre-empted a true jurisprudence of original intent, in order to block an authentic one coming from the progressives, just as the fascists have pre-empted a true “welfare”-based economics, in order to block an authentic one coming from any progressives. Thus, what we’ve got is unscientific, mythological, jurisprudential theory, and economic theory — both. Both of these conservative efforts have succeeded, because of enormous aristocratic money behind them. In scholarship, merit is starved; corruption is fed. Truthful scholarship and truthful politics are thus the two legs that are needed in order for a culture to be able to walk toward an authentic liberty, a liberty of the public (away from the aristocracy), but both legs are crippled with corruption; and, so, what prevails in both law and economics is instead the well-funded fascism. It has nothing to do with truth. Truth is what corruption blocks. Corruption is inimical to truth.
Thus, corruption wins; truth loses. That’s the problem. When there is great inequality of wealth, the truth gets drowned-out by lies. It’s been happening in America, and around the world. More and more money is going into the promulgation of lies, because that’s what any aristocracy thrives upon, quite naturally. Without those lies, the public would recognize: the aristocracy’s authority is founded on fraud.
With the killing of a Canadian soldier in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, on October 20, and the shooting on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on October 22, the Canadian authorities and the mainstream media have already decided. Without evidence, they are blaming “Islamic extremism” for both incidents, even though we know practically nothing about the two men who acted alone.
No terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attacks, but we are told that the two young men had converted to Islam and one of them, Martin Couture-Rouleau, who hit a soldier with his car in Saint-Jean, had “self-radicalized over the internet”. The Edmonton Sun said that “family and law enforcement try to find out why he followed ISIS kill commands.” Is there any evidence that he was “following ISIS Kill commands”?
We were told that both were known by the authorities who had confiscated their passports for fear that they would join terrorist organizations abroad. If the authorities went as far as confiscating their passports for fear they would commit terrorist attacks abroad, didn’t they fear that they would commit attacks here?
At this point we can only speculate about the motives of these two men. And one question that the media should ask, is whether the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) had anything to do with these attacks, since it has a known history of using informants to infiltrate Muslim organizations and issue violent threats against Canadian citizens. Moreover, known and documented ISIS has been supported covertly by the US and its Persian Gulf allies since the outset of the Syrian insurgency in March 2011.
But since the first killing on October 20, rather than being suspicious of the authorities, who have been warning us of the “homegrown terrorist threat” for months, the media relies almost exclusively on security and terrorism “experts” and law enforcement officials to provide “authoritative commentary” and they all agree on the “Islamic extremist” theory and self-radicalization on the internet.
It is very disturbing to say the least that security and terrorism “experts” are unaware that the root cause of terrorism, as demonstrated by studies, is not Islamic fundamentalism or any ideology, but foreign occupation, not to mention the fact that Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists are supported covertly by Western intelligence.
Based on research from the University of Chicago’s Project on Security and Terrorism, and funded in part by the US Defense Department’s Threat Reduction Agency, Professor Robert A. Pape and James K. Feldman wrote a book in 2010 called “Cutting the Fuse: The Explosion of Global Suicide Terrorism and How to Stop It.”
In 2000, before the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan, there were 20 suicide attacks around the world, and only one (against the USS Cole) was directed against Americans. In the last 12 months, by comparison, 300 suicide attacks have occurred, and over 270 were anti-American. We simply must face the reality that, no matter how well-intentioned, the current war on terror is not serving U.S. interests.”
The authors examined more than 2,200 suicide attacks across the world from 1980 to the present. As the United States has occupied Afghanistan and Iraq, which have a combined population of about 60 million, total suicide attacks worldwide have risen dramatically — from about 300 from 1980 to 2003, to 1,800 from 2004 to 2009. Further, over 90-percent of suicide attacks worldwide are now anti-American. The vast majority of suicide terrorists hail from the local region threatened by foreign troops, which is why 90-percent of suicide attackers in Afghanistan are Afghans.
In Cutting the Fuse, the authors pointed out: “Prior to 9/11, the expert debate on the causes of suicide terrorism was divided largely between two explanations — religious fanaticism and mental illness. In the years after 9/11, new research on who becomes a suicide terrorist showed that virtually none could be diagnosed as mentally ill, while many were religious and, most striking, nearly all emerged from communities resisting foreign military occupation.” (Abdus Sattar Ghazali, The root cause of suicide terrorism is occupation: New study, OpEd News, September 29, 2010)
Back in 2007, Alexandre Popovic wrote extensively about how CSIS informants “infiltrated the Canadian Muslim community and contributed to portray Islam in a negative way and fuel the stereotypes that Muslims are essentially dangerous extremists.” (Alexandre Popovic, Les manipulations médiatiques du SCRS, September 1, 2007)
One of the informants, Youssef Muammar, became the “leader of several organizations such as the International Islamic Foundation of Canada, Petro Action, the International Institute of Islamic Research, the Communauté de la nation musulmane du Grand Montréal, the Grand Mosque, Info-Islam and the magazine Le Monde islamique.” (André Noël, «Un drôle d’espion», La Presse, December 14, 2001, p. A7, cited in Alexandre Popovic, Les manipulations médiatiques du SCRS, September 1, 2007)
In other words, through its high-profile informants, CSIS was squarely in position to shape the public perception of the Canadian Muslim community.
Both informants in question are Gilles Joseph Breault, aka “Dr. Youssef Muammar” and “Abu Jihad” from Montreal, and Mubin Shaikh from Toronto. Note that we are not dealing here with mere speculation or an umpteenth conspiracy theory. First, both individuals publicly admitted working under the orders of CSIS. On the other hand, their multiple media interventions are largely documented in the archives of print media, which have gone so far as to portray the two informants as spokespersons of the Canadian Muslim community, even as their “leaders”.
From 1989 to 1994, Youssef Muammar seems to have been involved in all the controversies, be they large or small and associated directly or indirectly with radical Islam, such as the attempted coup in Trinidad and Tobago or the spread of heinous anti-Jewish propaganda […]
After openly supporting anti-Israel terrorism and appealing to murder opponents of the Islamic Salvation Front, an Algerian Islamist party now dissolved, Muammar sent messages threatening of biochemical weapons attacks in the Montreal metro. (Ibid.)
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and CSIS have been warning Canadians about “the very real terrorist threat” for months but, say they were “caught by surprise” by the two recent attacks committed by individuals they were monitoring close enough to confiscate their passports.
We were told that in Montreal people who are working in areas with a dense Muslim and immigrant population met with police and imams and were asked to “remain vigilant” and report “any suspicious activity” because they were “expecting something to happen.”
This method of relying on civilians to “spy” on their fellow citizens is reminiscent of the East German Stasi, the Ministry of State Security. “One of its main tasks was spying on the population, mainly through a vast network of citizens turned informants, and fighting any opposition by overt and covert measures including hidden psychological destruction of dissidents.”
Canadians need to keep in mind that the attacks are being used as a pretext for increased police state security measures and an integration of border security with the United States. The Ottawa shooter was actually identified by US sources even before the Canadian police had identified him. This raises serious questions on the extent to which the US and Canadian intelligence services are integrated. The Week reported:
Canadian police are yet to officially identify the suspect but US sources told Reutershe is Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a 32-year-old Canadian who recently converted to Islam. He was reportedly born and raised in Quebec, and later spent time in Libya and various regions of Canada as a labourer. His father is believed to be Bulgasem Zehaf, a Quebec businessman who appears to have fought in 2011 in Libya, and Susan Bibeau, the deputy chair of a division of Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board. (Michael Zehaf-Bibeau: the gunman behind the Ottawa shootings, The Week, October 23, 2014)
Knowing that most terrorist plots in the US are orchestrated by the FBI, as the extensive Mother Jones research showed, this integration between the two countries is far from reassuring.
We should also remember that NATO has a history of false flag terrorism. Operation Gladio, NATO’s secret army, was a clandestine operation to prevent the rise of communism in Europe and was used to commit terrorist attacks against the population, which were blamed on the Communists. The ultimate goal was to have people turn to the state for more security and reject communism. (See also Tony Cartalucci: Canadian Terror Wave: a Modern-Day Gladio)
In the past two days, in addition to calls for increased security measures, we are clearly seeing the glorification of the Canadian military, which has taken part in illegal bombings in the Middle East for many years in the name of democracy and other false humanitarian pretexts. Far from being a solution to terrorism, the Canadian Forces are part of the problem. The bombing of Libya, to cite the most recent example, helped fuel terrorism in the region.
And last but not least, why is it so easy for extremists to use Facebook and other social media to issue death threats and apparently radicalize young fragile minds when until recently Facebook “moderators were told to ban images of breastfeeding if the nipples were exposed”?
But most importantly, the Canadian media should be questioning Canada’s foreign policy and Ottawa’s military involvement in America’s wars instead of focusing on “self-radicalized individuals”.
The Pentagon has admitted that a chunk of its cache of weapons meant for Kurdish forces battling Islamic State militants in Kobani has fallen into terrorist hands. The Turkish president has been voicing his frustration with Washington over this.
On Wednesday, the US defense body went against earlier government claims that American weapons always reach its intended destinations and had to concede that two bundles out of a total of 28 intended for the Kurds have indeed ended up with the terrorists.
The militants’ advances on the Syrian-Turkish border are what spurred Washington into action in the first place.
This comes as the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) posted a video showing off brand-new American hardware in boxes with English writing and a parachute splayed out just beside the windfall.
“Yesterday we announced that one resupply bundle went astray and was destroyed. We have since relooked at that and we have determined that a second bundle also went astray and probably fell into enemy hands,” Pentagon spokesman Army Colonel Steve Warren said.
One of the bundles was later destroyed in an airstrike.
Image: Screenshot from YouTube user A3maq News
The video itself caused quite a stir on the social media landscape with users ‘thanking’ Washington for delivering the arms into the wrong hands, something the US has in the past vowed to avoid.
The previous day saw a much more optimistic White House, when Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes insisted to CNN that the administration feels “very confident that, when we air drop support as we did into Kobani… we’ve been able to hit the target in terms of reaching the people we want to reach.”
It was Washington which earlier maintained that the air drops were of the utmost urgency for the border town of Kobani to remain intact, and that it was high time to take a more drastic approach to “degrading and destroying” the IS, which outnumbered and outgunned the Syrian-Kurdish resistance.
The fight against IS terrorists has so far cost Washington approximately $424 million since the start of the operation on August 8, according to the Pentagon spokesman, Rear Admiral John Kirby. He averaged the defense body’s spending to be around $7.6 million a day.
The Syria campaign has so far lasted about a month. American air strikes there have so far killed 553 people, including 32 civilians.
But the current failure to deliver lethal equipment into the right hands is not an isolated incident – merely the latest in a series of gains by IS terrorists rampaging through northern Syria and Iraq, where millions of dollars in American equipment had already been collected from abandoned military bases.
It has in some circles become common sense that the threat posed by the IS has been greatly facilitated by America, whose weapons manufacturers are now reaping the benefits of the destruction caused by the terrorists by advocating for more weapons exports.
“In terms of the companies’ interests, profit and revenue, surely war facilitates that if you’re a defense industry. The irony is that the US and the larger coalition is using these weapons oftentimes against Islamic State, which has been armed inadvertently by the US and these Sunni-coalition countries. Because we provided arms in the context of the Arab awakening to support the uprising against [Alawite (Shiite) Syrian President] Assad. And Islamic State ended up prying these weapons away from the so-called ‘moderate Syrian rebels’, as well as by scaring the Iraqi federal forces into submission. And the US had been arming to the teeth the Iraqi government,”
Max Abrahms, an expert on terrorism at Northeastern University, told RT.
Image: Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan (Reuters / Umit Bektas)
“It has emerged that what was done was wrong,” came the reaction from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, as cited by Hurriyet Daily News, when word of the delivery failure broke.
Turkey was adamantly opposed to any deliveries – military or otherwise – to Kurdish forces, which it views as ‘terrorists’. It was in fact the PYD [the Syrian-Kurdish Democratic Union Party forces] that bore the brunt of the IS onslaught on the Syrian-Turkish border town, as Istanbul’s tanks kept a watchful eye from a distance.
When asked earlier if it would intervene to help repel the terrorist group that earlier promised to“liberate Istanbul,” the Turkish government said it would, only in the event of Turkish soldiers being endangered. It referred to the troops guarding a historical landmark inside Syria the Turkish believe to be rightfully theirs.
Now Erdogan also appears frustrated that the Kurdish forces were sent any weapons at all.
“We told [US President Barack Obama] that ‘Support that you will lend to the PYD and the PKK is not acceptable to us.’” He could have been referring to a weekend conversation with the US leader, who tried to implore him to reconsider the air drops.
“Two days passed, we are in the third/fourth day, Kobani didn’t fall. Moreover, I have difficulty in understanding why Kobani is this much strategic for [the US], because there are no civilians left in Kobani anymore; 200,000 people crossed into Turkey and we are hosting them. Only around 2,000 fighters are left in Kobani and they didn’t say ‘yes’ to Peshmerga first, but now, at the last moment, they said ‘yes’. And we told [Obama] we would be ‘helpful’ about this.”
“Such an operation cannot be defined and explained. That’s to say, a healthy comment cannot be made in regards to whether a result will be obtained through this or not. To whom and to where you are lending support, everything is obvious,”
The Canadian Peace Alliance and the Collectif Échec à la guerre are calling for a weekend of protest actions, on 25-26 October, against Canadian participation in the third Iraq war.
These protests will take place on the 12th anniversary of the first mobilizations in Canada and the US – in the Fall of 2002 – to oppose the preparation of the US invasion and the war of occupation in Iraq that would last from 2003 to 2011.
We invite the people of Quebec and Canada to protest:
Against a new illegal war that contributes to dismantling the existing world order and that threatens “world peace and security” while pretending to defend them;
Against the security and humanitarian pretexts invoked by the new coalition: the protection of Iraq’s population has nothing to do with the real motives of this war, which will cause them more suffering and further deteriorate their living conditions;
Against a Canadian foreign policy centered on intensifying conflicts and war;
Against the hijacking of huge amounts of public resources to make war, promote the military industry, glorify the army and Canada’s military past, while for many years « austerity measures » have cut education, healthcare, public services, the promotion of women’s rights, the protection of the environment, international cooperation, etc.
Together, let’s take to the streets to demand:
The immediate end of Canadian participation in this new aggression coalition which has been set up for the strategic interests of the US empire and its allies;
A freeze on all major procurement projects of the Canadian military;
The organization of a broad public debate on Canadian foreign policy, the role of the army, the military industry and the arms trade;
That the Canadian government immediately cease deportation proceedings against U.S. Iraq war resisters and create, once and for all, a provision that would allow them to remain in Canada.
No to Canada’s Participation in the Bombing of Iraq and Syria!
Rally and March
Friday October 24, 4:30pm
Gather at the corner of Ouellette and Wyandotte
For information: [email protected]
In the light of the attack in Ottawa on October 22, 2014, we republish this article from February 5, 2013. After the attack, US President Barack Obama said “it was important for Canada and the United States to be in sync when it came to dealing with terrorist activity.”
The U.S. and Canada have made significant progress in advancing the Beyond the Border deal and continue to implement various perimeter security initiatives. Without much fanfare, they have signed an immigration agreement that would allow them to share biographic and at a later date, biometric information. As part of a North American security perimeter, both countries are further harmonizing border security and immigration measures. Canada is further taking on U.S. security priorities and this could include a bigger role in the war on terrorism.
It’s been over a year since Prime Minister Stephen Harper and President Barack Obama announced the Beyond the Border and the Regulatory Cooperation Council action plans. On December 14, 2012, the U.S. and Canada issued the Beyond the Border implementation report that highlights the objectives that were achieved over the past year and the work that has yet to be done. It explained that moving forward, “Key future initiatives include harmonizing our trusted trader programs, making significant infrastructure investments at our key land border crossings, fully implementing an entry/exit program at the land border, expanding preclearance operations to the land, rail, and marine domains.” The report also acknowledged challenges facing the Next-Generation pilot project which would permit teams of cross-designated officers to operate on both sides of the border. It was originally scheduled to begin last summer. While steady progress has been made, a lot more work is needed to meet the goals of the Beyond the Border action plan. Over the next several years, other aspects of the deal will be phased-in incrementally with specific deliverables due this year, in 2014 and also in 2015.
Another important facet of the economic and security perimeter agreement is the U.S.-Canada Regulatory Cooperation Council (RCC). A progress report to the leaders outlines accomplishments made in aligning regulations in the areas of agriculture and food, transportation, the environment, health and personal care products, workplace chemicals, as well as nanotechnology. This includes cooperation on pilot projects, scientific and technical collaborations and harmonized testing procedures. RCC working groups have developed detailed work plans for the various initiatives with objectives that will be implemented over the next couple of years. In Canada, some fear that deepening regulatory integration with the U.S. could weaken and erode any independent regulatory capacity. This could lead to a race to the bottom with respect to regulatory standards.
In December of last year, the U.S. and Canada signed the Immigration Information Sharing Treaty which is tied to the Beyond the Border deal. Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney stated that the, “agreement builds on our countries’ mutual efforts to protect our common borders and the surrounding perimeter, through improved screening of immigrants and visitors.” He went on to say, “Enhanced information sharing of foreign nationals will protect the safety and security of Canadians by helping us prevent terrorists, violent criminals, and others, who pose a risk, from entering Canada or the United States.” Under the treaty, Canada and the U.S. will share biographic information from third country nationals who apply for a visa, a travel permit or claim asylum. In 2014, it will also include the sharing of biometric information. There are privacy concerns on how far-reaching the data collected will be shared. This threatens the sovereignty of Canada with regards to retaining control over information at its own borders.
On December 28, 2012, President Obama signed into law, the Countering Iran in the Western Hemisphere Act which is designed to curb Iran’s presence and activity in the region. The bill calls on the Department of Homeland Security to work with Canada and Mexico, “to address resources, technology, and infrastructure to create a secure United States border and strengthen the ability of the United States and its allies to prevent operatives from Iran, the IRGC, its Qods Force, Hezbollah, or any other terrorist organization from entering the United States.” Julie Carmichael, spokeswoman for Public Safety Minister Vic Toews discussed Canada’s efforts to counter any perceived hostility from Iran in the Americas. She is quoted in the Globe and Mail as saying, “We continually assess threats while co-operating with international partners, including the U.S., to address threats to our common security.” Carmichael added, “The Beyond the Border Action Plan as announced by Prime Minister Harper and President Obama provides a framework to identify threats before they reach North America.” Under the perimeter security deal, Canada is further aligning itself with U.S. foreign policy interests and could be expected to play a greater role in the global war on terror.
Through the Beyond the Border agreement, the U.S. and Canada are deepening economic and security integration which is laying the foundation for a North American security perimeter. Both countries are also engaged in the Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiations with Mexico and other member nations. This is part of efforts to create a free trade area of the Asia-Pacific and could be used to update and expand NAFTA. Another key priority for U.S.-Canada relations is North America’s energy future. President Obama is expected to make a final decision on the Keystone XL pipeline sometime this year. Meanwhile, there is growing environmental opposition to the proposed project which would carry oil from western Canada to the Texas gulf coast.
Dana Gabriel is an activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade, globalization, sovereignty, security, as well as other issues. Contact: [email protected]. Visit his blog at Be Your Own Leader
In the light of the attack in Ottawa on October 22, 2014, we republish this article from June 18, 2013. After the attack, US President Barack Obama said “it was important for Canada and the United States to be in sync when it came to dealing with terrorist activity.”
Canada’s prime minister recently addressed the CFR, a globalist think tank who have been a driving force behind the push towards deeper North American integration. The U.S. and Canada are now further advancing this agenda through the Beyond the Border agreement. Both countries are increasing bilateral border transportation and infrastructure coordination. This includes a common approach to border management, security and control. They are also integrating an information sharing system that would be used to track everyone crossing the U.S.-Canada border and entering or leaving the continent. Without much fanfare and seemingly little resistance, Canada is being assimilated into a U.S. dominated North American security perimeter.
In May, the Conservative government highlighted the benefits of the U.S.-Canada Beyond the Border action plan which was announced back in 2011. The deal, “focuses on addressing security threats at the earliest point possible and facilitating the lawful movement of people, goods, and services into Canada and the United States, and creates a long-term partnership to improve the management of our shared border.” The goal is to further increase, “security, economic competitiveness and prosperity through numerous measures, including reducing border wait times and improving infrastructure at key crossings to speed up legitimate trade and travel.” The Beyond the Border Executive Steering Committee recently met to discuss the objectives that have already been achieved and the work that still needs to be done. Another important facet of the economic and security perimeter agreement is the Regulatory Cooperation Council action plan. A stakeholder dialogue session is planned for June 20, which will review its implementation progress and will seek further input regarding the next stage of U.S.-Canada regulatory integration.
Last month, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) released a joint report on the findings of Phase I of the Entry/Exit Information System. The program included collecting and exchanging biographic information at four selected land border ports of entry. In a news release, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Acting Commissioner Thomas Winkowski stated that, “The results of Phase I demonstrate the capacity of the United States and Canada to increase information sharing capabilities.” He added, “This kind of cooperation epitomizes the Beyond the Border Action Plan.” The next phase of the entry/exit initiative is set to begin at the end of this month. It will involve exchanging the biographic data collected from third-country nationals and permanent residents of Canada and the U. S. at all common ports of entry. Both countries are further merging databases and are expanding surveillance and intelligence gathering operations. In 2014, they will also start sharing biometric information at the border. This will further advance the creation of a North America security perimeter where all travellers will be tracked and traced in real time.
As part of the commitment made under the Beyond the Border deal, both countries have announced the Border Infrastructure Investment Plan which was, “developed to establish a mutual understanding of recent, ongoing and potential border infrastructure investments. It outlines the approach that Canada and the United States will take to coordinate plans for physical infrastructure upgrades.” In June 2012, Canada reached an agreement with the State of Michigan to build a second bridge between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario. This was followed by a presidential permit issued in April of this year that officially paved the way for construction of the project. A U.S. State Department press release explained that, “Consistent with the bilateral Beyond the Border Initiative, this permit contributes to ensuring that our border infrastructure supports increased competitiveness, job creation, and broad-based prosperity in the United States and Canada.” It went on to say that the new bridge, “will help to meet future capacity requirements in a critical travel corridor, promote cross-border trade and commerce, and advance our vital bilateral relationship with Canada.”
In March, DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and Canada’s Minister of Public Safety Vic Toews signed a memorandum of understanding which established a truck cargo pre-inspection pilot project. The joint undertaking is another component of the Beyond the Border agreement and would shift inspections and clearances away from the actual border crossing. The first phase, “will test the concept of conducting U.S. CBP primary cargo inspection in Canada, and will be implemented at the Pacific Highway crossing between Surrey, British Columbia and Blaine, Washington.” The second phase, “will further test how pre-inspection could enhance border efficiency and reduce wait times to facilitate legitimate trade and travel, and will be implemented at the Peace Bridge crossing between Fort Erie, Ontario and Buffalo, New York.” The perimeter security deal is laying the foundation for a future U.S.-Canada binational organization that would jointly manage and control the border.
The CBSA is also testing additional technology at the Morses Line, Quebec and Piney, Manitoba ports of entry. Under the remote traveller pilot project, people entering either location after regular hours of service, “will be processed by a border services officer located at a remote processing centre through a two-way audio and one-way video kiosk. Cameras will be installed to provide the officer with the ability to see the traveller and the vehicle.” The program which could later be expanded to other areas , “is part of the Small and Remote Ports of Entry Initiative, one of the deliverables under the Beyond the Border Action Plan.” NAUNEWZ pointed out that, “Although a lot of this technology is already installed and being utilized in limited ways at most of the main Canada-U.S. border crossing points, these smaller border crossings are ideal testing grounds for their ‘no borders’/NAU agenda.”
On May 16, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper participated in question and answer session before the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). The conversation centered around economic growth, foreign investment and the role of the G20 with regards to global governance. Other issues focused on Canada-U.S. relations. Harper lobbied for approval of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline which would carry oil from western Canada to the Texas gulf coast. He dismissed environmental issues associated with the project and argued that it would be a step towards North American energy independence. The Obama administration is expected to make a final decision on the pipeline sometime this year. Harper also acknowledged the Beyond the Border and the Regulatory Cooperation Council action plans. He blamed sovereignty concerns and the continued negativity surrounding NAFTA as the main obstacles to even deeper continental integration. Prime Minister Harper used his audition in front of the CFR as an opportunity to demonstrate to the U.S. political and corporate elite that he is committed to defending the interests of big business and further pushing plans for a North American Union (NAU).
The Beyond the Border action plan is the most significant step forward in U.S.-Canada cooperation since NAFTA. It provides the framework for future North American integration. When fully implemented, the agreement can be expanded and updated. So far, the agenda has quietly slipped under the radar. By incrementally incorporating various pilot projects and excluding Mexico from the process, it has managed to avoid the controversy of past initiatives. The perimeter security deal is being sold as vital to improving the flow of trade and travel across the border. In order to appease U.S. fears, Canada has made numerous concessions with no guarantees that it will lessen border restrictions. As part of a North American security perimeter, Canada will always be at the mercy of any new U.S. security measures, regardless of the dangers they may pose to privacy and civil liberties.
Dana Gabriel is an activist and independent researcher. He writes about trade, globalization, sovereignty, security, as well as other issues. Contact: [email protected]. Visit his blog at Be Your Own Leader
Thanks to the Federal Reserve, the middle class is slowly being suffocated by rising food prices. Every single dollar in your wallet is constantly becoming less valuable because of the inflation the Fed systematically creates. And if you try to build wealth by saving money and earning interest on it, you still lose because thanks to the Federal Reserve’s near zero interest rate policies banks pay next to nothing on savings accounts. The Federal Reserve wants you to either spend your money or to put it in the giant casino that we call the stock market. But when Americans spend their paychecks they are finding that they don’t stretch as far as they once did. The cost of living continues to rise at a much faster pace than wages are rising, and this is especially true when it comes to the price of food.
Someone that I know wrote to me today and let me know that she had to shut down the food pantry that she had been running for the poor for so many years. It isn’t that she didn’t want to help the poor anymore. It was that she just couldn’t deal with the rising food prices any longer. Now she is just doing the best that she can to survive herself.
Perhaps you have also noticed that food prices have gotten pretty crazy lately. In particular, meat prices have become absolutely obscene. For example, the average price of ground beef has risen to a new record high of over $4.09 a pound. Over the past twelve months, that works out to a whopping 17 percent increase…
The average price for a pound of ground beef climbed to another record high–$4.096 per pound–in the United States in September, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
In August, according to BLS, the average price for a pound of all types of ground beef topped $4 for the first time–hitting $4.013. In September, the average price jumped .083 cents, an increase of 2.1 percent in one month.
A year ago, in September 2013, the average price for a pound of ground beef was $3.502 per pound. Since then, it has climbed 59.4 cents–or about 17 percent in one year.
The “intellectuals” over at the Federal Reserve insist that “a little bit of inflation” is good for an economy, but the truth is that inflation slowly robs us of our buying power.
In a previous article, I shared a chart that showed how food inflation has risen dramatically since the year 2000. For this article, I wanted to show how food inflation has risen since the 1970s. As you can see, the rise in food prices has been absolutely relentless for more than 40 years…
If our paychecks were going up at the same rate or even faster that would be okay.
But they aren’t.
In fact, CNN is reporting that our paychecks have fallen back to 1995 levels…
Americans also don’t feel any better off. While more people may have jobs, they aren’t bringing home fatter paychecks. Wages and income have remained stagnant for years, making it tough for folks even though inflation is low. Median household income, which stood at $51,939 last year, is back to 1995 levels.
Consumers expect a median income boost of 1.1% over the next year, Curtin said. But that won’t keep up with their inflation expectations of 2.8%.
“American households, on average, are still struggling with their living standards slowly eroding,” he said.
The purchasing power of our dollars is continually diminishing.
And this could be just the beginning. Right now, severe drought is affecting some of the most important agricultural areas around the globe. Most people are aware of the nightmarish drought in California, but did you know that things in Brazil are even worse? Brazil is one of the most important food exporters in the world, and so they definitely need our prayers.
In addition, a “black swan event” such as a worldwide explosion of the Ebola pandemic could quickly drive food prices into the stratosphere.
Just this week, we learned that food prices in the Ebola-stricken regions of Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone have already risen by an average of 24 percent…
Infection rates in the food-producing zones of Kenema and Kailahun in Sierra Leone, Lofa and Bong County in Liberia and GuDeckDedou in Guinea are among the highest in the region. Hundreds of farmers have died.
The three governments quarantined districts and restricted movements to contain the virus’ spread. But those measures also disrupted markets and led to food scarcity and panic buying, further pushing up prices, WFP and the Food and Agriculture Organization have said.
“Prices have risen by an average of 24 percent,” said WFP spokeswoman Elisabeth Byrs, adding an assessment of major markets showed the price of basic commodities was rising in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone and in neighboring Senegal.
If you have been storing up food, I think that you will be very happy with your decision in the long run.
Without a doubt, food prices are only going to be going up from here.
But the Federal Reserve continues to insist that inflation is under control.
One of the ways that they make the “official numbers” look good is by playing accounting games. They regularly change the way that inflation is calculated in order keep everyone calm.
You don’t have to take my word for it. Posted below is an excerpt from an article by Mike Bryan, a vice president and senior economist in the Atlanta Fed’s research department…
The Economistretells a conversation with Stephen Roach, who in the 1970s worked for the Federal Reserve under Chairman Arthur Burns. Roach remembers that when oil prices surged around 1973, Burns asked Federal Reserve Board economists to strip those prices out of the CPI “to get a less distorted measure. When food prices then rose sharply, they stripped those out too—followed by used cars, children’s toys, jewellery, housing and so on, until around half of the CPI basket was excluded because it was supposedly ‘distorted’” by forces outside the control of the central bank. The story goes on to say that, at least in part because of these actions, the Fed failed to spot the breadth of the inflationary threat of the 1970s.
I have a similar story. I remember a morning in 1991 at a meeting of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland’s board of directors. I was welcomed to the lectern with, “Now it’s time to see what Mike is going to throw out of the CPI this month.” It was an uncomfortable moment for me that had a lasting influence. It was my motivation for constructing the Cleveland Fed’s median CPI.
I am a reasonably skilled reader of a monthly CPI release. And since I approached each monthly report with a pretty clear idea of what the actual rate of inflation was, it was always pretty easy for me to look across the items in the CPI market basket and identify any offending—or “distorted”—price change. Stripping these items from the price statistic revealed the truth—and confirmed that I was right all along about the actual rate of inflation.
It is all a game to them.
It is all about getting to the “right number” to release to the public.
But anyone that goes to the grocery store knows what has been happening to food prices.
The next time you get to the checkout register and you feel tempted to ask the cashier what organ you should donate to pay for your groceries, please keep in mind that it is not the fault of the cashier.
Instead, there is one entity that you should blame.
Blame the Federal Reserve – their policies are slowly pushing the middle class into oblivion.
The Obama Administration has ordered the Department of Defense to form a 30-member military medical “quick strike team” that can deploy quickly — within 72 hours — to any new outbreaks of Ebola in the U.S., reports have said.
The team will consist of five physicians, 20 nurses and five trainees, according to reports, and will be tasked with providing “direct treatment to Ebola patients inside the United States,” according to CNN.
“The concept is said to have come out of Obama’s recent White House meeting, one in which reports had him berating staff for an inadequate response to the growing crisis around Ebola,” Breitbart News reported.
CNN said Pentagon officials have confirmed the formation of the team, which will be able to quickly deploy any time over the next month.
The team was requested by the Department of Health and Human Services. CNN reported further that the Defense Department “has been working to determine what assistance it could offer the civilian health care sector” after a recent White House meeting in which the president made it clear that he wanted a more aggressive response to any new Ebola cases.
‘No violation of Posse Comitatus’
Following the meeting, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel ordered Gen. Chuck Jacoby, head of U.S. Northern Command, or USNORTHCOM, which oversees homeland defense and security, “to prepare and train a 30-person expeditionary medical support team that could, if required, provide short-notice assistance to civilian medical professionals in the United States,” said Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby.
The Pentagon spokesman added that Jacoby, a four-star Army general, has begun work on the joint team. Once it is formed, Kirby continued, the team will be sent to the Army’s medical training facilities at Fort Sam Houston, near Austin, Texas, to begin seven days of intense training in infection control and the wear of personal protective equipment.
The U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases will provide the training, Kirby said. Once trained, the team will remain in a “prepare to deploy” status for one month and be able to respond anywhere in the U.S. if “deemed prudent by our public health officials,” he added.
Some have questioned whether the military’s medical response team has the authority, under law and the Constitution, to operate within the boundaries of the U.S. Some have argued that the regular military is prohibited from responding inside the country by the Posse Comitatus law, passed in the 1870s during the Reconstruction Era; the law specifically prohibits the military from any action to “execute the law.”
But Kirby, in an MSNBC interview with Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, a former GOP congressman, said that the military did have “the legal authorities” to form the team, and that its domestic operation would not violate the 1870s-era law.
Regular military vs. National Guard
“This is nothing more than potential support, and I stress ‘potential support,’ to civilian medical authorities — if and only if they ask for that,” Kirby said. “But there’s no violation of posse comitatus. The Northern Command commander has the authorities that he needs to get this team ready to go.”
USNORTHCOM was created in 2002, during the Bush Administration following the 9/11 attacks. The Army command’s primary function is defense of the homeland, in conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which was also a post-9/11 creation.
CNSNews.com reported that the “nature” of the assistance to be provided by the Ebola team was “not explained.” The news site went on to report that “concern about additional Ebola cases suggests the military would be used to enforce potential quarantines.”
But most likely, any substantial military assistance, via USNORTHCOM and DHS, would first come via the mobilization of National Guard units, which are commanded by state governors but which can also be called up on the President’s order into federal service.
Today’s Guard is a descendant of the country’s first “militia” units and are not regular military, which is why governors can call them up to assist state agencies and local police during times of emergency.
One of the most dangerous philosophical contentions even amongst liberty movement activists is the conundrum of government force and prevention during times of imminent pandemic. All of us at one time or another have had this debate. If a legitimate viral threat existed and threatened to infect and kill millions of Americans, is it then acceptable for the government to step in, remove civil liberties, enforce quarantines, and stop people from spreading the disease? After all, during a viral event, the decisions of each individual can truly have a positive or negative effect on the rest of society, right? One out of control (or “lone wolf”) citizen/terrorist could reignite a biological firestorm, so, should we not turn to government and forgo certain freedoms in order to achieve the greater good for the greater number?
If the government in question was a proven and honorable institution, then I would say pro-Medical Martial Law arguments might have a leg to stand on. However, this is not the case. In my view, medical martial law is absolutely unacceptable under ANY circumstances, including Ebola, in light of the fact that our current government will be the predominant cause of viral outbreak. That is to say, you DO NOT turn to the government for help when the government is the cause of the problem.
The recent rise of global Ebola is slowly bringing the issue of medical martial law to the forefront of our culture. Charles Krauthammer at The Washington Post recently argued in favor of possible restrictions on individual and Constitutional liberties in the face of a viral pandemic threat.
The CDC now argues that in the case of people who may be potential carriers, or even in the case of people who refuse to undergo screenings, it has the legal authority to dissolve all constitutional protections and essentially imprison (quarantine) an American citizen for as long as they see fit to do so.
The Obama Administration is now using militant terminology in reference to Ebola response, including the formation of “Ebola SWAT Teams” for quick reaction to potential outbreak areas.
In typical socialist fashion, the nurses union ‘National Nurses United’ has called for Barack Obama to use “executive authority” to take control of all Ebola response protocols in hospitals across the country. Yet another perpetuation of the myth that more government power is the solution.
And finally, the Department of Defense has been tasked to create a military controlled “quick-strike team” to deal with Ebola within U.S. borders. This team will be under the command of none other than Northcom, apparently trampling the Posse Comitatus Act and setting the stage for the rationalized use of military personnel against U.S. citizens under the guise of pandemic prevention.
It should be clear to anyone with half a brain that medical martial law is being quietly prepared, and that the threat of such measures is not a paranoid conspiracy, but a very real possibility. It should also be noted that such provisions are not only the products of the Obama Administration. It was George W. Bush who first created laws intersecting with the World Health Organization’s pandemic preparedness planning. These laws include the “overrule of existing legislation or (individual) human rights” in order to quell a viral outbreak, and were originally drafted around the potential of an influenza crisis.
Understand that bureaucrats will come to you with promises of offering a helping hand, hoping that you are afraid enough to accept, but their intentions will not be compassionate. Rather, their intent will be to assert as much dominance over the public as possible during the chaos, and to erase any conception the people may have had in the past that they have inalienable rights.
But going beyond the hidden motives of tyrants, I think it is important to point out that the Center for Disease Control and the federal government in general has already lost all credibility in dealing with Ebola, and therefore, it has lost any authority it may have had in administrating a future response.
Ebola has been officially known to the CDC for over thirty years. Why has the CDC refused for three decades to produce proper care guidelines for hospitals? Medical staff in the U.S. didn’t even receive guidelines when the outbreak in Western Africa was obviously progressing out of control.
Why did the CDC leave Thomas Duncan, the very first U.S. Ebola case, in the hands of the Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital, without proper procedures in place to prevent further infection, and without a CDC team present? The CDC has an annual budget of nearly $7 billion. Where is all of this money going if not to stamp out such threats as Ebola?
The argument presented by the White House, the CDC, and even the World Bank, has been that stopping direct or indirect travel from nations with an Ebola outbreak would be “impractical”, and that such travel bans would somehow “make matters worse”. They have yet to produce a logical explanation as to how this makes sense, but what if we did not need to institute a travel ban? The CDC, with it’s massive budget, could easily establish quarantine measures in infected countries. Anyone wishing to travel outside of these nations would be welcome to do so, as long as they voluntarily participate in quarantine procedures for a set number of days. No quarantine, no plane ticket. Where has the CDC response been in Western Africa?
Why not use minor and measured travel restriction in Africa today, instead of using unprecedented martial law in America tomorrow? It makes no sense, unless, of course, the plan is to allow Ebola to spread…
Why has the White House nominated Ron Klain, a man who knows absolutely NOTHING about Ebola or medical emergency strategies, as the new “Ebola Czar”?
Why has all discussion on Ebola prevention revolved around government measures rather than community measures? Why has all talk centered on what the government will do AFTER an outbreak occurs, rather than on what can be done to prevent an outbreak in the first place?
The reality is that the federal government does not have any treatments for Ebola that are outside of the knowledge and capabilities of the average medically trained citizen. Meaning, the government and the CDC are NOT needed for a community to handle an Ebola outbreak, if that community is given proper guidelines and strategies in advance. Treatment for Ebola, at least in first world nations, consists primarily of regimented transfusions. These transfusions are a mixture of isotonic saline, electrolytes, and plasma, designed to keep the body supported until its immune system can build up a proper defense to the virus. Natural and homeopathic methods can also boost immune system functions making the body resistant to the virus before it is ever contracted. The most effective of all treatments appears to be the transfusion of blood from a recovering patient with antibodies into a newly sick patient. This is likely the reason for the quick recovery of infected doctors like Kent Brantly.
The CDC would never be able to coherently organize a large-scale program of transfusion initiatives, even if it wanted to. Most hospitals around the country have no isolation wards able to handle even a minor Ebola outbreak. The hospitals that do have facilities are limited to less than a dozen beds. According to the medical workers I have spoken with, most hospitals require a minimum of around 50 health professionals to deal with a single Ebola patient. In the event of an outbreak larger than a few people per state, the CDC and local hospitals are simply not equipped to react to the problem. Blood transfusions from recovering donors would be few and far between, unless organized by local citizens working under their own directives.
Ironically, it was the Bush Administration’s own report in 2006 on the possibility of bird flu pandemic that admitted the government is completely unequipped to handle an outbreak of moderate size.The report stated that “all sources of external aid may be compromised during a pandemic,” and that “local communities will have to address the medical and non-medical effects of the pandemic with available resources.” Little has changed in the federal government’s pandemic preparations since the report was written.
This leaves individual communities to either prepare for the worst, or die off while waiting for the government to save them. Self isolation and self treatment are the only practical options.
The greatest danger to American citizens is, in fact, not the Ebola virus, but government reactions to the Ebola virus. Already, several medical outfits around the world are suddenly interested in producing an Ebola vaccination when no one seemed very interested before. This might sound like good news, until you learn the terrible history of modern vaccinations.
Pharmaceutical company Merck was caught red handed faking vaccine efficacy data. Merck’s Gardisil was found to contain DNA fragments of human papillomavirus.
U.S. company Baxter produced a flu vaccination in Austria tainted with both avian flu and swine flu. The mixture just happened to be randomly tested on a group of ferrets by a lab in the Czech Republic. The test animals died. The exposure of this “mix up” was quietly swept under the rug by Baxter and the mainstream media, but reports indicate that if the vaccine had been used on the general population, a terrible pandemic would have erupted.
Beyond the fact that vaccinations have a tendency to cripple our natural immune system and infect patients with the very disease they are meant to prevent, none of these existing companies can be trusted to produce a vaccine that is safe even by traditional pharmaceutical standards (which are very low). If the CDC and the federal government trigger a medical martial law scenario, they will most likely include forced vaccination of the population to maintain “herd immunity”. The bottom line? The use of such vaccines will be a death sentence for many, a death more certain than the contraction of Ebola. In my opinion, Ebola vaccination should be avoided at all costs by the American populace.
I can think of no rationale for government involvement in the treatment of an Ebola outbreak. If it is not pure incompetence on their part that has exacerbated the threat, then even worse, it is a deliberate program of genocide. In either case, no military or CDC “strike teams” should be allowed free reign in our neighborhoods, towns, counties, or states. DHS and FEMA Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) are also a no go, given FEMA’s track record of dismal disaster response. They CANNOT be allowed to take control of our communities.
If someone wants to voluntarily go to the CDC or FEMA for assistance, then they should be allowed to take that risk. However, medical martial law over all of us in the name of the “greater good” should not be tolerated. The government has proven beyond a doubt that it is not qualified to handle a viral crisis scenario, let alone determine what the “greater good” actually is. I can’t speak for the whole of the Liberty Movement, but as for myself, if a group of hazmat suited thugs decides to chase me down with a syringe, I am relatively certain none of them will live through the encounter.
Will I be accused of aiding the spread of Ebola because of my non-compliance? Of course. Do I care? Not so much. Each individual American will have to make their own decision on this matter in due course. Is it better to conform and risk annihilation at the hands of an ignorant and/or corrupt government, or, to fight back and be labeled a bio-terrorist? With the clear lack of tangible government preventions for outbreak in the U.S., you’ll probably get your chance to find out soon enough.
You can contact Brandon Smith at: [email protected]Alt-Market, where this first appeared, is an organization designed to help you find like-minded activists and preppers in your local area so that you can network and construct communities for mutual aid and defense. Join Alt-Market.com today and learn what it means to step away from the system and build something better.
Did you hear that the president of Israel said Israel is a “sick society”? Reuven Rivlin, a Likudnik, said this over the weekend. There’s been lots of coverage in Israel, but as Sullivan points out, the declaration hasn’t gotten much attention stateside. I should think it would be viral.
“It is time to honestly admit that Israeli society is ill – and it is our duty to treat this disease,” Rivlin told the Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities on Sunday at a conference titled “From Xenophobia to Accepting the Other.”
“The tension between Jews and Arabs within the State of Israel has risen to record heights, and the relationship between all parties has reached a new low,” he said. “We have all witnessed the shocking sequence of incidents and violence taking place by both sides. The epidemic of violence is not limited to one sector or another, it permeates every area and doesn’t skip any arena. There is violence in soccer stadiums as well as in the academia. There is violence in the social media and in everyday discourse, in hospitals and in schools.”
The time has come to admit that Israel is a sick society, with an illness that demands treatment, President Reuven Rivlin said at the opening session on Sunday of a conference on From Hatred of the Stranger to Acceptance of the Other.
Rivlin wondered aloud whether Jews and Arabs had abandoned the secret of dialogue.
With regard to Jews he said: “I’m not asking if they’ve forgotten how to be Jews, but if they’ve forgotten how to be decent human beings. Have they forgotten how to converse?” In Rivlin’s eyes, the academy has a vital task to reduce violence in Israeli society by encouraging dialogue and the study of different cultures and languages with the aim of promoting mutual understanding, so that there can be civilized meetings between the sectors of society.
JTA says that Rivlin spoke of abuse he’s received on his Facebook page. Presumably from the right, not the left. This is a country where a settler extremist assassinated a prime minister who was saying he wanted to compromise with Palestinians, 19 years ago.
Rivlin is obviously referencing the teen murders of the last summer and the chants of “Death to Arabs” that resound in the streets of Jerusalem. This is the hardline rightwing society that Max Blumenthal described in his book Goliath, that Shlomo Sand has sought to resign from by stopping being a Jew, and that Nathan Thrall cites in his takedown of Ari Shavit’s usefulness to American Jews as a liberal voice when he’s anything but. And the president of the country is saying this? A Likudnik politician? As Sulllivan says, any American who said this would be instantly marginalized and smeared as an anti-Semite. Witness Blumenthal’s blacklisting by the Times, and the fact that Sand and Thrall appear in English publications. While liberal American Jews hold on to their dreamcastle Israel, with the help of Shavit and his media posse; and the New York Times gives a platform to wingnut Caroline Glick to malign Palestinian leaders. This is a very dangerous situation. Though I imagine if there’s enough controversy over the comments, The New York Times will cover them. Chris Matthews has surely seen Rivlin’s comment but won’t touch it until safe media here have picked it up.
By the way, in a radio discussion on Open Source a month ago, I said that Zionism began in 1894 with Theodor Herzl hearing the chant, Death to the Jews, in Paris, and that it has now culminated 120 years later with nationalist Jews chanting Death to the Arabs in Jerusalem. That is the alpha and omega of political Zionism, which has failed Herzl’s own test, that the stranger will be welcome in Jewish society. Bernard Avishai responded that I was offering a “caricature” of the movement. I don’t think it’s a caricature; it’s a realistic interpretation of the failure of an ideology to create a better society. Rivlin must share something of my view, despairingly. Does he have the makings of a De Klerk, the ability to state to his fellow citizens that the project has failed and must be reimagined?
“Frankly, we are so far off the economic rails, the locomotive is stuck in a swamp and the trailing cars are piling up around it.” Anonymous, Comments line, Naked Capitalism
Since the end of the recession in 2009, investors have borrowed a record amount of money to finance their stock acquisitions. According to the Financial Times, margin debt on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) peaked in February, 2014 at $466 billion and has only recently dipped slightly lower. That’s $85 billion more than 2007 at the peak of the bubble. (Below: Margin debt tends to trace the trajectory of the markets fairly closely, although it’s a poor indicator of a market “top”.)
When stocks start see-sawing like they did last week, it’s usually a sign that over-extended investors are dumping their stocks to meet margin calls. The same thing happened in the run-up to the Crash of 1929. Stocks dropped sharply in late October which forced deeply-indebted investors to unload their holdings at firesale prices. The falling prices triggered a panic that sent stocks into freefall wiping out billions of dollars, crashing the markets, and paving the way for the Great Depression. Here’s a brief summary of what happened:
“On September 3, the market dropped sharply only to rise and then drop again. It was like tremors before a big earthquake but nobody heeded the warning. The market had sagged temporarily before, but it always came back stronger. The market dipped sharply again on October 4 (and) October 21 saw an avalanche of selling as many tried to salvage something from their loss. On October 24 — Black Thursday — the panic took on a life of its own as selling orders overwhelmed the Exchange’s ability to keep up with the transactions…
Wall Street financiers tried to inspire confidence by buying as many shares as they could. It worked — temporarily. (But) on Monday the panic started again, and then came Black Tuesday — October 29. The panic on the Exchange floor changed to bedlam. According to one observer,
“They hollered and screamed, they clawed at one another’s collars. It was like a bunch of crazy men. Every once in a while … you’d see some poor devil collapse and fall to the floor.” This was the Crash, although few could see it at the time… Thirty billion dollars had been lost — more than twice the national debt. The nation reeled, and slipped into the depths of the Great Depression. ” (The Wall Street Crash, 1929, Eyewitness to History)
Unsurprisingly, the banks were at the center of that fiasco too, as was their principle agent, the Federal Reserve. In fact, the International Monetary Fund just issued a scathing rebuke of the Fed’s policies saying that zero rates, which have been in effect for over 5 years, have put the financial system at risk again. Here’s more on the IMF report from the Guardian:
“Accommodative policies aimed at supporting the recovery and promoting economic risk taking have facilitated greater financial risk taking,” the IMF said. As evidence it pointed to rising asset prices, smaller premiums on riskier investments and the lack of volatility in financial markets…”
The IMF said there was a trade-off between the upside economic benefits of low interest rates and the money creation process known as quantitative easing and the downside financial stability risks… “market and liquidity risks have increased to levels that could compromise financial stability if left unaddressed.” (IMF warns period of ultra-low interest rates poses fresh financial crisis threat, Guardian)
In other words, fixing the price of money at zero for years-on-end, increases financial instability while doing nothing for the real economy. The IMF is basically admitting that the Fed has created the conditions for another meltdown.
And the excessive risk taking is not limited to margin debt either. It’s visible in financial assets across the board. Take stock buybacks, for example. Buybacks, which add nothing to a company’s productivity or real value, merely juice stock prices so shareholders and executives can cream bigger profits for themselves. What most people don’t know about buybacks is that the fatcat corporate bosses are not recycling profits into share purchases, but taking advantage of the low rates to load on more debt. Check out this eyepopping chart at Zero Hedge which shows the lethal symmetry between corporate borrowing and stock buybacks:
It’s happening because the Obama administration reduced the budget deficits thereby choking off the fiscal stimulus the economy needs to grow. That bit of belt-tightening weakened overall demand forcing corporations to look for other ways to boost profits. What many CEOs figured out was that they could increase earnings by cutting costs and shedding workers while, simultaneously, goosing stock prices by taking advantage of the low interest rates and adding more debt. This is the strategy that energized the stock buyback craze, the revenue-shrinking, worker-trimming, industry-gutting plan to enrich the few at the expense of the company, its employees and its future. Check this out from the WSJ:
“Preliminary data showed stock buybacks reached $116.2 billion in the second quarter … down 27% from $159.3 billion recorded for the first quarter of this year, the second highest on record.
For the 12 months ended June, companies raised their stock repurchases to $533 billion, an increase of nearly 27% from a year earlier. Meanwhile, combined buyback and dividend expenditures for the period reached a record of $865.9 billion, with buybacks representing 61.6% of the total.” (Companies reduced stock buybacks in 2nd quarter, Wall Street Journal)
So you want to know why stocks keep soaring higher on so-so economic data?
Buybacks, that’s why. Here’s a clip from an earlier article in the WSJ that underscores the magnitude of the flimflam:
“Last year, the corporations in the Russell 3000, a broad U.S. stock index, repurchased $567.6 billion worth of their own shares—a 21% increase over 2012, calculates Rob Leiphart, an analyst at Birinyi Associates, a research firm in Westport, Conn. That brings total buybacks since the beginning of 2005 to $4.21 trillion—or nearly one-fifth of the total value of all U.S. stocks today.” (Will Stock Buybacks Bite Back?, Wall Street Journal)
If buybacks represent 20 percent of the total value of stocks today, then what’s going to happen when conditions change, that is, when QE ends and rates rise?
Stocks are going to tumble, right?
Right. And if you want to see how destructive this buyback chicanery really is, just check out the details on IBM’s recent earnings debacle. Here’s the story from the New York Times:
“In the first six months of this year, the company spent more than $12 billion … on its own shares … But all these “shareholder friendly” maneuvers have been masking an ugly truth: IBM’s success in recent years has been tied more to financial engineering than actual performance.
That became readily apparent Monday morning when the company announced its earnings, missing analysts’ expectations by a wide margin. The stock fell more than 7 percent to $169.10 by the end of the day, below the average price Mr. Buffett paid since he started buying the stock in 2011.
The company’s revenue hasn’t grown in years. Indeed, IBM’s revenue is about the same as it was in 2008.
But all along, IBM has been buying up its own shares as if they were a hot item. Since 2000, IBM spent some $108 billion on its own shares, according to its most recent annual report. It also paid out $30 billion in dividends. To help finance this share-buying spree, IBM loaded up on debt.
While the company spent $138 billion on its shares and dividend payments, it spent just $59 billion on its own business through capital expenditures and $32 billion on acquisitions. …All of which is to say that IBM has arguably been spending its money on the wrong things: shareholders, rather than building its own business.
“IBM’s financials make it self-evident that its stock-rigging strategy is not about value creation through ‘investment,’ ” David A. Stockman, the director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan… “IBM is a buyback machine on steroids that has been a huge stock-market winner by virtue of massaging, medicating and manipulating” its earnings per share.” (The Truth Hidden by IBM’s Buybacks, Andrew Ross Sorkin, New York Times)
But IBM is no different than anyone else. They’re all doing the same thing; “dissipating corporate assets” and “shrinking their businesses” (Yves Smith) to enrich greedy executives and their voracious shareholders. And who can blame them, after all, these corporations are merely responding to the incentives created by the Fed’s monetary policies. Stock buybacks make perfect sense when credit is easy and the price of money is zero.
So why did stock prices plunge last week?
It’s all about expectations. Investors know that the conditions that have been favorable for stock buybacks are about to change, (The Fed plans to end QE in October.) so they are making their adjustments while prices are still high. That’s why the markets have been gyrating lately. It’s also why buybacks have dropped by 27 percent in the last quarter. Check out this graph from Zero Hedge:
Corporations have been willing to buy their own shares because (a) money is cheap and (b) because they knew the Fed was shrinking the supply of financial assets by buying US Treasuries. Now that the Fed is threatening to turn off the money-spigot, (which will have the same effect as raising rates) the buybacks will slow and stocks will drop. Of course, that’s not the way the analysts at Goldman Sachs see things. They think the slowdown in stock buybacks is just a temporary glitch that coincides with earnings reports. According to Business Insider:
“Goldman Sachs’ David Kostin believes a temporary pullback may explain why the S&P 500 has tumbled from its all-time high of 2,019 on Sept. 19.
“Most companies are precluded from engaging in open-market stock repurchases during the five weeks before releasing earnings,” Kostin notes. “For many firms, the beginning of the blackout period coincided with the S&P 500 peak on September 18. So the sell-off occurred during a time when the single largest source of equity demand was absent…
Goldman could be right, but I don’t think so, mainly because increased volatility and ructions in the bond market suggest that market dynamics have changed. It’s a whole different ballgame now. “The VIX Volatility Index topped 30 briefly last week — often seen as an unofficial warning sign, while CNNMoney’s own Fear & Greed Index is still in “Extreme Fear” mode with the current reading is 5.” And the troubles in the bond market are even scarier. Check this out on Bloomberg:
“Corporate bond values are fluctuating the most in more than a year as Wall Street’s biggest banks opt against using their own money to absorb debt being sold by clients.
The 22 dealers that do business with the Fed reduced their net holdings of high-yield bonds by $1.7 billion in the two weeks ended Oct. 8 to a net $6.3 billion, Fed data show. They were joining the crowd in selling, with high-yield bond mutual funds receiving $7.4 billion of withdrawals since mid-September…” (Leveraged Money Spurs Selloff as Record Treasuries Trade, Bloomberg)
Here’s more from Bloomberg:
“High-yield investors are more worried that no one will bid on their bonds than they are about the risk of companies defaulting. At a time when the default rate for below investment-grade companies is holding at about half its historical average, junk-bond investors are increasingly concerned that they’ll be unable to sell when they want to…
“Clients now want to sell any bond they don’t want to hold for the long-term for fear that they will not be able to sell them later,” Bank of America Corp. analysts led by Michael Contopoulos wrote in a note today. The recent volatility “has been a wake-up call for many that dealer balance sheet constraints leads to faster price discovery and gappier price moves.”… (Lonely Bond Buyers Feel Deserted When Junk-Market Rout Heats Up, Bloomberg)
Investors are afraid that they won’t be able to get out when they want to?
Precisely, and that fear is adding to market volatility.
So what happens now?
Well, it looks like things are going to get a whole lot crazier for a while, particularly if economic data is weak, and the Fed winds down QE on schedule. Then we could see a noticeable increase in the violent swings in daily trading. One thing to keep an eye on is yields on high-yield debt which have been gradually rising signaling that investors are less eager to provide cheap credit to marginal corporate borrowers. That’s going to make it more expensive to finance stock buybacks which means that the main driver of the stock market is going to begin to stall. When buybacks drop off, the markets will drift sideways leading to a selloff in the bond market that could spark a race for the exits. Here’s how Jeff Cox sums it up over at CNBC:
“Picture this: The bond market gets spooked by a sudden interest rate scare, sending a throng of buyers streaming toward the exits, only to find a dearth of buyers on the other side. As a result, liquidity evaporates, yields soar, and the U.S. finds itself smack in the middle of another debt crisis no one saw coming…
We saw the imbalance this summer, when global unrest caused sudden outflows from high-yield corporates, and last spring, when a swift, but not unprecedented, move in rates caused a negative knee-jerk reaction in credit spreads. As one trader put it: “The Taper Tantrum was the 30-second preview to a full feature film that might yet play out.” (This is the ‘doomsday’ bond market scenario, Jeff Cox, CNBC)
We’ve already had three dress rehearsals for Cox’s “doomsday scenario” since last summer, (the most recent of which took place last Wednesday when the Dow dropped 460 pts before rebounding.) so there’s no doubt that there’s trouble ahead. Once stocks start to fall, the bond bubble will burst igniting a broader selloff and a swift plunge in prices. That will leave the balance sheets of many corporations and financial institutions deep in the red precipitating a second major financial crisis in less than 7 years.
I think so. And the problems can all be traced back to the easy money policies of the Central Bank; our friend, the Fed.
It evidently is not on. Disclosing a state of affairs surrounding the Prime Minister of Australia, through revealing a secret scholarship that his daughter received is something that can land you a sentence. It shows the absurdity of understanding the quality of information, and its effect. Such material was hardly even of the order of hacked files from Department of Defence servers. It did not involve an individual carting off the nation’s pearls on national security.
But the key was that it happened at all. It involved a young journalist from the University of Technology Sydney (UTS) discussing a form of conduct on the part of Tony Abbott that would have been relevant to his role as an office holder. Newman had accessed student records revealing that Abbott’s daughter had received a secret scholarship from the Whitehouse Institute of Design to the value of $60,000. (The scholarship was kept secret from students and senior staff.)
This brought obvious questions into play. Was it awarded on merit? (Such merit is hard to identify when there is only one candidate.) All it took was one meeting with college owner Leanne Whitehouse, and the bursary was in the bag. This did cause consternation to Whitehouse Institute staff such as former employee Melletios Kyriakidis, who suggested that, “Even from her class, I could name 10 people more deserving either for merit or financial need or both.”
It was all opportune – Newman, working as a part-time librarian at the Sydney-based institute, accessed the internal computer system. Abbott’s daughter, Frances, was working at the Melbourne campus of the same institute, though she lacked any specific role.
Such papers as The Australian smelled a rat, but if they did, that rat was emitting a strange odour. Grand claims were made of Newman’s role in a plot that was intended to sabotage the Prime Minister. She had been part of a dirty scheme that involved “access to the files of Ms Abbott and more than 500 other students.” Chris Graham, the owner of New Matilda, and contributing editor Wendy Bacon, were seen as part of this grand scheme, with Newman keen on “talking tactics” with them on the subject of the obtained material. Such is the lot of those whose fingers find themselves in the tills of power – there is always a conspiracy afoot to find them.
In September, Newman pleaded guilty to breaching the relevant section of the NSW Crimes Act prohibiting access to restricted data held on a computer. She was due to be sentenced on October 23, but it was decide that the sentence be deferred for another month.
While the sentencing awaits, the punishment of such conduct demonstrates, yet again, the woeful state of whistleblower protection in the country. Loopholes abound in the laws. Exemptions and dispensations are replete through legislation dealing with national security, freedom of information and employment. But the most notable thing about Newman’s case was that she fell into the loophole of loopholes, not being a government employee.
“If Newman had been working in a government organisation and had made an equivalent revelation from public service records,” argues the Australian human rights lawyer, Julian Burnside, “she would likely have been able to claim whistleblower protection.”
Instead, critics can point to the problems that this verdict will do – create a curious, but troubling variant of political prisoner on Australian soil. This is not as extreme as it sounds. Globally, a species of detained individual has become the norm, be it such individuals as Jeremy Hammond and Barrett Brown in the context of exposing the behaviour of Stratfor, or more conventional agents like John Kiriakou who spend time behind bars because of revealing the use of torture by the Central Intelligence Agency.
The barrister representing Newman has had to resort to working within the most unsatisfactory rules, suggesting that the case was “very much at the lower end” in terms of seriousness which did involve a breach of “her employer’s trust”. Nor did the disclosed material reveal “overtly sensitive” details, be they in the nature of bank account details or an address. She undertook her conduct in a state of ignorance of the law, and did not gain the material “seeking personal notoriety”.
The defence from Payne seemed meek, taking a leaf out of the book of defendant cripples and the confused. That’s usually done by rubbishing your client in the hope she gets a lesser sentence. She was, for instance, immature, suggesting that whistleblowing is something children or less mature do. She did not see the consequences of her action. In what must be an old fob to the good old values of exposing a public interest case, Payne did everything to suggest that Newman was somewhat crazed, sincerely believing in that distant voice called justice. “She sincerely believed she was acting in the public interest and was unaware she was committing an offence.”
It has been left to far more robust positions to be taken in the public domain, be it from such publications as Crikey, who claimed that Newman “should be applauded for her bravery” in blowing “the whistle on a secret scholarship awarded by a private design school to Tony Abbott’s daughter”. Facebook groups and online petitions for her release have been actively gathering signatures and supporters. The Change.org petition seeking to “Stop the pursuit of Freya Newman” calls for enshrining “freedom of the press in the Australian constitution.”
The person who has ambled off merrily into the political sunset is Prime Minister Abbott, who seems more Teflon-like the longer he ambles through office. That a young journalist may well spend time behind bars for revealing a deal of good disgrace is suggestive of a man who holds ideas of liberty in contempt. All this, despite claiming before the conservative Institute of Public Affairs (IPA) in August 2012 that he, and his party, “stand for the freedoms which Australians have a right to expect and which governments have a duty to uphold.” This is the raison d’être of retribution – to punish disclosures, however small, that give the game up on the lie of governance.
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]
Daniel Estulin is an award winning investigative journalist and best selling author of The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, published in 64 countries and translated into 41 languages. In August 2010 he was invited by Fidel Castro for a personal meeting in Havana after Castro read his book. In October 2010 Mr Estulin became the first journalist to give a speech to the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Venezuelan armed forces on global financial structures and the Bilderberg Group – an annual invitation-only conference of the elites in the fields of business, finance, media, military and politics.
Mr Estulin has authored 12 books, five of them international bestsellers, including The Invisible Empire, Conspiracy Octopus, Deconstructing Wikileaks, and The Lords of Shadows.
His latest book, TransEvolution: The Age of Human Deconstruction, suggests that the depth of progress and technological development is such that people in the very near future may no longer be fully human. He asks: Is humanity in danger because of this domination of science and technology?
In the following interview with New Dawn magazine, Mr Estulin discusses the rise of transhumanism, the ‘Age of Transition’, post-humanity, synthetic biology, cybernetic immortality, new technologies of control, and the reasons why the global elite are interested in population control.
NEW DAWN (ND): Most New Dawn readers are acquainted with your best selling book The True Story of the Bilderberg Group, in which you expose the secretive global elite planning group that meets annually. You reported that at this year’s Bilderberg meeting they expressed grave concern about the rise of Iran, Russia and China. And of course the volatile situation in Ukraine. Before we discuss your latest book, “TransEvolution: The Coming Age of Human Deconstruction,” could you elaborate on your approach to understanding world events?
DANIEL ESTULIN (DE): We are witnessing first hand the destruction of the world’s economy and the work of supranational forces. When one speaks of policy we often mean foreign or national executed by national governments. But we have to understand that Presidents and Prime Ministers are messengers of those who rule the world from behind the scenes. Which is why to understand what is happening in the world we have to frame issues in terms of global policy decisions. These decisions are not made at the White House or Downing Street but rather in the back rooms of the supranational elite. What is taking place in the Ukraine, the revolts in Venezuela, the utter destruction of the American economy (read Detroit), drug wars in Colombia and beyond, Kosovo, Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Syria, Colour Revolutions, etc, etc. – these are not isolated events but rather part of the continuum to change the very paradigm of modern society and take us to hell through deindustrialisation, zero growth, demand destruction, perpetual wars, etc.
ND: Your book warns about the imminent “transhumanist” revolution which seeks to integrate human with machine. What exactly is transhumanism and how is it connected directly to the global elites you’ve written extensively on in the past?
DE: Transhumanism is an ultra high tech dream of computer scientists, philosophers, neural scientists and many others. It seeks to use radical advances in technology to augment the human body, mind and ultimately the entire human experience. To most people this sounds like something from a science fiction film. Few are aware of constant breakthroughs in technology, which makes the transhumanist vision a very real possibility for the near future.
For example, neurochip interfaces, computer chips that connect directly to the brain, are being developed right now. The ultimate goal of a brain chip would be to increase intelligence thousands of time over – basically turning the human brain into a super computer. Lifelong emotional well-being is also a key concept within transhumanism. This can be achieved through a recalibration of the pleasure centres in the brain. Pharmaceutical mood renderers have been suggested, which will be cleaner and safer than mind-altering drugs. This is Aldous Huxley’s 21st century scientific dictatorship without tears.
Transhumanism was born out of humanism, which is yet another clever disguise of “scientism,” created specifically so that global eugenics operations could be carried out without being noticed.
ND: At the start of TransEvolution you make a link between the 2005 Bilderberg Group meeting and the 2006 British government document ‘Strategic Trends Report 2007-2036’. Was the discovery of this link one of the reasons you wrote the book?
DE: Exactly. At the end of the 2005 Bilderberg Conference in Germany, I was given a first draft of what later turned into a UK government report, ‘Strategic Trends Report 2007-2036’, a secret source document on the future of humanity. This 91-page report is a blueprint for the UK’s future strategic national requirements through the analysis of key risks and future shocks to the world’s financial, economic, political, demographic and technological areas and markets.
But it wasn’t the only report. In my investigation I came across two additional very important reports published over a decade ago by the British government and the US government. One is called ‘The Age of Transition’ which dealt with nanotechnologies, biology, information technology and cognitive technology. The other is ‘Russia 2045 Global Future’.
It was the hope of three conferences, ‘The Age of Transitions’, the ‘Global Future 2045 International Congress’ and the ‘NBIC’ conference, to integrate humanity with nature to save Planet Earth from mankind. Visions laid out included robotics, cybernetics, artificial intelligence, life extension, brain enhancement, brain-to-brain interaction, virtual reality, genetic engineering, teleportation, human-machine interfaces, neuromorphic engineering and enhanced human capabilities for defence purposes.
Once you break down the Orwellian speak, you realise that we, the people, are the enemy of the elite and through technological advancement and enhancement they will be able to control the future of humanity.
ND: The controversial Russian philosopher Alexander Dugin, who has been dubbed “Putin’s brain” by the globalist CFR journal Foreign Affairs, warns in regard to the transhumanist agenda: “There will be some black magic yet, and certain things that will outright petrify. I think genetic engineering – we’re only now seeing the last people; we haven’t yet seen the first post-people, which are very soon to come. These should be mutants, clones, and they aren’t just fantasies or science fiction.” What do you think will happen?
DE: Our children are the last truly human generation of human beings on the planet. We will have transhuman children – post human, man-machine, cyborgs who are not totally human as a result of synthetic biology.
Now, in one of the biggest breakthroughs in recent history, scientists have created a synthetic genome that can self-replicate. They have taken a cell and modified the genes of a cell by inserting DNA from another organism. And the bacteria replicated itself thus creating a second generation of the synthetic DNA. The organism will do exactly what the scientist intended: a living thing, but under the control of Man.
If the 19th century was all about the revolution of harnessing energy from fossil fuels, and the 20th century was about exploiting the power of data, this century will be about controlling biology.
What’s amazing is that the cell was assembled and sparked into life in a laboratory. This technology takes mankind across a threshold. A turning point that marked a coming of age of a new science called synthetic biology, founded on the ambition that one day it will be possible to design and manufacture a human being.
In other words, you can get DNA of anything here on Earth and create organisms that never before existed entirely from non-living materials. Scientists are creating new life forms that the human immune system and the world have never so far experienced. As such, it will revitalise perennial questions about the significance of life – what it is, why it is important and what role humans should have in its future.
ND: Most people seem oblivious to what is just around the corner in terms of technology and its impact on human life. You say in your book that transhumanism is “steered by the elite” and that “we, the people, have not been invited.” What are some of the visible strategies being employed by the elites to dumb down the population so they sleepwalk into this so-called transhumanist “utopia”?
DE: Media, social media in all of its manifestations, and especially Hollywood – GIJoe 2, Prototype, Transcendence, Gatacca, I am Legend, Moon, Minority Report, AVATAR. Video games like ‘Deus Ex’. These are films, but the reality is far more dangerous.
Once they see some of these same gadgets employed in real life, people think they are still watching a ‘cool’ Hollywood ‘flick’. For example, in Minority Report Tom Cruise’s character John Anderton has a radical surgery to replace his eyes so that he can get past security systems that scan his retina to identify him. As he’s lying in a tub recovering from his black-market procedure, tiny robots sneak into the room and scan his eyes in an attempt to track down the fugitive Future Crime officer. The ability to scan retinas to identify people is straight out of a sci-fi film but, outside of the use of spider-like drone bots, this is very much present and near future. In fact, soon your eyes may not even need to be in close proximity to the scanner to be identified.
Engineers at Southern Methodist University are working closely with the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop a new type of eye scanner that could identify a room full of people without their knowledge. The new image sensors, called Panoptes, could locate and scan a person’s iris regardless of distance, and even if they’re not looking directly at the camera. The system, dubbed Smart-Iris, is impervious to problems like poor lighting, glare, eye-lashes, or movement. And, with the help of a new algorithm, it can function with only a partial scan.
One of the most talked about areas of research is something called the “Active Denial System,” ADS. ADS is a by-product of a larger ongoing research effort looking for technology that could delete and then replace a person’s memories via the use of electromagnetic radiation.
If you are thinking Men in Black Hollywood science fiction, you are absolutely right. Except the technology, called “Amnesia Beam,” is here, ready to be used at a moment’s notice. What’s more, a team of neuroscientists has actually developed a brain scan based on finding hints about what a subject is intending to do. This is a nightmare version of Minority Report made reality.
Scientists claim that the seeds of criminal and anti-social behaviour can be found in children as young as three. More researchers believe that violent tendencies have a biological basis, and that tests and brain imaging can pick them up in children. By predicting which children have the potential to be trouble, treatments could be introduced to keep them on the straight and narrow. If the tests are accurate enough, then a form of screening could be introduced in the same way we test for some diseases. The theories were put forward by two leading criminologists at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.
Please understand, these are not publicly funded projects for the betterment of humanity, but they are mostly secret experiments sanctioned in the name of defence, which when put on its head is crime prevention. Extrapolated into the future it’s tailor-made to put down any rebellion by the 99% of the world’s population destined to live in abject poverty in crime infested Mega-Cities of the future.
Let me give you another example. Last year FOX showed a TV series called Almost Human where one of the main characters is a cyborg cop interacting with humans in society. Almost Human is about neuroscience, a key element of the elite’s control. Neuroscience is the study of the nervous system. With advances in chemistry, computer science, engineering, medicine and other disciplines, neuroscience now also includes the study of the molecular, cellular, developmental, structural, functional, evolutionary, computational, and medical aspects of the nervous system. From molecular and cellular studies of individual nerve cells to imaging of sensory and motor tasks in the brain, neuroscience has crossed the threshold of science and has become a key element of national security apparatus the world over.
The development of sophisticated neuro-weapons will create a perpetual state of uncertainty with the promise and peril of the development of neuro-warfare and its effects. Emotional detection systems will pervade public areas as global surveillance networks seek out terrorists and criminals.
These technologies are not being developed to stop the terrorists but rather to stop you! The laws to justify these technologies are not written on a whim. They are specifically designed to give the government carte blanche authority over the people during the chaos and confusion of the ‘Age of Transitions’. Transition to a planetary civilisation.
You see, the future Bin Ladens and Qadhafis are not the enemy. In fact, they never were. You are the enemy. Whether at airports, border crossings or on the street corner, from now on we will be mind-probed by amazing new technology developed by the Human Factors Division of the Department of Homeland Security’s Science & Technology directorate [this is an actual division of US Homeland Security].
ND: You write that: “Transhumanism fills people’s hopes and minds with dreams of becoming superhuman, but the fact of the matter is that the true goal is the removal of that pesky, human free will itself.” Do you believe the elites are planning this coming age of machine and robots (which are very sophisticated and will replace many human jobs) as a way to eventually eliminate the excess of humanity, the “useless eaters” as they’ve been termed?
DE: There is an effort by the mainstream press to focus on the work issue and completely miss the bigger picture. First, let’s look at the technology. Brain machine interfaces would allow the control of machinery with the brain itself. Implantable brain chips would also be able to store information and enhance cognitive function. The ultimate human machine symbiosis would be to download the actual copy of a person’s brain into a super computer.
I repeat, this would allow someone to effectively live forever in a computer-generated virtual simulation. And, of course, the military implications of convergence are quite obvious. A cybernetic enhancement of human performance is inevitable. Achieving these visions requires the decoding and understanding of complex systems. The most important complex system being the human brain. After all, it is the driving force behind human performance.
Augmentation can be a huge business for these corporations. We have been integrating ourselves with technology for decades now, replacing damaged limbs with mechanical limbs, implanting data chips into our bodies which give away huge amounts of information to governments and corporations all across the world. Has it come to the point when we will be actively encouraged to exchange our perfectly functional body parts for upgraded applications?
But it comes at a price. You will have to take the drugs for the rest of your lives to make sure the augmentation works. These drugs are both dangerous and addictive and expensive. If you don’t, your body will reject your augmentation. The elite will have their technology in you. They have the power to turn off your limbs, the potential to turn off your eyes, send messages to your brain and control your thoughts as if they have the power of God.
The technology doesn’t end there: Intel is working on implantable sensors in the brain that will be able to directly control computers and cell phones. By the year 2020 you won’t need a keyboard and mouse to control your computer. Instead, users will open documents and surf the web using nothing more than their brain waves.
The potential ‘benefits’ of such technology are almost beyond imagination. An article on the website of the Science Channel put it this way: “If you could pump data directly into your gray matter at, say, 50 mb per sec – you’d be able to read a 500-page book in just under two-tenths of a second. How would the world change if you could download a lifetime of learning directly into your brain in a matter of weeks?”
The possibilities are endless. But so is the potential for abuse. Through interaction, implantable microchips can ‘talk’ directly to the brain, bypassing sensory receptors. This would give a tyrannical government an ultimate form of control. If you could download thoughts and feelings directly into the brains of your citizens, you could achieve total control and never have to worry about them turning on you.
We haven’t even scratched the surface. Called Remote Neural Monitoring (RNM), this technology is already in use in the USA, UK, Spain, Sweden, Germany and France. It allows them to see through your eyes, hear your thoughts, and upload photos and scents into your brain as real as if you saw or smelled it in the natural environment.
Needless to say, the perpetrators can hear what you hear because you become a unit of the mainframe. They can change your behaviour, affect memory functions and emotions. This is not a plotline of a dystopian novel. This is real and it is being implemented today, every day by the governments who profess to protect us from evil.
In fact, you could potentially program these chips to make your citizens feel good all the time: The ultimate goal of Huxley’s scientific dictatorship without tears – soma personified. The future is now.
Instead of drugs like cocaine and marijuana giving you a natural high, you could have these chips produce a ‘natural high’ that never ends. Drug dependency replaced by a fully government sanctioned chip dependency. The way of the future.
Post-humanity will be a new human, genetically engineered and brain-chipped for total control. Part man and part machine, the new man will no longer have a need of the sexual reproductive function. If the elite’s plan is to reduce the world’s population, can you think of a better way to do that?
ND: What’s the connection between elite control of the world’s food supply and the depopulation agenda?
DE: There is no better or cheaper way to reduce population than through starvation. And in order to starve a people to death you must take control of their food production away from independent farmers and put it into the hands of giant corporations subservient to the interests of World Company Inc.
Ten to twelve pivotal companies, assisted by another three dozen, run the world’s food supply. This cartel has complete domination over world cereals and grains supplies, from wheat to corn and oats, from barley to sorghum and rye. But it also controls meat, dairy, edible oils and fats, fruits and vegetables, sugar, and all forms of spices.
While these firms maintain the legal fiction of being different corporate organisations, in reality this is one interlocking syndicate with a common purpose and multiple overlapping boards of directors.
Please understand, this interlocked self-perpetuating syndicate decides who eats and who doesn’t, who lives and who dies. It is a virtual spider web of financial, political, economic and industry interests with the Venetian ultramontane fondi model at the centre. These people own and manage the affairs of an interlocking corporate apparatus that dominates choke points within the global economy, especially finance, insurance, raw materials, transportation, and consumer goods.
But it does not end there. The control of food supplies is a matter of national security. The US Department of Agriculture is one of the key elements in a national security edifice attempting to control the world food market.
Food is power. When it is used to cull the population, it becomes a weapon of mass destruction. You may not realise it, but the elite certainly do.
ND: In light of these alarming behind-the-scenes developments, can you elaborate on the global elite’s long-term plan?
DE: There are currently seven billion people on Planet Earth, a small blue orb meandering through space with limited natural resources and an ever-expanding population. Food and water are becoming scarcer. The elite understand this: a larger population equals fewer natural resources and more food and water supply shortages. Therefore, from the point of view of an oligarchical elite, if they want to completely control a planet, they must reduce the population to a more ‘manageable’ number. Remember, seven billion people and growing is a lot of mouths to feed. For the elite to eat, you and I have to die. How is that for a solution?
ND: How can aware people resist this diabolical ‘TransEvolution’?
DE: We have to understand that all of us have a place in the universe. Immortality, the way I understand it, is assuring the survival of the human species. Human beings are the most divine element of the known Universe. Nothing compares to our divine spark of reason. Technology and progress must be used to increase Man’s power in the Universe, not to destroy humanity.
Readers are encouraged to obtain a copy of Daniel Estulin’s book TransEvolution: The Age of Human Deconstruction, in which he lays out the full evidence for the points covered in this interview (and much more). The book can be purchased from all good bookstores or www.amazon.com. Signed editions of his books are available from his online store www.danielestulin.com/store/
Nations such as Russia, South Africa and the U.S. have long conducted research into how to make deadly germs even more deadly.
And accidents at these research facilities have caused germs to escape, killing people and animals near the facilities.
For example, the Soviet research facility at Sverdlovsk conducted anthrax research during the Cold War. They isolated the most potent strain of anthrax culture and then dried it to produce a fine powder for use as an aerosol. In 1979, an accident at the facility released anthrax, killing 100.
The U.S. has had its share of accidents. USA Today noted in August:
More than 1,100 laboratory incidents involving bacteria, viruses and toxins that pose significant or bioterror risks to people and agriculture were reported to federal regulators during 2008 through 2012, government reports obtained by USA TODAY show.
In two other incidents, animals were inadvertently infected with contagious diseases that would have posed significant threats to livestock industries if they had spread. One case involved the infection of two animals with hog cholera, a dangerous virus eradicated from the USA in 1978. In another incident, a cow in a disease-free herd next to a research facility studying the bacteria that cause brucellosis, became infected ….
The new lab incident data indicate mishaps occur regularly at the more than 1,000 labs operated by 324 government, university and private organizations across the country ….
“More than 200 incidents of loss or release of bioweapons agents from U.S. laboratories are reported each year. This works out to more than four per week,” said Richard Ebright, a biosafety expert at Rutgers university in New Jersey, who testified before Congress last month at a hearing about CDC’s lab mistakes.
The only thing unusual about the CDC’s recent anthrax and bird flu lab incidents, Ebright said, is that the public found out about them. “The 2014 CDC anthrax event became known to the public only because the number of persons requiring medical evaluation was too high to conceal,” he said.
CDC officials were unavailable for interviews and officials with the select agent program declined to provide additional information. The USDA said in a statement Friday that“all of the information is protected under the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness and Response Act of 2002.”
Such secrecy is a barrier to improving lab safety ….
Gronvall notes that even with redundant systems in high-security labs, there have been lab incidents resulting in the spread of disease to people and animals outside the labs.
She said a lab accident is considered by many scientists to be the most likely source of the re-emergence in 1977 of an H1N1 flu strain that had disappearedin 1957 because the genetic makeup of the strain hadn’t changed as it should have over those decades. A 2009 article in the New England Journal of Medicine noted the 1977 strain was so similar to the one that disappeared that it suggests it had been “preserved” and that the re-emergence was “probably an accidental release from a laboratory source.”
In 2012, CDC staff published an article in the journal Applied Biosafety on select agent theft, loss and releases from 2004 through 2010, documenting 727 reported incidents, 11 lab-acquired infections and one loss of a specimen in transit among more than 3,400 approved shipments.
The article noted that the number of reports received by CDC likely underestimates the true number of suspected losses and releases.
Indeed, there have been many accidents involving germ research. For example, the New York Timesnoted in 2005:
In 2002, the discovery of lethal anthrax outside a high-security laboratory at the military’s premier biodefense laboratory, the Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick in Maryland, led to sampling throughout the institute.
The Senate report noted that accidents have occurred in the handling of potentially deadly biological material. Vials of biological warfare agents have been misplaced or spilled, it said, employees have been exposed to deadly toxins and a fire once broke out in the high-containment laboratory of the Army’s leading germ warfare facility at Ft. Detrick, Md.
Researchers are creating some very dangerous bugs. The Frederick News Post – an excellent local newspaper for the community surrounding the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases at Fort Detrick – reported in 2010 that the facility would eventually aerosolize Ebola:
Ludwig said researchers at the facility will likely start out working on vaccines for filoviruses such as Ebola and Marburg, as well as new anthrax vaccines.
The facility will have the capability to produce viruses in aerosolized form that would simulate a potential biological attack on the test animals. Ludwig said aerosol is the means of exposure researchers are most concerned with given its implications to battlefield and homeland defense.
In an article published last month, [Marc Lipsitch, professor of epidemiology at Harvard School of Public Health] argued that experiments like Kawaoka’s could unleash acatastrophic pandemic if a virus escaped or was intentionally released from a high-security laboratory.
Many of the groups that create dangerous viruses to understand their workings are funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH). Lord May [the former president of the Royal Society and one time chief science adviser to the UK government] said he suspected the NIH supported the work because officials there were “incompetent” and believed the justifications that scientists told them. “This is work that shouldn’t be done. It’s as simple as that,” he said.
The study identifies particular mutations that made the virus spread so easily. But that is not much use for surveillance, said Lipsitch, because there are scores of other mutations that could have the same effect.
Simon Wain-Hobson, a virologist at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, said he feared that governments and funding bodies would only take the risks seriously once an accident had happened. “It’s madness, folly. It shows profound lack of respect for the collective decision-making process we’ve always shown in fighting infections. If society, the intelligent layperson, understood what was going on, they would say ‘What the F are you doing?‘”
Obama Now Claims that He’s Shutting Down Domestic Germ Program
The New York Times reported last week that President Obama is so concerned about these accidental releases that he’s clamping down on germ research:
Prompted by controversy over dangerous research and recent laboratory accidents, the White House announced Friday that it would temporarily halt all new funding for experiments that seek to study certain infectious agents by making them more dangerous.
It also encouraged scientists involved in such research on the influenza, SARS and MERS viruses to voluntarily pause their work while its risks were reassessed.
The announcement, which was made by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the Department of Health and Human Services, did not say how long the moratorium would last. It said a “deliberative process to assess the potential risks and benefits” would begin this month and stretch at least into next year.
The move appeared to be a sudden change of heart by the Obama administration, which last month issued regulations calling for more stringent federal oversight of such research and requiring scientists and universities to disclose that their work might be risky, rather than expecting federal agencies to notice.
The moratorium is only on research on influenza virus and the coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS.
The debate over the wisdom of “gain of function” research erupted in 2011 when the labs of Ron Fouchier of Erasmus University in the Netherlands, and Yoshihiro Kawaoka of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, separately announced that they had succeeded in making the lethal H5N1 avian flu easily transmissible between ferrets, which are a model for human susceptibility to flu.
The White House said the moratorium decision had been made “following recent biosafety incidents at federal research facilities.”
Many scientists were furious that such work had been permitted and even supported with American tax dollars. But others argued that it was necessary to learn which genetic mutations make viruses more dangerous. If those mutations began appearing naturally as the viruses circulated in animals and people, warnings could be issued and vaccines designed, they said.
Richard H. Ebright, a molecular biologist and bioweapons expert at Rutgers University, argued that the long history of accidental releases of infectious agents from research labs made such work extremely risky and unwise to perform in the first place.
The U.S. conducts germ research worldwide. As the Los Angeles Times pointed out in the 1988 article:
The Army conducts or contracts for germ warfare work at 120 sites worldwide ….
The National Journal’s Global Security Newswire reported in 2011 that such sites include bioweapon germs such as Anthrax and Ebola in Africa:
The Obama administration has requested $260 million in fiscal 2012 funding to bolster protective measures at African research sites that house lethal disease agents, the Examiner reported on Sunday (see GSN, April 14).
The Defense Department funding would be used to safeguard against extremist infiltration facilities in Kenya, Uganda and elsewhere that hold potential biological-weapon agents such as anthrax, Ebola and Rift Valley fever.
The heads of germ research for the Russian and South African governments both say that they intentionally created more lethal forms of deadly germs such as Ebola.
Specifically, the former head of Russia’s biological weapons program told PBS:
In the 70s and beginning of 80s the Soviet Union started developing new biological weapons–Marburg infection biological weapon, Ebola infection biological weapon, Machupo infection, [or] Bolivian hemorrhagic biological weapon, and some others.
The head of South Africa’s Apartheid-era biological weapons program also worked on weaponizing Ebola. The New Yorker noted in 2011:
Dr. Wouter Basson, and the various apartheid-era clandestine weapons programs he oversaw as leader of Project Coast…
South Africans call him Dr. Death. He is regularly compared by the local press, never very persuasively, to Josef Mengele. . .
There were revelations of research into a race-specific bacterial weapon; a project to find ways to sterilize the country’s black population ….
Basson’s scientists were working with anthrax, cholera, salmonella, botulinum, thallium, E. coli, ricin, organophosphates, necrotizing fasciitis, hepatitis A, and H.I.V., as well as nerve gases (Sarin, VX) and the Ebola, Marburg, and Rift Valley hemorrhagic-fever viruses. They were producing crude toxins (and some strange delivery systems) for use by the military and police, and they were genetically engineering extremely dangerous new organisms—creating, that is, biological weapons.
Dr. Basson alleges that the UK and U.S. helped South Africa with its biowarfare research:
The U.S. has – in the past – intentionally deployed germ warfare abroad. For example, the Senate’s Church Committee found that the CIA decided to bump off the heads of Congo and Cuba using lethal germs. And the United States sold anthrax to Saddam Hussein in 1985, for the express purpose of using it against Iran. (CIA files also prove that the U.S. supported Saddam Hussein’s use of chemical weapons against Iran.)
Top Bioweapons Expert Speaks Out on Ebola
Washington’s Blog spoke with one of America’s leading experts on the dangers of research into deadly germs, Dr. Francis Boyle.
Dr. Boyle wrote the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the American implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.
Dr. Boyle served on the Board of Directors of Amnesty International (1988-1992), and is a professor of international law at the University of Illinois, Champaign.
WASHINGTON’S BLOG: You said recently that laboratories in West Africa run by the Centers for Disease Control and Tulane University are doing bioweapons research. What documentary evidence do you have of that?
You mentioned that a map produced by the CDC shows where the laboratories are located on the West Coast of Africa?
DR. FRANCIS BOYLE: Yes. They’ve got one in Monrovia [the capital of Ebola-stricken Liberia] … one in Kenema, Sierra Leone [the third largest city in the Ebola-hotzone nation], which was shut down this summer because the government there believed that it was the Tulane vaccines which had set this whole thing off.
And then they have another one in Guinea, where the first case [of Ebola] was reported.
All of these are labs which do this offensive/defensive biowarfare work.
And Fort Detrick’s USAMRIID [the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases] has also been over there. So it’s clear what’s been going on there.
CDC has a long history of doing biowarfare work. I have them doing biowarfare work for the Pentagon in Sierra Leone as early 1988.
WASHINGTON’S BLOG: And how do you know that? Have you seen official documents?
DR. FRANCIS BOYLE: An official government document: the Biological Defense Research Program, May 1988. I analyzed it in my book,Biowarfare and Terrorism.
It’s clear that [the U.S. bioweapons researchers] were using Liberia to try to circumvent the Biological Weapons Convention. And CDC – for years – has been up to its eyeballs in biowarfare work.
They always try to justify the development of offensive biological weapons by claiming it’s being done for “defensive” purposes. That’s just a lie … and it’s always been a lie.
It’s been the case on Ebola and just about every other biowarfare agent you can think of.
WASHINGTON’S BLOG: Does that type of research violate the Biological Weapons Convention?
DR. FRANCIS BOYLE: Well, of course! It also violates the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act [which Boyle drafted], which was passed unanimously by both houses of the United States Congress and signed into law by President Bush, Senior.
That Act creates life in prison for this type of “Dr. Menegle” type work.
WASHINGTON’S BLOG: And Obama recently said – as quoted in the New York Times article – that he’s “curtailing” this type of defensive research, or putting it on hold.
Do you believe him?
DR. FRANCIS BOYLE: That’s the smoking gun, right there. Read that article [the New York Times article quoted above, which notes "a sudden change of heart by the Obama administration" about labs creating ever-deadlier versions of germs which are already lethal].
The reason they’ve stopped it is to cover themselves, I think, because they know that this type of work was behind the outbreak of the [Ebola] pandemic in West Africa.
But that’s an admission right there, de facto.
_ _ _
Dr. Boyle made it clear that he is not suggesting – as some others are – that Ebola was intentionally released into the African population. He says he has seen no evidence of intentional release. He’s speaking about an accidental release of germs from a biowarfare research lab.
He’s convinced, in fact, that this Ebola epidemic in Africa started with the release from a U.S. bioweapons lab in West Africa. One of the reasons for his conviction that the outbreak started with the release from a bioweapon lab is that this Ebola strain seems to be much worse than those previously seen in the wild.
As Dr. Boyle told us:
It seems to me that [the Ebola epidemic in West Africa] has U.S. biowarfare programs written all over it.
A “no refusal” checkpoint where drivers will be forced to stop and potentially submit to having their blood taken on the side of the road by law enforcement authorities is planned for Clark County, Ohio tomorrow.
“Every car will be checked to ensure that drivers are not impaired. If there is sufficient probable cause to believe that a driver is operating a vehicle while impaired, law enforcement will seek a blood search warrant from a “neutral and detached magistrate,” reports ABC 22.
The time and location of the checkpoint will not be released until hours before it is set to begin.
Once a search warrant is obtained, a nurse will draw blood to check for alcohol or drugs. It is not specified whether the blood draws will take place on the side of the road or at a nearby jail.
Although the practice of taking blood from motorists suspected of being under the influence has been the law in numerous states for years, many remain unaware of how those who refuse to consent to the procedure are treated.
Last year we highlighted shocking video footage out of Georgia which showed police officers forcibly strapping down citizens accused of drunk driving before putting them in a headlock and having a nurse draw blood.
As the clip shows, even compliant individuals who are showing zero resistance have their heads forcibly pushed down as the blood is taken.
“We all are American citizens and you guys have me strapped to a table like I’m in Guantanamo f***ing Bay,” complains one individual.
Another man screams “what country is this?” as officers hold him down and take his blood without consent.
“Holding down and forcing somebody to submit to this is really intrusive in terms of that level of invasive procedure into someone’s body is ridiculous for investigating a misdemeanor,” Attorney David Boyle told Fox 5 Atlanta, describing the forced blood draws as an “unreasonable search” under the 4th Amendment.
In 2005, the Supreme Court ruled that it is not unconstitutional for the state to hold down Americans and forcefully withdraw blood. A January 2013 ruling affirmed that a warrant must be obtained for the process, although police could dispense with the warrant requirement in an “emergency”.
As we reported last December, citizens are also being intimidated into participating in so-called “voluntary” drug survey checkpoints, during which private firms working on behalf of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy take DNA samples from motorists by swabbing their cheek.
Evidence clearly indicates that sobriety checkpoints have little to do with saving lives or catching drunk drivers and everything to do with revenue generation. In states like California, the number of vehicles impounded as a result of license violations is seven times higher than the number of drunk driving arrests during checkpoint operations.
A federal court jury convicted four former Blackwater Worldwide mercenaries on charges of murder and manslaughter Wednesday for their role in the 2007 massacre in Nisour Square in Baghdad, which left 17 unarmed Iraqi civilians dead and another 20 wounded.
Blackwater earned global notoriety for the massacre, which was one expression of a brutal US war and occupation that has left hundreds of thousands of Iraqis dead and laid waste to an entire society. The Nisour Square massacre stands alongside similar atrocities carried out by US forces in Haditha, Fallujah, the Abu Ghraib prison facility and elsewhere.
Former Blackwater sniper Nicholas Slatten was convicted of first degree murder. Evan Liberty, Paul Slough and Dustin Heard were all found guilty of voluntary manslaughter and using a machine gun to carry out a violent crime. The convictions carry minimum sentences of 30 years in prison for Liberty, Slough and Heard and a potential life sentence for Slatten.
The decision is subject to appeal, which could take a year or more, and the verdicts could be overturned in the process.
After 28 days of deliberation following an 11-week trial, the jury in a federal district court in Washington decisively rejected the defense team’s arguments that the mercenaries had fired on the crowd in self-defense. This story had already been thoroughly debunked by an Iraqi government study and independent investigations by reporters at the New York Times and Washington Post .
On September 16, 2007, the security contractors opened up with machine guns and grenade launchers into stopped traffic, before turning their sights on crowds of civilians seeking to flee the scene. The Blackwater forces suffered virtually no damage during the incident.
Civilian vehicles were riddled with dozens of bullets. One woman was shot as she held her dead son in her arms, with the vehicle she was in then incinerated. Blackwater helicopters also fired into cars from overhead.
Jurors were reportedly overwhelmed by the gruesome details supplied in testimony by witnesses. One juror was excused after informing the judge that testimony from a father about the death of his 9-year old son caused her to suffer from bouts of insomnia.
The massacre occurred amidst the massive wave of sectarian and ethnic bloodletting, fomented in 2007 by the US as part the “surge,” which forced hundreds of thousands of Iraqis to flee their homes in a matter of months, bringing to the total number of refugees produced by the US invasion to some 3.7 million.
The Obama administration, which prosecuted the case, has sought to spin the guilty verdict as an example of the US government’s supposed democratic values.
“This verdict is a resounding affirmation of the commitment of the American people to the rule of law, even in times of war,” US Attorney Ronald Machen said in an official statement. “Today’s verdict demonstrates the FBI’s dedication to investigating violations of US law no matter where they occur,” said top FBI official Andrew McCabe.
In reality, while the Blackwater mercenaries are guilty of horrendous crimes, these crimes flowed from the overarching crime: the illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq by the US government with the aim of extending its control over the oil-rich country.
For this crime, the entire political and military establishment stands guilty, and none of the principal architects have been prosecuted. This includes the top officials in the Bush administration: former president George W. Bush, former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld, former vice president Dick Cheney and many others. The preparation and launching of the war of aggression was aided and abetted by Democrats and Republicans in the Congress, along with the mass media, which propagated the lies used to justify the war.
While shielding Bush-era war criminals from prosecution, the Obama administration has continued and extended the global program of war and violence of the US military. The invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan were followed by the war in Libya, the stoking of civil war in Syria, and a massive program of murder through drone warfare, with the populations of Yemen, Libya and Somalia subject to regular volleys of cruise missiles and laser guided-weapons.
Now the Obama administration has launched a new war in the Middle East, with troops returning to Iraq and preparations being put in place for a direct war in Syria. At the same time, the US military is increasingly turning its attention to larger threats to the interests of the American ruling class, including China and Russia.
The Blackwater verdict gives expression to growing popular revulsion against the neocolonial war policies of the government and the prominent role of fascistic mercenary forces. While the Justice Department brought the case, the verdict was undoubtedly received with a mixture of shock and apprehension by the Obama administration and the military.
Contrary to numerous reports in the corporate media portraying the convictions as a long-standing goal of US policy, in reality the military, political establishment and court system made strenuous efforts to protect the Blackwater agents from prosecution. The State Department granted the mercenaries partial immunity, and a federal judge dismissed the case against them in 2009 before it was later reinstated. The US also blocked efforts by Iraq to try the men in Baghdad.
Meanwhile, Blackwater, since renamed Xi and now Academi, remains a favored instrument of US foreign policy, with hundreds of its private gunmen serving as shock troops for the US-backed regime in Kiev in its terror war against the civilian population of east Ukraine. Supported by US intelligence, Blackwater operators have played a leadership role in the operations of neo-Nazi Right Sector militias and fascistic forces responsible for ongoing atrocities.
The Canadian state has enacted its National Anti-Terrorism Plan, which involves the coordinated mobilization of all sections of the national-security apparatus, including the military, in response to the shooting Wednesday morning of a soldier at the National War Memorial in downtown Ottawa and storming of the national parliament building by a gunman.
The soldier, 24 year-old Canadian Armed Forces Reservist Nathan Cirillo, succumbed to his injuries.
Soon after, security forces shot and killed a man armed with a rifle in what is being described as a wild shootout in the Hall of Honour. The hall, which is both a ceremonial hall and main corridor, accesses the rooms where the ruling Conservatives and Official Opposition New Democratic Party (NDP) were holding their weekly parliamentary caucus meetings. When the shooting erupted, both Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper and NDP leader Thomas Mulcair were at their respective party meetings.
Police-intelligence sources have identified the dead gunman as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau. He was reportedly under surveillance by Canada’s national security agencies and had had his passport confiscated to prevent him from traveling to the Middle East to link up with Islamist militia groups.
In the aftermath of the Parliament Hill attack, police mounted a massive security operation, saying they believed there had been multiple attackers. The media cited unconfirmed reports of multiple shooters and shots being fired at locations other than the War Memorial and Hall of Honour.
From the parliament buildings, the police rapidly expanded a security perimeter, placing offices, shops and schools under lockdown, closing off streets to all vehicular and pedestrian traffic, and deploying heavily-armed SWAT teams.
The locked-down area quickly came to encompass much of downtown Ottawa, confining thousands of government workers, shoppers, tourists and Ottawa University students. Schools throughout the city were either in lockdown or semi-lockdown. The latter was described as students being confined to their classrooms with no one allowed to enter or leave.
The lockdown remained in effect throughout the afternoon and early evening, ending only at 8:30 PM. According to one news report, police were stopping vehicles leaving Ottawa in the direction of Montreal and questioning their occupants.
The emergency measures extended well beyond Ottawa. In Toronto, additional police were deployed at the Ontario legislature, City Hall, government and military facilities and on the subway. In Montreal, City Hall was closed to visitors and at the Quebec National Assembly in Quebec City, security was doubled and a helicopter circled the building.
All Canadian Armed Forces bases have been placed on high alert and NORAD, the joint US-Canadian North American Aerospace Defense Command, has increased its “alert posture,” placing an increased number of fighter jets on high alert.
The US has also heightened security along the Canada-US border.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest began his daily press briefing by condemning the attack. In doing so he emphasized Canada’s importance as a military-strategic partner of Washington, including in the new war in the Mideast.
Yesterday, eight Canadian Armed Forces CF-18 fighters left for Kuwait, where they will join the US bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria. Canadian Special Forces are already in Iraq.
Whatever the motive for yesterday’s shooting spree, the action was utterly reactionary. It can only assist Harper’s Conservative government and the Canadian ruling elite in implementing their agenda of imperialist war abroad and sweeping attacks on working people’s democratic and social rights at home.
The Ottawa attack will no doubt be exploited by the Obama administration. When Earnest spoke, there was no evidence whatsoever that the perpetrator of the Ottawa shootings had any sympathy for Islamacism, let alone ties to ISIS. Yet the White House spokesman was quick to claim that unless the US campaign against ISIS was successful, the jihadist organization would have a safe haven in Iraq and Syria from which to strike the US homeland.
Yesterday’s events have obvious similarities to those that unfolded in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec earlier in the week. A Canadian soldier was killed and another injured Monday when they were deliberately run over by a car driven by another individual whose passport had been confiscated to prevent him going to the Mideast and who was under heavy state surveillance, Martin Couture-Rouleau. (See: Canada: Harper using “terror attack” to impose anti-democratic measures).
Even the corporate media has noted that the government’s response to Monday’s events was extraordinary, with Prime Minster Harper and his top aides moving quickly to frame it as an Islamist-inspired “terror attack” and citing it as proof of the government’s claim that the draconian 2001 Anti-Terrorism Act needed to be strengthened.
In a sharp break with Canadian norms, it was Harper and the Prime Minister’s Office, not the police and security agencies, who fed the press with information about Monday’s attack and Couture-Rouleau’s ties to “radical Islam.” This began with Harper, in response to a planted question from a Conservative backbencher, telling parliament early Monday afternoon that there had likely been a “terror attack.” This was long before the police, let alone the media, had suggested any motive for the hit-and-run in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu.
Since September 2001, governments have repeatedly seized on terrorist attacks—many of them facilitated by gross and unexplained security lapses—to push through long-planned, sweeping and reactionary policy changes. In unguarded moments, the likes of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former US National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice spoke about the “opportunity” represented by the 9/11terrorist attacks: the opportunity to mount aggressive wars against Afghanistan and Iraq, aimed at shoring up US imperialism’s global strategic hegemony, and push through attacks on democratic rights at home.
Harper’s response to Monday’s events in St. Jean-sur-Richelieu and the police-military mobilization in response to yesterday’s attack—one that increasingly appears to have been the work of a lone individual—demonstrate that a similar campaign to shift politics further to the right is now underway.
In a brief, somber nationally televised address Wednesday evening, Harper claimed that this week’s two fatal incidents constituted an attack on “our nation and our values.” He vowed, in Churchillian-style, “We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated.”
Harper went on to insist that “all necessary steps” would be taken to keep Canada safe. This was a clear reference to legislation, due to have been presented to parliament yesterday, that would expand the powers of Canada’s intelligence services and prohibit defence lawyers and even judges from questioning Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) informants. Harper also vowed to work with Canada’s allies “against all terrorist groups,” so as to ensure “they will have no safe haven.” This was a clear statement of the government’s intent to expand Canada’s role in the US-led war in Iraq and Syria. Currently, the government has authorized a six-month combat mission, but last week the head of Canada’s military indicated a much longer Canadian intervention will be required.
Pursuing an agenda that is inimical to the interests of the vast majority of the population, Canada’s ruling elite, like its counterparts in the US and the other imperialist democracies, is increasingly turning to authoritarian methods of rule, chauvinist and militarist appeals, and the politics of fear-mongering and provocation.
“In overthrowing me you have cut down in Saint Domingue [Haiti] only the trunk of the tree of liberty; it will spring up again from the roots, for they are many and they are deep.” - Toussaint L’Ouverture
The people of Haiti have been living under a military occupation for over ten years by way of the United Nations Stabilization Mission in Haiti (MINUSTAH). However, this military imposition has not generated sustained organizing and mobilizing of resources from anti-war, Pan-Afrikanist/nationalist, socialist, trade unions, international solidarity activists, organizations or movements located in the imperialist centres of Europe and North America.
It is critically important for Western-based progressive forces to question themselves on the reason behind their failure to challenge the military occupation as an imperialist assault on the labouring classes, and as an attempt to prevent the emergence of a non-capitalist development agenda in Haiti. Where is the required and expected solidarity from these activist groups or social movements?
The Guinea-Bissau/Cape Verde revolutionary adult educator, theoretician, military strategist, and practitioner Amilcar Cabral calls for a solidarity from the global North that is based on mutual interest and a “common enemy”:
“If, as would seem from all the evidence, imperialism exists and is trying simultaneously to dominate the working class in all the advanced countries and smother the national liberation movements in all the underdeveloped countries, then there is only one enemy against whom we are fighting. If we are fighting together, then I think the main aspect of our solidarity is extremely simple: it is to fight – I don’t think there is any need to discuss this very much. We are struggling in Guinea with guns in our hands, you must struggle in your countries as well – I don’t say with guns in your hands, I’m not going to tell you how to struggle, that’s your business; but you must find the best means and the best forms of fighting against our common enemy: this is the best form of solidarity.”
On the question of MINUSTAH’s occupation of Haiti, it would be hard for peace and global justice organizations to declare that they are using the “best means and the best forms of fighting” to end the 10-year military intervention scheme by the United States and its allies, and the United Nations. On October 14, 2014, the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted to extend the presence of the occupation force for another year. It was done without significant mobilization and opposition from peace, global justice and internationality solidarity activists and organizations.
The people across the world who are committed to the self-determination of oppressed peoples should work to ensure that this imperial military mission ends before October 15, 2015. Some members of the public might be puzzled by the triggering event(s) that led to the occupation.
The reformist or populist government of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas were committed to pursuing economic and social policies that opposed the unfettered neoliberal capitalist agenda of Canada, the United States, and France, international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), and the local Haitian elite.
In spite of the hostility to the developmental agenda of Aristide by local elite and certain Western states, and the channeling of development funds and economic aid through non-governmental organizations (NGOs) instead of the Haitian state, positive developments were made in the areas of education, healthcare, economic justice, infrastructure development, women’s rights, the status of children, and official recognition of the indigenous religion Voudou. The economic and social outcomes of the administrations of Fanmi Lavalas from 1994 to 2004 are captured in the booklet We Will Not Forget: The Achievements of Lavalas in Haiti.
However, the unholy alliance of Canada, France, and the United States met in Ottawa on January 31, 2003 and February 1, 2003 and resolved to engineer a regime change in Haiti. On February 29, 2004, a coup, facilitated by the George Bush regime in Washington and his allies, was effected against the democratically elected government. President Aristide has consistently claimed that he was kidnappedand forced into exile in the Central Afrikan Republic by armed personnel of the government of the United States.
Washington and its allies imposed an occupation force the Multinational Interim Force on Haiti, which was replaced by MINUSTAH in June 2004. MINUSTAH has played an active role in forcefully suppressing the resistance of the pro-Aristide and pro-Fanmi Lavalas majority. The occupation has brought suffering to the labouring classes in Haiti. MINUSTAH serves as a cover for the agenda of economic exploitation and political subjugation of the masses, and the geo-strategic and economic interests of the United States and its partners.
People of good conscience have no other option, but to build campaigns in their cities and towns to force the withdrawal of MINUSTAH from Haiti. MINUSTAH’s documented cases of abuse and wrongdoing against the people of Haiti provide the moral and political justification for an end to this occupation.
International solidarity, peace, and global justice organizations and movements need to undertake practical steps in their communities and countries to force an end to MINUSTAH’s military occupation. Below are some concrete actions that might be used in organizing campaigns against the occupation, and support the self-determination of the working-class and rural communities in Haiti.
Organize a broad-based group: If the convenors of the initial organizing meetings are interested in developing a broad-based anti-occupation/MINUSTAH campaign to educate and mobilize opinion in their city or town, the call for action should be directed at a wide range of progressive individuals and organizations that are interested in international solidarity, global justice, anti-war activism, Afrikan affairs, alternative development, and anti-imperialism. By casting their outreach net widely, they will be able to reach into the multiple constituencies that are present in the community.
Prepare workshop and lecture presentations and public education materials: In winning extensive support within the local community and across the country for the termination of the United Nations’ occupation of Haiti, the campaign will need to methodically carry out public education and awareness activities. The anti-occupation projects could prepare PowerPoint presentations and workshop curriculums on a range of topics such as “the Haitian Revolution and its Contribution to Freedom in the Americas,” “How France, the United States and the Colonial Powers Underdeveloped Post-revolutionary Haiti,” “The 411 on the Military Occupation of Haiti by MINUSTAH,” “The Nuts and Bolts of Building the Campaign to End the Occupation of Haiti,” “Why the West Fears the Haitian People’s Struggle for Self-determination,” “Practical People-to-People Solidarity Actions with Haiti’s Grassroots,” “Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Fanmi Lavalas and Social Reform in Haiti,” and “The Strategic Value of Haiti to the United States and its Allies.”
The development of prepared presentations would make it easier to communicate a consistent message to the public. It would also make it easier to train a large pool of organizers to become workshop facilitators and public speakers on the subject of the military occupation and other relevant topics on Haiti. The campaign will need to develop public educational materials in the form of fact sheets, brochures, pamphlets, and videos.
Diverse pool of facilitators or animators: The task of going out into the community and across the country to educate the people about MINUSTAH and the neoliberal capitalist agenda needs a lot people. Therefore, this international solidarity project should train and develop a diverse pool of facilitators or animators, and public speakers to educate, mobilize, and organize the people against the occupation and its conservative agenda. The people who do this educational work ought to reflect the demographic characteristics in the broader society. In communities where Haitians are present, the campaign should strive to have this section of the community as active participants in all levels of the campaign.
Target membership-based organizations: In order to build mass support within the community and across the country, give strong attention to speaking before membership-based groups such as trade unions, professional associations, faculty associations and unions, community-based organizations, religious groups, and student unions, students in high schools, colleges and universities. The aim of this tactic is to inspire members to include the campaign to end the occupation as a part of the organization’s ongoing organizational activities. Many member-based organizations, especially dues paying ones, have human and other resources to execute international solidarity or global justice work. These membership based organizations are potential financial and in-kind donors to the campaign.
Engender anti-occupation student clubs: The campaign should seek to work with global justice or international solidarity student organizers to form “End the Occupation of Haiti” student clubs on high school, college, and university campuses. Students were important allies in the fight against settler-colonialism/apartheid in Azania/South Afrika as they are now in the boycott, divestment and sanctions(BDS) movement against Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Students have the time, access to financial resources, and skills and knowledge that can be used to create public awareness and opposition to the occupation of Haiti.
Key thrust of the message: It should be emphasized in the campaign’s messaging that the forces that are opposed to the public provision of education, healthcare, and social services, government ownership of public utilities and other commercial enterprises, and a livable minimum wage in Haiti have a similar agenda in global North countries. The agents of the neoliberal capitalist project in Canada, the United States, and Europe lobby for reduced government spending on post-secondary education, tighter eligibility rules for unemployment benefits, private sector provision of childcare, lower taxes on profits, wealth, and higher income, and the general retreat of government from providing adequate social welfare programmes.
Drive home the message to the public that neoliberal capitalism in Haiti and the global North is contributing to social and economic hardship to the people who sell their labour to the captains of industry and commerce in exchange for wages, or are dependent on income security programmes. The labouring classes in Haiti and the global North are fighting “one enemy” as Cabral would have it. In the words of Brian Latour, “given the rise of neoliberal globalization at the hands of the forces of international capital – global capitalism requires a global response, and international solidarity is necessary for global resistance.”
Use of social media outlets: Social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have emerged as significant communication instruments for the sharing of information with the public. The campaign should use social media to inform and educate, but most importantly the overarching goal ought to be focused on inspiring people to join the campaign or participate in or support its public activities or actions.
Constantly write about Haiti: The campaign ought to undertake measures to produce a steady stream of articles on Haiti that highlights the negative impact of the occupation, and the ways in which the current neoliberal capitalist social and economic policies are affecting the lives of Haitians. The campaign should make an effort to develop an in-house stable of writers as well as pitch story ideas to sympathetic writers who cover global justice, human writers, and international solidarity issues.
Host film series: Many people love to learn or acquire information visually by way of films or videos. The hosting of periodic film series on Haiti over a weekend or four consecutive Fridays or Saturdays would be a way to build awareness of the occupation, the Haitian Revolution, women’s labour and the sweatshops, the 1991 and 2004 coups against Aristide and Fanmi Lavalas, and the struggle of Haitians for self-determination. The screening of a film could be coupled with a panel discussion or a guest speaker so as to direct participants’ attention to what must be done to fight the occupation and the neoliberal capitalist agenda. A film series may be used to recruit new participants into the campaign, as well as raise funds to execute its activities.
Build awareness of UN’s cholera deaths: The campaign ought to highlight one of the most prominent cases of the negative impact of the occupation on the lives of Haitians. The United Nations has steadfastly refused to accept legal liability for the cholera tragedy. In October 2010, MINUSTAH’s soldiers dumped untreated sewage into the Artibonite River, and it led to the introduction of cholera in Haiti. To date, there are over 9,000 deaths and over 750,000 cases of infection. This MINUSTAH disaster may be used to rally support for the class action lawsuit levied against the UN by the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti. The refusal of the UN to accept responsibility for the cholera outbreak could serve as an indictment of the occupation.
Target and recruit opinion leaders: The campaign should strive to win the support of individuals and organizations that have the capacity to influence public opinion to endorse the call for the withdrawal of the occupation force. This course of action by opinion makers and thought leaders might lead to people gaining awareness of MINUSTAH, embracing an anti-occupation outlook, or inspiring active involvement in the campaign. The value of opinion makers to a cause may be gleaned from the response to critiques by public notables and celebrities of Israel’s occupation of Palestine. Nobel laureate Bishop Desmond Tutu’s public characterization of the oppression of Palestinians as being similar to that imposed on Afrikans under apartheid in South Afrika might have positively influenced or changed minds on the Palestinians’ struggle for self-determination.
Develop media watch capacity: In order to maintain a vigilance on how the occupation and news out of Haiti are being framed in the mainstream media, a “Haiti Media Watch” function ought to be developed within the campaign. The committee would develop the ability to swiftly and accurately respond to stories in newspapers, on television and radio, as well as on social media outlets. It is critically important to link news coming out of Haiti to the United States and its allies’ desire to impose the neoliberal capitalist agenda on Haitians, and the demand for the withdrawal of MINUSTAH.
Organize speaking tours: It is necessary to organize speaking tours on the occupation and the neoliberal capitalist agenda in Haiti. The facilitators and speakers involved in the campaign would be the main people called upon to speak to organizations or do workshops. The campaign may also put together speaking tours with speakers directly from Haiti to educate and raise the awareness of the situation inside the country. Religious groups, faculty associations or unions, student organizations, and trade unions are ideal candidates to cosponsor speaking tours with international speakers from Haiti or Haitian activists who are in exile.
Mobilize through protest actions: The anti-occupation organizing group may use important anniversaries connected to the coups of 1991 and 2004, significant moments in Haitian history, and dates that are relevant to the occupation to organize marches, demonstrations, rallies, and teach-ins. Public protest actions are ways to demonstrate the level of community or public support for the withdrawal of MINUSTAH’s occupation force.
Picket officials from MINUSTAH contributing states: Officials from states that contribute military or police personnel to MINUSTAH should be picketed when they visit countries with anti-occupation campaigns. It is fundamentally necessary for these states to know that people of good conscience are demanding the withdrawal of their contingent of troops or police. It is also a way to inform or remind the public that a military occupation is in effect against a people who would love to freely and democratically elect the party of their choice.
Phone-in and fax-in protest: Coordinated protest action in the form of phone-in or fax-in may be used against consulates and embassies of states that are participating in the occupation. This type of protest is aimed at reinforcing the call for an end to the occupation, and disrupting the operation of the consulates and embassies. It could be done in tandem with informational leafleting or picketing at the respective locations of these official bodies of states that enable MINUSTAH’s occupation.
Force Haiti onto the legislative radar: Since the contributing MINUSTAH states would need to make a political decision about withdrawing from the occupation, it is essential to generate massive public pressure on the political directorate to do so. The public should be mobilized to write letters and make calls to the members of the national legislature, especially those representing their respective electoral districts, ridings or constituencies. It is better to encourage people to send personally scripted messages as opposed to signing and sending a form letter. The former will get a greater of degree of attention and response from the legislators. It would be helpful to provide talking points or fact sheets from which letter writers or people making phone calls may craft their personal messages demanding the termination of the occupation of Haiti.
Participate in international delegations: The organizing of fact-finding international delegations to Haiti is a way to encourage active participation of some visiting organizations or delegates to the anti-occupation campaign at home. International delegations also demonstrate to Haitian grassroots organizations that there is support for their struggle for self-determination. Returning delegates may be empowered and motivated to hit the speaking circuit by way of speaking tours and media interviews. The returning delegates ought to be encouraged to write articles that highlight their observations, insights, learnings, and experiences of the occupation, and the state of political, social and economic events inside the country.
Material and moral support to Haitian organizations: The anti-occupation campaign should encourage the development of people-to-people relations between organizations and movements in Haiti and their counterparts in Canada, the United States and other countries. While the principal or primary solidarity expected from organizations in the global North is domestically fighting imperialism’s ability to imposed its will on Haiti and other countries, “secondary forms of solidarity” as articulated by Cabral, are needed.
The provision of material support to organizations representing women, youth, workers, farmers, and other groups from the popular sectors would expand their capacity and capability to fight for an alternative development agenda. When MINUSTAH is forced out of Haiti, the organizations of the people will still be faced with the task of charting a development path that will likely be opposed by the United States and its allies.
Create social expression products to raise money: Financial resources are needed to carry out the campaign’s public education work. Therefore, money may be raised through the development of social expression products such a T-shirts, mugs, buttons, refrigerator magnets, and stickers that would be sold to the public. Membership-based organizations could become a main outlet for moving these products. These goods would promote the message of the campaign, and they are ideal items because of their functional nature.
Make links with other anti-occupation campaigns: The struggle to rid Haiti of MINUSTAH should strive to become a worldwide movement. After all, the troops and police personnel are represented by states from across the world (for example, Russia, China, Spain, Jamaica, Nigeria, France, Pakistan, Cameroon, Brazil, Chile, Turkey, Egypt, Canada, and the United States). In developing ties among the global forces fighting the occupation, the campaigns would benefit from sharing information, strategy, tactics and other resources, and the coordination of their actions. In the Americas, the Haití NO Minustah is encouraging a region-wide opposition to the occupation of Haiti, and many groups across Central America, South America, and the Caribbean have signed on to the campaign.
It is not the mere words or beliefs that define an activist’s commitment to international solidarity or global justice. The anti-imperialist sentiments of a person of good conscience ought to be measured by her or his actions against oppressive condition such as MINUSTAH’s occupation of Haiti, which is preparing the fertile soil for an entrenched neoliberal capitalist development path. Hopefully, the proposed actions above might inspire you to become a participant in a campaign to bring MINUSTAH’s occupation to an end, or contribute to the work of anti-occupation organizations.
On behalf of Matterhorn Asset Management, financial journalist Lars Schall talked with exploration geologist and mining entrepreneur Dr. Keith Barron.
Keith is a scientist and he explains in no uncertain terms what is going on in the mining industry, the false accounting relative to the cost of exploration, what happened when gold went up to 1,900, why gold versus USD simply must go to at least 5,000, why ‘gold above ground’, if anything, is overstated and why the Swiss GoldInitiative is indeed very important and not just for the Swiss People, as well as Keith Barron’s view on Silver.
This is clearly one of the best interviews on the subject of gold mining and a must listen for all Gold investors or anyone interested in gold, silver and mining
* Peak gold is the term used for a date in history after which gold production will enter a period of decline, because extraction capacity is diminishing.
Keith Barron is an exploration geologist with 30 years experience in the mining sector. He has consulted on all the continents except for Antarctica, searching for such commodities as gold, silver, diamonds, uranium, copper, platinum, and industrial minerals. He holds a Ph.D. in Geology from the University of Western Ontario and a BSc. (Hons) in Geology from the University of Toronto.
In 2001 he privately co-founded Ecuador gold explorer Aurelian Resources Inc., which was listed on the TSX-V in 2003 and made the colossal Fruta del Norte gold discovery in 2006. The company was bought by Kinross Gold in 2008 for $1.2 billion. He is the founder and a Director of Guyana uranium explorer U3O8 Corp. At the PDAC convention in March 2008 he was awarded the Thayer Lindsley International Discovery Award for his role in the discovery of the Fruta del Norte gold deposit and he was also jointly named the Northern Miner’s Mining Man of the Year 2008. Dr. Barron continues his activities through Aurania Resources Ltd. in the search for worldwide gold, silver and uranium mining and exploration opportunities.
· An ex-Goldman Sachs financier as research commissioner (Carlos Moedas)
· The former political no.2 to a Czech multi-billionaire as consumer commissioner (Vera Jourova).
The watchdog/campaign body Corporate Europe Observatory (CEO) has condemned the vote. Olivier Hoedeman of CEO says:
“Too many of the Juncker commissioners have backgrounds which make them unsuitable for their new portfolio and MEPs should have shown some political muscle by rejecting those about whom serious concerns were raised.”
Quiller is owned by Huntsworth, which also owns the EU lobby firm Grayling and UK firm Citigate, yet MEPs failed to secure any additional lobby safeguards on Hill - that he would not meet with Quiller, Huntsworth, Grayling, Citigate or any of their clients while commissioner.
In the case of Arias Cañete, the former chairman and shareholder of two petroleum companies, questions about his family’s ongoing involvement in these oil companies remain unanswered.
Nearly 600,000 citizens signed a petition to say that Arias Cañete should not be approved by MEPs, demonstrating an unprecedented level of public interest in the commissioner hearings. But MEPs ignored this strong signal and approved his nomination after a secret deal was struck between Jean-Claude Juncker, Martin Schulz MEP (President of the European Parliament) and Manfred Weber MEP (leader of the EPP group).
Olivier Hoedeman says:
“It says a lot about the new Commission that Hill, Arias Cañete and others will play prominent roles in important portfolios. For Cañete, a secret party political deal of the ‘you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours’ variety has seen him approved by the two major political groups. Political leaders in the Brussels bubble have once again shown themselves to be impervious to public opinion.”
“European citizens who care about the environment, about tackling the banks, about de-intensifying agriculture, should all be concerned about the composition and direction of the Juncker Commission. Our fear is that it will also be a Commission that has learned nothing from the failure and injustice of past austerity policies. It will continue, and possibly expand, the pressure on social rights and public services, including under the slogan of ‘competitiveness’, as advocated strongly by the biggest and most powerful corporate lobby groups.”
Corporate Europe Observatory also considers that the confirmation hearing process was hopelessly flawed. Olivier Hoedeman concluded:
“Too often, commissioners were not adequately grilled about their background and possible conflicts of interest and thus if they were suitable for the role. The commissioners’ code of conduct was also shown to contain several loopholes and needs urgent reform*. Meanwhile, MEPs were partisan in their questioning and while the clunky format of the hearings allowed MEPs their ‘minute in the sun’, too often they failed to elicit precise answers, letting the commissioners-designate off-the-hook.”
If ordinary people care to scavenge for any crumb of comfort from this charade, it is that the European Parliament has overwhelmingly voted to freeze the budget of the European Commission’s problematic advisory groups, known formally as Expert Groups, for the second time in four years.
A group of cross-party MEPs tabled the amendment to withhold almost €4 million from the Commission budget for 2015, covering expert group expenses. It was voted through by all major groups. The conditions for its release relate to stakeholder balance, conflicts of interest and transparency.
Pascoe Sabido from CEO says:
“On the same day as Juncker’s corporate Commission is voted through, it’s good to see some MEPs still willing to stand up for the public interest. Expert groups are one of the most important ways that industry influences new laws – before they’re even written – so tackling their privileged access at this early stage is key if we want decent laws in the interest of all of us.”
When the Parliament released the original budget reserve in September 2012, they warned the Commission that if the dominant role of corporations did not improve, the budget would be refrozen.
Max Bank from LobbyControl, a steering committee member of ALTER-EU  says:
“ALTER-EU has consistently highlighted how the Commission keeps breaking its promise to end corporate dominated expert groups. Two years on and we’re back in the same position because all other routes of reform have led to a dead end. Hopefully with a budget freeze in place the new Commission will treat the issue with the seriousness it deserves.”
Evidence produced by ALTER-EU in 2013 showed that corporate interests occupied more seats than all other stakeholders combined in expert groups created since the original budget freeze was lifted, and in DG Taxation and Customs Union, this figure was almost 80 per cent. New evidence of all groups across all DGs shows the situation to be far worse, with business interests taking more than two thirds of all seats.
1. The Alliance for Lobbying Transparency and Ethics Regulation (ALTER-EU) is a coalition of about 200 civil society groups, trade unions, academics and public affairs firms concerned with the increasing influence exerted by corporate lobbyists on the political agenda in Europe, the resulting loss of democracy in EU decision-making and the postponement, weakening, or blockage even, of urgently needed progress on social, environmental and consumer-protection reforms. Website: http://www.alter-eu.org/
As warned, after multiple staged incidents used to ratchet up fear and paranoia in the build-up to US and its allies’ military intervention in Syria and Iraq, at least two live attacks have now been carried out in Canada – precisely as they were predicted.
A young convert to Islam who killed a Canadian soldier in a hit-and-run had been on the radar of federal investigators, who feared he had jihadist ambitions and seized his passport when he tried to travel to Turkey, authorities said Tuesday.
While the name of the Ottawa gunman is yet to be announced, a number of officials told numerous media that the shooter is believed to be Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a recent Muslim convert, allegedly designated as a high-risk traveler.
Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was born in Quebec as Michael Joseph Hall north of Montreal, two US officials told Reuters, claiming that American law enforcement agencies have been advised that the attacker recently converted to Islam.
AP sources also identified the man to be Zehaf-Bibeau. A Twitter account associated with Islamic State militants tweeted a photo they identified as the Ottawa shooter. The Globe and Mail reports that the shooter was designated a “high-risk traveler” by the Canadian authorities with his passport seized.
Clearly, both suspects were under the watch of not only Canadian authorities, but also US investigators, before the attacks.
Canada’s Attacks Were Predictable – Western Security Agencies are Prime Suspects
It was warned last month after security agencies staged scares in both the US and Australia, that suspects under investigation, being walked through planned terrorist attacks by Western security agencies as part of “sting operations” would inevitably be switched to live terrorist attacks.
In mid-September A Rochester man, Mufid A. Elfgeeh, was accused by the FBI of attempting to provide material support to ISIS (undercover FBI agents), attempting to kill US soldiers, and possession of firearms and silencers (provided to him by the FBI). The FBI’s own official press release stated (emphasis added):
According to court records, Elfgeeh attempted to provide material support to ISIS in the form of personnel, namely three individuals, two of whom were cooperating with the FBI. Elfgeeh attempted to assist all three individuals in traveling to Syria to join and fight on behalf of ISIS. Elfgeeh also plotted to shoot and kill members of the United States military who had returned from Iraq. As part of the plan to kill soldiers, Elfgeeh purchased two handguns equipped with firearm silencers and ammunition from a confidential source. The handguns were made inoperable by the FBI before the confidential source gave them to Elfgeeh.
It was warned that only an inoperable firearm stood between Elfgeeh’s arrest and his successful execution of deadly plans hatched by him and his undercover FBI handlers. This script, written by the FBI to entrap Elfgeeh, would be followed almost to the letter in live attacks subsequently carried out in Canada resulting in the death of two Canadian soldiers. Conveniently, both suspects are now dead and little chance remains of ascertaining the truth of who they were in contact with and how they carried out their deadly attacks.
With both suspects having been on both US and Canadian watch lists – it is very likely undercover agents were involved in either one or both cases. While many possibilities exist, Western security agencies should be among the first suspects considered as potential collaborators.
A Modern-Day Operation Gladio - Inducing Fear, Obedience, and Control
Before Elfgeeh’s entrapment and later live attacks in Canada, US policymakers and pundits had begun in earnest setting the rhetorical stage for eventual staged attacks. With serial beheadings failing to raise Western public support necessary for an expedient intervention in Syria, more insidious provocations appeared to be in the works. Setting the stage, a CBS/Associated Press story titled, “Former Deputy CIA Director: ‘I Would Not Be Surprised’ If ISIS Member Shows Up To US Mall Tomorrow With AK-47,” would claim immediately after the initial James Foley ISIS execution video that:
“The short-term concern is the Americans that have gone to fight with ISIS and the west Europeans that have gone to fight with ISIS could be trained and directed by ISIS to come to the United States to conduct small-scale attacks,” Morell stated. “If an ISIS member showed up at a mall in the United States tomorrow with an AK-47 and killed a number of Americans, I would not be surprised.” Morell warned that over the long-term the extremist group could be planning for a 9/11-style attack that killed thousands of Americans.
The FBI has a long list of foiled terror plots of its own creation. More disturbingly are the plots they conceived but “accidentally” allowed to go “live.” One might recall the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. FBI agents, according to the New York Times, were indeed overseeing the bombers that detonated a device killing six and wounding many more at the World Trade Center.
Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.
The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad A. Salem, should be used, the informer said.
The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as in a far better position than previously known to foil the Feb. 26 bombing of New York City’s tallest towers. The explosion left six people dead, more than 1,000 injured and damages in excess of half a billion dollars.
Considering the 1993 bombing and the fact that the FBI literally oversaw the construction and deployment of a deadly bomb that killed 6, it is clear that the FBI can at any time through design or disastrous incompetence, turn one of their contrived entrapment cases into a live terror attack. One can only guess at how many similar FBI operations are currently taking place within the United States involving ISIS sympathizers – any one of which could be turned into a live terror attack provided the weapons handed over to potential terrorists are functioning, just as the bomb was in 1993 when it was driven into the lower levels of the World Trade Center.
It is very likely that the recent attacks in Canada involved at least one “informant” working for the FBI. Because the FBI uses confidential informants to handle suspects, if a plot is switched ”live,” the informant will be implicated as an accomplice and the FBI’s covert role will remain uncompromised.
Image: The FBI has an impressive portfolio of intentionally created, then foiled terror plots. Its methods include allowing suspects to handle both real and inoperable weapons and explosives. These methods allow the FBI to switch entrapment cases “live” at any moment simply by switching out duds and arrests with real explosives and successful attacks. Because the FBI uses “informants,” when attacks go live, these confidential assets can be blamed, obfuscating the FBI’s involvement.
Everything from a mass shooting to a bombing, and even an Operation Northwoods-style false flag attack involving aircraft could be employed to provide Wall Street and London with the support it needs to accelerate its long-stalled agenda of regime change and reordering in both Syria and across the Iranian arc of influence. Readers may recall Operation Northwoods, reported on in an ABC News article titled, “U.S. Military Wanted to Provoke War With Cuba,” which bluntly stated:
In the early 1960s, America’s top military leaders reportedly drafted plans to kill innocent people and commit acts of terrorism in U.S. cities to create public support for a war against Cuba.
Code named Operation Northwoods, the plans reportedly included the possible assassination of Cuban émigrés, sinking boats of Cuban refugees on the high seas, hijacking planes, blowing up a U.S. ship, and even orchestrating violent terrorism in U.S. cities.
In addition to Operation Northwoods, the public must also consider NATO’s Operation Gladio, and its larger “stay behind” networks established after World War II across Europe and at the center of multiple grisly assassinations, mass shootings, and terrorist bombings designed to demonize the Soviet Union as well as criminalize and crush support for left-leaning political parties growing in popularity in Western Europe. It would be determined that NATO’s own covert militant groups were killing innocent Western Europeans in order to effect a “strategy of tension” used to instill fear, obedience, and control over Western populations.
That the FBI and Australian authorities had coordinated staged security operations in tandem on opposite ends of the globe to terrify their respective populations into line behind an impending war with Syria, and now two highly suspicious attacks have been carried out using the very script Western security agencies were using to lead suspects through “sting operations,” suggests a new “Operation Northwoods” or “Operation Gladio” of sorts is already being executed.
Staged executions on cue by ISIS in the Middle East of US and British citizens at perfectly timed junctures of the West’s attempt to sell intervention both at home and abroad, and now live shootings just in time to heighten a new “strategy of tension” reek of staged mayhem for the sole purpose of provoking war. Could grander and ultimately more tragic mayhem be in store? As ABC News’ article on Operation Northwoods and the Military Channel’s documentary on Operation Gladio suggest, there is no line Western special interests will hesitate to cross.
With the West attempting to claim ISIS now has a “global” reach, the US and its partners’ attempts to obfuscate the very obvious state-sponsorship it is receiving will become exponentially more difficult. That the FBI is admittedly stringing along easily manipulated, malevolent patsies who at any time could be handed real weapons and sent on shooting sprees and/or bombings – and now apparently have been – Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and Australians would be foolish to conclude that their real enemy resides somewhere in Syria and not right beside them at home, upon the very seats of Western power.
Across the political and media elite in Australia, a silence has descended on the memory of the great, reforming prime minister Gough Whitlam, who has died. His achievements are recognised, if grudgingly, his mistakes noted in false sorrow. But a critical reason for his extraordinary political demise will, they hope, be buried with him.
Australia briefly became an independent state during the Whitlam years, 1972-75. An American commentator wrote that no country had “reversed its posture in international affairs so totally without going through a domestic revolution”. Whitlam ended his nation’s colonial servility. He abolished Royal patronage, moved Australia towards the Non-Aligned Movement, supported “zones of peace” and opposed nuclear weapons testing.
Although not regarded as on the left of the Labor Party, Whitlam was a maverick social democrat of principle, pride and propriety. He believed that a foreign power should not control his country’s resources and dictate its economic and foreign policies. He proposed to “buy back the farm”. In drafting the first Aboriginal lands rights legislation, his government raised the ghost of the greatest land grab in human history, Britain’s colonisation of Australia, and the question of who owned the island-continent’s vast natural wealth.
Latin Americans will recognise the audacity and danger of this “breaking free” in a country whose establishment was welded to great, external power. Australians had served every British imperial adventure since the Boxer rebellion was crushed in China. In the 1960s, Australia pleaded to join the US in its invasion of Vietnam, then provided “black teams” to be run by the CIA. US diplomatic cables published last year by WikiLeaks disclose the names of leading figures in both main parties, including a future prime minister and foreign minister, as Washington’s informants during the Whitlam years.
Whitlam knew the risk he was taking. The day after his election, he ordered that his staff should not be “vetted or harassed” by the Australian security organisation, ASIO – then, as now, tied to Anglo-American intelligence. When his ministers publicly condemned the US bombing of Vietnam as “corrupt and barbaric”, a CIA station officer in Saigon said: “We were told the Australians might as well be regarded as North Vietnamese collaborators.”Whitlam demanded to know if and why the CIA was running a spy base at Pine Gap near Alice Springs, a giant vacuum cleaner which, as Edward Snowden revealed recently, allows the US to spy on everyone. “Try to screw us or bounce us,” the prime minister warned the US ambassador, “[and Pine Gap] will become a matter of contention.”Victor Marchetti, the CIA officer who had helped set up Pine Gap, later told me, “This threat to close Pine Gap caused apoplexy in the White House. … a kind of Chile [coup] was set in motion.”Pine Gap’s top-secret messages were de-coded by a CIA contractor, TRW. One of the de-coders was Christopher Boyce, a young man troubled by the “deception and betrayal of an ally”. Boyce revealed that the CIA had infiltrated the Australian political and trade union elite and referred to the Governor-General of Australia, Sir John Kerr, as “our man Kerr.”
Kerr was not only the Queen’s man, he had long-standing ties to Anglo-American intelligence. He was an enthusiastic member of the Australian Association for Cultural Freedom, described by Jonathan Kwitny of the Wall Street Journal in his book, ‘The Crimes of Patriots’, as, “an elite, invitation-only group… exposed in Congress as being founded, funded and generally run by the CIA”. The CIA “paid for Kerr’s travel, built his prestige… Kerr continued to go to the CIA for money.”
When Whitlam was re-elected for a second term, in 1974, the White House sent Marshall Green to Canberra as ambassador. Green was an imperious, sinister figure who worked in the shadows of America’s “deep state”. Known as the “coupmaster”, he had played a central role in the 1965 coup against President Sukarno in Indonesia – which cost up to a million lives. One of his first speeches in Australia was to the Australian Institute of Directors – described by an alarmed member of the audience as “an incitement to the country’s business leaders to rise against the government.”
The Americans and British worked together. In 1975, Whitlam discovered that Britain’s MI6 was operating against his government. “The Brits were actually de-coding secret messages coming into my foreign affairs office,” he said later. One of his ministers, Clyde Cameron, told me, “We knew MI6 was bugging Cabinet meetings for the Americans.” In the 1980s, senior CIA officers revealed that the “Whitlam problem” had been discussed “with urgency” by the CIA’s director, William Colby, and the head of MI6, Sir Maurice Oldfield. A deputy director of the CIA said: “Kerr did what he was told to do.”On 10 November, 1975, Whitlam was shown a top secret telex message sourced to Theodore Shackley, the notorious head of the CIA’s East Asia Division, who had helped run the coup against Salvador Allende in Chile two years earlier.Shackley’s message was read to Whitlam. It said that the prime minister of Australia was a security risk in his own country. The day before, Kerr had visited the headquarters of the Defence Signals Directorate, Australia’s NSA where he was briefed on the “security crisis”.On 11 November - the day Whitlam was to inform Parliament about the secret CIA presence in Australia – he was summoned by Kerr. Invoking archaic vice-regal “reserve powers”, Kerr sacked the democratically elected prime minister. The “Whitlam problem” was solved, and Australian politics never recovered, nor the nation its true independence.
The Washington Post would report that the United States military accidentally dropped by air at least one pallet of weapons and supplies that ended up in the hands of the so-called “Islamic State” or ISIS. While a combination of factors about this particular story appear suspicious, including SITE Intelligence Group’s involvement in quickly disseminating an alleged video of ISIS terrorists rooting through the supplies, one fact remains.
While the US claims it has “accidentally” allowed weapons to fall into the hands of ISIS terrorists, in reality, the US has been arming, funding, and aiding ISIS and its terrorist affiliates either directly or through Saudi, Qatari, Jordanian, or Turkish proxies since at least 2011.
To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.
What is ISIS if not an “extremist group” that espouses a “militant vision of Islam” and is “sympathetic to Al Qaeda?” And surely ISIS is undermining both Iran and Syria, and for that matter Hezbollah in Lebanon and Iran’s allies in Iraq as well.
The rise of extremist groups in the wake of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” is the story of how these clandestine operations reported on by Hersh reached their pinnacle in the creation of ISIS.
America’s Creation of ISIS
Image: Al Qaeda’s Abdelhakim Belhadj poses with US Senator John McCain. McCain’s lobbying would play a part in securing Al Qaeda and its affiliates with sufficient arms to overthrow the secular government of Muammar Qaddafi in Libya. Soon after, these terrorists and their weapons would find
their way to Syria via NATO-member Turkey.
The US State Department through its global network of foreign subversion funded and directed by the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and a myriad of faux-NGOs, triggered a coordinated uprising across the Middle East. Protesters served as a smoke screen behind which heavily armed militants began campaigns of violence against the security forces of the respective nations targeted for destabilization. Violence in Egypt went largely unreported because of the speed of which the government collapsed and confrontations ceased. However in nations like Libya and Syria where governments remained resolute, the violence continued to escalate.
While the United States attempted to feign ignorance, surprise, and even displeasure with the “Arab Spring,” it would soon openly align itself with each and every opposition group across the Middle East. In Libya, US Senator John McCain’s visit to Benghazi, Libya would be the political manifestation of military, financial, and diplomatic aid being rendered to militants fighting against the government of Muammar Qaddafi.
These fighters, it would turn out, were not “pro-democracy rebels,” but rather seasoned militants of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), an official Al Qaeda franchise in North Africa. One of their leaders, Abdelhakim Belhadj would eventually find himself in power in Tripoli after the collapse of the Libyan government, and have his photograph taken with Senator McCain.
Image:LIFG terrorist Mahdi al-Harati in Syria commanding fellow
Libyan terrorists in a US-backed proxy war against Damascus.
After the fall of Libya, Al Qaeda and its affiliates would take their fighters and their NATO-supplied weapons and travel to fight in Syria. They would enter the country through NATO-member Turkey.
While the US has repeatedly referred to the militants fighting the government and people of Syria as “moderates,” the vast majority of these fighters are sectarian extremists, many of whom are not even Syrian. And while the United States and its allies attempt to claim the rise of ISIS is recent, the many terrorist organizations it is a consolidation of where involved in Syria’s fighting since it began in 2011.
Since November 2011, al-Nusrah Front has claimed nearly 600 attacks – ranging from more than 40 suicide attacks to small arms and improvised explosive device operations – in major city centers including Damascus, Aleppo, Hamah, Dara, Homs, Idlib, and Dayr al-Zawr. During these attacks numerous innocent Syrians have been killed.
Billions in Weapons, Cash, and Equipment
Image: US Senator John McCain with members of the so-called “Free Syrian
Army.” Several of the men pictured with McCain would end up committing
horrific sectarian atrocities.
It is clear that Al Qaeda was virtually handed the nation of Libya by NATO – intentionally. It is also clear that Al Qaeda was quickly mobilized to then push into Syria and repeat NATO’s success, this time by toppling Damascus. The plan – as it was imagined – was to topple Damascus quickly enough so that the general public never found out who was truly fighting in the ranks of America’s proxy forces. This, because of the Syrian people’s resolution, didn’t happen.
From 2011 onward, the United States and its allies both European and regionally, would supply terrorists fighting the government of Syria billions in cash, weapons, equipment, and even vehicles. Story after story in the Western press admitted this, but always with the caveat that the aid was going to so-called “moderates.” For three years these “moderates” received the combined aid from the United States, United Kingdom, members of the European Union, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Jordan.
…3,000 tons of weapons dating back to the former Yugoslavia have been sent in 75 planeloads from Zagreb airport to the rebels, largely via Jordan since November.
The story confirmed the origins of ex-Yugoslav weapons seen in growing numbers in rebel hands in online videos, as described last month by The Daily Telegraph and other newspapers, but suggests far bigger quantities than previously suspected.
The shipments were allegedly paid for by Saudi Arabia at the bidding of the United States, with assistance on supplying the weapons organised through Turkey and Jordan, Syria’s neighbours. But the report added that as well as from Croatia, weapons came “from several other European countries including Britain”, without specifying if they were British-supplied or British-procured arms.
British military advisers however are known to be operating in countries bordering Syria alongside French and Americans, offering training to rebel leaders and former Syrian army officers. The Americans are also believed to be providing training on securing chemical weapons sites inside Syria.
With help from the C.I.A., Arab governments and Turkey have sharply increased their military aid to Syria’s opposition fighters in recent months, expanding a secret airlift of arms and equipment for the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, according to air traffic data, interviews with officials in several countries and the accounts of rebel commanders.
The airlift, which began on a small scale in early 2012 and continued intermittently through last fall, expanded into a steady and much heavier flow late last year, the data shows. It has grown to include more than 160 military cargo flights by Jordanian, Saudi and Qatari military-style cargo planes landing at Esenboga Airport near Ankara, and, to a lesser degree, at other Turkish and Jordanian airports.
The US State Department had also announced it was sending hundreds of millions of dollars more in aid, equipment and even armored vehicles to militants operating in Syria, along with demands of its allies to “match” the funding to reach a goal of over a billion dollars. The NYT would report in their article, “Kerry Says U.S. Will Double Aid to Rebels in Syria,” that:
With the pledge of fresh aid, the total amount of nonlethal assistance from the United States to the coalition and civic groups inside the country is $250 million. During the meeting here, Mr. Kerry urged other nations to step up their assistance, with the objective of providing $1 billion in international aid.
The US has also admitted that it was officially arming and equipping terrorists inside of Syria. The Washington Post’s article, ”U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels,” reported:
The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war.
Recently, when the US State Department resumed sending non-lethal aid to Syrian rebels, the delivery list included 43 Toyota trucks.
Hiluxes were on the Free Syrian Army’s wish list. Oubai Shahbander, a Washington-based advisor to the Syrian National Coalition, is a fan of the truck.
The question is, if billions in Saudi, Qatari, Jordanian, Turkish, British and American aid has been sent to “moderates,” who has been funding, arming, and equipping ISIS even more?
America’s Narrative Beggars Belief
So many resources does ISIS have at its disposal, that it is not only supposedly able to displace the so-called “moderates” in Syria, but has the ability to simultaneously fight the combined military might of Lebanon, Syria, and Iraq – not to mention threaten the national security of Russia and China and – so we are meant to believe – carry out a global campaign of terror against Western targets from Canada and the United States, across Europe, and all the way to far-flung Australia.
It is a narrative that beggars belief. The simplest explanation of course, is that there never were any “moderates,” and that the United States and its allies, precisely as renowned journalist Seymour Hersh warned in 2007, went about raising a regional army of sectarian terrorists to fight an unprecedented proxy war with the predictable outcome being an orgy of genocide and atrocities – also as warned by Hersh in his prophetic article.
Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites.
What if not a ”cataclysmic conflict,” could ISIS’ current regional campaign be described as? And hasn’t it been Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, and Iraqi Shia’a, along with many secular and enlightened Sunnis, who have come to the aid of those targeted by ISIS?
The evidence is overwhelming. When considering US support for terrorists and extremists in places like Afghanistan in the 1980′s or even as recently as today with US support of Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), it would be difficult to believe the US was not involved in raising and directing a proxy army against multiple regimes it openly seeks to supplant.
Ultimately, whether one pallet drifted into ISIS hands by accident in a recent airdrop is a moot point. Billions in cash, weapons, equipment, and vehicles have already been intentionally supplied to the many groups that ISIS represents, as planned as early as 2007. ISIS is the purposeful creation of the United States in its pursuit of regional hegemony in the Middle East, and ISIS’ atrocities were predicted long before the first shots were fired in 2011 in the Syrian conflict, long before the term “Islamic State” went mainstream.
An attack perpetrated by armed men took place early morning on October 22 on Parliament Hill in the immediate aftermath of a historic divisive vote in the House of Commons concerning Canada’s participation in the US led crusade directed against the Islamic State. The vote pertained to the “deployment of Canadian warplanes and special forces on a combat mission to Iraq.” It was passed with the Conservative government’s slim majority.
According to reports, one soldier was killed as well as one gunman on the morning of October 22nd, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982.
One report says one suspect was armed with a “double barrel hunting rifle”. A journalist on the scene when the incident occurred said she did not see the shooter but was told he was “wearing a black and white scarf with Arabic patterns”. Others who saw him said he had long hair and was masked.
After the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) press conference this afternoon, it was still not clear whether other suspects were still on the loose or even how many there were. Journalists were given practically the same answer for every question: “it is too early to comment at this stage”.
The goal of the press conference was clearly not to give information, but rather to repeat to Canadians that they must be “vigilant” and report any “suspicious activity”. Many fear the recent events will dramatically increase racial profiling and islamophobia.
This attack in Ottawa comes two days after a man hit two soldiers with his car killing one in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The suspect, a 25 year old named Martin Couture-Rouleau, was later killed by the police after being chased. The domestic terror threat level went from low to medium on Tuesday.
According to testimonies Rouleau had converted to Islam in the past year and was known by the authorities who had confiscated his passport.
We are being told that he wanted to join in the Islamic State and “wanted to become a terrorist”. The Edmonton Sun goes as far as saying that “family and law enforcement try to find out why he followed ISIS kill commands.” Some reports say he called 911 to say he was doing it “in the name of Allah.”
Although no link has been officially made between the two events, some officials have indicated they could be related. After the first incident, in which a man we don’t know much about acted alone, the media was quick to jump to conclusion: Islamic terrorism.
These two tragedies targeting Canadian soldiers occur as Canada is joining the United States in the illegal military intervention in Iraq. Soldiers were told not to wear their uniforms outside of military bases for their own safety. One Lieutenant said today the killings signal “the end of Canadian naivety” with regards to the “terrorist threat”.
Fear campaign or “very real threat”?
In the days leading up to Canada’s involvement in Iraq, Canadian authorities have clearly increased their fear campaign.
On October 9, 2014, “Canada’s top intelligence and police officials warned the ‘homegrown terror threat’ is real as authorities disclosed the Mounties are working on 63 active terrorism probes targeting 90 individuals.
“RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told the public safety committee the 90 individuals currently the subject of national security investigations by the Mounties and partner agencies are “related to the travelling group, both people who intend to go or people who have returned and have been referred to us by (CSIS). It’s nothing that I think Canadians need to be alarmed about. I think we’re managing through our collective efforts a response that is . . . appropriate to the nature of these suspected offences.”
Canadian Security Intelligence Service CSIS director Michel Coulombe said “The threat is real. Like Commissioner Paulson said earlier, we don’t want to sound alarmist; we’re telling people that they should go about their daily life but we have to be vigilant.”
We don’t know if Rouleau was one of the individuals under investigation, but we can assume he was, since his passport was confiscated for fear he would join a terrorist group abroad.
Recently our Conservative government announced the listing of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant […] in all its forms and identities as a terrorist organisation making it clear that joining or attempting to join this despicable group is a terrorist offence.
If, as the media report, Rouleau was known by the police and his passport was confiscated because he “wanted to join ISIS” and “wanted to be a terrorist”, Rouleau should have been accused of a terrorist offence. Why was he not?
As for the attack in Ottawa, “RCMP National Division commanding officer and Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said the attack caught authorities by ‘surprise.’” It’s a rather surprising surprise, since we were told only two weeks ago by both the RCMP and CSIS that the “homegrown terror threat” was “very real”.
The National Capital Region has long been considered an attractive target for terrorists and extremists of all stripes…
“The presence of numerous high-profile federal institutions, foreign embassies, military facilities, tourist attractions, and special events make the NCR a rich environment for possible plots by a variety of differently-motivated terrorists,” the report says.
[I]ntelligence officials believe Canada’s top terrorist threat comes from Sunni Islamist extremists — essentially followers of al-Qaeda’s ideology of violent intolerance.
In Ottawa, such an attack would most likely be carried out by a “lone actor” or small group, the report said. The three scenarios outlined in the documents involve an “active shooter,” “bladed weapon attacks” and improvised bombs.
“Simple, straight forward, small-scale attacks, using available weapons and minimal preparation against undefended targets are a realistic match with the actual capabilities of most extremists,” it says.
Global Research will follow this issue closely as more details emerge.
Dr. Issa wrote Part One of this article for the September 6, 2011, issue of Black Agenda Report, when he was an assistant professor of history and Africana Studies at Delaware State University, in Dover, an historically Black institution that becomes less Black each year. Dr. Issa planned to quickly follow through with Part Two, but was interrupted by the U.S. criminal justice system. He was fired from his job after campus police charged him with resisting arrest near a student demonstration, a legal nightmare that did not end until a mistrial was declared, this September. In the interim, Dr. Issa and his family were left without income. More than three years later, he has returned to the subject that so upset his former employers at Delaware State University: the ethnic cleansing of HBCUs.
W.E.B. Du Bois, “Whither Why and Now,” 1960:
“The American Negro has now reached a point in his progress where he needs to take serious account of where he is and whither he is going. Yet this situation is in sight and it brings not as many assume an end to the so-called Negro problems, but a beginning of even more difficult problems of race and culture. Because what we must now ask ourselves is when we become equal American citizens what will be our aims and ideals and what will we have to do with selecting these aims and ideals. Are we to assume that we will simply adopt the ideals of Americans and become what they are or want to be and that we will have in this process no ideals of our own?
That would mean that we would cease to be Negroes as such and become white in action if not completely in color. We would take on the culture of white Americans, doing as they do and thinking as they think. Manifestly this would not be satisfactory. Physically it would mean that we would be integrated with Americans losing first of all, the physical evidence of color and hair and racial type. We would lose our memory of Negro history and of those racial peculiarities which have long been associated with the Negro. We would cease to acknowledge any greater tie with Africa than with England or Germany. We would not try to develop Negro music and Art and Literature as distinctive and different, but allow them to be further degraded as is the case today.
As I have said before and I repeat, I am not fighting to settle the question of racial equality in America by the process of getting rid of the Negro race; getting rid of black folk, not producing black children, forgetting the slave trade and slavery, and the struggle for emancipation; of forgetting abolition and especially of ignoring the whole cultural history of Africans in the world.
“Theoretically Negro universities will disappear. Negro history will be taught less or not at all…”
Take for instance the current problem of the education of our children. By the law of the land today they should be admitted to the public schools. If and when they are admitted to these schools certain things will inevitably follow. Negro teachers will become rarer and in many cases will disappear. Negro children will be instructed in the public schools and taught under unpleasant if not discouraging circumstances. Even more largely than today they will fall out of school, cease to enter high school, and fewer and fewer will go to college. Theoretically Negro universities will disappear. Negro history will be taught less or not at all, and as in so many cases in the past Negroes will remember their white or Indian ancestors and quite forget their Negro forebearers.
Some are ashamed of themselves and their folk. They regard the study of Negro biography and the writing of Negro literature as a vain attempt to pretend that Negroes are really the equal of whites. That tends to be the point of view of those of our children who are educated in white schools. There are going to be schools which do not discriminate against colored people and the number is going to increase slowly in the present, but rapidly in the future until long before the year 2000, there will be no school segregation on the basis of race. The deficiency in knowledge of Negro history and culture, however, will remain and this danger must be met or else American Negroes will disappear. Their history and culture will be lost. Their connection with the rising African world will be impossible.”
In 1960, W.E.B. DuBois keynote address at Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina was prophetic. It was his last speech in the United States before he departed permanently to Ghana, West Africa. He warned African Americans of what was to come as it regards the Civil Rights Movement goals and the dangers he foresaw due to his 70 years of activism fighting for full citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. 54 years later DuBois foresight has come true. African American education as we know it is at a crossroad! If it continues at its present course, the most democratic ethnic group in America’s 300-year quest for freedom would be aborted! African American education will be destroyed! African Americans as we know them will cease to exist. History can repeat itself and African Americans can be re-enslaved! This is what we are fighting against! This is why we have published this series of essays.
The Nation Responds to Our Research: The College Board, NPR, MSNBC, Time Magazine and the HBCU Digest
Since the publication of our first essay on HBCUs, several organizations that have a deep commitment to improving and providing educational services to citizens responded to our article. One notable organization that reacted to our research was the College Board. During the Winter of 2011, Jason Lee, Ph.D., the former policy administrator for the College Board conducted a closed forum online presentation on the Future of HBCUs. The title “American Higher Education Without Public HBCUs” showed the effects that systematic closures, forced mergers and Federal mandated integration of these institutions will have on African American student access to college and degree attainment outcomes in Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, and Tennessee over the next 20 years. Only a small controlled group of people were allowed to ask questions after his presentation. Many questions were directed to the possible end of HBCUs. All questions were deflected with the statement “HBCUs will always exist.”
Major media outlets have given credibility to the research provided in Part One of “How Black Colleges are Turning White: The Ethnic Cleansing of HBCUs in the Age of Obama.” In October of 2013, National Public Radio (NPR) titled “The Whitest HBCU in America” showed how racist state policy, coupled with systematic terrorism such as bombing the all black campus, forced African American out of the one of West Virginia’s HBCUs. Bluefield State University currently stands as the nation’s Whitest HBCU in America that still receives millions of dollars of federal funding geared for African Americans. MSNBC and Time Magazine also contributed a significant amount of coverage on the dismantling of HBCUs. Time Magazine’s article quoted the current White House Advisor on HBCUs, Mr. George Cooper, as stating that despite the fact that HBCUs are turning white, “These schools still are, and always will be, legally considered historically black… The definition is a federal definition…They’re living up to it.” But is he twisting the truth? The Higher Education Act of 1965 clearly states that HBCUs are “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.” Why are State and Federal officials not dealing with federally mandated policy as it regards HBCUs? Why is the current White House Advisor on HBCUs misleading the American public?
The most lucid response to the disassembling of HBCUs has come from J.L. Carter of the HBCU Digest. On October 7, 2014, Mr. Carter in his article “On HBCUs, White House Moves from Disregard to Dismantling.” The popularity of his article has yielded dozens of comments and almost as many online repost. For the first time a well-grounded and well received journalist has called President Barack H. Obama’s White House policy as it regards his most loyal constituents the “final death blows to our timeless institutions.” In other words, Carter makes it clear that the end is near as it regards America’s HBCUs. But still, although Mr. Carter’s article is critical regarding public policy and the future of African Americans, he never delineates the reasons why HBCUs are being dismantled by Federal and State governments.
Ayers and United States vs. Fordice
It will be ironic, to say the least, if the institutions that sustained Blacks during Segregation were themselves destroyed to combat its vestiges.–Justice Charles Thomas
In 1975 an African American family sued the state of Mississippi for maintaining an unconstitutional dual system of higher education. The plaintiff’s son was a student at one of the HBCUs in Mississippi and felt that the schools economic status was not equal to that of the white public universities in the state. According to the Ayers family, Black students and faculty learned and taught in inferior conditions. The Ayers family simply wanted the tax dollars that African Americans paid to go to the schools of their choice as mandated by Brown vs. Board of Education (1954). In 1992, the United States Supreme Court ruled that that Mississippi’s HBCUs had been discriminated against. Justice J. White Opinion of the Court 1992 decision also warned that “If we understand private petitioners to press us to order the upgrading of Jackson State, Alcorn State, and Mississippi Valley solely so that they may be publicly financed, exclusively black enclaves by private choice, we reject that request.”
In 2002, Mississippi HBCUs were awarded $500 million to upgrade their schools. The schools were forced to integrate classes by bringing a certain amount of white students and faculty in order to receive federal monies. Furthermore, the district courts left it totally up to state legislators to determine how HBCUs enrollment would be dealt with. Various states interpreting the Supreme Courts vague language regarding its ruling sought to immediately increase White enrollment and faculty recruitment at HBCUs. In 1992, Tennessee State University was told by its state legislator that if it didn’t increase its student and faculty white numbers by 50% in 1993, it would be forced to shut down. “TSU is offering 500 full scholarships, worth $768,000, to white students, based not on their financial need but on the color of their skin. It is searching for more white teachers.” This increase in White student and faculty enrollment and recruitment caused a decrease in many HBCU’s enrollment of African Americans. Because of this, the Ayers family again made an appeal to the District court stating that they did not want Black student and faculty declines, but were simply asking that HBCUs be treated equally to that of White public schools as it regarded funding. Their appeal was denied. In Mississippi, Black Male enrollment decreased because of the 1992 Fordice decision. In all the Fordice case continues to have a tremendous impact on African Americans and HBCUs as a whole.
Obama HBCU Cuts Began in 2009: Lest We Forget!
In 2007, President George Bush announced that his White House had proposed an $85 million cut to HBCUs for the years 2008-09. Just months into his first term as president, Obama’s White house announced that they would continue the Bush cuts to HBCUs by decreasing the budgets by up to $85 million. Many media outlets had called the president cuts the beginning of the Great Depression for African Americans. They were also concerned that since African Americans gave Obama unyielding support during the 2008 election, how could he then cut HBCUs while at the same time granting Hispanic-serving schools up to $200 million in increased funding.
During the second term of Obama’s presidency, he again imposed major cuts to HBCUs. The Plus Loans cuts to HBCUs caused a tremendous amount of damage because many African American students were not able to attend school and this caused a major drop in enrollment for many HBCUs. Howard University lost $7.5 million dollars, while Hampton University lost $6.4 million. In all HBCUs more than $160 million and more than 28,000 students were denied loans and unable to attend school during the 2012 academic year. Many African American leaders saw this as a direct attack on the already dwindling African American middleclass and called for an immediate meeting with President Obama and threated to sue.
End of Affrimative Action In Higher Education Good or Bad for HBCUs: The Case Of California
With the end of Affirmative Action in Higher Education, African Americans who attend predominately white colleges and universities will become fewer and fewer. African American faculty at these schools will also decrease. African Americans in higher education in California have already been affected by Affirmative Action. In 1996 and 2003 Proposition 54 and 209, state policies that ended race-based admission, had an immediate impact on African American enrollment at the state’s public colleges and universities. Of the 4,422 students in UCLA’s freshman class of 2006, only 100 (2.26%) were African American. This is significantly down from 4% in 1996. Furthermore, according to a study that was put out in 2013 by The Campaign for College Opportunity, African American admissions rates to the University of California system have declined by 17 % over the past 16 years. African Americans had the lowest admission rates compared to Whites, Asians and Hispanics in the state. According to the study, this was not always the case. Before Affirmative Action was struck down in the state, the African American admission rate was almost 75%. As of 2012, it now stands at a dismal 58%. The report continues by stating that African Americans are least likely to be admitted to UC’s most “selective campuses—UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego.” At UCLA, located in Los Angeles were the state’s largest Black population resides, African American admission is less than 14%. And at the California State University schools, African Americans have the lowest graduation rates of any group. The report maintains that “the four year graduation gap between Blacks and Whites is getting bigger, from 11 percentage points in 2003 to more than 15 points in 2012.”
Where Did All Of The Africans American Students Go At “California’s HBCU?”
California State University at Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), an African-American and Hispanic-serving school of higher learning, has been affectionately called “little Africa” and “California’s HBCU.” Created during the unrest called the Watts Rebellion, Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown determined that the Dominguez Hills site would have the best openness to the Black and Hispanic community who wanted college training for upward mobility.
From its earliest inception, CSUDH has always had a large African American population. It served as the former headquarters for The National Council for Black Studies during the 1970s. According to data, the schools African American student population was around 45% until the state ended affirmative action in the 1990’s. From 2006-2008, the school Black population hovered around 30%. But during the presidency of Dr. Mildred García (2007-12) the school’s African American population dropped to a dismal 17% by 2013. According to anonymous sources, Dr. Mildred García tenure represented an unspoken policy to increase the Hispanic student’s population at the expense of African Americans. Without serious community dialogue, and a commitment from federal and state agencies, African American higher education in the state of California will be a footnote in history in 20 years.
Several other states have witnessed a decline in African American enrollment at predominately white schools. These decreases will continue as the effects of the 2014 Supreme Court decision to end Affirmative Action at White schools continue. If HBCUs are turning White and or being obstructed or shut down because of lack of federal funding, where will African Americans be educated in the next 20 years?
The Attack on Africana Studies
The attack on Africana studies, Black studies, Pan African studies and African American studies reached its apex when Naomi Schaefer Riley, a blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education, wrote her infamous essay entitled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies?” Here, Riley gives a passionate appeal to the readers of the Chronicle for her belief that Black studies should be eliminated from America’s colleges and universities. Riley’s essay is part of a systemic effort to dilute or eliminate African Americans studies from mainstream academic life. But the attack on Africana studies did not start with her. This ongoing cultural war against Black identity in the United States is linked to the Ethnic Cleansing of HBCUs and African Americans at predominately White universities. Below is a reading list of books that seek to reshape and end Africana studies and all studies that are not deeply entrenched in Eurocentric Hegemony discourse:
Samuel Huntington, Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity (2005).
“America was founded by British settlers who brought with them a distinct culture, says Huntington, including the English language, Protestant values, individualism, religious commitment, and respect for law. The waves of immigrants that later came to the United States gradually accepted these values and assimilated into America’s Anglo-Protestant culture. More recently, however, our national identity has been eroded by the problems of assimilating massive numbers of primarily Hispanic immigrants and challenged by issues such as bilingualism, multiculturalism, the devaluation of citizenship, and the “denationalization” of American elites.”
Arthur Schlesinger, The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (1998).
“The classic image of the American nation — a melting pot in which differences of race, wealth, religion, and nationality are submerged in democracy — is being replaced by an orthodoxy that celebrates difference and abandons assimilation. While this upsurge in ethnic awareness has had many healthy consequences in a nation shamed by a history of prejudice, the cult of ethnicity, if pressed too far, threatens to fragment American society to a dangerous degree. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner in history and adviser to the Kennedy and other administrations, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., is uniquely positioned to wave the caution flag in the race to a politics of identity. Using a broader canvas in this updated and expanded edition, he examines the international dimension and the lessons of one polyglot country after another tearing itself apart or on the brink of doing so: among them the former Yugoslavia, Nigeria, even Canada. Closer to home, he finds troubling new evidence that multiculturalism gone awry here in the United States threatens to do the same. “One of the most devastating and articulate attacks on multiculturalism yet to appear.”—Wall Street Journal ‘A brilliant book . . . we owe Arthur Schlesinger a great debt of gratitude.’—C. Vann Woodward, New Republic”
John J. Miller, The Unmaking of Americans: How Multiculturalism has Undermined the Assimilation Ethic (1998). “Will today’s immigrant population become the first in American history that fails to assimilate? If so, the United States threatens to collapse into disunion. Much of the blame for this state of affairs can be laid at the feet of multiculturalists, who have undermined the concept of Americanization by attacking it as racist and advancing in its place a divisive agenda of group rights and bilingual education. Unfortunately, many on the right have responded to this crisis by viewing immigrants themselves as their mortal enemies– instead of the entrenched native-born liberal elite that has declared war on the American idea itself.
“In The Unmaking of Americans, John J. Miller breaks this standoff with a commonsense call for a new Americanization movement based on fundamental American principles. He draws on lessons from the Americanization movement of the early 20th century, which helped the Ellis Island generation of immigrants adapt to their new home. In doing so, Miller makes the first modern defense of a patriotic social crusade that many “tenured radicals” have come to scorn as nothing more than a gentrified form of ethnic cleansing.
“Miller sets out to convince conservatives concerned about immigration that the real threat to American unity is not the huddled masses of hardworking newcomers, but longstanding left-wing policies that actively inhibit assimilation. Proponents of bilingual education refuse to teach children in English, racial preferences encourage harmful group loyalties, welfare rules threaten the work ethic, and the citizenship process is under constant pressure from people who want to dumb it down. “The Unmaking of Americans” reveals where and how the system of assimilation fell apart– and lays out a specific plan of action for correcting the problem that conservatives, libertarians, and sensible liberals can support.”
Clarence Walker, We Can’t Go Home Again: An Argument About Afrocentrism (2001).
“Afrocentrism has been a controversial but popular movement in schools and universities across America, as well as in black communities. But in We Can’t Go Home Again, historian Clarence E. Walker puts Afrocentrism to the acid test, in a thoughtful, passionate, and often blisteringly funny analysis that melts away the pretensions of this “therapeutic mythology.”
As expounded by Molefi Kete Asante, Yosef Ben-Jochannan, and others, Afrocentrism encourages black Americans to discard their recent history, with its inescapable white presence, and to embrace instead an empowering vision of their African (specifically Egyptian) ancestors as the source of western civilization. Walker marshals a phalanx of serious scholarship to rout these ideas. He shows, for instance, that ancient Egyptian society was not black but a melange of ethnic groups, and questions whether, in any case, the pharaonic regime offers a model for blacks today, asking “if everybody was a King, who built the pyramids?” But for Walker, Afrocentrism is more than simply bad history–it substitutes a feel-good myth of the past for an attempt to grapple with the problems that still confront blacks in a racist society. The modern American black identity is the product of centuries of real history, as Africans and their descendants created new, hybrid cultures–mixing many African ethnic influences with native and European elements. Afrocentrism replaces this complex history with a dubious claim to distant glory.
Afrocentrism offers not an empowering understanding of black Americans’ past,” Walker concludes, “but a pastiche of ‘alien traditions’ held together by simplistic fantasies.” More to the point, this specious history denies to black Americans the dignity, and power, that springs from an honest understanding of their real history.”
The next article will deal with Delaware, Tennessee and Maryland. It will also give solutions on how to stop the dismantling of HBCU.
Dr. Jahi Issa is an historian specializing in African Studies.
Several Months after writing the first article, Dr. Issa was arrested and charged with four misdemeanor counts because he supported his students Constitutional Rights to petition government as it regarded the status of African Americans on the campus. Dr. Issa was also fired. After almost three years of prosecution, Dr. Issa went to trial in September of 2014 on one charge. The other charges were dropped. The trial lasted 8 days and ended in a mistrial. The Attorney General’s office headed by Mr. Beau Biden Jr. has announced that they will try him again. Dr. Issa needs your help in raising money for his legal defense fund. Please click link below and donate:
1) The recent divisive vote to deploy warplanes, reconnaissance aircraft, support personnel, and special forces on a combat mission to Iraq – carried only by the Conservative government’s slim majority in Parliament – was a bad decision. It will make things worse, not better, for the people of the Middle East and is the thin edge of the wedge to pull Canada deeper into another long quagmire of a war, just six months after the failed twelve-year mission to Afghanistan. Moreover, this instance of mission creep is being conducted without United Nations Security Council approval and is therefore illegal under international law.
2) According to NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Paul Dewar, who was part of the recent Canadian mission to Iraq, the Iraqi government asked that Canada send humanitarian, rather than military, assistance. The Iraqi government also did not request that Canada become involved in Syria. Rather, it appears that it was completely at the initiative of the Harper government that Canadian troops have joined the latest US-led “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who, in 2003, wisely bowed to the wishes of hundreds of thousands of protesters in the streets – organized by the Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec à la Guerre – and refused to send Canadian troops to join Bush and Blair’s previous “coalition of the willing”, has recently spoken out against the present combat mission and urged a massive humanitarian mission instead.
3) Whether or not the Iraqi government has authorized air strikes by foreign powers on its territory, the US and its allies have no right under international law to bomb targets inside Syria, without the approval and cooperation of the legitimate government of Syria.
4) The true purpose of the US campaign against ISIL is not to destroy terrorism. In fact, since at least 2011, the USA and other countries in the “Friends of Syria” Group (FSG), including Canada, financed, armed, and organized a deadly covert war of aggression using jihadi mercenaries against Syria. ISIL grew out of this explicitly terrorist operation against the people of Syria, which so far resulted in about 200,000 deaths, millions of refugees, and the laying waste of much of Syria. In other words, the USA, Canada, and their FSG partners created this terrorist ISIL Frankenstein. In our opinion, the ISIL crisis is being used by the USA and some countries neighbouring Syria as a pretext for bombing for regime change in Syria and perhaps, eventually, other countries such as Lebanon and Iran. The Turkish government’s recent call for a “no fly zone” over Syria is a case in point and reminiscent of NATO’s abuse of UN Resolution 1973 for the illegal overthrow of the government of Libya.
5) The USA has “dirty hands.” Its 2003 attack on Iraq was also without UN approval and left that country in ruins, with at least half a million dead, millions of refugees, and effectively split into three parts. The USA should not be entrusted to play any role in Iraq. In fact, the result of the US and NATO-led “humanitarian” interventions in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Haiti, and Syria has uniformly been to make things much worse for civilians and to destroy the territorial integrity of those countries.
6) If the Canadian government is sincerely interested in dealing with ISIL, it needs to cooperate with all the governments of the region, including Syria and Iran, as well as Russia and China, to develop a common strategy. That strategy would best be developed at the United Nations where recent resolutions 2170 and 2178 might serve as first steps in a global action against terrorism. To deal with ISIS, the Harper government of Canada could ask the Turkish, Israeli, and Jordanian governments to close their borders to ISIL terrorists and to remove any terrorist bases on their territories. It could demand that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait stop funding jihadi mercenaries altogether. It could call for disbanding the “Friends of Syria” Group.
7) The sending of Canadian forces personnel and equipment the Middle East raises the likelihood of a major confrontation between Canada and Russia, because Russia has important national and traditional interests in the Middle East, where it has a major base on the Mediteranean Sea in Syria. Removing Canadian military personnel and equipment from this theatre of war would reduce the threat of any regional or global confrontation.
8) Canadians are rightly proud of the fact that our post-WW2 history, until recently, was marked by support for international institutions such as the United Nations, for the international rule of law, and for a preference for peace-keeping and diplomacy over war-making.
9) Therefore, we the undersigned, call on all members of parliament to use their individual and partisan influence to withdraw Canada from the US-led coalition for war in Iraq and Syria and also from the so-called “Friends of Syria” Group.
While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “caliphate.”
The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship.
The Bible says if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him something to drink—doing so will “heap burning coals” of shame on his head. But there is no evidence that the militants of the Islamic State, widely known as ISIS or ISIL, feel any sense of disgrace or indignity (and certainly not gratitude) receiving charity from their foes.
Quite the reverse, the aid convoys have to pay off ISIS emirs (leaders) for the convoys to enter the eastern Syrian extremist strongholds of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, providing yet another income stream for ISIS militants, who are funding themselves from oil smuggling, extortion, and the sale of whatever they can loot, including rare antiquities from museums and archaeological sites.
“The convoys have to be approved by ISIS and you have to pay them: The bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs,” says an aid coordinator who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition he not be identified in this article. The kickbacks are either paid by foreign or local nongovernmental organizations tasked with distributing the aid, or by the Turkish or Syrian transportation companies contracted to deliver it.
“What are we doing here helping their fighters, who we are bombing, to be treated so they can fight again?”
And there are fears the aid itself isn’t carefully monitored enough, with some sold off on the black market or used by ISIS to win hearts and minds by feeding its fighters and its subjects. At a minimum, the aid means ISIS doesn’t have to divert cash from its war budget to help feed the local population or the displaced persons, allowing it to focus its resources exclusively on fighters and war-making, say critics of the aid.
One of the striking differences between ISIS and terror groups of the past is its desire to portray the territory it has conquered as a well-organized and smoothly functioning state. “The soldiers of Allah do not liberate a village, town, or city, only to abandon its residents and ignore their needs,” declares the latest issue of Dabiq, the group’s slick online magazine. Elsewhere in the publication are pictures of slaughtered Kurdish soldiers and a gruesome photograph of American journalist Steven Sotloff’s severed head resting on top of his body. But this article shows ISIS restoring electricity in Raqqah, running a home for the elderly, a cancer-treatment facility in Ninawa, and cleaning streets in other towns.
Last year, a polio outbreak in Deir ez-Zor raised concerns throughout the region about the spread of an epidemic. The World Health Organization worked with the Syrian government and with opposition groups to try to carry out an immunization campaign. This has continued. In response to a query by The Daily Beast, a WHO spokesperson said, “Our information indicates that vaccination campaigns have been successfully carried out by local health workers in IS-controlled territory.”
“I am alarmed that we are providing support for ISIS governance,” says Jonathan Schanzer, a Mideast expert with the Washington D.C.-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “By doing so we are indemnifying the militants by satisfying the core demands of local people, who could turn on ISIS if they got frustrated.”
U.S. and Western relief agencies have been caught before in an aid dilemma when it comes to the war on terror. Last December, the Overseas Development Institute, an independent British think tank focusing on international development and humanitarian issues, reported that aid agencies in Somalia had been paying militants from the al Qaeda offshoot al-Shabab for access to areas under their control during the 2011 famine.
Al-Shabab demanded from the agencies what it described as “registration fees” of up to $10,000. And in many cases al-Shabab insisted on distributing the aid, keeping much of it for itself, according to ODI. The think tank cited al-Shabab’s diversion of food aid in the town of Baidoa, where it kept between half and two-thirds of the food for its own fighters. The researchers noted the al Qaeda affiliate developed a highly sophisticated system of monitoring and co-opting the aid agencies, even setting up a “Humanitarian Co-ordination Office.”
Something similar appears to be underway now in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.
Aid coordinators with NGOs partnering USAID and other Western government agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, say ISIS insist that the NGOs, foreign and local, employ people ISIS approves on their staffs inside Syria. “There is always at least one ISIS person on the payroll; they force people on us,” says an aid coordinator. “And when a convoy is being prepared, the negotiations go through them about whether the convoy can proceed. They contact their emirs and a price is worked out. We don’t have to wrangle with individual ISIS field commanders once approval is given to get the convoy in, as the militants are highly hierarchical.” He adds: “None of the fighters will dare touch it, if an emir has given permission.”
That isn’t the case with other Syrian rebel groups, where arguments over convoys can erupt at checkpoints at main entry points into Syria, where aid is unloaded from Turkish tractor-trailers and re-loaded into Syrian ones.
Many aid workers are uncomfortable with what’s happening. “A few months ago we delivered a mobile clinic for a USAID-funded NGO,” says one, who declined to be named. “A few of us debated the rights and wrongs of this. The clinic was earmarked for the treatment of civilians, but we all know that wounded ISIS fighters could easily be treated as well. So what are we doing here helping their fighters, who we are bombing, to be treated so they can fight again?”
What becomes even more bizarre is that while aid is still going into ISIS-controlled areas, only a little is going into Kurdish areas in northeast Syria. About every three or four months there is a convoy into the key city of Qamishli. Syrian Kurds, who are now defending Kobani with the support of U.S. warplanes, have long complained about the lack of international aid. Last November, tellingly, Syrian Kurds complained that Syria’s Kurdistan was not included in a U.N. polio-vaccination campaign. U.N. agencies took the position that polio vaccines should go through the Syrian Red Crescent via Damascus when it came to the Kurds.
The origins of the aid programs pre-date President Barack Obama’s decision to “degrade and defeat” ISIS, but they have carried on without major review. The aid push was to reach anyone in need. A senior State Department official with detailed knowledge of current aid programs confirmed to The Daily Beast that U.S. government funded relief is still going into Raqqa and Deir Ez-Zor. He declined to estimate the quantity. But an aid coordinator, when asked, responded: “A lot.”
The State Department official said he, too, was conflicted about the programs.
“Is this helping the militants by allowing them to divert money they would have to spend on food? If aid wasn’t going in, would they let people starve? And is it right for us to withhold assistance and punish civilians? Would the militants turn around, as al-Shabab did when many agencies withdrew from Somalia, and blame the West for starvation and hunger? Are we helping indirectly the militants to build their caliphate? I wrestle with this.”
Western NGO partners of USAID and other Western agencies declined to respond to Daily Beast inquiries about international relief going to ISIS areas, citing the complexity of the issue and noting its delicacy.
Mideast analyst Schanzer dismisses the notion that ISIS can use an aid shutdown as leverage in its PR campaign: “I think this is false. In areas they control, everyone understands they are a brutal organization. This is their basic weakness and by pushing in aid we are curtailing the chances of an internal revolt, which is the best chance you have of bringing down ISIS.”
On Oct. 17, the 208th anniversary of the assassination of Haiti’s founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to Haiti’s streets, once again, to demand the unconditional resignation of President Michel Joseph Martelly.
In an effort to undercut the protest, Martelly and his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe did what they do best: they organized a one-day Carnival, with big-name bands like Djakout and T-Vice (and, of course Martelly’s son, Ti Micky), on the former runway of the old military airport near Pont Rouge, where Dessalines was killed in an ambush in 1806. The government publicized the festive extravaganza, so disrespectful on such a somber occasion, via recorded robot messages over the Digicel cell phone network.
But most of the Haitian masses shunned the unfitting spectacle and instead marched to demand Martelly and Lamothe’s resignations, an end to the UN military occupation (renewed three days earlier for another year) and to political persecution, arrests, and assassinations. Demonstrators also marched in Jacmel in the Southeast, in Sainte-Suzanne in the Northeast, and in Léogane, Petit Goâve, and other cities.
In Port-au-Prince, demonstrators marched along the Delmas Road to Pétionville under the slogan, “Dessalines pral kay Pétion,” Dessalines is going to visit Pétion. Alexandre Pétion, who conspired in Dessalines’ murder and succeeded him as Haiti’s president, was a representative of Haiti’s nascent comprador bourgeoisie.
As they did against demonstrators on Sep. 30, the Haitian National Police (PNH) tried to disperse the demonstrators with tear gas and skin-irritating pepper water. Police and armed thugs were also observed firing leveled weapons at demonstrators.
As some demonstrators assembled at a rally point in front of the former Church of Perpetual Help in the Bel Air neighborhood, thugs affiliated to the musical group Grand Black – such as Ti Roi, Didi Manikile, and Evens Thélemas – beat up and fired weapons at protesters, and then tore up fleeing protesters’ placards.
However, the demonstrators from Bel Air joined other marchers gathering in front of the ruins of St. John Bosco church on Jean Jacques Dessalines Boulevard (Grand Rue). After the traditional ceremony around a bonfire, the march stepped off and passed through the popular neighborhoods of La Saline, St. Martin, and Bel Air before heading towards the Delmas Road to proceed as planned to Pétionville.
But the police and thugs blocked the marchers from taking the Delmas Road so they detoured through the Solino neighborhood to the Nazon Road in hopes of finally reaching the Delmas Road that way. But on Nazon, police fired tear-gas canisters into the dense crowd to prevent them from reaching Nazon’s intersection with the Delmas Road.
“Down with Martelly!” chanted the demonstrators. “Martelly said he’d kill us, the people. Quickly, quickly, let’s send him packing. Onward to Pétionville!”
The Dessalines Coordination party (KOD) contingent held signs that read: “Down with Martelly and Lamothe! Both are lackeys of the colonists!”
Along the march route, hoodlums hiding behind walls threw rocks at the demonstrators. But the determined protesters pressed on. At Delmas 30, they again tried to reach Delmas Road. But the police again met them with tear gas, pepper water, and leveled gunfire. Noone was spared: political party leaders, parliamentarians, protesters, journalists, children, merchants, and public transportation passengers, all inhaled gas.
Teargas canisters were fired at a car clearly marked with the logos of Radio Vision 2000, which carried several journalists. Hundreds of people fainted from tear gas. Children had to be taken to hospital emergency rooms.
Senator Moïse Jean-Charles, the spearhead of this mobilization who rode on a horse behind a demonstrator dressed like Dessalines, was clearly targeted for attack by some PNH units. At Delmas 30, he was also overcome by the teargas, prompting some demonstrators to start screaming “Moïse is dead!” The senator was revived by people rubbing limes under his nose and pouring soda over his head.
“This is a peaceful demonstration to commemorate Dessalines’ assassination, and the PNH is dispersing it,” Sen. Moïse said afterwards. “Today Martelly shows us once again that he does not want democracy and is politicizing the country’s police force.” (Later in the day, Police Chief Godson Orélus, dressed in a white uniform, stood grinning on the Carnival stage as President Martelly vulgarly danced with a woman.)
In the end, there were dozens of arrests and injuries. The protesters arrested were taken to the Delmas police station, and, without hearing before a justice of the peace, 19 were transported to the National Penitentiary. Among them are: St. Gourdain of Delmas 2, and Ralph Laudan Louis and Evens Clergé Jeff from the Christ-Roi district.
There are reports that the attack against Senator Moïse was aimed at assassinating him. Indeed, it is widely rumored that such a plan was hatched at a meeting involving Communications Minister Rudy Hériveaux, Sports Minister Himmler Rébu, Interior Minister Réginald Delva, Reynaud Léné of the Defense Ministry, and Police Chief Godson Orélus with some of his aides including Samuel Moreau and John Alexis, a former member of the New York diaspora organization HEAR (Haitian Enforcement Against Racism) and a unionist at 1199.
There were many political reactions after the police dispersed the demonstration. The Fanmi Lavalas political organization, in a press statement read by the coordinator of the Executive Committee, Dr. Maryse Narcisse, condemned the crackdown when the “sons of Dessalines were extending a hand to the sons of Pétion” to resolve the structural problems which have plagued Haiti since the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’état. She also demanded the liberation of all the protestors illegally arrested and decried the police attack on professional journalists.
Former Senator Turneb Delpé of the Patriotic Movement of the Democratic Opposition (MOPOD), one of the march’s organizers, thanked the people for taking part in the anti-Martelly protest and condemned that the police who used tear gas and pepper water to prevent protesters from reaching Pétionville. He said that MOPOD along with other organizations of the democratic opposition would continue to mobilize against the Martelly regime and its repression.
The Association of Local Reporters, a journalists’ union, condemned the PNH’s firing of teargas at journalists, including those in the Vision 2000 vehicle. The union plans to file a formal complaint against the police.
Meanwhile, many severely criticized the Martelly-Lamothe regime for dancing on Dessalines’ grave by organizing a carnival with music groups. By doing this, they said, Martelly proves, once again, that he has no respect for the Haitian people’s sensibilities on this important nationalist and patriotic date.
In 2012, Martelly and Lamothe appalled people on Oct. 17 by going to the Church of St. Clair in Marchand Dessalines for a Requiem Mass dressed inappropriately in informal guayabera shirts and jeans. On that same date, the Tourism Minister Stéphanie Villedrouin shockingly said: “Happy Birthday to the Haitian people.” In 2013, Martelly marked the date by distributing money to people in Cap Haïtien.
The cruelest irony is that three days before the anniversary, on Oct. 14, the UN once again renewed its military occupation of Haiti, which has been in place since 2004. Dessalines would be horrified. Instead of using the date to solemnly organize the people to resist the choke hold put on Haiti by foreign troops, Martelly organizes a festival to entertain the masses and put them to sleep.
That is why on Oct. 17 the demonstrators, who were so savagely repressed by the police, called for both Martelly and MINUSTAH to go, a mobilization which shows signs of sharpening in the weeks ahead.
The argument of “stock versus flow” has been debated from many angles and across many asset classes. The most heated may be in the gold and silver bullion categories. I’ve written on this topic before and I’m sure I will again but for this exercise I want to talk about U.S. stocks.
Zero Hedge put out a piece yesterday reporting that JP Morgan E-Mini Liquidity Has Crashed 40% In The Past Quarter, JPMorgan Finds. Zero Hedge says liquidity has dropped 40% in the S+P E mini contract.
The study looks at “depth” of both bids and offers, this is now drying up, in fact, the ramp upwards was performed on continually lower volume. Not exactly a confidence builder as volumes dried up out of, well, lack of confidence. Without spending a whole lot of time on this, suffice it to say “liquidity is the blood of life” as far as the markets are concerned. Without it or when liquidity decreases, accidents tend to happen. “Accidents” in this case are when the markets move violently which affects a good part of the $1.4 quadrillion in derivatives. Big moves in either direction can affect the standing of these derivatives as for every winner there is a loser. The problem arises when a loser is so crippled, they cannot perform (pay) on their losses.
The above is a very basic synopsis of the “what”, the important thing right now is the “why”. Why is volatility increasing? Why has volume and liquidity decreased so much? There are two basic reasons, first the global economy is slowing at a time when debt is a bigger percentage of financing than ever. Debt service must be paid whether good times or bad. It just happens that right now we are seeing a global slowdown which leaves less free cash flow available whether it be a sovereign, corporation or individual …money is tight so to speak. Secondly, the Fed has reduced their “free money spigot” called QE by $75 billion per month down to only $10 billion per month. This is slated to drop to zero next month.
I guess the best way to explain this is the financial system got “used to” an extra $85 billion per month sloshing around. By no longer providing this, the Fed, even though not actually tightening credit conditions …are tightening credit availability. What we now see happening is the economy must stand on its own without any help from the Fed, it’s not working very well and this is what the markets are telling us.
Shifting gears just a little bit, we recently saw as a reaction to the lessening QE, a stronger dollar. Scared capital sought safe haven and did so into the dollar out of “habit” because that’s the way it’s always been. Fear capital has always (during our lifetimes) fled into the dollar because the U.S. had a history of a strong rule of law and stable politics. Do we still have a strong rule of law? Are we politically stable as we once were? I personally don’t think so but this topic is for another day.
What I think we will soon see is this “fear capital” will soon leapfrog the dollar altogether and arrive as a bid into gold and silver. Gold and silver have no “politics” and the rule of law is “whoever possesses it holds value”. Simple right? Yes, but think this through all the way. We are headed through the gates of hell if (when) the Fed must announce another round of QE. QE is pure monetization, deep down everyone knows (and have known all along) that QE will not work and is nothing more than printing money out of thin air. It hasn’t worked, it won’t work and it can never work. All it did was buy “cover” or time in the hopes of something coming along to magically fix the mathematically unfixable problem.
The “problem” as I have said all along is one of solvency rather than liquidity. This I believe will be understood whenever the next QE is announced. The “solvency” I am talking about here is that of the Fed and the U.S. which is why the “safety” of the dollar will be shunned on the next go round. I wrote years ago that “all roads will lead to gold and silver”. This is as true today as when I first wrote it back in 2008 …with the exception the “road” is now much much shorter!. The road is shorter because every “tool” in Ben Bernanke’s (now Yellen’s)toolbox has already been taken out and used …to no avail.
People “wanted” to believe they would work because of the alternative if they did not. The Chinese were content to sit back and let us play the paper games while they filled their vaults with our gold, how much do you suppose is left? You will know the answer when one day our markets do not open for “business as usual”. No tools, no White Knights, no flight into dollars …no more “benefit of the doubt”. We have lived in a “benefit of the doubt” world for quite some time, once this runs out, capital will arrive to that last asset standing of no doubt …real money.
The Obama administration has blocked the public release of disturbing torture photos out of concern they would endanger US troops. Now, a federal judge is giving the government until December to justify its actions.
In addition to the disturbing Abu Ghraib photos released in 2004, an estimated 2,100 images of US military personnel torturing and degrading detainees – possibly even more disturbing – may soon be released into the public realm.
Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein has given the US Justice Department until December 12 to defend its rationale for withholding each photograph on an individual basis. Hellerstein will then deliver his ruling on the future fate of the photographs after he conducts a review of the government’s case.
Image: This handout photo from Australia’s SBS TV released 15 February, 2006 allegedly shows a prisoner in Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib. (AFP Photo/HO/SBS Dateline)
In 2009, President Obama denied release of the photographs on the grounds they would “further inflame anti-American opinion and … put our troops in greater danger.”The move by the president was supported by passage of the Protected National Security Documents Act, which gives the Secretary of Defense the power to keep any photographic images classified if it is believed their release would endanger Americans.
Marcellene Hearn, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the release of the photographs would shed some light on US military facilities abroad.
Image: This handout photo from SBS TV received 15 February, 2006 shows a hooded prisoner allegedly being tortured at Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib jail supposely during interrogation by US soldiers in Baghdad in 2004. (AFP Photo/HO/SBS Dateline)
“It’s disappointing that the government continues to fight to keep these photographs from the public,” Hearn said after the hearing, as quoted by the Guardian. “The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened in our detention centers abroad. Yet the government is suppressing as many as 2,100 photographs of detainee abuse in Iraq and elsewhere.”
Meanwhile, in a separate case, a Federal District Court earlier this month ordered the release of 28 videotapes reportedly showing the force-feeding of a hunger-striking detainee at Guantánamo Bay detention center, rejecting the government’s assertion that releasing the tapes would risk the lives of troops.
With the United States military conducting air missions in Iraq and Syria, this time to fight against militants of the Islamic State, there will be much greater incentive to keep the disturbing images classified so as not to inflame anti-American passions even more.
Professor Noam Chomsky has written an essay entitled, “The End of History: The short, strange era of human civilization would appear to be drawing to a close.” Chomsky invokes the Roman goddess Minerva as she contemplates the end drawing nigh. His essay is thoughtful. It is eloquent. But something is missing.
Professor Chomsky references the devastation visited upon the Middle East by the American war machine. He mentions the brutal onslaught of ISIS, the self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate, as well as the military dictatorship in Egypt. And then he turns to the principal issue, climate change and a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report concludes that the increasing level of greenhouse gas risks “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” Ice sheets are melting. Sea levels will rise. Major cities and coastal plains will be inundated.
Species are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate. The melting of permafrost regions will result in even more greenhouse gases being released, with even graver consequences for the planet’s ecosystem. The Siachen Glacier, high up in the Himalayas, has been home to armed conflict between India and Pakistan. As the glacier melts “empty artillery shells, empty fuel drums [and] ice axes” appear, “a most appropriate metaphor,” says Arundhati Roy, “for the insanity of our times.”
Chomsky’s brief essay concludes on an elegiac note—“Sad species. Poor Owl,” referring to the goddess Minerva—and makes us wonder if this piece isn’t primarily a lament. Implicitly there is a shrug of the shoulders, “Don’t blame me. I’m just reporting the facts.” Perhaps this is the problem. Missing is the framework that would help the reader direct his thoughts productively. There is a fatalistic disengagement. Some larger force is at work over which we humans have no control. God?
This fatalism pervades several of Professors Chomsky’s pieces. One essay is entitled, “Humanity Imperiled: The Path to Disaster,” another, “Can Civilization Survive Capitalism?” In “Is the World Too Big to Fail? The Contours of Global Order” Chomsky observes that maybe the financial system can be fixed, “but no one will come to the rescue if the environment is destroyed. That it must be destroyed is close to an institutional imperative.”
Jeremiah was one of the major prophets of the Hebrew Bible. It was his role to reveal the sins of his people, thus explaining the reason for impending disaster, hence the word jeremiad, a moralistic essay in which its author denounces society for its wickedness, and prophesies its downfall.
Our Puritan forefathers were Calvinists. They also believed that mankind had sinned and that there was nothing he could do to save himself. There was an elect. They were the saints. They would be saved. God alone would determine who they were. The rest would perish. Whether it was crop failure, blizzard, drought or pestilence, a jeremiad would be sure to follow.
Chomsky’s brief essay is jeremiad like. From some higher place, where reside the saints, he has issued civilization’s death certificate. We have made war and killed many innocents. We have sinned against nature by fouling the air. And we must pay the price. There is no redemption through good works.
The effect of “The End of History” is to close the door to original thought and to eliminate the possibility of public initiative. The essay disempowers those who would undertake to redirect the forces that are destroying our planet. In this context it is useful to consider what Alexis de Tocqueville has to say on the subject of history and historians.
Tocqueville (Democracy in America, vol. 2) speaks of historians who “not only deny that the few have any power of acting upon the destiny of a people, but deprive the people themselves of the power of modifying their own condition, and they subject them either to an inflexible Providence or to some blind necessity.” He adds, “In perusing the historical volumes [of our age] . . . it would seem that man is utterly powerless over himself and all around him. The historians of antiquity taught how to command; those of our time teach how to obey.” I believe these remarks apply to Professor Chomsky’s writing as well. In his version of history there is no room for human agency. “An inflexible Providence” marches us inexorably to our demise. There is nothing humans can do to stop it.
In 1967, Professor Chomsky wrote an essay entitled “The Responsibility of Intellectuals.” His piece was inspired by the writing of Dwight McDonald who, a decade earlier, had explored the issue of responsibility concerning the suffering wrought by the Nazis. Were the German people, just ordinary folk leading modest lives, responsible for the actions of their government? Shouldn’t they have done something to stop the devastation? Chomsky raises the same question and applies it to the war in Vietnam. Did we Americans have responsibility for the atrocities and wasn’t it our job to stop them? And don’t intellectuals have a special responsibility?
Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions. In the Western world, at least, they have the power that comes from political liberty, from access to information and freedom of expression. For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest, through which the events of current history are presented to us. The responsibilities of intellectuals, then, are much deeper than what Macdonald calls the “responsibility of people,” given the unique privileges that intellectuals enjoy.
Specifically, what is the intellectual’s responsibility, as Chomsky sees it? “It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.” Based on this definition one can say that Professor Chomsky has acquitted himself admirably over the past decades.
But one can reasonably ask if there is any difference between the journalist and the intellectual based on Professor Chomsky’s definition. It most certainly is the job of responsible journalism to speak the truth and expose the lie. Then what is it that we expect from an intellectual that we don’t expect from a journalist? New ideas. And here I am afraid Professor Chomsky has had little if anything to offer.
To quote Sean O’Casey, “Th’ whole worl’s in a terrible state o’ chassis.” Why is it that way? Does it have to be that way? What can be done to set it straight? These are the questions the intellectual should be asking.
There are many factors creating the “state o’ chassis.” Most of them can be traced to a combination of action and inaction on the part of government. Government promotes the exploitation of fossil fuels. It favors the private car over public transportation. It diverts to war critical resources that could be used to develop alternative sources of energy. All of these policies are humankind’s contribution to global warming. These policies can be reversed, but not without transforming government. And I am afraid yet another election will not do the job.
Currently, there is considerable discussion and some experimentation exploring the possibilities of using sortition as a means of restructuring government. In ancient Athens, sortition was used as a means of selecting magistrates. We could substitute sortition for elections as a means of selecting our representatives and senators.
Sortition is another word for lottery. Essentially, a number is picked out of a hat. A pool of candidates is established. Often it is simply those who volunteer, those who want to hold the office. Then there is some kind of vetting process. Perhaps there are requirements of age and citizenship. Other parameters can be introduced as well.
Once the pool of candidates is established a number is drawn and the name attached to that number is now the magistrate. In ancient Athens he served for a year and but once in a lifetime. The Athenians used juries to keep track of a magistrate’s performance. If they didn’t like what he was up to another lottery was held and the magistrate was replaced.
Such a means of selecting those who govern has some obvious advantages over holding elections. There is no electioneering, i.e., lying and pandering, at election time. There are no political parties and no leaders to be bought off. Thus there is considerably less corruption. Corporate control of government is dramatically reduced.
Sortition is more democratic than elections because it establishes true political equality. Anyone can serve. Setting brief term limits insures rotation in office—this could be applied to the presidency as well—further limiting the opportunity for abusing power. If one wanted to democratize the process even further one could introduce referenda on key issues. Decisions concerning war and peace would certainly be one opportunity. This was the protocol in ancient Athens.
Or one could completely democratize the governing process by having the citizens govern themselves. This was the meaning of democracy in ancient Athens. The citizens, not their representatives, met in the Assembly, debated and voted on legislation and policy. The same principle could be applied in the United States. Instead of one assembly there would be thousands spread throughout the country. In Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained: The True Meaning of Democracy, I explore these and other possibilities at length.
Such thoughts will undoubtedly be dismissed as foolhardy, naïve, utopian by those who are stuck in the here and now, mired in the fixity of things as given, those who have a fear of change and want to cling to the present setup at all costs. Yes, changing government has its risks. There are outcomes that cannot be predicted. But if Professor Chomsky is right—and I believe he is—then the biggest risk of all is letting things stay as they are and believing we will survive. Change does occur and will continue to do so. The only questions are: What direction will it take? Whose hands will guide it?
What is the responsibility of the intellectual? Is it simply to gather the facts and uncover the lie, or is it the intellectual’s responsibility to lead the way? It is easy enough to predict the end of civilization. It is quite another thing to do something about saving it. With courage and imagination mankind can live to see another day, but not without transforming government into an instrument that serves the common good.
Arthur D. Robbins is the author of “Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained: The True Meaning of Democracy,” referred to by Ralph Nader as “An eye-opening, earth-shaking book . . . a fresh, torrential shower of revealing insights and vibrant lessons . . .” and the soon to be released e-book based on Part II of “Paradise Lost” entitled, “Democracy Denied: The Untold Story.” Visit acropolis-newyork.com to learn more.
An American political commentator says the resurgence of opium trade in Afghanistan is a “direct result of the US invasion” in 2001.
“I think the growth of the opium trade in Afghanistan is a direct result of the US invasion of Afghanistan,” James Petras, retired Bartle Prof. of sociology at Binghamton University, told Press TV in an interview on Tuesday.
According to US federal auditors, Afghanistan’s opium industry is booming despite $7.6 billion spent in US counternarcotics efforts since 2002.
The most recent report was released on Tuesday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).
SIGAR said the net land area used for poppy cultivation in 2013 was more than 500,000 acres, a 36 percent jump from the previous year and a historic record.
The United Nations said that the majority of the cultivation happened in Helmand and Kandahar provinces that were the focus of the 33,000-strong American troop surge four years ago.
“The antinarcotics international agencies all noted that during the reign of the Taliban, there were [sic] virtually no poppies being grown,” Petras said. “The Taliban was strictly enforcing the outlawing of the growing of the narcotic plants.”
“Subsequent to the invasion, we have the breakdown of government responsibilities, the imposition of US rule through warlords and selected client regimes which had no authority, no influence over the countryside,” Petras continued.
He noted that the Afghan government under the influence of US presence had no influence on rural areas of the country and bribed tribal leaders by letting them grow narcotics.
“One way they attempted to secure the allegiances of various tribal and rural leaders was by tolerating the growth of opium and other narcotic plants as a way of trying to outlaw the Taliban,” he said.
Petras concluded that the end of the US military occupation in Afghanistan and large scale alternative farming and subsidies could end the “narcotics epidemic” in the country.
Protests on October 22 against intensified police killings, tortuous conditions being inflicted on tens of thousands of incarcerated people, and young people treated like criminals, guilty until proven innocent if they can survive to prove their innocence, will mark 19 years of the annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Continuing defiant protests in Ferguson, MO, in response to the police killing of Michael Brown are part of heightened resistance to police murder all across the country.
Against this backdrop, people in more than 50 cities across the U.S. are planning to take to the streets and act in other ways on Wednesday. The Organization for Black Struggle has called for civil disobedience outside the jail where people arrested in Ferguson have been imprisoned. A march is planned in Ferguson from the site of the murder of Michael Brown to the police station. In NYC, organizers are waging a battle to be allowed to take the October 22 march, and their message that police brutality must STOP into Times Square and before the eyes of the world.
This year the annual protests are part of an October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration which was initiated by Cornel West & Carl Dix. Cornel and Carl were both arrested in Ferguson in October as they participated in and amplified the protests in Ferguson.
The Month of Resistance has garnered the support from notable figures such as Chuck D, who recorded a Pledge of Resistance, and Alice Walker, who wrote a poem “Gather”, dedicated to West and Dix. It has also included protests against attacks on immigrants and deportations, panels and assemblies on High School and College Campuses, and support from the Faith based community where over 30 churches/synagogues have lent their moral influence to speak out against mass incarceration and police brutality.
Carl Dix, speaking in Ferguson, stated:
“October 22 is a day when those who have suffered the devastation of police murder have a platform to speak about this. And when others throughout society are rallied to stand with them in the fight to STOP police murder…Are we going to stand aside while police wantonly murder Black youth, or are we going to act now to put up a big STOP SIGN to the horrors the criminal injustice system enforces on tens of millions of people?”