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
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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?”
Citizens across the globe are feeling the blade of austerity measures and corporate greed as they lose their jobs and their wages are reduced. Families worldwide are under increasing pressure as social services such as education are being eroded. We face an age of economic transformation, where the poor are becoming poorer and the rich are becoming richer. The middle class is shrinking and under increasing attack, too.
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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.
For those who thought it was only nations “far away of which we know nothing” which the Obama, Clinton and Bush regimes, Tony Blair in Britain and his declared “heir” David Cameron destroyed – in the guise of bringing them the now dreaded “freedom, liberation and democracy” – this political cartoon is a wake up call for “We the people” of the United States and it’s United Kingdom lapdog.
Be very afraid. (Felicity Arbuthnot)
The ultimate objective is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America.
The Big Lie becomes the Truth. Realities are turned upside down.
War becomes peace, a worthwhile “humanitarian undertaking”,
Peaceful dissent becomes heresy.
The objective is to create an atmosphere of fear and insecurity, with a view to upholding the New World Order. (Michel Chossudovsky)
Shortly after BP’s oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico began on April 20, 2010, one of the most politically well-connected attorneys in the United States was appointed to administer the $20 billion fund to, in theory, pay compensation to those harmed by BP’s catastrophe.
President Obama and BP’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, agreed that attorney Kenneth Feinberg should head the fund. Feinberg would later be chosen, also by Obama, to oversee the compensation of the top executives of the banks that were bailed out with US tax dollars in the wake of the 2008 financial crisis.
He has, almost needless to say, been accused of being a fox guarding a chicken house.
Feinberg’s firm was paid $1.25 million per month by BP – that we know of (Feinberg refused to disclose the full amount of his compensation and the details of his deal with BP) – to run the so-called Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF).
In essence, BP paid Feinberg $1.25 million a month to limit their liability in the wake of the single largest marine oil disaster in US history.
Outrage against Feinberg escalated enough, that by December 2010, the Center for Justice and Democracy sent a letter to BP CEO Bob Dudley expressing concern over “serious new issues raised about the lack of transparency and potential conflicts of interest related to the administration of the Gulf Coast Claims Facility,” and pointed out the obvious conflict of interest:
Mr. Feinberg, employed by BP, has decided on his own authority that all claims recipients must release all companies who caused this disaster from any and all legal responsibility, no matter how grossly negligent they were. This sweeping release, which assigns victims’ claims to BP, benefits only one actor: BP – the company that happens to pay Mr. Feinberg’s salary.
Countless numbers of people along the Gulf Coast with claims against BP became increasingly enraged in their accusations that Feinberg was little more than a BP shill, and demanded that Feinberg stop claiming he was on their side, and not BP’s.
Shortly thereafter, in January 2011, the federal judge presiding over BP’s oil disaster litigation ruled that Feinberg was not independent of BP and could no longer claim he was, as Feinberg had been promising victims that he was their lawyer and did not answer to BP.
And now he is being sued by people he claimed to have represented against BP.
“In the cases such as BP, Feinberg should be exposed for what he is, the defendant’s attorney protecting them at all costs to the detriment of the claimants,” Maurie Salvesen, who is suing Feinberg’s firm, told Truthout.
The Sham Agency
Salvesen, who has received no compensation from BP despite incurring major financial losses due to the oil disaster, explained that the option to receive compensation through the settlement agreement was not open to him due to “the onerous conditions therein which precluded me receiving any compensation under that agreement. My claim filed with GCCF was ignored and dismissed out of hand save for the ‘go away’ offer.”
The offer which Salvesen references was one the Gulf Coast Claims Facility (GCCF) offered claimants who were in economic distress. If an individual was willing to sign a “release” of all future claims and promised not to sue BP, they would receive a one-time payment of $5,000. For companies, it was $25,000.
“In no way was Feinberg ever fair to anyone save BP.”
“As stated by the District Court, Feinberg was declared to be a representative of BP and could not represent himself to be anything other (i.e. fair and impartial agent to settle claims),” Salvesen said. “No party I know of was ever dealt with fairly by him via the GCCF. This sham agency offered the payouts to any claimant that had a claim that appeared valid with a cursory examination. I was offered such payment. In no way was Feinberg ever fair to anyone save BP.”
New Orleans Attorney Daniel Becnel has been heavily involved in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill class action, which he now considers to be deeply flawed.
The self-proclaimed “King of Torts” has been a representative in several notable class actions including the Tobacco Master Settlement in 1998 that saw tobacco companies pay $365 million to a class of smokers.
The litigation against BP is the largest class action lawsuit in history, with tens of billions of dollars in damages that is supposed to make whole hundreds of thousands of plaintiffs.
Becnel was the attorney who initially filed suit in federal court only eight days after the oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico.
But now Becnel has nothing but criticism for the GCCF and the committee of lawyers that was orchestrated to supposedly make people “whole.”
That committee, the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee (PSC), engineered a settlement that BP accepted in August 2012, which included a $660 million payout for the lawyers, as well as their receiving a percentage of each claim that was paid out.
“In the BP case, they were out to make money,” Becnel said of the PSC. “And not a little bit of money, a lot of money.”
Attorney Brian Donovan with the Donovan Law Group in Tampa, Florida, is representing several clients, including Salvesen, who have filed lawsuits against Feinberg.
“Daniel Becnel is correct,” Donovan told Truthout. “The goal of the PSC has been obvious in the way they have handled the case from the beginning. And just as the PSC was out to make a lot of money from the beginning, the same is true for Kenneth Feinberg.”
Truthout reported on an example of this in the immediate aftermath of the spill.
“In the BP case, they were out to make money. And not a little bit of money, a lot of money.”
Gulf Coast fishermen and others with lost income claims against BP are outraged by an announcement that the $20 billion government-administered claim fund would subtract money they earn by working on the cleanup effort from any future damage claims against BP. The move, according to lawyers in Louisiana working on behalf of Louisiana fishermen and others affected by the BP oil disaster, contradicted an earlier BP statement in which the company promised it would do no such thing.
It was Feinberg who told cleanup workers, vast numbers of whom now have chronic health problems, that the wages earned working on BP’s cleanup would be deducted from their claims against BP.
“We are the only law firm to file suit against Kenneth R. Feinberg, et al. asserting claims for gross negligence, negligence, negligence per se, fraud, fraudulent inducement, promissory estoppel, and unjust enrichment,” Donovan told Truthout.
Donovan’s lawsuit against Feinberg emphasizes what is known as the multi-district litigation (MDL) 2179.
MDLs promote judicial economy by consolidating large numbers of similar cases that are pending in the courts.
Donovan believes MDL 2179, which is comprised of thousands of claims against BP, is a “faux” MDL, and believe it limits BP’s liability, grants excessive compensation to the members of the PSC and grossly fails to compensate the plaintiffs themselves.
On August 10, 2010, the US Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML)formally established MDL 2179. In its transfer order, the JPML states, “Centralization may also facilitate closer coordination with Kenneth Feinberg’s administration of the BP compensation fund.”
The entire compensation system is flawed in favor of BP and Feinberg.
“The JPML made it clear, from the very beginning, that the purpose of centralization was not merely to eliminate duplicative discovery, prevent inconsistent pre-trial rulings, and conserve the resources of the parties, their counsel and the judiciary; and serve the convenience of the parties and witnesses and promote the more just and efficient conduct of the BP oil spill cases,” Donovan told Truthout. “Here, the purpose of centralization was to maximize judicial efficiency via the creation of a ‘faux’ class settlement wrapped in a ‘faux’ MDL.”
According to Donovan, on August 23, 2010, Feinberg’s firm, Feinberg Rozen LLP, doing business as the GCCF, replaced the claims process that BP had established to fulfill its obligations as a responsible party pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA90).
Donovan described the precedent established by the JPML and the MDL 2179 to Truthout.
“A ‘Responsible Party’ under the OPA90 may now enter into a contract with a politically well-connected third party ‘Claims Administrator,’ (i.e. Kenneth R. Feinberg and Feinberg Rozen, LLP),” he said. “This third party ‘Administrator/Straw Person,’ directly and excessively compensated by the party responsible for the oil spill incident, may totally disregard OPA90, operate the claims process of the responsible party as fraudulently and negligently as it desires for the sole purpose of limiting the liability of, and providing closure to, the responsible party, and the third party ‘Administrator/Straw Person’ shall never be held accountable for its tortious acts.”
Hence, he believes the entire compensation system is flawed in favor of BP and Feinberg, whose operation of the GCCF has allowed BP to control, manage and settle its liabilities on highly preferential terms.
Interestingly, the MDL 2179 court has inexplicably refused to permit formal discovery on Feinberg, et al., and the PSC has also refused to conduct formal discovery on Feinberg.
As bad as this is for people seeking compensation from BP, Donovan said, “the collusive nature of MDL 2179 has resulted in America’s loss of faith in the entire federal judicial system.”
John Mavrogiannis owned a marine salvage business in Tarpon Springs, Florida.
“When the spill occurred my business dried up overnight,” he told Truthout.
Initially, he believed Feinberg’s promises that the GCCF was an independent program, and that Feinberg was not beholden to BP.
“This misrepresentation, above all the others, harmed my business and me personally.”
“Mr. Feinberg’s numerous statements of ‘I am not a government official; I am not a BP official’ have been now proven to be an intentional misrepresentation with intent to deceive,” said Mavrogiannis, who has also filed an individual lawsuit against Feinberg.
He believes, rightly, that courts and attorneys have a constitutional responsibility to be trustworthy, and any intentional misrepresentations should thus be considered a form of misconduct, as well as an ethical violation.
“This misrepresentation, above all the others, harmed my business and me personally the most, as all my business decisions immediately after the spill were formed on false promises that he [Feinberg] was looking out for my best interest – when in fact he was attempting to minimize BP’s liability,” Mavrogiannis said of why he decided to sue.
Having believed Feinberg, Mavrogiannis went on with business as usual, investing more money in his business as many of his clients, who also were expecting checks from the GCCF, expected to pay him, but then ultimately could not due to their lack of compensation.
Mavrogiannis explained what happened to him, which was common for people and businesses across the impact zone of BP’s disaster.
“Had Mr. Feinberg kept his word of ‘making us whole’ we could have easily had $250,000 or more in additional revenue for tax year 2010,” he explained. “Instead, he kept the purse strings closed for most claimants which scared everyone from spending which snowballed into a decrease in revenue for most in the industry and region.”
On a personal level, Mavrogiannis has spent all of his savings to live, is suffering physically from having to forego several medical procedures, has put his business up for sale, and his credit is ruined from his inability to pay his bills on time.
“I now see and understand that Feinberg’s actions and words have been carefully crafted to ensure that the claimants’ demise be hastened so that they would be forced to accept a low-ball offer and sign a release as quickly as possible before the truth of the extent of the damage done by the spill became known,” Mavrogiannis said.
BP’s disaster caused such a dramatic collapse of his business, Mavrogiannis was unable to take steps to prevent the total failure that was to come.
“Instead, I believed Feinberg and was buying when I should have been (albeit in vain) trying to sell inventory,” he said. “I feel that it is a travesty that Mr. Feinberg, who is an officer of the courts, should be able to get away with misrepresenting himself and his motives in the way that he did.”
Continuing to Suffer Damages
Donovan believes Feinberg, by making numerous false statements of material fact to plaintiffs, “Breached his legal duty to plaintiffs, failed to exercise reasonable care, and acted with reckless, willful, and wanton disregard for the business and livelihood of plaintiffs in his negligent operation of GCCF’s claim intake, claim review, claim evaluation and claim settlement and payment services.”
He even believes that Feinberg knew, or at least should have known, that his actions, which are commonly referred to as an “expedited EAP denial tactic” as well as a “delay, deny, defend” tactic, “would foreseeably result in the financial ruin of plaintiffs and cause irreversible damage to the economic interests of plaintiffs.”
Thus, “As a direct and proximate result of Feinberg’s conduct, plaintiffs have suffered legal injury and damages, in an amount to be proven at trial, including, but not limited to, loss of profit, loss of business reputation, loss of livelihood, loss of income, and other economic loss,” he added.
“The GCCF denied payment to approximately 61.46 percent of the claimants.”
As far as his firm’s lawsuits against Feinberg, Donovan said that Feinberg retained the law firm Goodwin Procter, LLP of Washington, DC, and the suits have subsequently been transferred into the MDL 2179, or as Donovan puts it, the lawsuits against Feinberg have been “warehoused.”
If one looks at some GCCF statistics, it might be hard to argue against claims that Feinberg essentially acted as a defense attorney for BP, and served the oil giant well in limiting their liability.
GCCF status report data indicates that a total of 574,379 unique claimants filed claims with the GCCF during the period from approximately August 23, 2010, to March 7, 2012, and the GCCF paid 221,358 of these claimants only.
“In sum, the GCCF denied payment to approximately 61.46 percent of the claimants who filed claims,” Donovan said. “The average total amount paid per claimant was a paltry $27,466.47.”
But that’s not the end of the statistics.
“The GCCF forced 84.68 percent of the claimants to sign a ‘Release and Covenant Not to Sue’ in which the claimant agreed not to sue BP and all other potentially liable parties,” Donovan said. “Only 15.31 percent of the claimants were not required to sign a ‘Release and Covenant Not to Sue’ in order to be paid.”
Donovan said that Feinberg’s “Release and Covenant Not to Sue” thus excluded approximately 200,000 BP oil disaster victims from the MDL 2179 settlement agreement.
He feels that nothing short of a complete overhaul of the current system by which compensation is being dispensed will suffice.
“At this point, Judge Barbier would have to admit he made a mistake by hearing the case under admiralty or maritime law rather than under the OPA,” Donovan said. “Alternatively, starting from scratch, which will never happen at this late date, would require that the JPML replace Barbier with a three-judge panel, replace all members of the MDL 2179 PSC, replace the ‘fund administrator’ and supporting accounting firms, and have all BP oil spill victims refile under OPA guidelines and not Feinberg’s protocols.”
Saving all of that, Donovan said, “At the very least, the truth about MDL 2179 must be told so the plaintiffs in future MDLs are offered settlements which are fair, reasonable and adequate, and which have been entered into without collusion between the parties.”
In the meantime, five years after BP’s disaster began, those suffering physically and financially from it continue to languish, and the disaster is far from over.
Donovan now refers to two kinds of victims left in the wake of BP’s disaster.
“BP oil spill victims and Feinberg victims continue to suffer damages from three separate sources,” he said. “Once from the oil spill, the environmental and economic damages of which have devastated their way of life, then again by being left in financial ruin as a direct result of Feinberg’s tortious acts, and a third time for daring to demand justice, which will consume their time, energy and hopes for years to come if they are held hostage by protracted litigation.”
On June 1, 2010, BP board chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg stated, “[President Obama] is frustrated because he cares about the small people, and we care about the small people. I hear comments sometimes that large oil companies are greedy companies or don’t care, but that is not the case in BP. We care about the small people.”
Feinberg’s firm headed the GCCF from June 16, 2010, until March 8, 2012, and was paid at least $25 million for doing so by BP.
Breaking the silence on Israel’s human rights abuse of Palestinians is the best way to help Palestinian women human rights defenders and peacemakers.
About 10 years ago Doctor Mona El-Farra, one of Palestine’s greatest woman human rights defenders, visited N. Ireland. Dr. Mona lives in the occupied Gaza Strip, and she came to share with us the story of occupied Gaza and its people. Many people in the audience were moved to tears on listening to the painful stories of ongoing collective punishment of war and bombardment by the Israeli military upon the civilian population of Gaza. The majority of Gaza’s Palestinians are children and under 21. Collective punishment of a civilian population breaks the Geneva Conventions and is a war crime. What struck me was Dr. Mona’s comment that ‘every single person in Gaza is completely traumatized by so much violence and war.’
Today this collective punishment by Israeli Government policies goes on. Why has it lasted so long? The Palestinians have been most cruelly punished by Israeli policies of occupation, war and destruction. They say that ‘silence’ is golden, but regarding the plight of Gazans and Palestinians the ‘silence’ of the world, especially concerning their little children, shows a lack of moral and ethical leadership from the international Community. It behoves us to ask, “Why is President Obama not saying: ’70 years of Israeli occupation is enough – it is time for Peace for the Palestinians?’”
I believe that Palestine, as do many people, is a key to peace in the Middle East. Its occupation by Israel is a sore in the body politic of the whole Middle East and affects many people around the world. As long as it remains unresolved there will never be hope for peace for Palestinians, Israelis, or anyone else. But what can be done to turn this painful situation for all concerned around, where is the Hope?
I believe we must look to the Palestinian Women Human Rights Defenders and Peacemakers, and take their lead and guidance as to how best we can support and help them in their painful and dangerous work for Human Rights and Freedom for Palestinians.
As women living in the midst of an Israeli occupation, built on an Apartheid System, Palestinian women know the high cost emotionally/psychologically/physically and financially of the Israeli Military occupation and aggression. Their solutions–working for an end to the repression and occupation, the right to self-determination, and a Palestine built on human rights and international law–deserves the support of fair minded people around the world.
Palestinian women HRD and peacemakers in resisting the injustices being perpetrated upon their people deserve our support and we must each do what we can to break the silence. We can applaud and totally support their ‘spirit of resilience and their nonviolent peaceful civil resistance’. Palestinian women human rights defenders are an example to us all, showing by their lives how human dignity and equality must be won, by replacing fear with courage, hate with love, war with peace, enmity with friendship. Palestinian women know that the Israeli people are not their enemies, but it is the unjust policies of an Israeli government they strenuously and courageous oppose.
Another form of violence faced by Palestinian women is the injustice of patriarchy, within which women’s voices are often silenced not only in Palestine, but in many countries. However, Palestinian women human rights activists know that whilst working for freedom for Palestine. They must also work for individual human rights and freedom for themselves and their children. Freedom includes the civil rights of health care, development, etc. The women of Palestine have a right to freedom of conscience, personal choice, and the right for their choice to be respected both by religious, civic and political authorities, as have all women everywhere. Particularly in the area of health care, it is important to affirm women’s moral autonomy in making healthcare decisions and ensure they will have the means to follow their decisions in their lives.
In spite of so many problems there is hope; and Palestinian Women Human Rights defenders and peacebuilders are the very bearers and channels of the hope and change that is already happening in Palestine. We global women help the Palestinian women human rights defenders by letting them know that we love them, we hear their voices. And knowing that many Palestinians cannot leave their country, we will be their voices and tell their story to the outside world. We know their suffering and we take inspiration from their courageous spirit of nonkilling and nonviolent resistance. We know Palestinian women are great peacemakers simply because they give their lives each day, in service of their families and communities; this is the soul of peacemaking. Palestinian Women Human Rights Defenders are the custodians, carriers and transmitters of the moral and ethical values and standards of what it means to be truly human. How difficult, some would say impossible, to teach the values of love, forgiveness, kindness, nonkilling whilst living in the midst of military occupation, siege and war. In my many visits to Palestine, I have witnessed in abundance all these values lived fully by the women of Palestine, and I have been touched and inspired by their lives.
As the Nobel Women’s Initiative meet in the Netherlands to discuss how to protect Women Human Rights Defenders, I hope we can agree that breaking the Silence on Palestine, and insisting that people have a right to know what governments are doing in their name, is a way in which we all, especially journalists, media, can help. We too can support the Palestinian nonviolent movement and respond to Palestinian civil society when they ask us to support the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions campaign to help end the Israeli military occupation. We can especially pledge to support the ongoing Palestinian and Israeli HR and peace movements for justice believing that genuine diplomacy, dialogue and listening brings us to a new understanding of each other, being the only way to peace.
Let us hope too that the Israeli government will begin to give Leadership for Peace by turning away from occupation, militarism and war, and by opening the door to diplomacy, give hope to the people of Palestine, Israel, the Middle East and the World.
While many pro-nuclear governments regard nuclear power as a clean, low-carbon form of energy, the politicians ignore the carbon footprint of the mines and the consequences for the health of workers. Photo credit: Climate News Network
Uranium mining across the world should cease, nuclear power stations be closed and nuclear weapons be banned, according to a group of scientists, environmentalists and representatives of indigenous peoples.
Three hundred delegates from 20 countries that produce uranium for nuclear power, weapons and medical uses called for an end to all uranium mining in a declaration launched on Earth Day this week at a meeting in Quebec, Canada.
The venue for the World Uranium Symposium was chosen because Quebec state is currently considering whether to continue its moratorium on uranium mining, having already closed down its only nuclear power plant in 2013.
The city of Quebec is also symbolic because this is where Canada, the U.S. and the UK made a cooperation agreement in 1943 that led to the building of the world’s first nuclear weapons. Two of the resulting atomic bombs were used to destroy the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in 1945.
But the symposium was more concerned about the damage that existing uranium mining is doing to the welfare of indigenous peoples, and the “erroneous view” that nuclear power can help solve the problem of climate change.
The declaration applauded the expansion of renewable energy and the significant strides in phasing out nuclear power following the growing awareness that “nuclear power is not a cost-effective, timely, practical or safe response to climate change.”
It called for “a worldwide ban on uranium exploration, mining, milling and processing, as well as the reprocessing of nuclear waste and the irresponsible management of radioactive waste.”
Dr. Eric Notebaert, associate professor of medicine at the University of Montreal, co-president of the Symposium, and member of the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment, said that the symposium delegates all agreed that “the risks to health, safety and the environment represented by the entire nuclear fuel chain—from uranium mines, to power reactors, to nuclear weapons, to radioactive wastes—greatly exceed the potential benefits for society.”
Dr. Juan Carlos Chrigwin, a physician affiliated with McGill University, and president of Physicians for Global Survival, said: “The issuing of this World Declaration on Uranium is the culmination of essential work carried out over many years by international coalitions who, despite geographical and cultural differences, share common objectives and who desire to shape a common vision of a better world.
“Uranium does not provide a viable or sustainable approach for dealing with climate change, nor for providing isotopes for medical use. Today, there are a number of medical and energy alternatives that are cheaper and safer.”
The price of uranium has dropped from $138 a tonne in 2007 to less than $40 a tonne currently as plans to build more nuclear stations have been shelved in several countries.
While the search continues for rich new uranium deposits—particularly by China in Africa and the U.S. in Greenland—it is unlikely to be economically viable to exploit them at current prices.
According to the World Nuclear Association, 52 percent of the world’s production comes from 10 mines in six countries. The largest is in Canada, followed by one in Australia, but the largest single producer is Kazakhstan, which has four mines in the top 10 in the world. In Africa, Niger and Namibia are also big producers.
While many pro-nuclear governments—including the UK’s—regard nuclear power as a clean, low-carbon form of energy, the politicians ignore the carbon footprint of the mines and the consequences for the health of workers.
It is in developing countries that the miners and the local environment tend to suffer most because of open cast mines. For example, large areas of Kazakhstan are too dangerous to inhabit as a result of mountains of uranium tailings and mildly radioactive dust.
The Symposium’s co-president, Dr. Dale Dewar—a physician who is associate professor at the University of Saskatchewan and is co-author of the book, From Hiroshima to Fukushima to You—summed up by saying: “We are calling on national and international leaders to protect our planet and our populations from any further nuclear catastrophes. Anything less would be irresponsible.”
Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé have authored a follow-up to Gaza in Crisis. On Palestine is available now (2015, Penguin). The two professors have also contributed original articles to an edited collection, Voices for Peace, available at www.pipr.co.uk/ebooks.
PIPR: Congratulations on the new book. What inspired you and Dr. Chomsky to write a sequel to Gaza in Crisis?
IP: Professor Chomsky’s views on Palestine are important to all of us who are either activists or scholars on Palestine. Despite the solidarity we all show to the cause and to each other there are as you probably know some outstanding issues debated within the solidarity movement which are, I think, are significant for the future activism for, and scholarship of, the case of Palestine. Some of these issues were discussed in our previous book, Gaza in Crisis, but we felt there was a need for more direct conversation on these issues as we have left out quite a few significant aspects of the issue. Among these issues I can mention a conversation on the past, the present and the future. Questions such as whether Zionism is colonialism, the two versus one state solution, the BDS [Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions] option and the Palestinian Right of Return are debated in a friendly though unyielding manner.
Murdered solidarity activist, Rachel Corrie.
PIPR: The Israeli Supreme Court recently ruled in favour of the IDF’s killing of solidarity activist, Rachel Corrie. Doesn’t this set a dangerous precedent for activists?
IP: It does indeed. Israel views the young people coming from all over the world as a dangerous development as they can see for themselves the atrocities on the ground, report them back home and galvanize other people to join the solidarity movement. The notion that the courts in Israel are the last remaining bastion of civil and human rights is a travesty. Thus future activists, most of whom probably know it, cannot expect any protection from the menace of the army or security forces on the ground.
PIPR: There appears to be a political shift away from Israel, exemplified by UNESCO’s 2011 recognition of Palestine and Britain’s 2014 symbolic recognition. Does this indicate real change?
IP: The change in world public opinion was already there in the beginning of this century. What was missing is a reflection of this change in main stream media and academia. The votes in the various parliaments and the Palestinian achievements in the UN indicate that some of that impulse is moving bottom up; although the real centres of power have not as yet been affected.
Kent Elbit protest.
PIPR: One institution at the centre of power is the arms industry. In more positive news, anti-Israeli drone company activists (the Elbit 9) were acquitted for their rooftop protests against an Elbit subsidiary in the UK. How helpful are these kind of targeted BDS activities?
IP: Very useful. They add to the accumulative affect that proves that not only is the BDS a movement that allows people to show their rejection to the Israeli policies in a very active way, but also that more specific and serious projects that sustain the settler colonialist strategists of Israel.
PIPR: The rise of ISIS and their alleged claims about liberating Palestine have led many to reframe the Israel-Palestine issue as a ‘Clash of Civilizations’, driven by religion, for which there is little evidence in my view; Palestine had always been one of the most secular states in the region. What are your thoughts?
IP: I agree, the struggle in Palestine was and still is one raged between a settler colonialist movement and a native population. The settler colonialist project was secular in its origins and remained so today. The anti-colonialist movement was secular but recently an important part of it subscribes to political Islamic dogmas and ideologies. But the struggle is national and indigenous, not religious. The rise of ISIS is a mixture of American intervention and attempt to crash secular progressive forces, with the despair from secular ideologies in solving the main predicaments of people in the Middle East and a new of despair among Muslim immigrants invited to Europe in the 1960s to be its unskilled workforce and now rejected in the name European purity and racism.
Noam Chomsky and Ilan Pappé are the authors of On Palestine (2015, Penguin), available now. Both scholars have also contributed original essays to Voices for Peace, an edited collection available at www.pipr.co.uk/ebooks .
Health Journalists: The information below should be mandatory viewing for everybody truly interested in the health of our children, which should, presumably, include investigative journalists.
Below is an important link to a video filmed on April 7, 2015 at a Sacramento, California event opposing California bill SB 277 (mandating forced vaccinations and weakening exemptions).
The video starts with a speech by Robert F. Kennedy, Jr and follows with a Q & A for a panel of experts (including California pediatrician Bob Sears , Brian Hooker, MD, and Eric Gladen, the director of “Trace Amounts”, the powerful film about the toxicity of thimerosal-containing vaccines). (This video followed a screening of the documentary.)
Mentioned by Kennedy was the fact that 70% of the advertising income received by many major media outlets (during non-election years, that is) receive advertising income from Big Pharma, thus silencing those media groups and preventing their health reporters from reporting about the massive epidemic of vaccine-induced chronic childhood disorders, which include vaccine-induced autoimmune disorders and other illnesses, only one example of which is autism and the autism spectrum disorders (the others include [SIDS] sudden infant death, ADHD, neurodevelopmental delays, gastrointestinal disorders, seizures, tics, asthma, allergies, arthritis, [even parental bankruptcies and divorces], all of which began escalating since the CDC’s new mandated vaccine schedule was issued in 1989 – and enthusiastically promoted by physicians and their trade organizations (1986 was the year that Reagan signed the Vaccine Exemption Act into law, which exempted Big Pharma from legal liability for vaccine injuries and deaths.)
Mentioned also was the question if the vaccine industry’s executives, etc some day being brought up on charges of crimes against humanity.
A top Iranian commander has lashed out at the Saudi aggression against Yemen, saying Riyadh is on the verge of collapse.
“Today, Saudi Arabia is brazenly and obnoxiously bombarding and massacring a nation, which is seeking the denial of the hegemonic system,” said commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Mohammad Ali Jafari on Monday.
“Today, Al Saud is teetering on the edge of collapse,” the top commander said.
The remarks by the IRGC chief come as Saudi Arabia keeps pounding neighboring Yemen.
He called on Iranian officials to pull no punches in hitting out at Saudi Arabia over its aggression against Yemen, saying, “Now that the attacks have been launched [against Yemen], no considerations should be shown” for Riyadh.
He further called Saudi Arabia a “betrayer,” saying, “Today, Saudi Arabia, the betrayer, is following in the footsteps of Israel and the Zionists.”
Saudi Arabia launched its air campaign against Yemen on March 26 – without a United Nations mandate – in a bid to undermine the Houthi Ansarullah movement and to restore power to the country’s fugitive former President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, a staunch ally of Riyadh.
The air campaign started amid the gains by Yemeni popular committees, backed by Ansarullah Movement, against al-Qaeda.
On April 21, Riyadh announced the end of the first phase of its military operation, which has left over 4,000 people dead or injured so far, but airstrikes have continued with Saudi bombers targeting different areas across the country in a new phase.
London-based GlaxoSmithKline is the product of the 2000 merger of two drug giants: Glaxo—which had its origins in the infant formula business and then jumped to the top ranks of the pharmaceutical industry on the basis of the extraordinarily popular ulcer drug Zantac—and SmithKline Beecham, which was itself the product of a merger of a U.S. and a British drugmaker and had a broader portfolio of drugs, including the competing ulcer medication Tagamet and the ill-fated diabetes drug Avandia.
In recent years, GlaxoSmithKline has become known as the company that pays massive amounts to resolve wide-ranging charges brought by U.S. regulators and prosecutors. These included a $750 million payment relating to the sale of adulterated products from a facility in Puerto Rico and a record $3 billion in connection with charges relating to illegal marketing, suppression of adverse safety research results and overcharging government customers. The company also set a record for the largest tax avoidance settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.
In 1984 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) brought charges under the little used criminal provisions of federal drug laws against what was then known as SmithKline Beckman, alleging that the company failed to warn regulators and the public about potentially lethal side effects associated with its blood pressure medication Selacryn. Several company officials were also charged with misdemeanor offenses. The company later pleaded guilty, and three officials pleaded no contest. The judge in the case ordered SmithKline to give $100,000 to an organization working to prevent child abuse; the officials were each sentenced to five years of probation and 200 hours of community service.
In 2003 regulators in Britain warned that use of GlaxoSmithKline’s antidepressant Seroxat (the UK name for Paxil) by children could increase suicidal thoughts and should not be prescribed for them. The FDA followed with a similar recommendation and subsequently ordered that a “black box warning” be added to the drug’s packaging. In 2004 New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer filed suit against the company, accusing it of suppressing research that reached negative conclusions on the efficacy of Paxil. The case was later settled, with GlaxoSmithKlineagreeing to take the unusual step of disclosing the results of its clinical trials for Paxil and other drugs.
The company later came to regret that agreement. In a review of the data posted by the company on clinical trials involving its diabetes drug Avandia, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic concluded that the medication posed a heightened risk of heart attacks. The New York Timesdiscovered that the FDA had been warned of such risks years earlier. Over the following months and years, more and more information came to light questioning the safety of Avandia, prompting actions such as a move by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to sharply curtain use of the drug.
In 2010 an FDA reviewer issued a scathing critique of the clinical trial GlaxoSmithKline had used to argue for the safety of Avandia, concluding that the company had excluded information about numerous instances in which users experienced severe medical complications. It was thenreported that the company had spent more than a decade covering up research results showing that Avandia performed no better a competing medication.
Also in 2010, an FDA advisory panel recommended that Avandia either be withdrawn from the market or severely restricted in its use. A European panel later did the same. In July 2010 GlaxoSmithKline announced it would take a $2.4 billion charge against earnings to cover legal liabilities related to Avandia. (Six months later, the company took another charge of $3.4 billion.)
In October 2010 GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay a total of $750 million—$150 million in connection with federal False Claims Act charges and $600 million for state claims—to settle civil and criminal complaints that it knowingly sold adulterated drugs produced at a subsidiary’s troubled plant in Puerto Rico. Among the products were Avandia, Paxil and the baby ointment Bactroban.
In 2011 the U.S. law firm Hagens Berman filed suit against GlaxoSmithKline, charging that its predecessor company Smith, Kline and French conducted a trial of Thalidomide in the 1950s and buried evidence of the dangers of the German drug, which ended up causing thousands of horrific cases of deformities in children.
In July 2012 the U.S. Justice Department announced that GlaxoSmithKline would pay $3 billion to settle various criminal and civil charges, among which were allegations that the company withheld crucial safety data on Avandia from the FDA. Those charges accounted for $899 million of the total: $242 million in criminal fines and $657 million in civil payments ($508 million to the federal government and $149 million to states).
The company’s commitment to Avandia paid off in mid-2013, when an FDA advisory panel called for easing restrictions on the drug.
Pricing and False Claim Controversies
In 1996 SmithKline Beecham was one of 15 drug companies that together agreed to pay more than $408 million to settle a class action lawsuit charging them with conspiring to fix prices they charged to thousands of independent pharmacies. In addition to contributing $30 million to the financial settlement, SmithKline agreed to supply the plaintiffs with a quantity of the generic version of its Tagamet ulcer medication worth $20 million.
In 1997, following an investigation dubbed Operation LabScam by federal investigators, SmithKline Beecham Clinical Laboratories agreed to pay $325 million to settle charges that it had overcharged Medicare by billing for millions of laboratory tests that were not medically necessary, were not ordered by a physician or were not performed. At the time, the amount set a record for a healthcare-related civil settlement.
In 2000, after Maine passed a law allowing price controls on prescription drugs, SmithKline Beecham responded by warning it would no longer ship its products to wholesalers in the state.
In 2001 GlaxoSmithKline and other major pharmaceutical companies dropped a lawsuit they had filed to block a plan by the South African government to import relatively inexpensive drugs to deal with the country’s AIDS epidemic.
In 2003 GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $87.6 million to the federal government to resolve charges that it sold its antidepressant Paxil and its allergy spray Flonase to the Medicaid program at inflated prices.
In 2004 GlaxoSmithKline announced that it would pay $175 million to settle a lawsuit brought by drug wholesalers contending that it violated antitrust laws by blocking cheaper generic forms of its Relafen arthritis medication.
In 2005 GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $150 million to resolve federal government allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act through fraudulent pricing and marketing of two anti-nausea drugs sold to the Medicare and Medicaid programs for use primarily by cancer patients. The following year, the company agreed to pay $70 million to settle related suits brought by state governments.
In 2006 GlaxoSmithKline agreed to pay $14 million to settle allegations by state governments that it inflated prices for Paxil by engaging in patent fraud, antitrust violations and frivolous litigation to maintain a monopoly and block generic versions of the medication from entering the market.
The $3 billion settlement GlaxoSmithKline reached with the federal government in 2012 included a payment of $300 million to resolve charges that the company reported false drug prices, allowing it to underpay rebates it owed under the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program and to overcharge certain Public Health Entities. Of the $300 million, $161 million was to go to the federal government, $119 million to the states and $20 million to Public Health Service entities.
In April 2013 the UK Office of Fair Trading charged GlaxoSmithKline with violating competition laws by paying other companies to delay the introduction of generic versions of its antidepressant Seroxat (sold in the U.S. as Paxil).
Marketing and Advertising Controversies
In 1993 the FDA ordered Glaxo to stop making what the agency called false and misleading statements about the effectiveness of the company’s best-selling anti-ulcer drug Zantac.
In 2004 the FDA sent a warning letter to GlaxoSmithKline charging that a TV advertisement for Paxil was false and misleading. That same year, the FDA sent a warning letter to the company alleging that promotional materials for three hepatitis drugs contained false or misleading statements.
In 2008 the FDA sent a warning letter to GlaxoSmithKline alleging that materials the company was sending health practitioners to promote its breast cancer drug Tykerb were misleading because they omitted serious risks.
Among the charges covered by the $3 billion settlement that the U.S. Justice Department reached with GlaxoSmithKline in 2012 were criminal and civil allegations relating to the unlawful marketing of Paxil, the antidepressant Wellbutrin and other drugs for unapproved purposes. That marketing allegedly included kickbacks paid to doctors and other health professionals to get them to prescribe and promote the drugs for those unauthorized uses. Payments also went to people such as radio personality Drew Pinsky, who was paid $275,000 by the company to promote Wellbutrin on his program.
The settlement included $757 million in criminal fines and forfeitures as well as $1.04 billion in connection with the civil charges—$832 million to the federal government and $210 million to state governments. GlaxoSmithKline was also compelled to sign a 122-page Corporate Integrity Agreement with the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that lists numerous measures the company had to adopt to make it more likely to comply with federal laws and regulations.
In July 2013 the Chinese government accused Glaxo of using bribes, kickbacks and other fraudulent methods to increase its drug sales in China. The company was said to have laundered the payments through travel agencies. Glaxo was later fined $500 million in the matter.
Before Glaxo’s infant formula business was sold off in the late 1980s, that operation was the subject of controversy. Like many other formula producers, Glaxo had been accused of violating World Health Organization standards for the marketing of formula in poor countries. Religious and public health advocates had pressured the World Health Organization to adopt guidelines to discourage aggressive marketing of the formula in situations where mothers were often compelled to mix the powder with impure water or dilute the formula to the extent that it became much less nutritional than breast milk.
In 2008 the U.S. Justice Department announced that GlaxoSmithKline and two other companies would pay a $500,000 civil penalty in connection with the release of trichloroethylene (TCE) into the public drinking water system of Scottsdale, Arizona.
In 2003 shareholders in GlaxoSmithKline were the first to make use of a new investor-protection law enacted in Britain that year when they voted to reject a lucrative pay packages proposed for chief executive Jean-Pierre Garnier and other top executives.
In 2006 GlaxoSmithKline said it would pay $3.1 billion to the U.S. Internal Revenue Service to resolve a 17-year dispute over the tax treatment of transactions between the company’s U.S. operation and the parent company. The settlement, the largest in IRS history, focused on the issue of transfer pricing—a method by which transnational corporations artificially reduce their tax liabilities.
In 1999 SmithKline Beecham agreed to pay $19,000 to settle allegations that the company retaliated against an employee who reported to management apparent violations of the anti-discrimination provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) is in the news again making headlines after having to settle another major lawsuit bringing the latest total to over $9.1 billion since 2003. This time, it is due to GSK’s product Pandemrix, which was the swine flu vaccine forced upon the public during the pandemic of 2009 (which is argued by some to have been fake). As the victims are being compensated in the U.K., the same neurological mechanisms that damaged the children in the lawsuit are still potentially at work in the confirmed excitotoxicity that takes place after many vaccine injections.
According to the International Business Times U.K. Edition, each of the victims is “expected to receive £1 million each.” Peter Todd, a lawyer who represented many of the claimants, told the Sunday Times (U.K.):
“There has never been a case like this before. The victims of this vaccine have an incurable and lifelong condition and will require extensive medication.”
Unfortunately for Peter Todd and the countless other victims, there has been cases like this before. Neurological damage from vaccines is not a rare occurrence. In fact, the U.S. government has paid out $3 billion and counting to families of vaccine-injured children. Most of which were due to direct neurological damage or complications arising from such damage.
“In recent years, GlaxoSmithKline has become known as the company that pays massive amounts to resolve wide-ranging charges brought by U.S. regulators and prosecutors.
These included a $750 million payment relating to the sale of adulterated products from a facility in Puerto Rico and a record $3 billion in connection with charges relating to illegal marketing, suppression of adverse safety research results and overcharging government customers. The company also set a record for the largest tax avoidance settlement with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.”
If GlaxoSmithKline wasn’t afforded legal and financial government protection status, they would have went under years ago. However, this corporate zombie still damages populations with little oversight and deep pockets to pay for any legal or ethical challenges that get in the way.
Currently, GlaxoSmithKline, Merck, and other pharmaceutical houses were influential in the attempted passing of California Senate Bill 277 to remove the “parental opposition” that was slowing their product’s revenue stream. What wasn’t disclosed during the senate hearing, or vote following, was that the bill’s author Richard Pan had financial ties to GlaxoSmithKline and Merck.
In a fair legal system, this should immediately disqualify the bill and bring serious moral and ethical challenges to Pan’s legitimacy. Fortunately, due to an onslaught of parents and other citizens, SB277 is currently stalled leaving Richard Pan with lots of explaining and little integrity to fall back on.
Jefferey Jaxen is an independent journalist, writer, and researcher. Focusing on personal empowerment and alternative health, his work reveals a sharp eye to capture the moment in these rapidly changing times. Jaxen is a contributing writer to NaturalSociety.com on a variety of issues. His personal page is located at JeffereyJaxen.com
As the humanitarian crisis in Yemen worsens, the Obama administration seems less concerned about the plight of the desperate Yemeni people than the feelings of the Saudi royals who have spent the last month indiscriminately bombing a nearly defenseless Yemen, using high-tech U.S. jets and bombs to reportedly kill hundreds of civilians and damage its ancient cities.
On Friday, the Obama administration took credit for blocking nine Iranian ships from reaching Yemen with relief supplies, claiming that the ships may have carried weapons that the Yemenis could use in their civil war or to defend against Saudi attacks. President Barack Obama had dispatched a U.S. aircraft carrier fleet to the Yemeni coast to enforce an embargo that has helped the Saudis seal off the country from outside help.
A person closely involved with the Yemen crisis told me that the Iranian ships carried food and medicine, not weapons, but turned back to avoid the risk and humiliation of being boarded by the U.S. Navy. Meanwhile, Yemen, already one of the poorest countries in the Arab world, is facing shortages of basic supplies since the Saudis have cut off normal trade routes into Yemen.
Yet, despite the suffering of Yemen, the U.S. government appears more worried about the sensitivities of Saudi Arabia, one of the richest countries in the region. A Defense Department official, speaking anonymously, told the New York Times that it was “important that the Saudis know that we have an arm around their shoulders.”
President and Mrs. Obama disembark from Air Force One at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh on Jan. 27, 2015, for a state visit to Saudi Arabia. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)
Defense Department officials also acknowledged that they didn’t know what type of cargo was being transported aboard the Iranian ships, the Times reported. Though the Obama administration had touted the possibility that the Iranian ships carried weapons, the decision by Iran to avoid a confrontation may have reflected Tehran’s desire not to worsen relations with the United States and thus disrupt fragile negotiations over international guarantees to ensure that its nuclear program remains peaceful.
But the losers in this military/diplomatic maneuvering appear to be the Yemenis who, in effect, face a Saudi strategy of starving the country into submission with the help of the United States. While U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power built her public image as a “humanitarian interventionist” asserting a “responsibility to protect” vulnerable populations, she has said little about the Saudi role in Yemen’s humanitarian crisis.
In a statement on April 14, at the height of the Saudi bombing campaign, Power made no mention of the Saudi attacks or the hundreds of civilian dead from Saudi bombs supplied by the United States. She instead focused her denunciations on the Houthi rebels and former Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh who have joined forces in a civil war that ousted sitting President Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi, who then fled to Saudi Arabia.
Power primarily blamed the Houthis, who “have intensified their military campaign, bombed Aden, and extended their offensive to Yemen’s south. These actions have caused widespread violence and instability that threaten the security and welfare of the Yemeni people, as well as the region’s security.”
Though the Saudi air force has bombed a number of cities including the ancient port city of Aden, Power ignored those attacks in her statement. But Power was not alone in her solicitousness toward the Saudis. On Friday, Secretary of State John Kerry even endorsed the Saudi bombing of Houthi targets in Yemen.
Who Are the Houthis?
The Houthis adhere to the Zaydi sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam but one that is considered relatively close to Sunni Islam and that peacefully co-existed with Sunni Islam for centuries. But the Houthis have been resisting what they regard as government persecution in recent decades.
As revealed in leaked U.S. government cables and documented by Human Rights Watch, Yemen’s government used U.S. military aid to support an all-out assault against the Houthis in 2009. HRW said Yemeni government forces indiscriminately shelled and bombed civilian areas, causing significant civilian casualties and violating the laws of war. This repression of the Houthis led to an escalation last fall which ended with the Houthi rebels, who allied themselves with army forces loyal to ex-President Saleh, capturing Sanaa and other major cities.
After these victories, in private contacts with American officials, the Houthis indicated their readiness to take the fight to Al-Qaeda’s Yemeni affiliate. However, since the Saudi airstrikes began a month ago, “Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula” has taken advantage of the limitations on Houthi rebel movements by grabbing more territory in the east and overrunning a prison that held a number of Al-Qaeda militants.
The Saudi royals have a complicated relationship with Al-Qaeda including some princes who are viewed as important financiers of the terror group. The Saudis also promote the same extremist interpretation of Sunni Islam, known as Wahhabism. Now, instead of concentrating on the terror threat from Al-Qaeda, the Saudis have sought to portray the Yemeni civil war as a proxy assault in Saudi Arabia’s backyard by Shiite-ruled Iran.
In that propaganda effort, the Saudis have been helped by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who has relied on the powerful Israel Lobby and his own rhetoric to divert the U.S. Congress from a focus on Al-Qaeda and its hyper-brutal spinoff, the Islamic State, to Iran, which both Saudi Arabia and Israel have designated their primary regional enemy.
In his March 3 speech to a joint session of Congress, Netanyahu cited Yemen as one of the Mideast countries that Iran has been “gobbling up.” Many regional experts, however, considered Netanyahu’s assertion ludicrous given the Houthis’ reputation for stubborn independence.
For instance, former CIA official Graham E. Fuller called the notion “that the Houthis represent the cutting edge of Iranian imperialism in Arabia – as trumpeted by the Saudis” a “myth.” He added:
“The Zaydi Shia, including the Houthis, over history have never had a lot to do with Iran. But as internal struggles within Yemen have gone on, some of the Houthis have more recently been happy to take Iranian coin and perhaps some weapons — just as so many others, both Sunni and Shia, are on the Saudi payroll. The Houthis furthermore hate al-Qaeda and hate the Islamic State.”
But the Obama administration remains sensitive to Israeli-Saudi criticism of its efforts to negotiate a peaceful settlement of the Iranian nuclear dispute. So, to demonstrate that the Americans are comforting the Saudi royals with “an arm around their shoulders,” the U.S. government is embracing the Saudi bombardment of a largely defenseless country and is turning back ships carrying relief supplies.
Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com). You also can order Robert Parry’s trilogy on the Bush Family and its connections to various right-wing operatives for only $34. The trilogy includes America’s Stolen Narrative. For details on this offer, click here.
La Isla de Pascua o Rapa Nui (Figura 1), es una Isla remota que se presenta con muchos misterios, con una superficie de 166 kilómetros cuadrados (Figura 2) es un microcosmos de nuestro planeta. Aislada en el sur del Océano Pacífico, como nuestro planeta en el espacio, a 3.700 kilómetros de la costa de Chile y a 2.000 kilómetros de la isla de Pitcairn, la isla habitada más cercana, es convertida en un destino para todos aquellos que temen que la humanidad haya entrado dentro de la sexta extinción y quieren entender cómo los rapanui vivieron este drama debido al agotamiento de los recursos vivos de la isla. La vida entró en agonía en un contexto de competencia hasta el punto de agotarse.
Los habitantes de la isla, en una era de abundancia esculpieron estatuas gigantes o moai que representan a los personajes de sus antepasados y también pueden ser un signo de prosperidad y poder. Rapa Nui sigue atrayendo mucha atención de arqueólogos y visitantes de todo el mundo debido a la presencia de estos moai (900) cortados en la toba volcánica y con un gran peso (entre 14 y 80 toneladas) que fueron transportados desde el volcán Rano Raraku (Figura 5) e instalados, hace cientos de años en plataformas sagradas (ahû) (Figuras 6 y 7) por los habitantes de la isla, mientras que no tenían medios técnicos modernos para hacerlo. Este ingenio o mejor dicho esta hazaña de los habitantes de la isla ha llamado la atención de los científicos durante mucho tiempo. La isla fue el escenario de una época de apogeo seguido por una disminución de la población de la isla. Tuvimos casi la extinción de todos los habitantes.
En este ensayo, se describe el proceso de extinción en Rapa Nui y se examina el deterioro “lento” de las condiciones de la existencia actual de la humanidad. A la pregunta planteada a menudo “¿Está la especie humana en peligro de extinción?” Vamos a tratar de responder a esta pregunta: “Sin embargo, a pesar de su pequeño tamaño, la historia de la Isla de Pascua es una siniestra advertencia para la humanidad ” (eco-action.org).
Figura 1. Localizacion de la Isla de Pascua o Rapanui
Figura 4. Acantilados activos - Ladera de la caldera Rano Kau – Littoral de muy difícil acceso
Fuente: Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
Las primeras cinco extinciones que han afectado a la tierra. Un recordatorio
“90-99% de las especies que han existido en la Tierra se han extinguido. La gran mayoría desapareció en el contexto de un proceso normal de extinción de especies, debido a la duración limitada de la existencia biológica de estas. Este período varía de unos millones de años con los mamíferos y once millones de años en el caso de algunos invertebrados marinos. Además de esta extinción normal de las especies, nuestro planeta ha experimentado muchas extinciones rápidas de la vida: En los últimos 540 millones años (MA), veinte de más o menos intensidad, se han sucedido. La mayoría son causadas por grandes erupciones volcánicas como lo demuestran las trampas (pilas de flujos de lava que forman acantilados en escaleras)”.
“Algunas eran las extinciones en masa, es decir que han llevado a la desaparición de la mayoría de las especies. Sin embargo, cada vez, estas extinciones han permitido la aparición de nuevas formas de vida, cada vez más diversas y florecientes. Por lo tanto, las extinciones masivas juegan un papel clave en la diversificación de las formas de vida “(http://www.notre-planete.info/environnement/biodiversite/extinctions_massives.php).Veamos las mayores extinciones masivas de la biodiversidad que cambiaron para siempre la vida en la Tierra.
1. « La primera extinción masiva se ha producido en el Ordovícico-Silúrico (444 dC). 85% de la vida marina habría muerto. Las causas no están claramente establecidas, pero desde hace décadas, el mismo supuesto habla que una gran glaciación hubiera dado como resultado el descenso de los niveles del mar. De hecho, un equipo de investigadores ha determinado en 2013 que varias glaciaciones han causado la extinción de la vida marina. Otra hipótesis es apoyada por Brian Thomas, astrofísico (Universidad de Washburn): la radiación gamma puede haber llegado a la Tierra ».
2. « La segunda Devónico-Carbonífero (365 dC) (Devónico-Carbonífero) correspondiente a una serie de acontecimientos que han llevado a la pérdida de alrededor del 70% de las especies animales. Una vez más, se trata esencialmente de las especies marinas que han sido afectadas: arrecifes, braquiópodos y organismos bentónicos. Las causas no están claramente establecidas, sino una glaciación importante que pudo convertirse en niveles del mar más bajos ».
3. « La tercera que ocurrió durante el Pérmico-Triásico (252,6 MA) es probablemente la extinción masiva más grave que la Tierra ha conocido. Más de 90% de todas las especies han desaparecido, tanto en la tierra como en los océanos. Esta extinción masiva se ha llevado gradualmente a cabo durante un período de 200.000 años, con una alta mortalidad. Se concentró en 20.000 años. La biosfera fué devastada: Los bosques de coníferas, helechos, anfibios gigantes, escorpiones marinos, trilobites fueron diezmados… … Muchos de los registros sedimentarios y geoquímicos atestiguan una importante perturbación ambiental durante todo el Triásico (los cinco millones años después de la extinción en masa): ciclo del carbono anormal; océanos ácidos, dióxido poco enriquecido en oxígeno de carbono y sulfuros (CNRS, 09/2011) ».
« Durante 20 millones de años, la Tierra permanece casi estéril y tóxica: los océanos están sustancialmente libres de oxígeno como la atmósfera. Algunas especies sobrevivieron con muy pocos reptiles muy resistentes, diapsidos que toman el lugar de terápsidos (reptiles therapsida) y formaron la línea de los dinosaurios famosos. Se tarda 30 millones de años antes de regresar a la biodiversidad comparable a la de antes de la crisis. Si la vida estuvo cerca de la extinción, esta extinción le permite nuevas formas de vida de diversificarse de una manera sin precedentes. Esta crisis marca el fin de la era primaria o paleozoico y mesozoico temprano, o Mesozoica. Dos escenarios se proponen para explicar esta extinción: La caída de un cometa o la proliferación de un microbio metano ».
4. « La cuarta, el Triásico-Jurásico (200 dC) (Triásico-Jurásico), mata a 20% de las especies marinas, la mayoría de diápsidos (reptiles, aves) y los últimos grandes anfibios. En general, la mitad de la biodiversidad en la Tierra desaparece. Sin embargo, esta crisis permite el auge de los dinosaurios para dominar la Tierra. Las causas aún no están claramente identificadas, y varias hipótesis han sido propuestas ».
“Con la desintegración de la Pangea, erupciones volcánicas masivas que duraron por lo menos 600 000 años se llevaron a cabo en la provincia magmática centro-Atlantica. Este período también corresponde a un aumento de los niveles de dióxido de carbono y a una liberación masiva de metano. De hecho, en la Universidad de Utrecht investigadores han descubierto que al menos 12.000 gigatoneladas de carbono (como el metano) se liberan en la atmósfera durante 20 000-40 000 años. Esto habría llevado un calentamiento global (Bits de Ciencia, 07/2011). Por último, entre otras causas posibles se incluye un meteorito».
5. « La quinta, del Cretácico-Terciario (65 dC). En todos los reinos, cerca de seis a ocho de cada diez especies desaparecieron, los grandes saurios como los dinosaurios famosos incluidos. Los insectos y pequeños mamíferos sin embargo fueron resistentes. Casi todo el plancton marino, un eslabón clave en la cadena alimentaria y de los animales, también desapareció. Parece que no hay animales de más de 20 a 25 kg de masa ha sobrevivido a excepción de los cocodrilos. Se han propuesto varias teorías más o menos cuestionables para explicar esta extinción en masa: lluvia de meteoros, el aumento de actividad volcánica, epidemia explosiva, la intoxicación por las nuevas plantas que contienen alcaloides, reversión del campo magnético de la Tierra, refrigeración, falta de oxígeno… Hoy Dos escenarios son privilegiados: la caída de un meteorito o un vulcanismo importante (notre-planete.info).
Algunos eventos catastróficos han ocurrido durante las primeras cinco extinciones. Se piensa como probable: El impacto de un meteorito, un importante vulcanismo, la liberación masiva de metano y la glaciación.
II. Lo que ha pasado en Rapa Nui
El proceso de extinción o lenta agonía de una población que se manifestó en muchas ocasiones en la historia humana como un ecocidio se define como la destrucción de los ecosistemas (natural o antropogénico) sistemática y total ¿Qué pasó con los Mayas o Incas? Lo que ha ocurrido en Camboya cuando cayó el Imperio Khmer, desde el noveno hasta el siglo XV? De hecho, muchos imperios (hay 77) se han formado y después descendieron hasta la disolución o desmembramiento (wikipedia.org). Sin embargo, lo que sucedió en la Isla de Pascua parece ser el resultado de una acción deliberada hacia la autodestrucción con la disminución de la capacidad de la isla para sostener la vida de las personas y provocando conflictos muy mortíferos causando la muerte de casi la totalidad de la población. Cuando los primeros europeos llegaron a Rapa Nui no habia más que un centenar de personas en la isla. Así que aquí tenemos dos factores importantes en el proceso de extinción: La pérdida irreversible de los recursos vivos y una sangrienta lucha por los que quedan.
Dos fases pueden distinguirse en el destino de Rapa Nui: El ascenso y la caída: “La cultura floreció alrededor del año 1200 y comenzó a declinar en el siglo XVI” (pulsoslp.com).
Según la versión más entendida de los acontecimientos y reportada una vez más por Terry Hunt, un pequeño grupo de colonos polinesios (apodados los nómadas del viento) habría llegado a la isla entre los años 800 y 900 dC arribando por la playa de Anakena (6). Su población se habría incrementado lentamente al principio. Luego, alrededor del 1200 dC su número habría crecido rápidamente y en esta obsesión para tallar, los moai han ejercido una creciente presión sobre el medio ambiente. A finales del siglo 17 los Rapanuis hubieran totalmente deforestado la isla provocando la guerra que fue seguida por el hambre y la decadencia cultural (pulsoslp.com).
El apogeo cultural
Restos arqueológicos de Rapa Nui tienen un valor universal único en el mundo. Son testigos del apogeo qué vivieron los isleños. Es por esta razón que Rapa Nui pertenece a la Lista del Patrimonio Mundial. Según la UNESCO, «ofrece el testimonio de un fenómeno cultural único en el mundo. Asentada en esta isla hacia el año 300 d.C., una sociedad de origen polinesio creó, al margen de toda influencia externa, grandiosas formas arquitectónicas y esculturales dotadas de una gran fuerza, imaginación y originalidad. Desde el siglo X al XVI, construyó santuarios y esculpió numerosos ”moai“, gigantescos personajes de piedra que forman un paisaje cultural inigualable y fascinan hoy al mundo entero. » (unesco.org).
Figura 5. Vista del Volcán Rano Raraku – Sitio de la carrera de los moai
Fuente: Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
Según las historias que marcan la llegada de los Polinesios en la Isla por Clive Ponting, los primeros pobladores encontraron allí un entorno con pocos recursos y sobre todo con limitados recursos hídricos. La única agua disponible se encuentra en el interior de cráteres de los tres volcanes extintos de la isla. Lo que es único a Rapa Nui es que la producción agrícola se hizo en los primeros siglos con muy pocos esfuerzos, lo que permitió a los caciques de disfrutar de un montón de tiempo libre, tiempo que podrían dedicar a los rituales y la construcción. Algunas ceremonias se basaron en el culto del pájaro Orongo, donde se encuentran los restos de 47 casas privadas con muchas plataformas y una serie de esculturas de piedra en alto relieve (Figuras 11 y 12). El resultado fue la creación de la sociedad más avanzada de todas las sociedades polinesias y una de las más complejas en el mundo a través de recursos escasos (eco-action.org)
Y Ponting agregó: « Contra todo pronóstico los isleños laboriosamente construyeron durante varios siglos, una de las sociedades más avanzadas de este tipo en el mundo. Durante mil años, han adoptado un estilo de vida de acuerdo con un complejo conjunto de costumbres sociales y religiosas que les permitieron no sólo para sobrevivir, sino para prosperar. Fue en muchos aspectos, un triunfo del ingenio humano y una aparente victoria sobre un entorno difícil. Pero al final el aumento de la población y las ambiciones culturales crecientes de los isleños demostraron ser demasiado grandes para los limitados recursos de la isla. Cuando el medio ambiente fué destruido por la presión demográfica, la sociedad se derrumbó muy rápidamente, lo que incluso llevó a una estado de una casi barbarie » (eco-action.org).
Figura 6. Sector de Tahai. Playa de Anakena
Fuente: Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
Figura 8. Tongariki
Fuente: Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
Figura 8. Moai tallado en basalto del volcán Rano Raraku
Fuente: Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
Figura 9. Moai en la ladera del volcán Rano Raraku
Fuente: Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
Figura 10. Un moai en Tongariki
Fuente: Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
El descenso hacia la extinción y las lecciones para el Planeta Tierra
Según Terry Hunt, en un análisis de la disminución de la población de Rapa Nui, los datos relativos a Jared Diamond, un geógrafo y fisiólogo de la Universidad de California en Los Ángeles, “En el transcurso de algunos siglos”, escribió en 1995 en un artículo para la revista Discover: “La gente de la Isla de Pascua han destruido su bosque, y luego trajeron las plantas y los animales a la extinción, y vieron su sociedad compleja caer en el caos y el canibalismo …” ¿Estamos a punto de seguir su ejemplo? “En su libro « Collapse », publicado en 2005, Diamond describe Rapa Nui como” el mejor ejemplo de una empresa que se ha destruido a sí misma por la sobreexplotación de sus recursos propios. “(americanscientist.org).
Según el mismo autor, Diamond no es el único en percibir lo que sucedió en Rapa Nui. En su libro de la Isla de Pascua, Isla de la Tierra, los autores John R. Flenley de la Universidad de Massey en Nueva Zelanda y Paul G. Bahn expresan su preocupación por lo que la suerte de Rapa Nui significa para el resto de la civilización humana “el apetito de la humanidad no tiene límites, Su egoísmo parece ser genéticamente innato…. Pero en un ecosistema limitado, el egoísmo conduce a aumentar el desequilibrio demográfico y luego a declinar, y en última instancia conduce a la extinción».
Clive Ponting, en su ensayo sobre las lecciones aprendidas de la experiencia de Rapa Nui “el destino de la Isla de Pascua tiene implicaciones más amplias. Al igual que la isla de Pascua el planeta tierra tiene recursos limitados para apoyar a la sociedad humana y sus necesidades. Al igual que los isleños de Pascua, la población humana de la Tierra no es un medio práctico de escape. Cómo el medio ambiente mundial ha dado forma a la historia humana y cómo las personas han dado forma y han cambiado el mundo en el que viven? ¿Acaso han caído las otras sociedades en la misma trampa que los isleños? Durante los últimos dos millones de años, los humanos han logrado conseguir más comida y la extracción de más recursos para apoyar un aumento cada vez mayor de personas y sociedades cada vez más complejas y tecnológicamente avanzadas. Pero han tenido más éxito que los aldeanos en encontrar un modo de vida que no agota fatalmente los recursos disponibles para ellos y para los daños irreversibles del sistema que sostiene la vida “(eco-action.org).
Según Barzin Pakandan, “los habitantes no se atreviron a salir de la isla y decidieron vivir con las consecuencias de tener un mínimo de recursos. También es posible que en esos momentos los isleños sabían que había sobrepoblación. Muy pocos árboles grandes se mantuvieron y fue imposible construir canoas capaces de hacer largas distancias. El hecho es que la población superó los límites de los recursos disponibles e hizo entrar los isleños en la competencia por los recursos y se empeoró aún más la situación “(lse.ac.uk).
Figura 11. Habitación en Orongo
Fuente Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
Figura 12. El motu Kau Kau – El motu Iti – El motu Nui – Islotes de la leyenda del hombre pájaro
Fuente: Jules Dufour (Octubre 2005)
III. Planeta Tierra
La superficie de la tierra está siendo afectada por los desastres, endógenos y exógenos, muchos, destructivos y mortales. Los más espectaculares son emocionantes: Erupciones volcánicas, terremotos, huracanes, tornados, sequías prolongadas, deslizamiento de tierra y explosión de un pozo de petróleo. Estos eventos se producen y afectan en un tiempo limitado sólo en una parte de la superficie de la tierra. Otros desastres, aquellos más insidiosos y menos dramáticos, que afectan a todos los biomas terrestres y marinos: El calentamiento del clima acelerado e incontrolado, la contaminación de las costas y bahías, la disminución de la tasa de fertilidad natural de los suelos, la contaminación de los océanos y mares y la pérdida de biodiversidad.
Se espera que la población mundial seá de 10 mil millones en 2062
La población mundial, el 16 de marzo de 2015, suma el total de 7,301,603,100 habitantes. Su tasa de crecimiento es actualmente de 1.14% por año. Esto corresponde a un aumento de 80 millones de personas por año. En los años 60 la tasa de crecimiento estaba por encima de 2% y alcanzó un máximo de 2,19% en 1963. Hoy en día se divide por dos.
La tasa de crecimiento anual está disminuyendo y debe continuar en esta dirección en los próximos años. Actualmente, se estima que será un 1% menos, respectivamente, y 0,5% en 2020 y 2050. Esto significa que la población mundial seguirá aumentando durante el siglo 21, pero a un ritmo más lento en comparación con las décadas anteriores. La población mundial se ha duplicado en 40 años (1959-1999), desde 3 mil millones hasta 6 mil millones. Ahora se estima que se necesitarán 43 años para que crezca en un 50% hasta alcanzar los 9 mil millones en 2042. Las simulaciones de la ONU indican que la población mundial se estabilizará en poco más de 10 mil millones de personas después de 2062 (worldometers.info).
Los comportamientos de la extinción
El comportamiento general de la sociedad moderna utiliza un flujo continuo de recursos renovables y no renovables. Los primeros, en teoría, pueden estar disponibles hasta el infinito si se asegura la renovación. Los suelos son intensamente cultivados y pierden gradualmente su productividad natural, mientras que pueden regenerarse a través del uso de la rotación de los cultivos. Las poblaciones de peces disminuyen con la práctica de la pesca industrial, pero se pueden estabilizar si se tiene cuidado en respetar su ritmo de crecimiento y renovación. Las talas de arboles son a veces difíciles, pero ellos crecen bien de nuevo cuando el corte es selectivo. Su conquista sin conciencia conduce a una simplificación de los ecosistemas y poco a poco a una pérdida de la biodiversidad y por lo tanto, una disminución en la productividad de los biomas. En la minería lo mínimo que se requiere es de llevar a cabo la rehabilitación de los sitios abandonados. Muy a menudo este proceso se pospone indefinidamente.
En la extracción de recursos se añaden procesamiento y distribución. Una vez más los comportamientos son dictados por la ideología del crecimiento a cualquier precio, de tal manera que no se toman todas las medidas necesarias para salvaguardar, en particular, el aire y el medio hidrico. Estas actividades tienen muy a menudo un impacto negativo sobre la calidad del medio ambiente.
Ya lo sabemos. Los patrones de consumo de los países ricos ejercen una enorme presión sobre los recursos alimentarios y los recursos de agua dulce. En el primer caso, la demanda de proteína animal requiere la producción intensiva del suelo. En el segundo caso, las necesidades de agua están aumentando, tanto para uso doméstico como para lo industrial y la energía. Estos procesos se encajan dentro de las sociedades de consumo que siempre quieren más y más.
Tomamos aquí las palabras de Richard Werly en Desarrollo y civilizaciones “, al mismo tiempo, se espera que China y Francia, la India y los Estados Unidos los consumidores de todo el mundo estan invitados a consumir más y, si es necesario, a tener préstamos al consumo. La deuda excesiva que llevó a la crisis ahora es defendida como la solución de la crisis. Esta situación no sólo expresa la ceguera de los líderes del mercado y el gobierno, sino que revela los dilemas más fundamentales del capitalismo consumista que parece incapaz de contenerse sin destruirse pero, si mantiene su ritmo de relámpago de hoy en día, no puede sobrevivir “(lebret-irfed.org).
La pérdida de biodiversidad
Según un estudio presentado en 2008 en la novena Conferencia de las Partes en el Convenio sobre la Diversidad Biológica en Bonn, el costo anual de pérdida de biodiversidad a nivel mundial se estima entre 1.350 y 3.100 millones de euros. Además, la tasa de pérdida de biodiversidad actual es 1000 veces la tasa natural conocida desde la historia de la vida en la Tierra (sciencesenviro.com).
Las necesidades crecientes
La mayoría de la población mundial se ve afectada por la angustia, la miseria y la pobreza. Miles de millones de personas en este planeta no pueden satisfacer sus necesidades básicas. Por otra parte, mil millones de ellos padecen de hambre, el hambre endémica, y casi 30 mil de ellos mueren de hambre cada día (Worldometers – Las estadísticas mundiales en tiempo real (worldometers.info) (Figura 12). Esto indica el hecho de que las desigualdades sociales están creciendo. Sabemos que los más ricos (una minoría muy pequeña) tendra casi el 50% de los ingresos globales. Millones de personas trabajan pero siguen siendo pobres. Según el Observatorio de las desigualdades, “caída de la Pobreza A todo el mundo millones de personas (15 millones en los países ricos) aunque todavía viven con menos de 1,25 dólares al día, la línea de pobreza extrema… y un umbral de algo superior a dos dólares fecha, existen cerca de 2,1 millones de personas pobres, un tercio de la población mundial en 2011 … “(inegalites.fr).
El crecimiento económico no significa mejorar las condiciones de vida de la mayoría. En todas partes, tanto en el Norte como el Sur, las desigualdades sociales están creciendo. Los informes oficiales sobre el estado de la economía mundial están mostrando engañoso optimismo. Señalan que la economía crecerá y al mismo tiempo advierten de que será frenada por factores económicos, tales como la aparición de nuevos conflictos armados, desastres o epidemias. Por otra parte, las desigualdades sociales se ven agravadas por las medidas de austeridad en un gran número de países, contribuyendo al enriquecimiento de una minoría que no está afectada, pero hace una lesión importante de los ingresos de los más pobres. La desigualdad de ingresos en los países en desarrollo está aumentando año tras año, especialmente en África (afriqueexpansion.com).
En resumen, la situación general es parte de este panorama de extinción porque terminamos con una humanidad sin recursos para sobrevivir.
La resolución de conflictos a través de la violencia armada. La humanidad está condenada
La carrera mundial armamentista con la cual seguimos viviendo se presenta también dentro del proceso de extinción de la especie humana. Esta es la mayor amenaza para el futuro de la humanidad. La acumulación de considerables cantidades de armas convencionales y nucleares (El SIPRI estimó el número de ojivas nucleares en el mundo en alrededor de 19 000, 4400 funcionan en enero de 2012), el manteniendo del poder de los Estados poseedores de armas nucleares (los Estados Unidos , Rusia, Reino Unido, Francia y China) constantemente en el proceso de renovación y modernización, brazos prósperos del comercio internacional, lideradas principalmente por los Estados Unidos, China, Rusia y Alemania (globalresearch.ca) y el restablecimiento de todos los países donde los conflictos persisten como todos los países de Oriente Medio o amenazados por países de la OTAN como Rusia, Corea del Norte, Irán y Venezuela. Cuando las bombas vienen del espacio exterior, será demasiado tarde para actuar, que está surgiendo en los planes del Pentágono para 2020 (fas.org).
Este retorno a la Isla de Pascua hace reflexionar sobre el destino de la humanidad. Los rapanuis han encontrado en esta isla comida y otros materiales para vivir de manera aparentemente próspera. Ellos fueron capaces de garantizar la renovación de estos recursos durante siglos. La rápida expansión de la población rompió este equilibrio. El aumento de la presión les llevó a la sobre-explotación de estos recursos e incluso a destruirlos. Esta fue la desaparición lenta de esta cultura única y su agonía a causa de los conflictos sangrientos.
¿Está la humanidad en peligro de desaparecer? ¿Son tan deterioradas las condiciones de su existencia que veremos una clara ruptura en el comercio de la economía mundial? ¿Es que la pérdida de biodiversidad causará una fuerte disminución de la producción de los recursos vivos? ¿El agotamiento de los recursos energéticos fósiles causará un conflicto armado generalizado? A principios del Tercer milenio las perspectivas no son tan buenas. Muchos de los síntomas de la mala salud del planeta crean ansiedad en todo el mundo. ¿Habíamos entrado en este proceso de decadencia que ha vivido Rapa Nui o lo que se llama la sexta extinción? Según Anne Larigauderie, director ejecutivo del programa DIVERSITAS internacional – cuya secretaría se encuentra en el Museo Nacional de Historia Natural de París, se le preguntó acerca de esto en la Cumbre de Río + 20, « podemos decir que estamos avanzando hacia una potencialmente sexta extinción, pero que la acción aún se puede tomar (esta es la buena noticia!) para influenciar el curso de los acontecimientos. Por lo tanto, debemos seguir siendo optimistas, pero actuar con rapidez! (sciences.blogs.liberation.fr).
Segun notre-planète tomando las palabras del famoso científico australiano Frank Fenner publicadas en The Australian, la especie humana está en peligro de desaparecer, “Para Fenner, hemos sellado el destino de la humanidad en menos de 100 años, Las sociedades humanas ya no son… “Homo sapiens desaparecerá, tal vez en 100 años”, dijo. “Una gran cantidad de otros animales también. Esta es una situación irreversible. Creo que es demasiado tarde. Trato de no decirlo demasiado porque hay gente tratando de hacer una diferencia. Los esfuerzos de reducción disminuyen un poco las cosas, pero ya hay demasiada gente [en la Tierra] “, añade.” “La explosión de la población y sus corolarios: energía, productivistas y bulimia consumista conducen a la humanidad a su pérdida. Esto, tabú, es, sin embargo cada vez más compartido por algunos científicos y cada vez se menciona, pero sofocado por los escépticos sobre el cambio climático y algunas de las personas religiosas para quienes la reproducción es una recomendación divina dice Frank Fenner ” (notre-planete.info).
Impulsar aún más la genesis de la agonía de la vida debe ser el trabajo de todos. Factores más poderosos, como el “crecimiento a cualquier costo” habilitados por el hiper-consumismo promueven aún más la explotación de los recursos vivos y el deterioro de las condiciones para su renovación. Estos factores deben ser contrarrestados para asegurar la supervivencia de la humanidad.
El concepto de la supervivencia en la tierra significa que los recursos terrestres e hídricos son limitados y que sólo un enfoque que respete la renovación de los ecosistemas podría asegurar la supervivencia de la humanidad. Lo que se debe evitar absolutamente es la pérdida de la biodiversidad. Esto asegura el mantenimiento del equilibrio natural y la renovación de los recursos vivos. Sabiendo que la era industrial y que el consumismo han tenido un impacto considerable en el medio ambiente, la Unión Internacional para la Conservación de la Naturaleza (UICN), junto con el WWF y el PNUMA, lanzaron la estrategia mundial de la Conservación en 1980, y la Estrategia para una Vida Sostenible en 1991. Ambas estrategias y los diversos acuerdos internacionales que siguieron, acompañados de la Carta de la Tierra son los pilares en el centro de los esfuerzos de conservación de los recursos mundiales. A éstos hay que añadir la red mundial de áreas terrestres y marinas protegidas.
Hoy en día, la conquista y el control de las reservas de recursos se hacen por la violencia armada. Los Estados Unidos, por ejemplo, aplican el principio de la “guerra permanente” para garantizar la seguridad del suministro de los recursos estratégicos. Dividieron la superficie de la tierra en seis mandamientos que garantizan sus intereses. Consideran la superficie de la Tierra como un campo de batalla y que la guerra es la mejor manera que se debe utilizar para mantener su hegemonía sobre el conjunto del planeta (Figura 13). Incluso la Antártida está bajo su control. Otras potencias siguen controlando territorios con la misma intención y con el mismo enfoque.
Figura 13. Los seis mandamientos estadounidense que cubren toda la superficie de la tierra
Así que tenemos los dos ingredientes de la extinción como lo hemos observado en la Isla de Pascua: La destrucción de los recursos vivos y los conflictos armados para salvaguardar los recursos estratégicos conocidos. Sólo un gobierno mundial con poderes reales podría actuar sobre estos factores. Por desgracia, las grandes potencias trabajan para que el orden establecido se mantenga.
Para terminar citamos la Carta de la Tierra que establece la situación ambiental global del planeta y ofrece 16 principios para la acción ambiental.
El texto de la Carta está estructurado en torno a 4 principios básicos o angulares, desplegados en 16 principios generales, desarrollados y complementados a su vez en 61 principios de detalle o de apoyo. Todos ellos van precedidos de un Preámbulo, y finalizan con un texto de conclusión (earthcharterinaction.org).
Éstos son los 16 principios generales:
“La protección de la vitalidad, la diversidad y la belleza de la Tierra es un deber sagrado” (Preámbulo de la Carta).
I. Respeto y cuidado de la vida
1. Respetar la Tierra y la vida en toda su diversidad.
2. Cuidar la comunidad de la vida con entendimiento, compasión y amor.
3. Construir sociedades democráticas que sean justas, participativas, sostenibles y pacíficas.
4. Asegurar que los frutos y la belleza de la Tierra se preserven para las generaciones presentes y futuras.
II. Integridad ecológica
5. Proteger y restaurar la integridad de los sistemas ecológicos de la Tierra, con especial preocupación por la diversidad biológica y los procesos naturales que sustentan la vida.
6. Evitar dañar como el mejor método de protección ambiental y, cuando el conocimiento sea limitado, proceder con precaución.
7. Adoptar patrones de producción, consumo y reproducción que salvaguarden las capacidades regenerativas de la Tierra, los derechos humanos y el bienestar comunitario.
8. Impulsar el estudio de la sostenibilidad ecológica y promover el intercambio abierto y la extensa aplicación del conocimiento adquirido.III. Justicia social y económica
9. Erradicar la pobreza como un imperativo ético, social y ambiental.
10. Asegurar que las actividades e instituciones económicas, a todo nivel, promuevan el desarrollo humano de forma equitativa y sostenible,
11. Afirmar la igualdad y equidad de género como prerrequisitos para el desarrollo sostenible y asegurar el acceso universal a la educación, el cuidado de la salud y la oportunidad económica.
12. Defender el derecho de todos, sin discriminación, a un entorno natural y social que apoye la dignidad humana, la salud física y el bienestar espiritual, con especial atención a los derechos de los pueblos indígenas y las minorías.IV. Democracia, no violencia y paz.
13. Fortalecer las instituciones democráticas en todos los niveles y brindar transparencia y rendimiento de cuentas en la gobernabilidad, participación inclusiva en la toma de decisiones y acceso a la justicia.
14. Integrar en la educación formal y en el aprendizaje a lo largo de la vida, las habilidades, el conocimiento y los valores necesarios para un modo de vida sostenible.
15. Tratar a todos los seres vivientes con respeto y consideración.
16. Promover una cultura de tolerancia, no violencia y paz.
La Carta finaliza con estas alentadoras palabras:
Que el nuestro sea un tiempo que se recuerde por el despertar de una nueva reverencia ante la vida; por la firme resolución de alcanzar la sostenibilidad; por el aceleramiento en la lucha por la justicia y la paz; y por la alegre celebración de la vida (wikipedia.org).
Para el Centro de Investigación sobre la Globalización (CRM), Montreal, Canada
Jules Dufour, PhD, C.Q, geógrafo, profesor emérito, Miembro de la Comisión Mundial de Áreas Protegidas de la Unión Internacional de la Naturaleza (UICN), Gland, Suiza, Miembro del Círculo de Embajadores de la Paz Universal, París y Ginebra.
CHAROLA, A. Elena. 1997. Isla de Pascua. El Patrimonio y su Conservacion. World Monument Fund con el Auspicio del Willard and Ruth Sommerville Bequest. 1997. 68 pages.
CHOSSUDOVSKY, Michel. 1998. La mondialisation de la pauvreté. Montréal, Les Éditions écosociété. 248 pages.
CHOSSUDOVSKY, Michel. 2003. Mondialisation de la pauvreté et nouvel ordre mondial. Montréal, Les Éditions écosociété. 383 pages.
CHOSSUDOVSKY, Michel. 2015. Globalization of War : America’s « Long War » against Humanity. Global Research, Montréal, 2015, 240 pages.
CLINE, Eric. H. 2014. 1177 B.C. The Year Civilization Collapsed. Our eBook editions. 264 pages.
COMMISSION CANADIENNE POUR L’UNESCO. 1989. La Déclaration de Vancouver. Actes du colloque de l’Unesco. La science et la culture pour le 21ème siècle : Un programme de survie. Vancouver, Canada, 10-15 septembre 1989. 335 pages.
“It is essential to recognize that Iran does not currently have a nuclear weapons program, nor does it possess a nuclear weapon. On February 26, James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, told the Senate Armed Services Committee that Ayatollah Khomenei, the supreme leader of Iran, ended his country’s nuclear weapons program in 2003 and “as far as we know, he’s not made the decision to go for a nuclear weapon.” This repeats the “high-confidence” judgement of the U.S. Intelligence Community (IC) that was first made in November 2007.”
It always helps to start with the truth, and in Iran’s case, the truth is quite simple. Iran has no nuclear weapons, it has no nuclear weapons program, and it’s never been caught diverting nuclear fuel for other purposes. Iran has pursued nuclear technology for peaceful purposes alone.
These are the facts. They may not jibe with the lies propagated in the western media, but they are the facts all the same. Iran is not guilty of anything. It’s merely a victim of Washington’s power-crazy attempt to control vital resources in the Middle East and enhance Israel’s regional hegemony. That’s what’s really going on. It’s all geopolitics. It has nothing to do with nukes.
Media coverage of the so called nuclear negotiations in Laussanne and now in Vienna has focused maniacally on the number of centrifuges, IAEA monitoring programs, uranium enrichment capability, and myriad other arcane topics that are meant to divert attention from the fact that Iran has no nuclear weapons program and no interest in developing one. By poring over the details of these issues in excruciating detail, the reader is left feeling that Iran must be hiding something and therefore must pose a real threat to US national security. But of course that’s precisely what the authors of these articles hope to achieve, they want to pull the wool over the public’s eyes and get people to believe something that is transparently false.. The fact is, Iran is not doing anything underhanded or illegal. They are merely demanding that their right to enrich uranium for peaceful purposes under the terms of the NPT be respected. Iran will not allow itself to be bullied by the US or treated like a second class citizen. Iran has behaved honorably from the beginning, which is a helluva a lot more than can be said of the US.
The media doesn’t want to discuss the “additional protocols” that Iran accepted in order to build confidence among members on the United Nations, because then people would realize that Iran has gone the extra mile many times in the past only to be slapped with more spurious accusations of noncompliance or foul play. But where’s the evidence of noncompliance or foul play? There isn’t any. It’s all just fear-mongering speculation and vitriolic BS spewed by the dissembling media. There’s not a word of truth to any of it.
The media’s latest scam centers on the term “breakout time”, which refers to the amount of time it would take for Iran to build a nuclear weapon if it was so inclined, which it isn’t.
“Breakout time” is the new propaganda buzzword reiterated thousands of times in the media suggesting that Tehran is just hours away from building an atomic weapon that it will immediately use to annihilate Israel. It’s a ridiculous fairy tale that assumes that–since the US is a rouge-homicidal state that goes around bombing the bejesus out of anything that moves–that other states are bound to behave the same if given half a chance. This is wrong on many levels. First of all, Iran doesn’t want nukes and, secondly, leaders in other countries are not power-mad megalomaniacs whose only joy in life is reducing broad swathes of the planet to smoldering rubble. That behavior is particular to US leaders alone. Others don’t suffer from the same sociopathic disorder.
The nuclear issue has nothing to do Iran’s fictitious nuclear weapons program. That’s just a smokescreen. The real problem is that Iran is a sovereign country with an independent foreign policy. Washington doesn’t like independent nations. Washington likes nations that shut up and do what they’re told. Nations that refuse to take orders are Washington’s enemies, they’re placed on a hit list. And that’s where the sanctions come into play. Sanctions are the way that Washington weakens its enemies before bombing them to kingdom come. They’re the stick the US uses to beat its rivals into submission.
If you’ve been following the news lately, you know that something very strange is going on. The US has done an about-face and changed its policy towards Iran. It’s a shocking development. The US has maintained the same savage policy towards Cuba for 60 years without changing a thing. Whether the policy works or not, has never mattered; what matters is inflicting maximum pain on the people Washington’s doesn’t like. So why the sudden change with Iran? Why is Obama trying to reach an agreement with a country that US elites openly despise?
And, keep in mind, that what Obama’s doing is extremely unpopular with many powerful groups; the congress, the media, Israel and even high ranking officials in his own State Department. Could it be that the powerbrokers who pull Obama’s strings and tell him what to do have suddenly seen the light and want to open a new era of reconciliation and friendship with Iran?
Of course not. No one believes that. The only reason Obama would strike a deal with Iran is because the US wants something in return. And the US does want something in return. The US wants a substitute for Russian gas flowing to the Europe so it can destroy Russia economically and implement its strategic plan to spread US power across Asia so US mega-corporations can maintain their dominant position in the global economy. Obama is playing nice with Iran so he can pivot to Asia as easily as possible.
So how plausible is it for Iran to replace Russian gas in the lucrative EU market?
Check out this clip from an article written in 2014 that anticipated the very scenario we see developing today, that is, the US trying to prevent an integrated EU-Russian free trade zone that would dwarf the US GDP and leave the exceptional nation to face years of precipitous decline. The article is titled “EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas”:
The European Union is quietly increasing the urgency of a plan to import natural gas from Iran, as relations with Tehran thaw, while those with top gas supplier Russia grow colder…
“Iran is far towards the top of our priorities for mid-term measures that will help reduce our reliance on Russian gas supplies,” the source said. “Iran’s gas could come to Europe quite easily and politically there is a clear rapprochement between Tehran and the West.”….
While sanctioned itself, Iran has the world’s second largest gas reserves after Russia and is a potential alternative given talks between Tehran and the West to reach a deal over the Islamic Republic’s disputed nuclear programme.
“High potential for gas production, domestic energy sector reforms that are underway, and ongoing normalization of its relationship with the West make Iran a credible alternative to Russia,” said a paper prepared for the European parliament…
“Given Russia’s current strategy politically, which is one of confrontation with Europe, I see the EU having little choice but to find alternative gas supplies,” he added…
“Iran’s interest to deliver gas to Europe is very big. Parts of Iran’s economical and political elite as well as Western companies are preparing for an end of the sanctions,” said Frank Umbach, energy research director at King’s College in London…
Iran has long lobbied to build a designated pipeline that would connect its huge South Pars gas field with European customers – the so-called Persian Pipeline.
“It’s an extremely ambitious project,” Handjani said. “Even if half of it gets built it would be major accomplishment for both Europe and Iran.”…
Independent feasibility studies show that if sanctions were to be eased and investments started soon, Iran could supply 10-20 billion cubic metres (bcm) of gas a year to Turkey and Europe by the early 2020s.
(EU turns to Iran as alternative to Russian gas, euractiv.com)
This is why Obama wants to ease sanctions; it’s because he needs to find an alternate source of gas for Europe while he prosecutes his war on Russia. Defeating Russia has become Washington’s top strategic priority. The United States is willing to risk everything –even nuclear war– to maintain its stranglehold on global power and to extend its hegemony into the next century.
Just one Nuclear Bomb could destroy the United Kingdom - with or without Trident. Israel has up to 400 such WMD including nuclear-armed SLCMs now submerged under the Mediterrarean.
A vote for Cameron is a vote for the continuance of Israeli aggression and itsthreat to global peace as the world’s only undeclared nuclear weapons state with a stockpile of WMD that is outside the inspection of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) of the United Nations.
Without the threat of Israel’s massive nuclear arsenal, there would be no need for an Iranian nuclear program – it would be unnecessary. The only solution now is a UN-declared Nuclear Weapons Free Zone, (NWFZ) to include both states which will require a formal inspection, by the IAEA, of Israel’s underground nuclear arsenal in the Negev desert, together with its total dismantling under UN supervision. Only then will Europe and the world, breathe easier.
In addition, the British government needs to reinstate the law on ‘universal jurisdiction’ that previously allowed for the prosecution of any foreign citizenalleged to have engaged in crimes against humanity – if arrested on British soil. That law was revoked by a foreign secretary of the Cameron government who unashamedly capitulated to the strident demands of the CFI lobby and Binyamin Netanyahu. An act of political cowardice and appeasement by a British Secretary of State that will not be soon forgotten.
Israel, of course, still refuses to be a party to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to which nearly the entire world is a signatory nor will it submit its huge Dimona nuclear facility to international controls under IAEA jurisdiction.
The cause of this uniquely dangerous policy of so-called ’nuclear ambiguity’ is aclandestine pact between successive U.S. administrations and the powerful Zionist lobby in Washington. This covert arrangement is never discussed in public but has been, and is, instrumental in allowing the State of Israel to exert a military and economic pressure on both the EU and NATO. This pressure now effectively dominates US foreign policy as can be seen from Mr Netanyahu’s unprecedented recent demonstration of Israeli power over the U.S. House of Representatives.
If you want to be a British bulldog that will bite, then vote Labour but if you want Britain to be just a lobby-controlled American lapdog then vote Cameron and watch as Britain becomes increasingly insignificant both within Europe and around the world – economically, militarily, politically and diplomatically.
That would, of course, be a tragedy for the United Kingdom to be subordinated to an American congress paid by, and beholden to, a powerful, non-elected, political lobby acting for a non-European state. A strong labour government would ensure that Britain is not a submissive party to American political lobbyists of any stripe.
The Conservative-Republican scenario is anathema to the long and proud British tradition of a nation state with an unequalled history of independence,justice and freedom of the individual. It’s called democracy – not, as in the United States Republican congress, in which there is an accepted process whereby votes are openly bought with casino-generated cash.
Israel’s ban on the visit of a South African cabinet minister to the occupied West Bank has stirred up a diplomatic row and given a boost to the boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaign.
Shortly before higher education minister Blade Nzimande was due to lead a delegation to visit Birzeit University near Ramallah and discuss academic cooperation with the Palestinian Authority, the Israeli embassy in Pretoria denied him a visa.
“The Israeli government is trying by all means to hide their atrocities against the Palestinian people, and minimize the number of people who can actually see what is happening on the ground,” Nzimande told South Africa’s Independent Media on Thursday.
A spokesperson for South Africa’s Ministry of Higher Education said Israel denied Nzimande a visa because he was “one of the most vocal anti-Israeli government ministers.”
The incident was a “serious diplomatic problem,” the spokesperson added.
In response, Nzimande is urging all South African universities and colleges to cut their ties with Israeli academic institutions, according to Independent Media.
Israel tries “to subvert academic freedom, which cannot be tolerated,” Nzimande added.
Over the past few years, the South African government, the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its partner the South African Communist Party (of which Nzimande is secretary-general) have intensified their pressure on Israel.
The government also decided that products from Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, which are illegal under international law, should be labeled as originating from “Israeli-occupied territories” rather than “Made in Israel.”
Deputy international relations minister Ebrahim Ebrahim has also discouraged South Africans from visiting Israel “because of the treatment and policies of Israel towards the Palestinian people.”
Nzimande’s support for the Palestinian struggle is not rooted only in the common experiences of Black South Africans and Palestinians resisting colonizers. The minister witnessed the impact of the occupation on Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip first hand in 2002, during the second intifada.
“In many respects I felt that Israeli apartheid is worse than South African apartheid,” Nzimande recalled in a public forum last August during Israel’s assault on Gaza that left more than 2,200 Palestinians dead (see video at the top of this post).
Speaking alongside Israeli historian Ilan Pappe and South African anti-apartheid veteranFarid Esack, Nzimande added: “We are outraged as the South African Communist Party and the government in particular at the continuous vicious campaign waged by the State of Israel on the Palestinian people who have clearly been massacred for the crime of demanding the return of their land and self-determination.”
Nzimande also urged that South Africa recall its ambassador from Tel Aviv and expel Israel’s envoy from Pretoria.
Meanwhile, a broad South African coalition for Palestine, uniting political parties, trade unions, solidarity groups, student bodies and faith organizations, continues to advocate for boycott, divestment and sanctions.
The termination of contracts by twenty South African businesses with prison and security profiteer G4S over its role in Israeli prisons and human rights abuses is their latest success.
Nzimande’s call on South African universities to cut their ties with Israeli academic institutions certainly gives the campaign a major boost.
Every once in a while it is good to go back to basics. We have looked at the topic of whether gold even matters several times in the past. Charles Hugh Smith undertook the exercise of “re hypothecation” process last week and can be read here, http://charleshughsmith.blogspot.com/2015/04/the-rehypothecation-of-gold-and-why-it.html. He ends this article with a common sense question that asks “if gold is such a useless relic then why don’t they just charge the public for tours to see the gold in Ft. Knox? What’s the danger?”.
Actor after actor has been paraded forth to tell the public, “gold is a useless and barbaric relic.” We are told daily “it doesn’t pay any interest, it costs money to store it, you can’t eat it and Walmart won’t take it. It’s pretty for jewelry but that’s about it”. I ask the questions, why then do central banks bother to hold gold? Why the secrecy of our own gold holdings? We are told that no audit can or will take place because it would cost too much? Why not sell a few of the “useless bars” to pay for the audit?
The answers of course are all so obvious. Gold is badmouthed because it is the direct competitor of the U.S. dollar. We haven’t had an audit because the numbers would not match up and it would be discovered we do not have the gold we claim(ed) to have. Put simply, the “danger” is the U.S. will be discovered as a fraud, a thief and a liar if an audit took place. This is why we are bombarded daily with negative psyops regarding gold and why for the last couple of years the price suppression has been so openly blatant and fierce. It is ALL about the dollar and the privilege of issuing the reserve currency, namely the U.S. ability to hang on to this privilege.
The above is “U.S. centric”, the view or perception is far different in the rest of the world. China and Russia are openly buying gold for their coffers. They even encourage their citizens to buy gold for themselves. The Indians even smuggle gold into their country while being discouraged by a pro U.S. government. My point is this, the rest of the world knows what gold really is, it is money. I would even say many Western governments understand the game as proven by their requests to repatriate gold from N.Y. vaults, “trust” is waning.
You see, gold is “trust” itself. Gold is not “issued” by any country, the reality is, any country who has gold is seen to have “wealth”. Ask yourself this question, which is more important, whether the U.S. considers gold to be wealth or whether the rest of the world does? I have been asked the question “what if the U.S. decides to outlaw gold and make it illegal to own”? THIS is why you should own some or even the majority of your metal OUTSIDE of the U.S.. The rest of the world clearly views gold as valuable, you would have wealth outside where this wealth could either remain or be brought back in the form of another currency.
It should be clear to you by now that power is moving away from the U.S. ”Trust” is also moving away from the U.S., this is evidenced by the various actions of nations over the last several years, an alternative clearing system to SWIFT, currency hubs, the AIIB and other banking systems… AND their buildup of gold reserves. All of these measures have progressed as the U.S. has lost more and more trust. The world sees the U.S. in a very poor light for what we do and how we act. They no longer see us as a “model citizen” who follows the rule of law and will “call us” on this shortly.
As I have said previously, the “we’ll show you our gold and we demand to see yours” moment is close at hand. What exactly do you think will happen in this event? Can the U.S. get by with “trust us, the gold is there”? Can an audit demanded by the rest of the world be denied? And what if an audit is done and the U.S. turns out to have less than 1,000 tons and a bunch of custodial gold is missing?
Back to the top and the title, does gold really matter? I guess I can answer this with another question, “does trust really matter”? “Trust” matters in everything we do, from daily life to financial affairs. Trade depends entirely on trust and living standards depend on trade. The endgame of the Bretton Woods agreement is upon us because the leader, the U.S., has done so many dirty deals, twisted so many arms and abrogates the rule of law at will.
I believe the defining moment will be when either China formally applies for inclusion into the SDR or, when they outright announce what their gold holdings are. If China does apply for SDR inclusion, as I understand it they will need to provide audited figures for their gold holdings.
They are a very polite and proper people but not the third world fools our press would have you believe. The intelligent move on their part would be to ask for an audit of the others included in the SDR.
By requesting an audit of “all” they would be asking for an audit of Britain and of course the U.S.. They know full well these audits will not add up because they know they have purchased more gold than has been produced, it had to come from “someone’s vault”. In my opinion, this is the most likely way to “politely” expose the issuer of the world’s reserve currency as fraudulently abusing their power. Gold really does matter to the rest of the world which means when all is said and done, it will also matter in the U.S. whether we like it or not!
Hundreds of US combat troops are preparing Kiev’s Nazi-infested National Guard, Azov battalion and likeminded extremist paramilitary groups for escalated aggressive war on Donbass.
Nothing is reported on continuing low-level war on Donbass ahead of resuming it full-blown.
Novorossia Today explained “US-backed Nazi elements are integral to the continued illegal war against the East, and prominently in the future trajectory of the Ukrainian state.”
Ukraine is Obama’s war – using Kiev fascists to do his dirty work, by all available means without mercy.
“…US policy and media propaganda work hand-in-glove to inflame the situation in a country already on fire,” Novorossia explains.
Russia’s Defense Ministry accused Washington of destabilizing conditions in Ukraine more than already by provocatively training Kiev forces for combat – including near Southeastern cities of Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Artyomovsk and Volnovakha.
Russia’a Foreign Ministry issued a similar statement – saying increased bloodshed may follow US combat troops involved in Ukraine, including training and joint drills with Kiev forces.
On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf lied saying:
“It is really hard to get precise information about Russian troop numbers specifically, but we know there is a substantial Russian presence” in Ukraine.
On Wednesday, the State Department turned truth on its head accusing Russia of violating Minsk ceasefire terms by sending troops and weapons to Donbass.
Fact: No evidence suggests Russian Minsk violations – or any Russian military involvement since conflict began last April.
Fact: Repeated claims of “Russian aggression” are Big Lies. None whatever exists – not now, earlier or planned.
Fact: Plenty of evidence shows Washington arming Kiev’s military with heavy weapons and training its forces for escalated war on Donbass – in blatant violation of Minsk.
Poroshenko pronounced Kiev’s military ready for combat. “The lion’s share of military personnel is from the fourth wave of mobilization,” he said.
“Look what a high level was achieved in just two months,” he boasted.
“We are preparing for the defense of our country” – code language for intending resumed full-scale war, at Obama’s discretion.
“On the territory of Ukraine there is now an aggressor, the enemy and we must do everything possible on our end in order to ensure effective defense,” Poroshenko blustered.
“Those who participated in these exercises clearly demonstrated a high level … the Ukrainian army today is one of the most battle-ready,” he added.
He’s planning escalated war without mercy.
How “battle ready” Ukrainian forces are remains to be seen. Donbass freedom fighters routed them last year.
More of the same is likely if full-scale war resumes – unless America gets directly involved, perhaps with air power terror-bombing.
Head of Russia’s General Staff Main Operation Directorate Lt. General Andrey Kartapolov accused America of being the main initiator or all modern conflicts.
Washington and rogue allies attacked other countries aggressively without cause over 50 times in one decade, he said.
US policy intends mainly to marginalize, contain, weaken, and isolate Russia, he stressed.
In January, Putin said US political, economic and military support for Kiev aims to “achiev(e) the geopolitical goals of restraining Russia.”
Ukraine’s army is a US-controlled “NATO legion. We often say: Ukrainian Army, Ukrainian Army. But who is really fighting there?”
“There are, indeed, partially official units of armed forces, but largely there are the (Nazi-infested) so-called ‘volunteer nationalist battalions,’ ” Putin explained.
They don’t serve Ukrainian interests, Putin maintained. They target Russia on orders from Washington.
They comprise “a foreign NATO legion, which, of course, doesn’t pursue the national interests of Ukraine,” Putin stressed.
“Unfortunately official Kiev authorities refuse to follow the path of a peaceful solution. They don’t want to resolve (crisis conditions) using political tools.”
They want war, not peace. Kartapolov accused Washington of sending US combat troops “directly in the combat zone near Mariupol, Severodonetsk, Artyomovsk and Volnovakha.”
“The US appears to be the ultimate instigator of all military conflicts in the world,” he said.
“The Western countries have begun to hold themselves out as ‘architects’ of the international relations system, leaving to the US the role of the world’s only superpower.”
Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama terror-bombed seven countries in six years in office. He has more naked aggression in mind.
The “deplorable results (of US wars) are known all to well,” Kartapolov stressed. They continue endlessly against nonbelligerent nations.
A UN report calls Syria and Iraq “international finishing schools for extremists.” Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan, Libya, Yemen and Somalia follow the same pattern.
Imported terrorists from scores of countries infest these nations. Washington bears full responsibility.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
Why in the world has JP Morgan accumulated more than 55 millionounces of physical silver? Since early 2012, JP Morgan’s stockpile has grown from less than 5 millionounces of physical silver to more than 55 million ounces of physical silver. Clearly, someone over at JP Morgan is convinced that physical silver is a great investment. But in recent times, the price of silver has actually fallen quite a bit. As I write this, it is sitting at the ridiculously low price of $15.66 an ounce. So up to this point, JP Morgan’s investment in silver has definitely not paid off. But it will pay off in a big way if we will soon be entering a time of great financial turmoil.
During a time of crisis, investors tend to flood into physical gold and silver. And as I mentioned just recently, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon recently stated that “there will be another crisis”in a letter to shareholders…
Some things never change — there will be another crisis, and its impact will be felt by the financial market.
The trigger to the next crisis will not be the same as the trigger to the last one – but there will be another crisis. Triggering events could be geopolitical (the 1973 Middle East crisis), a recession where the Fed rapidly increases interest rates (the 1980-1982 recession), a commodities price collapse (oil in the late 1980s), the commercial real estate crisis (in the early 1990s), the Asian crisis (in 1997), so-called “bubbles” (the 2000 Internet bubble and the 2008 mortgage/housing bubble), etc. While the past crises had different roots (you could spend a lot of time arguing the degree to which geopolitical, economic or purely financial factors caused each crisis), they generally had a strong effect across the financial markets
And Dimon is apparently putting his money where his mouth is.
If Dimon believes that another great crisis is coming, then it would make logical sense to stockpile huge amounts of precious metals. And in particular, silver is a tremendous bargain for a variety of reasons. Personally, I like gold, but I absolutely love silver – especially at the price it is at right now.
Over the past few years, JP Morgan has been voraciously buying up physical silver. Nobody has ever seen anything quite like this ever before. In fact, JP Morgan has added more than 8 million ounces of physical silver during the past couple of weeks alone. The following is an extended excerpt from a recent article by Mac Slavo…
According to a detailed report from The Wealth Watchman JP Morgan Chase has been amassing a huge stockpile of physical silver, presumably in anticipation of a major liquidity event.
They’re baaaaack. Yes, “old faithful” is back at it again!
Of course, they never really left silver, and have been rigging it non-stop in the futures market, but for awhile there, there were at least no admissions of newly-stacked silver being made in their Comex warehousing facilities.
Yet, after a 16 month period of “dormancy” within their Comex warehouse vaults, these guys have returned with a vengeance.
In fact, our old buddies at JP Morgan Chase, not only see value in silver here, but they’re currently standing for delivery in their own house account in such strong numbers, that it commands our attention. Let me show you what I mean.
Here’s a breakdown of the Comex’s most recent silver deliveries to JP Morgan:
April 7th: 1,110,000 ounces
April 8th: 1,280,000 ounces
April 9th: 893,037 ounces
April 10th: 1,200,224 ounces
April 14th: 1,073,000 ounces
April 15th: 1,191,275 ounces
April 16th: 1,183,777.295 ounces
This is a huge bout of deliveries in such a short space of time. In fact, within the realm of Comex world, it’s such an exceptionally large amount, that it even creates quite a spike on the long-term chart of JP Morgan’s vault stockpile:
All in all, JP Morgan has added over 8.3 million ounces of additional silver in just the past 2 weeks alone.
Do they know something that the rest of us do not?
Meanwhile, JP Morgan Chase has made another very curious move as well. It is being reported that the bank is “restricting the use of cash” in some markets, and has even gone so far as to “prohibit the storage of cash in safe deposit boxes”…
What is a surprise is how little notice the rollout of Chase’s new policy has received. As of March, Chase began restricting the use of cash in selected markets, including Greater Cleveland. The new policy restricts borrowers from using cash to make payments on credit cards, mortgages, equity lines, and auto loans. Chase even goes as far as to prohibit the storage of cash in its safe deposit boxes . In a letter to its customers dated April 1, 2015 pertaining to its “Updated Safe Deposit Box Lease Agreement,” one of the highlighted items reads: “You agree not to store any cash or coins other than those found to have a collectible value.” Whether or not this pertains to gold and silver coins with no numismatic value is not explained.
What in the world is that all about?
Why is JP Morgan suddenly so negative about cash?
I think that there is a whole lot more going on behind the scenes than we are being told.
JP Morgan Chase is the largest of the six “too big to fail” banks in the United States. The total amount of assets that JP Morgan Chase controls is roughly equal to the GDP of the entire British economy. This is an institution that is immensely powerful and that has very deep ties to the U.S. government.
Could it be possible that JP Morgan Chase is anticipating another great economic crisis?
We are definitely due for one. Just consider the following chart from Zero Hedge. It postulates that our financial system is ready for another “7.5 year itch”…
JP Morgan certainly seems to be preparing for a worst case scenario.
The TTIP and TPPA, both sounding like ominous injections of political disaster, continue their march towards belittling, and corroding the democratic content of its participating countries. The holder of the needle remains US President Barack Obama, while the incentive is that grand fantasy that the more parties cooperate, the merrier will be the international scene when it comes to making money in a “tariff-free world”, a World without borders. Negotiate, in other words, with “like-minded” partners, and your limited leverage becomes far more significant.
In this regard, the US Congress has proven a funny old thing. Having made such a fuss about the issue of any nuclear deal with Iran and its necessary involvement, it has proven less enthusiastic about meddling in the matter of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement, or economic instruments with vast consequence. This is one of the centrepieces of Obama’s policy, central to his “shift” towards the Asia-Pacific and containing the increasing shine of Chinese development.
Nor is the equivalent agreement covering Europe, known as the Transatlantic Trade Investment Partnership, is not proving as big a bother as it should. The GOP members have not been opposed to Obama in one key aspect: that he remains the classic lobbyist on the issue that America’s business has always been business.
Last Thursday saw the Ways and Means Committee pass a bill by 25-13 that would actually accelerate trade deals, effectively curbing Congressional power to amend them. That vision stemmed largely from the work of such figures as Senate Finance Committee Chair Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). Debate in the chamber would be restricted, leading, instead, to mere “yes-or-no votes”. Effects of trade, it seems, is something exclusively reserved to the wisdom of the executive.
The Democrats on the panel expressed considerable disquiet while the GOP Committee chairman Paul Ryan found himself musing about defending the president against his own party’s grumbling. In a far cry from President Woodrow Wilson’s notion of open covenants expressed near the end of the First World War, the Obama administration has shown that it can do secrecy rather well, thank you very much.
This has been replicated in the entire TPPA process. As a sample letter from the TPP’s lead negotiator from New Zealand, Mark Sinclair, reveals,
“all participants agree that the negotiating texts, proposals of each Government, accompanying explanatory material, emails relating to the substance of the negotiations, and other information exchanged in the context of the negotiations is provided and will be held in confidence, unless each participant involved in a communication subsequently agrees to its release.”
The club of confidence is small relative to the influence of the agreement. Only government officials or “persons outside government who participate in the government’s domestic consultation process and who have a need to review or be advised of the information in these governments” can receive the relevant material.
This has provoked a response from Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio).
“As a result of your administration’s decision,” argue Senators Warren and Brown in a letter to the President, “it is currently illegal for the press, experts, advocates, or the general public to review the text of the agreement.”
The President has rebuked some members of his party for the stance, suggesting that there is nothing “secret” about the contents of the document, which will advance a sound labour-rights agenda while also protecting the environment. Members of Congress with security clearance are perfectly entitled to consult it. They just can’t spill the beans to the press or other parties.
The disgruntled senators also note the contributions to the document – one shaped by the involvement of 28 advisory committees, 85 per cent of whose members hail from industry and corporate lobbies. “Before Congress votes to facilitate the adoption of the TPP, the American people should be allowed to see for themselves whether it’s a good deal for them.” The onus here is on the administration to disclose rather than conceal. “The American people should be allowed to weigh in on the facts of the TPP before Members of Congress are asked to voluntarily reduce our ability to amend, shape or block any trade deal.”
A closer look behind the TPPA does not merely show that the authority of Congress is actually being snipped. It shows a global assault on a host of institutions in other countries, whose political representatives have become the middlemen and women of surrendering sovereignty to the unelected boardroom.
Brown and Warren are incorrect on one point. The contents of the TPPA are not entirely “secret”. For those caring to read the draft stages, chapters on intellectual property and the environment have been available on the WikiLeaks site. They show, not merely reservations and concerns about the overreach of the corporate sector, but a diminishing of an assortment of rights in the name of corporate interests. Medicine and the environment come in for a battering.
The largest bone of contention remains the investor-state-dispute settlement provision. This overly generous provision gifts foreign companies the means of suing the US government over lost profits for policies against their market interests. This absurd measure has been seen at work in other countries whose governments have been sufficiently daft to insert such a provision into a trade deal – witness Australia and the issue of plain packaging for cigarettes. The short of it is that there is nothing free at all about such free trade deals. Hobbled democracy is here to stay.
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]
Garry Trudeau, the creator of the Doonesbury comic strip, has come under attack from right-wing editorialists and media pundits for publicly criticizing anti-Muslim cartoons appearing in the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, calling them a form of hate speech.
Trudeau’s brief remarks were delivered at Long Island University April 10, where he received the George Polk Career Award for his more than four decades of work as a cartoonist, in the course of which he has frequently had to battle censorship of his outspoken liberal views. Only three years ago, 50 newspapers refused to carry his strip during a week when he bitingly attacked Republican politicians who oppose abortion rights even in the case of rape or incest.
The central point made by Trudeau is that Charlie Hebdo was engaged, not in satirizing the powerful, but in vilifying the most oppressed section of the French population, Muslim immigrants, who face the highest levels of unemployment, poverty, police harassment and imprisonment.
Trudeau was of course horrified by the bloody massacre in January at the offices of Charlie Hebdo, when an attack by two Islamist gunmen left 12 people dead, include most of the magazine’s senior cartoonists. He contributed to an online tribute to the murdered cartoonists. His refusal to go along with the retrospective glorification of the content of the cartoons, despite the enormous wave of media propaganda that has followed, is an act of intellectual and moral courage.
For that very reason, his statement has been vilified as an attack on the victims of terrorism, in a series of columns by right-wing pundits, including David Frum of The Atlantic, Cathy Young of Reason magazine, and Ross Douthat of the New York Times.
Frum made the most sweeping attack, citing the killings at Charlie Hebdo, the related attack on a kosher bakery in Paris, and a subsequent attack in Copenhagen, Denmark, and declaring, “For this long record of death and destruction—and for many other deaths as well—Garry Trudeau blamed the people who drew and published the offending cartoons.”
The right-wing pundit claims that Trudeau applied “privilege theory” to the Charlie Hebdo massacre, justifying it because the victims were from the white elite, while the gunmen were from the immigrant Muslim underclass. “To fix the blame for the killing on the murdered journalists, rather than the gunmen, Trudeau invoked the underdog status of the latter,” Frum writes.
He goes on to claim that news organizations in the United States that reported on the anti-Islam cartoons in Charlie Hebdo did not reprint them because they were afraid of terrorist attack, drawing the conclusion, “Violence does work.”
Trudeau offered a different explanation for the non-publication of the anti-Muslim cartoons in an interview Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” where he addressed the right-wing attack on his Long Island University remarks. US editors did not reprint the cartoons because they were demeaning and racist, he maintained. If similar cartoons had targeted African-Americans, they would be universally denounced and repudiated.
Douthat and Young both cite Frum’s column approvingly in their own shorter diatribes, echoing his claim that Trudeau had based his remarks on an extreme version of identity politics. These criticisms are baseless slanders, as can be easily demonstrated by looking at what Trudeau actually said. The cartoonist cited the example of the great satirists of the French Enlightenment.
“Traditionally, satire has comforted the afflicted while afflicting the comfortable. Satire punches up, against authority of all kinds, the little guy against the powerful. Great French satirists such as Molière and Daumier always punched up, holding up the self-satisfied and hypocritical to ridicule. Ridiculing the non-privileged is almost never funny—it’s just mean.
“By punching downward, by attacking a powerless, disenfranchised minority with crude, vulgar drawings closer to graffiti than cartoons, Charlie wandered into the realm of hate speech…”
The same issue was raised in a perspective published on the World Socialist Web Site immediately after the attack on Charlie Hebdo. WSWS Chairman David North rejected the claim by British historian Simon Schama that the French magazine was in the tradition of the great satirists of the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries, writing:
Schama places Charlie Hebdo in a tradition to which it does not belong. All the great satirists to whom Schama refers were representatives of a democratic Enlightenment who directed their scorn against the powerful and corrupt defenders of aristocratic privilege. In its relentlessly degrading portrayals of Muslims, Charlie Hebdo has mocked the poor and the powerless.
North explained that the orgy of praise for Charlie Hebdo, summed up in the slogan “I am Charlie,” raised at demonstrations in Paris, was an effort to provide an ideological justification for US and French imperialism:
The killing of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists and editors is being proclaimed an assault on the principles of free speech that are, supposedly, held so dear in Europe and the United States. The attack on Charlie Hebdo is, thus, presented as another outrage by Muslims who cannot tolerate Western “freedoms.” From this the conclusion must be drawn that the “war on terror”—i.e., the imperialist onslaught on the Middle East, Central Asia and North and Central Africa—is an unavoidable necessity.
These efforts are doubly hypocritical, given the onslaught on democratic rights, including freedom of the press, in all the Western countries, especially the United States. The Obama administration has targeted more journalists for surveillance and more whistleblowers for prosecution than any other in US history, singling out those who have played major roles in exposing the crimes of the US government, like Bradley (Chelsea) Manning, Edward Snowden, and Julian Assange.
Trudeau is not an avowed opponent of imperialism, but rather a liberal who apparently supports the Obama administration, albeit with some disappointment. That does not detract from the principled character of his public repudiation of the right-wing efforts to whip up anti-Muslim prejudice.
Betty McCray was recently elected to the office of Mayor in the St. Louis County city of Kinloch. But in spite of the fact that the St. Louis County Board of Elections have certified the election results, the local police turned out by the dozen to block her from entering City Hall and beginning her work as mayor.
Nearly two dozen police officers greeted McCray on her first day of work, as she tried to enter City Hall.
Political opponents met her at the door and wrongly told her that she had been “impeached” before even taking the job. But that’s simply not true.
Mayor McCray has not been impeached and she won the April 7th election. But police were there in what seems to be a small town coup of sorts, enforcing an illegal bar on the newly-elected mayor and preventing her from taking office.
“I won. The people spoke,” McCray explained. “I was sworn in by St. Louis County. Today I take office. I want them out, I want the keys.”
Local Fox 2 reports that “after election results were certified earlier this week by the St. Louis County Board of Elections, Kinloch’s outgoing administration refused to allow the city clerk to give McCray the oath of office, claiming voter fraud.”
But in spite of these claims, there has been no evidence whatsoever to back it up. Kinloch was elected. The St. Louis County Board of Elections certified the results. But the police are enforcing an illegal “coup” of sorts.
“Today is the first day that that the city hall door has been unlocked. They keep it locked,” McCray continued. “You got to beat and you got to bang [to get in]. They have a police officer sitting right at the door.”
As McCray tried again to begin her job at city hall, one officer tried to prevent media from covering the coup, pushing the camera away.
Kinloch city attorney James Robinson claimed that McCray was impeached, but refused to tell the new mayor the articles of impeachment.
“You have been served with articles of impeachment that were put in the mail,” attorney James Robinson wrongly claimed.
If Kinloch had been impeached, the law states that they cannot even hold an impeachment hearing until 30 days after the papers are served. Whether they had been served or not – which they have not – that would mean that McCray could and should be on the job until an impeachment decision.
This is nothing short of a coup! Read the article, watch the video and SPREAD THE WORD!
Thirty-four people were arrested and six police officers were injured over the weekend after thousands marched against police brutality through downtown Baltimore, Maryland. The protest on Saturday was held nearly a week after Freddie Gray, a young African-American man, died from injuries sustained after being beaten by police in west Baltimore.
The protest, called by a coalition of local activist groups, was largely peaceful. It was the largest in a series of demonstrations against police violence that have swept the city since Gray succumbed to his injuries last week.
On Sunday, thousands of people attended a wake for Gray, who will be buried today.
A group of protesters broke away from the main march on Saturday and carried out minor acts of vandalism to storefronts and police vehicles. Police responded by sending helmeted officers to detain protesters and break up the march. Clashes between protesters and police continued throughout the night in parts of west Baltimore, near the area where Gray was beaten and killed.
The number of police flooding the streets over the weekend approached the number of demonstrators. Baltimore Police Chief Anthony W. Batts mobilized over 1,200 cops. He made the ludicrous claim that deploying police across the city would safeguard the protesters’ right of “peaceful expression.”
The rally outside city hall
On Saturday night, a photographer from the Baltimore City Paper was arrested and beaten by police in front of the Western District Police Station. “They mobilized,” photographer J.M. Giordano said of the ordeal as he and a bystander were swept up by heavily armed police. “They just swarmed over me… I got hit. My head hit the ground. They were hitting me, then someone pulled me out,” he said.
Sait Serkan Gurbuz, a photojournalist for Reuters, was arrested by police at the same time.
Freddie Gray was beaten by Baltimore police April 12 after reportedly making eye contact with an officer and then fleeing. Six policemen gave chase and restrained the youth in a position that severely injured his spine. Gray was then tossed into the back of a police van and driven across town, unrestrained by a safety belt, for over half an hour, before being given medical help. The city has refused to release the names of the police officers involved, while suspending each with pay, pending an investigation.
At the protest on Saturday, representatives of local activist groups tied to the Democratic Party took turns making explicit appeals to leading Democratic politicians. Malik Z. Shabazz, head of one of the event’s organizers, Black Lawyers for Justice, appealed to Barack Obama and US Attorney General Eric Holder, and called on Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee for the 2016 presidential election, to come and address her “black Democratic voters” on the march.
Democratic Party officials, however, took the lead in praising the police. “I think they are doing the best they can under the circumstances,” said US Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, adding that the march had been disturbed by a “few people, mainly from out of town.”
The Baltimore Police Department issued a statement declaring, “While the vast majority of arrests reflect local residency, the total number of arrests does not account for every incident of criminal activity,” adding that the department “believes that outside agitators continue to be the instigators behind acts of violence and destruction.”
The claim that so-called disturbances of the peace are the work of “outside agitators” has been used by authorities against protest movements dating back to the civil rights movement of the 1960s. The use of the term by African-American politicians and so-called “civil rights” leaders active within the milieu of the Democratic Party signals that the city’s black political establishment, no less than white officials of a past era, are preparing a wave of repression.
The disconnect between the political line of the organizers and those protesting police violence was clear in discussions held with those at the march. One resident of the west Baltimore district where Freddie Gray was murdered told the World Socialist Web Site that the police were “a gang in blue,” and that any investigation by the federal government into the circumstances of the man’s death would only be a “cover-up.” (See: “Baltimore residents speak out against police killing”).
Another Baltimore resident said, “If you are not totally subservient to them [the police], they will escalate the situation… this is a part of the plan to militarize the country and intimidate the population.”
Last Tuesday, the Justice Department said it would open a federal investigation into Gray’s death, following an open letter from Senators Barbara Mikulski and Ben Cardin, as well as Cummings and two other congressmen, Dutch Ruppersberger and John Sarbanes. The five Democrats suggested that such a move would “restore public confidence in the Baltimore Police Department.”
This follows the trend of other Justice Department investigations into police violence in places such as Ferguson, Missouri; Cleveland, Ohio; Albuquerque, New Mexico and elsewhere that reveal a record of systemic police corruption and brutality but result in no criminal prosecutions or serious action to halt the abuse.
The Obama administration is fully complicit in the reign of police violence in the United States. The Washington Post noted last week that despite its claims of sympathy for the victims of police violence, “at the Supreme Court… [the Obama administration’s] Justice Department has supported police officers every time an excessive-force case has made its way to arguments.”
The administration has set records in its efforts to militarize law enforcement agencies through programs such as the Department of Defense’s 1033 program, which over the past four years has distributed record amounts of military equipment to local police forces.
It was evident early on that the US bombing of alleged ISIS targets inside Syria was, in reality, an attempt to support the terrorist organization backed by NATO and the US as opposed to an attempt to defeat it. While such a suggestion has been repeatedly labeled as a “conspiracy theory” by the mainstream media and other gatekeepers in the “independent” media, the fruits of America’s labor in terms of the bombing campaign cannot be ignored. Likewise, neither can the world ignore the results of Saudi Arabia’s bombing of Yemen.
The truth is that the United States, NATO, and the GCC/Arab League are bombing in couched support of ISIS, increasing its gains and hold on power with every sortie fired. With this fact recognized, the NATO/GCC network of national governments can now officially be labeled as the Air Force of Al-Qaeda.
For instance, while the secular government of Bashar al-Assad remained the only force inside Syria actually fighting al-Qaeda and ISIS – terrorist organizations trained, funded, armed, and deployed by the United States, NATO, and the GCC – the brutality of these death squads was used by the Western propaganda machine to justify a bombing campaign that was actually directed at Syrian military and civilian infrastructure.
Yet while the Western mainstream press has attempted to paint the Iraqi claims of American assistance to ISIS as “conspiracy theories” and the manifestation of jealousy, that same press has been forced to admit that the bombing campaign has resulted in a stronger ISIS presence in Iraq and Syria and that the terrorist group has become stronger in terms of strategic location and military presence.
American jets are pounding Syria. But ISIS is taking key terrain—and putting more and more people under its black banners.
ISIS continues to gain substantial ground in Syria, despite nearly 800 airstrikes in the American-led campaign to break its grip there.
At least one-third of the country’s territory is now under ISIS influence, with recent gains in rural areas that can serve as a conduit to major cities that the so-called Islamic State hopes to eventually claim as part of its caliphate. Meanwhile, the Islamic extremist group does not appear to have suffered any major ground losses since the strikes began. The result is a net ground gain for ISIS, according to information compiled by two groups with on-the-ground sources.
In Syria, ISIS “has not lost any key terrain,” Jennifer Cafarella, a fellow at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for the Study of War who studies the Syrian conflict, explained to The Daily Beast.
Even U.S. military officials privately conceded to The Daily Beast that ISIS has gained ground in some areas, even as the Pentagon claims its seized territory elsewhere, largely around the northern city of Kobani. That’s been the focus of the U.S.-led campaign, and ISIS has not been able to take the town, despite its best efforts.
The report continued by pointing out that the ISIS gains were not only in terms of land mass but also in terms of “control of people,” meaning populated areas and strategic locations. It reads,
“Assessing the map, ISIS has almost doubled its territorial control in Syria. But more importantly, the number of people who now live under ISIS control has also increased substantially,” CDS political adviser Mouaz Moustafa said.
With the fall of that much territory into ISIS hands, Syrians who once lived in ungoverned or rebel held areas are now under ISIS’s grip. Of course, in an irregular war like this one, control of people is far more important than control of territory. In that regard, too, things appear to be going in the wrong direction.
Since the U.S. campaign began in August, “there are little buds of ISIS control in eastern Homs, al Qalamoun [which borders northern Lebanon], and southern Damascus that do appear to be growing because of that freedom of operation that can connect those western cells to key ISIS terrains in Raqqa and Deir ez Zour” in northern and eastern Syria.
While the United States and NATO act as al-Qaeda’s Air Force in Iraq and Syria, Saudi Arabia and the Arab League fulfill the same role in Yemen. In addition to bombing the Houthi rebels in a bid to retain ousted President Hadi in power and to prevent the possibility of greater Iranian influence in the region, the Saudis have also provided direct air support for extremists and al-Qaeda jihadis who are currently on the ground in Yemen, themselves taking control of swaths of territory.
Well, al-Qaeda has been growing in Yemen for a while. But it seems to be accelerating in the midst of this bombing campaign. And it [al Qaeda] is not a focus of the Saudi-led airstrikes right now.
But critics say that actually Saudi’s war is feeding al-Qaeda. One western diplomat says al-Qaeda’s actually growing like a weed right now. And a spokesman for al-Qaeda inside Yemen says they’re really happy with the airstrikes because it’s weakening their enemies, who are the Houthis and the Yemeni army.
In other words, the Saudi airstrikes are enabling al-Qaeda’s influence and territorial gains to spread across the country.
This, of course, should come as no surprise to any informed observer. Saudi Arabia has long been recognized as the largest supporter of terror worldwide, only attempting to slightly veil its support for terrorist organizations like ISIS, al-Qaeda, and Chechen rebels. That support for terror and terrorism comes with the obvious blessing of the United States, Israel, and NATO since that terror is directed at target countries abroad and a dissatisfied but compliant target population at home.
The fact is that al-Qaeda, IS, and the other related terrorist organizations function as the CIA’s Arab legion. They are used to weaken and overthrow governments as well as to act as a constant bogeyman for populations back home so that civil liberties and Constitutional rights will be sacrificed willingly for the perception of security.
If the American people will wise up to this fact, one of the major tools used by the world oligarchy to terrorize the domestic population and the rest of the world will be yanked from their hands.
Canadian-born Khadr was taken to Afghanistan by his father, a senior al Qaeda member who apprenticed the boy to a group of bomb makers who opened fire when U.S. troops came to their compound. Khadr was captured in the firefight, during which he was blinded in one eye and shot twice. (Photo: freeomar.ca)
At long last, a Canadian judge has granted bail to Omar Khadr, who was just 15 years old when he was shot and captured by U.S. forces in Afghanistan in 2002, and who subsequently became the youngest detainee in Guantanamo Bay prison.
According to the Toronto Star, Alberta Justice June Ross released her 23-page verdictFriday, a month after Khadr, now 28, appeared in an Edmonton court appealing for bail while his Guantanamo conviction is being challenged in a Washington, D.C. court.
The Canadian government, which Reutersnotes ”has consistently opposed any effort to free the one-time child soldier,” said it would appeal the decision.
Commenting after the decision, one of Khadr’s attorneys Nathan Whitling said, “Omar is fortunate to be back in Canada where we have real courts and real laws.”
And Maher Arar, a fellow Canadian whose case also galvanized human rights groups worldwide, tweeted of the verdict:
Sent as a teenager from the detention center at Bagram U.S. air base in Afghanistan to Guantanamo Bay naval base in 2002, Khadr has said he was severely mistreated at both facilities.
According to Reuters: “Khadr claims that during at least 142 interrogations in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, he was beaten, chained in painful positions, forced to urinate on himself, terrorized by barking dogs, subjected to flashing lights and sleep deprivation and threatened with rape.”
In 2010, Khadr pleaded guilty to killing an American soldier while he was a young teenager as part of a deal that allowed him to avoid a war crimes trial. He later recanted the admission. The plea agreement also made it possible for him to be moved from Guantanamo to a Canadian prison in 2012.
Upon his transfer to Canada, Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) legal director Baher Azmy said in a statement:
Khadr never should have been brought to Guantanamo. He was a child of fifteen at the time he was captured, and his subsequent detention and prosecution for purported war crimes was unlawful, as was his torture by U.S. officials.
Like several other boys held at Guantanamo, some as young as twelve years old, Khadr lost much of his childhood. Canada should not perpetuate the abuse he endured in one of the world’s most notorious prisons. Instead, Canada should release him immediately and provide him with appropriate counseling, education, and assistance in transitioning to a normal life.
Khadr’s lawyers have said that at his appeal in the United States, “the defense will argue that Khadr is not guilty of a war crime, and only made his admissions under extreme duress,” CBC News reports.
The Canadian Press has a full timeline of Khadr’s legal saga. The conditions of Khadr’s release will be set May 5, 2015.
Nowhere in recent years have the contradictions of imperialism been so clear than in the West’s war against ISIS. Working people are bombarded with messages in the media of the worldwide threat of ISIS, with the aim of the messages to convince working people of the need to sacrifice their civil liberties and democratic freedoms to counter ISIS and to support more military interventions in the Middle East. If Barack Obama, David Cameron, Tony Abbot, and other Western leaders were truly interested in countering the threat of ISIS, perhaps they should follow Stephen Harper’s “strong leadership” by finding the nearest closet to lock themselves in.
The rise of ISIS has its origins in the illegal occupation of Iraq by the U.S., the U.K., and other Western forces in 2003, which caused the deaths of an estimated 5% of the Iraqi population. The Bush and Blair administrations falsely accused the Iraqi regime of harboring weapons of mass destructions, of supporting al-Qaeda, and of having some connection with the 9/11 attacks. What the public wasn’t informed of was that the Bush administration had plans to attack Iraq long before 9/11 . What’s more, the U.S. facilitated the rise of Saddam’s regime, supplied it with weapons of mass destruction in its war against Iran, and unlike Saudi Arabia and other allies of the U.S. in the region, Iraq was a secular state that was violently opposed to the reactionary Islamist ideology of al-Qaeda. The war, if anything, was a boon for al-Qaeda, which was never active in Iraq before the U.S.-led occupation.
In 2011, the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, and other Western imperialist states, along with their allies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar, allied themselves with militant Islamist organizations in Libya and Syria to overthrow the secular governments of Muammar al-Gaddafi and Bashar al-Assad respectively.
Western imperialism invoked the ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P) doctrine to justify NATO airstrikes on Libya, killing thousands of civilians . Libya was the wealthiest and most stable country in Africa, with the continent’s highest standard of living and with universal healthcare and education for all its citizens, but in the aftermath of NATO’s humanitarian intervention, the country fell into a state of collapse as rival tribes and Islamist organizations battled to control the country’s wealth. Militant Islamists captured, brutally tortured, and murdered Gaddafi.
The NATO intervention in Libya directly facilitated the breakaway of the Azawad and the rise of al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) in Mali. Using the “war on terror” ruse the U.S., E.U., Canada, and other imperialist states have been actively supporting the Malian regime in its war against Tuareg autonomy and AQIM, which they earlier supported in Libya along with the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group. Libya was virtually handed to al-Qaeda by NATO.
With their success in Libya, al-Qaeda and other Sunni Islamic militants quickly mobilized to overthrow the secular government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, where the failure of Western imperialism is eerily similar to Afghanistan from the late 1970s to the 1990s and, albeit on a much larger scale, to Libya.
The U.S. policy of supporting hostile Sunni insurgent groups laid the foundation for the rise of ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and nearly every single Sunni extremist group that has appeared in the last 40-50 years. In Afghanistan, to undermine the country’s 1978 socialist revolution and spread instability into Soviet Turkestan, U.S. imperialism with its allies in the Persian Gulf and in Pakistan supported militant Islamist groups that would later form the nucleus of al-Qaeda and the Taliban .
The policy of supporting Sunni insurgent groups was given a further impetus following the 1979 Iranian Revolution, where an anti-U.S., theocratic Shiite regime was established. Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Seymour Hersh wrote in 2007:
“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 cooperated 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.”
The Islamic State was formed in 2006 when al-Qaeda in Iraq merged with other Sunni insurgent organizations. The name was changed to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (or Levant) (ISIS) in April 2013 after a second merger, this time between the Islamic State and al-Qaeda’s affiliate in Syria, the al-Nusra Front.
The U.S., the U.K., Canada, and other imperialist states, through their allies Israel, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar, have been supporting the “moderate” Free Syrian Army (FSA) rebels with hundreds of millions of dollars in weapons as well as setting up training camps and offering free medical treatment to injured fighters. The question that begs to be asked is how ISIS has managed to defeat the FSA despite hundreds of millions of dollars in aid from the West and its allies in the region?
You would have to be an absolute lunatic to believe that Saudi Arabia and the Persian Gulf States, all absolute monarchies run by a small clique of corrupt Arab sheikhs that couldn’t be farther from an acceptable version of democracy, would support a moderate, democratic, and free Syrian organization. Even to the corporate media in the West it is no secret that these allies of the West fund reactionary Islamist organizations whose interests are antithetical to democracy. The Washington Post reported that “Qatar’s cultivation of African Islamists, principally Somalia’s al-Shabab insurgents, has…troubled the United States,”  which is drone bombing Somalia in the name of the “war on terror.” Israel, the region’s “only democracy” we are told, itself supported Hamas to counter the influence of the secular Palestinian Liberation Organization in the 1980s.
These “moderate” FSA fighters that the U.S. and its allies support, if there really was an independent FSA, have en masse joined the ranks of ISIS. Dozens of outlets have detailed this fact. A Lebanese newspaper quoted an FSA commander as saying, “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and al-Nusra,”  and Al-Jazeera reported in 2013 that “hundreds of fighters under the command of the opposition Free Syrian Army (FSA) have reportedly switched allegiance to al-Qaeda-aligned groups.”  The World Net Daily quoted Jordanian officials as saying that the rebels trained by U.S. instructors in Jordan have joined ISIS .
Furthermore there is overwhelming evidence that the U.S. and its allies are both directly and indirectly supporting ISIS. According to a source close to Iraqi intelligence, there is allegedly an ISIS training camp in Turkey that is in the vicinity of Incirlik Air Base near Adana, where American personnel and equipment are located . NATO member Turkey is among the most staunch supporters of the rebels, a fact that an ISIS fighter detailed to the Jerusalem Post: “Turkey paved the way for us. Had Turkey not shown such understanding for us, the Islamic State would not be in its current place.” 
Former Iraqi Prime Minister and current Vice-President Nouri al-Maliki publicly accused U.S. allies Saudi Arabia and Qatar of bankrolling ISIS . Kuwait, in particular, due to its weak financial laws, has become a financial and organizational hub for Syrian rebel groups. The Brooking’s Institute in Washington, D.C. reported “evidence that Kuwaiti donors have backed rebels who have committed atrocities and who are either directly linked to al-Qa’ida or cooperate with its affiliated brigades on the ground.” 
Evidence exists of direct Israeli support for ISIS fighters. United Nations observers in the Golan Heights reported to the United Nations Security Council of direct contact between ISIS and Israel, including Israeli Defense Forces supplying ISIS with unmarked crates and offering medical treatment to wounded fighters  . An Israeli officer spoke out in opposition to the U.S. war against ISIS, claiming that in fighting ISIS the U.S. is strengthening what Israel perceives as the real threat, the Shiite alliance of Hezbollah and Iran .
Finally nearly all of the aid provided to the “moderate” rebels has been captured or sent to ISIS. It wasn’t long after the Washington Post reported that aid from the CIA and the State Department, which included dozens of Toyota pickup trucks, were being delivered to rebels on the Turkish-Syria border that the iconic photo of ISIS militants in a convoy of Toyota pickup trucks invading northern Iraq became public . Less than four months after Obama pledged $500 million in weapons and aid to the FSA rebels, ISIS had acquired the same amount of weapons from the FSA; a Syrian fighter told Al-Quds al-Arabi that much of the aid was sold to unknown parties in Turkey and Iraq . Don’t forget about the repeated “accidental” weapon drops by the U.S. in ISIS-controlled territory! 
The war against ISIS in the Middle East by Western imperialism is a farce. ISIS has and continues to dutifully serve Western and Israeli imperialist interests in the Middle East, causing chaos in formerly staunch anti-imperialist states that had the strength to oppose Israel, and creating a force capable of countering Iranian influence.
The reason ISIS is now a “threat” is that Western imperialism, in failing to topple the Syrian government, requires a new pretext to continue its aggressive military interventions in the Middle East, in particular to weaken Syria and the Shiite leadership of Iraq for an attack on Iran. If defeating ISIS was the real objective, the Western powers would form an alliance with Iran, Syria, and Hezbollah, which have relentlessly battled ISIS on the ground, not with Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Turkey.
Working people need to realize that the real threat to the world isn’t ISIS, Iran, or Syria, it is Western imperialism.
A recent article by Jorge Elbaum, the former executive director of DAIA (Delegation for Argentine Jewish Associations), the principle Argentine Jewish umbrella groups, published in the Buenos Aires daily Pagina 12, provides a detailed account of the damaging links between the State of Israel, US Wall Street speculators and local Argentine Zionists in government and out.
Elbaum describes how their efforts have been specifically directed toward destabilizing the incumbent center-left government of President Cristina Fernandez, while securing exorbitant profits for a Zionist Wall Street speculator, Paul Singer of Elliott Management as well as undermining a joint Iranian-Argentine investigation of the 1994 terrorist bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires.
Elbaum’s article was written in response to the death of Alberto Nisman, a Zionist zealot and chief government prosecutor in the terrorist bombing investigation for over 20 years.
The serious issues raised by the political use and gross manipulation of the horrors of the bombing of the Argentine Jewish Community Center shows how Tel Aviv (and its political assets in Argentina and the US) further Israeli power in the Middle East, in particular, by isolating and demonizing Iran. This is important at two critical levels, which this article seeks to highlight.
First of all, Israeli attempted to sidetrack the Argentine investigation, by involving some of its powerful Wall Street assets and influential pro-Israel lobbies (the Anti-Defamation League, AIPAC among others). Their purpose was to fabricate ‘evidence’ in order to implicate Iran in the crime and to manipulate their influential assets in Argentina, especially in this case, chief prosecutor Nisman and many of the leaders of DAIA, to accuse the Argentine government of complicity in an ‘Iranian cover-up’.
The second issue, raised by Israel’s intervention in Argentina’s investigation into the bombing, has wider and deeper implications: How Israel promotes its foreign policy objectives in various countries by grooming and manipulating local influential Jewish officials and community organizations. This furthers Tel Aviv’s goal of regional hegemony and territorial aggrandizement. In other words, Israeli political reach extends far beyond the Middle East and goes ‘global’, operating without any consideration of the dangers it inflicts on Jews in the ‘target countries’. To this end, Israel has been creating a worldwide network of Jews, which calls into question their loyalty to the polity of their home countries where they have resided for generations.
The nefarious impact, which Israel’s intervention has on the sovereignty of its ‘target countries’, presents a danger to innocent and loyal Jewish citizens who are not acting as agents of Tel Aviv.
For these reasons it is important to critically analyze the specific characteristics of Israel’s dangerous meddling in Argentina.
The Crisis of the Argentine Justice System: Unsolved Terrorist Crimes and Israeli Intervention
After the anti-Sematic bombing of the Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, the Argentine judicial and legal system seriously bungled the investigation, despite collaboration from the US FBI and Israel’s Mossad. Argentina’s then President Carlos Menem was an ardent neo-liberal, unconditional backer of US foreign policy and strong supporter of Israel. His regime was still heavily infested with high-ranking police, military and intelligence officials deeply implicated in the seven-year bloody military dictatorship (1976-83) during which 30,000 Argentine citizens were murdered.
Among the victims of this ‘dirty war’ were hundreds of Argentine Jews, activists, intellectuals and militants who were tortured and murdered to the anti-Sematic taunts of their military and police assassins. During this same horrific ‘pogrom’ of Argentina’s committed Jewish activists, the state of Israel managed to sell tens of millions of dollars in arms to the junta, breaking a US-EU boycott. Notoriously, the conservative leaders of the DAIA and AMIA (Argentine-Israel Mutual Association) failed to defend the lives of Jewish activists and militants. After attending meetings with the junta, many conservative Jewish leaders would dismiss the concerns of the families of the disappeared and tortured Argentine Jews, saying: ‘They must have done something…’
The bungled investigation into the 1994 bombing included the arrest of right-wing police officials who were later released and the mysterious loss of vital forensic evidence. Accusations against various foreign regimes and organizations shifted according to the political needs of the US and Israel: First, the Lebanese group, Hezbollah, Israel’s main military adversary during its bloody occupation of southern Lebanon in 1990’s was touted as the responsible party.
A few years later, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, prior to the Israeli-backed US invasion of Iraq; then the Palestinians were trotted out, followed by Syria’s Baathist intelligence forces. After the total destruction of Iraq by the US ‘coalition’ and the decline of influential Arab states in the Middle East, the Israelis have settled on Iran as the ‘prime suspect’, coinciding with Teheran’s rise of as a regional power – challenging Israeli and US hegemony.
With the 2001 collapse of Argentina’s version of a kleptocratic neo-liberal, pro-US bootlicking regime, and in the midst of a dire economic depression, there was a popular upheaval and the subsequent election of President Kirchner bringing a new center-left government to power.
The new government, defaulting on its murderous foreign debt, oversaw Argentina’s economic recovery and a vast increase in social spending which stabilized capitalism. Kirchner also promoted greater independence in foreign policy and sought to enhance Buenos Aires relations with Israel by re-opening the investigation into the bombing and retaining Alberto Nisman, as chief prosecutor.
Nisman, the Mossad and the US Embassy Connection
In his article, ‘Vultures, Nisman, DAIA: The Money Route’ (Pagina 12, 4/18/15), Jorge Elbaum, points out that chief prosecutor, Alberto Nisman, opened secret bank account in New York. As Elbaum told prominent figures in Argentina’s Jewish community, Nisman’s campaign to discredit the government’s joint investigatory commission with Iran and demonize the Argentine government was financed, at least in part, by New York’s vulture fund head, Paul Singer, who stood to make hundreds of millions in profit.
According to documents, cited by Elbaum, US embassy personnel and leading US Zionist organizations, including the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, led by Mark Dubowitz, as well as Abe Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League, fed Nisman fabricated ‘evidence’ and corrected numerous substantive and grammatical flaws in his report purporting to ‘demonstrate’ Argentine’s cover-up of the Iran’s role in the 1994 bombing. However, forensic and legal experts in Argentina have determined that Nisman’s claims lack any legal basis or credibility.
The entire ‘Operation Nisman’ appears to have been orchestrated by Israel with the goal of isolating Iran via fabricated evidence supposed to ‘prove’ its role in the 1994 bombing. The recruitment of Nisman, as a key Israeli operative, was central to Israel’s strategy of using the DAIA and other Argentine – Jewish organizations to attack the Argentine-Iran memo of understanding regarding the investigation of the bombing. Israel pushed US-Zionist organizations to intensify their intervention into Argentine politics via their networks with Argentine-Jewish organizations.
The vulture-fund speculator, Paul Singer, who had bought defaulted Argentine debt for ‘pennies on the dollar’, was demanding full payment through sympathetic New York courts. He had funded a special speculators’ task force on Argentina joining forces with Israel, US Zionist organizations and Alberto Nisman in order to manipulate Argentina’s investigation and secure a bountiful return. Nisman thus became a ‘key tool’ to Israel’s regional military strategy toward Iran, to New York speculator Singer’s strategy to grab a billion dollar windfall and to the Argentine right wing’s campaign to destabilize the center-left government of Kirschner-Fernandez.
By acting mainly in the interest of Israel and US Zionists, Nisman sacrificed the Argentine-Jewish community’s desire for a serious, truthful investigation into the bombing leading to identification and conviction of the perpetrators. Moreover, Nisman compromisedhimself by being a tool for Israel’s foreign policy against the interest of the Argentine government, which he was sworn to serve, and endangered the status of the Argentine Jewish community among Argentines in general by raising questions about their loyalty to their home country.
Fortunately, Argentina has sophisticated , prominent Jewish leaders who see themselves as Argentine citizens first and foremost, including leaders like Foreign Secretary Hector Timmerman who proposed the joint investigation with Iran as well as the former DAIA Executive Director Jorge Elbaum who has played a major role in denouncing Israel’s intervention in Argentine politics. It is citizens, like Elbaum, who have exposed the Israeli government’s role in recruiting and manipulating local leading Argentine-Jews to serve Tel Aviv’s foreign policy interests.
This is in stark contrast to the United States where no major American-Jewish leader has dared to denounce the role of leading Zionist organizations as Israel’s conduit. Furthermore, unlike Argentina, where a sector of the liberal press (Pagina 12) has published critical accounts of Nisman’s fabrications and Israel’s destabilization campaign, newspapers in the US, like the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post, have continued to present Nisman’s discredited report as a serious investigation by a courageous, ‘martyred’ prosecutor.
The US media continues to portray the entire Argentine judicial system ascorrupt and argue that Nisman’s death must have been a state-orchestrated crime. The US public has never been presented with the fact that the leading critics of Nisman’s report and his own behavior were prominent Argentine Jews and that Argentina’s foreign minister, Hector Timmerman, organized the Argentine-Iran commission.
That Israel was willing to derail any serious the investigation into the 1994 bombing, which killed and maimed scores of Argentine Jews, in order to further its campaign against Iran, demonstrates the extent to which the self-styled ‘Jewish State’ is willing to sacrifice the interests and security of world Jewry to further its narrow military agenda.
Equally egregious is the way in which Tel Aviv recruits overseas Jews to serve Israel’s interests against that of their own countries, turning them into a ‘fifth column’, operating inside and outside of their governments. That Israeli intelligence has been exposed and denounced in the case of Nisman, has not forestalled nor prevented Israel from continuing this long-standing, practice of dangerous meddling. This is especially evident in the ‘Israel-first behavior’ of leading Jewish American organizations and political leaders who have pledged their total allegiance to Netanyahu’s war agenda against Iran an bought the US Congress to scuttle the peace accord.
It merits repetition: Israel’s widespread practice of recruiting Jewish citizens and officials of other countries to serve as vehicles of Israeli policies has the potential to foment a new and possibly violent backlash, once the greater population has been made aware of such treasonous activities. In this regard, Israel does not represent a bastion of security for world Jewry, but a cynical, manipulative and deadly threat. Perhaps that is Israel’s ultimate strategy – create a backlash of generalized anger against overseas Jews and precipitate massive flight to Israel from countries like Argentina, while the few who remain can be better manipulated to serve Tel Aviv.
A few days ago, on April 23, a crowd of several hundred Argentine Jews met to repudiate the arrogant claims of the established leaders of the DAIA and the AMIA that they represent ‘all Argentine Jews”. This overflow crowd in the auditorium of the telephone workers union proposed to create a ‘collective and democratic space, based on links of solidarity over and above commercial connections.’ The Jewish community in the US would be wise to pay close attention to Argentina’s example.
Each morning I walk throughout my quiet neighborhood here in Central Florida noticing more and more homes with giant U.S. flags hanging from the garage tops. Occasionally, if I know the neighbor with the flag, I ask what is the reason he or she keeps it up so long. The answer is alwaysthe same: ” To support our troops in the Middle East and the war on terror.”
It is thus useless to conduct a debate, as most of these folks happen to be senior citizens even older than me, the baby boomer. And, if for some reason the neighbor hanging the sign happens to be a man or woman younger than yours truly, chances are any forthcoming ‘ conversation ‘ will get testy to say the least. Having stood weekly on street corners in my town withanti phony war signs for ten years can attest to that fact. The propaganda sadly does run that deep!
So many Americans really do not have a correct sense of history. When this writer uses Nazi Germany as an example of an ‘ empire on steroids ‘ and compares it to our own, the critics go wild. ” How can you dare compare what the Nazis did to what our country is doing or done? ” Well, let’s take a look back at then and now. Let’s take the GI on the ground first. When Germany began its assault on Europe, many German soldiers, not the true believer Waffen SS, really bought into the skillful propaganda spun by Goebbels and others. The Versailles Diktat, as it was really known by Germans after WW1, did in fact destroy any hope for economic recovery.
Most German leaders and students of history alike agreed that Germany was excessively punished by the victors of WW1, which in fact aided the rise and popularity of parties like the National Socialists AKA Nazis. When Hitler and his gang assumed power, a majority of German citizens including most of the soldiers in uniform believed in whatever lies they were told about their European rivals: Poland, France, England and Russia. So, when the Wehrmacht marched into those countries (except UK), the troops believed in the need for war. As time wore on and the atrocities and cruelties mounted, and victories turned into defeats, the morale level lowered. Now, isn’t that what happened to our own soldiers after we did the dirty deed and invaded and occupied Afghanistan and Iraq? Many returning soldiers, not the true believer right wing types ( American Sniper lovers ) now see the futility of our country’s efforts in the Middle East. Hope springs eternal.
During the reign of the Nazi empire or Third Reich, the average hard working German citizen for the most partloved the economic boom occurring in the 1930s. Who wouldn’t love more jobs, higher wages, food on the table etc? Factor out those who ‘ knew better’ about the brutality of the regime against not only Jews but unions and basically anyone who questioned Hitler and his gang ( duh, like the fact that they outlawed any other political party but their own). What was left was a silent majority ( wonder if Nixon and Agnew got inspiration from that? ) of everyday Germans who reveled in the current better times. They ‘ drank the Kool-Aid’ and hung the Swastika flags from their homes to support their brave troops. Need one say more? Cannot you the reader connect the dots? How many of our fellow Americans really give a **** at what we have and are doing in the Middle East?
Who cares about some rag head child or elderly person blown away by a smart bomb or smart drone missile? If everygood and decent neighbor of mine, the ones who proudly hang those flags, could watch the 2007 You Tube of the Apache helicopter massacre of 19 Iraqi men who were just walking along in the daylight sun ( and of course the two young kids in the parked car who were seriously maimed). If they would listen closely and hear the audio of the soldiers in the copter who did the dirty deed… as if it was some video game! Perhaps then the bridge across the Rubicon would materialize.
Philip A Farruggio is son and grandson of Brooklyn, NYC longshoremen. He is a free lance columnist. Philip works as an environmental products sales rep and has been an activist leader since 2000. In 2010 he became a local spokesperson for the 25% Solution Movement to Save Our Cities by cutting military spending 25%. Philip can be reached at [email protected]
If the millions of regular people who have asked Monsanto to stop selling their toxic chemicals is not enough, more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals are asking that glyphosate be banned.
The doctors are part of FESPROSA, Argentina’s Union of medical professionals. Citing the World Health Organization’s recent declaration that the glyphosate chemicals used in Monsanto’s best-selling herbicide Round Up (formulated to use on Round Up Ready crops) are “likely carcinogenic,” they add an additional disclaimer:
Glyphosate is also associated with:
Where are the American doctors who can tell the WHO, and Monsanto the same thing? Instead of forcing Monsanto’s hand, other doctors have been retaliating against Dr. Oz who recently said that glyphosate was dangerous on world-wide television.
“In our country glyphosate is applied on more than 28 million hectares. Each year, the soil is sprayed with more than 320 million litres, which means that 13 million people are at risk of being affected, according to the Physicians Network of Sprayed Peoples (RMPF). Soy is not the only crop addicted to glyphosate: the herbicide is also used for transgenic maize and other crops. Where glyphosate falls, only GMOs can grow. Everything else dies.”
The doctors also talk about vindicating one of their own:
“Our trade union, the Federation of Health Professionals of Argentina (FESPROSA), which represents more than 30,000 doctors and health professionals in our country, includes the Social Health Collective of Andrés Carrasco. Andrés Carrasco was a researcher at [Argentine government research institute] CONICET, who died a year ago, and showed the damage caused by glyphosate to embryos. For disseminating his research, he was attacked by the industry and the authorities at CONICET. Today, WHO vindicates him.”
With evidence like this – how can any biotech shill talk about genetically modified food being ‘safe’ when the primary chemicals sold to grow them are killing the people of entire countries?
At a recent screening of the powerful new documentary film Trace Amounts, which exposes the scientific connection between mercury in vaccines and autism, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. warned an audience of supportive viewers that vaccines are essentially poison vials causing a “holocaust” in our country.
The nephew of former U.S. president John F. Kennedy, RFK Jr. attended the screening in solidarity with California parents who are fighting to stop Senate Bill 277 from eliminating their freedom as Californians to exempt their children from “mandatory” vaccinations. Speaking to the crowd, Kennedy emphasized the proven dangers of vaccines.
“They can put anything they want in that vaccine and they have no accountability for it,” stated Kennedy about the vaccine industry, which ironically maintains its own exclusive and unconstitutional exemption from legal liability for vaccines that injure and kill children.
Trace Amounts helped kill anti-freedom vaccine exemption elimination bill in Oregon
Both entering and leaving the stage to exuberant standing ovations, Kennedy lauded Trace Amounts for helping persuade lawmakers in Oregon to scrap a bill similar to California’s SB 277 that would have eliminated personal vaccine exemptions in the Beaver State.
He also empathized with parents of vaccine-injured children, who often have no support from the legal system, and sometimes even from their friends and family members, in addressing the damage caused by vaccine quackery.
“They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone,” lamented Kennedy about how vaccine injuries progress. “This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”
Not a single invited politician shows up to Trace Amounts screening
California lawmakers were reportedly also invited to the Trace Amounts screening where Kennedy spoke, with three rows specially cordoned off for their convenient viewing. But according to The Sacramento Bee, not a single lawmaker showed up except for a handful of random staffers. No bother, though, as the film was still shown, and the crowd invigorated to take a unified stand for medical freedom.
89.3 KPCC is now reporting that the proposed legislation SB 277 would unconstitutionally deprive unvaccinated children from receiving an adequate education by preventing them from attending public school. Its supporters, however, are planning to reintroduce it once again in the coming days.
Vaccines are a scam, and the government’s revolving door with the vaccine industry proves it has no business trying to pass anti-exemption laws
As far as the idea of eliminating vaccine exemptions, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize that those trying to push anti-exemption legislation work for or are being paid off by the vaccine industry.
“The former head of the CDC, Julie Gerberding, is now the head of the Merck Vaccine Division,” wrote one commenter at The Sacramento Bee concerning this issue. “The government is having a dirty little affair with the drug industry.”
“They share ownership of patents. They created the unconstitutional ‘Vaccine Court’ that usurps our 7th Amendment and shields drug manufacturers from liability. The phony court has no judge, no jury and no justice for most people. They cherry pick cases to keep liability down and lie about the real number of vaccine injuries, yet they have still paid out about 3 billion dollars for the injuries they will admit to.”
Check out this vaccine debate that aired on PBS Hawaii, in which the show’s producers and hosts failed to mention its sponsorship from Merck, Pfizer and various other vaccine manufacturers:
Scott Scottdale interviews Prof. John McMurtry for Canadian Challenger
John McMurtry is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and his work is published and translated from Latin America to Japan. He is the author and editor of the three-volume Philosophy and World Problems published by UNESCO’s Encyclopedia of Life Support Systems (EOLSS), and his latest book is The Cancer Stage of Capitalism/from Crisis to Cure.
SS/CC: You have said that “the trick of the endless US-led wars in the Middle East is to control both sides so as to ensure against sovereign states able to defend the common interests of their peoples”. Please explain.
JM: Whenever any nation has an independent government with fossil fuel, financial, agricultural or strategic resources not yet subjugated to transnational corporate control, there is a US-led campaign to destroy it. Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine, Egypt, Libya, Syria have all experienced this over many decades dating from the overthrow of the social-democratic president Mossadegh of Iran in 1953 to Syria’s still mildly independent social state being destroyed to the roots today. Lebanon was a civilized center of the Middle East before warred upon by Israel in 1982 and has been civil-war divided ever since. Iraq’s region-leading social state with universal health-care, free higher education, public water and electricity, local agricultural and food subsidies has been subjected to genocidal destruction and civil war imposition from 1990 to now, with Syria being destroyed by foreign-supported civil war from 2011. Once CIA-agent and coup leader Saddam Hussein could not destroy Iraq’s oil-worker-led society from within after his US-supplied war against Iran was over, Iraq was attacked on contrived pretexts – the constant excuse for non-stop war crimes in the Middle-East – and the state was irreversibly destroyed “because it was floating on a sea of oil” (Wolfowitz’s phrase).
Iraq is a model example of controlling both sides of the ever-shifting Middle-East wars to seize the assets of all, and so too the NATO bombing and jihadi overthrow of Gadhafi in Libya whose socialized oil state was even more developed than Iraq’s with public programs and infrastructures, including quasi-free homes for young couples. Libya’s long-time leader was first welcomed into the Western fold after 2000 and his opponents deported and reditioned by British M-15, then jihadis were joined by massive NATO ‘humanitarian bombing’ in 2011 to overthrow his social state, and Libya too is now in civil war chaos. Induced civil wars are the divide-and-rule policy across borders, and especially successful social states like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Libya where their people are clearly better off than neighbouring peoples under US diktat. A better example of society is always prohibited even by war criminal attacks – as in Yugoslavia and Nicaragua in the 1980’s, and Ukraine today. All are orchestrated into sectarian insanity and internecine wars. At the same time vast new profits, resources, lands, price climbs, markets, agribusiness and – most of all – looting of public resources and finances by private foreign financiers and corporations proceeds more freely with stable social fabrics destroyed, not only in the victim societies but at home.
SS/CC: How does ISIL connect to all this?
JM: The historical background is that US-financed Islamic fundamentalism coupled with royal absolutism has come to rule inside and outside governments – Saudi Arabia being the prime example. When I travelled overland through the Middle East including North Africa decades ago, secular ‘Arab socialism’ was the rule led by Nasser and Egypt, and Islam was the background mass religion. Then a great US-led policy turn occurred in which fanatic jihadists were financed and armed across the region to ensure against “communism”, the Great Satan of the US. The massive funding and arming of jihadis as a war machine began with the US-orchestrated civil war in the then quasi-socialist secular state of Afghanistan to bleed the Soviet Union dry. Since the 9-11 construction, the US with local allies has increasingly sponsored jihadists of every kind to take down any remaining social state while also justifying their oil-for-weapons empires producing no life good but only death and destitution. Observe the connections today. Private armaments and military servicing corporations drain the public treasuries of the US and allied royal states trading oil for arms in the trillions, while financed jihadis provide justification for all the death machines and attack target states at the same time.
The civil war model of long-term society destruction to feely loot its resources has continued to the present day in a strategic arc of devastating civil wars from Pakistan to Iraq to Muslim Africa – not to mention now in Europe itself in Ukraine after the Chechnya civil war in Russia was ended. ISIL is a supremely atavistic instrument of the civil-war strategy. The US-Israel sponsored split of the originally secular-socialist PLO (Palestine Liberation Army) into warring factions, where the demonized Hamas was itself sponsored by Israel to divide it, is another example of the society-wrecking pattern at the sub-state level. ISIL today continues it at a more diabolical extreme – originally funded and armed by the very US-led forces now dropping bombs on it in Syria. Israel even gives ISIL terrorists hospital service on the Syrian border after Mossad and the CIA trained them as a largely ex-Saddam jihad army. All of this seems quite insanely contradictory. But all promotes civil wars and they render peoples helpless against foreign money control.
If one wonders how a desert-crawling line of Japanese open-back trucks gifted by the US filled with countless irregular fighters in plain view could ever have ever made it overnight to the point where Western military and political leaders are saying “the war against ISIL may be interminable”, one begins to see through the game. ISIL is a construction financed and trained by covert US and oil-king allies that ruins every place it enters, like Syria once the regime began to win the civil war. Al-Nusra/Al Qaeda was not enough. ISIL is a step up in the US-led control of the Middle East by terror, chaos and social devastation. “The Salvador option” was the first name for the post-war death squads in Iraq, but “Islamic State” stirs much more apocalyptic passions pro and con. Best of all, the ruling foreign war machines of the US, Israel, Saudi Arabia and NATO are now far better justified to “fight the barbaric terrorists”. Saudi Arabia with US support is now even projecting the “terrorist” and sectarian “Shiite” labels on the popular uprising of the poor in Yemen against a corrupt US-Saudi puppet government. One object alone is achieved. Peoples and resources of the region can be predated without sovereign social defences or unity of collective life purpose, the ultimate target of every US-led aggression. As long as all evils can be blamed on an ever-shifting Enemy, there is no overcoming recognition.
SS/CC: If someone were to say, this is “another conspiracy theory,” how would you reply?
JM: It is the very opposite of a conspiracy theory. Civil war chaos has been instituted across agents, places and times. The underlying pattern of destroying evolved societies and their collective control of life resources is far deeper. The only diagnostic model that fits all the hallmark characteristics is a runaway cancer system at the macro level with no social immune recognition. It is unflagged even as it keeps hollowing out more societies towards social collapse. Look for disconfirming evidence of the objective pattern – for example, a society made better rather than worse anywhere in the Middle East since 1991. The divide and rule reign of civil destruction is now deep into the US and Israel themselves, with civil war or its repression now pervasive in the Arab world. This was not originally gamed as the outcome. US geostrategic planners are social morons by the nature of their game model, as I have explained in my The Moral Decoding of 9-11: Beyond the US Criminal State. But the invariable result of the civil wars they foment and manipulate still forces other societies’ resources open to private corporate control and exploitation without limit until they move onto the next. You do not even need corporate trade agreements to do it. Even if the US people themselves keep being bled dry with their common life bases and interests stripped out by military and financial claws in the trillions every year, not to mention agro-industry, the same private transnational corporations producing no life goods but destroying them keep money-profiting more. Plundering public purses and resources across continents is the unseen means.
As transnational private money sequences alone multiply, everything connects in social and environmental life depredation out of control. There are myriad masks of the disorder, but always the evolved collective life capital bases of societies and their ecological life hosts are devoured and torn apart. Now Kenya and Nigeria too join the jihadi-split nations to open a state of permanent war, looting and profit with no social organization to stop it. In Venezuela and Ukraine peoples fight back, but the same civil war method unfolds across continents with few connecting the dots. Twenty-five years after the dismantling of Yugoslavia into atavistic nationalisms steeped in the Nazi past, the same happens again in Ukraine. One outcome has become predictable across borders. Socially organized development is reversed for a private transnational feeding frenzy on collective financial, agricultural, natural and strategic resources of the victim societies. Only the rule of life-protective law with the force of law works across peoples. But Palestine even seeking protection of international law is openly threatened and its taxes seized by Israel with US support. When Palestine joins UNESCO by invitation, the US defunds UNESCO. This is not a conspiracy. It is a lawless rule of normalized terror, life destruction and tyrannical oppression.
SS/CC: How does Harper Canada fit into all this?
Canada is very privileged with vast natural resources. It is not historically soaked in blood, and has evolved a civil culture without fanatic ‘isms’. Yet after Alberta Reform swallowed the Progressive Conservative Party with money from Big Oil and the retailer Eaton’s, PM Harper incarnates the divide-and-rule war method. His CEO rule strips Canada of its social life infrastructures and public tax funds in the name of the nation, while serving only private market powers to multiply and pillage across borders. This is his program, and there is no exception to it. Now Canada is aerial bombing in Arab lands from Libya to Syria – also funded by public money –even though the target ISIL beheaders now have been trained and financed by the allied states bombing them. Up North his regime now trains and supplies a violent-coup US-installed regime whose one-way aerial bombing of East-Ukraine civilians and infrastructures has driven two million people from their homes.
Whatever one’s own preferences, the morality in charge means only what serves the transnational corporate system. This is the market God which now dwarfs all world religions in power to dictate and destroy and capture imagination. Its cornerstone of defence for war crimes is to blame another enemy– as with the Nazis “terrorists” are those who block or resist its rule. The differences between Canada and Palestine or Syria are obvious at the level of conventionalized horror and life deprivation. But the underlying value system is the same in principle. The master driver is the solely ruling compulsion to turn private money demand into maximally more private money demand without limit, border or higher purpose at all. This is called “freedom”. No life coordinates ever enter the sequences and equations in this system in its deregulated mutations. Not even eco-genocide can be seen through its prism. Yet few dare recognize the blind war against life itself which spreads the more its fatal disorder is denied and rationalized away.
SS/CC: How does Islam fit into this destruction of societies by corporate globalization?
JM: The Prophet’s abomination of idolatry above all fits very well to the disorder. Turning money into more money for money controllers is the greatest idol worship of history, and no stationary idol of the past remotely approaches its direct ruin of one society after another – a consequence Mohammed chorally emphasizes in the Koran. No idol can make or breathe life, and here the idolatry goes far beyond anything ever before. It seeks to reduce all that exists into private money value, and devours ever more life and life means to multiply its global demand. Its world-consuming, flesh-eating code is even more deeply at work behind the Middle East holocaust of nations than the US which has become its creature.
Civilizing Islam long ago worked – as, for example, in architecture-rich Moorish Spain from the eighth century to 1492 when a rising European imperialism launched its genocidal seizures and destructions of other people’s life bases across continents. Degenerate versions of ‘Islam’ from absolutist oil-kings to jihadist death squads have followed, and whatever their pretences, they serve only the underlying agenda of corporate money-sequence globalization. They keep peoples superstitiously suggestible, and force obedience by violence and threats without understanding. Collective life-serving programs for all – as found in Iraq and Libya before the saturation bombings – have disappeared into the Arab past almost altogether. The corporate state now rules as pseudo-Muslim and suffocating. Even ‘austerity programs’ have been instituted across the Middle East, with life-serving social organization – public health and free higher education, social security of the person, ecological regulation – not funded or stripped out.
Islam confined to ritual repetitions and prohibitions without social life standards does not confront the corporate money-sequence idolatry. It allows submission to life-blind rules of oppression as ‘submission to God’s will’. Thus the transnational lootings of the people’s common wealth by oil dealing, weapons, finance, GMO agribusiness, and money-trough military services and reconstruction multiply to more corrupt and private oligarchical control and demand. Mass submission, resignation, obedience, faith without organization beyond faction parallels the dispossessed mass anomie of the West. The ‘Arab Spring’ itself – which never pronounced one public policy – seems to have been a construction without common life-ground dividing the people into even more helpless impotence of collective self-determination. People think “well at least they got rid of Mubarak.” Down the memory hole goes the fact that Mubarak was a marked man after he refused to commit Egypt to the US-led invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq which he prophetically declared “would open the gates of Hell”.
SS/CC: You emphasize the ‘ad adversarium fallacy’ as the dominant “track-switch of people’s thought” which always diverts their attention away from humanity’s underlying real problems.
JM: A simple example would be accusing me of being “a communist” or “an unbeliever” or “a conspiracy theorist” for what I say above. The topic is diverted to a familiar hate-object of the audience. Corporate mass media and politicians do this as their stock in trade. It gets attention and usually sells. This blame-the-enemy diversion dominates across cultures, but is almost never named. It runs so deep into the group psyche that not even logicians, psychologists and cognitive scientists define it.
Once diverted to the hate-object of the group – say “Saddam” or “Putin” or “state socialist” or “terrorist” – most people block out disproving facts so as to remain acceptable to the surrounding group. Challenge by evidence or reason is derailed onto blaming a known enemy of the audience. This is the underlying track-switch of thought upon which all mass-murderous wars and system oppressions depend, as well as most propaganda of daily life. It is the cornerstone of American ideology which has no common ground but animosity to the latest designated enemy. Yet not even academics will stand up to the accusation of “Putin-lover”, “9-11 conspiracy theorist”, “communist”, or whoever the shifting enemy may be. US Republicans and branch-plant Harperism now rely on this enemy-hate for every attack ad and proclamation.
This is why evidence, public statistics, knowledge of anything outside the game, is not now safe in corporate states. Public knowledge itself is the ultimate enemy of the whole game. That which sees, documents, shares, certifies, distributes, or organizes to prove and act for the public good is forbidden in a thousand ways even in Canada – the secret behind the Harper agenda of information control – from defunding and de-listing progressive NGO’s, to gags on government ministries and scientists, to allowing only his photographer’s pictures into the mass media.
In the Middle East, silencing is by drones, secret police, bombing, special forces, mind-stopping lies, and unending murder, mayhem and terror in imposed civil wars. Always the ultimate operation is to blame the enemy for all that goes wrong – - even if the enemy is the endless victim, as in Palestine. In the case of Israel, the imperialist nation with its boot in the face of the people is for the first time in history proclaimed as the victim, as bravely observed by Gideon Levy. “Who is denying whose right to exist?” is not a question asked. “Who is throwing stones at Goliath in Israel today?” is an unspeakable thought. Total reversal, blaming the oppressed for what you doing, endless diversions to the designated enemy is the ultimate lie of today’s human condition. But it today rules the Middle East by a more complex process of shifting wars and hates than ever before. /30 JM
Almost 4,000 Saudi forces fled their border bases in anticipation of Riyadh’s order for launching a ground assault on Yemen, European diplomatic sources said on Sunday.
“The intel gathered by the western intelligence agencies showed that the Saudi military forces have fled their bases, military centers and bordering checkpoints near Yemen in groups,” diplomatic sources were quoted as saying by Iraq’s Arabic-language Nahrain Net news website.
The European sources said that the Saudi forces’ mass AWOL forced Riyadh to declare ceasefire and dissuaded it from launching ground attacks against Yemen.
Other reports also said that over 10,000 soldiers from different Saudi military units have fled the army battalions and the National Guard.
Experts believe that the Saudi army lacks strong morale to launch a ground invasion of Yemen and such an attack would be considered as a suicide for Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has been striking Yemen for 32 days now to restore power to fugitive president Mansour Hadi, a close ally of Riyadh. The Saudi-led aggression has so far killed at least 3,005 Yemenis, including hundreds of women and children.
Hadi stepped down in January and refused to reconsider the decision despite calls by Ansarullah revolutionaries of the Houthi movement.
Despite Riyadh’s claims that it is bombing the positions of the Ansarullah fighters, Saudi warplanes are flattening residential areas and civilian infrastructures.
On Tuesday the monarchy declared end to Yemen airstrikes after four weeks of bombings, but airstrikes are still underway.
Obama’s genocidal war against 25 million Yemenis continues without mercy. US-sponsored cold-blooded murder claims scores of lives daily.
Endless conflict persists – now involving US/Saudi recruited, funded, armed, trained and directed takfiri terrorists.
Islamic State fighters posted a video online announcing their presence – threatening to “cut the throats” of Ansarullah Houthi rebels.
It showed about two dozen heavily armed IS fighters preparing for combat. Their commander planted a black flag in the ground saying “soldiers of the caliphate (have arrived to) to cut the throats” of the Houthis.
“We have come to Yemen, with men hungry for your blood to avenge the Sunnis and take back the land they have occupied,” he said.
He urged Yemeni Sunnis to join in battle against Shia Houthis. The video was posted on Friday - after a so-called Green Brigade claimed responsibility for a central Yemen car bombing killing five Houthi fighters.
Earlier attacks killed scores and injured hundreds in a series of suicide bombings at Shia mosques in Sanaa days before Saudi terror-bombing began.
Senior Houthi official Abdel Monem al-Bashiri said “Saudi Arabia has sent about 5,000 terrorists to Yemen and deployed them in the Death Triangle covering an area between Aden, Sanaa and Hadramawt provincies.”
“Saudi officers are there for coordination between terrorists and pro-Hadi forces.”
Yemeni journalist Sari al-Karim said “(t)he presence of Saudi officers in Yemen takes place for Al Saud’s control over the terrorist operation in” Yemen.
Clashes between Ansarullah fighters and imported terrorists continue. Nearly 3,000 Yemenis have been killed, many thousands more wounded – including hundreds of women and children.
Sputnik News reports “many Russian doctors (and) medical specialists from other countries” continue treating sick and wounded Yemenis despite conflict conditions.
An anonymous Russia embassy source said “(a) lot of medical workers have stayed (in Yemen) including Russians.”
So far, no fatalities in their ranks were reported. Russia’s embassy reported Saudi-led phase two terror-bombing targets Houthi technology and manpower.
“They used to bomb all the arms, food and fuel depots they had information on, as well as military camps, and now they are carrying out strikes only on ‘manpower’ and technology in areas of combat operations in the provinces of Aden, Lahij, Abyan, Taiz, Shabwah, Marib, Saada,” Russia’s embassy said.
Terror-bombing so far failed to diminish Houthi strength. What effect IS terrorists will have remains to be seen.
On Saturday, a UN statement announced Ould Cheikh Ahmed’s appointment as its special envoy for Yemen. He replaced Jamal Benomar. He resigned earlier this month.
Houthi official Mohammed Bahiti said Ansarullah fighters “will carry out a military attack on Saudi Arabia if the airstrikes on Yemen don’t come to an end.”
He called ousted/US-installed illegitimate president Abd Rabbuh mansur Hadi a “traitor.”
“The Yemeni people will not honor Mansur Hadi and (won’t) allow him to return to power,” he added.
He expressed Houthi readiness to participate in UN-brokered peace talks from “the point they were at before Saudi aggression.”
Dozens of daily terror-bombings continue. Naval and air blockades remain in force.
An entire population is being suffocated. Obama bears full responsibility.
Saudi Arabia, Egypt and other regional allies share it. Protracted US-orchestrated terror war without mercy looks likely.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at[email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
Rich and powerful elites have long dreamed of world control. The ambitious Romans, Attila the Hun, great Muslim leaders of Medieval Spain, the Mughals of India all exercised immense influence over different parts of the globe in set periods of recognised ascendancy.
Sometimes tribal, sometimes national, sometimes religious, often dynastic, their success defined epochs, but was never effectively global until the twentieth century. At that point, with the future of the British Empire under threat from other aspiring nations, in particular Germany , a momentous decision was taken by a group of powerful and determined men, that direct action had to be taken to assert their control, and that of the British race, over the entire civilised world. It has grown from that tiny select cabal into a monster that may already be beyond control.
“One wintry afternoon in February 1891, three men were engaged in earnest conversation in London. From that conversation were to flow consequences of the greatest importance for the British Empire and to the world as a whole.”
So begins Professor Carroll Quigley’s book The Anglo American Establishment. It may read like a John Le Carre thriller, but this was no spy fiction. The three staunch British Imperialists who met in London that day, Cecil Rhodes, William Stead and Lord Esher, were soon joined by Lords Rothschild, Salisbury, Rosebery and Milner, men whose financial, political, and administrative powers set them apart. Some of these names may not be familiar to you, but that is a mark of the absolute success of this group. From the outset they insisted on secrecy, operated in secret and ensured that their influence was airbrushed from history. They believed that white men of Anglo-Saxon descent rightly sat at the top of the racial hierarchy and they fully understood the impending threat from a burgeoning Germany whose modern, expanding economy had begun to challenge British hegemony on the world stage.
The above named elites drew up a plan for a secret society that aimed to renew the bond between Great Britain and the United States and bring all habitable portions of the world under their influence and control. The U.S. had grown rapidly in self-esteem, wealth and opportunity since the declaration of independence in 1776, but Anglo-American connections remained strong and would embroil her in the long-term plan for one world government. The meeting in 1891 was, in effect, the birth of the New World Order cabal.
Great financiers frequently used their fortunes to influence questions of peace and war and control politics for profit. Cecil Rhodes was different. He was determined to use his vast fortune not simply to generate ever-increasing profit, but to realise his dream, a dream he shared with his co-conspirators. Rhodes turned the profit objective on its head and sought to amass great wealth into his secret society in order to achieve political ends, to buy governments and politicians, buy public opinion and the means to influence it.  He intended that his wealth should be used to grasp control of the world, secretly. Secrecy was the cornerstone. No one outside the favoured few knew of the group’s existence. They have since been referred to obliquely in speeches and books as “The Money Power”, “The Hidden Power” or “the men behind the curtain”. All of these labels are pertinent, but we have called them, collectively, the Secret Elite.
Carroll Quigley revealed that Secret Elite influence on education was chiefly visible at the exclusive English private schools, Eton and Harrow, and at Oxford University , especially All Souls and Balliol Colleges .  This immensely rich and powerful group was given intellectual approval and inspiration by the philosophy of John Ruskin, professor of fine arts at Oxford. He spoke to the Oxford undergraduates as members of the privileged ruling class, telling them that they possessed a magnificent tradition of education, rule of law and freedom. He championed all that was finest in the public service ethic, duty and self-discipline, and believed that English ruling class tradition should be spread to the masses across the empire. 
But behind such well-serving words lay a philosophy strongly opposed to the emancipation of woman, had no time for democracy and supported the “just” war. Ruskin advocated that control of the state should be placed in the hands of a small ruling class. Social order was to be built upon the authority of superiors, imposing upon their inferiors an absolute, unquestioning obedience. He was repelled by the notion of levelling between the classes and by the disintegration of the “rightful” authority of the ruling class. Ruskin’s philosophy was music to the ears of the elitists. It gave their lust for global power the blessing of academic approval. What they did, they would claim, was not for them, but for mankind. They would rise to power on the spurious justification that the world would consequently be a better place for humanity.
Inspired by Ruskin, Cecil Rhodes and his accomplices created the secret society with an inner core of trusted associates called “The Society of the Elect”, who unquestionably knew that they were members of an exclusive cabal devoted to taking and holding power on a world-wide basis.  A second outer ring, larger and quite fluid in its membership, was named “The Association of Helpers”. At this level members might not have known that they were an integral part of, or inadvertently being used by, a secret society. Many on the outer edges of the group, idealists and honest individuals, may never have been aware that the real decisions were made by a ruthless clique about whom they had no knowledge. 
The man who exposed the secret society, Carroll Quigley (1910 – 1977), was the highly esteemed professor of history at the School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University , and a lecturer at Princeton and Harvard. He revealed that the organisation was able to “conceal its existence quite successfully, and many of its most influential members… are unknown even to close students of British History”.  Quigley’s greatest contribution to our understanding of modern history came with his books, The Anglo-American Establishment and Tragedy and Hope, A History of the World in Our Time. The former was written in 1949 but only released after his death. His disclosures placed him in such potential danger from an Establishment backlash that it was never published in his lifetime. In a 1974 radio broadcast, Quigley warned the interviewer, Rudy Maxa of the Washington Post, “You better be discreet. You have to protect my future as well as your own.” 
Quigley had received assistance of a “personal nature” from individuals close to what he called the “Group”, but “for obvious reasons” he could not reveal their names.  He made it clear that evidence about them was not hard to find “if you know where to look,” and it has to be asked why generations of historians have failed to pursue his trail. Though sworn to secrecy, Professor Quigley revealed in the radio interview that Sir Alfred Zimmern, the British historian and political scientist, had confirmed the names of the main protagonists within the secret society. Without a shadow of doubt, Zimmern himself was a close associate of those at the centre of real power in Britain. He knew most of the key figures personally and was himself a member of the inner core of the secret society for twelve years between 1910 and 1922. 
The enigma of Professor Quigley’s work lies in his statement that while the secret cabal had brought many of the things he held dear close to disaster, he generally agreed with its goals and aims.  Were these merely words of self-preservation? Be mindful of his warning to Rudy Maxa as late as 1974. Quigley clearly felt that these revelations placed him in danger. Unknown persons removed his major work, Tragedy and Hope, from the bookstore shelves in America , and it was withdrawn from sale without any justification soon after its release. The book’s original plates were unaccountably destroyed by Quigley’s publisher, the Macmillan Company, who, for the next six years “lied, lied, lied” to him and deliberately misled him into believing that it would be reprinted.  Why? What pressures obliged a major publishing house to take such extreme action? Quigley stated categorically that powerful people had suppressed the book because it exposed matters that they did not want known. The reader has to understand that we are discussing individuals whose power, influence and control were unrivalled.
From the very start, each of the initial conspirators brought valuable qualities and connections to the society. Cecil Rhodes was Prime Minister of the Cape Colony and master and commander of a vast area of Southern Africa which some were already beginning to call Rhodesia . His wealth had been underwritten by brutal native suppression  and the global mining interests of the House of Rothschild,  to whom he was answerable. William Stead was the most prominent journalist of his day and a voice to which ordinary people listened. Lord Esher represented the interests of the monarchy from Queen Victoria ’s final years, through the exuberant excesses of King Edward VII, to the more sedate but pliable King George V. His influence was immense because he operated between monarchs, the aristocracy and leading political figures. He chaired important secret committees, was responsible for appointments to the Cabinet, the senior ranks of the diplomatic corps and voiced strong personal opinion on top army posts.  Esher exerted a power behind the throne far in excess of his constitutional position. His role of powerbroker on behalf of the Secret Elite was without equal. Indeed Professor Quigley dubbed him, “the greatest wire puller of the period.” 
Another name that pervaded all that was powerful and influential during this period was that of the Rothschild dynasty, and Quigley placed Lord Nathaniel (Natty) Rothschild within the very core of the secret organization.  Rothschild was all-powerful in British and world banking and virtually untouchable.
“The House of Rothschild was immensely more powerful than any financial empire that had ever preceded it. It commanded vast wealth. It was international. It was independent. Royal governments were nervous of it because they could not control it. Popular movements hated it because it was not answerable to the people. Constitutionalists resented it because its influence was exercised behind the scenes – secretly.” 
Taken together, the principal players, Rhodes, Stead, Esher, Rothschild and Milner represented a new force that was emerging inside British politics, but powerful old traditional aristocratic families that had long dominated Westminster , often in cahoots with the reigning monarch, were also deeply involved, and none more so than the Cecil family. Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, the patriarchal 3rd Marquis of Salisbury, ruled the Conservative Party at the latter end of the nineteenth century. He served as prime minister three times for a total of fourteen years, between 1885 and 1902 (longer than anyone else in recent history). When he retired as prime minister in July 1902, he handed over the reins of government to his sister’s son, Arthur Balfour. Lord Salisbury had four siblings, five sons and three daughters who were all linked and interlinked by marriage to individuals in the upper echelons of the English ruling class. Important government positions were given to relations, friends and wealthy supporters who proved their gratitude by ensuring that his views became policy in government, civil service and diplomatic circles. This extended ‘Cecil-Bloc’ was intricately linked to “The Society of the Elect” and Secret Elite ambitions throughout the first half of the twentieth century. 
Another member of the inner core, Lord Alfred Milner, offers cause for greater scrutiny because he has been virtually airbrushed from the history of the period. Alfred Milner was a self-made man and remarkably successful civil servant who became a key figure within the Secret Elite and absolutely powerful within the ranks of these privileged individuals. He and Rhodes had been contemporaries at Oxford University , and were inextricably connected through events in South Africa . Rhodes recognised in him the kind of steel that was required to pursue the dream of world domination, “I support Milner absolutely without reserve. If he says peace, I say peace; if he says war, I say war. Whatever happens, I say ditto to Milner.”  Milner grew in time to be the most able of them all, to enjoy the privilege of patronage and power, a man to whom others turned for leadership and direction.
When governor general and high commissioner of South Africa , Milner deliberately caused the Boer War in order to grab the Transvaal’s gold and use the economic resources of South Africa to extend and perpetuate Secret Elite control. He had the grace to confess in a letter to Lord Roberts, Commander in Chief in South Africa, that
“I precipitated the crisis, which was inevitable, before it was too late. It is not very agreeable, and in many eyes, not very creditable piece of business to have been largely instrumental in bringing about a big war.” 
This was no immodest boast. Alfred Milner’s matter-of-fact explanation displayed the cold objectivity that drove the Secret Elite cause. War was unfortunate, but necessary. It had to be. They were not afraid of war.
The Secret Elite’s war against the Dutch settlers began in October 1899 and ended with the signing of the Treaty of Vereeniging on 31 May 1902. The Boer Republics were annexed to the British Empire . The Transvaal ’s gold was finally in the hands of the Secret Elite at a cost of some 70,000 dead on the battlefields, plus 32,000 dead in British concentration camps, including more than 20,000 children of Dutch descent. Some thirty thousand Boer farms were burned to the ground, livestock slaughtered, and the women and children put in British concentration camps. In the camps, the families of men fighting for the Boer army were punished by being put on half the already meagre rations with no meat whatsoever.  W. T. Stead, former member of the inner core of the Secret Elite who had resigned in disgust over the Boer War, was overcome by the evidence presented to him. He wrote,
“Every one of these children who died as a result of the halving of their rations, thereby exerting pressure onto their family still on the battle-field, was purposefully murdered. The system of half rations stands exposed, stark and unashamedly as a cold-blooded deed of state policy employed with the purpose of ensuring the surrender of men whom we were not able to defeat on the field.” 
20,000 children dying in British concentration camps were of little consequence to Milner. He was so driven that he ignored the weight of opposition ranged against him. He warned his friend, Richard Haldane: “If we are to build up anything in South Africa , we must disregard, and absolutely disregard, the screamers.”  It takes a very strong man to disregard the screamers, to ignore moral indignation, to put the cause before humanitarian concerns. Some frontline politicians find it all but impossible to stand against a torrent of public outrage, but those behind the curtain in the secret corridors of power can easily ignore ‘sentimentality’.
Milner’s period of stewardship in South Africa had a very important consequence. He administered the defeated Transvaal and Orange Free State as occupied territories, and recruited into the upper layers of his civil service a band of young men from well-to-do, upper-class, frequently titled families who became known as “Milner’s Kindergarten.”  They replaced the government and administration of the Boer republics, and worked prodigiously to rebuild the broken country.  The Kindergarten comprised new blood; young educated men – mostly Oxford graduates, with a deep sense of duty, loyalty to the Empire and capable of populating the next generation of the secret society.  In the period 1909-1913 the Kindergarten set up semi-secret groups, known as Round Table Groups, in the United States and the chief British dependencies.
Take Canada as an example. Numerous Canadian Round Table groups were established from 1909. Lionel Curtis and Philip Kerr of the Secret Elite’s inner core  went on a four-month trip to Canada in the company of William Marris from the “Association of Helpers.” The object of the trip was to lay the foundations for Round Table groups, to reinforce the values of the British Empire and prepare them for a war against Germany. They carried a letter from Alfred Milner to his old friend Arthur J. Glazebrook asking him to help establish the groups. Glazebrook became one of the most devoted and loyal friends of the Secret Elite’s mission, and so successfully completed the task that for twenty years he was head of the groups throughout Canada . Vincent Massey, a Balliol College , Oxford graduate and lecturer in modern history at Toronto University, was another important operative for the Secret Elite in Canada . He would go on to hold senior cabinet and diplomatic posts and became governor of the prestigious private school, Upper Canada College , and the University of Toronto .  Sir Edward Peacock, housemaster at Upper Canada College , and Edward Rogers Wood, a prominent financier and businessman, were likewise very close to the Canadian branch of the Milner group.  Other members of the Secret Elite connected to Canada were, Sir George Parkin, Percy Corbett, Sir Joseph Flavelle and George P. de T. Glazebrook.  The latter was the son of Milner’s old friend Arthur Glazebrook. He too had studied at Balliol College , Oxford and went on to teach history at the University of Toronto.
The Round Table Groups in Canada , as elsewhere, were merely different names for “The Association of Helpers” and only part of the secret society, since the real power still lay with “The Society of the Elect”. This all-powerful inner-core would bring in new members from the outer ring as was deemed necessary.  The alliance of powerful investment bankers, politicians, diplomats and press barons shared the same unwritten purpose, the destruction of German imperial power and the confirmation of Anglo-Saxon domination of the world.
Money was never a problem for the Secret Elite. As we have seen, Natty Rothschild, the richest man in the world, was directly involved from the beginning, but the ‘Money-Power’ extended well beyond that single source. The Rand multi-millionaires, Sir Abe Bailey and Alfred Beit were members of the inner core  and always willing to finance Secret Elite proposals, fund their propaganda groups, and back Milner. Sir Ernest Cassel, an investment banker and one of the wealthiest men in pre-war Europe , was likewise involved. Cassel , a close friend of King Edward VII, acted as go-between for the British government and provided personal funds for Lord Esher. 
Other great financiers and bankers, centred in the City, the financial and banking district of London, shared the vision of a single world power based on English ruling class values. The world had entered an era of financial capitalism where these wealthy international investment bankers were able to dominate both industry and government if they had the concerted will to do so.  This “Money Power” seeped into the British Establishment and joined the aristocratic landowning families who had ruled Britain for centuries. Together, they lay at the heart of the Secret Elite.
In his “Confession of Faith”, Cecil Rhodes had written of bringing the whole uncivilized world under British rule, and the “recovery” of the United States to make the “Anglo-Saxon race but one Empire,”  by which he meant a white, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant America working in tandem with like minds in England. Clearly the United States could not be “recovered” by force of arms, so Rhodes dream was expanded to include the wealthy elites in the U.S. who shared a similar mind-set.
Rhodes suffered from heart and lung problems and was aware that his projected life span was limited. He wrote several wills to ensure that his fortune would be used to pursue his dream. Part of his strategy was to gift scholarship places at his alma mater, Oxford University , in the belief that exposure to British culture, philosophy and education would strengthen the best young minds from the colonies and, most importantly, the United States . Rhodes scholarships favoured American students, with two allocated for each of the fifty States and Territories, but only sixty places for the entire British Empire . The “best talents” from the “best families” in the US were to be nurtured at Oxford , spiritual home of the Secret Elite, and imbued with an appreciation of “Englishness” and “retention of the unity of the Empire.”Professor Quigley revealed that “the scholarships were merely a façade to conceal the secret society, or, more accurately, they were to be one of the instruments by which the members of the secret society could carry out his [ Rhodes ] purpose.” 
The Secret Elite appreciated America ’s vast potential, and adjusted the concept of British Race supremacy to Anglo-Saxon supremacy. Rhodes ’s dream had only to be slightly modified. The world was to be united through the English-speaking nations in a federal structure based around Britain .  Alfred Milner became the undisputed leader of the secret society when Cecil Rhodes died in 1902. Like Rhodes , he believed that the goal should be pursued by a secret political and economic elite influencing “journalistic, educational and propaganda agencies” behind the scenes. 
The flow of money into the United States during the nineteenth century advanced industrial development to the immense benefit of the millionaires it created, Rockefeller, Carnegie, Morgan, Vanderbilt and their associates. The Rothschilds represented British interests, either directly through front companies or indirectly, through agencies they controlled. Railroads, steel, shipbuilding, construction, oil and finance blossomed in an oft-cut throat environment, though that was more apparent than real. These small groups of massively rich individuals on both sides of the Atlantic knew each other well, and the Secret Elite in London initiated a very select and secretive dining club, The Pilgrims, that brought them together on a regular basis.
On 11 July 1902, an inaugural meeting was held at the Carlton Hotel  of what became known as the London Chapter of The Pilgrims Society, with a select membership limited by individual scrutiny to 500. Ostensibly, the society was created to “promote goodwill, good friendship and everlasting peace”  between Britain and the United States , but its highly secretive and exclusive membership leaves little doubt as to its real purpose. This was the pool of wealth and talent that the Secret Elite drew together to promote its agenda in the years preceding the First World War. Behind an image of the Pilgrim Fathers, the persecuted pioneers of Christian values, this elite cabal advocated the idea that “Englishmen and Americans would promote international friendship through their pilgrimages to and fro across the Atlantic ”. It presented itself as a spontaneous movement to promote democracy across the world  and doubtless many of the members believed that, but The Pilgrims included a select collective of the wealthiest figures in both Britain and the United States who were deeply involved with the Secret Elite. They shared Rhodes ’ dream and wanted to be party to it.
The New York branch of The Pilgrims was launched at the Waldorf-Astoria on 13 January 1903,  and comprised the most important bankers, politicians and lawyers on the Eastern Seaboard. They established a tradition of close interaction with British and American ambassadors.  The ambassadorial connections with The Pilgrims would prove absolutely crucial in linking the Foreign Secretary in London and the Secretary of State in Washington to the Secret Elite and its agenda for war. A number of the American Pilgrims also had close links with the New York branch of the Secret Elite’s Round Table.
In Britain , at least eighteen members of the Secret Elite, including Lords Rothschild, Curzon, Northcliffe, Esher and Balfour attended Pilgrims dinners, though the regularity of their attendance is difficult to establish. Such is the perennial problem with secretive groups. We know something about the guests invited to dinner, but not what was discussed between courses.  In New York , members included both the Rockefeller and Morgan dynasties and many men in senior government posts. Initially, membership was likewise limited to 500.  The power-elite in America was New York centred, carried great influence in domestic and international politics, and was heavily indulgent of Yale, Harvard and Princeton Universities . They conducted an American version of what Carroll Quigley termed the Secret Elite’s triple-front-penetration of politics, the press and education.  The Pilgrims Society brought together American money and British aristocracy, royalty, government ministers and top diplomats. It was indeed a special relationship.
Of all the American banking establishments, none was more Anglo-centric than the J. P. Morgan bank, itself deeply involved with The Pilgrims. An American, George Peabody, established the bank in London in 1835. In 1854 he took on a partner, Junius Morgan, (father of J. P. Morgan) and the bank was renamed Peabody , Morgan & Co. When Peabody ’s retired in 1864 it became the J. S. Morgan bank.
The Rothschilds had developed a close relationship with Peabody and Morgan, and following a crash in 1857 saved the bank by organizing a huge bailout by the Bank of England. Although American by birth, the Morgan family wore their affinity to England like a badge of honour. Despite stinging criticism from Thomas Jefferson that Junius’s father-in-law, the Rev John Pierpont, was “under the influence of the whore of England ,”  Junius sent his son to the English High School in Boston . J. P. Morgan spent much of his younger years absorbing English traditions, and was an ardent anglophile and admirer of the British Empire.
In 1899 J. P. Morgan travelled to England to attend an international Bankers Convention and returned to America as the representative of Rothschild interests in the United States .  It was the perfect front. Morgan, who posed as an upright Protestant guardian of capitalism, who could trace his family roots to pre-Revolutionary times, acted for the Rothschilds and shielded their American profits from the poison of anti-Semitism. In 1895 the Rothschilds had secretly replenished the US gold reserves through J.P. Morgan, and raised him to the premier league of international banking. In turn, his gratitude was extended to another Rothschild favourite and leading figure in the Secret Elite, Alfred Milner. In 1901, Morgan offered Milner a then massive income of $100,000 per annum to become a partner in the London branch but Milner was not to be distracted from the vital business of the Boer War. J. P. Morgan was an Empire loyalist at the heart of the American Establishment.
A second powerful bank on Wall Street, Kuhn, Loeb & Co., also served as a Rothschild front. Jacob Schiff, a German who ran the bank, came from a family close to the Rothschilds. He had been born in the house his parents shared with the Rothschilds in the Jewish quarter of Frankfurt .  Schiff was an experienced European banker whose career straddled both continents, with contacts in New York , London , Hamburg and Frankfurt . His long-standing friend, Edward Cassel of the Secret Elite, was appointed Kuhn, Loeb’s agent in London . Schiff even dined with King Edward on the strength of Cassel ’s close friendship with the King.  Jacob Schiff had married Solomon Loeb’s daughter and, backed by Rothschild gold, quickly gained overall control of the Kuhn, Loeb Bank.  Schiff in turn brought a young German banker, Paul Warburg, over to New York to help him run the bank. Paul and his brother Max had served part of their banking apprenticeships with Natty Rothschild in London . Like the Peabody-Morgan bank in London , the Warburg family bank in Hamburg had been saved by a very large injection of Rothschild money, and undoubtedly acted as a Rothschild front thereafter.
On the surface there were periods of blistering competition between the investment banking houses and international oil goliaths J. D. Rockefeller and the Rothschilds, but by the turn of the century they adopted a more subtle relationship that avoided real competition. A decade earlier, Baron Alphonse de Rothschild had accepted Rockefeller’s invitation to meet in New York behind the closed doors of Standard Oil’s headquarters on Broadway. Standard’s chief spokesman, John D Archbold  reported that they had quickly reached a tentative agreement, and thought it desirable on both sides that the matter was kept confidential. Clearly both understood the advantage of monopolistic collusion. It was a trend they eventually developed to their own advantage. By the early years of the twentieth century much of the assumed rivalry between major stakeholders in banking, industry and commerce was a convenient façade, though they would have the world believe otherwise.
Consider please this convenient façade. Official Rothschild biographers maintain that the dynasty’s interests in America were limited, and that the American Civil War led to “a permanent decline in the Rothschild’s transatlantic influence”.  All our evidence points in the opposite direction. Their associates, agents and front companies permeated American finance and industry. Their influence was literally everywhere. J. P. Morgan, the acknowledged chieftain of the Anglo-American financial establishment was the main conduit for British capital and a personal friend of the Rothschilds. Jacob Schiff of Kuhn, Loeb, another close friend of the Rothschild family, worked hand-in-glove with Rockefeller in oil, railroad and banking enterprises. Jacob Schiff the Pilgrim was both a Rothschild agent and a trusted associate of J. D. Rockefeller the Pilgrim. Morgan, Schiff and Rockefeller, the three leading players on Wall Street, had settled into a cosy cartel behind which the House of Rothschild remained hidden, but retained immense influence and power. Control of capital and credit was increasingly concentrated in the hands of fewer and fewer men until the rival banking groups ceased to operate in genuine competition. 
This trans-Atlantic financial collusion underpinned the Anglo-American bond on which the Secret Elite built their dream of world domination. Political control moved hand in glove with the Money-Power. One of the problems the Secret Elite had to contend with was democracy, even the very limited choice that British and American democracy had to offer. Professor Quigley observed that Alfred Milner, and apparently most members of the Secret Elite, believed that “democracy was not an unmixed good, or even a good, and far inferior to the rule of the best…”  They, of course, believed themselves “the best” and their morality did not exclude the use of warfare to carry out what they deemed to be their civilising mission; a new world order based on ruling class values in which they would be first amongst men.
In Britain , faced with an electorate that frequently changed allegiance from the Conservative party to the Liberal party and back again, the Secret Elite selected reliable and trusted men to hold high office in both parties. Conservative Prime Minister Arthur Balfour, a member of the inner circle of the Secret Elite,  and Foreign Secretary Lord Lansdowne began the transformation of British Foreign policy towards war with Germany in the sure knowledge that senior Liberals would continue that policy if and when the people voted for change. Herbert Henry Asquith, Richard Haldane and Sir Edward Grey were Milner’s chosen senior men in the Liberal Party and “objects of his special attention”.  Their remit was to ensure that an incoming Liberal government maintained a seamless foreign policy that served the grand plan. Their Secret Elite connections were impeccable. Together, with their good friend Arthur Balfour, they were intimately involved with the inner circles of the cabal. Their duty was to the King, the Empire, to Milner’s dream, to Rhode’s legacy. They confronted the same problems, analysed the same alternatives and agreed the same solution. Germany had to go.
The senior Liberals, Asquith, Grey and Haldane, conspired to undermine the anti-war Liberal Party leader Campbell-Bannerman from within and were supported by both the Conservative party leaders and King Edward VII, himself a key figure inside the Secret Elite. Every major step taken by the British Foreign Office from 1902 onwards was dictated by the overall objective to destroy Germany . Treaties with Japan , the Entente Cordiale with France and all of its secret clauses, the secret conventions agreed between King Edward and the Russian Czar had that single purpose. Simply put, the large field armies of France and Russia were needed to crush Germany .
In the United States , and indeed in France , political power was guaranteed by financial incentives and the appointment of suitable candidates, in other words through bribery and corruption. Senator Nelson Aldrich of Rhode Island was chosen by the Secret Elite to be the voice of “sound economics” in the Senate. A wealthy businessman and father-in-law of J.D.Rockefeller Jr., Aldrich was known as “Morgan’s floor broker in the Senate.”  Shameless in his excesses, he used public office to feather his own very large nest. Public service was to him little more than a cash cow through which he built a ninety-nine roomed chateau and sailed a two hundred foot yacht.  Over a two-year period the Money-Power worked steadily on their chosen Senator to turn him into an “expert” on banking systems. Congress appointed a National Monetary Commission in 1908 with Aldrich as Chairman to review U.S. banking. Its members toured Europe , supposedly collecting data on various banking systems. Aldrich’s final report, however, was not the product of any European study tour, but of a collective conspiracy.
In November 1910, five bankers representing Morgan, Rockefeller and Kuhn Loeb interests, met in total secrecy with Senator Aldrich and the Assistant Secretary to the U.S. Treasury on Jekyll Island , an exclusive playground of the mega-rich off the coast of Georgia . Of the seven conspirators, five, Senator Aldrich, Henry Davison, Benjamin Strong, Frank Vanderlip and Paul Warburg, were members of The Pilgrims.  Their objective was to formulate a Central Banking Bill that would be presented to Congress as if it was the brainchild of Aldrich’s Monetary Commission.
The proposed “Federal Reserve System” was to be owned entirely by private banks, though its name implied that it was a government institution. Individuals from the American banking dynasties, including Morgan, Warburg, Schiff and Rockefeller, would hold the shares. It was to be a central bank of issue that would have a monopoly of all the money and credit of the people of the United States . It would control the interest rate and the volume of money in circulation. The Federal Reserve System constructed on Jekyll Island had powers that King Midas could never have contemplated. The objective was to establish a franchise to create money out of nothing for the purpose of lending, get the taxpayer to pick up any losses, and convince Congress that the aim was to protect the public. 
The Aldrich proposals never went to a vote. President Taft refused to support the Bill on the grounds that it would not impose sufficient government control over the banks. The Money Power decided that Taft had to go. Their support in the 1912 Presidential election swung behind the little known Woodrow Wilson. The speed with which Wilson was bounced from his post at Princeton University in 1910, to Governor of New Jersey in 1911, then Democratic Party nominee for the Presidency in 1912 made him the Solomon Grundy of U S politics.
Not only did the Secret Elite put their man in the White House, they also gave him a minder, Edward Mandell House. Woodrow Wilson was President of the United States but this shadowy figure stood by his side, controlling his every move. House, an Anglophile who had been part educated in England , was credited with swinging the 1912 Democratic Convention in Baltimore behind Wilson .  He became Woodrow Wilson’s constant companion from that point onwards, with his own suite of rooms in the White House. He was also in direct, sometimes daily contact with J. P. Morgan Jr, Jacob Schiff, Paul Warburg, and Democrat Senators who sponsored the Federal Reserve Bill.  Mandell House guided the President in every aspect of foreign and domestic policy, chose his Cabinet and formulated the first policies of his new Administration.  He was the prime intermediary between the President and his Wall Street backers.  The Anglo-centric Money Power had complete control of the White House and finally established its central bank in time for the Secret Elite’s war.
Ponder the significance of this coincidence. Provided with huge sums of Secret Elite money rerouted via St Petersburg , French politicians, newspapers and journalists were effectively corrupted to elect the Revanchistwarmonger candidate Raymond Poincare to the Presidency of France. By February 1913, two major powers, The United States and France, had new Presidents who were elected to office through the machinations of the Secret Elite. They had positioned key players in the governments of Britain , France , and the United States and exerted immense influence over the foreign ministry in Russia . Politics, money and power were the pillars on which the Anglo-Saxon elite would destroy Germany and take control of the world.
All that was left to concoct was a reason for war. The Kaiser’s refusal to be drawn into direct confrontation with France and Britain over crises in Morocco in 1905 and 1911 demanded a rethink. Public hysteria in Britain about spies was developed into a cottage industry, with barely literate novels and wild articles in Northcliffe’s papers portraying Germany as a dangerous warmongering nation of Huns preparing to pounce on an unsuspecting and ill-prepared Britain . Similarly in France , through blatant bribery and corruption, both the press and the Revanchistesin French politics fomented anti-German sentiment. But Germany remained stubbornly unwilling to become involved a European war.
From 1912 onwards the Secret Elite looked to the Balkans to provide the excuse for war. Alexander Isvolsky, their top Russian agent, had been strategically moved to Paris , from which vantage point he directed the Balkan agitation. The mix of ethnic diversity, religious animosities, political intrigue and raw nationalism was deliberately provoked into two brutal Balkan wars which in themselves could have brought about a pan-European war, but the Kaiser refused to take the bait.
Something more dramatic, more sensational, was needed. The notion propagated by many historians that world war was ‘inevitable’ or that the world ‘slid’ into war is crass. Chance was not involved. It required a complex set of manipulated events engineered by determined men to set the fuse. What remained was a spark to ignite that fuse. It came with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir-apparent to the Austrian Empire, in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. Millions of words have been written to describe the events in Sarajevo that day, but none have ever revealed the trail of complicity that led from the gunmen back to the Secret Elite in London . Be certain of one thing. It was not the man who fired the bullet that caused a world war.
Thus war engulfed the known world to a degree that had no precedent. Histories have been written to explain away the reasons why, histories that favoured the victors and twisted the truth to blame Germany . How history has been manipulated, how evidence has been removed, burned, shredded or otherwise denied to genuine researchers remains a crime against truth, against humanity. The received history of the First World War is a deliberately concocted lie. Not the sacrifice, the heroism, the horrendous waste of life or the misery that followed. No, these were very real, but the truth of how it all began and how it was unnecessarily and deliberately prolonged beyond 1915 has been successfully covered up for a century.
Professor Quigley stated,
“No country that values its safety should allow what the Milner group accomplished – that is, that a small number of men would be able to wield such power in administration and politics, should be given almost complete control over the publication of documents relating to their actions, should be able to exercise such influence over the avenues of information that create public opinion, and should be able to monopolize so completely the writing and the teaching of the history of their own period.” 
Never were truer words uttered in dire warning. These Founding Fathers, the Secret Elite, began with Rhodes’ secret society and expanded across the Atlantic , always away from the public eye. They were deniers of democracy, men who always pursued their own malevolent agenda, who used this very process to advance their power. What they achieved in causing the First World War was but the first step in their long term drive to a new world order.
Gerry Docherty is a former head teacher. Jim Macgregor was a family doctor. They took early retirement and worked full time together for the past five years researching and writing Hidden History, The Secret Origins of the First World War- described at the Edinburgh International Book Festival as a “fascinating and incendiary book”. It reveals how historical accounts of the war’s origins have been falsified to conceal the guilt of the secret cabal of rich and powerful men (described in this article) and explains their manipulations and deceptions. Perhaps it will suffer the same fate as Carroll Quigley’s work, for there are many with cause to wish it suppressed. If you have an open mind and seek answers that have not been forthcoming, if you are prepared to dig further into a hugely important aspect of history, we invite you to read it.
 Initially an outspoken critic of Standard Oil, Archbold was recruited by Rockefeller to a directorship of the company, where he later served as vice president and then president until its ‘demise ’ in 1911.
 Ferguson , House of Rothschild, p. 117.
 Chernow, Titan, The Life of John D Rockefeller Sr., p. 390.
 Edward Griffin, The Creature from Jekyll Island , p. 436.
 Quigley, Anglo American Establishment, p. 134.
 Ibid., p. 312.
 Terence H. O’Brien, Milner, p. 187.
 Gary Allen, None Dare Call it Conspiracy, Chapter 3, p8.
 Chernow, Titan, p. 352.
 Organisation for the Study of Globalisation and Covert Politics,
(ANTIMEDIA) French television station Canal+ recently sat down with Dr. Patrick Moore for an upcoming documentary. Dr Moore, who claims to be an ecological expert and is currently the frontman for Ecosense Environmental, stated to the interviewer that Monsanto’s weed killer Roundup was not responsible for skyrocketing cancer rates in Argentina.
This is where the interview took a turn for the surreal.
Dr. Moore insisted that Roundup is safe to drink, at which point the interviewer did the only logical thing one could do in that situation.
He offered the doctor a glass of the weed killer to allow him an opportunity to back up his statement. The following is the text from that exchange.
Dr. Patrick Moore: “You can drink a whole quart of (Roundup) and it won’t hurt you.”
Canal+: “You want to drink some? We have some here.”
Moore: “I’d be happy to, actually…. Uhh…Not.. Not really. But I know it wouldn’t hurt me.”
Canal+: “If you say so, I have some glyphosate, have some.”
Moore: “No. I’m not stupid.”
Canal+: “So, it’s dangerous, right?
Moore: “No, People try to commit suicide with it and fail; fail regularly.”
Canal+: “Tell the truth, it’s dangerous.”
Moore: “It’s not dangerous to humans.”
Canal+: “So, are you ready to drink one glass?”
Moore: “No, I’m not an idiot. Interview me about golden rice, that’s what I’m talking about.”
Canal+: “We did.”
Moore then abruptly ends the interview by calling the host a “complete jerk” and storms off.
Greenpeace, an organization to which the doctor turned lobbyist belonged in the 1970’s, issued this statement in part in 2008 regarding Dr. Patrick Moore.
Patrick Moore often misrepresents himself in the media as an environmental “expert” or even an “environmentalist,” while offering anti-environmental opinions on a wide range of issues and taking a distinctly anti-environmental stance. He also exploits long-gone ties with Greenpeace to sell himself as a speaker and pro-corporate spokesperson, usually taking positions that Greenpeace opposes.
While it is true that Patrick Moore was a member of Greenpeace in the 1970s, in 1986 he abruptly turned his back on the very issues he once passionately defended. He claims he “saw the light” but what Moore really saw was an opportunity for financial gain. Since then he has gone from defender of the planet to a paid representative of corporate polluters.
Patrick Moore promotes such anti-environmental positions as clearcut logging, nuclear power, farmed salmon, PVC (vinyl) production, genetically engineered crops, and mining. Clients for his consulting services are a veritable Who’s Who of companies that Greenpeace has exposed for environmental misdeeds, including Monsanto, Weyerhaeuser, and BHP Minerals.
This article (Lobbyist Claims Monsanto’s Roundup Is Safe To Drink, Freaks Out When Offered A Glass) is free and open source. You have permission to republish this article under a Creative Commons license with attribution to the author and TheAntiMedia.org. Tune in to the Anti-Media radio show Monday through Friday @ 11pm Eastern/8pm Pacific. Help us fix our typos: email@example.com.
Neil Young is reportedly about to release a new album called, ‘The Monsanto Years’. Don’t expect the lyrics to be music to the ears of the company’s executives over in St Louis, however. With falling profits and glyphosate being reclassified by the WHO as ‘probably’ causing cancer, Monsanto needs Neil Young like it needs a hole in the head.
Glyphosate is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, which was primarily responsible $5.1 billion of Monsanto’s revenues in 2014. But that’s not all. The herbicide is used to support Monsanto’s Roundup Ready crops, which comprise a significant proportion of its revenue stream.
According to the US Department of Agriculture, herbicide-tolerant biotech plants were grown on virtually all (94 percent) soybean fields in the US last year and on 89 percent of all cornfields. Food & Water Watch found the volume of glyphosate applied to those crops increased almost 1,000 percent between 1996 and 2012, from 15 million pounds to 159 million pounds.
But perhaps the WHO’s reclassification presents just another hurdle to be pushed aside by this science-denying company that has such immense influence within the US Environmental Protection Agency so as to have its fraudulent science accepted and studies showing the carcinogenic impact of glyphosate sidelined.
“The evidence shows that by 1981 both Monsanto and the EPA were aware of malignant tumours and pre-cancerous conditions in the test animals which were fed small doses of glyphosate in the secret feeding experiments. Although concerns were expressed at the time by EPA committees, these concerns were later suppressed under the weight of conflicting evidence brought forward by Monsanto, some of it involving the inappropriate use of historical control data of dubious quality. None of these studies is available for independent examination. That is a scandal in itself. There has been a protracted and cynical cover-up in this matter. Glyphosate is a “probable human carcinogen”, as now confirmed by the WHO Working Group, and no matter what protestations may now come from Monsanto and the EPA, they have been fully aware of its potential to cause cancer for at least 35 years.”
Due to its strategic position and influence within government bodies and universities, Monsanto has been able to colonize, control and censor science. Claire Robinson recently discussed this. She also highlighted how a phone call by Monsanto to the then US President Bill Clinton compelled him to get on the phone to British PM Tony Blair who in turn told a British-based science institute to quash research that was going to be detrimental to the company.
A director from the institute in question said:
“Tony Blair’s office had been pressured by the Americans, who thought our study would harm the biotechnology industry, and particularly Monsanto.”
It all involved Arpad Pusztai, a scientist at the Rowett Institute in Scotland. His research had found toxic effects in rats fed GM potatoes. Pusztai was subjected to a campaign of vilification by pro-GMO scientific organizations and individuals in an attempt to discredit him and his research.He lost his job, funding and research team, and had a gagging order slapped on him which forbade him to speak about his research. Of course, many other scientists have suffered similar fates to varying extents as Robinson indicates.
Given the power and influence that Monsanto wields over science, governments and international trade and the rules governing it (see this, this and this), some might wonder just what threat Neil Young and his music poses to such a company.
However, public perception counts. It counts so much that Monsanto has spent tens of millions to not have its GM foods labelled. It counts so much that it knows if they were to be labelled, people would not choose them. It counts so much that the industry has a small army of online shills, front groups and mouthpieces and has influence over ‘respectable’ institutes and media bodies that work to spew out corporate propaganda and attack critics, (attempt to) rubbish their arguments or engage in character assassinations.
That much is apparent. So don’t expect Neil Young to be flavour of the month over at St. Louis.
Maybe the people in St. Louis should consider releasing their own album in response. The track listing could be:
It wasn’t me – cover of Shaggy song (due to Monsanto’s misdemeanours, this a very long track record)/Video killed the lobbying star (by Canadian star Patrick Moore)/Anti-capitalist nut jobs (punk song angrily sung by golden rice ‘social media golden boy’ Paul Evans)/Killing in the name of (RATM cover dedicated to all the anti-GMO Green Blob ‘murdering enemies of the poor’)/Murdering bastards (angry punk song by Patrick Moore)/Canadian idiot! (cover of Green Day’s American Idiot).
Vincent Nichols, Catholic Archbishop of Westminster, is spiritual leader of the four million Catholics of England and Wales. He was also elevated to Cardinal on 22nd February 2014, receiving the Cardinal’s red hat from Pope Francis in Rome’s St Peter’s Basilica. He has been cited as a man: “not afraid to speak out when he feels compelled to do so.”
He has indeed railed against “punitive” welfare cuts, calling them a “disgrace”, he has spoken in defence of Catholic masses for gay, lesbian and transgender Catholics and has come under attack for defending Irish priests and nuns who had abused children in their care, saying it took courage to “face the facts from their past.”
On Nichols’ elevation, his predecessor as Archbishop of Westminster, Cormac Murphy-O’Connor commented that it gave him, perhaps, “better media space” and the chance: “to speak out on things that concern the church and society.” (Guardian, 18th February 2014.)
The Archbishop has just returned from a visit to Erbil in northern Iraq and spoken and written on the plight of the Christians. (Mention of the cataclysmic plight of the vast majority of Iraqis of all faiths or none, is scant – to near invisible.)
Archbishops and Blair
Cormac Murphy-O’Connor - inexplicably – welcomed Tony Blair in to the Catholic Church in a ceremony at “The Cardinal’s private residence, Archbishop’s House” in spite of Blair’s hand in the mistruths culminating in the Iraq assault, arguably fitting the definition of Nuremberg’s “supreme international crime.” The Archbishop, on welcoming Blair in to the Catholic Church declared he was “very glad” to do so. (BBC 22nd December 2007.)
One wonders whether he reflected on welcoming a man who had been involved in the destruction of the cradle of all he and his church’s followers professed to believe? The three Abrahamic religions believed risen from Ur in southern Iraq, the Garden of Eden flourished at Qurnah, a little south, Saint Mathew is believed buried in the monastery named for him in Nineveh and belief has it that Jonah and some of the whale that swallowed him rested in his tomb in Mosul – now destroyed by ISIS.
In 2006, the year before Blair’s conversion to Catholicism, the John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Iraq mortality survey estimated excess deaths in the three years since the invasion at 650,000. An unrepentant Blair said repeatedly before his conversion and since, that he had no regrets and would do the same again. The excess death toll now, between the twenty plus years of embargo and invasion, is estimated at three million. (1) Genocide.
Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, now 83, is retired, but Blair who has stated he prayed to God when deciding to join illegally invading and decimating Iraq is still seemingly as welcome in the Catholic church and Westminster Cathedral under Archbishop Nichols as his predecessor, where he even attended a mass officiated by the Pope in 2010.
A Unique Case, Will the Archbishop Speak Out?
On confirmation of Archbishop Nichols Cardinal status, he was designated titular Head of a church known for housing the icon of “Our Lady of Perpetual Help.” Now there is something to live up to. There is perhaps a unique cause with which to start to “speak out on things that concern the church” – or should.
Former Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz, a courageous Iraqi Chaldean Christian nationalist, passionate in his love for his land, has been abandoned in Iraqi jails for twelve years. He did not flee ahead of the US and British tanks, or from the “Shock and Awe” of their radioactive bombardment, but to stayed in his country. He gave himself up to the American Command – on the condition his family could leave the country in safety.
Saddam Hussein’s entire government could have left Iraq prior to the inevitable invasion and lived in comfort elsewhere, as the Kuwait government did in 1991 – indeed George W. Bush’s regime confirmed that they offered Saddam Hussein forty eight hours to leave Iraq (2.) Iraq’s Administration had vowed not abandon their country. None did.
Iraq in fact offered “unlimited access for 2,000” weapons inspectors with: “a pledge that US companies would be granted first priority in securing valuable Iraqi oil and mining concessions.” America, however, it seems wanted both blood and oil.
Countless “9/11s” engulfed Iraq, yet the government remained visibly there until, given they had little to nil means of defence, all was lost.
In contrast, on 11th September 2001, George W. Bush was anything but visible. The “Commander in Chief”, self appointed “Leader of the Free World” was whisked away from his kindergarten reading session in Florida and taken to a secret and secure place on a military base in Shreveport, Louisiana.
Tariq Aziz was held by the Americans until 2007 before being tried in a US arranged kangaroo court. In one session, ill, being taken there in his pyjamas. The savage, shameful, primitive face of the American fashioned “New Iraq” for all to see. Even the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights referred to “the independence (of the Court being) allegedly undermined by political interference” (3) an understatement of enormity.
The charges against Tariq Aziz have thousands of column inches devoted to them, few have been devoted to the outrage of his arraignment, imprisonment, treatment, plight and finally death sentence.
Revenge Not Justice
As his son, Ziad Aziz has said: “This is about revenge, not justice. They’ve implicated my father in everything, in every single case you can imagine. He has been apportioned blame for issues that never even fell within the realm of his responsibilities.”
This statement would appear to be borne out by George W. Bush shortly after Aziz had given himself in to the occupiers. Bush expressed unshakable confidence that his forces would find banned weapons, implying that Tariq Aziz was key to their discovery. At a press conference in Crawford Texas with then Australian Prime Minister John Howard, he stated: “Tariq Aziz still doesn’t know how to tell the truth, he didn’t know how to tell the truth when in office and he doesn’t know how to tell the truth as a captive.” (AP 4th May 2003.) The lies of course had come from Washington and Whitehall.
Not to be forgotten is the meticulous near 12,000 pages of Iraq’s accounting for what they did not have, delivered to the UN, in December 2002, as requested – and stolen by the US delegation at the UN.
Aziz has said his responsibility for he or his departmental colleagues escorting UN weapons inspectors round Iraq was largely futile: “I was trying to prove a negative.”
Tareq Aziz will be seventy nine on April 28th. This is written on the 12th anniversary of his incarceration, 24th April.
Situation Critical And The Wedding Ring
Indomitable though he is, his health was poor, even before the invasion. In 2010 he was taken to an American hospital with a blood clot. He also suffers other serious conditions. The Vatican and several European governments have called for his release, but it is a stance which seems not to have been persued with any measure of vigour with the Iraqi government or the US Embassy in Iraq.
Earlier this month his wife, Violet, visited him, now moved from Baghdad to the notorious maximum security prison in Al-Nasiryah in southern Iraq, from where stories of torture and ill treatment abound. Ziad Aziz writes of his plight:
“I would like to write to you and hopefully through you to the rest of the world, to raise attention about my father’s condition.
“My mother went to visit him this week in Al-Nasiryah prison where he had been transferred since August of last year. The guard brought him and his prison mates to the interview area in shackles, chains around their ankles and wrists.
“But she felt worse when she started talking to him. He was incoherent, and could barely form a sentence, and he couldn’t remember his own grandchildren, he asked her about my other son, I have only one son – his namesake, Tariq.
“He has not received any medical attention, he still depends on us to bring all his medicine to him when my mother visits him. The situation there is so bad that they don’t even provide food for the inmates, let alone medical care.
“At the end, my father gave my mother his wedding ring, telling her that he feels that the end is near, he said he didn’t want it to be stolen. This ring hasn’t left his finger for fifty years, all the time he was married. I cannot tell you how devastated my mother felt at that moment, as am I and the whole family.
“I cannot emphasize enough how dire my father’s condition is, we desperately need to raise attention to his, and his colleagues, conditions. I am afraid that the worse will happen very soon, as does he apparently.
“We would like your help to raise attention to his condition, and hopefully we can secure his release so he can spend his last days with his family.”
An Anniversary And a Second Letter
Today, a further letter arrived:
“I write to you to update you on my father’s situation and kindly remind you of the urgency of his health condition, and through you to all who you think can help us with our cause.
“There are rumours that they moved my father and a few of the other prisoners back to Baghdad. We don’t know whether it is true or not, and we have no way of confirming it.
“He is still has not had any medical attention whatsoever. The prison officials asked us to wire them money in order to provide food and medicine for my father, we have no way of knowing if he is eating or taking the right dose of his medicine – or if he is taking any medicine at all.
“Time is not on our side, I can’t stress enough the urgency of the situation and the need to for an immediate intervention. It has been 12 years today since the Americans took him and since I last saw my father, I don’t know if there is another year to wait. We need to intensify our campaign to deliver this message to all our friends, allies, and the international community, and bring more pressure on the Iraqi government.
“We appreciate all the help we can get and we are very grateful to you for all your efforts.
“Thank you very much
Ziad Tariq Aziz.”
Back in 2010 I wrote: ‘The silence of the Pope, Archbishops, the Foreign Office (despite Foreign Secretary William Hague claiming to put human rights firmly at the centre of his policies) has been woeful. All have been approached by anti-death-penalty campaigners, including many eminent people. None has even replied to correspondence. Tariq Aziz is a symbol of the “democracy” brought to the new Iraq. His trial was condemned by Human Rights Watch – which had called for it consistently – as “fundamentally flawed” and they said that the “court should overturn the verdict”. ‘ (4)
Letters have again, today, been sent to the relevant bodies at the UN, the EU, to the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury – and to Cardinal and Archbishop of Westminster Vincent Nichol.
Last year George W. Bush and Tony Blair were “unanimously” found guilty of “crimes against peace” by a distinguished legal panel at the War Crimes Tribunal in Malaysia. (5) “The evidence showed that the drums of wars were being beaten long before the invasion. The accused in their own memoirs have admitted their own intention to invade Iraq regardless of international law”, they concluded. They were found guilty on the same grounds in 2011 and guilty of war crimes in 2012. Weighty files of evidence have been lodged with the International Criminal Court at The Hague.
Perhaps, at this eleventh hour, Vincent Nichols might finally feel “compelled” to “speak out” for his Chaldean Catholic brother-in-the-church, Tariq Aziz, in some measure of atonement for welcoming an accused war criminal mired in the blood of three million Iraqis, innumerable Afghanis and people of the Balkans. As he said, it takes “courage to face the facts from the past.”
Now how do you top this as a geopolitical entrance? Eight JF-17 Thunder fighter jets escorting Chinese President Xi Jinping on board an Air China Boeing as he enters Pakistani air space. And these JF-17s are built as a China-Pakistan joint project.
Silk Road? Better yet; silk skyway.
Just to drive the point home – and into everyone’s homes – a little further, Xi penned a column widely distributed to Pakistani media before his first overseas trip in 2015.
He stressed, “We need to form a ‘1+4′ cooperation structure with the Economic Corridor at the center and the Gwadar Port, energy, infrastructure and industrial cooperation being the four key areas to drive development across Pakistan and deliver tangible benefits to its people.”
Quick translation: China is bringing Pakistan into the massive New Silk Road(s) project with a bang.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry, also on cue, stressed that Pakistan would be in the frontline to benefit from the $40 billion Silk Road Fund, which will help to finance the Silk Road Economic Belt and Maritime Silk Road projects; or, in Chinese jargon, “One Belt, One Road”, that maze of roads, high-speed rail, ports, pipelines and fiber optics networks bound to turbo-charge China’s links to Europe through Russia, Central Asia and the Indian Ocean.
The Silk Road Fund will disburse funds in parallel with the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), which has already enticed no less than 57 countries. China’s assistant foreign minister, Liu Jianchao, has not delved into detailed numbers, but he assures China “stands ready to provide financing.”
So no wonder Pakistani media was elated. A consensus is also fast emerging that China is becoming “Pakistan’s most important ally” from either West or East.
Beijing’s carefully calibrated commercial offensive mixing Chinese leadership concepts such as harmonious society and Chinese dream with a “win-win” neighborhood policy seduces by the numbers alone: $46 billion in investment in Pakistan ($11 billion in infrastructure, $35 billion in energy), compared to a U.S. Congress’s $7.5 billion program that’s been in place since 2008.
The meat of the matter is that Washington’s “help” to Islamabad is enveloped in outdated weapons systems, while Beijing is investing in stuff that actually benefits people in Pakistan; think of $15.5 billion in coal, wind, solar and hydro energy projects bound to come online by 2017, or a $44 million optical fiber cable linking China and Pakistan.
According to the Center for Global Development, between 2002 and 2009 no less than 70% of U.S. aid was about “security” – related to the never-ending GWOT (global war on terror). As a Pakistani analyst wrote me, “just compare Xi’s vision for his neighbors and the history of America in Latin America. It is like the difference between heaven and hell.”
That “X” Factor
At the heart of the action is the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), whose embryo had already been discussed when Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visited Beijing in the summer of 2013. The economic corridor, across 3,000 km, will link the port of Gwadar, in the Arabian Sea, not far from the Iranian border, with China’s Xinjiang.
China is already in Gwadar; China Overseas Port Holding Company is operating it for two years now, after helping to build the first phase. Gwadar formally opens before the end of the month, but a first-class highway and railway linking it to the rest of Pakistan still need to be built (mostly by Chinese companies), not to mention an international airport, scheduled to open by 2017.
All this action implies a frenzy of Chinese workers building roads, railways – and power plants. Their security must be assured. And that means solving the “X” factor; “X” as in Xinjiang, China’s vast far west, home to only 22 million people including plenty of disgruntled Uyghurs.
Beijing-based analyst Gabriele Battaglia has detailed how Xinjiang has been addressed according to the new guiding principle of President Xi’s ethnic policy. The key idea, says Battaglia, is to manage the ethnic conflict between Han Chinese and Uyghurs by applying the so-called three “J”: jiaowang, jiaoliu, jiaorong, that is, “inter-ethnic contact”, “exchange” and “mixage”.
Yet what is essentially a push towards assimilation coupled with some economic incentives is far from assured success; after all the bulk of Xinjiang’s day-to-day policy is conducted by unprepared Han cadres who tend to view most Uyghurs as “terrorists”.
Many of these cadres identify any separatist stirring in Xinjiang as CIA-provoked, which is not totally true. There is an extreme Uyghur minority which actually entered Wahhabi-driven jihadism (I met some of them in Masoud’s prisons in the Panjshir valley before 9/11) and has gone to fight everywhere from Chechnya to Syria. But what the overwhelming majority really wants is an economic shot at the Chinese dream.
The Pakistani counterpart to Xinjiang is Balochistan, inhabited by a little over 6 million people. There have been at least three different separatist factions/movements in Balochistan fighting Islamabad and what they call “Punjabis” with a vengeance. Former provincial minister Jaffar Khan Mandokhel, for instance, is already warning there will be a “strong reaction” across Balochistan to changes in the corridor’s routes, which, he says, “are meant to give maximum benefit to Punjab, which is already considered the privileged province.” Islamabad denies any changes.
The corridor is also bound to bypass most of the key, northwestern province of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Opposition political star Imran Khan – whose party is on top in Khyber – has already condemned it as an injustice.
Beijing, for its part, has been very explicit to Islamabad; the Pakistani Taliban must be defeated, or at least appeased. That explains why since June 2014 the Pakistani army has been involved in a huge aerial bombing campaign – Zarb-e Azb – againt the Haqqani network and other hardcore tribals. The Pakistani army has already set up a special division to take care of the corridor, including nine battalions and the proverbial paramilitary forces. None of this though is a guarantee of success.
Karakoram or Bust
It will be absolutely fascinating to watch how China and Pakistan, simultaneously, may be able to keep the peace in both Xinjiang and Balochistan to assure booming trade along the corridor. Geographicaly though, this all makes perfect sense.
Xinjiang is closer to the Arabian Sea than Shanghai. Shanghai is twice more distant from Urumqi than Karachi. So no wonder Beijing thinks of Pakistan as a sort of Hong Kong West, as I examined in some detail here.
This is also a microcosm of East and South Asia integration, and even Greater Asia integration, if we include China, Iran, Afghanistan, and even Myanmar.
The spectacular Karakoram highway, from Kashgar to Islamabad, a feat of engineering completed by the Chinese working alongside the Pakistan Army Corps of engineers, will be upgraded, and extended all the way to Gwadar. A railway will also be built. And in the near future, yet another key Pipelineistan stretch.
Pipelineistan is linked to the corridor also in the form of the Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline, which Beijing will help Islamabad to finish to the tune of $2 billion, after successive U.S. administrations relentlessly tried to derail it. The geopolitical dividends of China blessing a steel umbilical cord between Iran and Pakistan are of course priceless.
The end result is that early in the 2020s China will be connected in multiple ways practically with the mouth of the Persian Gulf. Large swathes of massive China-Europe trade will be able to avoid the Strait of Malacca. China will be turbo-charging trade with the Middle East and Africa. China-bound Middle East oil will be offloaded at Gwadar and transported to Xinjiang via Balochistan – before a pipeline is finished. And Pakistan will profit from more energy, infrastructure and transit trade.
Talk about a “win-win”. And that’s not even accounting for China’s thirst for gold. Balochistan is awash with gold, and there have been new discoveries in Punjab.
New Silk Road action is nothing short than frantic. The Bank of China is already channeling $62 billion of its immense foreign exchange reserves to three policy banks supporting New Silk Road(s) projects; $32 billion to China Development Bank (CDB) and $30 billion to Export-Import Bank of China (EXIM). The Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC) will also get its share.
And it’s not only Pakistan; the five Central Asian “stans” – rich in oil, gas, coal, agricultural land, gold, copper, uranium – are also targeted.
There’s a new highway from Kashgar to Osh, in Kyrgyzstan, and a new railway between Urumqi and Almaty, in Kazakhstan. We may be a long way away from the new high-speed Silk Rail, but trade between, for instance, the megacities of Chongqing or Chengdu in Sichuan with Germany now moves in only 20 days; that’s 15 days less than the sea route.
So it’s no wonder a “special leading group” was set up by Beijing to oversee everything going on in the One Road, One Belt galaxy. The crucial action plan is here. Those who’re about to go silk, we salute you.
La Conferenza di Mosca sulla sicurezza internazionale di aprile è stato il luogo per informare Stati Uniti e NATO che le altre potenze mondiali non gli lasceranno fare ciò che vogliono.
I colloqui sugli sforzi di Cina, India, Russia e Iran contro l’espansione della NATO sono divenuti colloqui sui piani militari tra Pechino, Mosca e Teheran.
Ministri della Difesa e ufficiali si sono riuniti il 16 aprile presso il Radisson Royal o Hotel Ukraina, uno dei migliori esempi di architettura sovietica di Mosca, noto come una delle “Sette Sorelle” costruite in epoca staliniana. L’evento ospitato dal Ministero della Difesa russo era la quarta Conferenza Internazionale sulla Sicurezza di Mosca (MCIS).
Funzionari provenienti da oltre settanta Paesi vi hanno partecipato. Quindici ministri della Difesa vi hanno preso parte. Tuttavia, tranne la Grecia, i ministri della Difesa della NATO non hanno partecipato.
A differenza degli anni precedenti, gli organizzatori del MCIS non hanno inviato l’Ucraina. Secondo il Viceministro della Difesa russo Anatolij Antonov, “In questa fase di brutale antagonismo informativo sulla crisi nel sud-est dell’Ucraina, abbiamo deciso di non infiammare la situazione alla conferenza e di non invitare i nostri colleghi ucraini.”
Personalmente, per interesse ho seguito tali conferenze da anni, perché importanti dichiarazioni sulla politica estera e di sicurezza tendono ad apparirvi. Quest’anno sono entusiasta per l’inaugurazione di questa particolare conferenza sulla sicurezza. A parte che si svolge in un momento in cui il paesaggio geopolitico mondiale muta rapidamente, ero curioso di vedere cosa la conferenza producesse da quando mi fu chiesto, nel 2014 dall’ambasciata russa in Canada, se fossi interessato a partecipare al IV MCIS.
Il resto del mondo parla: Audizione sui problemi della sicurezza non-euro-atlantica
La conferenza di Mosca è l’equivalente russa della Conferenza sulla sicurezza di Monaco presso l’Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Germania. Ma vi sono tuttavia differenze cruciali.
Mentre la Conferenza sulla sicurezza di Monaco riguarda la sicurezza euro-atlantica e considera la sicurezza globale dal punto di vista ‘atlantista’ della NATO, il MCIS rappresenta una prospettiva globale molto più ampia e diversificata. Rappresenta le preoccupazioni sulla sicurezza del mondo non-euro-atlantico, in particolare Medio Oriente e Asia-Pacifico. Dall’Argentina, India, Vietnam ad Egitto e Sud Africa, la conferenza presso l’Hotel Ukraina coinvolge grandi e piccoli attori le cui voci e interessi sulla sicurezza, in un modo o nell’altro, sono minati e ignorati a Monaco di Baviera dai capi di USA e NATO.
Il Ministro della Difesa russo Sergej Shojgu, ufficiale comandante, pari a generale di Corpo d’Armata nella maggior parte dei Paesi della NATO, ha aperto la conferenza. Inoltre, accanto a Shojgu sono intervenuti il Ministro degli Esteri russo Sergej Lavrov e altri alti funzionari. Tutti dedicati sulla guerra multispettro di Washington che utilizza le rivoluzioni colorate, come Euromajdan in Ucraina e la rivoluzione delle rose in Georgia, per un cambio di regime. Shojgu ha citato Venezuela e la regione amministrativa speciale cinese di Hong Kong come rivoluzioni colorate fallite.
Il ministro degli Esteri Lavrov ha ricordato che la possibilità di un conflitto mondiale aumenta pericolosamente per la trascuratezza di Stati Uniti e NATO verso la sicurezza degli altri e assenza di un dialogo costruttivo. Argomentando, Lavrov ha citato il presidente statunitense Franklin Roosevelt dire, “Non ci può essere via di mezzo. Dovremo prenderci la responsabilità della collaborazione mondiale, o di un altro conflitto mondiale. Credo che abbiano formulato una delle principali lezioni del conflitto globale più devastante della storia: è possibile affrontare le sfide e preservare la pace attraverso sforzi collettivi nel rispetto degli interessi legittimi di tutte le parti,” spiegando ciò che i leader mondiali appresero dalla Seconda Guerra Mondiale.
Shojgu ha avuto oltre dieci incontri bilaterali con i vari ministri e capi della Difesa giunti a Mosca per il MCIS. Nel corso di un incontro con il Ministro della Difesa serbo Bratislav Gasic, Shojgu ha detto che Mosca considera Belgrado partner affidabile nella cooperazione militare.
La coalizione sino-russo-iraniana: incubo di Washington
Il mito che la Russia sia isolata internazionalmente è stato abbattuto dalla conferenza, che apporta anche importanti annunci.
Il Ministro della Difesa del Kazakistan Imangali Tasmagambetov e Shojgu annunciavano l’avvio del sistema di difesa aereo congiunto kazako-russo, ciò non solo indica l’integrazione dello spazio aereo dell’Organizzazione del trattato di sicurezza collettiva (CSTO), ma anche una tendenza preannunciando altre comunicazioni contro lo scudo antimissile della NATO.
La dichiarazione più vigorosa, però, era quella del Ministro della Difesa iraniano Hussein Dehghan. Il Generale di Brigata Deghan ha detto che l’Iran vuole che Cina, India, Russia si riuniscano opponendosi all’espansione della NATO e alla minaccia del progettato scudo missilistico alla loro Alleanza per la sicurezza collettiva.
Nel corso di un incontro con il Ministro della Difesa cinese Chang Wanquan, Shojgu sottolineava che i legami militari di Mosca con Pechino sono la “priorità assoluta.” In un altro incontro bilaterale sulla Difesa tra Iran e Russia, ha confermato che la cooperazione sarà pietra angolare del nuovo ordine multipolare e che Mosca e Teheran erano d’accordo sull’approccio strategico verso gli Stati Uniti.
Dopo che Dehghan e la delegazione iraniana s’incontravano con Shojgu e gli omologhi russi, fu annunciato un vertice tripartito tra Pechino, Mosca e Teheran. L’idea è stata successivamente avallata dalla delegazione cinese.
L’ex-capo della sicurezza degli Stati Uniti Zbigniew Brzezinski ha avvertito le élite contro la formazione di una “coalizione eurasiatica che in futuro potrebbe cercare di sfidare la supremazia americana.” Secondo Brzezinski tale alleanza eurasiatica sorgerebbe come “coalizione sino-russo-iraniana” con Pechino al centro.
“Per gli strateghi cinesi, affrontando la coalizione trilaterale di USA, Europa e Giappone, il contrappeso geopolitico più efficace potrebbe essere creare una propria triplice alleanza collegando la Cina all’Iran nella regione del Golfo Persico/Medio Oriente, e alla Russia nella zona ex-sovieti, avverte Brzezinski. “Nel valutare le opzioni future della Cina, si deve considerare anche la possibilità che una Cina economicamente efficace e politicamente sicura, ma che si sente esclusa dal sistema globale, decida di essere portavoce e leader degli Stati poveri del mondo, decidendo di porre non solo un’articolazione dottrinale, ma anche una potente sfida geopolitica al dominante mondo trilaterale,” spiega.
Più o meno questa è la via che i cinesi seguono. Il Ministro Wanquan ha categoricamente detto al MCIS che un ordine mondiale giusto è necessario.
La minaccia per gli Stati Uniti è che una coalizione sino-russo-iraniana possa, secondo Brzezinski, “essere una potente calamita per gli Stati insoddisfatti dallo status quo.”
Contrastare lo scudo missilistico di Stati Uniti e NATO in Eurasia
La nuova “cortina di ferro” viene eretta da Washington intorno Cina, Iran, Russia e alleati, attraverso l’infrastruttura missilistica di Stati Uniti e NATO. Tale rete missilistica è offensiva e non difensiva per intenti e motivazioni. L’obiettivo del Pentagono è neutralizzare le risposte difensive della Russia e delle altre potenze eurasiatiche a un attacco missilistico statunitense che potrebbe includere un primo colpo nucleare. Washington non vuole permettere alla Russia o altri di avere la capacità di contrattaccare o, in altre parole, di rispondere a un attacco del Pentagono.
Nel 2011 fu indicato che il Viceprimo Ministro russo Dmitrij Rogozin, già inviato di Mosca presso la NATO, si era recato a Teheran per parlare del progetto di scudo missilistico della NATO. Diversi rapporti, anche del Tehran Times, affermavano che i governi di Russia, Iran e Cina progettavano uno scudo missilistico congiunto per contrastare Stati Uniti e NATO. Rogozin, però, smentì dicendo che la difesa missilistica era stata discussa dal Cremlino e dagli alleati dell’Organizzazione del trattato di sicurezza collettiva (CSTO).
L’idea di cooperare nella difesa tra Cina, Iran e Russia contro lo scudo missilistico NATO aleggia dal 2011. Da allora l’Iran diveniva osservatore della CSTO, come Afghanistan e Serbia. Pechino, Mosca e Teheran si sono riavvicinati anche su problemi come Siria, Euromaidan e “Pivot in Asia” del Pentagono. L’appello di Deghan a un approccio collettivo da parte di Cina, India, Iran e Russia contro lo scudo missilistico e l’espansione della NATO, insieme agli annunci al MCIS sui colloqui militari tripartiti tra Cina, Iran e Russia, indicano questa direzione.
I sistemi di difesa aerea russi S-300 e S-400 vengono schierati in Eurasia, dall’Armenia e dalla Bielorussia alla Kamchatka, quale avanzata contromossa alla nuova “cortina di ferro”. Questi sistemi di difesa aerea rendono l’obiettivo di Washington, neutralizzare reazione o secondo colpo, molto più difficile. Anche gli ufficiali di NATO e Pentagono, che chiamano SA-20 il sistema S-300, l’ammettono. “L’abbiamo studiato e ci siamo preparati a contrastalo per anni. Anche se non ne abbiamo paura, rispettiamo l’S-300 per quello che è: un sistema missilistico molto mobile, preciso e letale,” ha scritto il colonnello dell’US Air Force Clint Hinote per il Consiglio delle Relazioni Estere di Washington.
Anche se è stato ipotizzato che la vendita dei sistemi S-300 all’Iran sia un credito nella vendita di armi internazionali a Teheran, dovuto ai colloqui di Losanna, e che Mosca cerca un vantaggio competitivo nella riapertura del mercato iraniano, in realtà situazione e motivazioni sono molto diverse. Anche se Teheran acquista diversi quantitativi di materiali militari dalla Russia e da altre fonti estere, segue una politica di autosufficienza militare e produce la maggior parte delle proprie armi. Tutta una serie di equipaggiamenti militari — carri armati, missili, aerei da combattimento, radar, fucili, droni, elicotteri, siluri, mortai, navi da guerra e sottomarini — sono prodotti nazionalmente in Iran. L’esercito iraniano sostiene anche che il sistema di difesa aerea Bavar-373 è più o meno l’equivalente all’S-300.
L’invio degli S-300 da Mosca a Teheran non è solo un affare dichiarato, ma è destinato a cementare la cooperazione militare russo-iraniana e a migliorare la cooperazione eurasiatica contro l’accerchiamento dello scudo missilistico di Washington. È un passo avanti verso la creazione della rete della difesa aerea eurasiatica contro la minaccia missilistica di Stati Uniti e NATO alle nazioni che osano opporsi a Washington.
Nazemroaya è un sociologo e un autore pluripremiato. È ricercatore associato presso il Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) è membro del Comitato Scientifico di GEOPOLITICA. È specializzato sul Medio Oriente e l’Asia centrale. E’ stato collaboratore e ospite sul più vasto Medio Oriente in numerosi programmi e reti internazionali come Al Jazeera, CCTV, teleSUR e Rossiya-24. Nazemroaya è stato anche testimone della “primavera araba” in azione nel Nord Africa. Mentre era in Libia durante la campagna di bombardamenti della NATO, ha relazionato da Tripoli per diversi media. Ha inviato dispacci dai punti chiave della Libia per Global Research ed è stato inviato speciale per il programma investigativo della Flashpoints, trasmesso da Berkeley, California. I suoi scritti sono stati pubblicati in oltre dieci lingue. Scrive anche per Strategic Culture Foundation (SCF) a Mosca, Russia.
Perhaps the most extraordinary aspect of President Obama’s announcement Thursday that two hostages of Al Qaeda, an American and an Italian, were killed in a US drone missile strike in Pakistan is the lack of any significant reaction from official political circles or the media.
There was a certain amount of tut-tutting in the press and expressions of sympathy for the family of Dr. Warren Weinstein, the longtime aid worker in Pakistan who was kidnapped by Al Qaeda in 2011 and killed by the US government in January 2015.
But there was no challenge to the basic premise of the drone missile program: that the CIA and Pentagon have the right to kill any individual, in any country, on the mere say-so of the president. Drone murder by the US government has become routine and is accepted as normal and legitimate by the official shapers of public opinion.
Obama’s own appearance Thursday was chilling. He made perfunctory expressions of regret, but only because the latest victims of US drone strikes included an American and an Italian who were being held hostage. It was a transparently poor acting performance, convincing no one but the editors of theNew York Times, who praised Obama’s “candor and remorse.”
After blaming the deaths of Weinstein and Giovanni Lo Porto on “mistakes” made because of “the fog of war,” Obama declared, “But one of the things that sets America apart from many other nations, one of the things that makes us exceptional, is our willingness to confront squarely our imperfections and to learn from our mistakes.” He had decided to admit responsibility for the deaths because “the United States is a democracy, committed to openness, in good times and in bad.”
What a farce! Far from admitting “mistakes,” Obama, the political front man for the military-intelligence apparatus, was making clear that the drone assassination program would continue and no one would be held accountable for the latest atrocity.
Today’s America is “exceptional” only in the degree to which the entire ruling elite has embraced a policy of reckless violence around the globe that includes murder, torture and aggressive war. The United States is run by criminals.
A major test of any American president is readiness to approve state killings in his or her capacity as the political representative, not of the American people, but of a cabal of generals and CIA assassins. How much longer before such actions are carried out not just in remote parts of Afghanistan or Yemen, but in major urban centers of major countries, including, ultimately, the United States itself?
The drone strike in Pakistan’s Shawal Valley that killed Weinstein and Lo Porto is part of an unending campaign of death and destruction. Obama did not even have to sign off on this particular missile strike, since he has given the CIA blanket authority to conduct such operations in the predominately Pashtun-populated Federally Administered Tribal Areas of Pakistan.
The claim that drone attacks target individuals designated by the US military-intelligence apparatus as “terrorists” is hardly a limitation, given the indiscriminate application of this term to anyone offering significant resistance to US foreign policy, as well as the cynical practice of posthumously applying the label of “enemy combatant” to any military-age male killed by a US drone-fired missile.
Moreover, as events in Syria and Libya demonstrate, yesterday’s anti-American “terrorist” can become today’s “rebel” or “freedom fighter,” the recipient of US cash, military training and weaponry. Similarly, today’s “freedom fighter” or ally in the “war on terror” can become tomorrow’s target for overthrow or assassination.
The CIA recruited Al Qaeda sympathizers for its overthrow of the Libyan regime and murder of Muammar Gaddafi, formerly an ally, and for the ongoing regime-change operation against President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The latter effort gave rise to the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, in which terrorists turned “rebels” were subsequently branded terrorists, in accordance with the twists and turns of US foreign policy.
Obama administration officials have confirmed that the drone missile attack that killed Weinstein and Lo Porto was a “signature strike,” in which targets are not identified by name, but selected on the basis of a pattern of activities supposedly consistent with those of a terrorist group. The CIA carried out a drone missile attack that killed six people, including Weinstein and Lo Porto, based on aerial observation of the comings and goings at the building targeted, without actually knowing who was there or what their relation, if any, was with Al Qaeda or the Taliban.
Such attacks are in flagrant violation of international law. The US is trampling on the sovereignty of Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia and other countries where it carries out such strikes.
Drone missile murders are war crimes under the Geneva Conventions, which forbid deliberate attacks on civilians or military operations that recklessly endanger civilians. According to a study by the human rights group Reprieve, US drone missile strikes targeting 41 supposed terrorists killed a total of 1,147 people, including many women and children.
Not a single significant voice in the US political or media establishment has been raised against the elevation of assassination to a major element of American foreign policy. In the 1970s, when the US Senate’s Church Committee held hearings on CIA assassination plots against a handful of foreign leaders, its revelations had the capacity to shock. There was a reaction even at the highest levels of the political establishment, and the White House was compelled to issue an executive order disavowing murder as a tool of government policy.
Today there is no such reaction. On the contrary, earlier this month the Timesrevealed that congressional leaders had put pressure on the White House and CIA for more acts of drone missile murder. Describing discussions about whether to kill or capture a Texas-born Islamist who had joined Al Qaeda in Pakistan, Mohanad Mahmoud Al Farekh, the Times reported: “During a closed-door hearing of the House Intelligence Committee in July 2013, lawmakers grilled military and intelligence officials about why Mr. Farekh had not been killed.” (See: “US targeted second American citizen for assassination”).
The American media is well aware of the drone missile death toll, but covers it up. An article Friday in the Times noted that the White House refuses point-blank to discuss civilian victims of drone missile attacks when they are Pakistani or Yemeni. “When Americans have been killed, however, the Obama administration has found it necessary to break with its usual practice and eventually acknowledge the deaths, at least in private discussions with reporters,” the newspaper wrote.
The lack of any significant protest of the latest revelations of US war crimes is a warning to the working class, both in the United States and internationally. As the World Socialist Web Site has consistently warned, the war drive of imperialism is inseparably linked to a frontal assault on democratic and social rights.
The struggle against war and in defense of democratic rights requires a turn to the working class, the only social force capable of disarming the ruling elite. That is the purpose of the International May Day Online Rally called by the International Committee of the Fourth International for Sunday, May 3. We urge all readers and supporters of the World Socialist Web Site to register for the rally today.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of the first use of poison gas. In the spring of 1915 the company BAYER supplied about 700 tonnes of chemicals to the front. On April 22 about 170 tonnes of chlorine gas were used for the first time on a battlefield in Ypres, Belgium. A six km wide and 600-900 m deep gas cloud formed, drifting towards the French troops. This attack alone led to about 1,000 dead and 4,000 severely injured men. Poison gas attacks against British soldiers followed on 1st, 6th, 10th and 24th May.
As early as in the fall of 1914, in response to a suggestion from the Ministry of War, a commission had been established to deal with the use of poisonous waste from the chemical industry. The commission was chaired by Fritz Haber (director of the Kaiser Wilhelm-Institut), Carl Duisberg of BAYER and the chemist Walter Nernst. The commission recommended the use of chlorine gas, which was a deliberate violation of the Hague Convention Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, under which chemical warfare had been banned since 1907.
Carl Duisberg was personally present during early tests of poison gas and enthusiastically praised the new weapon: “The enemy won’t even know when an area has been sprayed with it and will remain quietly in place until the consequences occur.” Under Carl Duisberg’s leadership BAYER continued to develop increasingly lethal chemical weapons, first phosgene and later mustard gas. Duisberg vehemently demanded that they be used: “This phosgene is the meanest weapon I know. I strongly recommend that we not let the opportunity of this war pass without also testing gas grenades.” At BAYER´s headquarters in Leverkusen a school for chemical warfare was built.
Duisberg even commissioned the painter Otto Bollhagen to depict scenes of war production for the BAYER directors’ breakfast room. The painting shows the testing of poison gas and gas masks near Cologne.
by CBG Network
An estimated total of 60,000 people died as a result of the gas warfare started by Germany. Axel Koehler-Schnura from the Coalition against BAYER Dangers says:
“The name BAYER particularly stands for the development and production of poison gas. Nevertheless the company has not come to terms with its involvement in the atrocities of the First World War. BAYER has not even distanced itself from Carl Duisberg’s crimes.”
The German cities of Dortmund und Luedenscheid recently decided to rename streets named after Duisberg. Corresponding initiatives are under way in Frankfurt, Wuppertal, Bonn and Marl.
During the war BAYER became the biggest German explosives producer, the company also manufactured gas masks. Due to a price guarantee by the government profits were elevated to undreamt of heights. Also during the Third Reich research into chemical war gases was carried out in BAYER laboratories. The inventor of SARIN and TABUN, Dr. Gerhard Schrader, became head of the BAYER pesticides department after WW II.
Maryland Governor Larry Hogan announced Thursday he would dispatch 32 state troopers to Baltimore in advance of what is expected to be a large protest Saturday against the police killing of 25-year-old Freddie Gray. Protests have been held daily since Gray died on April 19, seven days after his spinal cord was nearly severed while he was in police custody.
Gray, who was unarmed, was arrested for the “crime” of making eye contact with a Baltimore cop and, according to the police, running away. A bystander video showed a group of police officers loading Gray, who was obviously injured and screaming in pain, into a small steel cage in the back of a police van.
Eyewitnesses said that, prior to the events captured in the video, the police contorted Gray’s body, forcing his heels onto his back. One bystander said the young man was “folded up like he was… a piece of origami.”
Gray repeatedly asked for medical help but the six cops involved in the arrest refused to heed his pleas. Instead, he was driven around town for 30 minutes before paramedics were called. He was taken to a hospital, fell into a coma and died a week later.
On Thursday, it emerged that the cops, who have been suspended with pay, failed to secure Gray with a seat belt, a violation of the police department’s policy. That policy was put into effect after another arrested man, Dondi Johnson, died of a fractured spine in 2005 after he was arrested and transported without a seat belt while his hands were cuffed behind his back.
The “rough ride” given Gray likely compounded whatever injuries the police had previously inflicted on him.
The response of Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, a Democrat and African American, has been to feign sympathy for the devastated family of the victim, promise a quick and thorough investigation, and urge demonstrators to remain peaceful. At the same time, repression against demonstrators has increased, with two people taken into custody on Thursday.
Now the governor, a Republican, is sending state troopers to Baltimore in what could be the first step in a larger mobilization of state forces.
With the protests growing in size and moving from the local police precinct to City Hall and the US Courthouse in downtown Baltimore, Democratic officials are beginning to raise the red herring of “outside agitators” to divert attention from the murderous actions of the police and the longstanding cover-up by local and state politicians.
Bernard Young, Baltimore City Council president, said on Thursday that he hoped residents would not let “outside forces come in here and dictate how we act by destroying our infrastructure.” Young speaks for the largely African American Democratic Party establishment in Baltimore that has for many years presided over the deindustrialization of the city and impoverishment of its working class inhabitants, black as well as white, and enrichment of a narrow African American elite.
Last month, Baltimore residents protested the city’s decision to begin shutting off water service to households that are behind on their water bills. The city’s Department of Public Works announced it would begin cutting off water to as many as 25,000 people.
According to a web site that tracks police killings in the US from media reports, 368 people have died so far this year at the hands of cops.
A coalition led by Saudi-Arabia and supported by Western leaders has been bombing Yemen for about a month; it’s a clearcut international aggression and an extremely a-symmetric conflict.
But we’ve heard no calls for a ‘humanitarian intervention’ by NATO or a no-fly zone to prevent the now more than 1500 bombing raids from continuing and hitting also civilian targets.
It’s not that international law is blatantly violated; sadly that has been seen before. It is the roaring absence of a clear condemnation by the UN, EU/NATO countries – usually calling themselves ‘the international community’ – and by the Western mainstream media.
Substance plays a minor role. What is right or wrong depends on who is doing what. This war is OK because the Saudi dictatorship and its coalition members are Western allies and armed by NATO countries.
The convenient but wrong narrative
Furthermore, the narrative has twisted this into a proxy war between Saudi-Arabia and the West on one side and Iran, alone, on the other side blaming the latter for its alleged support to the Houthis.
It is no wonder that a group of eminent scholars on Yemen have published an open letter in Washington Post in which, among other things, they condemn the Saudi-led war on Yemen.
They add, diplomatically, that
“A complex, local conflict has been overshadowed by the narrative of a regional proxy war between Saudi and Iranian interests. The Saudi, as well as Hadi, accuse the Houthis of being Iranian puppets. Some analysts say the connection between Tehran and the Houthis has been exaggerated.”
The UN Security Council passes a resolution condemning the Houthis, drafted by Jordan, a bombing coalition country and thereby de facto endorsing the aggression.
It seems that the UN Secretary-General is unaware of Articles 99 and 100 of the Charter. Only a couple of days later, the UN Yemen mediator resigns, conspicuously.
The absence of diversity in mainstream analyses of critical questions and the lack of sense of justice is appalling in that it leaves the world with the perverse “might makes right” philosophy unchallenged. An exaggeration?
Just try to imagine the Western generalised reaction had Iran bombed Yemen or somebody else – including civilian targets – the last three weeks with the support of, say, Russia and China.
TFF – independent of governments and corporate interests – offers you the analyses by our Associates below all of which contradict the woefully inadequate mainstream perspectives that also omit mention of the evident, accumulating double-standards of the West.
- give you the basic internal and international historical conflict dynamics;
- tell of the amazing non-violent struggle in Yemen – that the West didn’t bother to support;
- show the contributions of the U.S. to this new catastrophe because of its continued backing of Saleh’s dictatorship;
- debunk the narrative that this is in essence a war by proxies;
- show the real, complex relations between Iran and the Houthis, actually almost the opposite of what Western media have repeated without any empirical back-up;
- illustrate how arms export profiteering influence foreign policy, cause wars and increase the human suffering;
- make clear which countries have presented constructive proposals in the direction of dialogue and peace-making – while Western allies continue their best to create a new Libya out of Yemen.
Quite a few who have conveyed the Western mainstream narrative ought to be embarrassed.
And after the wars on Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Syria one must ask: When will they ever learn?
Since I entered politics, I have chiefly had men’s views confided to me privately. Some of the biggest men in the United States, in the field of commerce and manufacture, are afraid of something. They know that there is a power somewhere so organised, so subtle, so watchful, so interlocked, so complete, so pervasive, that they better not speak above their breath when they speak in condemnation of it. – Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States (1856-1924)
So you see, my dear Coningsby, that the world is governed by very different personages from what is imagined by those who are not behind the scenes. – Benjamin Disraeli, British Prime Minister (1804-1881)
The advent of the industrial revolution, the invention of a banking system based on usury, and scientific and technological advancements during the past three centuries have had three major consequences. These have made the incredible concentration of wealth in a few hands possible, have led to the construction of increasingly deadly weapons culminating in weapons of mass destruction, and have made it possible to mould the minds of vast populations by application of scientific techniques through the media and control of the educational system.
The wealthiest families on planet earth call the shots in every major upheaval that they cause. Their sphere of activity extends over the entire globe, and even beyond, their ambition and greed for wealth and power knows no bounds, and for them, most of mankind is garbage – “human garbage.” It is also their target to depopulate the globe and maintain a much lower population compared to what we have now.
It was Baron Nathan Mayer de Rothschild (1840-1915) who once said:
“I care not what puppet is placed on the throne of England to rule the British Empire on which the sun never sets. The man that controls Britain’s money supply controls the British Empire, and I control the British money supply.”
What was true of the British Empire is equally true of the US Empire, controlled remotely by the London based Elite through the Federal Reserve System. Judged by its consequences, the Federal Reserve System is the greatest con job in human history.
It is sad and painful that man’s most beautiful construction, and the source of most power and wealth on earth, viz. scientific knowledge – the most sublime, most powerful and most organised expression of man’s inherent gift of thought, wonder and awe – became a tool for subjugation of humanity, a very dangerous tool in the hands of a tiny group of men. These men “hire” the scientist and take away, as a matter of right, the power the scientist creates through his inventions. This power is then used for their own purposes, at immense human and material cost to mankind. The goal of this handful of men, the members of the wealthiest families on the planet, the Elite, is a New World Order, a One World Government, under their control.
Secrecy and anonymity is integral to the operations of the Elite as is absolute ruthlessness, deep deception and the most sordid spying and blackmail. The Elite pitches nations against each other, and aims at the destruction of religion and other traditional values, creates chaos, deliberately spreads poverty and misery, and then usurps power placing its stooges in place. These families “buy while the blood is still flowing in the streets” (Rothschild dictum). Wars, “revolutions” and assassinations are part of their tactics to destroy traditional civilisation and traditional religions (as in Soviet Russia), amass wealth and power, eliminate opponents, and proceed relentlessly towards their avowed goal, generation after generation. They operate through covert and overt societies and organisations.
Professor Carroll Quigley wrote:
The powers of financial capitalism had another far reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands to be able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements, arrived at in private meetings and conferences.… The growth of financial capitalism made possible a centralisation of world economic control and use of this power for the direct benefit of financiers and the indirect injury to all other economic groups.
Winston Churchill, who was eventually “bored by it all,” wrote around 1920:
From the days of Spartacus-Weishaupt to those of Karl Marx, to those of Trotsky, Bela Kun, Rosa Luxembourg, and Emma Goldman, this world wide conspiracy for the overthrow of civilisation and reconstitution of society on the basis of arrested development, of envious malevolence and impossible equality, has been steadily growing. It played a definitely recognisable role in the tragedy of French Revolution. It has been the mainspring of every subversive movement during the nineteenth century, and now at last, this band of extraordinary personalities from the underworld of the great cities of Europe and America have gripped the Russian people by the hair of their heads, and have become practically the undisputed masters of that enormous empire.
The High Cabal Exposed by JFK
It was in the dark days of World War II that Churchill referred to the existence of a “High Cabal” that had brought about unprecedented bloodshed in human history. Churchill is also said to have remarked about the Elite: “They have transported Lenin in a sealed truck like a plague bacillus from Switzerland into Russia…” (quoted by John Coleman in The Tavistock Institute of Human Relations, Global Publications 2006). Who are ‘they’?
Consider the 1961 statement of US President John F. Kennedy (JFK) before media personnel:
The word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society, and we are as a people, inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, secret oaths and secret proceedings. For we are opposed around the world by a monolithic and ruthless conspiracy, that relies primarily on covert means for expanding its sphere of influence. It depends on infiltration instead of invasion, on subversion instead of elections, on intimidation instead of free choice. It is a system which has conscripted vast human and material resources into the building of a tightly knit, highly efficient machine that combines military, diplomatic, intelligence, economic, scientific, and political operations. Its preparations are concealed, not published, its mistakes are buried, not headlined, and its dissenters are silenced, not praised, no expenditure is questioned, no secret revealed… I am asking your help in the tremendous task of informing and alerting the American people.”
Secret societies, secret oaths, secret proceedings, infiltration, subversion, intimidation – these are the words used by JFK!
On June 4, 1963, JFK ordered the printing of Treasury dollar bills instead of Federal Reserve notes (Executive Order 11110). He also ordered that once these had been printed, the Federal Reserve notes would be withdrawn, and the Treasury bills put into circulation. A few months later (November 22, 1963) he was killed in broad daylight in front of the whole world – his brains blown out. Upon assumption of power, his successor, President Lyndon Johnson, immediately reversed the order to switch to Treasury bills showing very clearly why JFK was murdered. Another order of JFK, to militarily disengage from the Far East by withdrawing US “advisors” from Vietnam, was also immediately reversed after his death. After the Cuban crisis JFK wanted peaceful non-confrontational coexistence with the Soviet Union and that meant no wars in the world. He knew the next war would be nuclear and there would be no winners.
The defence industry and the banks that make money from war belong to the Elite. The Elite subscribes to a dialectical Hegelian philosophy, as pointed out by Antony Sutton, under which they bring about ‘controlled conflict’. The two world wars were ‘controlled conflicts’! Their arrogance, their ceaseless energy, their focus, their utter disregard for human life, their ability to plan decades in advance, to act on that planning, and their continual success are staggering and faith-shaking.
Statements by men like Disraeli, Wilson, Churchill, JFK and others should not leave any doubt in the mind of the reader about who controls the world. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt wrote in November 1933 to Col. Edward House: “The real truth of the matter is, as you and I know, that a financial element in the larger centres has owned the government since the days of Andrew Jackson.” It may be recalled that Andrew Jackson, US President from 1829-1837, was so enraged by the tactics of bankers (Rothschilds) that he said:
“You are a den of vipers. I intend to rout you out and by the Eternal God I will rout you out. If the people only understood the rank injustice of our money and banking system, there would be a revolution before morning.”
Interlocking Structure of Elite Control
In his book Big Oil and Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families and Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics and Terror Network, Dean Henderson states: “My queries to bank regulatory agencies regarding stockownership in the top 25 US bank holding companies were given Freedom of Information Act status, before being denied on ‘national security’ grounds. This is ironic since many of the bank’s stockholders reside in Europe.” This is, on the face of it, quite astonishing but it goes to show the US government works not for the people but for the Elite. It also shows that secrecy is paramount in Elite affairs. No media outlet will raise this issue because the Elite owns the media. Secrecy is essential for Elite control – if the world finds out the truth about the wealth, thought, ideology and activities of the Elite there would be a worldwide revolt against it. Henderson further states:
The Four Horsemen of Banking (Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo) own the Four Horsemen of Oil (Exxon Mobil, Royal Dutch/Shell, BP Amoco and Chevron Texaco); in tandem with other European and old money behemoths. But their monopoly over the global economy does not end at the edge of the oil patch. According to company 10K filings to the SEC, the Four Horsemen of Banking are among the top ten stockholders of virtually every Fortune 500 corporation.
It is well known that in 2009, of the top 100 largest economic entities of the world, 44 were corporations. The wealth of these families, which are among the top 10% shareholders in each of these, is far in excess of national economies. In fact, total global GDP is around 70 trillion dollars. The Rothschild family wealth alone is estimated to be in the trillions of dollars. So is the case with the Rockefellers who were helped and provided money all along by the Rothschilds. The US has an annual GDP in the range of 14-15 trillion dollars. This pales into insignificance before the wealth of these trillionaires. With the US government and most European countries in debt to the Elite, there should be absolutely no doubt as to who owns the world and who controls it. To quote Eustace Mullins from his book The World Order:
The Elites rule the US through their Foundations, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Federal Reserve System with no serious challenges to their power. Expensive ‘political campaigns’ are routinely conducted, with carefully screened candidates who are pledged to the program of the World Order. Should they deviate from the program, they would have an ‘accident’, be framed on a sex charge, or indicted in some financial irregularity.
The Elite members operate in absolute unison against public benefit, against a better life for mankind in which the individual is free to develop his or her innate creativity, a life free of war and bloodshed. James Forrestal, the first Secretary of Defence of the US, became aware of Elite intrigue and had, according to Jim Marrs, accumulated 3,000 pages of notes to be used for writing a book. He died in mysterious circumstances and was almost certainly murdered. His notes were taken away and a sanitised version made public after one year! Just before he died, almost fifteen months before the outbreak of the Korean War, he had revealed that American soldiers would die in Korea! Marrs quotes Forrestal: “These men are not incompetent or stupid. Consistency has never been a mark of stupidity. If they were merely stupid, they would occasionally make a mistake in our favour.” The Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Trilateral Commission and the mother of all these, The Royal Institute of International Affairs, are bodies where decisions about the future of mankind are arrived at. Who set these up and control them? The “international bankers” of course.
In his book The Secret Team: The CIA and Its Allies in Control of the United States and the World, Col. Fletcher Prouty, who was the briefing officer to the President of the US from 1955-1963, writes about “an inner sanctum of a new religious order.” By the phrase Secret Team he means a group of “security-cleared individuals in and out of government who receive secret intelligence data gathered by the CIA and the National Security Agency (NSA) and who react to those data.” He states: “The power of the Team derives from its vast intra-governmental undercover infrastructure and its direct relationship with great private industries, mutual funds and investment houses, universities, and the news media, including foreign and domestic publishing houses.” He further adds: “All true members of the Team remain in the power centre whether in office with the incumbent administration or out of office with the hard-core set. They simply rotate to and from official jobs and the business world or the pleasant haven of academe.”
Training the Young for Elite Membership
It is very remarkable as to how ‘they’ are able to exercise control and how ‘they’ always find people to carry out the job, and how is it ‘they’ always make the ‘right’ decision at the right time? This can only be possible if there exists a hidden program of inducting and training cadres mentally, ideologically, philosophically, psychologically and ability-wise, over prolonged periods of time and planting them in the centres of power of countries like the US, UK, etc. This training would begin at a young age in general. There must also be a method of continual appraisal, by small groups of very highly skilled men, of developing situations with ‘their’ men who are planted throughout the major power centres of the world so that immediate ‘remedial’ action, action that always favours Elite interests, can be taken. How does that happen?
It is in finding answers to these questions that the role of secret societies and their control of universities, particularly in the US, assumes deeper importance. The work done by men like Antony Sutton, John Coleman, Eustace Mullins and others is ground breaking. Mankind owes a debt to such scholars who suffer for truth but do not give in. Whenever you trace the money source of important initiatives designed to bring about major wars, lay down policies for the future, enhance control of the Elite over mankind, etc., you will invariably find them linked to the so called banking families and their stooges operating out of Foundations.
In April 2008 I was among approximately 200 Vice Chancellors, Rectors and Presidents of universities from Asia, Africa, Europe and the US at a two day Higher Education Summit for Global Development, held at the US State Department in Washington DC. The Summit was addressed by five US Secretaries, including Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. The real emphasis throughout the Summit was only on one thing – that universities in developing countries operate in partnership with foundations so that global problems could be solved! These are private foundations and the only way to understand this emphasis is to realise the US government is owned by those who own these foundations. As an aside the inaugural address was delivered by the war criminal responsible for millions of deaths in Rwanda, trained in US military institutions, and awarded a doctorate – Dr. Paul Kagame! The very first presentation was made by the CEO of the Agha Khan Foundation!
In a fascinating study of the Yale secret society Skull and Bones, Antony Sutton uncovered numerous aspects of profound importance about this one society. In his book America’s Secret Establishment – An Introduction to the Order of Skull & Bones, Sutton points out there is a set of “Old Line American Families and New Wealth” that dominates The Order (of Skull & Bones) – the Whitney family, the Stimson family, the Bundy family, the Rockefeller family, the Harriman family, the Taft family, the Bush family, and so on. He also points out that there is a British connection:
The links between the Order and Britain go through Lazard Freres and the private merchant bankers. Notably the British establishment also founded a University – Oxford University, and especially All Souls College at Oxford. The British element is called ‘The Group’. The Group links to the Jewish equivalent through the Rothschilds in Britain (Lord Rothschild was an original member of Rhodes’ ‘inner circle’). The Order in the US links to the Guggenheim, Schiff and Warburg families… There is an Illuminati connection.
Every year 15 young men, and very recently women, have been inducted into The Order from Yale students since 1832. Who selects them? A study of the career trajectories of many of those ‘chosen’ shows how they rise to prominence in American life and how their peers ensure these men penetrate the very fabric of important US institutions. They are always there in key positions during war and peace, manipulating and watching ceaselessly.
The influence of the Elite families on the thought processes of nations is carried out through academic institutions and organisations, as well as the media. Sutton writes:
Among academic associations the American Historical Association, the American Economic Association, the American Chemical Society, and the American Psychological Association were all started by members of The Order or persons close to The Order. These are key associations for the conditioning of society. The phenomenon of The Order as the FIRST on the scene is found especially among Foundations, although it appears that The Order keeps a continuing presence among Foundation Trustees… The FIRST Chairman of an influential but almost unknown organisation established in 1910 was also a member of The Order. In 1920 Theodore Marburg founded the American Society for the Judicial Settlement of Disputes, but Marburg was only President. The FIRST Chairman was member William Howard Taft. The Society was the forerunner of the League to Enforce Peace, which developed into the League of Nations concept and ultimately the United Nations.
The United Nations is an instrument of the Elite designed to facilitate the setting up of One World Government under Elite control. The UN building stands on Rockefeller property.
Selecting Future Prime Ministers to Serve the New World Order
In his article, ‘Oxford University – The Illuminati Breeding Ground’, David Icke recounts an incident that demonstrates how these secret societies and groups, working for the Elite, select, train and plan to install their men in key positions. In 1940 a young man addressed a “study group” of the Labor Party in a room at University College Oxford. He stressed that he belonged to a secret group without a name which planned a “Marxist takeover” of Britain, Rhodesia and South Africa by infiltrating the British Parliament and Civil Services. Since the British do not like extremists they dismiss their critics as ‘right-wingers’ while themselves posing as ‘moderates’ (this seems like the anti-Semitism charge by ADL, etc. whenever Israel is criticised). The young man stated that he headed the political wing of that secret group and he expected to be made Prime Minister of Britain some day! The young man was Harold Wilson who became Prime Minister of Britain (1964-70, 1974-76)!
All young men studying at Ivy League universities, and at others, must bear in mind they are being continually scrutinised by some of their Professors with the intention of selecting from amongst them, those who will serve the Elite, and become part of a global network of interlocked covert and overt societies and organisations, working for the New World Order. Some of those already selected will be present among them, mingling with them and yet, in their heart, separated from them by a sense of belonging to a brotherhood with a mission that has been going on for a long time. These young men also know they will be rewarded by advancement in career and also that if they falter they could be killed!
Utter secrecy and absolute loyalty is essential to the continued success of this program. This is enforced through fear of murder or bankruptcy and through a cult which probably takes us back to the times of the pyramids and before. Philosophically ‘they’ believe in Hegelian dialectics through which they justify bringing about horrible wars – euphemistically called ‘controlled conflict’. Their political ideology is ‘collectivism’ whereby mankind has to be ‘managed’ by a group of men, ‘them’, organised for the purpose – a hidden ‘dominant minority’. ‘They’ believe that they know better than ordinary mortals. The Illuminati, the Freemasons, members of other known and unknown secret societies, all mesh together under the wealthiest cabal in human history to take a mesmerised, dormant and battered mankind from one abyss to the next. Former MI6 agent John Coleman refers to a “Committee of 300” that controls and guides this vast subterranean human machinery.
In his book Memoirs, published in 2002, David Rockefeller, Sr. stated that his family had been attacked by “ideological extremists” for “more than a century… Some even believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterising my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others around the world to build a more integrated global political and economic structure – one world, if you will. If that’s the charge, I stand guilty.
Prof. Dr. MUJAHID KAMRAN is Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan, and his book The Grand Deception – Corporate America and Perpetual War has just been published (April 2011) by Sang e Meel Publications, Lahore, Pakistan, and is available from www.amazon.co.uk. Prof. Kamran’s website is www.mujahidkamran.com.
Living in the west, one becomes used to media self-censorship when covering geopolitical and current events.
It’s generally accepted that all mainstream media outlets will stay within the party line’s narrow parameters, so as not to make Washington, London or Europe ‘look bad’ internationally. This was certainly the case before and during most major US-NATO military or covert interventions, likeYugoslavia, Iraq, Syria, the Ukraine and of course, who can forget their most egregious recent military adventure in Libya.
Are US media outlets changing their headline or stories under pressure from foreign governments?
Air strike on supposed army weapons depot on a mountain overlooking Sanaa (Image Source: Channel News Asia).
Yesterday, the New York Times released a front page story in their early morning domestic print edition, whose headline read:
Saudi Defiance on Yemen Reflects Limits of U.S. Strategy
The sub-header went on to describe how Saudi Arabia’s “insistence on using airstrikes threatens larger goals”, which could easily be translated as ‘US foreign policy goals’. No surprise there. But then we looked for this same article online, only to find that the headline has been changed to:
Saudi Resolve on Yemen Reflects Limits of U.S. Strategy
Some may say that changing a single word in a headline doesn’t amount to very much, but then consider the weight of this word appearing at such a crucial juncture in America’s premier news source, or ‘paper of record’, and how it changes the entire tone of the article – and gives a 180º spin in terms of public relations. The question is not why did the New Times editors make this strategic change (that’s fairly obvious). The bigger question is: who applied pressure to the editors to make such a significant change on a lead story, assuming that the change was made in that order, from ‘Defiance’ to ‘Resolve’, or from negative to positive, in terms of its PR effect on Saudi Arabia, and by extension it’s US ally.
Is this a case of US media engaging in willful war propaganda? One can understand when an editor needs to tone down an inflammatory headline, but if we are indeed truly witnessing a PR power-play by either the Saudi Arabian Ambassador Adel al-Jubeir (via the US State Department?), or by Washington directly, then this is a fairly big problem in terms of press freedom in the US. If indeed, someone is attempting to downplay what is obviously an undeclared, illegal war of aggression against Yemen by a brutal monarchy exerting overwhelming force – theNY Times editors should have to answer who, what, when, why and how this came to be. If the Saudi monarchy is throwing its weight around in order to protect its collapsing image as a “progressive” state in the Middle East, then the nation really needs to know.
Although the US broadcast media pundits and political talking heads are going out of their way to portray Saudi Arabia as acting independently and on its own volition as part of some glorious “Coalition” (yes, they are definitely learning how to do wars of aggression – without saying they are), the fact is the US military and intelligence services are giving full-spectrum support to Riyadh in Yemen. Washington and Riyadh are in lock-step, and one could even go so far as to say that Saudi Arabia has become a wing of the US military overseas now. The US is supplying all of Saudi’s arms, jets, equipment, ammunition, satellite targeting data, logistical support, and even helping to rescue its ejected pilots.
You can tell that the Saudis are new to this ‘empire’ thing by their abysmal PR management surrounding the destruction of their neighbor Yemen. It’s been one snafu after another. Less than 48 hours ago, the US and western media crowed proudly that, “Saudi Arabia has halted airstrikes in Yemen”, and then less than 24 hours later we’re told that, “Saudi Arabia has resumed airstrikes”. Was that some sort of international joke? Is this the new normal?
The Saudis are learning quickly, however. Already they appear to have taken a page out of the‘Israeli manual for international ceasefire negotiations’, declaring that:
“The decision to calm matters now rests with them[the Yemenis],” Saudi ambassador Jubeir told reporters at the Saudi Embassy yesterday.
If harkens back to last summer’s brutal siege of Gaza in Israel-occupied Palestine, where, after weeks of shelling defenseless civilian areas by Israel’s IDF, and killing thousands in the process, Israeli leaders continued to declare that any ceasefire was ‘up to the Palestinians’, and not them – making Israel unaccountable (in their own eyes, anyway).
You could also say that the Saudis have taken a page out of ‘Kiev’s manual of ceasefire negotiations’ too. After leveling whole civilian neighborhoods with indiscriminate shelling designed to cleanse eastern Ukraine of its Russian-speaking populations, the US-backed fascist junta government in Kiev continued to blame all hostilities on the Donbass Rebels, again, making the aggressor totally unaccountable (in their own eyes, anyway).
Is Saudi Arabia being shifty, or is this just another case where the US government-media complex is lying to its public? War is a serious endeavor, and Saudi Arabia – with the full backing of Washington’s war brain-trust – seems to think it’s just an expensive game.
Yes, the Saudis claim that the previous bombing run which has already killed at least 1,000 civilians and displaced some 150,000 people crassly titled Operation Decisive Storm, has since given way to its sequel – a second phase, another cynically titled bombing run, ‘Operation Restoring Hope’. The Saudis claim that they have finished Phase I (death and destruction) and are now moving into Phase II – more death, destruction, deploying and providing continued air support to Saudi’s real boots on the ground in Yemen, namely, al Qaeda and ISIS brigades, with the hopes of ethnically and politically cleansing ‘unfriendly’ areas.
Playing word games in war is not a good idea, and risks triggering some very negative sentiments later down the road. The NY Times continues, describing this debacle as it unfolds:
“Senior Saudi officials made clear on Wednesday that they had not formally declared an end to bombing. Rather, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, Adel al-Jubeir, said the campaign was shifting to a new phase — one in which Saudi airstrikes would be more limited and come only in response to Houthi attacks, such as the assault against Yemeni troops in Taiz.
“The ambassador did not mention the intensifying international pressure, including from the Obama administration, to stop airstrikes that medical and relief organizations said were killing hundreds of civilians, and to lift an embargo on food, fuel, water and medicines that was contributing to a growing humanitarian catastrophe. But American officials and Middle Eastern diplomats privately acknowledged that this was clearly a factor in the Saudi calculation.”
Jubier can’t help but be shifty in his explanation, because he’s attempting to put lipstick on a pig. Some might even say that he is lying through his teeth about a disaster of his own country’s making. Yes, the Saudis are learning real quick what this ‘empire thing’ is all about.
No bother, because as the Saudis and their American managers will tell you – “It’s not our fault, and any ceasefire is up to them, not us.”
Ukrainian anti-fascists are calling on people around the world to mark May 2 as a day of commemoration of those who were killed in the trade union building in Odessa.
On May 2, 2014 there was a bloody massacre in Odessa where, though data is incomplete, at least 48 people were killed. Some of them were burned alive in the House of Trade Unions.
The organizers of the massacre were radical Ukrainian nationalists and fascists who support the regime established in the Kiev after the coup in February 2014. Their opponents were the participants of the Antimaydan movement opposed to Ukrainian fascism. They belonged to different political tendencies, but opposition to Ukrainian fascism united them. It was they who were the main victims of the massacre on the May 2. Fleeing from the crowd of aggressive and armed fascists which greatly outnumbered them, the Antimaydan activists tried to take refuge in the House of Trade Unions located near their camp. They were largely without weapons, as they consistently preferred peaceful forms of protest. The enemy attacked the House of Trade Unions with Molotov cocktails, igniting a fire that caused many of those inside the building to flee outside. There, angry Ukrainian fascists beat and killed them. Others who observed this remained inside until they either burned to death, suffocated or jumped out of windows to their deaths. Others who remained inside were hunted down and murdered in cold blood. Local fire service deliberately did not go to the assistance of the desperate people and when it finally arrived, the fascists did not let the fire trucks or firefighters approach the burning building.
The ruling government of Ukraine is doing everything to hide and distort the truth about this crime. The official list of dead people has not been published yet. The results of forensic examination of the causes of deaths areclassified and were not disclosed until recently. None of the perpetrators of the massacre has been arrested; the state prosecutor’s office deliberately ignores numerous videos proving their guilt. Instead, people who tried to defend the House of Trade Unions have been arrested and put on trial. Though the investigation found no evidence of their guilt, the court refuses to set them free. Official propaganda since the day of tragedy has spread lies like “the House of Trade Unions was not protected by people from Odessa but by citizens of Transnistria and Russian saboteurs”, calls these people terrorists and separatists even though the leaders of the Odessa’s “Antimaydan” never called for the separation of the Odessa region from Ukraine. But various supporters of this Kiev regime replicate this lie all over the world.
The Odessa tragedy is just one act in the civil war the Kiev fascists launched last spring against its own people that. This is not the only event of its kind. The atrocities of the fascists on May 9, 2014 in Mariupol, massive bloodshed in the Donbass, sadistic treatment of war prisoners, deliberate destruction of vital facilities in the Donbass, the recent excesses of Ukrainian soldiers in Konstantinovka (Kostyantynivka) – all of them are the links of the same chain. This is a manifestation of the bloody totalitarian nature of the regime in Kiev, established in the heart of Europe with the blessing of western political leaders. But the Odessa massacre became a symbol of these atrocities. In Odessa, the Kiev regime’s political opponents asserted their own rights without weapons, by peaceful means and they were ruthlessly suppressed with astonishing cruelty and cynicism. The task of all progressive forces of the world is to demonstrate their condemnation and rejection of such methods.
The Kiev regime wants to forcibly impose on the entire population of Ukraine its system of values which totally rejects the Soviet period in the history of Ukraine. It is based on the traditions of Ukrainian integral nationalism, which is the local Ukrainian variant of fascist ideology. These ideas of integral nationalism inspired such figures as Stepan Bandera. For a significant part of Ukrainian society, such attitudes are unacceptable. That is why opposition appeared. Despite all the repression, people have been fighting against the reactionaries and actively looking for an alternative. But the forces of resistance in Ukraine are split, and some of them are not guided by consistently democratic principles. Some of them receive help from Russian nationalists and therefore think that the alternative to Ukrainian fascism is Russian nationalism. But this is wrong and a dead end road. Therefore, the solidarity of international left forces with the liberation struggle against the Kiev regime will help the people of see they have friends and strengthen the democratic tendencies in the camp of resistance.
Finally, solidarity of leftist and internationalist forces is important not only for Ukraine. Now we see the rise of right-wing reactionary movements around the world. In many European countries, neo-fascists are growing in popularity, the youth are joining their parties, and they are gaining more and more votes. Totalitarianism has intensified everywhere and gone on the offensive. The civil war in Ukraine is just one of many episodes of offensive of international reaction forces. But this episode is very revealing. Ukraine is a European country and it in this European country that for the first time in the 21st century that fascists have entered a government while fascist paramilitaries have received legal status in the army and other state authorities. We can resist this attack on our principles and values together, combining our efforts all round the world.
Therefore, we propose to make May 2 a day of international solidarity in defense of democracy and internationalism in Ukraine. To this end, we urge the leftist forces around the world to hold in early May actions of solidarity with the liberation struggle of the working masses of Ukraine. This can be a picket, a march, a meeting, a round table and any other action which would be considered appropriate by activists not indifferent to the problems of Ukraine. From our side, our initiative group will contribute to the dissemination of information about these actions in the media.
The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government. — Article IV, Section 4, US Constitution
A republican form of government is one in which power resides in elected officials representing the citizens, and government leaders exercise power according to the rule of law. In The Federalist Papers, James Madison defined a republic as “a government which derives all its powers directly or indirectly from the great body of the people . . . .”
On April 22, 2015, the Senate Finance Committee approved a bill to fast-track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a massive trade agreement that would override our republican form of government and hand judicial and legislative authority to a foreign three-person panel of corporate lawyers.
The secretive TPP is an agreement with Mexico, Canada, Japan, Singapore and seven other countries that affects 40% of global markets. Fast-track authority could now go to the full Senate for a vote as early as next week. Fast-track means Congress will be prohibited from amending the trade deal, which will be put to a simple up or down majority vote. Negotiating the TPP in secret and fast-tracking it through Congress is considered necessary to secure its passage, since if the public had time to review its onerous provisions, opposition would mount and defeat it.
Abdicating the Judicial Function to Corporate Lawyers
James Madison wrote in The Federalist Papers:
The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands, . . . may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny. . . . “Were the power of judging joined with the legislative, the life and liberty of the subject would be exposed to arbitrary control, for the judge would then be the legislator. . . .”
And that, from what we now know of the TPP’s secret provisions, will be its dire effect.
The most controversial provision of the TPP is the Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) section, which strengthens existing ISDS procedures. ISDS first appeared in a bilateral trade agreement in 1959. According to The Economist, ISDS gives foreign firms a special right to apply to a secretive tribunal of highly paid corporate lawyers for compensation whenever the government passes a law to do things that hurt corporate profits — such things as discouraging smoking, protecting the environment or preventing a nuclear catastrophe.
Arbitrators are paid $600-700 an hour, giving them little incentive to dismiss cases; and the secretive nature of the arbitration process and the lack of any requirement to consider precedent gives wide scope for creative judgments.
To date, the highest ISDS award has been for $2.3 billion to Occidental Oil Company against the government of Ecuador over its termination of an oil-concession contract, this although the termination was apparently legal. Still in arbitration is a demand by Vattenfall, a Swedish utility that operates two nuclear plants in Germany, for compensation of €3.7 billion ($4.7 billion) under the ISDS clause of a treaty on energy investments, after the German government decided to shut down its nuclear power industry following the Fukushima disaster in Japan in 2011.
Under the TPP, however, even larger judgments can be anticipated, since the sort of “investment” it protects includes not just “the commitment of capital or other resources” but “the expectation of gain or profit.” That means the rights of corporations in other countries extend not just to their factories and other “capital” but to the profits they expect to receive there.
Under the TPP, could the US government be sued and be held liable if it decided to stop issuing Treasury debt and financed deficit spending in some other way (perhaps by quantitative easing or by issuing trillion dollar coins)? Why not, since some private companies would lose profits as a result?
Under the TPP or the TTIP (the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership under negotiation with the European Union), would the Federal Reserve be sued if it failed to bail out banks that were too big to fail?
Firestone notes that under the Netherlands-Czech trade agreement, the Czech Republic was sued in an investor-state dispute for failing to bail out an insolvent bank in which the complainant had an interest. The investor company was awarded $236 million in the dispute settlement. What might the damages be, asks Firestone, if the Fed decided to let the Bank of America fail, and a Saudi-based investment company decided to sue?
Abdicating the Legislative Function to Multinational Corporations
Just the threat of this sort of massive damage award could be enough to block prospective legislation. But the TPP goes further and takes on the legislative function directly, by forbidding specific forms of regulation.
Public Citizen observes that the TPP would provide big banks with a backdoor means of watering down efforts to re-regulate Wall Street, after deregulation triggered the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression:
The TPP would forbid countries from banning particularly risky financial products, such as the toxic derivatives that led to the $183 billion government bailout of AIG. It would prohibit policies to prevent banks from becoming “too big to fail,” and threaten the use of “firewalls” to prevent banks that keep our savings accounts from taking hedge-fund-style bets.
The TPP would also restrict capital controls, an essential policy tool to counter destabilizing flows of speculative money. . . . And the deal would prohibit taxes on Wall Street speculation, such as the proposed Robin Hood Tax that would generate billions of dollars’ worth of revenue for social, health, or environmental causes.
Clauses on dispute settlement in earlier free trade agreements have been invoked to challenge efforts to regulate big business. The fossil fuel industry is seeking to overturn Quebec’s ban on the ecologically destructive practice of fracking. Veolia, the French behemoth known for building a tram network to serve Israeli settlements in occupied East Jerusalem, is contesting increases in Egypt’s minimum wage. The tobacco maker Philip Morris is suing against anti-smoking initiatives in Uruguay and Australia.
The TPP would empower not just foreign manufacturers but foreign financial firms to attack financial policies in foreign tribunals, demanding taxpayer compensation for regulations that they claim frustrate their expectations and inhibit their profits.
Preempting Government Sovereignty
What is the justification for this encroachment on the sovereign rights of government? Allegedly, ISDS is necessary in order to increase foreign investment. But as noted inThe Economist, investors can protect themselves by purchasing political-risk insurance. Moreover, Brazil continues to receive sizable foreign investment despite its long-standing refusal to sign any treaty with an ISDS mechanism. Other countries are beginning to follow Brazil’s lead.
In an April 22nd report from the Center for Economic and Policy Research, gains from multilateral trade liberalization were shown to be very small, equal to only about 0.014% of consumption, or about $.43 per person per month. And that assumes that any benefits are distributed uniformly across the economic spectrum. In fact, transnational corporations get the bulk of the benefits, at the expense of most of the world’s population.
Something else besides attracting investment money and encouraging foreign trade seems to be going on. The TPP would destroy our republican form of government under the rule of law, by elevating the rights of investors – also called the rights of “capital” – above the rights of the citizens.
That means that TPP is blatantly unconstitutional. But as Joe Firestone observes, neo-liberalism and corporate contributions seem to have blinded the deal’s proponents so much that they cannot see they are selling out the sovereignty of the United States to foreign and multinational corporations.
The motivation behind U.S. President Barack Obama’s trans-Pacific trade-deal TPP, and his trans-Atlantic trade-deal TTIP — the motivation behind both of these enormous international trade-deals — is the same, and Democratic U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Sherrod Brown are correct: it is not at all progressive. It is instead to transfer political power away from the public in a democracy, and for that power to go instead to the international aristocracy (i.e., to go as far away from any national democracy as is even possible to go).
This is to be done by switching the most fundamental thing of all: the global power-base itself. Instead of that power-base being democratic votes of the national publics, who elect their political representatives who determine the laws and regulations, that national democratic political system becomes instead the exact opposite: the global aristocratic stockholder votes of the international aristocracy who elect the corporate directors of international companies, who will, in their turn, then be selecting the members to the international-trade-panels which, in TPP and TTIP, will, in their turn, be determining the rules and enforcements regarding especially workers’ rights, product-safety, and the environment.
The international aristocracy’s weakening of these national rules will enable lowering wages of the public, who are the people who don’t control international corporations but who control only their own personal labor, which goes down in value to the lowest hourly wage in the entire international trading-area. This new system will also enable minimizing regulation of the safety of foods and other products and thus maximizing the ability of international corporations to avoid any expenses that companies would otherwise need to devote to raising the safety of their products. Those expenses (the liabilities of dangerous products) will thus be increasingly borne only by the products’ consumers. Risks to investors (which is the thing that aristocrats seek most to avoid) are consequently reduced — shifted more onto the public. It will also enable environmental harms to become virtually free to international corporations that perpetrate them, and to become likewise costs that are borne only by the general public, in toxic air, water, etc. Thus, yet another category of risks to investors will be gone. This will increase profit-margins, which go only to the stockholders — not to the public.
Profits will thus become increasingly concentrated in international corporations and the families that control them, and losses will become increasingly socialized among consumers and workers — and just generally to livers and breathers: the public. ‘Government’ will increasingly be merely the spreader and enforcer of risks and penalties to the public; and, this, in turn, will enhance yet further the ‘free-market’ ideal of there being less and less, or ’smaller,’ government; i.e., of there being less and less of ‘democratic’ government. That’s what the aristocracy’s ’small government’ jag has really been all about: it’s about cost-shifting, from aristocrats, to the public.
Thus, the maximum percentage of the costs — for product-safety, workers’ rights, and the environment — become borne by the public, and the minimum percentage of costs become borne by the stockholders in international corporations. In turn, aristocrats will be able to pass along to their designated heirs their thus ever-increasing dominance and control over the general public. Thus, the concentration of wealth will become more and more concentrated in fewer and fewer families, a gradually smaller hyper-aristocracy. This is what’s happening, and it will happen now a lot more if TPP and TTIP pass. (According to the most detailed study of the matter, as of 2012, the “World’s Richest 0.7% Own 13.67 Times as Much as World’s Poorest 68.7%.” So: the world is already extremely unequal in its wealth-distribution. TPP and TTIP are designed to increase that inequality.)
Furthermore, President Obama and the Republican Party in Congress (which support him on this, and on all other matters that are of highest concern to America’s aristocracy, such as the defeat of Russia, China and the other BRICS nations — for example, by Obama’s yanking Ukraine away from Russia’s aristocracy and into control instead by America’s aristocracy) are ensuring that America’s aristocracy will be increasingly on top internationally, and these trade-deals are additionally taking advantage of America’s being the top power across both of this planet’s two major oceans: the Atlantic, and the Pacific.
In other words: the United States, with the TPP & TTIP, will be in the extraordinary position of basically locking in, perhaps for the next century, the U.S. aristocracy’s participation in both of the two major international-trade compacts. This commercial lock-in will retain the American aristocracy’s control over the national aristocracies of almost all of the other major industrial nations — encompassing virtually all of the northern hemisphere, which is where most of this planet’s land-mass is located.
Consequently: not only will the global aristocracy control the global public, but the U.S. aristocracy will also control the other aristocracies in ways that will increase their collective power against any non-member national aristocracy; and, so, America’s Empire will be increasingly the biggest global Empire that the world has ever known, by exploiting the publics everywhere, and not only within merely one country.
Obama told graduating West Point cadets, on 28 May 2014: “China’s economic rise and military reach worries its neighbors. From Brazil to India, rising middle classes compete with us, and governments seek a greater say in global forums.” In other words: part of these future military officers’ jobs will be to help make sure that the BRICS, and other countries that have lower per-capita wealth than in America, stay poor, so that America’s aristocrats can send jobs there instead of pay America’s own workers to do it — in other words: get America’s workers competing against ones in poor countries, rather than get America’s investors competing against ones in poor countries. He’s telling America’s military that they are soldiers in this international class-war, paid by the public, but working actually for America’s aristocracy and not for the public, but against America’s public — to drive down their wages, food-safety, etc.
This is the way toward a certain type of world government by the super-rich for the super-rich, keeping them and their appointed heirs in control over the assets of the entire globe — both its natural and its human resources — and using as the local agents throughout the world the local aristocrats, who will be the people who will keep their local publics in line and working for the ever-increasing intensification of the planet’s wealth, in the hands of, first, the global aristocracy, and, second, America’s aristocracy as being the globally dominant aristocracy.
What will remain of local national governments will then become mere shells.
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.
Following below this article will be Mussolini’s essay on that issue, in which he sets forth what he claims is a post-capitalist, post-socialist, ideology, and which the also self-described post-capitalist post-socialist Barack Obama (as an agent for the global aristocracy) is increasingly putting into actual practice — especially via TPP & TTIP.
“Pareto was consistently a free-market purist, since at least 1896. For example, in his 1 September 1897 ’The New Theories of Economics’ in the Journal of Political Economy, he stated: ‘Were I of the opinion that a certain book would contribute more than any other to establish free trade in the world at large I would not hesitate an instant to give myself up heart and soul to the study of this particular work, putting aside for the time all study of pure science.’ He also said there: ‘We have been able vigorously to prove that the coefficients of production are determined by the entrepreneurs in a régime of free competition precisely in the same way as a socialist government would have to fix them if it wanted to realize a maximum of ophelimity [his invented term for ‘welfare’ in order to obscure the actual value-base so as to enable economists to pretend to be value-free even as they ranked things in benefit/cost analyses that are, in fact, applying his pro-aristocratic or ‘fascist’ theory] for its subjects.” [And notice there Pareto’s slip-up, referring to the government as having not ‘citizens’ but instead ‘subjects’ — the underlying aristocratic assumpion, that the public are ‘subjects’ instead of real ‘citizens’.] Pareto always challenged whether a socialist government would be able to achieve that, but he was here saying that the free market would do it naturally, just like the physiocrats had said that ‘natural law’ should reign instead of any tampering with it.
Pareto set Adam Smithian economics, and the economics of the French physiocrats who had laid the foundation for Smith’s economic theory, upon a basis that subequent economists could then develop mathematically in a way that would hide the theory’s essential fascism — the modernized (i.e., post-agrarian) form of feudalism.
Barack Obama and congressional Republicans are simply carrying this fascist operation to the next level. As for congressional Democrats, they are split on it, because (at least until the new economic theory that I put forth in my new book) no one yet has formulated an economic theory for a democracy; current economic theory has been designed instead specifically for a fascism — an aristocratically controlled State. Consequently, the few progressive Democrats that still remain in Congress are experiencing difficulty to communicate easily and readily to the public what the real political and economic stakes are in Obama’s proposed TPP and TTIP: the transfer of national democratic sovereignty over to an international fascist aristocracy, which will be dominated by American aristocrats. Without that transfer, of democratic national sovereignty to international fascist bodies that represent global corporate management, these deals would be nothing.
This transfer is called Investor-State Dispute Settlement, or ISDS. It is really an emerging, and distictively fascistic, world government. It is not at all democratic, and it is a creeping form of international government which, to the extent that it becomes imposed, reduces national sovereignty. The prior, progressive, type of world-government proposal, which had been fashionable after World War II in order to make a WW III less likely, was based instead upon the idea of an international federation ofindependent democracies. ISDS has nothing in common with that, the original vision for world government. It is instead pure fascism, on an international scale.
In the first decades after World War II, Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s vision of an ultimately emerging democratic world government predominated, aiming for an emerging democratic United Nations, which would evolve to encompass in an increasingly equalitarian way more and more of the world; but, after Republican control started becoming restored in the U.S. with Dwight Eisenhower and his installation of the Dulles brothers to control and shape future U.S. international policies, things moved increasingly in the direction of a U.S.-aristocracy-based control over the world (especially with the Allen Dulles CIA coup in 1953 Iran); and Barack Obama is thoroughly in that fascist, overwhelmingly Republican, tradition, even though he is nominally a ‘Democrat.’ Some analysts even considerObama to be a CIA operative from early in his life. (The CIA, when Eisenhower came into office, placed the CIA’s pro-Nazis into control; and, afterward, this control has only become more deeply entrenched there.) The British journalist Robert Fitch seems to have figured Obama out even as far back as 14 November 2008, right after Obama was elected to become President. Basically, Fitch described Obama as a fascist who had determined to rise to power by fooling progressives into thinking he was one of them. He was portraying Obama as a Manchurian-candidate, Trojan-Horse, Republican-in-Democratic-rhetorical-clothes, conservative operative. He had Obama right, even that early.
As regards not what economic theory but instead empirical economic studies indicate would likely be the result from both the TPP and the TTIP: one independent economic analysis has been done for each of these two international-trade deals, and both of them come up with the same conclusion: the publics everywhere will lose wealth because of them, but aristocrats, especially in the United States, will gain wealth because of them. They’ll probably do what they were designed to do.
As regards what some of Obama’s defenders say about his trade-deals, namely that Investor-State Dispute Settlement is merely a detail and the overall deal is good: that’s like saying that a person’s health is good but the brain or the heart needs to be fixed or maybe even replaced. These people know it’s a bad deal; that’s why they support it. They’re being paid by the aristocracy.
Would Hillary Clinton Be Any Better?
What, then, about Obama’s intended successor? Would she be any different? Here’s the record concerning that:
On 23 February 2008, Hillary Clinton stood before microphones and cameras, and harangued in angry tones, “Shame on you, Barack Obama!” alleging that two of his campaign’s flyers lied about her positions.
One of the flyers said that her proposed health-insurance mandate would penalize Americans who didn’t buy health insurance. It was true but she tried to deny it. (Only after Obama was elected did he copy her plan by merely adding the individual mandate to his own.) The other flyer which Hillary was complaining about, quoted Newsday’s characterization of Hillary’s NAFTA view in 2006: “Clinton thinks NAFTA has been a boon to the economy.” Hillary now was also claiming that this was a lie. Many in the press blindly supported her accusation against Obama here, because “a boon” was Newsday’s phrase, not hers. However, again, it was she, and not Obama, who was lying. Her 2003 Living History (p. 182) actually did brag about her husband’s having passed NAFTA, and she said: “Creating a free trade zone in North America — the largest free trade zone in the world — would expand U.S. exports, create jobs and ensure that our country was reaping the benefits, not the burdens, of globalization.” This was one of, supposedly, her proudest achievements, which were (p. 231) “Bill’s successes on the budget, the Brady bill and NAFTA.” But Hillary was now demanding that Obama apologize for his flyer’s having said: “Only Barack Obama fought NAFTA and other bad trade deals.” That statement was just a fact, notwithstanding what Hillary, and many of the major U.S. “news” media, were now alleging. (Obama was saving his worst to be delivered to the nation only after he would become President — and, especially, after he would be re-elected and then he could be free to go far-right, which was his genuine inclination even at the start, though he couldn’t achieve the goal if he didn’t first deceive about what his goal actually is, so that he could maybe get into position to achieve it.)
On 20 March 2008, the day after Hillary finally released her schedule during her White House years, the Nation’s John Nichols blogged “Clinton Lie Kills Her Credibility on Trade Policy,” and he said: “Now that we know from the 11,000 pages of Clinton White House documents released this week that [the] former First Lady was an ardent advocate for NAFTA; … now that we know she was in the thick of the maneuvering to block the efforts of labor, farm, environmental and human rights groups to get a better agreement; … now that we know from official records of her time as First Lady that Clinton was the featured speaker at a closed-door session where 120 women opinion leaders were hectored to pressure their congressional representatives to approve NAFTA; now that we know from ABC News reporting on the session that ‘her remarks were totally pro-NAFTA’ and that ‘there was no equivocation for her support for NAFTA at the time’; … what should we make of Clinton’s campaign claim that she was never comfortable with the militant free-trade agenda that has cost the United States hundreds of thousands of union jobs?”
The next day, ABC’s Jake Tapper, at his “Political Punch” blog, headlined “From the Fact Check Desk: The Clinton Campaign Misrepresents Clinton NAFTA Meeting,” and he reported: “I have now talked to three former Clinton Administration officials whom I trust who tell me that then-First Lady Hillary Clinton opposed the idea of introducing NAFTA before health care, but expressed no reservations in public or private about the substance of NAFTA. Yet the Clinton campaign continues to propagate this myth that she fought NAFTA.” She continued this lie even after it had been repeatedly and soundly exposed to be a lie.
Consequently: the only real difference between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama is that Obama is a vastly more skilled liar. It’s how he has gotten as far as he has. She probably won’t; she’s the same incompetent now that she was back then.
Is this crisis which has afflicted us for four years a crisis in the system or of the system? This is a serious question. I answer: The crisis has so deeply penetrated the system that it has become a crisis of the system. It is no longer an ailment; it is a constitutional disease.
Today we are able to say that the method of capitalistic production is vanquished, and with it the theory of economic liberalism which has illustrated and excused it. I want to outline in a general way the history of capitalism in the last century, which may be called the capitalistic century. But first of all, what is capitalism?
Capitalism is … a method of industrial production. To employ the most comprehensive definition: Capitalism is a method of mass production for mass consumption, financed en masse by the emission of private, national and international capital. Capitalism is therefore industrial and has not had in the field of agriculture any manifestation of great bearing.
I would mark in the history of capitalism three periods: the dynamic period, the static period, and the period of decline.
The dynamic period was that from 1830 to 1870. It coincided with the introduction of weaving by machinery and with the appearance of the locomotive. Manufacturing, the typical manifestation of industrial capitalism, expanded. This was the epoch of great expansion and hence of the law of free competition; the struggle of all against all had full play.
In this period there were crises, but they were cyclical crises, neither long nor universal. Capitalism still had such vitality and such power of recovery that it could brilliantly prevail.
There were also wars. They cannot be compared with the World War. They were brief. Even the War of 1870, with its tragic days at Sedan, took no more than a couple of seasons.
During the forty years of the dynamic period the State was watching; it was remote, and the theorists of liberalism could say: ‘You, the State, have a single duty. It is to see to it that your administration does not in the least turn toward the economic sector. The better you govern the less you will occupy yourself with the problems of the economic realm.’ We find, therefore, that economy in all its forms was limited only by the penal and commercial codes.
But after 1870, this epoch underwent a change. There was no longer the struggle for life, free competition, the selection of the strongest. There became manifest the first symptoms of the fatigue and the devolution of the capitalistic method. There began to be agreements, syndicates, corporations, trusts. One may say that there was not a sector of economic life in the countries of Europe and America where these forces which characterize capitalism did not appear.
What was the result? The end of free competition. Restricted as to its borders, capitalistic enterprise found that, rather than fight, it was better to concede, to ally, to unite by dividing the markets and sharing the profits. The very law of demand and supply was now no longer a dogma, because through the combines and the trusts it was possible to control demand and supply.
Finally, this capitalistic economy, unified,’trustified,’ turned toward the State. What inspired it to do so? Tariff protection.
Liberalism, which is nothing but a wider form of the doctrine of economic liberalism, received a death blow. The nation which, from the first, raised almost insurmountable trade barriers was the United States, but today even England has renounced all that seemed traditional in her political, economic and moral life, and has surrendered herself to a constantly increasing protectionism.
After the World War, and because of it, capitalistic enterprise became inflated. Enterprises grew in size from millions to billions. Seen from a distance, this vertical sweep of things appeared as something monstrous, babel-like. Once, the spirit had dominated the material; now it was the material which bent and joined the spirit. Whatever had been physiological was now pathological; all became abnormal.
At this stage, super-capitalism draws its inspiration and its justification from this Utopian theory: the theory of unlimited consumers. The ideal of super-capitalism would be the standardization of the human race from the cradle to the coffin. Super-capitalism would have all men born of the same length, so that all cradles could be standardized; it would have babies divert themselves with the same playthings, men clothed according to the same pattern, all reading the same book and having the same taste for the movies — in other words, it would have everybody desiring a single utilitarian machine. This is in the logic of things, because only in this way can super-capitalism do what it wishes.
When does capitalistic enterprise cease to be an economic factor? When its size compels it to be a social factor. And that, precisely, is the moment when capitalistic enterprise, finding itself in difficulty, throws itself into the very arms of the State; It is the moment when the intervention of the State begins, rendering itself ever more necessary.
We are at this point: that, if in all the nations of Europe the State were to go to sleep for twenty-four hours, such an interval would be sufficient to cause a disaster. Now, there is no economic field in which the State is not called upon to intervene. Were we to surrender — just as a matter of hypothesis — to this capitalism of the eleventh hour, we should arrive at State capitalism, which is nothing but State socialism inverted.
This is the crisis of the capitalist system, taken in its universal significance. …
Last evening I presented an order in which I defined the new corporation system as we understand it and wish to make it.
I should like to fix your attention on what was called the object: the well-being of the Italian people. It is necessary that, at a certain time, these institutions, which we have created, be judged and measured directly by the masses as instruments through which these masses may improve their standard of living. Some day the worker, the tiller of the soil, will say to himself and to others: ‘If today I am better off practically, I owe it to the institutions which the Fascist revolution has created.’
We want the Italian workers, those who are interested in their status as Italians, as workers, as Fascists, to feel that we have not created institutions solely to give form to our doctrinal schemes, but in order, at a certain moment, to give positive, concrete, practical and tangible results.
Our State is not an absolute State. Still less is it an absolutory State, remote from men and armed only with inflexible laws, as laws ought to be. Our State is one organic, human State which wishes to adhere to the realities of life. …
Today we bury economic liberalism. 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. It is a symptomatic fact that the decadence of capitalism coincides with the decadence of socialism. All the Socialist parties of Europe are in fragments.
Evidently the two phenomena — I will not say conditions — present a point of view which is strictly logical: there is between them a historical parallel. Corporative economy arises at the historic moment when both the militant phenomena, capitalism and socialism, have already given all that they could give. From one and from the other we inherit what they have of vitality.
We have rejected the theory of the economic man, the Liberal theory, and we are, at the same time, emancipated from what we have heard said about work being a business. The economic man does not exist; the integral man, who is political, who is economic, who is religious, who is holy, who is combative, does exist.
Today we take again a decisive step on the road of the revolution.
Let us ask a final question: Can corporationism be applied to other countries? We are obliged to ask this question because it will be asked in all countries where people are studying and trying to understand us. There is no doubt that, given the general crisis of capitalism, corporative solutions can be applied anywhere. But in order to make corporationism full and complete, integral, revolutionary, certain conditions are required.
There must be a single party through which, aside from economic discipline, enters into action also political discipline, which shall serve as a chain to bind the opposing factions together, and a common faith.
But this is not enough. There must be the supremacy of the State, so that the State may absorb, transform and embody all the energy, all the interests, all the hopes of a people.
Still, not enough. The third and last and the most important condition is that there must be lived a period of the highest ideal tension.
We are now living in this period of high, ideal tension. It is because step by step we give force and consistency to all our acts; we translate in part all our doctrine. How can we deny that this, our Fascista, is a period of exalted, ideal tension?
No one can deny it. This is the time in which arms are crowned with victory. Institutions are remade, the land is redeemed, cities are founded.
Here are two excerpts from the Seldes book’s APPENDIX 9, “the Labor Charter,” a document that dates from 22 April 1927:
Art. 2. Labor in all forms, intellectual, technical and manual, is a social duty. In this sense, and in this sense only, is it protected by the State. From the national point of view all production is a unit; its objects are unitary and can be defined as the wellbeing of the producers and the development of national strength.
Art. 7. The Corporate State considers private initiative in the field of production the most efficacious and most useful instrument in the interest of the nation. Private organization of production being a function of national interest, the organization of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction of its production. Reciprocity of the rights and duties is derived from the collaboration of the productive forces. The technician, office employee and worker is an active collaborator in the economic undertaking, the direction of which is the right of the employer, who has the responsibility for it.
In the wake of Thursday’s revelation that the U.S. government, specifically the CIA, killed one American and one Italian hostage held by al-Qaeda in a drone attack in Pakistan earlier this year, will a renewed and possibly elevated debate on the Obama administration’s so-called “kill list” or assassination campaign finally break into the mainstream?
In a televised address, President Obama said he “takes full responsibility,” that a full investigation was being conducted, and that relevant information would be de-classified and released to the public.
“Our hearts go out to the families of Dr. Warren Weinstein, an American held by al-Qaeda since 2011, and Giovanni Lo Porto, an Italian national who had been an al-Qaeda hostage since 2012,” read a White House press statement. “Analysis of all available information has led the Intelligence Community to judge with high confidence that the operation accidentally killed both hostages.”
Though long-standing critics of the Obama’s drone war and the existence of a presidential “kill list” have been issuing objections for years over the legality of the program and the number of innocent people from foreign countries—including Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere—who have been killed, maimed, or left traumatized by these bombings, observers noted that when it came to the U.S. media on Thursday, it was the death of two Western hostages that finally caught the attention of the broader public.
As journalist Glenn Greenwald, one of the most consistent and outspoken critics of Obama’s drone policy, wrote on Friday, “In all the years I’ve been writing about Obama’s drone killings, yesterday featured by far the most widespread critical discussion in U.S. establishment journalism circles.”
Watching the coverage of these tragic deaths, a viewer would be left with the impression of a drone program that has had a stellar record of accuracy up until it unfortunately killed two innocent people. But, in fact, killing innocent people has been a central part of the drone program from the very beginning, and is in many ways an inescapable consequence. It’s not that a perfect program finally slipped up. Rather, a program that has killed somewhere between 400 and 1000 civilians in Pakistan alone finally killed an American civilian, to whom no wrongdoing can be even tangentially attributed.
Weinstein and Lo Porta won’t be the last innocent people to meet their untimely end in this fashion, but the next innocent people to die probably won’t end up meriting a special press conference and investigation into what went wrong.
Naureen Shah, director of Amnesty International USA’s Security and Human Rights program, called the Obama administration’s admission on what happened with these two hostages a welcome step, but made it clear that “apology and redress should be available for all civilians killed in U.S. drone strikes, not just U.S. citizens and Europeans. The U.S. government could be just as transparent about the hundreds of other drone strikes it has conducted in Pakistan and Yemen.”
And as journalist Ryan Devereaux asked in his Friday headline at The Intercept, “When will Obama apologize for all the other innocent victims of drone strikes?”
Writing for the Guardian on Friday, Trevor Timm, director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, notes that the Obama administration has proven its tightly-held belief, time and again, that “it can kill US citizens overseas without a trial or even a finding by any independent body.” He continues:
The Obama administration claims it tightened its drone strike policy in 2013 after a minor uproar following its admission that it’s drones had killed a US citizen for the first time. Obama said in a speech that for him to approve a drone strike going forward: “there must be near-certainty that no civilians will be killed or injured – the highest standard we can set”. But now the White House issaying, on the one hand, that the recent strike was “fully consistent” with that policy and on the other hand, that they’re conducting an “internal review” to see if they should improve it.
That’s why an “internal review” will tell us little we don’t already know and will almost certainly fail to bring any real accountability to the use of drones. We need a full independent congressional inquiry and public accounting for all drone strikes, not just the ones in which Americans have died. As multiple expertsremarked on Thursday, what about the 3,800 other who have been killed?
Meanwhile, the U.K.-based Bureau of Investigative Journalism (TBIJ), which has tracked the deaths and injuries of drone victims closer than any other global outlet, reported on Thursday that though the killing of Westerners is not a new or isolated phenomenon, it represents a miniscule fraction of those who end up killed by such attacks. “Western casualties are a tiny percentage of the total killed by CIA and Pentagon drone operations in Pakistan, Yemen and Somalia,” TBIJ stated. “The Bureau has established a country or region of origin for 2,350 people killed by drones. Of that total, the 38 Westerners [we found] comprise just 1.6%.”
Altogether, wrote independent journalist Kevin Gosztola, Thursday’s White House announcement “is a reminder of everything that is wrong about the power the Obama administration has claimed to assassinate people with drones.” And explains:
The government does not know who it is killing but claims they are dangerous and thus pose an automatic ‘imminent threat’ to Americans. It does not know ahead of time if compounds attacked have hostages or innocent civilians until after deaths are reported. And, because the administration claims the extraordinary power to extrajudicially assassinate an American involved with terrorism if it does not want to capture that person, the administration says next to nothing about American terrorists if they happen to be killed in drone strikes.
But why is this? According to Greenwald, the answer is as “clear” as it is “troubling”:
Foreign Muslims are so dehumanized, so invisible, that they are just equatedwith Evil Threats even when nothing is known about them. Indeed, Obamaofficially re-defined the term “combatant” to mean “all military-age males in a strike zone.” In other words, as The New York Times reported in 2011, all males between 18 and (roughly) 54 killed by U.S. drones are presumed to be combatants — terrorists — “unless there is explicit intelligence posthumously proving them innocent.” That mentality is the ultimate in dehumanization.
There are so many heinous stories of U.S. drones blowing up children and innocent adults. Obama used cruise missiles and cluster bombs to kill 14 children and 21 women in a Yemeni village (weeks after winning the Nobel Peace Prize), while a 2012 drone strike attacked a Yemeni wedding convoy and “killed 12 passengers in the vehicle, including three children and a pregnant woman.” Except for those who watch shows like Democracy Now or certain Al Jazeera shows, virtually no Americans ever learn the name of any of those victims, or even hear that they exist at all.
It shouldn’t take the drone-killing of an American citizen to enable a mainstream discussion of how much deceit and recklessness drives these killings. But it does. And that fact, by itself, should cause a serious examination of the mindset behind all of this.
And as Devereaux reported on Friday, “When asked by The Intercept if the president’s words meant there would be a policy change in how the U.S. deals with claims of civilian casualties resulting from counterterrorism operations, an administration official declined to comment.”
For his part, Timm holds out little hope—despite the spark of interest following the news of the hostages deaths—that much will change.
“If there’s ever going to be accountability for the CIA and military drone program,” he declared, “we need a fully independent commission, divorced from the intelligence committees. Without it, this controversy will just fade back into the background, where it will stay hidden under the government’s ever-expanding veil of secrecy.”
And as HuffPost‘s Grim and Linkins observed:
Naturally, even though everyone is deeply regretful about the deaths of these two men, there’s no reason to believe that the drone program won’t continue be conducted with the same robustness as it was before this tragedy was disclosed to the American people. As Obama told the New Yorker’s David Remnick last year, he’s “wrestled” for a long time with the fact that “American drones have killed between some four hundred and a thousand civilians–a civilian-to-combatant ratio that could be as high as one to three.”
On Thursday, they concluded, the announced death of two more victims—and yes, Westerners—may have “finally pinned him to the mat.”
In March, the BBC’s flagship news program Today broadcast an interview with Moshe Yaalon, Israel’s defense minister.
Yaalon was given free rein to disseminate lies and propaganda with not a single interruption or challenge from Today presenter, Sarah Montague.
In response, the Palestine Solidarity Campaign and many individuals complained to the BBC about the substandard level of interviewing. The replies received from the BBC have revealed the extent to which the organization is prepared to make a fool of itself in order to justify and protect its soft interviews with Israeli spokespeople.
Many had complained that Yaalon was allowed to deny the occupation and the siege on Gaza, and had falsely claimed the Palestinians have “political independence” with Israel not wanting to “govern them whatsoever” — and had done so without any challenging interventions from Montague.
In fact, as Yaalon told lie after lie, there was absolute silence from Montague as the minutes ticked on, with not a sound to indicate she was still present.
The BBC complaints department sent this collective response to those who contacted it about the broadcast: “Please note that it’s always going to be difficult in a live environment against time constraints to challenge each and every comment made, given the amount of other questions and points to cover.”
A quick look at some of Today’s interviews with Palestinian spokespeople is enough to demonstrate just how ludicrous this statement from the BBC is.
And a comparison with Today’s interviews with Israelis during the same time period is sufficient to reveal the unswerving nature of the BBC’s pro-Israeli, anti-Palestinian bias.
Patronising and Aggressive
Take, for example, interviews conducted by Today during July and August 2014.
On 3 July, with the occupied West Bank almost totally shut down by Israel following the disappearance of three Israeli teenagers, Today presenter John Humphrys interviewed Abdullah Abdullah, chairperson of the Palestinian Legislative Council’s political committee.
Humphrys ignored the alleged difficulties of a live environment and time constraints and instead challenged “each and every comment” made by Abdullah, to the extent that the senior Palestinian politician was effectively denied the opportunity to comment at all.
This is part of the interview:
Humphrys: “What I’m trying to do is ask you where we go from here.”
Abdullah: “From here? This racist Israel is exposing itself once more…”
Humphrys [interrupting]: “Can you just cut the rhetoric for a moment and try and deal with the practicalities?”
Abdullah: “This is a government of gangsters. It’s got to be exposed…”
Humphrys [interrupting]: “A bit less rhetoric perhaps and a bit more thought to what is actually going to take place in the Middle East.”
Abdullah: “This is the lack of resolution in the international community…”
Humphrys [interrupting]: “To do what?”
Abdullah: “Israel has been created by your country some 66 years ago…”
Humphrys [interrupting]: “Can we talk about now instead of fifty years ago? That’s what I’m trying to do, talk about what should happen now.”
Abdullah: “If we go to the root cause of it, we would be able to solve everything…”
Humphrys [interrupting]: “We’ve been going to the root cause of it for fifty years. It hasn’t got anywhere has it?”
The interview continues in the same vein for another thirty seconds, with a patronising, aggressive Humphrys continually interrupting and refusing to allow Abdullah the time to complete any of the observations he is trying to make.
At one point, he even puts words into Abdullah’s mouth, saying: “If you’re saying this morning that nothing can move forward until Israel is destroyed, well, at least we know what your position is.”
Abdullah has said nothing of the sort and, when he attempts to make his position clear — “What I say is that Israel…has to be held accountable for its violations of international law” — he is interrupted again by the BBC presenter.
Compare this aggression to Montague’s passive encounter with Yaalon, where the Israeli minister decides what he’s going to say and says it uninterrupted, and at no point is asked to “cut the rhetoric” — despite referring to Gaza as “Hamastan.”
Easy Ride for Israel
Immediately after Humphrys spoke to Abdullah on 3 July, he interviewed the Israeli government spokesperson, Mark Regev — Palestinians aren’t interviewed by Todaywithout an Israeli to counter them. The same isn’t true in reverse, and Israelis are continuously interviewed — as Yaalon was — with no Palestinian present to give an alternative viewpoint.
Regev was given his customary easy ride on the BBC. Humphrys was polite and non-challenging, and allowed the Israeli to blame Hamas for all the violence that takes place in the West Bank and Gaza without daring to question him on Israeli army violence against Palestinian civilians.
Six days later, Humphrys interviewed the head of the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, Raji Sourani, who was on the phone from Gaza.
Gaza, by then, was under day and night attack by Israel.
Sourani explained this, to which Humphrys replied: “Couldn’t you stop it if you stopped firing rockets at Israel?”
Sourani: “I think Israel initiated that for several years before…”
Humphrys [interrupting, and incredulous]: “Israel initiated you firing rockets at them?”
Sourani: “No, I’m talking about before this, Israel was attacking for seven nights, bombing Gaza from south to north, and nobody slept for seven days before that, and they were bombing for seven days before that…”
Humphrys [emphatically]: “Three Israeli teenagers have been murdered.”
Sourani: “Eleven has been killed by Israel, including four Palestinian teenagers, and nobody has mentioned that and that’s a great shame. There is no holier than holy blood. Every blood is holy, even Palestinian one.”
The minute-long interview ends here and Humphrys goes on to interview Daniel Taub, Israel’s ambassador to the UK. The rudeness and hectoring disappears and Taub is given four minutes to tell lies about Gaza, such as this —“It’s an area that’s clearly not under occupation” — unchallenged.
Humphry’s interview with Sourani, as well as demonstrating yet again the hostile atmosphere of the BBC for Palestinians, reveals how deeply ingrained the Israeli narrative is within the minds of BBC presenters.
Humphrys sounded genuinely incredulous at Sourani’s suggestion that Israeli violence may have preceded Palestinian violence, rather than being, as Israel always maintains, a defensive reaction to it.
His attitude is that of the colonial-minded journalist, wedded to the belief that if the natives would only stop firing their rockets the colonizer could live in peace.
The theft of land and freedom by the colonizer doesn’t come into it, and Humphrys even implies that Gaza deserves the fatal collective punishment it is receiving because three Israeli teenagers were killed in the West Bank.
Such unbalanced, biased interviewing continued through July and August, as Israel was pounding much of Gaza to rubble and wiping out entire Palestinian families.
The lack of impartiality was replicated on BBC television news and BBC Online, where pro-Israeli commentators were presented as “independent” and brought on to defend Israel’s actions.
Her guests — a retired colonel from the Israeli army, who greenlighted massacres in Gaza during Operation Cast Lead five years before, and a former spokesperson for the Israeli government —enjoyed nine minutes of gentle conversation in which they were able to assert that Israel had no other option but to attack and did so only with great sorrow.
On 13 August, former Israeli president, Shimon Peres, was given airtime in an interview with Middle East correspondent, Wyre Davis, for the stated reason than his was “one voice that we haven’t heard much of during this crisis.”
Davis allowed him to tell one astounding lie after another for four minutes.
This was his first lie: “Look, we left Gaza willingly, unilaterally…We handed over to the Palestinians a free, open Gaza, which is a beautiful strip of…a beautiful beach. They could have developed it for tourism, for fishing, for agriculture. We don’t understand, frankly, why are they fighting? What are they shooting? We left. What is the purpose? They want to be free. They are free.”
And this came towards the end: “When we left Gaza, Gaza was open. No restriction, no closure, nothing whatever. We helped them even, to build a new modern agriculture. We would like to see them a normal nation, living in peace, developing their country.”
To which a compliant Davis replied: “Your position is clear. You obviously pursue peace from a position of strength.”
The lies were breathtaking, the fact he was allowed to tell them unchallenged, extraordinary. Compare this to Abdullah’s interview on Today a month earlier, when he wasn’t given the space even to complete a sentence, or Sourani’s interview when he was hectored to justify Gaza’s rockets, the BBC interviewer’s concern, as it always is, being only for Israel, not for the Palestinians under occupation.
The BBC complaints department can fire off as many email messages as it likes, arrogantly declaring the impartiality of the BBC or trying to pretend interviewers don’t have time to “challenge each and every comment made” by an Israeli interviewee.
But an analysis of just one BBC program’s interviews with its Palestinian and Israeli guests shows those claims to be as big a lie as any told by an Israeli spokesperson appearing on Today. And that is truly shameful.
A house of mirrors is an immersive, highly distorted and intentionally confusing version of reality. Those walking its corridors are sometimes amused and sometimes frightened by the disorienting experience, but luckily for them, it is only temporary. There is an exit, and they will walk through it, back to reality.
But what if one existed their entire lives in such a distorted reality and knew of no exits? Would they convince themselves that these distorted images reflected back at them were in fact reality no matter how unnatural they appeared? Could they convince themselves to enjoy and even embrace this distorted reality?
One ponders such questions when looking from the outside-in on American politics. It too is a house of mirrors reflecting back a reality entirely distorted. Also like a house of mirrors, American politics have been intentionally constructed this way, to confuse, disorient and even frighten the American people when necessary to exercise mass persuasion over them. The final result is perpetual impunity granted to the powers that truly be, hiding behind the powers that allegedly were “elected,” and powers whose authority only exists in this house of mirrors and no further.
New Leaders, Old Wars
Consider US President George Bush Sr. He launched the inaugural war of what he himself called a “New World Order.” Operation Desert Storm included multiple nations comprising of nearly a million soldiers who swept from the map one of the largest conventional armies (4th largest) in the world. Bush Sr., however, paused just ahead of sweeping the Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein from power. His successor, US President William Jefferson Clinton would keep Iraq subdued with periodic bombing campaigns and the imposition of both crippling sanctions and no-fly zones in the north and south of Iraq.
Clinton would serve 8 years in office and lock horns with Russia in Serbia in a proto-Ukraine-style conflict. In 2000, we should remember that George Bush Jr. ran on a platform opposed to global interventionism. For those trapped in the house of mirrors, this distortion of reality seemed very convincing. For those who understood the hegemonic mission of America’s special interests, those that transcend elections and political parties, they knew Bush Sr.’s desires for a “New World” endured and would manifest themselves in a yet revealed, muscular foreign policy that only needed the right impetus to be justified in the eyes of the American people.
Conveniently, the events of September 11, 2001 delivered just that. So began the 8 year “War on Terror.” So sick of wars were Americans at the end of those 8 years, that anyone promising to end them would likely win the 2008 elections. And so Barack Obama did and thus became “US President.” However, not only did the wars not end, and not only were they in fact expanded, new wars were begun. In fact, these new wars were all the planned wars Bush Sr., Clinton and Bush Jr. never got around to fighting.
Yet, no matter how unnatural this distorted reflection appeared in the American politics house of mirrors, those trapped perpetually within its mirrored walls found it perfectly acceptable for a Democratic president to continue Republican wars and start new wars the Republicans could only have dreamed of starting but couldn’t because of left-wing anti-war movements now silent because “their guy” was in office.
Hillary = Obama = Bush Jr. = Clinton = Bush Sr.
With Hillary Clinton’s announcement that she is running for office in 2016 with President Obama’s full endorsement, those infected with neo-liberalism and wandering the corridors of this house of mirrors see yet another distorted, ghoulish image staring back, but one they are yet again ready to embrace.
Here is a woman who as US Secretary of State laughed and mocked the Libyan people upon hearing their leader had been murdered by terrorists in what constituted by all accounts a war crime. Before that, she played an active role in selling the war upon Libya in 2011 to the American left (as the American right had already desired such a war for years and needed no convincing). By 2016 we may have yet another Clinton in office, and a Clinton fully dedicated to carrying on the wars of both the Democrats and Republicans that came before her.
To say this is continuity of agenda is a bit of an understatement. American foreign policy has been so singular in purpose and focus for the past several decades that it is clear that behind the distortions of this house of mirrors, something singular and very nasty has been there the entire time. Who or what could it be?
The Real President of the United States Lives on Wall Street, not Pennsylvania Avenue
How about we look at the people who pay for the political campaigns to put these various spokesmen and women-in-chiefs into office in the first place? Or the immense interests driving lobbying efforts that target and control both sides of the political aisle in American politics? A single Fortune 100 corporation has enough money to buy out every relevant politician on Capital Hill and still finish up the fiscal year bloated with billions in profits. And what happens when these interests converge across various think-tanks they themselves have set up and created to generate the singular foreign and domestic policies we see carried forward from presidency to presidency, from congressional session to session?
We see complete control exerted over American politics as well as across the media, allegedly charged to serve as watchdogs and a check and balance, but instead turned into an echo chamber and instrument of mass persuasion by those who have clearly consolidated the summation of American politics in their pockets.
While policy might be debated over by these special interests, and groups moved in one direction or another to exert influence against competing special interests among this exclusive club, one thing is for sure, the American voter is the last voice considered in this process.
Since the American voter is incapable of seeing that they are in fact in a house of mirrors to begin with, and think they are “outside” in reality making real decisions, their decisions are completely irrelevant to those who really do live outside in reality and are actually making real decisions.
We must understand that for special interests that collectively control trillions of dollars in assets, profits and infrastructure all over the planet, the last thing they are willing to do is allow for the existence of a system that might actually put into power a form of authority above their own, that would set policy predicated upon the interests of the people, rather than their own. They have the money, the power and the ability to ensure policy is set to suit them, and them alone, and they clearly have done just that.
This is why US troops are still in Afghanistan and Iraq, wars are still being waged either directly or indirectly against Libya, Syria, Yemen, Iran and Russia and destabilization targeting China and other targets of Washington and Wall Street’s special interests continues unabated, albeit distorted within the house of mirrors, regardless of who is president.
So Americans may think they are voting for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and those infected with neo-liberalism the world over may think another enlightened champion of their progressive cause has taken the reins of the free world, but they might as well have voted for another Bush. The reality is, that as along as Americans and those who look to America from abroad for leadership dwell in this house of mirrors, the special interests that intentionally built this carnival called “democracy” will have their way back in actual reality.
Instead of fumbling through another four years trapped inside this carnival attraction, let’s find the exits. Let’s leave this house of mirrors and breathe a breath of fresh air. Are we really going to listen to another round of campaign promises, holding our breath hoping that this time they mean it? Or will we begin divesting from this system and building our own, one that might actually truly represent us this time, far from the mirrored walls that held us for so long?
Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.
Yes, I wrote a resignation letter. No regrets there.
As the Internet began releasing tidal waves of information regarding my resignation as editor in chief of the Ukrainian newspaper “Segodnya” ["Today"] (http://www.segodnya.ua/), the actual causes are explained below.
First of all, I do not agree with the CENSORSHIP in the newspaper where I worked. We all received orders from above (from the media group “Ukraine”), orders that rule OVER the newspaper and also OVER the chief editor. This order states, that you cannot criticize the “special status” of Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk, which I learned only after taking office. He is UNTOUCHABLE, with which I categorically disagree. This is the actual “editorial policy” we had. I just did not want to adhere to it. In our newspaper it was also impossible to write about the many other “secrets.” The fact that Petro Poroshenko factory increases its production in Russia, is one such example. A short note was left by the CEO of the newspaper, Vasily Potapov, regarding my initiation of this story, this was what was written on that note: “This story is no good”.
Secondly, If you would like to grant someone responsibility, you need to give the chief-editor some actual powers, and not bind him, hand and foot, to certain restrictions on speech and written word when it comes to certain political cases. Such powers I did not have. In fact, such powers were generally not defined.
Thirdly, the website of “Segodnya” does not follow any drafted rules of editor-in-chief. This is pretty much the policy of the media group, confuse everything, and confuse everyone. They want to share the power, but to also be able to assign someone as the scapegoat. When I told the same CEO, Vasily Potapov: “Let’s make an official statement that the website is NOT FOLLOWING to my rules. I do not want to be held responsible for incompetence and FACTUAL ERRORS of their decision not under my leadership. Vasily Potapov told me, “No, don’t do that. Not yet”. I never understood, when will that time finally arrive. And then I thought: why wait? For the record, I was responsible only for the PAPER version of “Segodnya”. For all the odd nonsense that regularly appeared on the newspaper’s website, with the exception of my columns, you should refer to the editor of the website Svetlana Panyushkina. It is high time to publicize the name of that official, who is very fond of hiding from responsibility.
Fourthly: the curator of the newspaper media group “Ukraine” Ekaterina Lapshina and CEO Vasily Potapov forbade me to talk to the press, participate in talk shows, and comment on any situation regarding the attention in the media I have been receiving regarding my appointment two months ago.
Like any writer, I decided that my freedom and publicity are dearer to me than my chief editorial salaries and thus devoted to Ms. Lapshina, the following epigram:
Who is, Katya Lapshina,
that she be so special,
As to have Katya,
Fifthly, the cup of my patience overflowed with the showing of the interview with former head of the fiscal service of Ukraine, Igor Belous. I did what I could to resist the publishing of this garbage material which had nothing to do with real journalism. But in the end the powers that be put it on the “top” of the newspaper. And then soon after that, I gave up and wrote a letter of resignation. Do what you want, write what you want. But without me.
Oles Buzina was killed a month after this blog entry was written in front of his house.
“Geo-engineering changes our soil PH, it toxifies our soils with aluminum.
We’re seeing crop loss and we’re also seeing eco-system collapses around the world. And geo-engineering creates something that’s called ‘abiotic stress’…well Monsanto has developed a new genetically-modified seed that addresses abiotic stress.” - Michael J. Murphy, Producer/Director of “Why in the World are They Spraying”
Earth Day is celebrated on April 22 each year. This year marks the 45th anniversary of the very first Earth Day which took place in the United States of America. Earth Day was founded by Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson, and coordinated by environmental activist Denis Hayes. 
Intended as an environmental teach-in, it attracted the participation of two thousand colleges and universities, about ten thousand primary and secondary schools, and hundreds of communities. 
In 2015, multiple stresses on the biosphere have revealed themselves. In addition to the climate crisis which has clearly revealed itself in recent years, the world is witnessing a decline in biodiversity, the increased acidification of our oceans, nuclear contamination from the four year old Fukushima disaster, the expansion of fossil-fuel bearing pipelines, the unknown risks associated with experimentation in genetic modification, and the general toxic atmosphere our twenty-first century life-style has enabled.
This interview is followed by a conversation with Carrie Saxifrage. Saxifrage was for four years the Sustainability reporter with the Vancouver Observer and has just written a book entitled The Big Swim: Coming Ashore in a World Adrift, a collection of non-fiction stories centred around community in an era of worsening climate change. Saxifrage does her best to live a low carbon lifestyle. She explains in this conversation the difference it can make when you re-frame the climate crisis through stories of personal growth.
Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border. It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.
What do you call a nation going all-out to help desperate foreign nationals trapped in a war zone hell: heroic and honorable by any standard!
What do you call one refusing to help its own trapped nationals in a war of aggression it planned and implemented, using proxy killers to do its dirty work: guilty of the supreme high crime against peace! Disdainful of human life and welfare! A ruthless rogue state!
In early April, the State Department said
“there are no plans for a US government-coordinated evacuation of US citizens at this time.”
“US citizens wishing to depart (Yemen) should do so via commercial transportation options when they become available.”
In other words, tough luck. You’re on your own. We don’t give a damn if you live or die.
Russia continues evacuating foreign nationals from numerous countries by air and sea – despite the risk during ongoing hostilities.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich said foreign nationals evacuated from March 31 through April 22 include over 400 Russians and about 1,300 others from around 20 other countries – including America.
Russia will continue its rescue operation as long as it’s needed, Lukashevich explained.
Thousands of trapped foreign nationals need help to get out – including 3 – 4.000 Americans. Russia intends doing all it can when most needed.
Washington abandoned its own – leaving desperate American citizens at risk from US ordered/Saudi-led terror-bombing.
State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf lied. On the one hand, she refused to explain why US citizens aren’t being helped.
Because they’re Yemenis, a nationality Washington equates with terrorism. Because they’re Arabs, not privileged white Anglo-Saxons.
On the other, she claimed “we have been collaborating for many, many weeks now…talking to other countries, other organizations…who may have ways of getting American citizens out.”
“(W)e are working with other countries, but at this point, no plans to use US government assets to do so.”
Fact: The world’s richest country doesn’t give a damn about its trapped citizens in harm’s way – Obama’s latest atrocity.
Fact: The State Department did nothing to help them. It contacted no one on their behalf.
Fact: It provided no helpful information. It left defenseless US citizens on their own, out of luck.
Fact: Washington can easily evacuate all US nationals wishing to leave – by air and sea in a few days at most.
Fact: It could halt all terror-bombing to assure no one is in harm’s way.
Fact: Obama could end his latest aggression – killing and injuring hundreds daily.
Fact: He deplores peace. He wants war continued – more endless aggression on his rap sheet.
“(T)he job is not done,” he said – not until thousands more Yemenis are slaughtered in cold blood, not until the entire country is destroyed.
RT International spoke to 20 Americans Russia evacuated from Yemen. They said the State Department offered no help whatever – nothing when most needed.
They had to contact other governments for help Washington refused to provide.
Mouhammed Nasser said his
“cousin contacted us from the US. He got hold of the Russians and then contacted us.”
“We only heard about it yesterday. We went from the village. It’s a five-hour ride.”
“We crossed that bridge. Twenty minutes later a missile hit the bridge we crossed.”
Ismail Alafash said
“I couldn’t make it out. I had to wait. It took me weeks to find a flight out of Sanaa.”
“I started calling airlines, agencies, the UN, the Russian embassy. Americans. They just kept sending us emails. They said basically: find your way out.”
Kaled Alamarie said
“(n)obody really helped until recently I was contacted by one of our community members that Russian plane is evacuating American citizens. I got lucky.”
According to the State Department, victims are to blame for Obama’s latest war of aggression. It’s their own fault if they’re killed or harmed in any way.
Washington calls it democracy building. International law calls it naked aggression – the supreme high crime against peace.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
The TPP Investment Chapter … is classified and supposed to be kept secret for four years after the entry into force of the TPP agreement or, if no agreement is reached, for four years from the close of the negotiations.
Ron Kirk, until recently Mr. Obama’s top trade official, was remarkably candid about why he opposed making the text public: doing so, he suggested to Reuters, would raise such opposition that it could make the deal impossible to sign.
Companies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals organized under the World Bank or the United Nations.
Ron Paul says that the TPP would erode national sovereignty:
While it’s falsely called a “trade agreement”, only 5 out of 29 of TPP’s chapters have anything to do with trade. And conservatives point out that even the 5 chapters on trade do not promote free trade. Bloomberg calls TPP a “corporatist power grab”, “as democratic and transparent as a one-party state,” and shrouded in “Big Brother-like secrecy”.
A very credible inside source – with a proven track record of access, accuracy, intelligence and dedication to working for our country – tells Washington’s Blog that TPP contains provisions which would severely harm America’s national security. Specifically, like some previous, ill-conceivedtreaties, TPP would allow foreign companies to buy sensitive American assets which could subject us to terror attacks or economic blackmail.
Huffington Post quotes the New York Times and Wikileaks to explain how the dispute provisions would gut the American legal system:
The WikiLeaks analysis explains that this lets firms “sue” governments to obtain taxpayer compensation for loss of “expected future profits.”
Let that sink in for a moment: “[C]ompanies and investors would be empowered to challenge regulations, rules, government actions and court rulings — federal, state or local — before tribunals….” And they can collect not just for lost property or seized assets; they can collect if laws or regulations interfere with these giant companies’ ability to collect what they claim are “expected future profits.”
The Times‘ report explains that this clause also “giv[es] greater priority to protecting corporate interests than promoting free trade and competition that benefits consumers.”
The tribunals that adjudicate these cases will be made up of private-sector (i.e., corporate) attorneys. These attorneys will rotate between serving on the tribunals and representing corporations that bring cases to be heard by the tribunals. This is a conflict of interest because the attorneys serving on the tribunals will have tremendous incentive to rule for the corporations if they want to continue to get lucrative corporate business.
This ISDS mechanism [“Investor-State Dispute Settlement” tribunals created by TPP] originates from a time when investors in wealthy, developed countries wanted to invest in projects in unstable “third-world,” “banana-republic”-style countries but worried that dictators or revolutionary governments could decide to seize their property — a refinery, railroad or factory — leaving them with no recourse. So before investing, the target country agrees that in the case of disputes, a tribunal is set up outside and beyond the reach of the country’s justice system (courts where the judge is a brother or other crony of the dictator, for example), providing recourse in the event of unjust seizure of property. This would make investment less risky.
However, under agreements like the TPP, these provisions apply to and override the laws of modern, stable, developed countries with democratic governance and fair court systems. The corporate representatives negotiating modern trade agreements see such democratically run governments as “burdensome” and chaotic, introducing “uncertainties” and “interfering” or “meddling” with the corporate order. As onesupporter of these ISDS provisions put it, they protect corporations from “the waves of madness that occasionally flit through the population.”
To give an idea of what would happen to American law if TPP passes, just look at Equador … Its courts awarded billions against Chevron for trashing huge swaths of rainforest. But then a private arbitration panel simply ignored the country’s court system. If TPP passes, we’ll be treated like a third world country, and our American laws and courts will be ignored as well.
(Those opposed to a “one world government” or a “new world order” should oppose TPP as the big fight. Conservatives might want to read read this. Remember that one of the best definitions of fascism – the one used by Mussolini – is the “merger of state and corporate power”. TPP a giant step in that direction.)
The backers of TPP – including Obama and many in Congress – are trying to approve a “fast track” procedure this week that would prevent Congress from having any real input into the agreement, or to even have the opportunity to debate what should be in the agreement.
But the treaty is so bad, that if we just defeat the attempt to fast-track it, it will die a natural death as soon as it’s made public … and Congress has to engage in serious debate on the horrible agreement, and answer to its angry constituents.
The American people are already strongly opposed to TPP, and are disgusted by the proposed fast-tracking of the TPP vote. But we have to let our Congress members’ know how we feel on this.
Hate, disgrace, and pitiful editorial standards. Are these the terms to be ascribed to The Lancet, which, bar a few blemishes has shown a distinguished pedigree in the world of medical research? Stroppy academics have made an argument than an open letter published within its pages last year be denounced and withdrawn. “An Open letter to the people of Gaza” triggered a furious reaction within the magazine, with complainants suggesting that the publication has sided with the forces of “anti-Jewish bigotry”.
The letter itself (Jul 22, 2014), authored by Paola Manduca, Iain Chalmers, Derek Summerfield, Mads Gilbert, Swee Ang on behalf of 24 signatories, spoke of the “ethics and practice” of being “doctors and scientists” which made them denounce “what we witness in the aggression of Gaza by Israel. We ask our colleagues, old and young professionals, to denounce this Israeli aggression. We challenge the perversity of a propaganda that justifies the creation of an emergency to masquerade a massacre, a so-called ‘defensive aggression.’”
The Ombudsman’s report on the letter, authored by Wisia Wedzicha, conceded “that wars and other serious conflicts, and their grave consequences for health, are appropriate subjects for discussion in medical journals.” The report did chide the authors for not being more open about affiliations with organisations that might have had a stake in the “situation in Gaza”, something The Lancet editors were recommended to rectify in due course.
Some language was also taken to task – that a mere 5 percent of Israeli academics who had pleaded with the government to halt aggression in Gaza implied that “the rest” were “complicit in the massacre and destruction of Gaza” was deemed extreme.
The editor Richard Horton, reflecting on the episode in an October piece last year, suggested “new guidance” in the matter, that editors would have to “from time to time, be faced with submissions that lie at the difficult intersection of medicine and politics.” Care would be needed, he reflected, on publishing pieces that “might unnecessarily polarise, or foster or worsen political division.” The open letter certainly did not require withdrawal. Not even a previous Chair of the Committee on Publication Ethics (COPE) felt that it needed to be.
The issue would have been dead and buried but for the continuing attempts to force the issue with Horton and its publisher. A group of protesting doctors numbering over 500 signatures, led by Professor Sir Mark Pepys, sees the journal as having been the subject of “grossly irresponsible misuse” for political ends. The letter, they argued, constituted “stereotypical extremist hate propaganda”, itself a peculiar confection oddly favourable to the overwhelming use of force that claimed over two thousand Palestinian lives. “Medical concern,” they argued in this case, was merely a “hypocritical disguise”.
The doctors, in turn, argue that they will boycott the journal of the publishing group Reed Elsevier does not “enforce appropriate ethical standards of editorship.” Reed Elsevier, they argue, profited “from the publication of dishonest and malicious material that incites hatred and violence.” The entire swathe of 2,000 scientific journals will also be the subject of the academic cold shoulder. “None of us is under any obligation to submit and review material for publication in their journals or to serve on their editorial or advisory boards.”
A closer reading of the website concernedacademics.org suggests how aggressive the grouping has been in targeting The Lancet. It features a report by NGO Monitor arguing that The Lancet has been “a political platform for NGOs”. The Lancet, argued the authors, had taken “a highly politicized course in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict” something which duly “ostracized, and to a large extent, demonized Israel and the Israeli medical community.”
The statement is palpably absurd, given repeated efforts on the part of Horton and the magazine’s team to establish Palestinian-Israeli bridges in the medical domain. That aspect of the curriculum vitae has been removed from view.
The Lancet, however, has friends. Hansoffthelancet.org comprises some 300 doctors, led by Professor Graham Watt of the University of Glasgow. It has its own counter-petition which is gaining steam. “The heavy-handed attempt to force The Lancet to withdraw the open letter is the latest in a series of attempts to stifle media coverage of the Israel-Palestine conflict and should be resisted.” Last Wednesday, the journal’s international advisory board comprising 19 professors, wrote to Horton expressing their “unreserved support” for his position.
The Lancet has seen this before. Its founding editor, the notable social reformer and surgeon Thomas Wakley, faced more than a fair share of editorial attacks for his stances, notably against the rotten core of the medical establishment. Having survived that, the publication has gone on to stir the pot of medical discussions, with editors like Horton reviving a radical tradition. The awful effects of conflict on civilian populations deserves a spot in its volumes. The complaining academics have already missed the train on this one, embracing a spurious form of objectivity that merely apologises for a brutal status quo.
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]
Once a nation parts with the control of its currency and credit, it matters not who makes the nation’s laws. Usury, once in control, will wreck any nation. – William Lyon Mackenzie King, Prime Minister of Canada, 1935
You know the old aphorism, “If a tree falls in the forest…?” Well, how about this one: if citizens win a significant victory in court against an autocratic government involving the fleecing of Canadians of billions of their hard-earned tax dollars and no one in the media actually covers it, did it really happen?
That might well be the question being asked over at the Committee for Monetary and Economic Reform (COMER), a very small and low-budget Toronto think-tank. With their lawyer Rocco Galati (of Supreme Court fame in the Nadon case) they have been steadily winning court battles initiated in 2011 that would oblige the Bank of Canada to return to its pre-1974 practice of lending the government money virtually interest-free. But the mainstream media has boycotted the story. Galati believes the Harper government has done some serious arm-twisting to keep the story buried.
The good folks at COMER have for years — decades, actually — been trying to get people to pay attention to what is far and away the biggest, most outrageous fraud ever perpetrated on the Canadian people. I am speaking here of the fact that instead of the Canadian government borrowing money from its own bank, our bank — the Bank of Canada (BoC) — it has, since 1974, chosen instead to borrow exclusively from private international and domestic financial institutions providing them with enormous, absolutely risk-free profits for almost four decades.
The result, according to economist Ellen Brown:
“By 2012, the government had paid C$1 trillion in interest — twice its national debt. Interest on the debt is now the government’s single largest budget expenditure — larger than health care, senior entitlements or national defense.”
While some of that interest was paid to holders of Canada Savings Bonds, the vast majority was paid to private lenders. In the early 1990s, at the height of the media’s deficit hysteria and rhetorical nonsense about hitting a “debt wall,” 91 per cent of the $423-billion debt was due to interest charges. Our real debt — revenue minus expenditures — was just $37 billion.
COMER has been trying to draw attention to this outrageous situation for so long, and have been ignored for so long, that their campaign is often portrayed as an eccentric sidebar, complete with conspiracy theories, to what is happening in the real world. But if you think having squandered a trillion dollars that could have been spent on the public good is a side issue, feel free. And if you think conspiracy theories are unappealing then you’ll have to come up a compelling argument for a coincidence theory that explains why a nation would deliberately impoverish itself in the interests of international finance capital.
Creating money in the public interest
The Bank of Canada was established as a private bank in 1935 under private ownership but in 1938, recognizing that money should be created in the public interest, the government amended the Bank Act and turned the Bank into a public institution. The Bank was almost immediately harnessed to finance not only Canada’s war effort (we ranked fourth in production of allied war materiel) but a long list of infrastructure projects including the Trans-Canada highway, the St. Lawrence Seaway, and over the decades, hospitals and universities across the country. It was mandated to lend not only to the federal government but to provinces and municipalities as well, with a limit of one-third of the federal budget and one-quarter of a province’s.
It also created a subsidiary, the Industrial Development Bank, helping create the industrial base that recent Liberal and Conservative governments have all but destroyed through trade and investment agreements. The list goes on and on — and includes social programs like the Old Age Security Act and programs to assist WW2 veterans with vocational training and subsidized farm land. The interest on its loans, of course, simply went back into government coffers.
But after nearly 40 years of this incredibly productive use of publicly created credit, unprecedented economic growth and increasing income equality, international finance got its chance to launch the free market counter-revolution against democratic governance. Stagflation — simultaneous stagnation, unemployment and inflation — was one of the first launching pads for Milton Friedman’s radical free-market ideas: putting the creation of credit into private hands and creating debt burdens which would restrict the potential for democratic governance.
Freidman argued that stagflation was the direct result of irresponsible governments issuing too much money or borrowing recklessly from their central banks and sparking inflation. His radical free-market ideology was shared by the Bank for International Settlements (the bank of central bankers) and in 1974 it established a new committee, the Basel Committee, to establish global monetary and financial stability. Canada — that is the Pierre Trudeau Liberals – joined in the deliberations. The committee’s solution was to encourage governments to borrow from private lenders and end the practice of borrowing interest-free from their own central banks. The rationale was thin from the start: central bank borrowing was and is no more inflationary than borrowing through the private banks. The only difference was that private banks were given the legal right to fleece Canadians. The effect of the change was to effectively take a powerful economic tool out of the hands of democratic governments.
Exposing the scheming of finance capital
In 1974 Canada immediately stopped borrowing from the Bank of Canada, launching the country on a deficit accumulation path that in 2012 saw interest payments to private lenders top $1 trillion. Fast-forward to the present and the lawsuit which seeks to:
“[R]estore the use of the Bank of Canada to its original purpose, by exercising its public statutory duty and responsibility. That purpose includes making interest-free loans to the municipal/ provincial/federal governments for ‘human capital’ expenditures (education, health, other social services) and/or infrastructure expenditures.”
The COMER suit goes beyond simply demanding that the BoC return to its former practice and original mandate (which was never repealed). It goes to the heart of the scheming of finance capital in the early 1970s when Western governments were becoming increasingly active socially and interventionist in their economies. COMER alleges that“the Bank of Canada, the Queen, the attorney general, the finance minister, and minister of national revenue are engaging in a conspiracy with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the Financial Stability Board (FSB), and the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) to undermine Canada’s financial and monetary sovereignty.”
Given the claim of a conspiracy one might have expected that the courts would agree with the federal government’s only defence to date: that the suit is frivolous and there is “no reasonable cause of action.” But clearly the facts of the case are so compelling that COMER and Galati keep winning. Not everything, as some of their claims (court costs for example) have been dismissed. But two courts have now refused to throw the case out. The federal government could have appealed to the Supreme Court of Canada but had to file by the end of March. They didn’t.
For Galati, that is a sweet victory because now the government will have to produce substantive arguments:
“They have to actually justify why they haven’t been giving interest-free loans to the government. They have to justify why the Minutes of these Meetings in Zurich are kept secret. They have to justify why the Minister of Revenue is not tabling the true figures of revenue coming in. They have to justify this in law.”
Galati argues that not only may the BoC lend interest-free to the government, it is obliged to.
Of all the destructive elements of the so-called Washington Consensus (the name given to the free market counter-revolution launched in the mid-1970s), this one can actually be challenged in court. Free trade deals, tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, privatization, the gutting of social programs, sweeping deregulation — all these either have been or would be deemed by the courts to be the purview of the legislative branch. But the very first initiative in this 40-year assault on democracy may actually have breached the law. And the courts seem willing, so far, to agree that this possible breach has to be explained and justified.
Murray Dobbin has been a journalist, broadcaster, author and social activist for 40 years. He writes rabble’s State of the Nation column, which is also found at The Tyee.
The Moscow Conference on International Security in April was used as a venue to give notice to the US and NATO that other world powers will not let them do as they please.
Russia’s Defense Minister Shoigu and Iran’s Defense Minister Dehghan at the IV Moscow Conference on International Security (RIA Novosti/Iliya Pitalev)
Talk about joint efforts between China, India, Russia and Iran against NATO expansion was augmented with plans for tripartite military talks between Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran.
Defense ministers and military officials from all over the world gathered on April 16 at the landmark Radisson Royal or Hotel Ukraina, one of the best pieces of Soviet architecture in Moscow, which is known as one of the “Seven Sisters” that were constructed during Joseph Stalin’s time. The two-day event hosted by the Russian Defense Ministry was the fourth annual Moscow Conference on International Security (MCIS).
Civilian and military officials from over seventy countries, including NATO members, attended. Fifteen defense ministers took part in the event. However, aside from Greece, defense ministers of NATO countries did not participate in the conference.
Unlike previous years, the MCIS organizers did not send Ukraine an invitation for 2015’s confab. According to Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, “At this stage of the brutal information antagonism in regard to the crisis in southeastern Ukraine, we decided not to inflame the situation at the conference and at this stage made the decision not to invite our Ukrainian colleagues to the event.”
On a personal note, as a matter of interest I have followed these types of conferences for years, because important statements about foreign and security policies tend to come out of them. This year I was keen for the inauguration of this particular security conference. Aside from it taking place at a time where the geopolitical landscape of the globe is rapidly shifting, I was interested to see what the conference would produce since I was asked in 2014 through the Russian Embassy in Canada if I was interested in attending the IV MCIS.
The rest of the world speaks: Hearing non-Euro-Atlantic security concerns
The Moscow conference is the Russian equivalent to the Munich Security Conference held at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Germany. There, however, are critical differences between the two events.
While the Munich Security Conference is established around Euro-Atlantic security and views global security from the ‘Atlanticist’ standpoint of NATO, the MCIS represents a much broader and diverse global perspective. It represents the rest of the non-Euro-Atlantic world’s security concerns, particularly the Middle East and Asia-Pacific. Ranging from Argentina, India, and Vietnam to Egypt and South Africa, the conference at the Hotel Ukraina brought a variety of big and small players to the table whose voices and security interests, in one way or another, are otherwise undermined and ignored in Munich by US and NATO leaders.
Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, who holds the rank of a flag officer that is equal to that of a four-star general in most NATO countries, opened the conference. Also speaking and seated next to Shoigu were Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and other high-ranking officials. All of them addressed Washington’s multispectral warfare that has utilized color revolutions, like EuroMaidan in Ukraine and the Rose Revolution in Georgia, for regime change. Shoigu cited Venezuela and China’s Hong Kong Special Administrative Region as failed color revolutions.
Foreign Minister Lavrov reminded the attendees that the possibilities of a dangerous world conflict were increasing due to the lack of concern by the US and NATO for the security of others and a lack of constructive dialogue. When making his argument, Lavrov cited US President Franklin Roosevelt by saying, “There can be no middle ground here. We shall have to take the responsibility for world collaboration, or we shall have to bear the responsibility for another world conflict.”“I believe that they formulated one of the main lessons of the most devastating global conflict in history: it is only possible to meet common challenges and preserve the peace through collective, joint efforts based on respect for the legitimate interests of all partners,”he explained about what world leaders learned from the Second World War.
Shoigu had over ten bilateral meetings with the different defense ministers and chiefs who arrived in Moscow for the MCIS. During a meeting with the Serbian Defense Minister Bratislav Gasic, Shoigu said that Moscow considers Belgrade a reliable partner in military cooperation.
From left to right: Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, and Chief of the General Staff Valery Gerasimov opening the MCIS (RIA Novosti/Iliya Pitalev)
The myth that Russia is internationally isolated was shot down again during the conference, which has also resulted in some important announcements.
Kazakhstani Defense Minister Imangali Tasmagambetov and Shoigu announced that the implementation for a joint Kazakhstani-Russian air defense system had begun. This is not only indicative of the integration of the air space of the Collective Security Treaty Organization, but part of a trend. It heralded other announcements against NATO’s missile defense shield.
The most vigorous statement though was that of Iranian Defense Minister Hussein Dehghan. Brigadier-General Deghan said that Iran wanted China, India, and Russia to stand together in jointly opposing the eastward expansion of NATO and the threat posed by the alliance’s missile shield project to their collective security.
During a meeting with Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan, Shoigu emphasized that Moscow’s military ties with Beijing are its “overriding priority.” In another bilateral meeting the defense honchos of Iran and Russia confirmed that their cooperation will be part of the cornerstones of a new multipolar order and that Moscow and Tehran were in harmony in their strategic approach to the US.
After Dehghan and the Iranian delegation met with Shoigu and their Russian counterparts, it was announced that a tripartite summit may take place between Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran. The idea was later endorsed by the Chinese delegation.
The geopolitical environment is changing and it is not sympathetic to US interests. Not only has a Eurasian Economic Union been formed by Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, and Russia in the post-Soviet heart of Eurasia, but Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran — the Eurasian Triple Entente — have been in a long process of coming together politically, strategically, economically, diplomatically, and militarily.
Eurasian harmony and integration challenges the US position in its “Western perch” and bridgehead in Europe and even orients US allies to act more independently. This is one of the central themes explored by my book The Globalization of NATO.
Former US security bigwig Zbigniew Brzezinski warned US elites against the formation of a Eurasian “coalition that could eventually seek to challenge America’s primacy.” According to Brzezinski such a Eurasian alliance would arise as a “Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition” with Beijing as its focal point.
“For Chinese strategists, confronting the trilateral coalition of America and Europe and Japan, the most effective geopolitical counter might well be to try and fashion a triple alliance of its own, linking China with Iran in the Persian Gulf/Middle East region and with Russia in the area of the former Soviet Union,” Brzezinski warns.
“In assessing China’s future options, one has to consider also the possibility that an economically successful and politically self-confident China — but one which feels excluded from the global system and which decides to become both the advocate and the leader of the deprived states of the world — may decide to pose not only an articulate doctrinal but also a powerful geopolitical challenge to the dominant trilateral world,” he explains.
More or less, this is the track that the Chinese are following. Minister Wanquan flatly told the MCIS that a fair world order was needed.
The threat for the US is that a Chinese-Russian-Iranian coalition could, in Brzezinski’s own words, “be a potent magnet for other states dissatisfied with the status quo.”
A Russian soldier during an exercise involving the S-300 surface-to-air missile systems in Astrakhan Region (RIA Novosti/Pavel Lisitsyn)
Countering the US and NATO missile shield in Eurasia
A new “Iron Curtain” is being erected by Washington around China, Iran, Russia, and their allies through the US and NATO missile infrastructure. This missile network is offensive and not defensive in intent and motivation.
The Pentagon’s goal is to neutralize any defensive responses from Russia and other Eurasian powers to a US ballistic missile attack, which could include a nuclear first strike. Washington does not want to allow Russia or others to have a second strike capability or, in other words, have the ability to respond to an attack by the Pentagon.
In 2011, it was reported that Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who was Moscow’s envoy to NATO at the time, would be visiting Tehran to speak about the NATO missile shield project. Various reports were published, including by the Tehran Times, claiming that the governments of Russia, Iran, and China were planning on creating a joint missile shield to counter the US and NATO. Rogozin, however, refuted the reports. He said that missile defense was discussed between the Kremlin and its military allies in the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).
The idea of defense cooperation between China, Iran, and Russia against the NATO missile shield remained afloat since 2011. Since then Iran has moved closer to becoming an observer in the CSTO, like Afghanistan and Serbia. Beijing, Moscow, and Tehran have all moved closer together too due to issues like Syria, EuroMaidan, and the Pentagon’s “Pivot to Asia.” Deghan’s calls for a collective approach by China, India, Iran, and Russia against the missile shield and NATO expansion coupled with the announcements at the MCIS about tripartite military talks between China, Iran, and Russia point in this direction too.
Russia’s S-300 and S-400 air defense systems are being rolled out across Eurasia from Armenia and Belarus to Kamchatka as part of a state-of-the-art countermove to the new “Iron Curtain.” These air defense systems make Washington’s objectives to neutralize the possibility of a reaction or second strike much harder.
Even NATO officials and the Pentagon, which referred to the S-300 as the SA-20 system, admit this. “We have studied it and trained to counter it for years. While we are not scared of it, we respect the S-300 for what it is: a very mobile, accurate, and lethal missile system,” US Air Force Colonel Clint Hinote has written for the Washington-based Council on Foreign Relations.
Although it has been speculated that the sale of the S-300 systems to Iran mark the start of an international arms sales bonanza in Tehran as a result of the Lausanne talks and that Moscow is trying to have a competitive edge in a reopening Iranian market, in reality the situation and motivations are much different. Even if Tehran buys different quantities of military hardware from Russia and other foreign sources, it has a policy of military self-sufficiency and primarily manufactures its own weapons. A whole series of military hardware — ranging from tanks, missiles, combat jets, radar detectors, rifles, and drones to helicopters, torpedoes, mortar shells, warships, and submarines — are made domestically inside Iran. The Iranian military even contends that their Bavar-373 air defense system is more or less the equivalent of the S-300.
Moscow’s delivery of the S-300 package to Tehran is more than just about unpretentious business. It is meant to cement Russo-Iranian military cooperation and to enhance Eurasian cooperation against Washington’s encircling missile shield. It is one step closer to the creation of a Eurasian air defense network against the missile threat posed by the US and NATO against nations that dare not bend the knee to Washington.
The question of punishing illegal settlements in occupied Palestinian territory was considered separately in Europe and Israel last week, with only superficial differences in the conclusions reached. Israel’s near half-century occupation is in no immediate danger, either at home or abroad.
Some 16 European foreign ministers sent a letter to the European Union’s foreign affairs chief, Federica Mogherini, calling for the EU to label clearly Israeli settlement products to alert shoppers to their true provenance.
Yair Lapid, Israel’s former finance minister who is widely regarded as a moderate, angrily phoned Mogherini to warn that major European states were calling for a “de facto boycott of Israel”. He described the letter as “a stain” on the EU, adding that Israel’s economy could face “disaster”.
EU foreign ministers were no less persuaded of the punitive nature of their proposal. Labelling settlement goods would, they wrote, be “an important step in the full implementation of EU longstanding policy” and vital to preserving the two-state solution.
In truth, however, the letter simply continues Europe’s feeble and muddle-headed policy in the face of Israel’s intensifying efforts to entrench the occupation.
After years of internal debates, only a small majority of the 27 EU states has been able to agree on the most ineffectual measure imaginable against products made on land and using resources stolen from the occupied Palestinian population.
Labelling might give conscientious consumers useful information to target settlements goods but, in the unlikely event a significant number of shoppers chose to act, it would barely dent Israel’s economy.
In fact, even if the EU went much further and agreed to enforce a fully fledged boycott of the settlements – something far from its current agenda – it would have little more than a psychological impact.
The reason is that, while on the one hand the EU ponders symbolic gestures against the settlements, on the other it actively subsidises the very state that has been expanding the settlements for almost 50 years.
It does so both through a special trade agreement that makes Europe Israel’s largest export market and by handing over large sums of aid annually to the Palestinian Authority, which maintains order in the occupied territories on Israel’s behalf.
European ministers are behaving like deluded parents who believe they can punish a wayward child by docking his pocket money while at the same time letting him buy up the toy store.
The pressing need for Europe to find its backbone was underscored last week when Israel’s supreme court considered the question of boycotts.
Israeli peace and human rights groups had petitioned Israel’s highest court, long considered a lone outpost of liberalism, over a controversial law passed four years ago. It imposes heavy damages on any Israeli individual or organisation that calls for a boycott of either Israel or the settlements.
The Israeli right’s goal in passing the legislation was undisguised: to silence internal critics of the occupation, especially those who back growing international calls for Israel to face BDS – boycott, divestment and sanctions. A similar campaign of isolation turned the tide against apartheid South Africa.
However, by a narrow majority, the court supported the law. Several judges described calls for boycott “political terror”, while another renamed the BDS movement “Bigoted, Dishonest, Shameful”.
Observers were particularly surprised that the court refused to make a distinction between boycotting Israel and the settlements. Effectively, the judges kosher-stamped the occupation, equating a non-violent political protest against the settlements with “terror”.
Lara Friedman of Americans for Peace Now observed that in doing so the court had codified Israel’s “de facto annexation” of the West Bank.
In practice, the ruling will bar Israelis from showing any solidarity with Palestinians living under oppression. As the liberal Haaretz daily noted, lobbying to stop theatre companies and musicians from performing in the large settlement of Ariel, in the heart of the West Bank, is now effectively outlawed with the court’s approval.
Uri Avnery, leader of the small Israeli peace camp Gush Shalom, which for many years has called unsuccessfully on the EU to boycott settlement products, believed the ruling proved the judges were simply “afraid” of the growing power of the right.
Without a supreme court prepared to back basic civil rights like free speech, the Israeli right’s hold is unchallenged. It is shutting down the kind of political spaces that allowed blacks and whites in South Africa to struggle jointly against apartheid.
Israeli commentator Gideon Levy lamented on Sunday: “We’re about to get our most nationalist government – and there is no one to stop its laws.”
The court’s ruling only highlighted the EU’s shameful cowardice in failing to confront Israel. It is precisely as Israeli political institutions – from Benjamin Netanyahu’s government to the judiciary – make common cause behind the settlements that Europe needs to find its voice.
The few Israelis prepared to break out of the domestic consensus and stand up for Palestinian rights to dignity and justice need all the help they can get. Not least they need the solidarity of European governments, who should be joining them in calling for harsh – not paltry – penalties against Israel.
Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His latest books are “Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East” (Pluto Press) and “Disappearing Palestine: Israel’s Experiments in Human Despair” (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net.
A version of this article first appeared in the National, Abu Dhabi.
State laws and regulators are increasingly important as gridlock in Washington makes broad federal action on important issues an increasingly rare event. From environmental protection to civil rights to the minimum wage, the action is at the state level. Ironically, one thing that may get done soon in Washington is a trade agreement, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which has the potential to undermine a wide range of state and local laws.
One provision of TPP would create an entirely separate system of justice: special tribunals to hear and decide claims by foreign investors that their corporate interests are being harmed by a nation that is part of the agreement. This Investor-State Dispute Settlement provision would allow large multinational corporations to sue a signatory country for actions taken by its federal, state or local elected or appointed officials that the foreign corporation claims hurt its bottom line.
This should give pause to all members of Congress, who will soon be asked to vote on fast-track negotiating authority to close the agreement. But it is particularly worrisome to those of us in states, such as New York, with robust laws that protect the public welfare — laws that could be undermined by the TPP and its dispute settlement provision.
To put this in real terms, consider a foreign corporation, located in a country that has signed on to TPP, and which has an investment interest in the Indian Point nuclear power facility in New York’s Westchester County. Under TPP, that corporate investor could seek damages from the United States, perhaps hundreds of millions of dollars or more, for actions by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Westchester Country Board of Legislators or even the local Village Board that lead to a delay in the relicensing or an increase in the operating costs of the facility.
The very threat of having to face such a suit in the uncharted waters of an international tribunal could have a chilling effect on government policymakers and regulators.
Or consider the work my office has done to enforce the state of New York’s laws against wage theft, predatory lending and consumer fraud. Under TPP, certain foreign targets of enforcement actions, unable to prevail in domestic courts, could take their cases to TPP’s dispute resolution tribunals. Unbound by an established body of law or precedent, the tribunals would be able to simply sidestep domestic courts. And decisions by these tribunals cannot be appealed.
Proponents of TPP note that similar tribunal constructs have been included in other international trade agreements involving the United States, often in order to encourage and protect our investments in countries with shaky, corrupt or even nonexistent civil justice systems. But more than in past trade agreements, a number of the nations expected to participate in TPP have the resources and legal sophistication to exploit the agreement and turn it against our laws and system of justice.
Maybe that’s why the agreement is being negotiated in secret. If it weren’t for WikiLeaks and a few media outlets, we wouldn’t even know about this dangerous provision. The effort by negotiators to keep their discussions from the public is telling.
The beneficiaries here would be a discrete group of multinational business interests that should be entitled to treatment no better and no different than any other plaintiff receives in the trial and appellate courts of this country. The separate and unaccountable system of justice that TPP would create poses a major risk to critical statutes and policy decisions that protect our citizens — and it has no place in a nation committed to equal justice under law.