Global Research Editor’s Note

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

Ummat (in Urdu)

translated from Urdu

Karachi, 28 September 2001, pp. 1 and 7.

Ummat’s introduction

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

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THE 9/11 READER. The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

September 11th, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

 

Note to Readers: Remember to bookmark this page for future reference.
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[scroll down for I-BOOK Table of Contents]

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GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE

INTERACTIVE READER SERIES

GR I-BOOK No.  7 

THE 9/11 READER

The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

9/11 Truth: Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)

August 2012


The 911/ Reader is part of Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader, which brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Global Research feature articles, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter.  To consult our Online Interactive I-Book Reader Series, click here.


 

INTRODUCTION

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”.

Click to view video

VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR

Special GRTV Feature Production
- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08

***

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 has been told that the night before the September 11 terrorist attack, Osama bin Laden was in Pakistan. He was getting medical treatment with the support of the very military that days later pledged its backing for the U.S. war on terror in Afghanistan. (transcript of CBS report, see http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CBS203A.html , see also http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/01/28/eveningnews/main325887.shtml

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.

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.
(source RAWA)


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)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

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.

War Propaganda

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)

Barely two weeks before the invasion of Iraq, September 11, 2001 was mentioned abundantly by president Bush. In the weeks leading up to the March invasion, 45 percent of  Americans believed Saddam Hussein was “personally involved” in the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. (See . The impact of Bush linking 9/11 and Iraq / The Christian Science Monitor – CSMonitor.com, March 14, 2003)

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.

But what makes this case absurd is that in September 2011, a few months before the judgment, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who has questioned the official 9/11 narrative, was accused by Al-Qaeda leaders of  “spreading conspiracy theories about the 9/11 attacks”. The semi-official media outlet of Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, insisted that al-Qaeda “had been behind the attacks and criticised the Iranian president for discrediting the terrorist group.” (See Julie Levesque, Iran Accused of being behind 9/11 Attacks. U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran), Global Research,  May 11, 2012)

Al Qaeda: US-NATO Foot-soldiers

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.


PART  I

Timeline: What Happened on the Morning of September 11, 2001

Nothing Urgent: The Curious Lack of Military Action on the Morning of September. 11, 2001
- by George Szamuely – 2012-08-12
Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
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.
9/11 Contradictions: Bush in the Classroom
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-04
9/11 Contradictions: When Did Cheney Enter the Underground Bunker?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-24
VIDEO: Pilots For 9/11 Truth: Intercepted
Don’t miss this important documentary, now on GRTV
- 2012-05-16

PART II

What Happened on the Planes

“United 93″: What Happened on the Planes?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-05-01
  Phone Calls from the 9/11 Airliners
Response to Questions Evoked by My Fifth Estate Interview
- by Prof David Ray Griffin – 2010-01-12
Given the cell phone technology available in 2001, cell phone calls from airliners at altitudes of more than a few thousand feet, were virtually impossible
Ted Olson’s Report of Phone Calls from Barbara Olson on 9/11: Three Official Denials
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-01
Ted Olson’s report was very important. It provided apparent “evidence” that American 77 had struck the Pentagon.

 

PART III

What Caused the Collapse of

The WTC Buildings and the Pentagon?

The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2006-01-29
The official theory about the Twin Towers says that they collapsed because of the combined effect of the impact of the airplanes and the resulting fires
Evidence Refutes the Official 9/11 Investigation: The Scientific Forensic Facts
- by Richard Gage, Gregg Roberts – 2010-10-13
VIDEO: Controlled Demolitions Caused the Collapse of the World Trade Center (WTC) buildings on September 11, 2001
- by Richard Gage – 2009-09-20
VIDEO: 9/11: The Myth and The Reality
Now on GRTV
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2011-08-30
Undisputed Facts Point to the Controlled Demolition of WTC 7
- by Richard Gage – 2008-03-28
VIDEO: 9/11 Explosive Evidence: Experts Speak Out
See the trailer for this ground-breaking film on GRTV
- 2011-08-03
9/11: “Honest Mistake” or BBC Foreknowledge of Collapse of WTC 7? Jane Standley Breaks Her Silence
- by James Higham – 2011-08-18
The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.
Interview. Comment by Elizabeth Woodworth
- by David Ray Griffin – 2009-10-17
  Building What? How SCADs Can Be Hidden in Plain Sight: The 9/11 “Official Story” and the Collapse of WTC Building Seven
- by Prof David Ray Griffin – 2010-05-30
Besides omitting and otherwise falsifying evidence, NIST also committed the type of scientific fraud called fabrication, which means simply “making up results.”
VIDEO; Firefighters’ Analysis of the 9/11 Attacks Refutes the Official Report
- by Erik Lawyer – 2012-08-27
VIDEO: Pentagon Admits More 9/11 Remains Dumped in Landfill
- by James Corbett – 2012-03-01
The Pentagon revealed that some of the unidentifiable remains from victims at the Pentagon and Shanksville sites on September 11, 2001 were disposed of in a landfill.
9/11: The Attack on the Pentagon on September 11, 2001
The Official Version Amounts to an Enormous Lie
- by Thierry Meyssan – 2012-08-16

PART IV

Lies and Fabrications: The 9/11 Commission Report

A National Disgrace: A Review of the 9/11 Commission Report
- by David Ray Griffin – 2005-03-24
The 9/11 Commission Report: A 571 Page Lie
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2005-09-08
September 11, 2001: 21 Reasons to Question the Official Story about 9/11
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-11
911 “Conspiracy Theorists” Vindicated: Pentagon deliberately misled Public Opinion
Military officials made false statements to Congress and to the 911 Commission
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-02
The 9/11 Commission’s Incredible Tales
Flights 11, 175, 77, and 93
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2005-12-13
9/11 and the War on Terror: Polls Show What People Think 10 Years Later
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-09-10

PART  V

Foreknowledge of 9/11

  VIDEO: The SECRET SERVICE ON 9/11: What did the Government Know?
Learn more on this week’s GRTV Feature Interview
- by Kevin Ryan, James Corbett – 2012-04-10
9/11 Foreknowledge and “Intelligence Failures”: “Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-14
“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.
Foreknowledge of 9/11 by Western Intelligence Agencies
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-21

PART VI

Insider Trading and the 9/11 Financial Bonanza

9/11 Attacks: Criminal Foreknowledge and Insider Trading lead directly to the CIA’s Highest Ranks
CIA Executive Director “Buzzy” Krongard managed Firm that handled “Put” Options on UAL
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-13
The 9/11 Attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC): Unspoken Financial Bonanza
- by Prof Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-04-27
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001: Insider Trading 9/11 … the Facts Laid Bare
- by Lars Schall – 2012-03-20
Osama Bin Laden and The 911 Illusion: The 9/11 Short-Selling Financial Scam
- by Dean Henderson – 2011-05-09

PART VII

9/11 and the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT)

Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
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.
9/11 ANALYSIS: From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-09-09
Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA in 1979. The US spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.

 

  The Central Role of Al Qaeda in Bush’s National Security Doctrine
“Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-07-12
NATO’s Doctrine of Collective Security
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2009-12-21
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-08-30
What is now unfolding is a generalized process of demonization of an entire population group
Osamagate
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2001-10-09
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.
The “Demonization” of Muslims and the Battle for Oil
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2007-01-04
Muslim countries possess three quarters of the World’s oil reserves. In contrast, the United States of America has barely 2 percent of total oil reserves.
  Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-09-10
Much of US foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11.
  New Documents Detail America’s Strategic Response to 9/11
Rumsfeld’s War Aim: “Significantly Change the World’s Political Map”
- by National Security Archive – 2011-09-12

PART VIII

The Alleged 9/11 Mastermind:

The Life and Death of  Osama bin Laden

Who Is Osama Bin Laden?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2001-09-12
  VIDEO: The Last Word on Osama Bin Laden
- by James Corbett – 2011-05-24
Osama bin Laden: A Creation of the CIA
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-05-03
Interview with Osama bin Laden. Denies his Involvement in 9/11
Full text of Pakistani paper’s Sept 01 “exclusive” interview
- 2011-05-09
Where was Osama on September 11, 2001?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2008-09-11
On September 10. 2001, Osama was in a Pakistan military hospital in Rawalpindi, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan
Osama bin Laden, among the FBI’s “Ten Most Wanted Fugitives”: Why was he never indicted for his alleged role in 9/11?
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-09-17
Osama bin Laden: Already Dead… Evidence that Bin Laden has been Dead for Several Years
- by Prof. David Ray Griffin – 2011-05-02
The Mysterious Death of Osama bin Laden: Creating Evidence Where There Is None
- by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts – 2011-08-04
The Assassination of Osama bin Laden: Glaring Anomalies in the Official Narrative
Osama was Left Handed…
- by Felicity Arbuthnot – 2011-05-11
The Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
- by Fidel Castro Ruz – 2011-05-07
Dancing on the Grave of 9/11. Osama and “The Big Lie”
- by Larry Chin – 2011-05-05

PART  IX

 ”False Flags”: The Pentagon’s Second 9/11

The Pentagon’s “Second 911″
“Another [9/11] attack could create both a justification and an opportunity to retaliate against some known targets”
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-10
The presumption of this military document, is that a Second 911 attack “which is lacking today” would usefully create both a “justification and an opportunity” to wage war on “some known targets
Crying Wolf: Terror Alerts based on Fabricated Intelligence
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2006-08-20
This is not the first time that brash and unsubstantiated statements have been made regarding an impending terror attack, which have proven to be based on “faulty intelligence”.

PART X

“Deep Events” and State Violence

The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2011-11-22
The Doomsday Project is the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”
JFK and 9/11
Insights Gained from Studying Both
- by Dr. Peter Dale Scott – 2006-12-20
In both 9/11 and the JFK assassination, the US government and the media immediately established a guilty party. Eventually, in both cases a commission was set up to validate the official narrative.
Able Danger adds twist to 9/11
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.
9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2008-06-11
The unthinkable – that elements inside the state would conspire with criminals to kill innocent civilians – has become thinkable…
Al Qaeda: The Database.
- by Pierre-Henri Bunel – 2011-05-12

PART XI

Propaganda: Creating and Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend

September 11, 2001: The Propaganda Preparation for 9/11: Creating the Osama bin Laden “Legend”
- by Chaim Kupferberg – 2011-09-11
THE 9/11 MYTH: State Propaganda, Historical Revisionism, and the Perpetuation of the 9/11 Myth
- by Prof. James F. Tracy – 2012-05-06
  Al Qaeda and Human Consciousness: Al Qaeda, Al Qaeda…. An Incessant and Repetitive Public Discourse
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2012-03-24
9/11 Truth, Inner Consciousness and the “Public Mind”
- by James F. Tracy – 2012-03-18

PART XII

Post 9/11 “Justice”

IRAN ACCUSED OF BEING BEHIND 9/11 ATTACKS.
U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
- by Julie Lévesque – 2012-05-11
U.S. Court Judgment, December 2011 (Havlish v. Iran)
American Justice”: The Targeted Assassination of Osama Bin Laden
Extrajudicial executions are unlawful
- by Prof. Marjorie Cohn – 2011-05-10
ALLEGED “MASTERMIND” OF 9/11 ON TRIAL IN GUANTANAMO: Military Tribunals proceed Despite Evidence of Torture
- by Tom Carter – 2012-05-30
Self-confessed 9/11 “mastermind” falsely confessed to crimes he didn’t commit
- by Washington’s Blog – 2012-07-15
911 MILITARY TRIAL: Pentagon Clears Way for Military Trial of Five charged in 9/11 Attacks
- by Bill Van Auken – 2012-04-06
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s trial will convict us all
- by Paul Craig Roberts – 2009-11-25

PART XIII

9/11 Truth

Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

VIDEO: Commemorating the 10th Anniversary of 9/11
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-01
VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR
Special GRTV Feature Production
- by James Corbett – 2011-09-08

*   *  *

Read about 9/11 in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller America’s “War on Terrorism”

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.

Order Directly from Global Research

America's War on Terrorism

Salafism and the CIA: Destabilizing the Russian Federation?

September 14th, 2012 by F. William Engdahl

Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

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.[1]

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, [2] 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.[3] 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.[4]

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. [5] 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,[6] 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. [7]

*  *  *

WWIII Scenario

*  *  *

 

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.[8]

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.” [9]

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.” [10]

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.[11] 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.  [12]

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.[13]

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. [14]

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.” [15]

“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.” [16]

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.[17]

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,[18] and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad. [19]

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.[20]

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.” [21]

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.[22]

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.” [23] Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt. [24]

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. [25]

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.[26]

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, [27] 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.[28] 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 of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

Notes:

[1] Dan Peleschuk, Sheikh Murdered Over Religious Split Say Analysts, RIA Novosti, August 30, 2012, accessed in

http://en.rian.ru/russia/20120830/175517955.html.

[2] Mairbek  Vatchagaev, The Kremlin’s War on Islamic Education in the North Caucasus, North Caucasus Analysis Volume: 7 Issue: 34, accessed in http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3334

[3] Iason Athanasiadis, Targeted by Israeli raid: Who is the IHH?, The Christian Science Monitor, June 1, 2010, accessed in http://www.csmonitor.com/World/Middle-East/2010/0601/Targeted-by-Israeli-raid-Who-is-the-IHH.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mairbek Vatchagaev, op. cit.

[6] 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).”

[7] Tom Jones, Czech NGO rejects Russian reports of link to alleged Islamist terrorists al-Qaeda, May 10, 2011, accessed in http://www.ceskapozice.cz/en/news/society/czech-ngo-rejects-russian-reports-link-alleged-islamist-terrorists-al-qaeda?utm_source=tw&utm_medium=enprofil&utm_campaign=twennews.

[8] The Times of India, Laden ordered Bamyan Buddha destruction, The Times of India, March 28, 2006.

[9] Dr. Alan Godlas, Sufism — Sufis — Sufi Orders:

[10] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, Center for Islamic Pluralism, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia

[11] Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz, Wahhabi Internal Contradictions as Saudi Arabia Seeks Wider Gulf Leadership, May 21, 2012, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/2040/wahhabi-internal-contradictions-as-saudi-arabia.

[12] Robert Duncan, Islamic Terrorisms Links to Nazi Fascism, AINA, July 5, 2007, accessed in http://www.aina.org/news/2007070595517.htm.

[13] Marc Erikson, Islamism, fascism and terrorism (Part 2), AsiaTimes.Online, November 8, 2002, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK08Ak03.html.

[14] Ibid.

[15] John Loftus, The Muslim Brotherhood, Nazis and Al-Qaeda,  Jewish Community News, October 11, 2006, accessed in http://www.canadafreepress.com/2006/loftus101106.htm

[16] Ibid.

[17] Charlie Skelton, The Syrian opposition: who’s doing the talking?: The media have been too passive when it comes to Syrian opposition sources, without scrutinising their backgrounds and their political connections. Time for a closer look …, London Guardian, 12 July 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/12/syrian-opposition-doing-the-talking.

[18] Aidan Lewis, Profile: Tunisia’s Ennahda Party, BBC News, 25 October 2011, accessed in http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15442859.

[19] Hassan Hassan, Syrians are torn between a despotic regime and a stagnant opposition: The Muslim Brotherhood’s perceived monopoly over the Syrian National Council has created an opposition stalemate, The Guardian, UK, 23 August, 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/aug/23/syrians-torn-despotic-regime-stagnant-opposition.

[20] Stefan J. Bos, Egypt Christians Killed After Election of Morsi, Bosnewslife, June 30, 2012, accessed in http://www.bosnewslife.com/22304-egypt-christians-killed-after-election-morsi.

[21] Ibid.

[22] Irfan Al-Alawi, Egyptian Muslim Fundamentalists Attack Sufis, Guardian Online [London],

April 11, 2011, accessed in http://www.islamicpluralism.org/1770/egyptian-Muslim-fundamentalists-attack-sufis

[23] Yafiah Katherine Randall, UNESCO urges Libya to stop destruction of Sufi sites, August 31, 2012, Sufi News and Sufism World Report, accessed in http://sufinews.blogspot.de/.

[24] Jamie Dettmer, Libya elections: Muslim Brotherhood set to lead government, 5 July, 2012, The Telegraph, London, accessed in http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/libya/9379022/Libya-elections-Muslim-Brotherhood-set-to-lead-government.html.

[25] Luke Harding, Chris Stephen, Chris Stevens, US ambassador to Libya, killed in Benghazi attack: Ambassador and three other American embassy staff killed after Islamist militants fired rockets at their car, say Libyan officials, London Guardian, 12 September 2012, accessed in http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/sep/12/chris-stevens-us-ambassador-libya-killed.

[26] Murad Batal al-Shishani, Profile: Ansar al-Sharia in Yemen, 8 March 2012, accessed in  http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17402856.

[27] 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?”

[28] M.K. Bhadrakumar, Calling the China-Russia split isn’t heresy, Asia Times,  September 5, 2012, accessed in http://www.atimes.com/atimes/China/NI05Ad01.html.

 

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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.

And thanks to NATO, that is exactly what Libya has become – a Western sponsored sanctuary for Al-Qaeda. AQIM’s headway in northern Mali and now French involvement will see the conflict inevitably spill over into Algeria. It should be noted that Riedel is a co-author of “Which Path to Persia?” which openly conspires to arm yet another US State Department-listed terrorist organization (list as #28), the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to wreak havoc across Iran and help collapse the government there – illustrating a pattern of using clearly terroristic organizations, even those listed as so by the US State Department, to carry out US foreign policy.Geopolitical analyst Pepe Escobar noted a more direct connection between LIFG and AQIM in an Asia Times piece titled, “How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli:”

“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.

In fact, ABC News reported in their article, “Al Qaeda Terror Group: We ‘Benefit From’ Libyan Weapons,” that:

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.

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Os Estados Unidos da América vêm usando uma tática de equilíbrio à beira de guerra no caso da Ucrânia, disse à rádio Sputnik Michael Chossudovsky, economista canadense, diretor do Centro de Estudos da Globalização.

Em seu entender, há várias razões para o forte interesse dos EUA pela Ucrânia Oriental. Primeiro, esta região é o coração industrial do país. Segundo, ela se encontra na fronteira com a Rússia. Terceiro, possui enormes reservas de gás de xisto.

“De Washington só se ouve demagogia”, entende Chossudovsky.

“De notar que ela emana até do vice-presidente dos EUA cuja filho tem interesse de negócio na exploração de gás de xisto na Ucrânia Oriental. Estamos, portanto, na presença de um conflito de interesses na região”, adianta o economista.

Por um lado, refere Chossudovsky, os EUA acusam a Rússia de invasão da Ucrânia, exigem o fim da guerra contra a Ucrânia, multiplicando sanções contra a Rússia, e por outro, fomentam uma guerra civil no país.

Two Big Boys: China and NATO

November 26th, 2014 by Prof. Minqi Li

“The Thanksgiving story is an absolution of the Pilgrims, whose brutal quest for absolute power in the New World is made to seem both religiously motivated and eminently human…. The Mayflower’s cultural heirs are programmed to find glory in their own depravity, and savagery in their most helpless victims, who can only redeem themselves by accepting the inherent goodness of white Americans.”

This article was originally published on November 27, 2003, when Glen Ford was co-publisher of The Black Commentator.

Nobody but Americans celebrates Thanksgiving. (Canadians have a holiday by the same name, but an entirely different history and political import.) It is reserved by history and the intent of “the founders” as the supremely white American holiday, the most ghoulish event on the national calendar. No Halloween of the imagination can rival the exterminationist reality that was the genesis, and remains the legacy, of the American Thanksgiving. It is the most loathsome, humanity-insulting day of the year – a pure glorification of racist barbarity.

We are thankful that the day grows nearer when the almost four centuries-old abomination will be deprived of its reason for being: white supremacy. Then we may all eat and drink in peace and gratitude for the blessings of humanity’s deliverance from the rule of evil men.

Thanksgiving is much more than a lie – if it were that simple, an historical correction of the record of events in 1600s Massachusetts would suffice to purge the “flaw” in the national mythology. But Thanksgiving is not just a twisted fable, and the mythology it nurtures is itself inherently evil. The real-life events – subsequently revised – were perfectly understood at the time as the first, definitive triumphs of the genocidal European project in New England. The near-erasure of Native Americans in Massachusetts and, soon thereafter, from most of the remainder of the northern English colonial seaboard was the true mission of the Pilgrim enterprise – Act One of the American Dream. African Slavery commenced contemporaneously – an overlapping and ultimately inseparable Act Two.

The last Act in the American drama must be the “root and branch” eradication of all vestiges of Act One and Two – America’s seminal crimes and formative projects. Thanksgiving as presently celebrated – that is, as a national politicalevent – is an affront to civilization.

Celebrating the unspeakable

White America embraced Thanksgiving because a majority of that population glories in the fruits, if not the unpleasant details, of genocide and slavery and feels, on the whole, good about their heritage: a cornucopia of privilege and national power. Children are taught to identify with the good fortune of the Pilgrims. It does not much matter that the Native American and African holocausts that flowed from the feast at Plymouth are hidden from the children’s version of the story – kids learn soon enough that Indians were made scarce and Africans became enslaved. But they will also never forget the core message of the holiday: that the Pilgrims were good people, who could not have purposely set such evil in motion. Just as the first Thanksgivings marked the consolidation of the English toehold in what became the United States, the core ideological content of the holiday serves to validate all that has since occurred on these shores – a national consecration of the unspeakable, a balm and benediction for the victors, a blessing of the fruits of murder and kidnapping, and an implicit obligation to continue the seamless historical project in the present day.

The Thanksgiving story is an absolution of the Pilgrims, whose brutal quest for absolute power in the New World is made to seem both religiously motivated and eminently human. Most importantly, the Pilgrims are depicted as victims – of harsh weather and their own naïve yet wholesome visions of a new beginning. In light of this carefully nurtured fable, whatever happened to the Indians, from Plymouth to California and beyond, in the aftermath of the 1621 dinner must be considered a mistake, the result of misunderstandings – at worst, a series of lamentable tragedies. The story provides the essential first frame of the American saga. It is unalloyed racist propaganda, a tale that endures because it served the purposes of a succession of the Pilgrims’ political heirs, in much the same way that Nazi-enhanced mythology of a glorious Aryan/German past advanced another murderous, expansionist mission.

Thanksgiving is quite dangerous – as were the Pilgrims.

Rejoicing in a cemetery

The English settlers, their ostensibly religious venture backed by a trading company, were glad to discover that they had landed in a virtual cemetery in 1620. Corn still sprouted in the abandoned fields of the Wampanoags [2], but only a remnant of the local population remained around the fabled Rock. In a letter to England, Massachusetts Bay colony founder John Winthrop wrote, “But for the natives in these parts, God hath so pursued them, as for 300 miles space the greatest part of them are swept away by smallpox which still continues among them. So as God hath thereby cleared our title to this place, those who remain in these parts, being in all not 50, have put themselves under our protection.”

Ever diligent to claim their own advantages as God’s will, the Pilgrims thanked their deity for having “pursued” the Indians to mass death. However, it was not divine intervention that wiped out most of the natives around the village of Patuxet but, most likely, smallpox-embedded blankets planted during an English visit or slave raid. Six years before the Pilgrim landing, a ship sailed into Patuxet’s harbor, captained by none other than the famous seaman and mercenary soldierJohn Smith [3], former leader of the first successful English colony in the New World, at Jamestown, Virginia. Epidemic and slavery followed in his wake, as Debra Glidden described in IMDiversity.com [4]:

In 1614 the Plymouth Company of England, a joint stock company, hired Captain John Smith to explore land in its behalf. Along what is now the coast of Massachusetts in the territory of the Wampanoag, Smith visited the town of Patuxet according to “The Colonial Horizon,” a 1969 book edited by William Goetzinan. Smith renamed the town Plymouth in honor of his employers, but the Wampanoag who inhabited the town continued to call it Patuxet.

The following year Captain Hunt, an English slave trader, arrived at Patuxet. It was common practice for explorers to capture Indians, take them to Europe and sell them into slavery for 220 shillings apiece. That practice was described in a 1622 account of happenings entitled “A Declaration of the State of the Colony and Affairs in Virginia,” written by Edward Waterhouse. True to the explorer tradition, Hunt kidnapped a number of Wampanoags to sell into slavery.

Another common practice among European explorers was to give “smallpox blankets” to the Indians. Since smallpox was unknown on this continent prior to the arrival of the Europeans, Native Americans did not have any natural immunity to the disease so smallpox would effectively wipe out entire villages with very little effort required by the Europeans. William Fenton describes how Europeans decimated Native American villages in his 1957 work “American Indian and White relations to 1830.” From 1615 to 1619 smallpox ran rampant among the Wampanoags and their neighbors to the north. The Wampanoag lost 70 percent of their population to the epidemic and the Massachusetts lost 90 percent.

Most of the Wampanoag had died from the smallpox epidemic so when the Pilgrims arrived they found well-cleared fields which they claimed for their own. A Puritan colonist, quoted by Harvard University’s Perry Miller, praised the plague that had wiped out the Indians for it was “the wonderful preparation of the Lord Jesus Christ, by his providence for his people’s abode in the Western world.” Historians have since speculated endlessly on why the woods in the region resembled a park to the disembarking Pilgrims in 1620. The reason should have been obvious: hundreds, if not thousands, of people had lived there just five years before.

In less than three generations the settlers would turn all of New England into a charnel house for Native Americans, and fire the economic engines of slavery throughout English-speaking America. Plymouth Rock is the place where the nightmare truly began.

The uninvited?

It is not at all clear what happened at the first – and only – “integrated” Thanksgiving feast. Only two written accounts of the three-day event exist, and one of them, by Governor William Bradford, was written 20 years after the fact. Was Chief Massasoit invited to bring 90 Indians with him to dine with 52 colonists, most of them women and children? This seems unlikely. A good harvest had provided the settlers with plenty of food, according to their accounts, so the whites didn’t really need the Wampanoag’s offering of five deer. What we do know is that there had been lots of tension between the two groups that fall.  John Two-Hawks, who runs the Native Circle [5] web site, gives a sketch of the facts:

“Thanksgiving’ did not begin as a great loving relationship between the pilgrims and the Wampanoag, Pequot and Narragansett people.  In fact, in October of 1621 when the pilgrim survivors of their first winter in Turtle Island sat down to share the first unofficial ‘Thanksgiving’ meal, the Indians who were there were not even invited!  There was no turkey, squash, cranberry sauce or pumpkin pie.  A few days before this alleged feast took place, a company of ‘pilgrims’ led by Miles Standish actively sought the head of a local Indian chief, and an 11 foot high wall was erected around the entire Plymouth settlement for the very purpose of keeping Indians out!”

It is much more likely that Chief Massasoit either crashed the party, or brought enough men to ensure that he was not kidnapped or harmed by the Pilgrims. Dr. Tingba Apidta, in his “Black Folks’ Guide to Understanding Thanksgiving [6],” surmises that the settlers “brandished their weaponry” early and got drunk soon thereafter. He notes that “each Pilgrim drank at least a half gallon of beer a day, which they preferred even to water. This daily inebriation led their governor, William Bradford, to comment on his people’s ‘notorious sin,’ which included their ‘drunkenness and uncleanliness’ and rampant ‘sodomy.’”

Soon after the feast the brutish Miles Standish “got his bloody prize,” Dr. Apidta writes:

“He went to the Indians, pretended to be a trader, then beheaded an Indian man named Wituwamat. He brought the head to Plymouth, where it was displayed on a wooden spike for many years, according to Gary B. Nash, ‘as a symbol of white power.’ Standish had the Indian man’s young brother hanged from the rafters for good measure. From that time on, the whites were known to the Indians of Massachusetts by the name ‘Wotowquenange,’ which in their tongue meant cutthroats and stabbers.”

What is certain is that the first feast was not called a “Thanksgiving” at the time; no further integrated dining occasions were scheduled; and the first, official all-Pilgrim “Thanksgiving” had to wait until 1637, when the whites of New England celebrated the massacre of the Wampanoag’s southern neighbors, the Pequots.

The real Thanksgiving Day Massacre

The Pequots today own the Foxwood Casino and Hotel [7], in Ledyard, Connecticut, with gross gaming revenues of over $9 billion in 2000. This is truly a (very belated) miracle, since the real first Pilgrim Thanksgiving was intended as the Pequot’s epitaph. Sixteen years after the problematical Plymouth feast, the English tried mightily to erase the Pequots from the face of the Earth, and thanked God for the blessing.

Having subdued, intimidated or made mercenaries of most of the tribes of Massachusetts, the English turned their growing force southward, toward the rich Connecticut valley, the Pequot’s sphere of influence. At the point where the Mystic River meets the sea, the combined force of English and allied Indians bypassed the Pequot fort to attack and set ablaze a town full of women, children and old people.

William Bradford, the former Governor of Plymouth and one of the chroniclers of the 1621 feast, was also on hand for the great massacre of 1637:

“Those that escaped the fire were slain with the sword; some hewed to pieces, others run through with their rapiers, so that they were quickly dispatched and very few escaped. It was conceived they thus destroyed about 400 at this time. It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire…horrible was the stink and scent thereof, but the victory seemed a sweet sacrifice, and they gave the prayers thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully for them, thus to enclose their enemies in their hands, and give them so speedy a victory over so proud and insulting an enemy.”

The rest of the white folks thought so, too. “This day forth shall be a day of celebration and thanksgiving for subduing the Pequots,” read Governor John Winthrop’s proclamation. The authentic Thanksgiving Day was born.

Most historians believe about 700 Pequots were slaughtered at Mystic. Many prisoners were executed, and surviving women and children sold into slavery in the West Indies. Pequot prisoners that escaped execution were parceled out to Indian tribes allied with the English. The Pequot were thought to have been extinguished as a people. According to IndyMedia [8], “The Pequot tribe numbered 8,000 when the Pilgrims arrived, but disease had brought their numbers down to 1,500 by 1637. The Pequot ‘War’ killed all but a handful of remaining members of the tribe.”

But there were still too many Indians around to suit the whites of New England, who bided their time while their own numbers increased to critical, murderous mass.

Guest’s head on a pole

By the 1670s the colonists, with 8,000 men under arms, felt strong enough to demand that the Pilgrims’ former dinner guests the Wampanoags disarm and submit to the authority of the Crown. After a series of settler provocations in 1675, the Wampanoag struck back, under the leadership of Chief Metacomet, son of Massasoit, called King Philip by the English. Metacomet/Philip, whose wife and son were captured and sold into West Indian slavery, wiped out 13 settlements and killed 600 adult white men before the tide of battle turned. A1996 issue [9] of the Revolutionary Worker provides an excellent narrative.

In their victory, the settlers launched an all-out genocide against the remaining Native people. The Massachusetts government offered 20 shillings bounty for every Indian scalp, and 40 shillings for every prisoner who could be sold into slavery. Soldiers were allowed to enslave any Indian woman or child under 14 they could capture. The “Praying Indians” who had converted to Christianity and fought on the side of the European troops were accused of shooting into the treetops during battles with “hostiles.” They were enslaved or killed. Other “peaceful” Indians of Dartmouth and Dover were invited to negotiate or seek refuge at trading posts – and were sold onto slave ships.

It is not known how many Indians were sold into slavery, but in this campaign,500 enslaved Indians were shipped from Plymouth alone. Of the 12,000 Indians in the surrounding tribes, probably about half died from battle, massacre and starvation.

After King Philip’s War, there were almost no Indians left free in the northern British colonies. A colonist wrote from Manhattan’s New York colony: “There is now but few Indians upon the island and those few no ways hurtful. It is to be admired how strangely they have decreased by the hand of God, since the English first settled in these parts.” In Massachusetts, the colonists declared a “day of public thanksgiving” in 1676, saying, “there now scarce remains a name or family of them [the Indians] but are either slain, captivated or fled.”

Fifty-five years after the original Thanksgiving Day, the Puritans had destroyed the generous Wampanoag and all other neighboring tribes. The Wampanoag chief King Philip was beheaded. His head was stuck on a pole in Plymouth, where the skull still hung on display 24 years later.

This is not thought to be a fit Thanksgiving tale for the children of today, but it’s the real story, well-known to the settler children of New England at the time – the white kids who saw the Wampanoag head on the pole year after year and knew for certain that God loved them best of all, and that every atrocity they might ever commit against a heathen, non-white was blessed.

There’s a good term for the process thus set in motion: nation-building.

Roots of the slave trade

The British North American colonists’ practice of enslaving Indians for labor or direct sale to the West Indies preceded the appearance of the first chained Africans at the dock in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619. The Jamestown colonists’ human transaction with the Dutch vessel was an unscheduled occurrence. However, once the African slave trade became commercially established, the fates of Indians and Africans in the colonies became inextricably entwined. New England, born of up-close-and-personal, burn-them-in-the-fires-of-hell genocide, led the political and commercial development of the English colonies. The region also led the nascent nation’s descent into a slavery-based society and economy.

Ironically, an apologist for Virginian slavery made one of the best, early cases for the indictment of New England as the engine of the American slave trade. Unreconstructed secessionist Lewis Dabney’s 1867 book “A Defense of Virginia”[10] traced the slave trade’s origins all the way back to Plymouth Rock:

“The planting of the commercial States of North America began with the colony of Puritan Independents at Plymouth, in 1620, which was subsequently enlarged into the State of Massachusetts. The other trading colonies, Rhode Island and Connecticut, as well as New Hampshire (which never had an extensive shipping interest), were offshoots of Massachusetts. They partook of the same characteristics and pursuits; and hence, the example of the parent colony is taken here as a fair representation of them.

“The first ship from America, which embarked in the African slave trade, was theDesire, Captain Pierce, of Salem; and this was among the first vessels ever built in the colony. The promptitude with which the “Puritan Fathers” embarked in this business may be comprehended, when it is stated that the Desire sailed upon her voyage in June, 1637. [Note: the year they massacred the Pequots.] The first feeble and dubious foothold was gained by the white man at Plymouth less than seventeen years before; and as is well known, many years were expended by the struggle of the handful of settlers for existence. So that it may be correctly said, that the commerce of New England was born of the slave trade; as its subsequent prosperity was largely founded upon it. The Desire, proceeding to the Bahamas, with a cargo of ‘dry fish and strong liquors, the only commodities for those parts,’ obtained the negroes from two British men-of-war, which had captured them from a Spanish slaver.

“Thus, the trade of which the good ship Desire, of Salem, was the harbinger, grew into grand proportions; and for nearly two centuries poured a flood of wealth into New England, as well as no inconsiderable number of slaves. Meanwhile, the other maritime colonies of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and Connecticut, followed the example of their elder sister emulously; and their commercial history is but a repetition of that of Massachusetts. The towns of Providence, Newport, and New Haven became famous slave trading ports. The magnificent harbor of the second, especially, was the favorite starting-place of the slave ships; and its commerce rivaled, or even exceeded, that of the present commercial metropolis, New York. All the four original States, of course, became slaveholding.”

The Revolution that exploded in 1770s New England was undertaken by men thoroughly imbued with the worldview of the Indian-killer and slave-holder. How could they not be? The “country” they claimed as their own was fathered by genocide and mothered by slavery – its true distinction among the commercial nations of the world. And these men were not ashamed, but proud, with vast ambition to spread their exceptional characteristics West and South and wherever their so-far successful project in nation-building might take them – and by the same bloody, savage methods that had served them so well in the past.

At the moment of deepest national crisis following the battle of Gettysburg in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln invoked the national fable that is far more central to the white American personality than Lincoln’s battlefield “Address.” Lincoln seized upon the 1621 feast as the historic “Thanksgiving” – bypassing the official and authentic 1637 precedent – and assigned the dateless, murky event the fourth Thursday in November. Lincoln surveyed a broken nation, and attempted nation-rebuilding, based on the purest white myth. The same year that he issued the Emancipation Proclamation, he renewed the national commitment to a white manifest destiny that began at Plymouth Rock. Lincoln sought to rekindle a shared national mission that former Confederates and Unionists and white immigrants from Europe could collectively embrace. It was and remains a barbaric and racist national unifier, by definition. Only the most fantastic lies can sanitize the history of the Plymouth Colony of Massachusetts.

“Like a rock”

The Thanksgiving holiday fable is at once a window on the way that many, if not most, white Americans view the world and their place in it, and a pollutant that leaches barbarism into the modern era. The fable attempts to glorify the indefensible, to enshrine an era and mission that represent the nation’s lowest moral denominators. Thanksgiving as framed in the mythology is, consequently, a drag on that which is potentially civilizing in the national character, a crippling, atavistic deformity. Defenders of the holiday will claim that the politically-corrected children’s version promotes brotherhood, but that is an impossibility – a bald excuse to prolong the worship of colonial “forefathers” and to erase the crimes they committed. Those bastards burned the Pequot women and children, and ushered in the multinational business of slavery. These are facts. The myth is an insidious diversion – and worse.

Humanity cannot tolerate a 21st Century superpower, much of whose population perceives the world through the eyes of 17th Century land and flesh bandits. Yet that is the trick that fate has played on the globe. We described the roots of the planetary dilemma in our March 13 commentary, “Racism & War, Perfect Together. [11]”

The English arrived with criminal intent – and brought wives and children to form new societies predicated on successful plunder. To justify the murderous enterprise, Indians who had initially cooperated with the squatters were transmogrified into “savages” deserving displacement and death. The relentlessly refreshed lie of Indian savagery became a truth in the minds of white Americans, a fact to be acted upon by every succeeding generation of whites. The settlers became a singular people confronting the great “frontier” – a euphemism for centuries of genocidal campaigns against a darker, “savage” people marked for extinction.

The necessity of genocide was the operative, working assumption of the expanding American nation. “Manifest Destiny” was born at Plymouth Rock and Jamestown, later to fall (to paraphrase Malcolm) like a rock on Mexico, the Philippines, Haiti, Nicaragua, etc. Little children were taught that the American project was inherently good, Godly, and that those who got in the way were “evil-doers” or just plain subhuman, to be gloriously eliminated. The lie is central to white American identity, embraced by waves of European settlers who never saw a red person.

Only a century ago, American soldiers caused the deaths of possibly a million Filipinos whom they had been sent to “liberate” from Spanish rule. They didn’t even know who they were killing, and so rationalized their behavior by substituting the usual American victims. Colonel Funston [12], of the Twentieth Kansas Volunteers, explained what got him motivated in the Philippines:

“Our fighting blood was up and we all wanted to kill ‘niggers.’ This shooting human beings is a ‘hot game,’ and beats rabbit hunting all to pieces.” Another wrote that “the boys go for the enemy as if they were chasing jack-rabbits …. I, for one, hope that Uncle Sam will apply the chastening rod, good, hard, and plenty, and lay it on until they come into the reservation and promise to be good ‘Injuns.’”

Last week in northern Iraq another American colonel, Joe Anderson of the 101st Airborne (Assault) Division, revealed that he is incapable of perceiving Arabs as human beings. Colonel Anderson, who doubles as a commander and host of a radio call-in program and a TV show designed to win the hearts and minds of the people of Mosul, had learned that someone was out to assassinate him. In the wild mood swing common to racists, Anderson decided that Iraqis are all alike – and of a different breed. He said as much to the Los Angeles Times [13].

“They don’t understand being nice,” said Anderson, who helps oversee the military zone that includes Mosul and environs. He doesn’t hide his irritation after months dedicated to restoring the city: “We spent so long here working with kid gloves, but the average Iraqi guy will tell you, ‘The only thing people respect here is violence…. They only understand being shot at, being killed. That’s the culture.’ … Nice guys do finish last here.”

Col. Anderson personifies the unfitness of Americans to play a major role in the world, much less rule it. “We poured a lot of our heart and soul into trying to help the people,” he bitched, as if Americans were God’s gift to the planet. “But it can be frustrating when you hear stupid people still saying, ‘You’re occupiers. You want our oil. You’re turning our country over to Israel.’” He cannot fathom that other people – non-whites – aspire to run their own affairs, and will kill and die to achieve that basic right.

What does this have to do with the Mayflower? Everything. Although possibly against their wishes, the Pilgrims hosted the Wampanoag for three no doubt anxious days. The same men killed and enslaved Wampanoags immediately before and after the feast. They, their newly arrived English comrades and their children roasted hundreds of neighboring Indians alive just 16 years later, and two generations afterwards cleared nearly the whole of New England of its indigenous “savages,” while enthusiastically enriching themselves through the invention of transoceanic, sophisticated means of enslaving millions. The Mayflower’s cultural heirs are programmed to find glory in their own depravity, and savagery in their most helpless victims, who can only redeem themselves by accepting the inherent goodness of white Americans.

Thanksgiving encourages these cognitive cripples in their madness, just as it is designed to do.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at [email protected] [14].

Dear Readers,

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Synopsis

In this new and expanded edition of Michel Chossudovsky’s 2002 best seller, the author blows away the smokescreen put up by the mainstream media, that 9/11 was an attack on America by “Islamic terrorists”. Through meticulous research, the author uncovers a military-intelligence ploy behind the September 11 attacks, and the cover-up and complicity of key members of the Bush Administration.

The expanded edition, which includes twelve new chapters focuses on the use of 9/11 as a pretext for the invasion and illegal occupation of Iraq, the militarization of justice and law enforcement and the repeal of democracy.

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. Globalization is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

September 11, 2001 provides a justification for waging a war without borders. Washington’s agenda consists in extending the frontiers of the American Empire to facilitate complete U.S. corporate control, while installing within America the institutions of the Homeland Security State.

Reviews

“Chossudovsky starts by dispelling the fiction that the US and Al Qaeda have been long-term adversaries. [He] also probes US oil policy, which is obviously of particular concern to George W. Bush. Chossudovsky argues that the US has a much different relationship between Russia and China than is ever indicated in the mainstream (or progressive) press. Simply put, the US is moving into the countries which neighbor Russia and China in order to plunder natural resources and expand the reach of the US Empire. Pakistan?s Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) has been playing a key role in destabilizing the region as well as offering support in other intelligence matters… War and Globalization is full of surprises, even for those of us who consider ourselves well-informed. Chossudovsky is examining the true nature of US foreign policy and arguing that the terrible events of 9/11/01 have changed little of it… Material this provocative and well-researched is ignored by the left at great peril.”
- Scott Loughrey, The Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel

“Canadian professor of economics Michel Chossudovsky contains that rare gift of a writer who can compile massive documentary evidence, then propound it in a succinct, lucid manner. In this illuminating work the host of the critically acclaimed Global Research website takes widely acclaimed and often repeated media assumptions and sharply refutes them, providing a chronology and road map behind 9-11 and related events… A large part of the book involves a necessary topic area that has been nervously glossed over by conventional American media sources for good reason; it hits too close to home and indicts the largest international energy conglomerates. The author spends much time examining the link between big oil and public policy. In terms of providing vital information, this compact volume provides more valuable information in one chapter than so many contemporary volumes do with many pages on 9-11 and related events… Chossudovsky demonstrates that the frequently repeated and fallacious Bushie shibboleths of getting Saddam before he gets us are rhetorical sallies designed to inflame public opinion by skirting around the important truths that only a few courageous authors such as himself dare reveal… Its bulls-eye clarity cuts through the morass of Bush verbage, daring readers to examine the pure, unvarnished truth of a nation using its military and intelligence capabilities to control the global oil market on the pretext of making the world a safer place.”
- William Hare, Florida United States


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Political Lessons of the Ferguson Whitewash

November 26th, 2014 by Joseph Kishore

Monday night’s announcement by St. Louis County Prosecutor Robert McCulloch that police officer Darren Wilson will not be charged is being seen throughout the country and around the world as a judicial travesty.

From the beginning, the process leading up to the final decision was rigged for one purpose and one purpose only: to protect the cop who murdered unarmed 18-year-old Michael Brown.

Rather than present charges to a judge for an indictment, the state convened a grand jury, replacing a public trial with a secret, closed-door hearing in which the evidence was controlled by the prosecutor’s office, led by an individual with close ties to the police. This was followed by the highly unusual decision by the prosecution not to request and argue for specific charges.

Transcripts of the grand jury proceedings reveal clear and evident bias, with prosecutors devoting themselves to discrediting all evidence, including eyewitness testimony, that did not conform to the narrative that was required. Wilson, in contrast, went unchallenged as he presented his own self-serving account over the course of four hours. Throughout the hearings, the prosecutor’s office sought to place Michael Brown, not Darren Wilson, on trial.

Grand juries almost invariably file charges that prosecutors seek, and this case was no different. Despite the overwhelming evidence that a crime was committed, the grand jury did not indict because the prosecution did not want an indictment.

The whitewash of Wilson’s crimes, however, cannot be explained merely as the result of the misdeeds of McCulloch. The actions of the prosecutor were part of a highly orchestrated political operation, with the close involvement, as McCulloch himself was at pains to emphasize, of the Obama administration.

Given the enormous popular anger over the killing of Brown, and the clear legal foundation for a trial, one might ask why the grand jury did not at least return an indictment for a lesser crime, such as manslaughter. Or why an indictment was not delivered and a trial conducted—a trial that, given the sympathies of the prosecution, would have very likely produced the same result: the exoneration of Wilson. In the three months that passed between the killing of Michael Brown and the final decision not to indict, there was no doubt debate behind the scenes over these different possibilities.

Two factors explain the thinking of the ruling class in reaching the decision that it did. There is, first of all, the element of provocation. The ruling class has seized on the events in Ferguson as an opportunity to establish new precedents for repression in the United States. Indeed, the timing of the announcement of the grand jury decision, in the late evening, seems to have been deliberately calculated to create the best conditions for police violence.

In an escalation of the response to the protests in August, riot police armed with automatic weapons and armored vehicles, firing bean bags and tear gas, patrolled the streets Monday night. On Tuesday, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon—who declared a preemptive state of emergency a week before the grand jury decision—announced that 2,200 members of National Guard, a branch of the Armed Forces, would be deployed directly against protesters. An American city is effectively being occupied.

Second, the decision has the character of the ruling class circling the wagons. Whatever different tactical possibilities were discussed, in the end a decision was made that, in the face of mounting social unrest, there could be no concessions, for any concession would be seen as a sign of weakness and only encourage more opposition.

Yet in defending its rule through violence, the ruling class is only further discrediting itself before the entire world. A state that has organized wars in every region of the globe, invariably justified on the basis of defending human rights, employs the most brutal forms of repression against opposition within its borders.

In sections of the media there is a certain nervousness over the political consequences of these actions. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank, for example, expresses concern that McColloch’s “pathetic prosecution of Darren Wilson” has reinforced “a sense among African Americans, and many others, that the justice system is rigged.”

The New York Times, speaking on behalf of sections of the Democratic Party, worries in an editorial posted Tuesday that the “scarred streets of St. Louis—and the outrage that continues to reverberate across the country…show once again that distrust of law enforcement presents a grave danger to the civic fabric of the United States.” This “grave danger” has been fueled, the Times writes, by the decision not to indict Wilson.

While these comments are generally framed in racial terms, the underlying issue is class. The ruling class is well aware that the policies it is pursuing—endless war abroad and social counterrevolution at home—are deeply unpopular. By a “grave danger to the civic fabric,” the Times means uncontrollable social unrest, even revolution.

While aware of seething social discontent, the ruling class has nothing to offer. The Times itself places its criticism of the grand jury decision within the framework of praise for the role of Obama, as if his administration were not central to both the outcome in Ferguson and the broader political crisis facing the American ruling class.

Obama’s own response to the grand jury decision is revealing. The president immediately rushed to make a statement on national television declaring the results valid and legitimate. “We are a nation built on the rule of law,” he said, “so we have to accept this decision was the grand jury’s to make.” This is nothing more than an endorsement of the judicial and legal fraud. While associating himself with a decision giving police a license to kill, Obama declared, referring to protesters, that there is “never an excuse for violence.”

Six years of the Obama administration have not gone unnoticed. Millions of workers and young people in the United States have begun to draw the conclusion that there is no mechanism within the existing social and political system to address their concerns or express their opposition. This understanding has only been further confirmed by the exoneration of Darren Wilson. These are the hallmarks of a system that is heading inexorably toward ruin.

The Myth of Thanksgiving

November 26th, 2014 by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz

Thanksgiving is the favorite holiday of many US Americans; unlike the rather boring or divisive holidays that honor Columbus, Presidents, Martin Luther King, Jr., Independence, veterans and war, the birth of a religion, and a new year, Thanksgiving is centered on sharing food with family and friends. Individuals and families travel long distances at great expense to be with one another. It might be surprising to learn that the cherished tradition of Thanksgiving is, in fact, the most nationalist of all holidays because it narrates the national origin myth. The traditional meal, as we know, consists of the foods cultivated by Indigenous farmers—corn, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, and turkey.

The US origin story of a covenant with God goes back to the Mayflower Compact, the first governing document of the Plymouth Colony. It is named for the ship that carried the hundred or so passengers, half of them religious dissidents, to what is now Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in November 1620. This compact marked the beginning of settler democracy, which from its inception sought the elimination of the Indigenous. Behind the black clothed and solemn “Pilgrims,” was a corporation of shareholders, the Virginia Company, accompanied by armed and seasoned mercenaries on a colonizing project ordered by the English King James. If any local Natives were present at a colonizers’ celebratory meal, they were surely there as servants, and the foods were confiscated, not offered as a gift.

“Thanksgiving” became a named holiday during the Civil War, but neither Pilgrims, nor Indians, nor food, nor the Mayflower—all essential to today’s celebration—were mentioned in Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation.

It was during the Great Depression that the Thanksgiving holiday was transformed into a nationalistic origin story to bind a chaotic society experiencing economic and social collapse. But this idea of the gift-giving Indian, helping to establish and enrich what would become the United States, is an insidious smoke screen meant to obscure the fact that the very existence of the country is a result of the looting of an entire continent and its resources.

In 1970, on the 350th anniversary of the English settlers—“Pilgrims”—occupying land of the Wampanoag Nation, the United American Indians of New England led a protest of the Thanksgiving holiday, which they called a “National Day of Mourning.” Every year since that time, the National Day of Mourning has taken place at Plymouth Rock. They rightly accuse the United States government of having invented a myth to cover the reality of colonialism and attempted genocide. By Thanksgiving 1970, Native Americans from many Indigenous nations had been occupying Alcatraz Island for a year. It was the height of renewed Native resistance to US colonial institutions and calls for sovereignty and self-determination, which have continued and seen many victories as well as new obstacles. In 2007, after three decades of Indigenous Peoples’ lobbying, the United Nations General Assembly passed the “Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

Thanksgiving needs another transformation, a day to mourn US colonization and attempted genocide and celebrate the survival of Native Nations through their resistance.

Professor Dunbar-Ortiz has been active in the international Indigenous movement for more than four decades, and is author or editor of seven books including the recently published An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States.

The sudden reconciliation between Saudi Arabia and Qatar has enormous implications for the War in Syria and beyond, with the potential to divide the Mideast and North Africa between rulers Abdullah and Thani in a more far-reaching way than Sykes and Picot did nearly 100 years ago.

Saudi Arabia and its Bahraini and Emirati clients ended their Cold War with Qatar last Sunday and reinstated their ambassadors to Doha. They had previously been unprecedentedly withdrawn eight months ago in March to protest Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, which the Kingdoms saw as a threat to their rule. A few days before this major announcement, another Mideast rift had been supposedly patched up between the Al Nusra Front (rumored to be affiliated with Qatar) and ISIL (which has alleged links to wealthy Saudis) to work together in overthrowing the Syrian government, which may have portended Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s own reconciling. Now that Doha and Riyadh have reached an agreement to resolve their rivalry, they’ll likely divide the Mideast and North Africa amongst themselves to avoid any future conflict of interests, with Qatar getting influence west of Egypt and Saudi Arabia reigning to its east.

Cairo As The Cut-Off Point

During the presidency of Mohammed Morsi, the country was run by the pro-Qatari Muslim Brotherhood, and the former president himself is now being charged with high treason for allegedly passing on state secrets to Qatar.

During the presidency of Mohammed Morsi, the country was run by the pro-Qatari Muslim Brotherhood, and the former president himself is now being charged with high treason for allegedly passing on state secrets to Qatar.

Egypt will likely be the dividing line between Qatari and Saudi influence. During the presidency of Mohammed Morsi, the country was run by the pro-Qatari Muslim Brotherhood, and the former president himself is now being charged with high treason for allegedly passing on state secrets to Qatar. A month before his July 2013 overthrow, he radically altered his country’s policy towards Syria by cutting ties with the legitimate government and pledging financial support for the insurgents. Considering his Muslim Brotherhood affiliation, he likely envisioned supporting the same forces that Qatar is backing in the war, which would obviously have been seen as an expansionist threat by the Saudis.

These policies were abruptly changed when al-Sisi overthrow Morsi and placed him into prison. Since then, Egypt has gravitated closer to Saudi Arabia and its allies, receiving $20 billion in aid and investments from them. Not only has there been talk of Egypt working closer with the Riyadh-led Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC, which member state Qatar stands at arm’s length in), but it’s also discussing its participation in an “anti-militant alliance” with Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the UAE. It should be noted that both Egypt and the UAE reportedly bombed militant positions in Libya a few weeks ago, showing that they’re serious about combating the Islamists there. Saudi and GCC support for secular Egypt, which may seem perplexing on the surface, can be explained quite simply, since they’re more worried about an expansionist Muslim Brotherhood government there than they are about a defensive secular one that is opposed to Qatar’s influence.

The Qatari and Saudi Domains

Qatar:
Within this arrangement, Qatar and Saudi Arabia divide their influence west and east of Egypt, respectively. Considering Qatar’s ‘domain’, it may at first seem to have little of value, seeing as how Libya is a collapsed state at the moment. However, Qatar has strong influence among the militias there and the country still has the largest oil reserves in Africa (which continue flowing). Regardless of how the conflict is settled, it is very probable that political Islamists tied to Qatar will have some role or another in the government, thus elevating Doha’s regional influence through association. In neighboring Tunisia, although the Muslim Brotherhood-linked Ennahda Movement lost out to the secularists in October’s parliamentary elections, the Islamists are still a legitimate and institutionalized political force there, meaning that they could potentially gain a second wind and win in a future election.

Over in Algeria, Europe’s second-largest gas supplier and one of Africa’s largest oil producers, long-running and ageing president Abdelaziz Bouteflika is once again in the hospital, raising questions about what will happen after his passing. He is the only leader Algeria has known since the end of the decade-long civil war that was fought against the Islamic Salvation Front, a political Islamic organization whose victory in the 1991 elections set off the conflict. Keeping in mind Algeria’s history, Qatar may attempt to support and reactive the lever of political Islam in a post-Bouteflika environment to gain commanding control over this geostrategic country, just as it tried to do in Egypt after Mubarak.

Saudi Arabia:
East of the dividing line, things are literally more conservative. Saudi Arabia and its associates want to safeguard their monarchies in the face of political Islam, so as long as Qatar keeps its Muslim Brotherhood partners out of the Gulf States, there won’t be any problem. The GCC may formally admit fellow monarchy Jordan into the club, which would then strengthen the group’s royal identity. In Syria, Qatar and Saudi Arabia’s proxies will likely join forces to strengthen the anti-government movement and eliminate unproductive infighting. Although it’s uncertain what the country would look like if the legitimate and popular government was illegally overthrown, one possible scenario would be internal fragmentation into warlord-presided ‘emirates’ where Saudi Arabia and Qatar would divide the spoils. When it comes to Iraq, the country is rapidly fracturing into three de-facto independent entities comprising the Kurds, Sunnis, and Shias, with the US, Saudi Arabia, and Iran exerting influence, respectively.

his_majesty_sultan_qaboos

Despite the appearances of a détente between Qatar and Saudi Arabia, it might be premature to say that all problems have been resolved. The future of GCC member Oman after the passing of Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al Said could open a new rupture between the two, since he’s ruled the country since 1970 and hasn’t publicly designated a successor.

The Omani Wildcard

Many media outlets have been speculating about this in the past week, not only because the elderly Sultan has been in Germany since July for medical treatment, but also because Oman was hosting informal talks related to Iran’s nuclear program. If there’s a smooth transition of power and another Sultan ascends to the throne, then the Saudis won’t have an issue, but if things get more complicated and Islamic political forces agitate for representation (backed by Qatar), then the whole Riyadh-Doha reconciliation would collapse. Any kind of destabilization there could possibly result in a Saudi military intervention, either in the shades of Bahrain where it helped prop up a fellow monarchy, or a ‘reverse Bahrain’ where it would intervene against an Islamist government to restore the monarchy to power.

Save for unexpected developments in Oman, though, it looks like Qatar and Saudi Arabia have neatly divided the Mideast and North Africa between themselves, and the Muslim world might be witnessing the making of a new and wider iteration of Sykes-Picot, and just as equally undemocratic.

Andrew Korybko is the political analyst and journalist for Sputnik who currently lives and studies in Moscow, exclusively for ORIENTAL REVIEW.

Image: File photo shows Afghan children waiting with their water canisters in the town of Bareekab, some 30 kilometers north of the capital city of Kabul.

The United Nations says nearly 8,000 Afghan civilians have been killed or wounded this year in the US-led war.

On Wednesday, Mark Bowden, the UN humanitarian coordinator, appealed for USD 405 million to cover the costs of humanitarian programs for Afghan people in 2015.

More than 100,000 people have been forced from their homes in Afghanistan while 4,000 families are currently facing a tough time without adequate housing as winter is approaching, Bowden said.

Half a million Afghan children die each year of preventable disease across the war-torn country, he added.

Some 1.2 million children are “acutely malnourished” and food insecurity affects almost eight million people in Afghanistan, the UN coordinator said.

Elsewhere in his comments, Bowden raised concerns over the presence of some 225,000 Pakistani refugees in Afghanistan, saying it has added to the country’s humanitarian problems.

Last year, the UN demanded USD 406 million in aid for Afghanistan, but only received USD 237 million.

The United States, Britain, and their allies invaded Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, as part of their so-called war on terror. Although the offensive removed the Taliban from power, insecurity remains across the country.

The Taliban militants have stepped up their attacks against the Afghan government, foreign forces and civilians. The group has vowed to escalate the attacks on Afghan forces and US-led troops, their bases, diplomatic missions and vehicle convoys before the foreign forces exit the country at the end of this year.

The Afghan parliament recently approved the controversial Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA) between Afghanistan and the US, which allows foreign troops to remain in the country beyond 2014.

Outgoing Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) chairman Phil Bryant — Mississippi’s Republican Governor — started his farewell address with a college football joke at IOGCC’s recent annual conference in Columbus, Ohio.

“As you know, I love SEC football. Number one in the nation Mississippi State, number three in the nation Ole Miss, got a lot of energy behind those two teams,” Bryant said in opening his October 21 speech. “I try to go to a lot of ball games. It’s a tough job, but somebody’s gotta do it and somebody’s gotta be there.”

Seconds later, things got more serious, as Bryant spoke to an audience of oil and gas industry executives and lobbyists, as well as state-level regulators.

At the industry-sponsored convening, which I attended on behalf of DeSmogBlog, it was hard to tell the difference between industry lobbyists and regulators. The more money pledged by corporations, the more lobbyists invitedinto IOGCC’s meeting.

Perhaps this is why Bryant framed his presentation around “where we are headed as an industry,” even though officially a statesman and not an industrialist, before turning to his more stern remarks.

“I know it’s a mixed blessing, but if you look at some of the pumps in Mississippi, gasoline is about $2.68 and people are amazed that it’s below $3 per gallon,” he said.

“And it’s a good thing for industry, it’s a good thing for truckers, it’s a good thing for those who move goods and services and products across the waters and across the lands and we’re excited about where that’s headed.”

Bryant then discussed the flip side of the “mixed blessing” coin.

“Of course the Tuscaloosa Marine Shale has a little problem with that, so as with most things in life, it’s a give and take,” Bryant stated. “It’s very good at one point and it’s helping a lot of people, but on the other side there’s a part of me that goes, ‘Darn! I hate that oil’s dropping, I hate that it’s going down.’ I don’t say that out-loud, but just to those in this room.”

Tuscaloosa Marine Shale’s “little problem” reflects a big problem the oil and gas industry faces — particularly smaller operators involved with hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) — going forward.

That is, fracking is expensive and relies on a high global price of oil. A plummeting price of oil could portend the plummetting of many smaller oil and gas companies, particularly those of the sort operating in the Tuscaloosa Marine.

Tuscaloosa and Oil Price

Governor Bryant’s fears about the price of oil are far from unfounded, serving as a rare moment of frank honesty from Mississippi’s chief statesman.

As discussed in Post Carbon Institute‘s recent report, “Drilling Deeper: A Reality Check on U.S. Government Forecasts for a Lasting Tight Oil & Shale Gas Boom,” the fracking industry relies on high oil prices to stay on the drilling treadmill and keep shale fields from going into terminal decline. Further, future projections of shale gas and oil fields are wildly over-inflated, argues the Post Carbon report.

“Other factors that could limit production are public pushback as a result of health and environmental concerns, and capital constraints that could result from lower oil or gas prices or higher interest rates,” reads a passage in the Post Carbon report. “As such factors have not been included in this analysis, the findings of this report represent a ‘best case’ scenario for market, capital, and political conditions.”

Recent articles published in the business press further highlight the key caveat in the Post Carbon report, as did a recent Halcón Resources Corp investor call that discussed the Tuscaloosa Marine.

“Tuscaloosa Marine Shale, I’m going to do my darndest to make sure that people understand that we’re highly confident and we like the play,” Halcón ResourcesCEO Floyd Wilson said on the call.

“However, it is currently a relatively high-cost play and with currently low crude prices we will not be devoting a significant portion of our resources to TMS in the near term,” Wilson continued. “Having said that the TMS is certainly more susceptible to low oil prices than our other crude plays due to the higher well costs, a tempered approach to drilling in this play in the near term is warranted.”

A recent report published by energy investment firm Tudor, Pickering, Holt &Co., described Tuscaloosa Marine as the shale basin most likely to face severe impacts from the falling price of oil. The Tudor report said that drillers operating in the Tuscaloosa require oil to sell at $70-$90 per barrel for fracking to remain economically viable there.

The $80 Mark

Mississippi does not stand alone in feeling the hurt associated with a drop in the global oil trading price.

Bloomberg reported that companies operating in Utah and Texas have already slowed down drilling as a result of the high oil prices they had previously relied upon. In total, 19 U.S. shale plays will no longer be profitable if the price of oil continues to fall.

“Everybody is trying to put a very happy spin on their ability to weather $80 oil, but a lot of that is just smoke,” Dan Dicker, president of MercBloc, said in aninterview with Bloomberg. “The shale revolution doesn’t work at $80, period.”

Not all industry insiders, however, are trying to spin things.

Ralph Eads, a life-long friend of former Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon and global head of energy investment banking at Jefferies LLC, agrees with Dicker’s assessment.

“If prices go to $80 or lower, which I think is possible, then we are going to see a reduction in drilling activity,” Eads told Bloomberg. “It will be uncharted territory.”

As of November 25, 2014, the price of Brent oil has fallen to $78.33.

Image Credit: Nasdaq

Image Credit: Nasdaq

Wall Street Journal article from late October concurred with others who said the Tuscaloosa will take a beating with the fall of the price of oil. But it also concluded that for operators in many other more prolific shale basins like theBakken Shale and Eagle Ford Shale, $60 per barrel is the break even point, not $80.

One Mississippi, Two Mississippi…

To the smaller companies operating in the Tuscaloosa, recent oil pricing developments are likely no laughing matter.

But that didn’t stop Governor Bryant from cracking a joke to conclude his presentation at the IOGCC annual meeting.

In politics, as with Internet memes, ideas don’t spread because they are good—they spread because they are good at spreading. One of the most virulent ideas in Internet regulation in recent years has been the idea that if a social problem manifests on the Web, the best thing that you can do to address that problem is to censor the Web.

It’s an attractive idea because if you don’t think too hard, it appears to be a political no-brainer. It allows governments to avoid addressing the underlying social problem—a long and costly process—and instead simply pass the buck to Internet providers, who can quickly make whatever content has raised rankles “go away.” Problem solved! Except, of course, that it isn’t.

Amongst the difficult social problems that Web censorship is often expected to solve are terrorism, child abuse and copyright and trade mark infringement. In recent weeks some further cases of this tactic being vainly employed against such problems have emerged from the United Kingdom, France and Australia.

UK Court Orders ISPs to Block Websites for Trade Mark Infringement

In a victory for luxury brands and a loss for Internet users, the British High Court last month ordered five of the country’s largest ISPs to block websites selling fake counterfeit goods. Whilst alarming enough, this was merely a test case, leading the way for a reported 290,000websites to be potentially targeted in future legal proceedings.

Do we imagine for a moment that, out of a quarter-million websites, none of them are false positives that actually sell non-infringing products? (If websites blocked for copyright infringement or pornography are any example, we know the answer.) Do we consider it a wise investment to tie up the justice system in blocking websites that could very easily be moved under a different domain within minutes?

The reason this ruling concerns us is not that we support counterfeiting of manufactured goods. It concerns us because it further normalizes the band-aid solution of content blocking, and deemphasises more permanent and effective solutions that would target those who actually produce the counterfeit or illegal products being promoted on the Web.

Britain and France Call on ISPs to Censor Extremist Content

Not content with enlisting major British ISPs as copyright and trade mark police, they have also recently been called upon to block extremist content on the Web, and to provide a button that users can use to report supposed extremist material. Usual suspects Google, Facebook and Twitter have also been roped by the government to carry out blocking of their own. Yet to date no details have been released about how these extrajudicial blocking procedures would work, or under what safeguards of transparency and accountability, if any, they would operate.

This fixation on solving terrorism by blocking websites is not limited to the United Kingdom. Across the channel in France, a new “anti-terrorism” law that EFF reported on earlier was finally passed this month. The law allows websites to be blocked if they “condone terrorism.” “Terrorism” is as slippery a concept in France as anywhere else. Indeed France’s broad definition of a terrorist act has drawn criticism from Human Rights Watch for its legal imprecision.

Australian Plans to Block Copyright Infringing Sites

Finally—though, sadly, probably not—reports last week suggest that Australia will be next to follow the example of the UK and Spain in blocking websites that host or link to allegedly copyright material, following on from a July discussion paper that mooted this as a possible measure to combat copyright infringement.

How did this become the new normal? When did politicians around the world lose the will to tackle social problems head-on, and instead decide to sweep them under the rug by blocking evidence of them from the Web? It certainly isn’t due to any evidence that these policies actually work. Anyone who wants to access blocked content can trivially do so, using software like Tor.

Rather, it seems to be that it’s politically better for governments to be seen as doing something to address such problems, no matter how token and ineffectual, than to do nothing—and website blocking is the easiest “something” they can do. But not only is blocking not effective, it is actively harmful—both at its point of application due to the risk of over-blocking, but also for the Internet as a whole, in the legitimization that it offers to repressive regimes to censor and control content online.

Like an overused Internet meme that deserves to fade away, so too it is time that courts and regulators moved on from website blocking as a cure for society’s ills. If we wish to reduce political extremism, cut off the production of counterfeits, or prevent children from being abused, then we should be addressing those problems directly—rather than by merely covering up the evidence and pretending they have gone away.

Israel’s Model of Political Despair in Jerusalem

November 26th, 2014 by Jonathan Cook

Relations between Israelis and Palestinians have descended into a dangerous melee of tit-for-tat attacks and killings, with the violence of the past few weeks centred on Jerusalem. The city, claimed by Israel as its “undivided capital”, has been torn apart by clashes between Israeli police and Palestinian residents since the summer, when 16-year-old Mohammed Abu Khdeir was burnt alive by Jewish extremists.

Subsequent attacks by Palestinians culminated last week in a shooting and stabbing spree by two cousins at a synagogue that killed four Jews and an Israeli policeman. In this atmosphere, both sides have warned that the political conflict is mutating into a religious one.

Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, cautioned that Israel’s intensified efforts to extend its control over the Al Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, including by imposing severe restrictions on Muslim worship,risked plunging the region into “a detrimental religious war.”

Yoram Cohen, the head of Israel’s Shin Bet intelligence service, concurred. He warned last week that Israel was stoking religious discord by encouraging Jews to pray at the site over rabbinical objections.

But despite these warnings, the Israeli government announced today it was drafting a law that would ban Muslim guards on the esplanade, making it yet easier for Jews to visit.

Government ministers, meanwhile, accused Abbas of religious “incitement” and masterminding the violence in Jerusalem.

Ari Shavit, an influential Israeli analyst, also blamed what he termed an emerging “holy war” not on oppressive Israeli policies, but on the spread of an Islamist extremism.

Shavit and other Israelis have preferred to overlook the obvious parallels between last week’s killings and an even graver incident 20 years ago. Then, Baruch Goldstein, a Jewish settler, entered the Ibrahimi mosque in the West Bank city of Hebron in his Israeli army captain’s uniform and opened fire on Muslim worshippers, killing 29 and wounding 125.

One can only wonder why the timeline for Shavit’s holy war did not extend back to Goldstein’s massacre, or include the waves of attacks, including arson, by settlers on Muslim and Christian places of worship ever since.

Israel’s responses to these two massacres are more helpful in illuminating the fundamental causes of the recent surge in violence.

In Hebron, Palestinians rather than the settlers paid the price for Goldstein’s slaughter. Israel divided the Ibrahimi mosque to create a Jewish prayer space and effectively shut down Hebron’s commercial centre, displacing thousands of Palestinian residents.

Instead of pulling out of the settlers from the occupied territories following the massacre, Israel allowed their numbers to grow at record pace.

Although the anti-Arab Kach group Goldstein belonged to was outlawed, it has continued to operate openly in the settlements, including in Jerusalem. Goldstein’s tomb, next to Hebron, is a site of pilgrimage for thousands of religious Jews.

Palestinians, not Israelis, are again the ones suffering, this time after last week’s synagogue attack.

Israel has begun demolishing the homes of those involved in recent attacks, and is drafting laws to jail stone-throwers for up to 20 years and harshly penalise the parents of those too young to be jailed themselves.

On Sunday the interior minister revoked the Jerusalem residency of a Palestinian convicted of driving a suicide bomber into Tel Aviv 13 years ago – a prelude, according to prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, to many more such revocations.

Israel is also preparing to relax gun controls to allow thousands more Israeli Jews to carry weapons at a time when Palestinian taxi and bus drivers in Jerusalem say they are being regularly assaulted. Last week a bus driver died in mysterious circumstances, which Palestinians suspect was a lynching.

It should be no surprise that Jerusalem is the eye of the storm. For more than a decade it has served as a laboratory for the Israeli right to experiment with a model of political despair designed to make Palestianians either submit or leave.

House demolitions for Palestinians and settlement building for Jews, brutal policing and the encouragement of crime as a way to recruit collaborators are happening faster and more aggressively in Jerusalem than anywhere else in the occupied territories.

Since the second intifada erupted in 2000, East Jerusalem has been a political orphan. Israel expelled the Palestinian Authority, and jailed or deported Hamas leaders as they tried to fill the vacuum. Since then, Palestinians in Jerusalem have been defenceless against Israel’s intrigues.

Netanyahu and the right have made little secret of their wish to export a similar model to the West Bank, gradually eroding what control the PA still enjoys. But the spiralling violence in Jerusalem has exposed the paradox at the heart of their strategy.

Palestinian anger in the West Bank is every bit as intense as in Jerusalem but Abbas’ security forces still have the will and, just barely, the upper hand to keep a lid on it.

In Jerusalem, on the other hand, protesters face off directly with Israeli police. Because the city lacks organised Palestinian groups, the security services have been unable to penetrate them with collaborators. Instead Israel has been caught off guard by unpredictable attacks as individual Palestinians reach their breaking point.

By refusing to recognise any Palestinian national claims in Jerusalem, Netanyahu has forced the population to recast the conflict in religious terms. Unable to identify politically with either Fatah or Hamas, Jerusalem’s Palestinians have found powerful consolation in a religious struggle to counter the mounting threats to Al-Aqsa.

From this perspective, Netanyahu’s continuing efforts to weaken and undermine Abbas and the PA appear strategically self-destructive. Without them, the West Bank will go the way of Jerusalem – an ever more unmanageable colonial conflict that risks heading towards religious conflagration.

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.

ASEAN Economic Community – Why, For What, and By Whom

November 26th, 2014 by Tony Cartalucci

On TV, upon the magazine rack, in schools, and on billboards around the country, the coming ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) is being heralded everywhere across Southeast Asia.

Upon ASEAN’s official website, the AEC is described as:

The ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) shall be the goal of regional economic integration by 2015. AEC envisages the following key characteristics: (a) a single market and production base, (b) a highly competitive economic region, (c) a region of equitable economic development, and (d) a region fully integrated into the global economy.

The AEC is an unquestionable inevitability – and more alarmingly – an inevitability absolutely none of the many hundreds of millions of Southeast Asian citizens have asked for, voted for, or have any direct say in regards to. So inevitable is AEC’s unfurling in 2015, that few have even bothered to ask “why?” “for what?” and “by whom?”

A Cheap EU Knock-Off Destined for Catastrophic Failure  

If AEC’s premise as described by ASEAN itself sounds suspiciously similar to the European Union (EU), that’s because it is. It is not only driven by the same immense global spanning corporate-financier special interests that consolidated Europe’s economies, currencies, and institutions, but for the very same goal of collectively looting the region if and when it is successfully consolidated.

The EU now writhes in debt, endless proxy wars fought on behalf of Wall Street and London, and socioeconomic strife caused by EU regulations forced upon various populations against their will. While it was always difficult for citizens of respective European nations to have their voice truly represented within the halls of their own respective national governments, it is more difficult still for the EU’s ruling elite assembled in Brussels to be held accountable and made to actually work for the  European people.

Instead, the EU serves the immense corporate-financier interests that cobbled this supranational consolidation together in the first place. The European people were not allowed to vote on entering into the EU, and those that did repeatedly voted against it until threats, economic extortion, and propaganda finally succeeded in overcoming resistance. In Southeast Asia, nothing of the sort has even been proposed, and most Southeast Asians are oblivious to what ASEAN and the AEC even represent. Like the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) incursion into Asia during the late 1990’s, it won’t be until catastrophic failure has already swallowed the whole of Southeast Asia that people begin to realize what has been foisted upon them.

Already, many across Southeast Asia are being effected by bilateral free-trade agreements (FTAs) that allow local markets to be flooded by cheap foreign goods. Socioeconomic disparity, even across Southeast Asia and greater Asia itself can devastate communities and industries already just barely making do. Special interests driven to ink FTAs generally make no provisions to prepare local markets about to be devastated, and no provisions after FTAs take demonstrable tolls. FTAs inked by ousted Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra with China, for example, devastated Thai farmers when cheaper Chinese produce flooded Thai markets. Some farmers including those who grew garlic, were driven almost entirely out of business.

The AEC will multiply this by creating similar conditions across all industries and between all of ASEAN’s members. Additionally, the AEC then seeks to integrate ASEAN into the greater “global economy,” or in other words, FTAs with the US and EU. Industries just emerging in each respective ASEAN member state will be utterly crushed, bought out, or overrun by foreign corporate-financier monopolies. For local tycoons laboring under the delusions that somehow there is a place around the “global elite’s” table for them, the current state of the EU should serve as a cautionary reminder that indeed, no there is not.

Why, For What, and By Whom?

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In addition to buying out and monopolizing all that resides within Southeast Asia, Wall Street and London desire to use Southeast Asia as a bulwark against China’s rising power. These special interests may have even used the rise of China as a means to extort cooperation from respective ASEAN member states in the creation of the AEC.

Again, those ruling political orders across Southeast Asia need only look at NATO and how each member within that alleged “alliance” is strong-armed into one undesirable, highly destructive, and costly conflict after another – not only in direct opposition of each respective NATO member’s own population, but in opposition of international law and norms.

An ASEAN AEC fleeced by the West and driven as a proxy into the maw of neighboring China would cost everyone – from the general population to the ruling elite of each of ASEAN’s respective member states – just as is seen across the EU.

The dream of consolidating and exploiting Southeast Asia as a single geopolitical bloc against China is a long documented conspiracy the United States and its partners in the United Kingdom have worked on for decades.

As early as the Vietnam War, with the so-called “Pentagon Papers” released in 1969, it was revealed that the conflict was simply one part of a greater strategy aimed at containing and controlling China.

Among many important quotes, is one that outlines the immense regional theater the US was engaged in against China at the time, stating:

“there are three fronts to a long-run effort to contain China (realizing that the USSR “contains” China on the north and northwest): (a) the Japan-Korea front; (b) the India-Pakistan front; and (c) the Southeast Asia front.”

While the US would ultimately lose the Vietnam War and any chance of using the Vietnamese as a proxy force against Beijing, the long war against Beijing would continue elsewhere. The use of Southeast Asia as a consolidated front against China would continue on up to and including until today.

This containment strategy would be updated and detailed in the 2006 Strategic Studies Institute report “String of Pearls: Meeting the Challenge of China’s Rising Power across the Asian Littoral”where it outlines China’s efforts to secure its oil lifeline from the Middle East to its shores in the South China Sea as well as means by which the US can maintain American hegemony throughout the Indian and Pacific Ocean. The premise is that, should Western foreign policy fail to entice China into participating in Wall Street and London’s “international system” as responsible stakeholders, an increasingly confrontational posture must be taken to contain the rising nation. The use of nations in Southeast Asia to check China’s regional power plays chief among this posture.

Other US policymakers have articulated the use of Southeast Asia as a proxy against China in more direct terms. Neo-Conservative, pro-war policymaker Robert Kagan in his 1997 piece titled “What China Knows That We Don’t: The Case for a New Strategy of Containment,” noted:

Chinese leaders worry that they will “play Gulliver to Southeast Asia’s Lilliputians, with the United States supplying the rope and stakes.

Kagan would later serve as an adviser to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who would herself declare a campaign to do just that – supply Southeast Asia with “rope and stakes.” Called the “pivot to Asia,” Clinton would make a hegemonic declaration in Foreign Policy magazine titled, “America’s Pacific Century,” stating that:

…the United States has moved to fully engage the region’s multilateral institutions, such as the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, mindful that our work with regional institutions supplements and does not supplant our bilateral ties. There is a demand from the region that America play an active role in the agenda-setting of these institutions — and it is in our interests as well that they be effective and responsive.

Clinton’s reference to America playing “an active role in the agenda-setting of these institutions,” referring to ASEAN and APEC, and the rest of her very lengthy editorial reflect a nearly verbatim update of Kagan’s 1997 piece – if only stated a bit more diplomatically than Kagan’s very straight forward “containment of China” proposal. One must wonder how anyone could learn of America’s desire to set the agenda of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and not immediately identify overt aspirations of extraterritorial neo-imperialism.

As part of this desire to set the agenda for Southeast Asia, the US has worked hard through its various NGOs to manipulate, influence, and outright overthrow the political orders in place across the region in order to install compliant regimes that reflect America’s goal of consolidating and commandeering theses nations both to wholesale loot them economically, and in pursuit of its containment strategy versus China.

There’s a Reason the AEC is not up for Debate 

Clearly, if the AEC’s implementation is merely the consolidation and exploitation of the peoples and resources of Southeast Asia, the process of its implementation will neither be up for debate, nor put to a vote. While the United States and the many overly optimistic proponents of the AEC ceaselessly harp upon the tenants of “democracy” and “human rights,” these most basic concepts have been utterly absent in the creation of this new supranational bloc.

The people of Southeast Asia did not ask for ASEAN nor the AEC. Much of what both represent are in fact openly opposed by many grassroots movements across the region – not to mention by many around the world. There is a reason the AEC is not up for debate and an endless torrent of full spectrum propaganda is undulating the media in efforts to market the AEC to the general public – no one would buy it otherwise.

In a democratic society, the people are to vote and in return are to be represented by those they voted for. These representatives are to take the needs and desires of the people and turn them into local, national, and international policy. Instead, the AEC represents a conspiracy cobbled together by special interests and then dishonestly marketed toward the general public to accept. In other words, it represents democracy in reverse – it is the supposed representatives telling the people what they “want” rather than the people telling their representatives what to do. Democracy in reverse could also be defined as “dictatorship” – and in that regard, ASEAN and its AEC would not be a national dictatorship, but rather a supranational one magnifying the abuses and ramifications of such abuses accordingly.

For this reason, whether one is a conservative nationalist or a liberal democrat, the idea of an AEC forced upon the people without their input, consent, or even expressed desire for such a system should be appalling and surely protested against. However, many must already know that such protests would be futile. But this futility itself only further exposes the unwarranted influence and power that truly drives the AEC’s undemocratic and intolerable implementation.

Instead, it will be up to groups within each respective ASEAN member, and up to each community within to expose, boycott, and replace with local alternatives both the national and multinational special interests involved. While such a campaign will be difficult, the only other choice is to do nothing and suffer the same indignation, socioeconomic decay, and perpetual war the EU now suffers. The people of Southeast Asia have many advantages including the advantage of time on their side to mitigate a repeat of the EU’s slow-motion collapse – but it is only an advantage if people begin acting now.

Tony Cartalucci, Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazine New Eastern Outlook”

New government figures collated by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), show that the UK approved £7 million worth of military licences to Israel during the six months leading up to the recent bombing of Gaza. The licences, include components for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones), combat aircrafts, targeting equipment and weapon sights.

According to official sources, 2,127 Gazans were killed (including 513 children) and 10,895 were wounded. The UN reported that 70% of the Palestinian casualties were civilians.  On 5 August, OCHA stated that 520,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip been displaced, of whom 485,000 needed emergency food assistance and 273,000 were taking shelter in 90 UN-run schools. 17,200 Gazan homes were totally destroyed or severely damaged, and 37,650 homes suffered damage.

A former British Foreign Office minister has described the stance of the Cameron government during the Israeli land and air assault as “morally indefensible”.

Andrew Smith from CAAT, has said:

“Right up until the eve of the bombing the UK was supporting licences for the same kinds of weapons that Vince Cable’s own review found are likely to have been used against the people of Gaza.”

“Unfortunately it would not have been the first time UK weapons were used by Israel. The public was rightly shocked by this summer’s bombardment.

That is why the UK must announce an embargo on all arms sales to Israel and an end to military collaboration.

Debunking Netanyahu’s Propaganda on Jerusalem

November 26th, 2014 by Micha Kurz

This short piece of inflammatory propaganda below has been circulated by the Israeli Prime Minister’s office. It is dangerous and should be explained and put into context urgently:

1. The Temple Mount is not in a bubble, it is in Jerusalem/AlQuds (this much you know). But did you know:

2. If you are not Jewish in Jerusalem you do not have citizenship and do not have the right to vote for government. Palestinians have residency and although the majority of families have been stewards of the city for generations they do not have the right to vote for any national government.

3. Jerusalem Al/Quds is the largest Palestinian metropolis and capital, but as a central business district it has been cut off from the workforce in the suburbs — causing over 5,000 business to close in just one decade (since the Wall was built) and in some area’s causing unemployment rates to rise over 75%.

4.  It is illegal for the first time in over 2,000 years to sell fruits and vegetables from local farmlands in the old city market. Instead, Palestinian shop owners are forced to sell imported Israeli Tnuva products, a militarily captive market, not a “free market”.

5. Israel has used age old divide and conquer tactics to boot the historic political leadership out of town and construct the 24 foot high wall which has fragmented the city. Approximately 30% of Jerusalem’s Palestinian residents live on the other side of the wall. Thus, they receive no municipal services but continue to pay taxes so as not to lose their legal status as a resident of the city.

6. Israel has withheld civil services to non-Jewish (Palestinian) neighborhoods systematically for decades, leading to mass home demolitions, inaccessible healthcare and poor to no educational opportunities. The Palestinian Authority has no jurisdiction in Jerusalem.  No political body is designed to argue on behalf of over 360,000 Palestinians in the largest Palestinian city. Long term plans about anything from waste-management to playgrounds to healthcare do not have a political address.

7. Instead: The United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA) coordinate civil service provision through International NGOs in Palestinian Jerusalem. So, in other words:

a- Mostly western, short term NGO employees, accountable to a boss not an elected representative decide the fate of the city and its Palestinian inhabitants.

b- Services provided through humanitarian programs administered as if to a natural disaster use most often annual programs and funding.  No one discusses long term employment, health care, education, master planing needs in the largest metropolis and capital. Leaving the planing playing field empty for Zionist colonialist groups to move full speed ahead with expansion plans.

8. Netanyahu guaranties the right for Jewish Israeli citizens to live anywhere in Jerusalem, and indeed over to 250,000 now live on occupied and stolen Palestinian lands east of the green line. However for young Palestinian families it is legally and economically practically impossible to purchase an apartment in Israeli neighborhoods and settlements in Jerusalem.  While no new Palestinian neighbourhood has been built since 1967, consecutive Israeli governments support Jewish supremacist group to push Palestinian families from homes in almost every Palestinian neighbourhood in Jerusalem.

9. The Israeli government at best turns a blind eye towards, or at worst actively supports, Jewish supremacist youth groups to spread racist propaganda, regularly enabling incitement to reach new peak levels all over downtown Jerusalem.

Israeli policy since this summer is designed to “Hebronize” Jerusalem; to bring it to such peak tension and violence that the Temple Mount Noble Sanctuary, the most holy of places for Palestinians will shut down, as described by Netanyahu- “equally”, so that it can be reopened “equally” to government supported Jewish supremacists who are openly planing to build the 3rd Jewish temple to replace it. Palestinians are not permitted to visit let alone pray at the Western Wall, also known as Hait AlBuraq- where the Prophet Mohammed’s winged horse took flight to the seventh heaven.

10. If you still think this is about peace and coexistence between two peoples – get over it. Peace is an empty, useless word here.

Indeed Jerusalem/AlQuds can be one of the most amazing cosmopolitan metropolis capitals of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, but not until FREEDOM of movement is restored, EQUALITY guaranteed and JUSTICE is valued for all by all.

I feel compelled to clarify this because while what is happening in Jerusalem should not be considered genocide, it sure as hell- is gradual ethnic cleansing. Contrary to (successfully decreasing) global common belief, Israeli policies are neither democratic nor Jewish. If at all, it is a democracy for Jews… and even so, a system inherently racist to nonwhite Jews.

I write this as a proud Jewish Jerusalemite, but a very embarrassed Israeli. EVERYONE HERE DESERVES BETTER, but there is a colonial arms industry in the way of our happiness!

Unspoken inspiring Palestinian leaders choose to participate. They are active in every neighbourhood in Jerusalem on both sides of the wall to revive a heritage and remain here, knowing that existing is resisting… the definition of unarmed resistance.

They live and work under hypocritical international double standards, an unforgiving media magnifying, searching, highlighting any Palestinian violence, while Israel arms 18 year olds to control a civilian population and forgives routine massacres in Gaza and systematic race based policies across the Holy Land.

Tragically it’s a reality that millions are missing. Even more tragic than that, unless we, as in you, me and the rest of us step up now to participate and demand an end to race based policies and a free Jerusalem…. it is a historic and sacred city that will not be here for much longer…

Start with BDS, and as my friend and Rabbi Lynn Gottlieb says: Do a mitzvah, end the occupation!

Micha Kurz was born and raised in Israeli Jerusalem, after his military service he was one of the co-founders of Breaking the Silence and has since worked with numerous human rights organizations including ICAHD and Ta’ayush. He co-founded and works at Grassroots AlQuds, a platform for community based mobilization and advocacy, developed to map, network and amplify Palestinian community and activist voices in Al-Quds and around the world. He works for an open cosmotropilis Jerusalem, free of racist systemic oppression. He wouldn’t be caught dead in a uniform ever again, unless it was a rainbow one.

“Kryptos” (1990), by James Sanborn, a sculpture containing a message encoded with frequency tables, located at the CIA’s New Headquarters Building. (Photo credit: CIA)

Washington, D.C.  The CIA’s reactions to the November 22, 1963, assassination of President John F. Kennedy — 51 years ago this week — went from initial shock to suspicions of Soviet or Cuban involvement, to increasingly bureaucratic concerns such as the desire to establish a positive “bond” with incoming President Lyndon Johnson, according to a newly declassified internal CIA article published for the first time today by the National Security Archive (www.nsarchive.org).

Fears that Moscow might have masterminded the president’s killing rose sharply when the CIA was unable to locate Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev for 24-48 hours afterwards.  Agency officials worried  that he was “either hunkering down for an American reprisal, or possibly preparing to strike the United States.”

This article is one of several from the CIA’s Studies in Intelligence in-house journal that the agency released as a result of litigation by a former CIA official against his former employer.  It appears today as part of an update to a compilation of similar articles the National Security Archive posted in June 2013.

The documents, both those from the original posting as well as the more recent ones, provide insider perspective and accounts of a variety of topics, including:

  • The Presidential ban against CIA assassinations of foreign leaders, first enacted in 1976, which reflected both moral and practical reasons but never spelled out the exact scope of the prohibition
  • A proposal for a far more draconian version of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act – including secret courts for intelligence officers accused of violating that law and criminalizing any revelation or purported revelation of a covert intelligence officer’s identity. (Document 10)
  • A description of how President Kennedy ordered Director of Central Intelligence John McCone to halt his effort to launch a second investigation of the actions of U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers — who had been shot down during a May 1, 1960 overflight of the Soviet Union. (Document 14)
  • An account of how CIA and Army intelligence analyses in the late 1970s indicated that the U.S. had significantly underestimated North Korean military strength — and derailed President Carter’s plan to withdraw U.S. ground forces from South Korea. (Document 5)
  • A description of the evolution of the CIA’s role in counterterrorism — with the Directorate of Operations initially being the primary component dealing with terrorist issues, and the Directorate of Intelligence eventually emerging in a leading role. (Document 23)
  • A 2004 interview with current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, John Brennan. (Document 20)
  • An account of the origins of the CIA’s first human intelligence organization — the Office of Special Operations (Document 16).
  • The recollections of Michael J. Morell, who would go on to become Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, of September 11, 2001, which he spent with President Bush. (Document 22).
  • A description of the origins and applications of U.S. nuclear intelligence by Henry Lowenhaput, whose career in the field lasted for six decades. (Document 18).

The CIA began publishing Studies in Intelligence in 1955 to help build an understanding within the agency of the intelligence profession based on the insights and recollections of practitioners. The items in today’s updated posting fall into a number of categories — legal issues, intelligence analysis, CIA-NSA relations, counterintelligence, interviews, intelligence support and liaison, ‘denied in their entirety,’ the Kennedy assassination, and odds & ends.

New Revelations from Studies in Intelligence Articles

By Dr. Jeffrey T. Richelson

Image, right: Sherman Kent, the “father of intelligence analysis,” with the inaugural issue of Studies in Intelligence. (Photo credit: CIA)

In 1955, at the suggestion of Sherman Kent, the head of the Board of National Estimates, the CIA launched a classified journal, titled Studies in Intelligence, “to promote a sense of professional identity, enhance proficiency, and build knowledge of intelligence cumulatively from the shared insights of its practitioners.”1 The journal soon evolved into a quarterly containing articles whose classification, with rare exceptions, ranged from Unclassified to Secret. While the articles are not official statements of CIA or federal government views or policy, they do represent the thinking and recollections of an assortment of intelligence professionals.

Eventually, the CIA began declassifying some of the articles and releasing them to the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). In 1992, the agency also published its first unclassified edition of Studies — available to anyone interested. In 2002, the CIA began posting on its website unclassified articles from classified issues of Studies — a practice that continues to this day.

Today, information about and copies of Studies articles can be found on the CIA website – in addition to the 1992 and beyond material. They appear in an index of declassified articles (which apparently only lists articles declassified by the CIA at its initiative); other indices which allow direct access to some of the declassified articles; and the CREST/Electronic Reading Room collection. Apparently not available electronically are articles that have been declassified in response to FOIA/Mandatory Declassification Requests or litigation.

FOIA/MDR and Litigation

Over the last decade, the author filed a series of FOIA requests, starting with a 2002 request for tables of contents of 1997-2002 issues of Studies as well as any unclassified articles that appeared in those issues. (As noted above, the CIA did not post unclassified articles from classified issues until sometime in 2002). Subsequent requests covered tables of contents for 1985-1996, and years subsequent to 2003. Tables of contents for those and other years were also obtained via litigation by the National Security Counselors organization.2

Classified articles of interest whose titles appeared in the declassified tables of contents were then requested under the FOIA. Today’s collection consists of articles obtained from those requests as well as some of the unclassified articles obtained from the 2002 request.

The first posting would have been more extensive had the CIA not denied, over a period of two years, requests (in their entirety) for 17 of 20 articles.3 Four of those articles have since been released as the result of lawsuit on behalf of Jeffrey Scudder a former CIA employee who had filed a FOIA request for hundreds of articles — an act that apparently cost him his job.

The Posted Articles

The 26 posted articles in this briefing book can be grouped into a number of categories — legal issues, intelligence analysis, CIA-NSA relations, counterintelligence, interviews, intelligence support and liaison, ‘denied in their entirety,’ the Kennedy assassination, and odds & ends.

LEGAL

John Brennan, currently CIA director, previously served as director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center. (Photo credit: CIA)

Legal issues covered in these Studies articles include prepublication review, the protection of the identities of U.S. intelligence officers, and assassination. The prepublication review process is treated (Document 24) by a former Directorate of Intelligence representative to the Publications Review Board, who offers an anodyne view of the process and an extensive list of “myths and realities.”4

The protection of intelligence officer identities is the subject of two articles. One (Document 11) provides a history of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA) — from initial proposals, through opposition and revisions, to final passage. Another (Document 10) suggests that the legislation did not go nearly far enough. Thus, the author, who served as a law clerk in the CIA’s Office of General Counsel, asks: “if an intelligence officer may sign away his First Amendment right to free speech, then cannot the same officer also contract away his Sixth Amendment right to a public court?”

With respect to journalists, the author also suggests removing the limitations of the IIPA in prosecuting those who reveal the identity of a covert intelligence officer. While numerous newspapers and books have stated that the IIPA prohibits such disclosure, it actually only prohibits the disclosure by those who have had authorized access to such an identity (e.g. John Kiriakou) or who engage in a “pattern of activities” which seek to undermine/expose the U.S. intelligence effort.5The author suggests criminalizing not only any disclosure but any purported disclosure – so that even an erroneous disclosure would be a criminal offense. Further, his suggested wording for amended legislation would seem to leave open the possibility of prosecution for disclosing information that might lead to such identification even if it was not explicit.

A 1996 article (Document 3) is a significant contrast to post-9/11 legal issues concerning targeted killings. Its focus is on the implications of the prohibition on assassination that appeared in President Gerald Ford’s 1976 executive order and subsequent executive orders on intelligence.6 The article addresses the implications with regard to support for paramilitary operations, coup preparations (addressing the specific case of Panama and Gen. Manual Noriega), counterproliferation operations, and even deception operations directed at individuals — which might result in their imprisonment, torture, or execution by their own government. This is in sharp contrast to the discussion of legal issues in the Justice Department’s white paper on targeted killings, which focuses on the legal justification for a targeted killing of a U.S. citizen.

INTELLIGENCE ANALYSIS

Four articles deal with various aspects of intelligence analysis. In one case (Document 12), the article focuses on a subject of concern to many intelligence analysts during the Cold War – the cost of Soviet defense programs and the burden they imposed on the Soviet economy. Another (Document 17) examines intelligence analysis related to the Strategic Defense Initiative and successor missile defense programs.

A third article (Document 5), is the result of a CIA-funded study at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard — and illustrates the decades-long difficulty of producing reliable studies and estimates concerning North Korea. It examines the intelligence estimates produced by the CIA and Army concerning North Korean military strength — which significantly altered previous conclusions – and how they ultimately derailed President Carter’s plan to withdraw U.S. ground forces from South Korea.

Also, of contemporary relevance is the article (Document 23) on the inception and evolution of terrorism analysis in the CIA. The author notes that there was little pressure on the agency to produce terrorism analysis during its first quarter-century, and products such as the 1968 special national intelligence estimate, Terrorism and Internal Security in Israel and Jordan “were relative rarities.” The article goes on to describe increasing policy maker interest subsequent to the 1972 murder of Israeli Olympic athletes, and resulting Intelligence Community focus on the issue. He also describes how initially the Directorate of Operations’ clandestine collection activities were the principal element of the CIA’s counterterrorism activities — before the emergence of the Directorate of Intelligence as a key player in that effort.

CIA & NSA

Image, right: James Jesus Angleton, head of counterintelligence and “CIA’s answer to the Delphic Oracle” from 1954-1974. (Photo credit: CIA)

Various works on intelligence have noted both the past competition and present cooperation between the CIA and National Security Agency.7 In “A Brave, New World” (Document 19), the author states that the CIA and NSA “are moving their strategic partnership beyond the optional cooperation of the past into a new era of collaboration,” and notes that the Director of Central Intelligence – George J. Tenet at the time – had viewed much of the success against al-Qaeda and its allies as the “direct result of CIA and NSA working together.”

He goes on to examine the origins of CIA-NSA discomfort in World War II and beyond, barriers to partnership, hints of change, the impact of the September 11, 2001 attacks, tangible results, asks if the partnership would last, and addresses the challenges ahead. Among the challenges identified are the development of joint strategic planning forums, increasing the pace and scope of efforts to find joint solutions to technical problems, and the incorporation of the concerns of line officers.

COUNTERINTELLIGENCE

Two articles address counterintelligence issues during very different portions of the CIA’s history. One (Document 23) addresses the roles of CIA counterintelligence chief (1954-1974) James J. Angleton and KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in promulgating the thesis of widespread and successful Soviet deception against the West (the “Monster Plot”) and their impact on CIA operations and personnel. Among those whose lives or careers suffered were former KGB officer Alexandr Cherepanov (who was executed after the U.S. embassy returned materials he had provided), Yuri Nosenko (who was incarcerated by the CIA), and CIA officers Richard Kovich and David Murphy, who would each come under suspicion of being a Soviet mole. 8

Another treatment of counterintelligence (Document 21), by former chief of the National Clandestine Service Michael J. Sulick, focuses on counterintelligence in the counterterrorist effort. He argues that, because of how history played out, while counterintelligence failures during the Cold War were never exploited by the Soviet Union to launch attacks, similar failures against terrorist groups could result in “catastrophic” damage. Sulick goes on to discuss several topics: how terrorist groups operate like intelligence services; terrorist attempts to infiltrate their targets; the fact that there are now “more employees to worry about” because “personnel and facilities must also be defended from individuals with minimal or no clearance;” terrorist denial and deception; intelligence sharing; and further steps to be taken.

INTERVIEWS

Image of Document 8 (“Passing the Intelligence Identities Protection Act,” 1982)

Numerous issues of Studies have contained interviews with former or current senior intelligence personnel. In 1999, Studies published an extensive interview with John M. McMahon (Document 14), who joined the CIA in 1951, and eventually became Deputy Director for Operations, Deputy Director for Intelligence, and finally Deputy Director of Central Intelligence before retiring in 1986.

The interview covers his first years with the CIA in Germany, the U-2 program, the battle during the 1960s with the National Reconnaissance Office over satellite reconnaissance systems, a number of his senior positions (including DDO, DDI, and DDCI), relations with Congress, and covert action with regard to Iran and Afghanistan. With regard to U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers (who was shot down in May 1960 over the Soviet Union, captured, and subsequently exchanged), he “did exactly what he was told,” McMahon noted. He went on to state that DCI John McCone was not convinced and planned to have Powers investigated for a second time – by the Air Force Office of Special Investigations – until President John F. Kennedy called McCone and ordered him not to pursue the matter.

The following year, Studies published an interview with then NSA director Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden (Document 15). Hayden spoke, inter alia, about his attempts to bring significant change to NSA, the impact of telecommunications change on NSA ( “our technological adversary is not a nation state but the global telecommunications industry”), the relationship between NSA and CIA, signals intelligence requirements, and limitations on NSA support to military commanders.

In 2004, current Director of the Central Intelligence Agency and then-director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (the predecessor of the National Counterterrorism Center) John Brennan was interviewed by Studies (Document 20) — an interview which focused on terrorism analysis. Brennan noted the TTIC had access to 26 unclassified and classified networks, and discussed whether “counterterrorism analysis” would represent a distinct career track; TTIC organization and practices as a model for the Intelligence Community; the need to break down the distinction between foreign and domestic intelligence; the distribution of terrorism analysis in the Intelligence Community; and information sharing.

Two additional interviews were conducted with former NSA Director and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence William O. Studeman (Document 2) and former NSA Deputy Director William Crowell (Document 1). The interviews focus on both internal Intelligence Community issues as well as public and Congressional attitudes concerning the Intelligence Community.

INTELLIGENCE SUPPORT & LIAISON

Three articles deal with three aspects of intelligence support and liaison. One focuses on intelligence support to Congress, another on support to policymakers, and the third on support to military commanders. In “CIA’s Intelligence Sharing with Congress” (Document 6), the author describes “the phenomenon of the President’s own finished intelligence being used by Congress to question and attack the President’s foreign policy initiatives.” Specific examples include Indochina (during the Nixon administration), the Persian Gulf, and Haiti.

CIA support to executive branch policymakers is the subject of a 1998 article (Document 9), written by a CIA official who spent two years as the agency’s liaison to the State Department’s Ambassador-at-Large for the New Independent States — a position established “to improve the CIA’s ability to understand the policy priorities and concerns of the bureau.” Half of the four-page article is devoted to the author’s specification of six ways in which CIA support for senior policymakers could be improved — which include “living with the customer” and “early bird service.”

Intelligence support to military forces, in the form of National Intelligence Support Teams (NISTs) is the subject of an article (Document 8) in a 1998 issue of Studies. The author reviews the background and operation of NISTs, which combined personnel and provided support from key national and defense intelligence agencies (including CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency) and provide support to commanders of joint task forces such as those involved with Operations UPHOLD DEMOCRACY (Haiti) and JOINT ENDEAVOR (Bosnia). In addition, the author makes a number of suggestions for improvements.

THE KENNEDY ASSASSINATION AND THE DCI

The posted article (Document 26) was drawn from a classified history of John McCone’s tenure as Director of Central Intelligence (1961-1965). One part focuses on the initial investigation of a possible conspiracy — domestic or foreign — and McCone’s role. It notes that the CIA’s “inability to locate Nikita Khrushchev right after the assassination especially alarmed McCone and his deputies. The Soviet premier’s apparent absence from Moscow could have meant that he was in a secret command center, either hunkering down for an American reprisal, or possibly preparing to strike the United States.”

‘DENIED IN THEIR ENTIRETY’

What is particularly notable about four of the articles is that they were denied in their entirety by the CIA between 2010 and 2012 in response to FOIA requests — with the agency claiming that there were no releaseable portions either because information was classified or revealed sources and methods. The denied articles concerned a diverse set of topics — intelligence support to the U.S. Transportation Command (Document 4), the founding of the CIA’s human intelligence unit (Document 16), the origins and applications of nuclear intelligence (Document 18), and the recollections of a CIA officer (Document 22) of spending September 11, 2001 with President George W. Bush. An appeal of the denial ofDocument 4 was also denied.

The articles are notable in two ways. One is that they illustrate serious problems with the way the CIA responds to FOIA requests — often denying requests in their entirety based on no objective standard, and often seemingly on factors (such as convenience) other than legitimate FOIA exemptions. An examination of these articles released due to the Scudder lawsuit reveal a multitude of paragraphs that clearly should have been released, many clearly marked as unclassified.
The four articles also provide yet another illustration of the differences between Freedom of Information Act requests and litigation. The prospect of  the CIA having to justify its refusal to release documents, in whole or in part, before a judge often produces a more reasonable response with regard to the release of information.

ODDS & ENDS

Ribbon-cutting ceremony at the Terrorist Threat Integration Center, May 1, 2003. (Photo credit: FBI)

Two additional articles concern events separated by over two hundred years. One (Document 7), focuses on Britain’s penetration of the United States diplomatic mission to France during the Revolutionary War. Penetration involved British recruiting of agents with access to mission members, theft of a mission member’s journal and Britain’s control of agents ostensibly operating on behalf of the United States.

In November 1990, at its Langley headquarters, the CIA dedicated an encrypted sculpture named ‘Kryptos’ – a structure with several messages carved into its surface, but messages whose content was concealed through encryption. [Since that time three of the four messages contained in the sculpture have been solved.9 One of the individuals, from the Directorate of Intelligence, in a 1999 article (Document 13) a member of the Directorate of Intelligence describes his work in decrypting the message.

For more information contact:
Jeffrey T. Richelson 202/994-7000 or [email protected]

Updated – November 20, 2014 (Originally Posted – June 4, 2013)


THE DOCUMENTS

Document 1: William Nolte, "An Interview with William P. Crowell, Deputy Director, NSA, Studies in Intelligence 39, 3 (1996). Secret.

Source: Scudder Litigation Release.

This interview with the Deputy Director of NSA, discusses, inter alia, key issues facing the Intelligence Community (which Crowell identifies as including information systems and the volume of NSA collection), the interaction between different intelligence collection techniques, and the declassification of VENONA material (concerning the decryption of Soviet diplomatic communications from the 1940s that identified a large number of U.S. citizens spying for the Soviet Union).

Document 2: William Nolte, "An Interview with Adm. William O. Studeman, Studies in Intelligence, 40, 1 (1996). Secret.

Source: Scudder Litigation Release.

This interview with Studeman, who served as Director of the National Security Agency (1988-1992) and Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (1992-1995), covers his early career  and a number of issues — including the problems of interaction with other intelligence agencies, the problem of the Intelligence Community's transition to the post-Soviet world, public and Congressional attitudes toward NSA, and Congressional oversight.

Document 3[Deleted], “Covert Action, Loss of Life and the Prohibition on Assassination, 1976-1996,” Studies in Intelligence, 40, 2 (1996). Classification Not Available.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

In this article, the author examines the effect of the decision no longer to employ assassination as an instrument of U.S. policy, and the issues the prohibition raised with respect to other CIA activities that might result in the loss of life. These include lethal operations that directly risk the loss of life, lethal operations indirectly risking loss of life (e.g. demolition of a facility when it is believed to be unoccupied), and nonlethal operations (e.g. deception) directed at identifiable persons.

Document 4: [Author Name Deleted], “National Intelligence Support to the US Transportation Command,” Studies in Intelligence 40, 2 (1996). Secret.

Source: Scudder Litigation Release.

The U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM) was established in 1987 to centralize the Defense Department’s strategic airlift resources. The article explores operations in Somalia, the command’s information requirements, the command’s evolution, Intelligence Community support, connectivity between the Intelligence Community and TRANSCOM’s intelligence component.

Document 5: Joe Wood, “Persuading a President: Jimmy Carter and American Troops in Korea,” Studies in Intelligence, 40, 4 (1996). Classification Not Available.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

During his 1976 presidential campaign, Jimmy Carter promised to withdraw U.S. ground forces from South Korea. This article is the result of a case study prepared at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, and funded by the CIA. It reports on the intelligence estimates and studies on North Korean military strength produced early in Carter’s administration, and how those estimates resulted in U.S. forces remaining in South Korea.

Document 6: [Deleted], “CIA’s Intelligence Sharing With Congress,” Studies in Intelligence, 41, 3 (1997). Classification Not Available.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This short article focuses on “the phenomenon of the President’s own intelligence being used to question and attack the President’s foreign policy initiatives.” Specific cases discussed concern Indochina, the Persian Gulf, and Haiti.

Document 7: [Deleted], “British Penetration of America’s First Diplomatic Mission,” Studies in Intelligence, 41, 4 (1997). Classification Not Available.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

The focus of this article is Britain’s penetration of the U.S. diplomatic mission in Paris during the Revolutionary War. Successes included recruiting several access agents to provide intelligence on mission activities as well as the theft of the journal of mission member Arthur Lee, and the mission’s “recruiting” agents who were actually under British control.

Document 8: Capt. James M. Lose, “The National Intelligence Support Team,” Studies in Intelligence, 42, 1 (1998) . Unclassified.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

The author reviews the background and operation of National Intelligence Support Teams (NISTs) — combining personnel from key national and defense intelligence agencies (including CIA, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Imagery and Mapping Agency) — which provided support to commanders of joint task forces such as those involved with Operations UPHOLD DEMOCRACY (Haiti) and JOINT ENDEAVOR (Bosnia). In addition, the author makes a number of suggestions for improvements.

Document 9: [Deleted], “Increasing CIA’s Value Added to the Senior Policymaker,” Studies in Intelligence, 42, 2 (1998). Unclassified

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This article is based on the author’s two years serving as the CIA’s liaison to a State Department component and focuses on his suggestions for increasing the CIA’s value to policymakers — including “living with the customer,” better service for “second tier” officials, one-stop shopping for “the facts,” stronger community partnerships, and “early bird” service.

Document 10: [Deleted], “Legislative and Judicial Safeguards for US Intelligence Personnel,” Studies in Intelligence, 42, 2 (1998). Unclassified.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

The author, who served as a law clerk with the CIA’s Office of the General Counsel, examines the history and enforcement of the Intelligence Identities Protection Act (IIPA), as well as exploring a number of options to enhance the protection of US intelligence personnel — including secret trials, and amending the IIPA to allow criminal penalties for any individual who reveals or purports to reveal the identity of covert intelligence personnel.

Document 11: [Deleted], “Passing the Intelligence Identities Protection Act of 1982,” Studies in Intelligence, 42, 3 (1998). Unclassified

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This article provides a short history of the background behind the IIPA, the initial proposals for a law criminalizing the revelation of the identify of covert intelligence personnel, the various attempts to pass such legislation, opposition to some proposed provisions, and the ultimate passage of the IIPA.

Document 12: [Deleted], “Analyzing Soviet Defense Program, 1951-1990,” Studies in Intelligence, 42, 3 (1998). Unclassified

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This article focuses on what was a major concern of some intelligence analysts during the Cold War — determining the actual cost of Soviet defense programs and the burden they placed on the Soviet economy. Among the author’s assertions was that “in every case, the [Intelligence Community] concluded that Soviet economic difficulties would impinge only marginally, if at all, on Soviet defense plans” and that “Only when Gorbachev’s perestroika was foundering was the idea of economic constraints on the defense budget gain a foothold in the national estimates arena, and even then the majority opinion rejected the notion that the USSR would unilaterally reduce its defense spending as it did in 1989.”

Document 13: [Deleted], “Cracking the Courtyard Crypto,” Studies in Intelligence, 43, 1 (1999). Unclassified.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

In 1990, the CIA unveiled a sculpture name “Kryptos” in the agency’s courtyard — a sculpture whose surface was covered with an encrypted message. This article, by a member of the Directorate of Intelligence, describes the process by which he deciphered most of the message.

Document 14: [Deleted], “An Interview with Former DDCI John N. McMahon,” Studies in Intelligence, 43, 1 (1999). Classification Not Available.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This interview, with John N. McMahon, who joined the CIA in 1951 and served in a variety of positions before he retired in 1986, covers his early days in the agency, the U-2 program, battles over satellite reconnaissance systems, as well as his tours as head of the clandestine service, the intelligence directorate, and as Deputy Director for Central Intelligence. In addition, he discusses the CIA-Congressional relationship as well as covert action with regard to Iran and Afghanistan.

Document 15: [Deleted], “An Interview with NSA Director Lt. Gen. Michael V. Hayden,” Studies in Intelligence , 44, 1 (2000). Secret/[Deleted]

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

In this interview, Michael Hayden, then the director of the National Security Agency, discusses his attempt to bring significant change to NSA, his belief that “our technological adversary is not a nation state but the global telecommunications industry,” the relationship between NSA and the CIA (also discussed in Document 19), and other topics.

Document 16: Michael Warner and Kevin Ruffner, “The Founding of the Office of Special Operations,” Studies in Intelligence 44, 2 (2000). Secret/Noforn.

Source: Scudder Litigation Release.

This article, written by two CIA historians, focuses on the CIA’s first human intelligence organization — which would be merged in 1952 with the Office of Policy Coordination to form the Directorate of Plans (subsequently the Directorate of Operations and today the National Clandestine Service). It discussed  the early post-World War II development of U.S.  espionage activities, foreign liaison dilemmas, observations by foreign services, and moving from theory to practice. Despite the decades that have passed since the events described, the article has been heavily redacated before release.

Document 17: [Deleted], “Intelligence and US Missile Defense Planning,” Studies in Intelligence, 45, 2 (2001). Classification Not Available.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

After providing a brief introduction to the early origins of missile defense, this article addresses the establishment of the Strategic Defense Initiative, the post-Cold War shift in U.S. missile defense emphasis and the challenges of providing intelligence on threats, technical issues, and foreign reactions.

Document 18: Henry S. Lowenhaupt, “Origins and Applications of Nuclear Intelligence,” 47, 3 (2003). Secret.

Source: Scudder Litigation Release.

This article, written by one of the CIA’s long-time experts on nuclear intelligence, particularly the intelligence on the Soviet nuclear program, explores the early years on the U.S. nuclear intelligence effort. Lowenhaupt discusses nuclear intelligence collection in World War II, the detection of nuclear detonations, tracking airborne radioactivity, seismic technology, acoustic and EMP measurement, measuring plutonium production, environmental collection, as well as the contribution of U-2 and infrared imagery. A number of the sections are heavily redacted and the section on nuclear detection satellites is deleted in its entirety (despite the substantial amount of declassified information on the subject).

Document 19: [Deleted], “A Brave, New World,” Studies in Intelligence, 48, 2 (2004). Classification Not Available .

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This article addresses the relationship between the CIA and National Security Agency in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. It notes the origins of CIA-NSA enmity going back to World War II, barriers that have existed to a partnership between the two agencies, hints of change in the late 1990s, and the impact of 9/11. Its final sections focus on tangible results, the likelihood that the partnership will last, and the challenges ahead.

Document 20: [Deleted], “An Interview with TTIC Director John Brennan,” Studies in Intelligence, 48. 4 (2004). Secret.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This interview with John Brennan, currently the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, was conducted in 2003 — when he was the director of the Terrorist Threat Integration Center (which was subsequently absorbed by the National Counterterrorism Center). Questions include those about the center’s access to intelligence data, counterterrorism analysis as a specialty, the different components of the Intelligence Community involved in counterterrorism analysis, and the division of responsibilities for different aspects of counterterrorism analysis.

Document 21: Michael J. Sulick, “Counterintelligence in the War Against Terrorism,” Studies in Intelligence, 48, 4 (2004). Secret/[Deleted].

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

The author, who served as CIA Associate Deputy Director for Operations and became chief of the National Clandestine Service in 2007, notes that whereas U.S. counterintelligence defeats during the Cold War were never exploited by the Soviet Union in an actual war, terrorists “can immediately exploit information gained through espionage to launch attacks.” He goes on to explore the subjects of “terrorists as intelligence operatives;” “exposing terrorist spies;” “more employees to worry about;” terrorist denial and deception; intelligence sharing; and further actions.

Document 22: Michael J. Morell, “11 September 2001: With President,” Studies in Intelligence, 50, 3 (2006) Secret/Noforn.

Source: Scudder Litigation Release.

This article recounts the author’s experience with President Bush on the day of the al-Qaeda attacks on New York and Washington. Morell, who subsequently served as Deputy Director of the CIA (2010-2013) begins in the hours before the attack and continues until Morell arrived back in Washington. It focuses less on intelligence and more on the movements and reactions of Bush and others.

Document 23: [Deleted], “Terrorism Analysis in the CIA: The Gradual Awakening (1972-80),” Studies in Intelligence, 51, 1 (2007). Secret.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This article, after discussing the emergence of terrorism as an international issue, traces the development of terrorism analysis in the CIA from the Truman to Nixon administrations. It covers increased policymaker interest in the subject (particularly following the murder of Israeli Olympic athletes by Palestinian terrorists in 1972), and the resulting increased Intelligence Community interest; the initially ascendant role of the Directorate of Operations; the Directorate of Intelligence’s subsequent larger role in terrorism analysis; and early analytical challenges.

Document 24: [Deleted], “CIA Prepublication Review in the Information Age,” Studies in Intelligence, 55, 3 (September 2011).Confidential.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

The author, who served as the first senior representative of the Directorate of Intelligence on the CIA Publication Review Board (PRB) offers an anodyne view of the publication review process. Topics covered include the origins and evolution of the PRB and review process, the impact of a vast increase in the number of submitted manuscripts, the meaning of the ‘appropriateness’ requirement, and “myths and realities of the process.” Asserted myths included that “the prepublication review process is unfair, arbitrary, capricious” and that “the PRB often doesn’t know what has already been released.”

Document 25: [Deleted], “James J. Angleton, Anatoliy Golitsyn, and the ‘Monster Plot’: Their Impact on CIA Personnel and Operations,” Studies in Intelligence, 55, 4 (December 2011). Secret.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

This article examines the roles of CIA counterintelligence chief James J. Angleton and KGB defector Anatoliy Golitsyn in the formulation of the “Monster Plot” — which asserted that the Soviet Union had conducted decades-long, massive and successful deception operations against the West, including the use of false defectors and volunteers. It then examines the impact of Angleton and Golitsyn’s thinking on a number of cases and individuals — including Yuriy Nosenko, Lee Harvey Oswald, and several CIA officers who were alleged to be possible Soviet moles.

Document 26: David Robarge, “DCI John McCone and the Assassination of John F. Kennedy,” Studies in Intelligence 57, 3 (September 2013). Secret.

Source: CIA Freedom of Information Act Release.

Director of Central Intelligence John McCone’s actions in the aftermath of the assassination of President Kennedy is the subject of this article, drawn from a classified book on the Mc Cone’s tenure as DCI. It notes that McCone’s first action after hearing that the president had been shot was to visit Robert Kennedy at his home. The remainder of the article discusses  McCone’s oversight of the investigation of a possible conspiracy, his interaction with the Warren Commission, the impact of detection of KGB officer Yuri Nosenko, and his participation in what the author describes as a ‘benign conspiracy.’

NOTES

1. H, Bradford Westerfield, Inside CIA’s Private World: Declassified Articles from the Agency’s Internal Journal, 1955-1992 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1995), pp. vii, xii-xiv.

2. The tables of contents, starting with the initial issue of Studies, can be found at www.nationalsecuritylaw.org. A significant disparity existed between the CIA’s response to the 2010 FOIA request for 1985-1996 tables of contents and their response to National Security Counselors litigation. Approximately 130 more titles were released in response to litigation than to the author’s FOIA request. Some of the titles not released in response to the FOIA request but produced under litigation include: “Psychology of Treason,” “The Decline and Fall of the Shah,” “On Analytic Success and Failure,” “The DI’s Organizational Culture,” and “Observation Balloons and Reconnaissance Satellites.” “Psychology of Treason” actually appeared in the Westerfield collection (pp. 70-82) while “Observation Balloons and Reconnaissance Satellite” had been released in its entirety and could be found on the CIA’s website.

3. Articles denied in their entirety included “Overhead Imagery during the Yom Kippur War,” “Sifting the Evidence on Vitaly Yurchenko,” “Iraq’s Nuclear Weapons Program,” and “The Need for Improved Strategic Counterintelligence Analysis.” On Scudder’s background, actions, and the results, see Greg Miller, “CIA employee quest to release information ‘destroyed my entire career’,” www.washingtonpost.com,  July 4, 2014.

4. Various authors have found the PRB process less than reasonable. For example, see David H.Sharp, The CIA’s Greatest Covert Operation: Inside the Daring Mission to Recover a Nuclear-Armed Soviet Sub (Lawrence, Ks.: University Press of Kansas, 2012), pp. xi-xii; Robert Wallace and H. Keith Melton, Spycraft: The Secret History of the CIA’s Spytechs from Communism to Al-Qaeda (New York: Dutton, 2008), pp. xx-xxi.

5. Thus, the new head of the National Clandestine Service, who is still officially undercover, as well as the temporary head (also undercover) have been named without a violation of the law. See “CIA’s New Chief Spy Outed on Twitter,” www.gawker.com, accessed May 9, 2013.

6. Although it is often assumed that the first prohibition of assassination was Gerald Ford’s 1976 executive order, DCI’s Richard Helms and successor William Colby had issued internal directives prohibiting such action – Richard Helms, “Allegations of Assassinations,” March 6, 1972; William E. Colby, Subject: Policy Against Assassination,, August 29, 1973.

7. For example, see James R. Taylor, Deputy Director of Operations, National Security Agency, Subject: Thoughts on Strategic Issues for the Institution, April 9, 1999, Document 21 in Jeffrey T. Richelson (ed.), NSA Electronic Briefing Book #24, The NSA Declassified , March 11,2005,www.gwu.edu/~nsarchive/NSAEBB/NSAEBB24.

8. Two major accounts of Angleton and the Molehunt are: Tom Mangold, Cold Warrior – James Jesus Angleton: The CIA’s Master Spy Hunter(New York: Simon & Schuster, 1991), and David Wise, Molehunt: The Secret Search for Traitors that Shattered the CIA (New York: Random House, 1992).

9. On Kryptos, see “Flash Movie Text,” www.ciagov, accessed May 6, 2013; “Kryptos,” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kryptos.

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon ordered an additional 1,500 National Guard troops to Ferguson Tuesday, bringing the total to 2,200, as part of a crackdown on protests in the St. Louis suburb over the exoneration of the police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown last August.

Nixon’s decision to triple the number of soldiers followed a day of denunciations of “lawlessness” and “destruction” by the media and government officials, including President Obama, to justify the military occupation of the largely working class city.

Popular anger over the failure of Missouri authorities to indict officer Darren Wilson fueled protests across the United States on Tuesday. Demonstrations, marches and vigils took place in almost every state and in scores of cities, involving many thousands of workers and university and high school students. Large protests took place in New York City; Washington, DC; Baltimore, Maryland; Atlanta, Georgia; St. Louis; Los Angeles; and other cities. In Oakland, Democratic Mayor Jean Quan presided over a police attack on 2,000 protesters Monday night that resulted in the arrest of 40 people.

Throughout the day, CNN, MSNBC and other television networks decried the supposed lack of military preparedness in Ferguson on Monday night and demanded more state repression. This was despite the fact that the town of 21,000 people was already under a police-military lockdown, with some 700 National Guard troops backing up 600 local police and state highway patrolmen and an unknown number of FBI and other federal agents.

Last week, Governor Nixon, a Democrat, in advance of the decision of the grand jury hearing evidence on the killing of the unarmed African American youth and prior to any mass protests or disturbances, preemptively declared a state of emergency and announced plans to deploy the National Guard to Ferguson.

This provocative and flagrantly anti-democratic action was followed Monday night by the arrogant and rambling remarks of State Prosecutor Robert P. McCulloch attempting to justify, in the name of “fairness,” the decision of his rigged grand jury not to indict the killer cop, even on lesser charges of voluntary or involuntary manslaughter.

By all accounts, police and military forces essentially stood down following McCulloch’s press conference while a number of stores were burnt or looted—giving the national news networks the footage needed to malign the protests. Shortly afterwards, the military operation began, with a phalanx of security forces in riot gear moving in behind armored vehicles, firing tear gas and rubber bullets at demonstrators and arresting at least 82 people.

For the most part, the media praised the supposed “restraint” of the police and pumped out grotesquely biased reports implying that the murder of an unarmed youth by an officer who fired 12 rounds into his victim was a legal and justified act of self-defense. ABC News broadcast an interview with Wilson in which the cop described Brown as a “demon.”

CNN reporter Don Lemon declared that “any discussion of police brutality, racial profiling and militarization had been overshadowed by rioting and violence.” The media vilified supposedly “criminal elements” for inciting violence, extending this slander to members of Michael Brown’s grieving family. Throughout the day, CNN replayed a New York Times video of the angry reaction of the murdered youth’s stepfather immediately after the decision to exonerate the cop was announced.

In statement posted on his Facebook page Tuesday morning, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said, “What happened in Ferguson last night was not a ‘peaceful protest.’ It was criminal, and was nothing that our community can—or will—tolerate.”

At his press conference, Nixon utilized the rhetoric of the “war on terror” to slander protesters and justify the dispatch of another 1,500 National Guard troops. “Last night,” he said, “criminals intent on lawlessness and destruction terrorized this community, burning buildings, firing gunshots, vandalizing storefronts and looting family businesses.” He vowed to make sure there would be “no repeat of lawlessness.”

Nixon referred to the need for “force amplification,” “rapid response teams,” “trained and ready soldiers,” and “force protection” for the police. Other officials referred to the “rules of engagement” for dealing with protesters, employing the same language as US occupying forces in Iraq and Afghanistan.

During an appearance in Chicago, President Obama, whose Justice Department has worked closely with state and local officials in Missouri to organize mass repression, placed the onus for violence on the protesters and then suggested that those opposed to police brutality could address their grievances through the courts and state and federal authorities.

The previous night Obama had spoken from the White House to defend the grand jury decision while attempting to pose as sympathetic to those outraged by the murder of Brown and the green light for more police killings given by the authorities in Missouri.

In words that deserve only contempt, the author of drone assassinations and defender of mass spying declared, “Burning buildings, torching cars, destroying property, putting people at risk—that’s destructive, and there’s no excuse for it. Those are criminal acts, and people should be prosecuted if they engage in criminal acts.”

The murder of Michael Brown is but one instance of deadly police violence that is rampant across the US, affecting white workers and youth as well as African Americans. This fact of American life is rooted in immense and ever growing social inequality and the militarization of society. In the face of popular opposition to the destruction of jobs, living standards and social programs, and hostility to war, the government is increasingly resorting to the methods of a police state.

Media focus on racial division diverting anger away from tyrannical government

Chaos has engulfed Ferguson, Missouri as the mainstream media is directing national attention to divisive racial issues at a time of rising tyranny in America.

Sensational revelations about government corruption are becoming a regular occurrence under the Obama administration. Ordinary Americans are being targeted while known terrorists are escorted through security. Kidnappers, rapists, and murderers are being released from prison; an action sanctioned by the President of the United States. The BATF allows guns to find their way to Mexican drug lords, while the federal government is fighting to disarm American citizens. Mega-banks launder billions of dollars worth of drug money.

Amidst this flurry of rampant corruption, Obamacare architect Johnathan Gruber admitted on video that “lack of transparency” was crucial in passing Obamacare and fool “stupid American voters” into accepting it.

Nearly every agency of government has acquired some form of armaments in the past several years. Police departments across the country are getting mine resistant vehicles. Homeland Security is acquiring billions of rounds of ammunition. The Department of Agriculture recently requested body armor as well as sub machine guns. Many other instruments of war have been stored and deployed.

A divided country

While the wealth of America is being systematically destroyed, divisive issues of race are being inflamed. Conservative icon Phyllis Schlafly called Obama’s recent executive order on Amnesty for illegal aliens a “Fort Sumter” event, referring to the defining event at the beginning of America’s first civil war. Obama’s announcement came on November 20th, the same day that Mexico’s Revolution day was celebrated.

At the same time, riots in Ferguson Missouri have attracted the attention of national media, threatening to spark riots in cities across the country. The announcement of the grand jury’s decision to absolve officer Darren Wilson was seemingly timed perfectly to incite riots after 8pm.

National Guard stood down in Ferguson on orders of the White House?

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder told Fox News that, “Is the reason that the National Guard was not in there because the Obama Administration and the Holder Justice Department leaned on you to keep them out? I cannot imagine any other reason why the governor who mobilized the National Guard would not have them in there to stop this.”

The establishment is well aware that the country is growing increasingly skeptical of the federal government. Confidence in all branches of governmentare reaching record lows. According to Gallup, Congress has about a 7% approval rating; The presidency around 29% and the Supreme Court at 30%.

The establishment is attempting to direct the spirit of the nation into a destructive revolution of bloody conflagration and hate that will only result in more power for the elite.

If the nation is allowed to unify over issues of sound economic policy, purging government corruption, and re-affirming our moral code as a nation and as individuals, the corrupt elite will be brought to justice. As long as the country is divided this cannot happen. If the nation falls into chaos, these central unifying issues need to guide a real revolution of positive change that will rise from the ashes.

This generation, just as America’s founders did, will provide the heroes and legends for the next. Your actions and choices during this time will alter the outcome of this historical time period and set the cultural agenda for the next cycle. Its up to you.

Was it a conspiracy or was it incompetence?  Those appear to be the only two alternatives that we are left with after the horrific violence that we witnessed in Ferguson on Monday night.  The first round of Ferguson rioting back in August took everyone by surprise, but this time authorities had more than three months to prepare.  They had the ability to control precisely when the grand jury decision would be announced and how many cops and National Guard troops would be deployed on the streets.  But despite all this, the violence in Ferguson on Monday night was even worse than we witnessed back in August.  Either this was a case of almost unbelievable incompetence, or there was someone out there that actually wanted this to happen.  If someone out there is actually trying to provoke more violence in Ferguson, then the rioters are being played like a fiddle.  Most of them have no idea that they could potentially just be pawns in a game that is far larger than they ever imagined.  The only other alternative to explain what we just saw is incompetence on a level that is absolutely laughable.  Something definitely does not smell right about all of this, and let us hope that at some point the American people get the truth.  The following are 10 “coincidences” from Monday night in Ferguson that are too glaring to ignore…

#1 Federal, state and local law enforcement authorities had more than three months to prepare for the violence that would follow the announcement of the grand jury decision.  The mainstream media endlessly hyped this controversy and everyone knew that trouble would be brewing.  But despite an enormous amount of time to prepare, very little was actually done to prevent any violence from happening.

#2 Someone made the decision to make the public announcement about the grand jury decision in the evening.  Anyone involved in law enforcement knows that crowd control is far more difficult after dark.  This also ensured that instead of being tied up with work or school, a maximum number of protesters would be able to be involved in the violence.

#3 Fortunately for the mainstream media, the announcement of the grand jury decision was perfectly timed to provide the largest possible number of prime time viewers for the big news networks.

#4 Just like back in August, no law enforcement authorities of any kind responded while dozens of businesses were vandalized, looted and set of fire.

#5 According to Ferguson Mayor James Knowles, National Guard troops were purposely held back from intervening in the rioting that was unleashed when the grand jury decision was made known to the public…

In a press conference, he called the delay “deeply concerning” and said the Guard troops were availablebut were not deployed when city officials asked.

The troops had been readied last week by Gov. Jay Nixon as the grand jury announcement neared. But as gunshots rang out in the night and looters torched buildings, they were nowhere to be seen.

#6 It is being reported that the heavily armed National Guard troops were limited to “keeping the peace at a courthouse, patrolling the outskirts of town and preventing disturbances in other suburbs” as horrific violence raged in the heart of Ferguson on Monday night.

#7 Missouri Lieutenant Governor Peter Kinder has accused Missouri Governor Jay Nixon of holding back the National Guard troops because of pressure from the Obama administration.  On Monday night, he angrily made the following statement to Fox News…

“Is the reason that the National Guard was not in there because the Obama Administration and the Holder Justice Department leaned on you to keep them out? I cannot imagine any other reason why the governor who mobilized the National Guard would not have them in there to stop this.”

#8 The Washington Post has documented that Attorney General Eric Holder had been in direct contact with Governor Nixon and had expressed “frustration” with the fact that the National Guard had been activated…

A top aide to Holder called the governor’s office earlier this week to express Holder’s displeasure and “frustration,” according to a Justice Department official.

“Instead of de-escalating the situation, the governor escalated it,” said the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak on the subject. “He sent the wrong message. The tone of the press conference was counterproductive.”

#9 Firefighters in Ferguson did not immediately respond to calls to put out the multiple fires that were set by protesters.  As a result, many businesses essentially burned to the ground.  But this did make for some amazing television footage.

#10 In the worst of the “war zones”, journalists with cameras and microphones were crawling all over the place while there were hardly any police to be seen at all.  How is it possible that law enforcement could have failed so badly?  Could it be possible that this was orchestrated on purpose?

Sadly, as I have written about previously, the civil unrest that we are witnessing in Ferguson is just a small preview of what is coming to America.

The anger and frustration that are seething under the surface in this country have reached a boiling point.  Instead of coming together, we are seemingly more divided than ever.  Americans have been trained to hate one another, fear one another and blame one another.  I fear that we are not too far away from actually becoming ungovernable.

And when the next major wave of the economic crisis strikes and we start experiencing real suffering in this nation, the temper tantrums that we are going to witness in our major cities are going to make what is happening in Ferguson right now look like a Sunday picnic.

So buckle up and hold on, because it is going to be a really bumpy ride from here on out.

Ferguson is not the end – it is just the beginning of a horrible new chapter in American history.

Two US Sailors Dead After Fukushima Radiation Exposure

November 26th, 2014 by Global Research News

Tahlequah Daily Press, Aug 7, 2014: USS Ronald Reagan… passed through radiation plumes and clouds… the ship and most of those onboard, tested positive for radiation exposure… Serio, now a broadcast journalism major at [CSUN], has recently written a column… on breitbart.com. “I feel as if people are not realizing how serious the issue is, and I would like to shed as much light on it as possible,” said Serio.

California State University, Northridge, Nov 12, 2014: Little did [U.S. Navy veteran Kelli Serio, 25] know her service would change the way she viewed the system she vowed her loyalty to… Serio may have been affected by radiation during what she calls her “final and most personally sacrificing deployment” in Japan… at 18, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy [and] was deployed off Japan’s coast… to assist with the cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear plant. While there, her carrier acted as a floating fuel station… Serio said she’ll never forget the day her captain said their water filtration system had been compromised… “I feel like we were done so wrong,” Serio said. “We were drinking the water.” Serio said she and the other 70,000 first responders have been dismissed by the government as if nothing happened out there. She wants justice… Serio’s team-like mentality has also led to her modeling with organizations like Pin-Ups for Vets… to help bring up the morale of veterans and current soldiers [and] bring awareness to the men and women who’ve served their country through speaking engagements and visiting patients at veteran hospitals… [E]arlier this year… she met her friend and mentor, Fox News reporter Hollie McKay [who recommended] Serio for a reporter position at [breitbart.com]… Her first piece for the website was a first-hand account of and a look back at Operation Tomodachi.

Breitbart, by Kelli Serio, Jul 23, 2014: I was onboard the USS Ronald Reagan [and went] directly through a radiation cloud. The commanding officer warned us that our water and ventilation systems had been contaminated, posing a critical health risk to all of us onboard. We were advised to refrain from showering or drinking water… Sailors worked tirelessly… while being left vulnerable to dangerous levels of radiation… most of us onboard the ship were tested for radiation exposure and many came back positive, resulting in full-body scrubdowns… [W]e were issued gas masks… myself and other junior sailors were asked to don protective garments in an effort to decontaminate the ship… Proper medical care for the victims of radiation exposure [is needed, it's a] dire situation for many… Many of us are enduring the unfortunate consequences [and] hoping for care from the VA that appears to never arrive… we are reassured of our good health, despite the presence of mysterious and unexplained symptoms… A lack of coverage by the mainstream media has left victims without a voice… We do not want to be forgotten.

CBS San Francisco, Nov 21, 2014: Rare cancers, blindness, birth defects and now, two deaths. Hundreds of U.S. sailors… say they were exposed to dangerous levels of radiation… [Steve] Simmons… began feeling weak and sick with uncontrolled fevers… Soon he was in a wheelchair, unable to walk. He says military doctors would never tell him what was wrong. “Every one of them wanted to discredit radiation as a possible cause,” Simmons said… “[There's] evidence that the doses that were assumed to be on board the USS Reagan may have been under-reported,” said Dr. Robert Gould, a former Kaiser pathologist… “Given that there is more information that has come out, I think you would have to re-look at the entire situation,” said Dr. Gould. >> Watch the CBS broadcast here

Renzi sul drone dell’emiro

November 25th, 2014 by Manlio Dinucci

«È il futuro», ha annunciato orgogliosamente il premier Renzi, inaugurando insieme alla ministra della difesa Pinotti il nuovo sta­bi­li­mento della Piag­gio Aero­space a Vil­la­nova d’Albenga (Savona), definito dai dirigenti dell’azienda un centro di eccellenza che permette di «mantenere il ruolo di global brand nell’aviazione d’affari acquisendo in parallelo quello di player mondiale nel settore difesa». In altre parole, alla produzione di aerei di lusso per superricchi ed executive di multinazionali, la Piaggio Aerospace (nuova denominazione di Piaggio Aero) unisce quella di velivoli militari, come il pattugliatore multiruolo Multirole Patrole Aircraft e il velivolo a pilotaggio remoto P.1HH HammerHead. Su quest’ultimo punta l’azienda per affermarsi nel settore militare. È un drone (velivolo senza pilota) di nuova generazione, progettato per una vasta gamma di missioni. Con una lunghezza e una apertura alare di circa 15 metri, e un peso massimo al decollo di oltre 6 tonnellate, il velivolo può volare per oltre 15 ore con un raggio d’azione di 8000 km, manovrando sia in modalità automatica che pilotato da una stazione terrestre. Con i suoi sofisticati sensori può individuare l’obiettivo, anche in movimento, fornendo le coordinate per l’attacco aereo o terrestre, o colpendolo direttamente con missili e bombe a guida di precisione. È quindi un sistema d’arma ideato per le guerre di aggressione in distanti aree geografiche. Così l’Italia «si toglie di dosso la muffa», ha dichiarato Renzi nel discorso allo sta­bi­li­mento della Piag­gio Aero­space, dove accanto al palco troneggiava un modello del nuovo drone, intendendo sicuramente per «muffa» l’Art. 11 della Costituzione sul ripudio della guerra. Quella della  Piaggio Aerospace è una «storia da raccontare», ha aggiunto Renzi, poiché è un’azienda che sembrava finita ma è ripartita. Come abbia fatto lo si capisce dalla composizione del suo capitale sociale: esso è detenuto per il 98,05% dalla Mubadala Development Company, compagnia dell’emirato Abu Dhabi presieduta da Sua Altezza lo sceicco Mohamed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, principe ereditario di Abu Dhabi e vice comandante supremo delle Forze armate. L’1,95% appartiene all’ing. Piero Ferrari (figlio di Enzo, fondatore della Scuderia di Maranello), passato dalle auto da corsa agli aerei da guerra: è stato sotto la sua presidenza dal 1998 al 2014  che la Piaggio Aero, oggi Piaggio Aerospace,  è entrata nel settore militare. Quindi l’azienda che Renzi indica all’Italia come fulgido esempio da seguire non è più italiana, ma appartiene quasi interamente alla famiglia dell’emiro di Abu Dhabi, il maggiore dei sette Emirati arabi uniti. «La nostra relazione di amicizia con gli Emirati arabi uniti – ha sottolineato Renzi nel suo discorso – non nasce semplicemente dal fatto che Mubadala è nel capitale di Piaggio o che Ethiad (altra compagnia degli Emirati) è nel capitale di Alitalia, ma nasce da un’idea profonda di condivisione politica». Nessuno ne dubita: gli Emirati, come l’Italia, sono legati a doppio filo agli Stati uniti e alla rete delle loro basi militari. Per questo a Washington, e di conseguenza a Roma, si passa sotto silenzio il fatto – documentato dal Rapporto 2014 di Human Rights Watch – che ad Abu Dhabi e negli altri emirati il potere è concentrato per via ereditaria nelle mani delle famiglie regnanti, mentre partiti e sindacati sono considerati illegali, i dissidenti vengono imprigionati e torturati, gli immigrati (che costituiscono l’88,5% degli abitanti) schiavizzati. Sarà questo, anche per l’Italia, il «futuro» di cui parla Renzi?

Tras un poderoso movimiento insurreccional que desembocó en la destitución del presidente ucraniano Viktor Yanukovich, el nuevo Gobierno provisional establecido el 27 de febrero de 2014 ofrece al FMI la oportunidad de infligir una violenta cura de austeridad al pueblo ucraniano. Un mes después, incluso sin esperar a las elecciones, oscuras negociaciones con el Gobierno no elegido desembocaron en la adopción de políticas ultraliberales a cambio de un préstamo del FMI de entre 14.000 y 18.000 millones de dólares (entre 10.200 y 13.000 millones de euros) cuyo primer pago se preveía en el mes de abril.

Jalonando los tramos sucesivos del reembolso según un calendario confidencial, el aumento de las tarifas del gas, la congelación de los salarios y las pensiones de los funcionarios y muchas otras medidas dirigidas a transformar la política monetaria y presupuestaria, así como los sectores financiero y energético, deben someter al país al dogma capitalista promovido por la institución. A pesar del rechazo inicial de los diputados del Parlamento ucraniano el 27 de marzo, el impopular programa exigido por el FMI finalmente se adoptó tras febriles negociaciones.

A lo largo de su tumultuosa historia y a pesar de algunos éxitos, el FMI siempre se ha enfrentado a reticencias a sus exigencias desmesuradas. Incapaz de rematar sus dos últimos acuerdos, esta vez el FMI esperaba conseguir sus ajustes cualquiera que fuera el resultado de las elecciones programadas para dos meses después. Da igual que sus políticas diseminadas por todo el mundo provoquen el caos social, como en Grecia y otros lugares. La institución prosigue su camino devastador reverenciado por los gobernantes sumisos. Pretender instaurar la prosperidad y vencer la pobreza añadiendo nuevas políticas de austeridad en un Estado liberticida y endémicamente corrupto es inútil. El FMI, con todas las revueltas que ha desencadenado a lo largo de su historia, ya debería saber que la miseria no necesariamente vuelve dóciles a las personas y que nada impide que la plaza Maidan recupere su actividad. Pero en este terreno todo es posible, tanto que el FMI está dispuesto a soplar las brasas todavía calientes de la denominada «Revolución Maidan».

No es la primera vez que Ucrania se enfrenta a la dictadura del FMI

El Fondo Monetario Internacional (FMI), bien conocido en los países «empobrecidos» (también denominados países en desarrollo) por haber impulsado duros recortes presupuestarios que han exacerbado las crisis de la deuda en Asia y América Latina, también es temido por haberse implicado fuertemente en la ola de privatizaciones desastrosas de Europa del Este durante la transición postcomunista a principios de los años 90.

A partir de 1994 Ucrania llegó a un primer acuerdo con el FMI y en 1995 fue firmado un crédito de 1.490 millones de dólares del Fondo por el gobernador del banco central de la época, Viktor Yuschenko, antes de que se convirtiera en el líder de la famosa «Revolución Naranja». |1| Desde entonces, respaldada por su representación permanente en Kiev, la institución trabaja sin descanso en Ucrania y sean cuales sean los gobiernos establecidos impone su dictadura.

El FMI suspende un préstamo a Ucrania tras la decisión del Gobierno de aumentar el salario mínimo |2|

Desde que Ucrania se unió al FMI en septiembre de 1992, su relación está hecha de enfrentamientos y rupturas sobre el fondo de constantes y opacas negociaciones. Mientras la institución basada en Washington no soporta la idea de una suspensión de pagos por parte de los países endeudados, cierra con dureza el grifo del crédito y suspende sus remesas cuando los países no se pliegan a sus exigencias.

En noviembre de 2008, poco después de Islandia, Georgia y Hungría, Ucrania cayó en la trampa del FMI. A cambio de un préstamo |3| de 16.400 millones de dólares (13.000 millones de euros) en dos años, el Parlamento ucraniano fue obligado a adoptar un plan de «salvamento» draconiano, con privatizaciones y cortes presupuestarios. Obligaron a Ucrania a elevar la edad de jubilación de las mujeres de 55 a 60 años y a aumentar el 20% la tarifa del gas de la compañía Naftogaz.

Pero la subida del 11% del salario mínimo y el aumento de la renta básica un 12% a partir del 1 de noviembre, y después el 18% a partir de enero de 2010, pusieron nervioso al FMI, que bloqueó su programa. «Estoy muy preocupado por el acuerdo del presidente a ese proyecto de ley que pone fuera del circuito el programa que habíamos firmado. En esas circunstancias me temo que será muy difícil superar el próximo examen del programa» |4|, declaró el entonces director del Fondo Dominique Strauss-Kahn, quien por su parte se había subido el salario más del 7% a su llegada a la dirección del FMI. |5| Para justificar sus temores con respecto a Ucrania añadió: «Una reciente misión del Fondo en Ucrania ha llegado a la conclusión de que ciertas políticas en algunos ámbitos, como la nueva ley del salario mínimo, amenazan la estabilidad» del país. Y a continuación la agencia de calificación Standard & Poor’s emitió una nota negativa de la deuda de Ucrania. Cuando siguió un bloqueo del programa de privatizaciones la reacción del FMI no se hizo esperar y suspendió el pago del cuarto tramo de un montante de 3.800 millones de dólares, previsto en noviembre de 2009. Esperando buenos resultados después de haber mantenido una tasa de crecimiento medio del 7,5% del PIB de 2000 a 2007, Ucrania registró uno de los peores resultados económicos del mundo: el PIB cayó el 15% en 2009 y la producción industrial el 22%.

Jérôme Duval

Artigos en francés :

Partie 1

FMI UkraineLe FMI activement présent en Ukraine depuis 1994 ne veut pas entendre parler de hausse de salaire
Partie 2

FMI UkraineUKRAINE : Le FMI revient à la charge et impulse la réforme des retraitesLe FMI poursuit sa route en Ukraine(partie 2)
Partie 3

FMI UkraineLe FMI ou l’asphyxie du choix unique?, 27 avril 2014
Partie 4

La réforme sur la répartition des droits de vote du FMI est à nouveau bloquée par son actionnaire majoritaire

 

Partie 5

FMI Ukraine

Ukraine : le FMI passe en force au Parlement, 2 juin 2014

Traducido del francés para Rebelión por Caty R.

 

Notas

|1| Viktor Yuschenko asumió rapídamente la presidencia pero finalmente fue rechazado en las elecciones de 2010 en las que solo logró el 5,45% de los votos, los peores resultados conseguidos nunca por un presidente.

|2| Esta parte, revisada y actualizada, fue inicialmente publicada por el autor en el capítulo dedicado al FMI en el libro La dette ou la vie, Aden 2011, coordinado por Damien Millet y Éric Toussaint. El libro recibió el Premio del Libro Político de Liège 2011.

|3| Se trata de un préstamo Stand-By Arrangement de 11.000 millones de Special Drawing Rights (derechos especiales de giro), unidad monetaria de referencia del Fondo calculada sobre la base de una canasta de divisas. Leer la carta de intenciones firmada por el presidente Yusenko y la primera ministra de entonces Julia Timochenko: https://www.imf.org/external/np/loi/2008/ukr/103108.pdf

|4| Despacho de Reuters, «El presidente de Ucrania eleva el salario mínimo a pesar del FMI», 30 de octubre de 2009.

|5| El salario anual de Dominique Strauss-Kahn era de 440.980 euros, sin contar una indemnización de 79.120 dólares para gastos de representación. El salario anual de la francesa Christine Lagarde, que le sustituyó en su puesto es de 467.940 dólares (323.257 euros). Además recibe más de 83.760 dólares anuales (57.829 euros) para gastos de representación. En total, la directora roza los 551.700 dólares (380.989 euros) anuales libres de impuestos.

The International Monetary Fund has finally admitted that it was wrong to recommend austerity as early as it did in 2010-2011. The IMF now agrees that it should have waited until the US and EU economies were on a sustainable growth-path before advising them to trim their budget deficits and reduce public spending.  According to a report issued by the IMF’s research division, the Independent Evaluation Office (IEO):  “IMF advocacy of fiscal consolidation proved to be premature for major advanced economies, as growth projections turned out to be optimistic…This policy mix was less than fully effective in promoting recovery and exacerbated adverse spillovers.”

Now there’s an understatement.

What’s so disingenuous about the IMF’s apology,  is that the bank knew exactly what the effects of its policy would be, but stuck with its recommendations to reward its constituents.  That’s what really happened. The only reason it’s trying to distance itself from those decisions now, is to make the public think it was all  just a big mistake.

But it wasn’t a mistake. It was deliberate and here’s the chart that proves it:

(Democrats Reap What They Sowed, Rob Urie, CounterPunch)

There it is, six years of policy in one lousy picture. And don’t kid yourself, the IMF played a critical role in this wealth-shifting fiasco. It’s job was to push for less public spending and deeper fiscal cuts while the Central Banks flooded the financial markets with liquidity (QE). The results are obvious, in fact, one of the Fed’s own officials, Andrew Huszar,  admitted that QE was a massive bailout for the rich.  “I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is,” said Huszar who actually worked on the program, “the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.”  There it is, straight from the horse’s mouth.

So now the IMF wants to throw a little dust in everyone’s eyes by making it look like it was a big goof-up by well-meaning but misguided bankers. And the media is helping them by its omissions.

Let me explain: Of the more than 455 articles on Google News covering the IMF’s mea culpa, not one piece refers to the man who was the IMF’s Managing Director at the time in question. Doesn’t that strike you as a bit odd?

Why would the media scrub any mention of Dominique Strauss-Kahn from its coverage? Could it be that (according to NPR):

“The IMF’s managing director wanted to give Greece, Portugal and Ireland the time needed to put their accounts in order, and he also argued for softening the austerity measures associated with the bailouts for those countries.

Greek economists say that under Strauss-Kahn’s leadership, the IMF was a counterbalance to the strict austerity policies favored by northern European leaders. In fact, according to the daily Le Monde, Strauss-Kahn is fond of calling those who argue for tighter austerity “fous furieux,” which roughly translates as “mad men.”

Strauss-Kahn’s view is that shock-therapy measures imposed on Greece and other European countries with sovereign debt crises will lead only to economic recession and severe social unrest.

Several commentators pointed out Monday that at a time of turmoil in the eurozone and division among European leaders, it was the IMF, under Strauss-Kahn’s leadership, that kept the eurozone’s rescue strategy on track.

The Financial Times said that the IMF’s single most important influence in the resolution of the eurozone crisis was political — amid a lack of political leadership, the paper said, the IMF filled a vacuum.
(IMF Chief’s Arrest Renews Euro Debt Crisis Fears, NPR)

Ah-ha! So Strauss-Kahn wasn’t on board with the IMF’s shock doctrine prescription. In fact, he was opposed to it.  So there were voices for sanity within the IMF, they just didn’t prevail in the policy debate.

But why would that be, after all, Strauss-Kahn was the IMF’s Managing Director, his views should have carried greater weight than anyone else’s, right?

Right. Except DSK got the ax for a sexual encounter at New York’s ritzy Sofitel Hotel. So the changes he had in mind never took place, which means that the distribution of wealth continued to flow upwards just like the moneybags constituents of the IMF had hoped for.

Funny how that works, isn’t it? Funny how it’s always the Elliot Spitzers, and the Scott Ritters, and the Dominique Strauss-Kahn’s who get nailed for their dalliances, but the big Wall Street guys never get caught.
Why is that?

The fact is, Strauss-Kahn was off the reservation and no longer supported the policies that the establishment elites who run the IMF wanted to see implemented.  They felt threatened by DSK’s Keynesian approach and wanted to get rid of him. That’s it in a nutshell.

Do you know why the bigwig plutocrats hated DSK?

It had nothing to do with his sexual acrobatics at the Sofitel Hotel. Nobody cares about that shite.   What they were worried about were his plans for the IMF which he laid out in a speech he gave at the Brookings Institution in April 2011, one month before he got the boot. The speech got very little attention at the time, but– for all practical purposes– it was DSK’s swan song.  And, I think you’ll see why.

The experience must have been a real shocker for the gaggle of tycoons and hangers-on who attend these typically-tedious gatherings. Instead of praise for “market discipline”, “labor flexibility” and “fiscal consolidation”, Strauss-Kahn delivered a rousing 30 minute tribute to leftist ideals and wealth-sharing sounding more like a young Leon Trotsky addressing the Forth International than a cold-hearted bureaucrat heading the world’s most notorious loan sharking operation. By the time the speech ended, I’m sure the knives were already being sharped for the wayward Managing Director. To put it bluntly, DSK’s goose was cooked. Here’s a clip from the speech that will help to explain why:

“…The outstanding faults of the economic society in which we live are its failure to provide for full employment and its arbitrary and inequitable distribution of wealth and incomes”…
Not everyone will agree with the entirety of this statement. But what we have learnt over time is that unemployment and inequality can undermine the very achievements of the market economy, by sowing the seeds of instability…

.. the IMF cannot be indifferent to distribution issues…

Today, we need a similar full force forward response in ensuring that we get the recovery we need. And that means not only a recovery that is sustainable and balanced among countries, but also one that brings employment and fair distribution…

But growth alone is not enough. We need direct labor market policies…

Let me talk briefly about the second lung of the social crisis—inequality…IMF research also shows that sustainable growth over time is associated with a more equal income distribution…

We need policies to reduce inequality, and to ensure a fairer distribution of opportunities and resources. Strong social safety nets combined with progressive taxation can dampen market-driven inequality. Investment in health and education is critical. Collective bargaining rights are important, especially in an environment of stagnating real wages. Social partnership is a useful framework, as it allows both the growth gains and adjustment pains to be shared fairly…

We have also supported a tax on financial activities (and) organized jointly with the ILO … to better understand the policies behind job-creating growth…

Ultimately, employment and equity are building blocks of economic stability and prosperity, of political stability and peace. This goes to the heart of the IMF’s mandate. It must be placed at the heart of the policy agenda. Thank you very much.”   (The Global Jobs Crisis— Sustaining the Recovery through Employment and Equitable Growth, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director IMF, April 13, 2011)

Can you imagine the chorus of groans that must have emerged from the crowd when Strauss-Kahn made his pitch for “progressive taxation”, “collective bargaining rights”, “protecting social safety nets”, “direct labor market policies” and  “taxes on financial activities”? And how do you think the crowd reacted when he told them he’d settled on a more enlightened way to distribute the wealth they’d accumulated over a lifetime of insider trading, crooked backroom deals and shady business transactions?

Do you think they liked that idea or do you suppose they lunged for their blood pressure medication before scuttling pell-mell towards the exits?

Let’s face it; Strauss-Kahn was headed in a direction that wasn’t compatible with the interests of the cutthroats who run the IMF. That much is clear. Now whether these same guys concocted the goofy “honey trap” at the Sofitel Hotel, we may never know.  But what we do know is this: If you’re Managing Director of the IMF, you’d better not use your power to champion “distribution” or collective bargaining rights or you’re wind up like Strauss-Kahn, dragged off to the hoosegow in manacles wondering where the hell you went wrong.

DSK was probably done-in by the people who hated his guts. Now they want to polish-up their image by rewriting history.

And, you know, they’re rich enough to pull it off, too.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

El pasado 30 de octubre, Suecia procedió a reconocer oficialmente a Palestina como Estado. La amplia cobertura mediática dada a este hecho se explica debido a que se trata del primer Estado miembro de la Unión Europea en reconocer a Palestina como Estado en varias décadas. Este reconocimiento fue incluso anunciado con antelación hace menos de un mes como uno de los primeros actos del nuevo Gobierno sueco electo (ver nota): a esta iniciativa las autoridades de Israel respondieron con un discurso ya bastante conocido cada vez que un Estado reconoce a Palestina (ver nota de Haaretz). Los mismos argumentos se escucharon en Costa Rica en febrero del 2008 por parte del Embajador de Israel y en Guatemala en abril del 2013 por parte de su homólogo acreditado en Guatemala. Aunado a ello, se apreció una reacción airada de las autoridades de Israel haciendo referencia a la sencillez de los muebles de la línea Ikea (ver nota de RT), que recuerda la reacción (igualmente airada) israelí ante la decisión de Brasil de llamar a consulta a su embajador en julio pasado, con referencia esta vez a la derrota de 7-1 sufrida por Brasil durante la Copa Mundial (ver nota de O Globo). En el caso de Suecia, Israel ha decidido esta vez hacer ver que su enojo es mayor a reconocimientos previos de Palestina, procediendo el mismo día 30 de octubre a llamar a consulta a su embajador acreditado en Estocolmo, según reporta el Jerusalem Post.

Unión Europea y Palestina: aspectos recientes

Este gesto de Suecia, que desde la perspectiva jurídica califica como un acto jurídico unilateral, rebasa el ámbito estrictamente jurídico: vino a reabrir el debate en Europa, la cual dio muestras de algunas divisiones en años recientes al abordar el tema del reconocimiento de Palestina como Estado. A ese respecto, vale la pena recordar lo ocurrido durante la acalorada votación realizada el 29 de noviembre del 2012 en el seno de la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas:  la Asamblea aprobó con 138 votos a favor, 9 en contra y 41 abstenciones, el proyecto de resolución A/67/L.28 impulsado por 60 Estados (ver nota publicada en La Celosía) que reconoce a Palestina la calidad de “Estado Observador No Miembro” de las Naciones Unidas. En la lista de los 60 Estados proponentes de dicho proyecto de resolución no figura ninguno de los 27 Estados miembros de la Unión Europea, mientras que América Latina participa con Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, Nicaragua, Perú, Uruguay y Venezuela.

A la hora de votar el texto (ver texto de la resolución) en la Asamblea General, la aparente cohesión de Unión Europea se desvaneció por completo: a favor del texto votaron  Austria, Bélgica, Chipre, Dinamarca, España, Francia, Finlandia, Grecia, Irlanda, Italia, Luxemburgo, Malta, Portugal y Suecia. Los demás Estados de la Unión Europea se contaron entre las 41 abstenciones, con excepción de la República Checa, la cual considero oportuno votar en contra, conjuntamente con Canadá, Estados Unidos, Islas Marshall, Israel, Micronesia, Nauru, Palau y Panamá (ver detalle del voto) (Nota 1). Los Estados europeos que no forman parte de la Unión Europea y que votaron también a favor de esta histórica resolución fueron Islandia, Liechtenstein, Noruega, Suiza y Turquía. Islandia quien reconoció a Palestina como Estado en el 2011 y Turquía (en 1988) figuran en la lista de los proponentes del texto.

En una nota del Washington Post del 29/11/2012, el periodista  refiere  a una extraña propuesta de la diplomacia del Reino Unido a Palestina: esta última estaba dispuesta a votar en favor del texto siempre y cuando Palestina diera garantías de no accionar los mecanismos de la Corte Penal Internacional (CPI): “The U.K. suggested that it might vote “yes” if the Palestinian Authority offered assurances that it wouldn’t pursue charges in the International Criminal Court, but apparently came away unsatisfied” refiere el Washington Post, usualmente bien informado. En relación al voto de América Latina, Panamá se unió con los 8 Estados que votaron en contra de dicha resolución. A este respecto cabe recordar que en el 2011 el ex Presidente Ricardo Martinelli de Panama fue decorado por el American Jewish Congress (AJC) como “Light unto The Nations” (ver nota de prensa), en razón de que: “Martinelli, after his election in 2009, fulfilled a campaign promise to review Panama’s voting record on the Arab-Israeli conflict in the UN and other international forums”.

Al revisar con detalle la lista de los 27 Estados miembros de la Unión Europea que mantienen relaciones de Estado a Estado con Palestina, algunos bemoles se imponen. A Suecia desde el 30 de octubre, hay que añadir a Malta y a Chipre, que reconocen a Palestina como Estado (desde 1988), así como a los siguientes Estados del extinto bloque socialista ahora integrados a la UE, y que reconocieron a Palestina como Estado (también en 1988): Bulgaria, Hungría, Polonia, República Checa y Rumanía.  Durante el voto de noviembre del 2012 en la sede de las Naciones Unidas en Nueva York, Bulgaria, Hungría, Polonia y Rumanía optaron por abstenerse, mientras que la lealtad incondicional de la República Checa a Estados Unidos y a Israel obligó a su representante a votar en contra: un ejercicio de inconsistencia jurídica que posiblemente no tenga precedente alguno.

El caso de Costa Rica

Cabe señalar que Costa Rica procedió al reconocimiento y al establecimiento de relaciones de Estado a Estado con Palestina en el mes de febrero del 2008 (ver nota). A diferencia de Suecia, el anuncio fue sorpresivo, incluso para la misma Embajada de Estados Unidos, usualmente bien informada. En un cable confidencial dado a conocer por Wikileaks  (ver texto) se lee que: « On February 5, GOCR (Government of Costa Rica) Permrep Jorge Urbina exchanged  notes in New York with Palestinian representative Riyad  Mansour, formalizing Costa Rica´s recognition of the “”state”"  of Palestine. The MFA in San Jose issued a release eight hours later confirming the news, which came as a complete  surprise to most local diplomatic missions (including Post)”. La sorpresa fue total para Israel, al haberse convertido Costa Rica en un socio incondicional en las Naciones Unidas y que mantuvo hasta el 2006 su Embajada en Jerusalén Oriental, en abierta violación a un sinfín de resoluciones de Naciones Unidas solicitando a sus miembros trasladar sus legaciones diplomáticas a Tel Aviv (Nota 2). Los mismos funcionarios del Departamento de Estado concluyen indicando que: “The no-notice, no-consultation way this decision was announced is also in keeping with the foreign policy decision making style of this second Arias administration” (Nota 3). Un cable posterior  (ver texto) evidencia la poca capacidad de anticipación de la Embajada de Israel en Costa Rica y de su socio norteamericano, al solicitar el representante de Israel a sus colegas norteamericanos saber cuál podría ser la nueva sorpresa de Costa Rica: “Ehud Eitam, Israel’s Ambassador to Costa Rica, told us on August 20 that Costa Rica’s relationship with Israel could be better in light of the Embassy move and increased Arab-Costa Rican ties.  However, he did not dwell on the issue and seemed to be more curious about what Costa Rica’s next no-notice international move would be”.

La iniciativa de Costa Rica con relación a Palestina se fundamentó en razones políticas y jurídicas. No obstante, fueron presentadas de tal manera que posteriormente a ella, la mayoría de los Estados de América Latina procedieron a reconocer a Palestina como Estado: después del 2008, Venezuela (abril del 2009), República Dominicana (julio del 2009), Bolivia, Brasil, Ecuador y Paraguay (diciembre del 2010), Perú y Chile (enero del 2011), Argentina (febrero del 2011), Uruguay (marzo del 2011), El Salvador y Honduras (agosto del 2011), Belice (septiembre del 2011) proceden de la misma manera, sumándose así a los reconocimientos previos hechos por Cuba (1988) y Nicaragua (1988). Los últimos Estados de la región en hacer este reconocimiento fueron Guatemala en abril del 2013 (ver nota) y Haití en septiembre del 2013. Nótese que si bien México alberga una representación de la Organización de Liberación de Palestina (OLP) desde 1975, no reconoce jurídicamente a Palestina como Estado. A la fecha, Colombia y Panamá de igual forma se mantienen en la región sin reconocer a Palestina como Estado.

Un reciente desglose de las distintas reacciones de Estados de América Latina a la ofensiva militar de Israel en Gaza de julio y agosto del 2014 (ver informe del CEMOAN de la Universidad Nacional de Heredia) da una idea de la sensibilidad creciente de los Estados latinoamericanos y de sus opiniones públicas con relación a la situación en Palestina. El saldo en vida humanas de esta ofensiva israelí al 4 de septiembre realizado por la Oficina de Asuntos Humanitarios de Naciones Unidas  (ver informe) era de 71 muertes israelíes (que incluyen las de 4 civiles y 66 militares) y de 2131 muertes palestinas (de las cuales 1531 corresponden a civiles, entre los cuales 501 niños y 257 mujeres). A ello hay que añadir más de 6000 heridos en condiciones críticas debido a la destrucción de muchos hospitales y refugios para personas heridas. Ante ataques tan desproporcionados como indiscriminados contra la población civil palestina, en abierta violación a las más elementales reglas internacionales que aplican en casos de conflictos (las reglas del derecho internacional humanitario), varios Estados de América Latina recurrieron a la técnica diplomática de la llamada a consulta (Nota 4).

Las posibles repercusiones del reconocimiento de Suecia:

Las declaraciones, dadas por la Ministra de Relaciones Exteriores de Suecia, Margot Wallström, explicando las razones para proceder a este reconocimiento de Palestina como Estado, fueron acompañadas por un comunicado oficial (ver texto completo) en el que Suecia anuncia que aumentará significativamente su cooperación con Palestina, triplicando su monto: “The Government also adopted a five-year aid strategy including substantially increased support to Palestinian state-building. Bilateral aid to Palestine will increase by SEK 500 million to SEK 1.5 billion over the next five-year period, in addition to Sweden’s substantial humanitarian assistance. Sweden’s contribution aims among other things to make it easier for Palestinians to support themselves and to continue living where they are, to strengthen women’s empowerment and strengthen resilience to environmental and climate changes”.

Celebrada por las autoridades de Palestina como “valiente e histórica” (ver nota), cabe indicar que esta iniciativa sueca podría tener repercusiones en la Unión Europea.  No sería la primera vez que Suecia adopta una postura de vanguardia en el seno del continente europeo en materia de política exterior. Por ejemplo, después de los Estados europeos pertenecientes al bloque socialista, fue el primer Estado de Europa occidental en abrir relaciones diplomáticas con la República Popular de China, el 9 de mayo de 1950, seguido por Dinamarca (11 de mayo de 1950), Suiza y Liechtenstein (14 de septiembre de 1950 ambos), Finlandia (28 de octubre de 1950) y Noruega (5 de octubre de 1954). El gesto de Suecia con relación a Palestina y su amplia divulgación en la prensa internacional (y en particular en las redes sociales) ha revivido el debate iniciado dentro de varios Estados miembros de la Unión Europea. En una nota de El Pais (España), titulada “Suecia impulsa el debate europeo al reconocer a Palestina como Estado”,  leemos por ejemplo que. “Este mismo mes, el Parlamento británico y el Senado irlandés han aprobado sendas resoluciones para pedir a sus Ejecutivos que se sumen a la lista de países que ya reconocen oficialmente a Palestina como un Estado”. El voto en el Parlamento británico realizado el pasado 13 de octubre reunió  274 votos a favor y 12 en contra, mientras que la reciente votación del Parlamento español del pasado 18 de noviembre reunió 319 votos a favor, una abstención y dos votos en contra (ver nuestro modesto análisis recientemente publicado en Diritti Globali). Ambos ejercicios evidencian una señal muy clara que posiblemente tenga a las autoridades israelíes un tanto preocupadas: en particular en cuanto a la actitud a adoptar y el tono de voz a escoger. La contundencia de ambos votos puede llevar a pensar que, lejos de un acto “simbólico” (como lo titula por ejemplo el New York Times, ver nota), la decisión de estos parlamentos tenga un alcance mucho mayor. Declaraciones hechas a inicios de octubre del 2014 por parte del vocero del Quai d´Orsay en Paris indican que Francia podría en algún futuro optar por reconocer a Palestina (ver nota de Le Matin). Más allá de las ambigüedades de la expresión “il faudrait bien à un moment reconnaître” usada por el vocero de la diplomacia francesa (y que dio pié para una cobertura mediática inusual en Francia y fuera de ella), Francia se apresta a realizar un ejercicio similar en estos próximos días al español y al británico.

La diplomacia israelí por su parte está demostrando, mediante diversas declaraciones de sus responsables en los medios de prensa, su temor  en cuanto a las repercusiones que pueda tener el gesto de Suecia en los demás Estados miembros de la UE: se pudo leer que “Israel fears that the move by Sweden could lead other influential European countries to follow suit” en una nota reciente del New York Times.

Conclusión:

A modo de reflexión sobre este delicado proceso que inició Suecia en el seno de la Unión Europea, nos permitimos citar de manera textual el planteamiento hecho por el ex canciller de Costa Rica, Bruno Stagno (2006-2010) expresado en una conferencia dictada en Montevideo (texto disponible aquí) y cuya solidez posiblemente haya inspirado a muchas cancillerías en América Latina y también fuera de ella: ““En 1947, Costa Rica, al igual que otros 12 países de América Latina y el Caribe, apoyó la resolución 181 (II) de la Asamblea General sobre el Plan de Partición del Mandato Británico de Palestina. En esa ocasión formamos parte de los 33 países que reconocieron tempranamente que la coexistencia de dos Estados se imponía como la peor solución, con excepción de todas las demás. Desde entonces hemos visto pasar una tragedia tras otra, incluyendo guerras e intifadahs, asesinatos y atentados, afectando seriamente el derecho a vivir sin miedo de ambos pueblos. Paralelamente, y sin un claro calendario estacional, hemos visto germinar las promesas y esperanzas generadas por diversos procesos de paz, sin lograr aún la cosecha de los dividendos de paz. Ha sido tierra fértil para dobles raseros, para intereses ajenos, y para una triste reiteración de eventos que postergan el cumplimiento del mandato acordado en 1947”.

El próximo 29 de noviembre se celebrará en todo el mundo el  Día Internacional de Solidaridad con el Pueblo Palestino declarado como tal por la Asamblea General de las Naciones Unidas en el año 1977, precisamente en conmemoración del día en que se adoptó la resolución 181 (II) de 1947. Es muy probable que en Estocolmo ondeen más banderas palestinas, así como en el resto de Europa y del mundo en señal de solidaridad con la causa palestina.

 Nicolás Boeglin

Notas

1. Un artículo del Washington Post intentó explicar las motivaciones de esta singular “coalition” (compuesta por Canadá, Estados Unidos, Islas Marshall, Israel, Micronesia, Nauru, Panamá, Palau y República Checa) para votar en contra de esta resolución sobre el estatuto de Palestina de noviembre del 2012. Esta denominada “coalición” (para retomar el término usado por el Washington Post) pareciera haber sufrido una reducción significativa: durante esta misma semana de octubre del 2014, la resolución de la Asamblea General de Naciones Unidas pidiendo levantar el embargo económico contra Cuba se votó con 188 votos a favor, 2 en contra (Israel y Estados Unidos) y 3 abstenciones (Islas Marshall, Micronesia y Palau) (ver nota).

2. En un libro editado en el 2013, el mismo Bruno Stagno escribe: “Recordé dos casos que de una u otra manera reflejaban el intricado, pero aún velado conjunto de intereses que entraban en juego al tratarse el tema de Israel. Como Embajador, Representante Permanente ante las Naciones Unidas, lo había vivido y sufrido. Recordaba como para marcarme en las votaciones sobre la situación en Medio Oriente, el entonces embajador de Costa Rica en Washington DC, Jaime Daremblum, alineaba a algunos miembros del Congreso de Estados Unidos, para que me enviaran cartas instándome o instruyéndome a votar a favor de Israel. El congresista Tom  Lantos sería el más insistente, dirigiéndose incluso directamente al Presidente Pacheco de la Espriella.  También, recordé la indignación con que la Embajadora Emérita, Emilia Castro de Barish, comentaba cómo en el pasado se había aceptado que un funcionario de la Misión Permanente de Israel  se sentara en la segunda fila de asientos, reservados para Costa Rica, con el fin de  velar por el voto “correcto” de Costa Rica “. Véase STAGNO UGARTE B., Los caminos menos transitados. La administración Arias Sánchez y la redefinición de la política exterior de Costa Rica, 2006-2010, Heredia, Editorial UNA (EUNA), 2013, pp.70-71.

3. En otro cable confidencial publicado en La Nación (Costa Rica)  – ver texto – los diplomáticos norteamericanos llegan a similar conclusión que transmiten a sus superiores  del Departamento de Estado: “Like the 2006 embassy move from Jerusalem and the 2007 recognition of China, Arias and Stagno acted quickly, without coordinating broadly within the MFA, with little/no public notice, and without truly consulting all the interested parties in advance”.

4. Sobre el significado y el alcance de esta técnica diplomática, remitimos al lector a un breve análisis nuestro publicado por el CEMOAN de la UNA de Costa Rica.

 

Nicolás Boeglin : Profesor de Derecho Internacional Público, Facultad de Derecho, Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR)

Symantec, which published a technical whitepaper on the malware Sunday, says it’s likely “one of the main cyberespionage tools used by a nation state.” (Photo: Grant Hutchinson/flickr/cc)

Security researchers have recently exposed a sophisticated new “military grade” malware program which is specifically targeting governments, academics and telecoms and, according to new reports, is suspected as being the handiwork of U.S. and British intelligence agencies.

According to security analysts with the Russian security firm Kaspersky Lab, which has been tracking the malware known as “Regin” for two years, the technology has two main objectives: intelligence gathering and facilitating other types of attacks.

Perhaps most notable, security researchers point out, is that none of the targets are based in either the U.S. or U.K. According to the Guardian, 28 percent of victims are based in Russia and 24 percent are based in Saudi Arabia. Ireland, with 9 percent of detected infections, has the third highest number of targets.

Since initial signs of the malicious software emerged in 2008, there have only been 100 or so victims uncovered globally. These include telecom operators, government institutions, multi-national political bodies, financial institutions, research institutions, and individuals involved in advanced mathematical/cryptographical research.

Described as highly complex, the malware works by disguising itself as Microsoft software and then stealing data through such channels as “capturing screenshots, taking control of the mouse’s point-and-click functions, stealing passwords, monitoring the victim’s web activity and retrieving deleted files,” according to Guardian reporter Tom Fox-Brewster.

Mikko Hypponen, chief research officer at F-Secure, told Fox-Brewster that his firm does not believe Regin was made by Russia or China, “the usual suspects.” According to Fox-Brewster, this leaves the U.S., U.K. or Israel as the “most likely candidates,” an assumption that Symantec threat researcher Candid Wueest said was “probable.”

On Monday, Intercept reporters Morgan Marquis-Boire, Claudio Guarnieri, and Ryan Gallagher published the first of an investigative series on Regin. Specifically, they note, Regin is the suspected technology behind both a GCHQ surveillance attack on Belgium telecom operator Belacom as well as an infection of European Union computer systems carried out by the National Security Agency. Both attacks were revealed last year through documents leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

On Sunday, Symantec was the first to report on the technology, publishing a technical whitepaper which described Regin as “a complex piece of malware whose structure displays a degree of technical competence rarely seen.”

“Its capabilities and the level of resources behind Regin indicate that it is one of the main cyberespionage tools used by a nation state,” the paper continues.

Israel Comes Under Fire over Shoot-to-Kill Policy

November 25th, 2014 by Press TV

Image: File photo shows Israeli soldiers firing tear gas at Palestinians demonstrating against the Israeli military offensive on the Gaza Strip in the village of Beit Omar, north of the occupied West Bank town of al-Khalil (Hebron).

Human rights groups have censured the Tel Aviv regime for encouraging a shoot-to-kill policy, following a spate of incidents in which Israeli troopers fatally shot Palestinians suspected of attacking Israelis.

The rights groups stated that the practice of killing suspects at the scene without trying to arrest and prosecute them is a cause of concern.

Moreover, the suspects’ families face the likelihood of having their homes razed in a punitive measure, the rights groups added.

Israeli rights group, B’Tselem, said it was “extremely disturbed” by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch’s comments on shooting to death suspects at the scene, describing the remarks as “provocative” and encouraging “execution without trial.”

Another Israeli rights group, the so-called Association for Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), said in a statement that the expectation that “police officers will act as jury, judge and executioner, is improper and unacceptable.”

Amnesty International also noted that it has “strong suspicions” about a policy of “deliberate killings” by Israeli forces.

Amnesty’s researcher and campaigner, Saleh Hijazi, said the number of shootings of Palestinians by Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank has gone up.

On Sunday, a court in East al-Quds (Jerusalem) charged an Israeli policeman, identified as Ben Deri, with manslaughter in the shooting death of a Palestinian teenager during a demonstration in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinian officials said 17-year-old Nadeem Nuwarah along with another teenage protester was shot dead during clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators on the Nakba Day (the Day of Catastrophe) in the West Bank town of Beitunia on May 15.

Video footage showed a group of five or six Israeli police officers in the area, one of whom could be seen firing at the time when the two teenagers were hit.

According to Palestinian health authorities, the teenagers were killed by live ammunition, with human rights groups saying that an autopsy conducted on Nuwarah confirmed that he was fatally shot by a live bullet. The family of the second teenager refused to allow a post-mortem.

HRW statements about Ecuador’s policing are out of proportion compared to their statements about the disappeared students in Mexico.

The following two headlines are from news releases by Human Rights Watch (HRW) about two incidents that took place in September:

1)            Mexico: Delays, Cover-Up Mar Atrocities Response

2)            Ecuador: Police Rampage at Protests

The headlines suggest very similar events are described, but that’s not the case at all.

In Mexico, police fired on student protesters, killing three, and then disappeared 43 others by handing them over to a gang. Those basic facts are not disputed by anyone. In Ecuador, the allegations are vastly less serious and far more contested. There were no deaths, but police are accused of beating protesters, some of whom HRW concedes were violent.

Mexico is a close US ally, so HRW instinctively pulled its punches with the national government, which HRW accuses of actions that only “mar” – i.e. impair the quality of– its response to the atrocity.  But the government’s failure to produce the missing students (alive or dead) over a month after their “arrest” does not simply “mar” the response.  It has raised reasonable suspicions that the entire Mexican establishment is complicit in the crime. As Spanish singer-songwriter Joan Manuel Serrat put it, “They need to demonstrate that they are not accomplices of this barbarism, and of other barbaric acts the country has been enduring; this is a great opportunity for Peña Nieto to show it.”   The atrocity has sparked protests all over Mexico and a great deal of international attention.

Ecuador’s left wing government, under Rafael Correa, is a member of ALBA, an alliance of left of center governments that includes, among others, Venezuela and Cuba. HRW’s statement about the much less serious allegations against Ecuador’s police was four times longer than the statement about disappeared students in Mexico, who, according to state-directed gang members’ admissions, were killed and incinerated.  HRW officials rushed to Ecuador in September, immediately after the protests, to carry out a “fact-finding mission”. In addition to describing claims made by several alleged victims, HRW accused Correa’s government of “harassing” the private media in ways that foster impunity for police brutality. HRW’s evidence for this last allegation is very weak. For example, a private TV station was obliged to broadcast a seven-minute government rebuttal to a show about the protests that had aired the previous day.

HRW’s statement about the atrocities in Mexico, in contrast, says absolutely nothing about the government’s media policies. Even a very lengthy report (from last year) that HRW cited in their statement said nothing about the Mexican media. However, HRW’s 2014 World Report summary for Mexico does, very briefly, list some facts that show why the media is an important part of Mexico’s human rights disaster: “At least 85 journalists were killed between 2000 and August 2013, and 20 more were disappeared between 2005 and April 2013… ”. HRW said that “Journalists are often driven to self-censorship by attacks carried out both by government officials and by criminal groups, while under-regulation of state advertising can also limit media freedom by giving the government disproportionate financial influence over media outlets.”

State advertising? What about private sector elites who own the Mexican media as well as advertise in it, who are closely allied with the state, and who may have a vested interest in maintaining the blood-drenched status quo? Alice Driver wrote in Aljazeera.

“When I interviewed Juarez journalist Julian Cardona in 2013 for a film about violence in the Mexican media, he argued: ‘The media can be understood as a company that makes tacit or under the table agreements with governments to control how newspapers cover such government entities. You don’t know who is behind the violence.’”

[Mexican President] Peña Nieto’s close ties with Televisa, the largest media company in Latin America, have been widely documented and even earned him the nickname the ‘Televisa candidate’ during the elections.”

Televisa alone has about 70 percent of the broadcast TV market.  Almost all the rest of the market is held by TV Azteca. A study, done by researchers with the University of Texas, of Mexican TV coverage during the 2006 presidential election found significant bias in favor of two of the three major parties that lean farthest to the right – one of which is the PRI, the party of current President Peña Nieto. The study concluded “both Televisa and TV Azteca gave significantly more coverage to the winning candidate, Felipe Calderón [of PAN], than to his main rivals, Andrés Manuel López Obrador [formerly of PRD] and Roberto Madrazo [of PRI] . Also, the tone of the news coverage was clearly favorable for Calderón and Madrazo and markedly unfavorable for López Obrador.” In US Embassy cables published by Wikileaks, US officials privately stated in 2009 that “Analysts and PRI party leaders alike“ were telling them that (then candidate) Peña Nieto was “paying media outlets under the table for favorable news coverage.”

Alice Driver has claimed that

“To create confusion, the Pena Nieto administration has pursued the strategy of making splashy high profile narco arrests, and of blaming all criminal activity, including murders and disappearances, on the fact that everyone involved was part of the drug trafficking business. This approach makes victims responsible for the violence they suffer, and it is promoted in the media in a way that makes all victims become suspects.”

Driver’s claim appears quite plausible and well worth HRW’s time to investigate. At the very least, there are extremely good reasons to doubt that Mexico’s private media can be relied on to expose the national government’s complicity with atrocities.

HRW’s 2014 World Report summary about Ecuador offers no evidence that Ecuadorian journalists are being murdered or disappeared under Correa (who has been in office since 2007) as their Mexican counterparts have been over the same period. But HRW nevertheless goes on at much greater length in critiquing Correa’s media policies. HRW’s critique is based on the assumption that private-sector elites pose no threat to freedom of expression or political diversity in the media. Any measure by a government – and especially left of center government like Correa’s – that clips the wings of private media barons is deplored. No positive suggestion is ever made by HRW for blunting the power of private media elites no matter how grave the human rights implications. It is this double standard that provides the basis of HRW executive director Ken Roth’s outrageous assertion that Ecuador and its ALBA partners—not U.S. allies such as Colombia, Honduras or Mexico—are “the most abusive” governments in Latin America.

In the case of the United States, HRW’s inability or unwillingness to identify the private media as major contributor, arguably the most important contributor, to its abysmal human rights record is truly farcical. There are striking examples, quite readily available as I mentioned here, of how the private media promotes a stunning level of ignorance about the scale of US government crimes, but HRW’s 2014 summary for the USA breezily asserts that the “United States has a vibrant civil society and media that enjoy strong constitutional protections”.

Then again, HRW is unwilling to even close its revolving door with US government officials, so the inability to challenge the way public and private power collude to stifle public debate in the USA, and in Mexico, is very unsurprising.

Iran Nuclear Talks Extended

November 25th, 2014 by Keith Jones

Negotiators for Iran and the so-called P-6 powers—the US, the four other permanent United Nations Security Council members and Germany—announced Monday that they have agreed to extend the deadline to reach a comprehensive agreement to “normalize” Iran’s civilian nuclear program by seven months. The new deadline is July 1, 2015, with a March 1 deadline for the framework of a final agreement and an additional four months to resolve all technical details.

Yesterday’s announcement came just hours before the planned expiration of the interim agreement under which the “final status” negotiations have been proceeding.

The US and its Western allies have long accused Iran of seeking to develop nuclear weapons, charges Tehran has denied.

The nuclear charges against Iran were first made by the Bush administration in the immediate aftermath of Washington’s illegal 2003 invasion of Iraq. They have served as a pretext for the US to intensify its decades-long drive to compel Iran to forgo any challenge to US domination of the Middle East, the world’s most important oil-exporting region.

In 2012, the US and its European Union allies ratcheted up their sanctions on Iran, halving its oil exports and hobbling its overall trade by sequestering its overseas bank holdings and effectively freezing it out of the world banking system. These sanctions remain in force.

Under yesterday’s extension, as in the two previous interim agreements stretching back to last January, Iran will be allowed to repatriate about $700 million of its overseas assets per month. This is only a fraction of the almost $100 billion worth of Iranian assets—unremitted oil sale proceeds and Iranian central bank foreign currency reserves—currently frozen in the world banking system.

Under the new interim agreement, Tehran will continue to limit its enrichment of uranium to under 5 percent, delay activation of a plutonium reactor, and submit its nuclear facilities to an unprecedentedly intrusive IAEA (International Atomic Energy Agency) inspection regime.

At a press conference Monday, US Secretary of State John Kerry boasted that the US-led sanctions have forced Iran to either dismantle or freeze much of its nuclear program. “Today,” said Kerry, “Iran has no 20 percent enriched uranium. Zero. None. They have diluted and converted every ounce that they have… Today, IAEA inspectors have daily access to Iran’s enrichment activities and a far deeper understanding of Iran’s program.”

Kerry added that the extension did not mean the negotiations might not still fail. Washington and its allies will review their options, said Kerry, if the March 1 deadline to agree on the framework of a comprehensive settlement is not met. “These talks,” said the US Secretary of State, “are not going to get easier just because we extend them. They are tough, they’ve been tough, and they are going to stay tough.”

The failure to secure a final agreement is a blow to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his government. Rouhani sharply criticized his predecessor, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, accusing him of needlessly exacerbating relations with Washington. He won the June 2013 presidential election largely on the basis of his claim that he could rapidly reach an accommodation with the US and its European Union allies under which the sanctions would be removed and Iran’s sovereign right to a full-cycle civilian nuclear program respected.

With the aim of wooing the US and its EU partners, Rouhani solicited the International Monetary Fund’s advice on slashing social spending, traveled to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland to declare Iran “open for business,” offered European energy companies privileged access to the country’s vast energy reserves, and repeatedly declared that Tehran would be willing to assist the US in stabilizing the region if Washington abandoned the sanctions and its efforts to bring about regime change in Tehran.

Iran’s Supreme leader, Ayatollah Khamenei, has strongly supported Rouhani’s efforts. In the name of “national unity,” he has repeatedly instructed Rouhani’s opponents within the clerical political establishment and the Revolutionary Guards’ high command to temper their criticisms of the government, particularly over the nuclear talks.

At the same time, Khamenei has frequently expressed skepticism about the outcome of the negotiations and urged that no effort be spared in the development of a “resistance economy.”

In a nationally televised address Monday evening, Rouhani sought to present the negotiations as a diplomatic triumph, going so far as to claim that a deal on Iranian terms was imminent. “This way of negotiation will reach a final settlement,” declared Rouhani. “Most of the gaps have been removed.”

Omitting any mention of Washington’s vow to retain sanctions against Iran for years to come so as to ensure its compliance with any final nuclear deal, Rouhani told the Iranian people that the P-6 “have reached the conclusion that pressure and sanctions on Iran will not bear fruit.”

While the P-6 is comprised of the world’s great powers with the exception of Japan, it is Washington, backed by the three EU powers, that holds the whip hand. As the negotiations came down to the wire last week, the US again made clear that any agreement with Tehran will be on its terms.

According to press reports, the US is adamant that Iran drastically curtail its civilian nuclear program, including eliminating more than three-quarters of its centrifuges.

Even more importantly, from Tehran’s perspective, Washington is determined to continue to subject Iran to crippling economic sanctions, with relief doled out incrementally and over a period of years. Moreover, during a lengthy initial period, the Western powers want only piecemeal suspension of the sanctions, not their repeal, so that they can be quickly reinstituted should they determine that Tehran has failed to fulfill its commitments.

Only after a prolonged period—in off-the-record briefings, US officials have spoken in terms of fifteen or twenty years—would the special constraints on Iran’s civilian nuclear program be fully removed.

In the run-up to Monday’s deadline, US officials repeatedly said they were not interested in another extension. This, not surprisingly, proved to be a bluff.

As Kerry’s remarks cited above indicate, the Obama administration and much of the US military-security establishment believe they have extorted significant concessions from Tehran and calculate that more can be won by continuing to cripple Iran’s economy while holding the threat of military action in reserve.

This faction also believes that under conditions where Washington’s strategy in the Middle East has been thrown into crisis by the failure to date of the US regime-change proxy war in Syria and the ISIS incursion into Iraq, Washington should continue to explore the possibility of enlisting Tehran in its efforts to shore up US hegemony over the Middle East.

There is already at least a tacit understanding between Washington and Tehran in respect to Iraq, with both providing military support to the Shia-dominated government in Baghdad and the Kurdish Peshmerga in northern Iraq. Tehran has also indicated its support for the new US-reconfigured regime in Afghanistan.

In a television interview Sunday, US President Barack Obama said “significant” differences with Iran over the nuclear issue remained. At the same time, he signaled that if the Islamic Republic’s ruling elite were to align with Washington, a US-Iranian rapprochement could be readily realized.

The possibility of such a strategic realignment, in which Iran, as in the days of the Shah, becomes a key pillar of US interests in the Middle East, has unnerved both the Israeli elite and the Saudi royal family. For the past fourteen months, they have both been doing their best to derail any nuclear deal.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday welcomed the failure to reach a final agreement, repeating his oft-stated demand that Iran’s entire civilian nuclear program be dismantled as the condition for any relaxation of sanctions. In an interview with the BBC, Netanyahu made a scarcely veiled appeal for the US Congress to scuttle the negotiations by imposing still harsher sanctions on Iran. “The fact,” said Netanyahu, “that there is no deal now gives” the US and its EU partners “the opportunity” to impose additional sanctions. That is “the route that needs to be taken.”

In his BBC interview, Netanyahu also reiterated Israel’s threat to strike Iran militarily, saying, “Israel, always—always—reserves the right to defend itself.”

The Obama administration, not without difficulty, has thus far been able to prevent the Senate from adopting legislation previously adopted by the House that would dramatically increase the sanctions’ bite, including by seeking to eliminate all Iranian oil exports.

On Monday, Republican Senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Kelly Ayotte issued a statement saying the continuation of negotiations with Iran should be coupled with further sanctions. Shortly afterwards, Democratic Senator Robert Menendez, the outgoing chairman of the Senator Foreign Relations Committee, announced that he was eager to work in a “bipartisan” fashion to pass a new sanctions bill.

Are All Psychiatric Drugs Too Unsafe to Take?

November 25th, 2014 by Dr. Peter R. Breggin

Psychiatric drugs are more dangerous than you have ever imagined. If you haven’t been prescribed one yet, you are among the lucky few. If you or a loved one are taking psychiatric drugs, there is hope; but you need to understand the dangers and how to minimize the risk.

The following overview focuses on longer-term psychiatric drug hazards, although most of them can begin to develop within weeks. They are scientifically documented in my recent book Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal and my medical text Brain-Disabling Treatments in Psychiatry, Second Edition.

Newer or atypical antipsychotic drugs: Risperdal, Invega, Zyprexa, Abilify, Geodon, Seroquel, Latuda, Fanapt and Saphris

Antipsychotic drugs, including both older and newer ones, cause shrinkage (atrophy) of the brain in many human brain scan studies and in animal autopsy studies. The newer atypicals especially cause a well-documented metabolic syndrome including elevated blood sugar, diabetes, increased cholesterol, obesity and hypertension. They also produce dangerous cardiac arrhythmias and unexplained sudden death, and they significantly reduce longevity. In addition, they cause all the problems of the older drugs, such as Thorazine and Haldol, including tardive dyskinesia, a largely permanent and sometimes disabling and painful movement disorder caused by brain damage and biochemical disruptions.

Risperdal in particular but others as well cause potentially permanent breast enlargement in young boys and girls. The overall risk of harmful long-term effects from antipsychotic drugs exceeds the capacity of this review. Withdrawal from antipsychotic drugs can cause overwhelming emotional and neurological suffering, as well as psychosis in both children and adults, making complete cessation at times very difficult or impossible.

Despite their enormous risks, the newer antipsychotic drugs are now frequently used off-label to treat anything from anxiety and depression to insomnia and behavior problems in children. Two older antipsychotic drugs, Reglan and Compazine, are used for gastrointestinal problems, and despite small or short-term dosing, they too can cause problems, including tardive dyskinesia.

Antipsychotic drugs masquerading as sleep aids: Seroquel, Abilify, Zyprexa and others

Nowadays, many patients are given medications for insomnia without being told that they are in fact receiving very dangerous antipsychotic drugs. This can happen with any antipsychotic but most frequently occurs with Seroquel, Abilify and Zyprexa. The patient is unwittingly exposed to all the hazards of antipsychotic drugs.

Antipsychotic drugs masquerading as antidepressant and bipolar drugs: Seroquel, Abilify, Zyprexa and others

The FDA has approved some antipsychotic drugs as augmentation for treating depression along with antidepressants. As a result, patients are often misinformed that they are getting an “antidepressant” when they are in fact getting one of the newer antipsychotic drugs, with all of their potentially disastrous adverse effects. Patients are similarly misled by being told that they are getting a “bipolar” drug when it is an antipsychotic drug.

Antidepressants: SSRIs such as Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft, Celexa, Lexapro and Viibyrd, as well as Effexor, Pristiq, Wellbutrin, Cymbalta and Vivalan

The SSRIs are probably the most fully studied antidepressants, but the following observations apply to most or all antidepressants. These drugs produce long-term apathy and loss of quality of life. Many studies of SSRIs show severe brain abnormalities, such as shrinkage (atrophy) with brain cell death in humans and the growth of new abnormal brain cells in animal and laboratory studies. They frequently produce an apathy syndrome — a generalized loss of motivation or interest in many or all aspects of life. The SSRIs frequently cause irreversible dysfunction and loss of interest in sexuality, relationship and love. Withdrawal from all antidepressants can cause a wide variety of distressing and dangerous emotional reactions from depression to mania and from suicide to violence. After withdrawal from antidepressants, individuals often experience persistent and distressing mental and neurological impairments. Some people find antidepressant withdrawal to be so distressing that they cannot fully stop taking the drugs.

Benzodiazepine (benzos) anti-anxiety drugs and sleep aids: Xanax, Klonopin, Ativan, Valium, Librium, Tranxene and Serax; Dalmane, Doral, Halcion, ProSom and Restoril used as sleep aids

Benzos deteriorate memory and other mental capacities. Human studies demonstrate that they frequently lead to atrophy and dementia after longer-term exposure. After withdrawal, individuals exposed to these drugs also experience multiple persisting problems including memory and cognitive dysfunction, emotional instability, anxiety, insomnia, and muscular and neurological discomforts. Mostly because of severely worsened anxiety and insomnia, many cannot stop taking them and become permanently dependent. This frequently happens after only six weeks of exposure. Any benzo can be prescribed as a sleep aid, but Dalmane, Doral, Halcion, ProSom and Restoril are marketed for that purpose.

Non-benzo sleep aids: Ambien, Intermezzo, Lunesta and Sonata

These drugs pose similar problems to the benzos, including memory and other mental problems, dependence and painful withdrawal. They can cause many abnormal mental states and behaviors, including dangerous sleepwalking. Insufficient data is available concerning brain shrinkage and dementia, but these are likely outcomes considering their similarity to benzos. Recent studies show that these drugs increase death rate, taking away years of life, even when used intermittently for sleep.

Stimulants for ADHD: Adderall, Dexedrine and Vyvanse are amphetamines, and Ritalin, Focalin, and Concerta are methylphenidate

All of these drugs pose similar if not identical long-term dangers to children and adults. In humans, many brain scan studies show that they cause brain tissue shrinkage (atrophy). Animal studies show persisting biochemical changes in the brain. These drugs can lead directly to addiction or increase the risk of abusing cocaine and other stimulants later on in adulthood. They disrupt growth hormone cycles and can cause permanent loss of height in children. Recent studies confirm that children who take these drugs often become lifelong users of multiple psychiatric drugs, resulting in shortened lifespan, increased psychiatric hospitalization and criminal incarceration, increased drug addiction, increased suicide and a general decline in quality of life. Withdrawal from stimulants can cause “crashing” with worsened behavior, depression and suicide. Strattera is a newer drug used to treat ADHD. Unlike the other stimulants, it is not an addictive amphetamine, but it too can be dangerously overstimulating. Strattera is more similar to antidepressants in its longer-term risks.

Mood stabilizers: Lithium, Lamictal, Equetro and Depakote

Lithium is the oldest and hence most thoroughly studied. It causes permanent memory and mental dysfunction, including depression, and an overall decline in neurological function and quality of life. It can result in severe neurological dilapidation with dementia, a disastrous adverse drug effect called “syndrome of irreversible lithium-effectuated neurotoxicity” or SILENT. Long-term lithium exposure also causes severe skin disorders, kidney failure and hypothyroidism. Withdrawal from lithium can cause manic-like episodes and psychosis. There is evidence that Depakote can cause abnormal cell growth in the brain. Lamictal has many hazards including life-threatening diseases involving the skin and other organs. Equetro cases life-threatening skin disorders and suppresses white cell production with the risk of death from infections. Withdrawal from Depakote, Lamictal and Equetro can cause seizures and emotional distress.

Summarizing the tragic truth

It is time to face the enormous tragedy of exposing children and adults to any psychiatric drug for months and years. My new video introduces and highlights these risks and my book Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal describes them in detail and documents them with scientific research.

All classes of psychiatric drugs can cause brain damage and lasting mental dysfunction when used for months or years. Although research data is lacking for a few individual drugs in each class, until proven otherwise it is prudent and safest to assume that the risks of brain damage and permanent mental dysfunction apply to every single psychiatric drug. Furthermore, all classes of psychiatric drugs cause serious and dangerous withdrawal reactions, and again it is prudent and safest to assume that any psychiatric drug can cause withdrawal problems.

Widespread misinformation

Difficulty in stopping psychiatric drugs can lead misinformed or unscrupulous health professionals to tell patients that they need to take their drugs for the rest of their lives when they really need to taper and withdraw from them in a careful manner. As described in Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal, tapering outside of a hospital often requires psychological and social help, including therapy and emotional support and monitoring by friends or family.

Meanwhile, there is no substantial or convincing evidence that any psychiatric drug is useful longer-term. Psychiatric drug treatment for months or years lacks scientific basis. Therefore, the risk-benefit ratio is enormously lopsided toward the risk.

Science-based conclusions

Whenever possible, psychiatric drugs should be tapered and withdrawn either as an inpatient or as an outpatient with careful clinical supervision and a support network as described in Psychiatric Drug Withdrawal. Keep in mind that it is not only dangerous to take psychiatric drugs — it can be dangerous to withdraw from them. The safest solution is to avoid starting psychiatric drugs! It is time for a return to psychological, social and educational approaches to emotional suffering and impairment.

Psychiatrist Peter R. Breggin‘s scientific and educational work has provided the foundation for modern criticism of psychiatric drugs and electroconvulsive therapy. He leads the way in promoting more caring, empathic and effective therapies. His newest book is Guilt, Shame and Anxiety: Understanding and Overcoming Negative Emotions. His website is Breggin.com.

Peter R. Breggin, MD is a psychiatrist in private practice in Ithaca, New York. Dr. Breggin criticizes contemporary psychiatric reliance on diagnoses and drugs, and promotes empathic therapeutic relationships. He has been called “the Conscience of Psychiatry.” See his website at www.Breggin.com

WE WORK TO CHANGE THE SYSTEM, DEFEND OUR TERRITORIES, LIFE AND MOTHER EARTH, AND CONSTRUCT ´BUEN VIVIR´*

Translated from Original document by Lynda Sullivan, Celendín, October 25, 2014

From 23rd to 25th October social leaders, men and women, rural and urban ronderos*, environmental defense fronts, representatives of indigenous communities, peasant organizations, activists and authorities from across the country gathered together in Celendin to analyze the impacts of extractive capitalism and climate change in our territories and to strengthen our resistance and proposals in the face of these threats.

We consider that climate change is the most visible demonstration of the violence and damage generated by the extractive, patriarchal, capitalist model that has assaulted Mother Earth, violating in a systematic way our individual and collective rights, generating social inequalities and enormous discriminations, jeopardizing the future of humanity and aggravating the risks to our health. Therefore, the only viable answer to climate change is to change the core of this system.

In Peru, betraying its promises, the government of Ollanta Humala is deepening its policies of robbing our territories, promoting exploitation of our common goods and natural resources without limits, and deepening the criminalization of the protest and repression. The latest reforms proposed in Minister Castilla’s anti-environmental mega-package dismantle the little environmental regulation and territorial protection that had managed to advance in the country.

In the face of this, we set forth:

The urgent need to strengthen and encourage ´buen vivir´ for our communities in Peru, by means of strengthening sustainable production, local economies, and associations as alternatives to extractivism, in addition to the care of common goods, in order to face up to climate change and to forge a truly fair and democratic society. For this it is necessary to continue defending Mother Earth, our territories and our right to health so that we, the communities, be the ones that decide our destiny, and so that we can recover the harmony between the economy, society and nature. For this, we stand firm in our definite rejection of the extractive and hydroelectric projects that expand in a chaotic and violent manner in our territories.

It is essential to reform our political system and laws which currently back this economic model. One of the hardest and most difficult manifestations of this model is the criminalization of the protest and the repression by the state-owned forces put at the service of the companies, which has cost the lives of dozens of people and has permitted the judicial harassment of hundreds of social leaders and the imprisoning of many of them, as has occurred with our Awajun and Wampis brothers who defended the Amazon and the communities who defend our water. It is time to recover our democracy, so that our rights as communities and citizens are respected.

Even though we recognize the advances of our struggles, in terms of proposals, collective decisions and, in territories like Cajamarca, forging legitimate political representation, we also recognize that there is still much to do to strengthen our organizations at a local, regional and national level. For this we believe it is important to advance in strategies of articulation between our struggles, so that our local resistances and the self-determination of our territories, may join forces to transform the country.

OUR AGREEMENTS

For this we agree:

  • We ratify the agreements of the first international encounter of the Guardians of the Lagoons, which took place in El Tambo, Bambamarca-Hualgayoc, on the days of 4th, 5th and 6th August 2014 and we commit ourselves to the fulfillment of its agreements;
  • We ratify our commitment to the defense of life, of our territories and of Mother Earth, with the construction of ´buen vivir´ for our communities, and a fair and sustainable developmental model of our own. Consequently, we ratify our decision not to permit the carrying out of extractive projects (mining, hydrocarbons, megadams and others) that threaten our security in the areas of health, environment and food sovereignty;
  • We reaffirm our identity and rights as indigenous peoples, as peasant communities, as rural and urban ronderos, as Quechuan, Aymaras and Amazonian communities, with the right to autonomy and our own jurisdiction, and with the right to determine our way of life through the consuetudinary right and buen vivir (tajimat tarimat pujut; Sumaq kausay; Sumaq qamaña).
  • We show solidarity and support for the struggle of Cajamarca against the mining activity, likewise, with the 52 defendants for Baguazo* and with Gregorio Santos Guerrero who is unjustly detained.
  • We call for the organization of and participation in the Great National March of the Communities for Environmental and Climate Justice and the Protection and Liberation of the Defenders of Mother Earth where we will march to Lima in order to take part in the People’s Summit and demand the change of the system for climate, ecological and social justice. We will depart on 7th December from the lagoons of Conga to arrive in Lima on 10th December, convoking all communities on the way;
  • We call on all the regions of the country to take part in this great united and vindicating march, departing from their regions to gather together in Lima. We also invite the citizens of the world so that they actively take part in the Great National March of Communities;
  • We convoke the construction of a network or coordinator of the social struggles to confront extractivism in the country which will allow the convergence of Andean, Amazonian and coastal communities and movements. For this we have formed an organizing committee, that will encourage the process of construction of this horizontal, plural and democratic space;
  • We convoke the new local, provincial and regional authorities aligned to the country´s social movements, to govern from and with the communities, this implies the construction of mechanisms of participation, consultation, accountability and definition of strategies shared between the authorities and social organizations for good government and the construction of control mechanisms to avoid corruption;
  • We commit ourselves to the fostering and strengthening of producer associations, on the basis of a fair economy and one of solidarity – the alternative to extractive activities, it should be formalized and in line with the Land-Use Planning Order*, for the productive diversification and the promotion of family and communal agriculture, agroforestry and other productive activities, with ecological handling and in harmony with Mother Earth;
  • We recognize the fundamental participation of women in social organizations and in the construction of the ways of life that we want, and also in response to the huge consequences that extractivist, racist, patriarchal and sexist capitalism has brought to our lives. For this, we consider fundamental the promotion of the participation and leadership of women – in conditions of parity in all political spaces, as we recognize their contribution to the economy, politics, and culture and their role in the care of life and food sovereignty.
  • Finally we propose to recognize and protect the rights of women to live without violence caused by social-environmental conflicts and the expansion of the extractivist developmental model, which leads to sexual harassment, sexual violence, labor exploitation, contamination, criminalization of the protest, femicide, among others.
  • We vindicate and commemorate our wounded and our martyrs that fought for the defense of life, water and land.
  • We show solidarity with the struggles of the communities of the world in defense of Mother Earth, land, water and life;

OUR DEMANDS of the STATE:
 
We demand…

  • That the national and international authorities recognize that climate change is a symptom of the crisis which has been imposed by those with power on society and the world economy, provoking the destruction of nature and the commercialization of life. Therefore the only viable answer to change it is to put an end to this extractivist, predatory and ethnocidic capitalism in order to restore equilibrium with Mother Earth and to generate a fair and sustainable way of life;
  • The immediate annulment of the laws of the anti-environmental, tributary and territorial package, (Law No. 30230) and the laws of criminalization of the protest and impunity that act against nature, human rights and democracy;
  • The modification of the Law of Previous Consultation in concordance with the Agreement 169 of the International Labour Organization, subscribed to by the Peruvian state, so that it truly enables the self-determination of communities; as well as the modification of the National System of Public Investment so that it allows the promotion of family and communal agriculture and other sustainable productive activities.
  • The approval of the proposals of law for the protection of the heads of water basins and fragile ecosystems, for the prohibition of the use of cyanide and mercury, and the human right to water, put forward in the National March for Water in 2012, as well as the proposal of law of the Platform of Land-Use Planning*, and the proposal of law framed to confront climate change by the Cumbre de los Pueblos (People’s Summit);
  • A cessation of violence, criminalization and every kind of persecution or stigmatization of our brothers and sisters who fight for our social and environmental, individual and collective rights in our territories. That the hundreds affected by the repression at the hands of the forces of order of the state, put at the service of big business, see justice served and are compensated;
  • Immediate freedom for the defenders of Mother Earth, life and of the rights of communities, unjustly on trial or imprisoned across the whole country.
  • Respect for the will of communities, clearly expressed in public demonstrations, assemblies, elections and local or communal democratic consultations against the presence of extractive projects in our territories;
  • Fulfillment of the agreements and commitments assumed by the government in the processes of tables of dialogue implemented in different parts of the country, such as in Espinar, Moquegua, Arequipa and others.
  • Revision of the gas duct project by Sur Peruano, giving priority to national concerns and assuring that the primary beneficiaries are the communities who own the gas and not the transnational corporations;
  • Cessation of the expansion of extractive activities in the country and, moreover, that those companies which have operated or that operate at present and have caused environmental and social damages, are obliged to make economic, social and environmental reparations to the affected towns and communities.
  • We demand of the District Attorney and of Congress the creation of a commission of investigation and sanction for tax evasion, specifically the tax evasion of the Yanacocha mining company.
  • That local, regional and national governments guide the municipal and regional public investment to encourage associations and the improvement of diversified production for a fair economy based on solidarity, generating productive links that allow the strengthening of the development of the internal market, assuring food sovereignty. They should also encourage policies of defense and protection of water resources and cultural heritage, support to sustainable family and communal agriculture and cattle raising, local and ecotourism, renewable energies, conservation, recuperation and sustainable use of biodiversity, respecting the multiculturalism of the country;
  • The carrying out of hydraulic inventories, processes of participatory land-use planning, policies of environmental management and protection, and a genuine policy of consultation and referendums so that communities can make decisions about our territories and defend our right to ´buen vivir´;

We propose the strengthening of processes of decentralization to tackle the concentration of power and the political and economic decisions made by the ´elite´. We will work for the re-foundation of the politics of the country and for the surging of a new institutionalism of the state, decolonizing and breaking down the manifestations of patriarchy in all social, political and cultural connections, seeking harmony with Mother Earth and between communities.

PERU, I LOVE YOU, THAT’S WHY I DEFEND YOU!

ORGANIZACIONES E INSTITUCIONES
- ACOMSAC
- Central de Apicultores del Nororiente del Marañón, Jaén y San Ignacio
- Asociación Manantiales
- Asociación de Mujeres en Defensa de la Vida, Cajamarca
- Asociación de Mujeres Protectoras Páramos, Piura
- Abogada de Municipalidad Provincial San Pablo
- Apu Media, Cajamarca
- ASPEM, Italia
- Caminata por las Huacas
- Catapa, Belgica
- Central Femenina de Rondas Campesinas, Bambamarca
- CGTP
- Chyala
- Colectivo Tomate, Lima
- Comunidad Campesina Calispuquio, Cajamarca
- Comunidad Campesina Tapayrihua, Apurimac
- Comundad campesina Suyto orco, San Miguel
- Coordinadora Nacional por los Derechos Humanos, Nacional
- COREJU, Cajamarca
- CPPAW, Amazonas
- Derechos Humanos Sin Fronteras, Cuzco
- FEMUCARINAP
- Francia America Latina, Francia
- Frente de Defensa Ambiental de Cajamarca, Cajamarca
- Frente de Defensa Cuenca del Rio Jadibamba, Celendín
- Frente de Defensa El Tambo, Hualgayoc-Bambamarca
- Frente de Defensa Río Marañón, Chumuch – Celendín
- Global Campaign, Demand Climate Justice, Irlanda
- GRUFIDES, Cajamarca
- Hazlo Pirata, Lima
- IIDS / IILS, Lima
- Ingeniería Sin Fronteras, Cajamarca
- Justicia Global, Brasil
- LATINDADD
- Mal de Ojo, Lima
- Manthoc, Cajamarca
- Marcha Mundial de Mujeres
- Mesa de Concertacion para la Lucha Contra la Pobreza
- Mesa Dialogo Ambiental, Junín
- MOCICC, Lima
- Oficina Asuntos Indígenas, Jaén
- ORFAC, San Ignacio
- Organización Miraflores y San Juan de la Quinua, Celendín
- PDTG, Lima
- Plataforma Interinstitucional Celendina, Celendín
- Propuesta Ciudadana, Lima
- Red de Salud, Celendín
- Red Muqui Centro, Norte y Sur
- RENAMA, Cajamarca
- REPRODEMUC, Cajamarca
- Ronda Campesina Distrital Huarango
- Ronda Campesina San Ignacio
- Ronda Campesina Distrital San José de Lourdes
- Ronda Campesina Distrital Sorochuco
- Ronda Campesina Distrital Yagen
- Servicios Educativos Rurales (SER), Cajamarca
- SCNCC, EE.UU
- Universidad Nacional de Cajamarca
- Urgencia Ambiental, Celendín
- Asociación Vida Sana, Bambamarca
- Vicaría del Medio Ambiente (VIMA), Jaén

Notes:

*Buen Viver: roughly translated as ´Living Well´
*ronderos: autonomous social justice organization – Rondas Campesinos (Peasant Rounds) and now includes Rondas Urbanos (Urban Rounds)
*Baguazo: referring to the events which occurred in Bagua in 2009
*Land-Use Planning Order: Ordenamiento Territorial
*Platform of Land-Use Planning: Plataforma de Ordenamiento Territorial

Why Is Russia Banning GMOs While the US Keeps Approving Them?

November 25th, 2014 by Christina Sarich

There have been marches, vocal demonstrations, petitions, and laws banning GMOs, but the US is still lagging in the ‘democratic’ freedoms it has promised its people. Russia, on the other hand, has completely banned GMOs, placing a moratorium on their imports for 10 years. The nation rejects GMOs due to numerous dangers, while the US continues to allow Monsanto, Dow, Bayer, Syngenta, and their bullying kind to contrive a cold war on the American people.

The VP of Russia’s National Association for Genetic Safety, Irina Ermakova, has said:

“It is necessary to ban GMOs, to impose moratorium (on) it for 10 years. While GMOs will be prohibited, we can plan experiments, tests, or maybe even new methods of research could be developed. It has been proven that not only in Russia, but also in many other countries in the world, GMOs are dangerous. Methods of obtaining the GMOs are not perfect, therefore, at this stage,all GMOs are dangerous. Consumption and use of GMOs obtained in such way can lead to tumors, cancers and obesity among animals. Bio-technologies certainly should be developed, but GMOs should be stopped. We should stop it from spreading. ”

Conversely, the ‘amber waves of grain’ are toxic. They are loaded with more GMO chemicals than ever before, and our government supports this act of tyranny.

The US State Department and executive branch have been acting as marketing agents for the companies who are patenting the most basic seeds necessary for human survival. Hilary Clinton has been caught doing a one-woman campaign to support GMOs like some sort of despotic middle-aged whirligig.

Our elected officials plan to implement DARK (Deny Americans the Right to Know) Act, a bill introduced in Congress earlier this year, which if passed, will preempt state GMO labeling laws. What’s more, president Obama signed the Monsanto Protection Act in 2013 after promising GMO labeling.

The seed industry has a global agenda, and it works its dark plan through the US.

Food and Water Watch recently found out just how deep and reaching the State Department’s agenda to promote biotech goes.

Russian Television (RT) corroborates it:

“After US diplomatic cables released by WikiLeaks showed that the State Department was lobbying worldwide for Monsanto and other similar corporations, a new report based on the cables shows Washington’s shilling for the biotech industry in distinct detail. The August 2011WikiLeaks revelations showed that American diplomats had requested funding to send lobbyists for the biotech industry to hold talks with politicians and agricultural officials in “target countries” in areas like Africa and Latin America, where genetically-modified crops were not yet a mainstay, as well as some European countries that have resisted the controversial agricultural practice.”

Even our universities are in the back pocket of these biotech corporations.

“The annual $500 million budget of Stanford University’s Department of Biological Engineering alone supports dozens of research projects for myriad commercial applications.”

Meanwhile, Vladimir Putin says, “Russia must protect its citizens from GMOs.

Fareed Zakaria once said that, “the Berlin Wall wasn’t the only barrier to fall after the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War. Traditional barriers to the flow of money, trade, people and ideas also fell.”

It seems ironic that in the ‘land of the free’ we cannot democratically oust GMOs, and that our own leaders are now putting up their own walls that would deny us the right to know what is in our food.

Ukrainians are increasingly waging war over whom their enemy was in World War II: Adolf Hitler, or Joseph Stalin.

On November 21st, the communist Soviet Union’s Georgian leader, Joseph Stalin, was twice cited by Ukrainian officials on two separate occasions as representing the Russia that today’s Ukraine fears, and must wage war (with help from the West) to defeat.

At the United Nations in NYC, Ukraine voted no on a resolution against resurgent nazism. As the UN’s press release about the vote recounted, “the representative of Ukraine said Stalinism had killed many people in the Gulag, condemning Hitler and Stalin alike as international criminals. Calling on the Russian Federation to stop glorifying and feeding Stalinism, he said he could not support the draft text.”

Samantha Power, the U.S. Representative at the U.N., gave as her reason for voting against the resolution, its unacceptability to the Government of Ukraine.

“Her delegation was concerned about the overt political motives that had driven the main sponsor of the current resolution. That Government had employed those phrases in the current crisis in Ukraine. That was offensive and disrespectful to those who had suffered at the hands of Nazi regimes. Therefore, the United States would vote against the resolution.”

The only other government to vote no on the resolution was Canada, whose conservative Premier, Stephen Harper, is an unwavering supporter of both the U.S. and this new Ukrainian Government. The final vote-tally was 115 in favor, 3 against, and 55 abstentions. All of Europe abstained, as did Japan. Australia and New Zealand also abstained.

On the same day, but in Ukraine’s capital, Kiev, the country’s President, Petro Poroshenko, laid a wreath at the grave of one of Stalin’s Ukrainian victims, and he said, “The spiritual descendants of Stalin haven’t dissolved into the sea of history. They are celebrating their bloody ball in the temporarily occupied territories.” Poroshenko was referring there to the areas of Ukraine, now contested as Donbass, Novorossiya, or other names, where the residents are ethnic Russians and which have declared independence from the new Ukrainian Government, the Government that was imposed upon them at a coup in Kiev back in February.

Just as the pro-Russian rebels’ talking-points ever since that coup have been against Hitler and nazism as being allegedly resurgent from the new Government, the Ukrainian Government’s talking-points are now increasingly against an alleged resurgent Stalinism from Russia. Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, is thus being increasingly portrayed by Ukraine as a new Stalin.

The United States and Canada seem to agree with Ukraine, not with Ukraine’s pro-Russian separatists.

In World War II, both the U.S. and Canada were allied with Stalin against Hitler. So, too, were all of this U.N. vote’s abstainers, except Japan, which was allied with Hitler.

MOSCOW – The grand jury decision not to press charges against white police officer Darren Wilson, who, in August fatally shot an African-American teen in the US city of Ferguson, has triggered a new wave of protests.

The killing of 18-year-old Michael Brown, who has unarmed at the time, sparked massive protests against police brutality in Ferguson and around the country. Much like in August, this new wave of protests have turned violent, with police resorting to the use of tear gas to disperse angry crowds, sparking further outrage and fueling the debate on excessive use of force by US police officers.

“What we saw tonight was much worse than what we saw any night in August. Bricks were thrown at police officers, two St. Louis County police cars were set on fire and police seized an automatic weapon,” the St. Louis County Police said Tuesday on its official Facebook page.

Ferguson Expected Protests

On November 17, Missouri Governor Jay Nixon declared a 30-day state of emergency ahead of possible unrest should the grand jury decide against indicting Wilson.

County police reportedly spent some $100,000 to stock up on riot gear, pepper spray, smoke grenades and rubber bullets ahead of possible new protests. According to local gun shop owners interviewed by CNN, gun sales surged ahead of the grand jury verdict.

Confirming authorities’ predictions, protesters have been attacking police with rocks, bottles and Molotov cocktails. Several businesses and police cars were set alight, while firefighters reportedly struggled to reach multiple fires taking place simultaneously in the city.According to St. Louis County Police Chief Jon Belmar, about 29 demonstrators were detained during the first night of protests. At least 13 people sustained injuries in the riots, including two with gunshot wounds. These received treatment at local hospitals, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch newspaper reported.

A producer working for the RT-owned video news agency Ruptly, Lorena de la Cuesta, was injured during protests in the US city of Ferguson.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued a flight ban over Ferguson amid reports of guns fired into the sky, while the St. Louis suburb of Nixon requested more national guardsmen.

Journalists, Activists Under Attack

According to the executive director of Amnesty International USA, the organization’s observers in three separate locations in Ferguson had been affected by tear gas as police officers raided seemingly safe spaces, such as cafes.

Meanwhile, three journalists were reportedly attacked by a group of protesters in the St. Louis suburb. “Three of us journalists attacked by gang. Poor reporter we were with punched and had wallet stolen,” the Guardian’s Washington correspondent Paul Lewis said on his Twitter.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has issued a flight ban over Ferguson amid reports of guns fired into the sky, while the St. Louis suburb of Nixon requested more national guardsmen.

Countrywide Protests

As a result of the grand jury verdict, demonstrations stretched beyond Ferguson, as thousands of people in 90 cities including New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington D.C. took to the streets to protest police brutality, chanting “hands up, don’t shoot” to show solidarity with Brown, who, according to some witnesses, was killed in a surrender posture.

US President Barack Obama urged protesters to remain peaceful, stating that as “a nation built on the rule of law,” US citizens must “accept that this decision was the grand jury’s to make.” The family of the late teen also urged demonstrators to stay calm, saying in a statement that “answering violence with violence is not the appropriate reaction.”

No Indictment for Ferguson Cop who Killed Michael Brown

November 25th, 2014 by Andre Damon

St. Louis County prosecuting attorney Robert P. McCulloch’s statement Monday night that no charges will be filed against Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown is a travesty of justice.

The entire process through which the grand jury arrived at its decision is a legal fraud. The outcome is not the result of fair judicial proceedings, but political calculations. The grand jury returned the outcome the state was seeking: no charges for the police murder of an unarmed African American youth.

Despite the fact that the decision was not announced until after 9:00pm eastern time, there were protests Monday night throughout the United States, including in New York, Los Angeles, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta and Philadelphia.

In Ferguson and surrounding cities, police responded by deploying SWAT teams in riot gear, firing tear gas and rubber bullets. Convoys of armored police vehicles rolled through the streets. The roofs of some of the vehicles were lined with sand bags, with marksmen pointing assault rifles at unarmed demonstrators. At least 29 people have been arrested.

The mayor of Ferguson called for the deployment of the National Guard—previously activated by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, who declared a pre-emptive state of emergency last week.

President Barack Obama spoke immediately after McCulloch’s statement, mouthing a few perfunctory and semi-coherent comments, the main aim of which was to solidarize himself with the grand jury ruling.

CNN broadcast a split screen, showing on one side the police crackdown in Ferguson and on the other Obama declaring, “We are a nation built on the rule of law,” insisting that everyone had to accept the grand jury decision.

As police fired volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets, Obama decried “mistrust” of the police, declaring that “nobody needs good policing more than poor communities.” Obama spent a substantial portion of his brief remarks, delivered in his typical disinterested tone, castigating potential looters.

“There is never an excuse for violence,” Obama said. That is, in the name of respect for the law, Obama—who is responsible for untold violence all over the world and the destruction of democratic rights at home—gave his stamp of approval to a decision that essentially grants police a license to kill.

In his own remarks, McCulloch went out of his way to emphasize the degree to which the entire proceeding was coordinated with the Obama White House and the Justice Department.

In an extended speech, which included denunciations of the media and public opinion for “speculation” on the facts, McCulloch sough to obscure the basic fact of the case: an unarmed man was shot six times, including twice in the head, at a substantial distance from Wilson’s police car.

McCulloch said that “physical evidence” had contradicted the accounts of numerous witnesses, but did not specify what that physical evidence consisted of, aside from what he called a short-range gunshot wound to Brown’s hand. He likewise said that witnesses had indicated that Brown “charged” at Wilson, but that these witnesses had never previously come forward.

“Decisions on charging an individual with a crime cannot be based on anything besides a thorough investigation of the facts,” Wilson said. This exercise in self-serving apologetics by the prosecuting attorney served only to underscore the illegitimacy of the entire proceeding.

From the beginning, the three-month grand jury process was utilized as a way of bypassing a public trial for Brown’s killer. Under conditions of an actual trial, the facts of the case and the testimony of witnesses would be subject to adversarial proceedings. Instead, the prosecutor, who is known for his connections to police, substituted secret hearings behind closed doors, with evidence manipulated to produce the desired result.

In the end, the political establishment decided that no charges could be filed against Wilson—not even the lesser charge of manslaughter. The prosecutors did not get an indictment because they did not want an indictment.

The decision not to charge Wilson took place against the backdrop of a growing wave of police violence all over the United States, including last week’s killing of a 12-year-old boy playing with a toy gun in Cleveland, Ohio and an unarmed man in New York City.

The decision marked a stand taken by the political establishment that it would uphold the right of police to kill whomever they chose. Like all reactionary classes facing a crisis, the American ruling class decided that any concession to the demands of the population that Wilson be prosecuted would be politically dangerous and serve only to encourage opposition.

The ruling and subsequent police crackdown express the breakdown of democratic forms of rule in the United States, under the pressure of the growth of social inequality and the drive to war. The war on terror has come home.

From the dawn of history, elites have always attempted to enslave humanity.  Yes, there have certainly been times when those in power have slaughtered vast numbers of people, but normally those in power find it much more beneficial to profit from the labor of those that they are able to subjugate.  If you are forced to build a pyramid, or pay a third of your crops in tribute, or hand over nearly half of your paycheck in taxes, that enriches those in power at your expense.  You become a “human resource” that is being exploited to serve the interests of others.

Today, some forms of slavery have been outlawed, but one of the most insidious forms is more pervasive than ever.  It is called debt, and virtually every major decision of our lives involves more of it.  For example, at the very beginning of our adult lives we are pushed to go to college, and Americans have piled up more than 1.2 trillion dollars of student loan debt at this point.  When we buy homes, most Americans get mortgages that they can barely afford, and when we buy vehicles most Americans now stretch their loans out over five or six years.  When we get married, that often means even more debt.  And of course no society on Earth has ever piled up more credit card debt than we have.  Almost all of us are in bondage to debt at this point, and as we slowly pay off that debt over the years we will greatly enrich the elitists that tricked us into going into so much debt in the first place.  At the apex of this debt enslavement system is the Federal Reserve.  As you will see below, it is an institution that is designed to produce as much debt as possible.

There are many people out there that believe that the Federal Reserve is an “agency” of the federal government.  But that is not true at all.  The Federal Reserve is an unelected, unaccountable central banking cartel, and it has argued in federal court that it is “not an agency” of the federal government and therefore not subject to the Freedom of Information Act.  The 12 regional Federal Reserve banks are organized “much like private corporations“, and they actually issue shares of stock to the “member banks” that own them.  100 percent of the shareholders of the Federal Reserve are private banks.  The U.S. government owns zero shares.

Many people also assume that the federal government “issues money”, but that is not true at all either.  Under our current system, what the federal government actually does is borrow money that the Federal Reserve creates out of thin air.  The big banks, the ultra-wealthy and other countries purchase the debt that is created, and we end up as debt servants to them.  For a detailed explanation of how this works, please see my previous article entitled “Where Does Money Come From? The Giant Federal Reserve Scam That Most Americans Do Not Understand“.  When it is all said and done, the elite end up holding the debt instruments and we end up being collectively responsible for the endlessly growing mountain of debt.  Our politicians always promise to get the debt under control, but there is never enough money to both fund the government and pay the interest on the constantly expanding debt.  So it always becomes necessary to borrow even more money.  When it was created back in 1913, the Federal Reserve system was designed to create a perpetual government debt spiral from which it would never be possible to escape, and that is precisely what has happened.

Just look at the chart that I have posted below.  Forty years ago, the U.S. national debt was less than half a trillion dollars.  Today, it has exploded up to nearly 18 trillion dollars…

 

But the national debt is only part of the story.  The big banks which control the Federal Reserve also seek to individually dominate our lives with debt.  We have become a “buy now, pay later” society and the results have been absolutely catastrophic.  40 years ago, the total amount of debt in our system was just a shade over 2 trillion dollars.  Today it is over 57 trillion dollars

 

The big banks do not loan you money because they want to help you achieve “the American Dream”.  The elitists loan you money because it will make them wealthier.  For example, if you only make the minimum payment on a credit card each month, you will end up paying back several times as much money as you originally borrowed.  It is a very insidious form of debt enslavement that most Americans simply do not understand.

Meanwhile, the Federal Reserve is also systematically destroying the wealth that you already have.  If you try to buck the system and actually save money, the purchasing power of that money is continually being eroded by the Federal Reserve’s inflationary policies.  The following chart comes directly from the Federal Reserve and it shows how the value of the U.S. dollar has plummeted over the past 40 years…

Overall, the U.S. dollar has lost approximately 98 percent of its value since the Fed was first established in 1913.

Most people seem to assume that if we could just send the “right politicians” to Washington D.C. that we could get our economy back on the right track.

What those people do not understand is that our system is fundamentally broken.  We are trapped in a perpetual debt spiral that is destined to end in a horrifying collapse.  Just “tweaking” a few things here or there and adjusting tax rates a bit is not going to fix anything.  The vast majority of the “economic solutions” that our politicians talk about are basically equivalent to rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

And of course the elite don’t want the rest of us to truly understand what is going on.  Just think about it.  Even though the Federal Reserve is one of the most important institutions in our society, and even though it is at the very heart of our economic system, our kids are taught next to nothing about the Fed in school.  The vast majority of them have absolutely no idea where money comes from.

Isn’t that pathetic?

But the elite know that if we did understand what they were doing to us that most of us would start to get very upset.  Henry Ford, the founder of Ford Motor Company, once said the following…

“It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and money system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.”

Please share this article with as many people as you can.  The truth sets people free, so let us do what we can to wake our fellow Americans up to this insidious debt enslavement system which dominates our society.

It is with a deep sense of gratitude that I have had all of you as friends and associates during what has been a long war, not a good war, but a very long “financial war”.  As you know from these writings; this has been a war conducted by the Federal Reserve against the entire world, aided and abetted by major international banks via the manipulation of most every market on the planet.  The ethics and morals our country was originally built on …be damned!

The events mentioned herein relative to the suppression of gold and silver using dollar hegemony as the tool indicate a major international monetary crisis is dead ahead, this is obvious.  Power in the hands of the few have made massive gains for those at the top of the economic ladder while the average man has become a debt slave to the few.  There are of course the laws of Mother Nature and “unintended consequences”.  Those at the top who intend to “rule the world” are being challenged from the East in what I believe to be almost a winner take all “war”.  It did not have to be this way but the “West” has forced this.

I have never written “this is my most important writing ever!” but that day has now come.  So many events have all aligned at once which point to something very bad happening, very soon.  In fact, “very soon” could be as soon as the Monday following this Thanksgiving.  We saw many different events unfold over this past week which I believe are all connected in one way or another, I will try to connect them for you.  That said, please understand that we are and have been in a financial war for many years now.  This “war” is one between the East and West where the West’s paper financial system which has been in control for so many years is seeing its power wane.  It is this “wane” of the West versus the rise of the East that I believe is now, finally, coming to head.

If you recall, we had two Fridays in a row where gold and silver prices were smashed early in the overnight hours and into the morning, only to turn around violently and close very strongly for the day and the week.  This action is called an “outside reversal day” which over the years has been an extremely rare event in the precious metals.  It has been rare in precious metals because it was not “allowed”.  When I say “allowed”, please remember that COMEX is a paper exchange where possessing metal is not necessary to sell gold or silver.  All you have to have is “money” to post as margin and you are allowed to sell as many contracts as you have margin for.  There are “limits” to how many contracts one can buy or hold, these limits do not seem to have been enforced on the sell side …JP Morgan’s short position in silver as an example.

 So we had two outside reversal Fridays in a row, this was followed by the action this past Wednesday.  80 tons of gold was sold over a 15 minute timespan which knocked gold down $20 in the blink of an eye.  Please see the chart below courtesy of Dave Kranzler of IRD.

December Comex Gold

80 tons!  Let me put this in perspective.  80 tons is equal to two weeks worth of global gold production …sold in just 15 minutes!  This is nearly 2.8 million ounces. The interesting thing is, COMEX only claims to have 865,000 ounces of gold available for delivery so more than 3 times the amount of ounces were sold in 15 minutes than is even claimed as available for delivery! What followed however was the real stunner, very shortly afterward gold dug in its heels and started to recover …recover to unchanged in price!  Do you see the importance here?  Though this was not another outside reversal day, it may have been even more important.  The “paper” market absorbed two weeks worth of production in just 15 minutes without breaking!  I’ll get back to this shortly and tie it in to the rest.

If you recall, I wrote a piece back in August entitled “Kill Switch” http://silverseek.com/article/kill-switch-13503 where I put forth a hypothesis that the high and rising open interest in silver was actually the Chinese via proxies cornering the silver market.  The huge open interest in the nearby contract rolled out to the December contract.  At that point, the open interest in gold was at multi year lows as one would expect with prices down.  This has changed, just over the last 4-6 weeks, the open interest has steadily built in gold …while continuous pressure still on the price.  Before going any further, I have never seen the open interest rise to multiyear highs while the price was pushed to multi year lows in ANY commodity.  This is truly an anomaly and one that looks like it could be resolved very shortly.

This coming Friday is the 1st notice day for both Dec. COMEX gold and silver contracts.  COMEX in my opinion has a potentially huge problem where a default in both contracts is a distinct possibility!  As of this past Friday, 61,763 contracts still open, this represents 308 million ounces of silver.  The COMEX claims a registered (deliverable) inventory of just under 65 million ounces.  With only four days left there are roughly 5 silver ounces contracted for every one ounce available!

The situation in gold has quietly become much worse than silver, there were 162,509 Dec. gold contracts open which represent over 16 million ounces of gold.  The “registered” (deliverable) category at the COMEX inventory shows only 868,910 available to deliver!  Do you see the problem here?  There are only 4 days left until this contract goes into the delivery process, yet there are 20 ounces contracted for each ounce available!  I have one other amusing thought for you, remember the 80 tons sold in 15 minutes last Wednesday?  This was almost 2.8 million ounces compared to a deliverable inventory of just 869,000 ounces, in my opinion,  ”FRAUDULENT” in capital letters!

Yes I understand, there are still four days left for the open interest to bleed down and roll out to the next contract month but we now stand in totally uncharted territory.  Never in the past has this much open interest been still outstanding with deliverable inventory as low as it is.  It is also astounding that total open interest could have risen to these levels while the price dropped.  For open interest to increase and the price to drop, the “initiation” to the opening of contracts has obviously been done by sellers.  This is exactly what I have been saying all along, the dropping price has been dictated by paper sales of COMEX contracts …but now there is a problem.  So much paper has been sold to dictate the price that the contracts outstanding simply dwarf the available metal to deliver.  Put another way, COMEX gold and silver look like they have been cornered!  Let me rephrase this, COMEX gold and silver are now “very cornerable”.  We will know shortly if this is true and “who” did the cornering.  I suspect we will find out that this has been a Chinese/Russian hand holding consortium and one that was carefully planned and done within legal bounds.  I think we will find out they in fact did play by the West’s rules and it was the “sellers” of nonexistent metal who fell into their own price fixing trap.  It has been a financial war, one that was declared by the West and looks to have been possibly won by the East.

Another huge event this past week was the surprise announcement by Holland of their repatriation of 122.5 tons of gold from the FRBNY.

I have many questions about this transaction and very few answers.  We may or may not ever get some of the answers but here is what I’d like to know.  Was the gold which was delivered the “original” gold that was deposited?  Same serial numbers and hallmarks?  If not, where did it come from, who refined and processed it?  And when?  One must also wonder why the Germans did not get their promised gold?  Did Holland work out a deal prior to the German request?  Or is this a case of the Dutch “smelling smoke” and quietly exiting the theatre before anyone else?  Other questions might include whether or not any of this gold was of Ukrainian origin and now what might happen in the derivatives markets?   Remember, derivatives outstanding are probably in the range of 100-1 versus the real metal, taking 122 tons of “collateral” away could affect 12,200 “tons” of paper derivatives.  With the leverage factor, this is equal to better than 4 years worth of global production and could affect close to $1/2 trillion worth of paper contracts!  While on this subject, prior to the Dutch news, GOFO rates were at almost record backward levels.  Has this come about because 122 tons of “collateral” was withdrawn from the pool?  Just thinking out loud here…

Other notable events this past week were many.  First, Congress began questioning the banks on “manipulating the commodities markets,” and the Federal Reserve leaking inside information to Goldman Sachs, is the timing of this a coincidence?  Also, president Obama unilaterally has now thrown our borders open, is it possible that the long spoken of “Amero” is really in the works?  One necessity to a North American currency unit would be open borders right?  Again, just thinking out loud.  We also heard Russia announce a decline to import ANY GMO food products from the West for at least 10 years.  They also announced the import of another 55 tons of gold for the quarter for good measure while ISIS announced their intent to use gold and silver as money.

To tie all of this up, let me say that I believe the very long anticipated “market corner” of precious metals may possibly and finally be at hand.  Contrary to what happened back in the late 1970′s with the Hunt brothers in silver, the current “corner” was actually facilitated by the sellers.  The Hunt’s in fact did set out to corner silver, I don’t believe the Chinese/Russian/Indian alliance initially set out to do this …they were “forced to.”

You see, we have been in a “financial war” for years, the U.S. has trod heavily on the rest of the world financially.  We settled our grotesque annual trade deficits by sending freely created dollars as payment.  In order to support the dollar and keep interest rates low, we have suppressed the prices of gold and silver.  Without low metals prices, none of the other markets could ever make any sense.  PE ratios could never be at the current levels without low interest rates, interest rates could never be at these low levels if gold and silver were shooting upward …so the rest of the world has played the only card they could to prevent a World War, a financial card.

They “carried” us and let the game go on and on as they accumulated bigger and bigger stacks of gold.  Much of this gold “was once” Western gold.  They have legally purchased it and in many cases sent our own dollars back to us as payment.  Now, we will sit with lots and lots of dollars while they have lots and lots of gold.  I believe they have now cornered both COMEX gold and silver if they choose to stand for delivery.  They will say “hey, we did not make up the rules, you did.  You sold us contracts, we bought and paid for them.  Now we would like the contract settled, please send us our metal”.  This was all legal and they did not step up with the intent of busting the market, they simply “bought what we were selling”.  If they do stand for delivery, can they be faulted if they ask for the contract they paid for to perform?

Let me finish by saying this, we very well may wake up after Thanksgiving “fat and happy” only to find out the entire financial system was a fraud.  The East, by asking for delivery may in a “polite” way expose the entire game.  This would accomplish much, first and most importantly, this will go almost all the way in ending the dollar as the world’s reserve currency.  The U.S. will no longer be able to trade “something for nothing”.  It will also hamper our ability to financially and militarily put our thumb on the rest of the world.  If we became hampered financially, this would also make military operation much more difficult to fund or pay for.  In essence, if I am correct and we do see failure to deliver and a COMEX default …the world may be a safer place!  This past week for example, president Obama secretly extended our stay in Afghanistan, how will this operation be funded by a bankrupt Treasury and a central bank that issues unwanted currency?  The Chinese/Russians in my opinion may be on the verge of winning a war without ever firing a shot and playing the game by our own rules!  We clearly have been the aggressors in both Syria and then in funding a coup in Ukraine.  Could crashing our financial markets be a way to put us on a financial leash and thus lessen our abilities at aggression?  I am sure this thought process has already been discussed.

Please do not call or write me Monday morning and say “see, nothing happened …again”.  All I am saying here it that the COMEX is now “cornerable” and in a very vulnerable position.  Maybe it will not be now, maybe it will?  All I can say is history is rife with “bank runs”, sooner or later the longs will stand for the delivery of an inventory too small to satisfy them, this will be nothing different than a bank run when it happens.

 Bill Holter, Miles Franklin associate writer

“The Sioux (aka Lakota) Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” – Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey

We turkey-celebrating, obese, sports-addicted, shop-until-you-drop, historically-illiterate couch potatoes are all beneficiaries of the acts of our guilty ancestors who may have been unaware perpetrators of the crimes against humanity that occurred during the never-ending, shameful 500 year-long history of genocide, ethnic cleansing, colonizing and occupation of the people and the land that rightfully belonged the aboriginal tribes that had inhabited North, Central and South America for thousands of years before Columbus (who had no clue as to where he was) and his sex-starved sailors disembarked from their stinking ships and started pillaging the land and raping the most nubile female inhabitants back in 1492. (Soon cutting off the hands of  those  who couldn’t bring in their quota of gold from precious metal-less mines.)

Thus started the systematic genocide against the aboriginal, non-white people that led eventually – and perhaps inevitably – to the cruelty and crimes against humanity that enslaved millions of black Africans, many of whom died in chains even before they reached this so-called “promised land”.

In many cases the psychopathic killer-conquistadors that followed Columbus, were initially welcomed, tolerated and even nurtured (a la the mythical First Thanksgiving) – rather than being killed off as the criminal invaders that they were. Trusting the intruders to return their hospitality – in the spirit of the Christian Golden Rule – turned out to have been a huge mistake, for within decades the slaughter began, performed in the name of Christ – with the blessings of the accompanying priests whose mission was to convert the heathen to Christianity  under threat of death.

Most of our European ancestors were greatly enriched by the US Army’s massacres, the occupation and theft of their land, the exploitation of the resources, the colonization and the destruction of their way of life. We pink-skinned progeny have been conditioned to believe way too many myths about our obfuscated history. Thanks to our cunningly censored history books and the myths learned in Sunday School over the ages, we have been led to believe the story about the “nice” Pilgrims who landed at Plymouth Rock in 1620 and who gratefully shared a feast with their new friendly Indian neighbors (who were soon to be driven off their land and annihilated by the Puritan so-called “christians” and others that soon followed).

The disinformation process about the first Thanksgiving (and the successor long week-end that happens every fourth Thursday of November in the US) has been designed to absolve our ancestors of guilt for the cruel bloodbaths that were perpetrated “in their names” by obedient soldiers against the militarily weaker aboriginals, a pattern that has been repeated against many weaker nations all around the world throughout our history.

The following censored-out stories about a few of our so-called “heroes” need to be told in the context of the true history of the American genocide of the First Nations people that happened right here in River City. Those “heroes” include Minnesota’s first two governors and one humiliated Civil War general.

The following quotes and explanatory commentary will expand on the title of this essay.

“The Sioux (aka Lakota) Indians of Minnesota must be exterminated or driven forever beyond the borders of the state.” – Minnesota Governor Alexander Ramsey in a genocidal declaration made on Sept. 9, 1862. Ramsey had made a fortune in real estate because of his dealings selling property to white settlers and businessmen after he himself had negotiated US-Dakota treaties that cheated the Dakota tribes out of their land. (http://sites.mnhs.org/historic-sites/alexander-ramsey-house/history)

“I shall do full justice, but no more.  I do not propose to murder any man, even a savage, who is shown to be innocent.” ”I shall probably approve them (the executions of the 303 Dakota warriors) and hang the villains” – Ex-Minnesota Governor, Colonel Henry H. Sibley, whose troops had defeated Chief Little Crow in the Battle of Wood Lake on August 23. Sibley had appointed the five member military tribunal that tried, convicted and sentenced, via death by hanging, 303 Dakota warriors that had been captured in the battle that ended the 6 week US-Dakota War of 1862.. Sibley was commenting on the fate of the convicted warriors, all but 38 of whom had their death sentences commuted by President Lincoln. Many warriors were imprisoned at Camp McClellan, near Davenport, Iowa and more than 1,600 non-combatants were imprisoned at a concentration camp at Fort Snelling over the winter of 1862 – 63. Those that survived the cold, the starvation diets and the diseases were then deported to concentration camps in Nebraska and South Dakota (Pine Ridge). (http://www.minnpost.com/minnesota-history/2012/09/150-years-ago-us-dakota-war-ends-battle-wood-lake)

“The 38 Indians and half-breeds ordered by you for execution were hung yesterday at 10 am. Everything went off quietly.” – Henry Sibley, in a December 27, 1862 telegraph message to President Lincoln. (http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/dakota/sibley.html)

“There will be no peace in this region by virtue of treaties and Indian faith.  It is my purpose utterly to exterminate the Sioux (aka the Dakota) if I have the power to do so and even if it requires a campaign lasting the whole of next year.  Destroy everything belonging to them and force them out to the plains, unless, as I suggest, you can capture them.  They are to be treated as maniacs or wild beasts, and by no means as people with whom treaties or compromises can be made.” – Civil war Major General John Pope, in a letter to Colonel Sibley, urging an all-out effort to totally exterminate the Dakota, (letter was dated September 28, 1862): The punitive 40 year-old Pope was infamous for his abrasiveness, conceit and loud mouth, with which he alienated his colleagues, his officer staff and his soldiers. Significantly, Pope had recently been summarily relieved of his command of the Union Army of Virginia and demoted to Minnesota after his humiliating defeat by Robert E. Lee at the Second Battle of Manassas just a month earlier (August 31, 1862). (http://www.civilwar.org/battlefields/secondmanassas/second-manassas-history-articles/second-battle-of-manassas.html and

http://usdakotawar.org/history/aftermath#sthash.XxnK8yhx.dpuf)

“As Europeans settled the East coast, they displaced eastern tribes who then migrated to get away from the White civilization, and they, in their turn, displaced weaker local tribes they encountered, and pushed many of those tribes farther from their homelands, as they took over their homelands.

“Westward moving Europeans would give the displaced eastern tribes … guns and gun powder and they would then instigate fights between the newly arrived tribes and the long established tribes in order to force the long established tribes from their homelands; and in doing so, extinguish the long established tribes’ ancestral ties that they had with the land, their ancestors and the spirit world. Evidence of this practice has shown itself time and time again throughout the Americas.

“Around 1750, a displaced East coast band of Ojibwe were pushed into the Dakota’s homeland and they then used French guns and gun powder to force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs Lake homeland.

“This was the strategy the European colonists used to greatly diminish the number of Dakota in their Mille Lacs homeland, which encouraged and made it possible for a French weapons armed, alcohol manipulated band of Ojibwe to violently force the Dakota from their Mille Lacs homeland.”

“Grieved by the loss of their lands, dissatisfied with reservation (aka, concentration camp) life, and ultimately brought to a condition of near starvation, the Dakota people appealed to US Indian agencies (involving ex-Minnesota governors Sibley and Ramsey) without success. The murder of five whites by four young Dakota Indians ignited a bloody uprising in which more than 300 whites and an unknown number of Indians were killed. In the aftermath, 38 Dakota captives were hanged in Mankato (the day after Christmas Day 1862) for ‘voluntary participation in murders and massacres,’ and the Dakota remaining in Minnesota were removed to reservations in Nebraska. Meanwhile, the Ojibwa were relegated to reservations on remnants of their former lands.

“What happened to the Dakota in 1862 and afterward was a grievous crime against humanity. If it had occurred in this present day and age the United Nations and the international community would condemn it and declare it to be ethnocide and genocide. A United Nations world court indictment would be issued and the perpetrators of this ethnocide and genocide would be rounded up, tried, convicted and punished for crimes against humanity. – Thomas Dahlheimer from his long essay, entitled, A History Of The Dakota People In The Mille Lacs Area (http://www.towahkon.org/Dakotahistory.html)

Gov. Ramsey’s Thanksgiving Proclamation of November 3, 1862:

“WHEREAS, it is meet and in accordance with good and cherished custom of our fathers worthy to be “a statute forever in all our dwellings,” that the people “when they have gathered the fruit of the land,” should “keep a feast unto the Lord,” in commemoration of His goodness, and by a public act of Christian worship, acknowledge their dependence as a community upon Him in whose hands the kingdoms of the earth are but as dust in the balance.

“Therefore I, Alexander Ramsey, Governor of the State of Minnesota, do hereby set apart the twenty-seventh day of the present month of November, as a Day of Thanksgiving to Almighty God for his wonderful mercy towards us–for all the good gifts of His providence–for health and restored domestic peace–and the measure of general prosperity which we enjoy.

“Especially let us recognize His mercy in that He has delivered our borders from the savage enemies who rose up against us, and cast them into the pit they had privily dug for us; that our friends have been rescued from the horrors of captivity, and that our homes and household treasures are now safe from the violence of Indian robbers and assassins.

“And let us praise Him for the continued preservation of the Government of our Fathers, from the assaults of traitors and rebels; for the sublime spirit of patriotism, and courage, and constancy with which He has filled the hearts of its defenders; for the victories won by the valor of our troops; for the glorious share of Minnesota in the struggles and triumphs of the Union cause; for the safety of her sons who have passed through the fire of battle unscathed, and the honorable fame of the gallant dead; for the alacrity and devotion with which our citizens have rushed from their unharvested fields to the standard of the nation; and, above all, for the assurance that their toils, and perils, and wounds, and self-devotion, are not in vain; for the tokens, now manifest, of His will, that, through the blood and sweat of suffering and sacrifice, the nation is to be saved from its great calamity, and the great crime of which it is at once the effect and punishment; and that behind the thunders, and lightnings, and clouds of the tempest, the awful form of Jehovah is visible, descending in fire upon the mount, to renew the broken tablets of the Constitution, and proclaim FREEDOM as the condition and the law of a restored and regenerated Union.

“Given under my hand and the Great Seal of the State, at the City of St. Paul, this third day of November, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-two”.– Alexander Ramsey, Governor of the State of Minnesota

“Since 1970, Native Americans have gathered at noon on Cole’s Hill in Plymouth to commemorate a National Day of Mourning on the US Thanksgiving holiday. Many Native Americans do not celebrate the arrival of the Pilgrims and other European settlers. To them, Thanksgiving Day is a reminder of the genocide of millions of their people, the theft of their lands, and the relentless assault on their culture. Participants in a National Day of Mourning honor Native ancestors and the struggles of Native peoples to survive today. It is a day of remembrance and spiritual connection as well as a protest of the racism and oppression which Native Americans continue to experience.” – Text of a plaque on Cole’s Hill, overlooking Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, MA

Dr Kohls is a retired family physician from Duluth, Minnesota who has been involved in peace, nonviolence and justice issues and often writes about militarism, racism, fascism, imperialism, totalitarianism, economic oppression, anti-environmentalism and other violent, unsustainable, anti-democratic movements.

122 Tons of Gold Secretly Repatriated to the Netherlands

November 25th, 2014 by Mark O'Byrne

The Dutch central bank said Friday it is repatriating some of its gold reserves from the U.S., making it the latest central bank in Europe to address public concerns about the safety of its gold in the wake of the eurozone debt crisis.  tons 

As the debate regarding whether or not Switzerland should keep the bulk of its gold reserves at home on Swiss soil reaches it’s climax – the referendum takes place on Sunday – it is telling that the Dutch announced on Friday that they have just secretly repatriated 122 tonnes of their sovereign gold reserves from New York back to Amsterdam.

The gold, worth $5 billion at today’s prices, represents 20% of the Netherlands total reserves. It now keeps 31% of its reserves in Amsterdam. Another 31% is believed to be in New York, with the remainder spread between Ottawa and London – the same locations where the bulk of Swiss gold is purported to be stored.

The trend towards gold repatriation began with Hugo Chavez bringing Venezuelan gold back to Caracas in 2011.  It has been followed by similar moves  by other large gold owning nations and central banks, most notably, Germany.

The repatriation movement has been driven by suspicion that the Federal Reserve and other central banks may have leased or sold gold it was holding on behalf of other countries to bullion banks and that this gold may have been used in order to suppress the price of gold in recent years.

Bizarrely, the Federal Reserve’s gold holdings have not been audited in over 50 years.

The last audit, and the last public visit, was in 1953, just after U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower took office. No outside experts were allowed during that audit, and the audit team tested only about 5% of gold there. So, there hasn’t been a comprehensive audit of Fort Knox in over 60 years.

stacks of gold

Demands for gold repatriation also accelerated after the Lehman collapse and during the global financial crisis due to concerns that if the U.S. and world suffered a systemic collapse or a dollar crisis , nations may find it hard to secure their gold reserves.

The concern was that a desperate Fed could nationalise international gold reserves in order to prevent a dollar collapse or to rebuild confidence in the dollar after a currency crisis.

It is interesting to note that while some western economists, such as Paul Krugman, continue to denigrate gold, western central banks, do not appear to view gold as a “barbarous relic.” Nor do their eastern counterparts and their Chinese counterparts many of whom have been quietly reducing their dollar, euro and pound foreign exchange reserves and adding to their gold reserves in recent years.

The Dutch Central Bank went so far as to state that the action was designed to install public confidence in the ability of the central bank to manage crises. The prospect of further shipments from the U.S. remains open as they are keeping the logistical details secret.

Questions are already being asked about how the Dutch were able to repatriate such a sizeable volume of gold when Germany’s request was brushed aside. It may be that by taking a discreet approach the Dutch allowed the Federal Reserve room to manoeuvre – allowing them to harvest the metal from the open market. Skeptical analysts have suggested that the fall in the ETF gold holdings may have come in handy for the New York Federal Reserve.

Questions are also being asked about the faith of the Ukrainian gold reserves after the gold disappeared from the Ukraine’s central bank soon after the U.S. sponsored coup brought the new government to power.

The Dutch clearly view gold favourably as an important monetary asset and they also have demonstrated their belief that owning gold in a secure manner is of utmost importance.

Although the German Central Bank has stated that it trusts the Americans as custodians of it’s gold reserves – despite being denied access to vaults in New York to view their own gold – the campaign for repatriation of Germany’s gold remains strong.

Whether the Swiss gold initiative passes or fails this weekend it is still worth noting that a very large minority of Swiss are very conscious of the role that gold plays particularly in times of crisis.

During the reformation in Europe it was in these three countries – Germany, Switzerland and the Netherlands – that independent thought flourished. Populations globally have been “dumbed down” in recent years but these nations still have a high level of public discourse and debate and the importance of prudence, saving, thrift and gold remains understood by many.

We believe that other central banks may have already quietly sought or indeed will seek repatriation of their gold from  New York, Ottawa and London. This has the potential to create a short squeeze as central banks may be forced to enter the market to acquire the physical bullion that they thought they already owned.

If these custodians are not in possession of the gold they claim to hold they, too, will be forced to buy gold on the open market where supply is now extremely tight as seen in gold remaining in backwardation.

We believe, like the Dutch, that only gold bullion in your possession or allocated gold stored in secure locations such as Singapore, Hong Kong and Zurich can be viewed as a safe-haven asset.

MARKET UPDATE

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,196.00, EUR 964.67 and GBP 764.51 per ounce.
Friday’s AM fix was USD 1,193.25, EUR 958.59 and GBP 761.54  per ounce.

Gold prices were 1% higher last week. Gold and silver rose to three week highs Friday after China cut benchmark interest rates to support economic growth, leading to demand for precious metals as a store of value.

gold in USD

Gold in USD – 5 Days (Thomson Reuters)

China’s rate cut on Friday aligns them with the European Central Bank and Bank of Japan in deploying fresh stimulus and QE as ultra loose monetary policies continue globally.
Russia added to gold reserves in October, bringing holdings to the highest in at least two decades, IMF data showed last week and as announced by the Russian central bank governor (see here).

Gold has climbed 6% after touching a four-year low on November 7 amid increased demand for coins and jewelry, combined with signs that nations are boosting reserves. Central banks may raise purchases by as much as 22 percent in 2014, the World Gold Council estimates.

gold in USD 2 years

Gold in USD – 2 Years (Thomson Reuters)

The net-long position in gold rose by 21,634 contracts to 60,307 futures and options in the week ended November 18, according to U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) data published three days later. Short wagers fell to 65,405 contracts, the least since September 9.

Gold rose 70% from December 2008 to June 2011 as central banks increased quantitative easing on a massive scale and currencies internationally were debased. The precious metal fell 28% in 2013, the most in three decades, after sharp and severe selling in the futures market, often during less liquid markets overnight in Asia, led to price falls.

Switzerland holds its referendum on the Swiss Gold Initiative this Sunday (Nov. 30). If passed it would  to require the Swiss National Bank to hold at least 20% of its assets in gold, up from about 8%.

Opinion polls suggest the no side will win but many opinion polls have been badly wrong in recent years. Voter discontent with the political establishment is likely to make the referendum tighter than is expected. A yes vote would surprise the market and lead to fireworks in the gold market Sunday night, Monday and next week.

Mark O’Byrne is executive and research director of www.GoldCore.com which he founded in 2003. GoldCore have become one of the leading gold brokers in the world and have over 4,000 clients in over 40 countries and with over $200 million in assets under management and storage.We offer mass affluent, HNW, UHNW and institutional investors including family offices, gold, silver, platinum and palladium bullion in London, Zurich, Singapore, Hong Kong, Dubai and Perth.

Within a few days the Senate Foreign Relations Committee is going to meet with Ukraine’s best and brightest. They are coming to ask for money, weapons, and start lobbying for direct intervention. The thought that the halls of the US Congress can be sullied with this kind of people treading on its floors is beyond my imagination. You don’t need to care about Ukraine on this issue. American moral authority and the well being (electability) of some good Congressmen that only hear the propaganda might be at stake. Please take the time to read through and if this is not acceptable tell your Senator why.

A few days ago Vadim Troyan, a Battalion Azov deputy commander was appointed Kiev Oblast(Region) Police Chief. Azov Battalion is one of the punisher battalions responsible for rape, kidnapping, and murder of civilians across Donbass. Vadim Troyan has earned some of Ukraine’s highest medals in the process.

At their base city of Mariupol just during the month of October 2014 the police department had to report over 200 rapes committed by Azov and the Ukrainian National Guard in a public meeting held at the city police department. According to local residents in Mariupol which is a city of over 500,000; people are constantly going missing.

Young girls are being dragged away in broad daylight and some are never seen again. Azov battalion is taking men off the street that are never returned. In the last week of October twenty people were reported missing.

What is Azov Battalion

Interviewed Azov soldier admits torture on video english subs

Interviewed by Foreign Policy Magazine, Azov Battalion describe themselves as

“people with a European identity fighting with Sovietness. But the ‘European identity’ to which Oleg Odnorozhenko (Azov ideologist) aspires is one estranged from mainstream European and American liberalism. The Azov Battalion, whose emblem also includes the ‘Black Sun’ occult symbol used by the Nazi SS, was founded by Andriy Biletsky, head of the neo-Nazi groups Social-National Assembly and Patriots of Ukraine.”

Maidan Democrats? Meet the New Nazi Government

 Biletsky is also Arseni Yatsenyuk’s choice as a parliamentarian in Ukraine’s National Rada (Senate). In fact, all the supposedly democratic Euro-Maidan leaders have chosen radical neo nazi representatives for Senate seats. Biletsky has sworn he will drive a vote on Ukraine’s nuclear status. If successful, Ukraine will strive to develop nuclear arms. Sergey Melnichuk (battalion commander Aydar) was Oleg Lyashko’s choice for a Rada seat.

In the interview with Foreign Policy, the Azov commander Biletsky (now Ukrainian Senator) states:

“Unfortunately, among the Ukrainian people today there are a lot of ‘Russians’ (by their mentality, not their blood), ‘kikes,’ ‘Americans,’ ‘Europeans’ (of the democratic-liberal European Union), ‘Arabs,’ ‘Chinese’ and so forth, but there is not much specifically Ukrainian…It’s unclear how much time and effort will be needed to eradicate these dangerous viruses from our people.”

The battalion’s political platform supports the system of government devised by the Ukrainian nationalists of the 1930s and 1940s.

Really look at the description of a “Russian” and see if there is anything familiar here. American democracy is no different to them than Donbas people. This point needs to hit home in light of what they are doing.

Andrey Teeter

Andrey Teteruk the Commander of Myrotvorets (peacemaker) is also one of Yatsenyuks choices that is taking a Senate seat.

Andrei Teteruk who ran for lawmaker on People’s Front election list plans to attend parliamentary plenary meetings with weapons. “I hope I will not use it,” Teteruk said.

Myrotvorets (peacemaker battalion) is another punisher battalion. In Teteruk’s own words “ Peacemaker” is a police battalion. “Our task is to restore order in liberated settlements, clean from criminals, weapons. We did a good job in Dzerzhinsk; performed police functions, investigated, who supported separatists in the city.”

“I’m against solving problems by using weapons. With all that I’m a military man, run a military unit, but I was in Kosovo and saw the conflicts that were solved with weapons, it led to the fact that entire villages were cut out, from the oldest to the youngest. The war makes dirty both sides.”

Although honesty is a respectable quality every person in Donbass has been branded a separatist. Teteruk’s job as a punisher battalion commander is no different than the last part of his quote- to destroy entire villages from the oldest to the youngest.

Yuri Berea

Yuri Bereza is the Commander of Ihor Kolomoisky’s Dneipr 1. You guessed it Yuri Bereza is also now a Senator. What makes this clown a great pick for Maidan leaders to get behind is:

“Today, we are ready not just to defend [Ukraine], but to invade the Russian Federation, break into it with reconnaissance detachments and sabotage groups,” said Bereza.

Although I didn’t mention him by name I wrote about Bereza’s most notable accomplishment to date. In a hacked correspondence reacting to the remains of 37 civilians found in Dnipropetrovsk, Ukrainian Rada, Deputy Oleg Pankevich questions Igor Kolomoisky’s sanity. Kolomoisky, one of the leading Jewish leaders in Europe, has his own Dnipr Battalion in the Donbass war.

According to Kolimoisky’s assistant Boris Filatov, they are just Neo-nazi animals. Kolomoisky’s Dnipr battalion is replete with swastikas and Neo-nazi mercenaries from Ukraineand other countries. Among his more notable accomplishments, Kolimoisky funded and planned the Odessa Trade House Massacre last spring. Kolomoisky has a new Nazi problem. Of the 37 civilians that were found tortured, mutilated and killed in this instance, 19 were Jewish. Thats why Pankevich called it a mini-holocaust.

Yuri Bereza is a new Ukrainian Senator who now has medals for torture and murder of innocent people.

Semen Semenchenko

I have written extensively about Sementchenko’s Donbass Battalion. Sementchenko is also a new Ukrainian Senator. His battalion accused him of running when the fighting started. When they were under attack he refused to deliver weapons his men did not have. He told his deputy commander to leave because” they are just meat anyway.” Semenchenko’s battalion has been responsible for a lot of horror done to civilians in Donbass. This man is an animal.

UCCA Lobbying

The ultra-nationalist Ukrainian Congressional Committee of America (UCCA) has been lobbying the US Congress to give weapons to Ukraine. The men listed above are the representatives the Diaspora community chose as representative of their ideal of a Ukrainian nationalist in the mold of Stepan Bandera.

The United Nations (UN) recently released a report on the human rights situation in Ukraine, accusing the volunteer battalions of violating international humanitarian laws.

The date they chose falls on Ukraine Day celebrations to insure they get the turnout needed to show the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that these men deserve American dollars, weapons, and training.

This excerpt is from nationalist volunteer effort:

“As I’m sure you know, these three Magiare not only our lovely commanders of the volunteer battalions Donbas, Myrotvorets, and Dnipro-1, they are also newly-baked parliamentarians from Samopomich and Narodny Front. And they are in DC this week to meet with congressmen and military officials and talk about how to defend Ukraine. At this very moment, Russia is training a 30 000 army in the occupied eastern territories and stuffing the region with its weapons, and Semenchenko asks for OUR HELP!”

“Remember, Ukraine is not only defending itself, but also peace in Europe, and the alliance between the US and its biggest friend, Europe, as well as international law.”

Considering that they want the US to attack Russia, should we thank them now or later?

What else does the Ukrainian emigres want from the US Congress?

Former Ukrainian Foreign Minister Voldymyr Ogrizko on Shuster Live (largest Ukrainian talk show)“‘Americans must be willing to die for Ukraine, because the former Soviet republic, fighting with Russia, defends the values of the Western world. And they are willing to die in Iraq or Afghanistan? If they are really talking about their values, they must be willing to die in Ukraine. Today we protect their valuables. This and our values. We protect their lives and their blood ,( He is talking about America )’ – said Ogryzko. He expressed the hope that the results of the elections in the US will bring Ukraine support.”

What Else Should the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Know?

Recently on the Ukrainian investigative program Groshi. which I was shocked to learn was still on the air after the coup did a program on prostitution in the Ukrainian army.

At first blush, I would agree that doesn’t sound like much except the commanders are forcing conscripts to act as prostitutes. The commanders are collecting 600 hryvna per outing and supposedly giving the conscript the equivalent of $4. Bear in mind that the conscript cannot refuse the order.

The conscript age in Ukraine is now 16 years old. Other soldiers or officers have their choice between a boy or a girl, man or woman. How is this not sanctioned rape within the armed forces? Will the US Congress support this?

To make matters worse for Kiev this backs up a story that would otherwise go unreported and therefore not investigated.

Oleg Lyashko Allegedly Rapes Young Soldier

A young soldier from the punisher battalion Shaktar (Miner) has tried to testify on video that the leader of the Radical Party of Ukraine, Rada MP, presidential runner up, and probably future president of Ukraine, tied, beat, and raped him. The website ukraina.ru carried the story. According to him he joined Shaktar to serve the motherland and the promise of good money. His work detail was logistics in the unit and keeping records.

The “Miner” cleansing Battalion soldier talked about how he was beaten and raped by the leader of the Radical Partyof Ukraine Oleg Lyashko. This was written on the website ukraina.ru. According to his story they tied him up and started gang raping him. He was given to Oleg Lyashko and Andrew Lozovoy who were looking for young boys.

In light of the Groshi story which ran on Ukrainian TV this needs to be investigated. This is the clip that was broadcast on Ukrainian TV.

Life in Mariupol under Azov Battalion

Sergey

In September a Mariupol resident “Sergey”wrote:

“I don’t want to go to war, but I will go if my family is harmed. I didn’t go to Referendum in May because I didn’t think it was that serious. I saw what Ukrainian Army did to Mariupol citizens on the 9 of May. I used to work back then. People with Ukrainian flags and stripes on their sleeves opened a fire on defenseless people. The people they shot were mostly elderly. This was at the Memorial Day to commemorate Mariupol’s Liberation from the Nazis.

“People began to run and hide where it was possible. Some of them ducked in the shops and a nearby hairdressing salon. In the city center the worst shooting occurred. I helped people to get to the hospital for free without any hesitation. I did five trips to the hospital and back. My car was full of blood. But that didn’t matter to me then. Now I hope that I saved some peoples lives.

“In spite of all this I didn’t go to the Referendum. I wanted to live in Novorossia, but I don’t know anyone who I can trust really. For several years I worked as a taxi driver, now I don’t. It is entirely dangerous. I am talking not only about losing your car, it is a common practice for soldiers to take away cars they like for their own use. If I am not mistaken, it is legal now. I am calling it dangerous because you can be shot, blown up or you can witness a crime the Ukrainian Army commits and killed for it. In July in the morning I was taking two young men from Melekino to Mariupol, and we were stopped at a blockpost by very rude young Ukrainian speaking soldiers.

“They asked to show us our passports. My passengers didn’t have any documents on them. So they were taken out of the car and soldiers beat them with the butts of their rifles. The soldiers shouted at those men and abased them. They made them get on their knees and threatened to kill them. I was left in the car. After about 20 minutes the soldiers let my passengers go. They promised to kill them next time if they did not have documents. Another time I saw one young woman that was grabbed out of her car. She was stopped at the Volodarskiy blockpost. She was about 25 or so. She was in jeans shorts and a sexy T-shirt. Soldiers began to flirt with her, invite her for a cup of coffee, but she refused and they grabbed her and threw her into a black car. I don’t know what happened later, but I can imagine.”

Ann, 42 years old in Mariupol said:

“I am shocked because of all those things which are happening. This war broke my life. I was looking forward to the referendum very much. I was happy to go there to vote for our freedom from this crazy country “Ukraine”. I realized after watching what was happening in Slavyansk in April and here in Mariupol on the 9th of May that fascist (Kiev)government wouldn’t let us go without bloodshed.

“I thought I was ready morally for war, but no, I couldn’t even imagine the horror of the ATO. We have to live, work, and study surrounded by heavy weapons.

“I remember one day when my 13-years old daughter was at school and I was at work. The skirmishes and firing began in the city. At the same time my daughter was supposed to come home, and I thought I would die while I didn’t hear her voice and she could tell me that she was ok.

“She saw a lot of armed people who shouted at several people to get on the ground. One of them was a woman. They pointed their guns at those people and all people near the soldiers. The traffic was blocked so my daughter came back home on foot. That happened in front of the tram station. After that I didn’t allow my daughter to go to school for days. I was afraid that she could be killed in one of those military operations. There are a lot of them now as because our town is occupied by Ukrainian mercenaries (Azov is has a foreign mercenary component). There are many more operations and these actions are more dangerous, bloody, and unprincipled.

“Battali
ons like “Azov” are especially fierce and brutal. They kill people, ruin their houses, steal everything from household appliances to clothes and jewelery. We don’t go out in the evenings. The streets are almost empty. I am afraid even at home because soldiers can break into citizens’ houses at any time they want. They have permission to do it from the Ukrainian government.

“I lost my job. I worked as a dermatologist and cosmetologist in one salon. Now it is closed and I don’t know how I will live with my daughter.

“Every day we see new units of APCs, tanks, and trucks loaded with soldiers in the town. We hear different gossip about bombing. Every day we prepare ourselves to die. It’s the worst nightmare. But I hope that it will be the end of this mess.”

Should Congress Support This?

Should the US Senate give a penny of American money to support these degenerates? When you understand the fact that the Ukrainian emigre community considers the men heroes that see you as Moskal? The UCCA taught these men their ideology. Most of the Senators and Congressmen that support nationalist Ukraine or listen to the ultra-nationalist UCCA lobby are not aware of what is going on. If you care about your congressman you need to let them know before they vote.

The money they appropriate will go directly into the murder of innocent people, torture, and rape.

UN General Assembly’s Third Committee passed a Russia-proposed resolution condemning attempts to glorify Nazism ideology and denial of German Nazi war crimes. The US, Canada and Ukraine were the only countries to vote against it.

The resolution was passed on Friday by the committee, which is tasked with tackling social and humanitarian issues and human rights abuses, by 115 votes against three, with 55 nations abstaining, Tass news agency reported.

The document voiced concern over the rise of racism-driven crimes around the world and the influence that parties with extremist agendas are gaining.

It called for a universal adoption of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination. Many nations including the US, the UK, China and India, signed the convention but did not recognize a mechanism resolving individual complaints it establishes, which makes the convention unenforceable in their jurisdictions.

The resolution also decried attempts to whitewash Nazi collaborators by depicting them as fighters of nationalist resistance movements and honoring them as such.

It condemned any form of denial of Nazi war crimes, including the Jewish Holocaust.

Azov battalion soldiers take an oath of allegiance to Ukraine in Kiev's Sophia Square before being sent to the Donbass region. (RIA Novosti / Alexandr Maksimenko)

Russia, which submitted the draft resolution, said it regretted that it could not be adopted anonymously.

“The fact that the US, Canada and Ukraine voted against, while delegations from EU member states abstained in the vote on this draft resolution, which was supported by an overwhelming majority of the UN member states, is extremely regrettable,” the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

“Ukraine’s position is particularly dispiriting and alarming. One can hardly understand how a country, the people of which suffered their full share of the horrors of Nazism and contributed significantly to our common victory against it, can vote against a resolution condemning its glorification,” the ministry said.

Moscow proposes similar documents to the UN General Assembly annually, but the US and Canada have consistently voted against them. Ukraine is a new nation among the opponents, as in previous years it has abstained.

Kiev’s representative at the session, Andrey Tsymbalyuk, said that while Ukraine did condemn Nazism and neo-Nazism, it could not endorse the Russian resolution, because it suffered not only from Nazism, but also from Stalinism in the past.

“As long as Stalinism and neo-Stalinism are not condemned as strongly as Nazism, neo-Nazism and other forms of hatred, Ukraine would not be able to back this document,” the diplomat said.

The resolution is to be formally adopted by the UN General Assembly as a body in December.

On Monday night the St. Louis County Grand Jury failed to file any criminal charges against police officer Darren Wilson who shot to death 18-year-old African American youth Michael Brown on Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Missouri.

This is another outrageous act of the racist system here in the United States. African American youth are gunned down in cold blood by police, vigilantes and others who are allowed to go free on a regular basis. Brown was criminalized in his death while the system supports the genocide of an entire people claiming it is justified.

Join with the Michigan Emergency Committee Against War & Injustice (MECAWI), Fight Imperialism, Stand Together (FIST), the Moratorium NOW! Coalition and others to protest this denial of justice and the reinforcement of the racist status-quo. We will gather on Tues. Nov. 25 at 4:30pm at Hart Plaza located on Jefferson ave. and Woodward in downtown Detroit. Please bring signs and banners expressing your displeasure with this latest travesty of justice.

This incident involving the attempt to justify the killing of Brown is not taking place in a vacuum. A 12-year-old African American youth Tamir Rice was killed over the weekend by Cleveland police. Eric Garner, an African American grandfather, was killed by cops in Staten Island, New York during the summer. The list of such victims of police terrorism goes on.

We must continue to demand justice for Michael Brown. The federal government must file criminal civil rights charges against Darren Wilson and all those involved in the killing of Brown and the attempted cover-up of this heinous crime.

Despite the U.S. government’s claims of representing democracy around the world, people internationally can see that this is the worst county to be a person of African descent. Let us reflect and plan to counter this new wave of racist violence by taking to the streets demanding justice and the end to police terrorism.

The inception of the U.S.-led nuclear alliance system

From the world’s first atomic test on 16 July 1945, uranium, nuclear reactors and nuclear weapons have played a key role in the US-led alliance system. As the former axis powers of Japan, West Germany and Italy as well as other strategically important territories such as South Korea, the Philippines and Taiwan, were incorporated in a US foreign policy designed to confront and contain the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, nuclear weapons were deployed with the justification of being necessary to deter large Communist conventional forces. In the New Look doctrine of ‘massive retaliation’ introduced under Eisenhower, Truman’s policy of targeting roughly seventy Soviet cities with 133 atomic bombs over thirty days (Operation Fleetwood) was magnified to the use of nuclear weapons like normal munitions and therefore increasing their stockpiles and yield capacity. While the PRC was repeatedly threatened with nuclear strikes from air and missile delivery platforms during the Korean War, as was North Korea, and during the crisis in the Taiwan Strait in the 1950s, by late 1960, a single integrated operational plan (SIOP-62) targeted Soviet, Chinese and satellite cities with the simultaneous launch of all nuclear forces without restraint.1

Initiated by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Nathan Twining and Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Arleigh Burke, and then presided over by General Thomas Power, Director of the Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff (1960-1964), SIOP-62 mapped out a synchronized nuclear attack by the U.S. Air Force, Navy and Army combining strategic bombers, Polaris submarine-launched missiles and Atlas ICBMs in an ‘alert’ force of over 1,706 nuclear weapons and a ‘full’ force of over 3,240 nuclear weapons delivered to 1,060 targets in the Soviet Union, China and allied states. In this Plan there was little or no distinction made between Communist states that were at war with the United States and those that were not. Some sites (Designated Ground Zeroes – DGZs) would be struck by two or more weapons, and included both military installations and urban-industrial areas. The alert force would target 199 cities and the full force would target 295.2 The planners estimated that the total human deaths from such an attack would be 108 million in the Soviet Union and 104 million in the PRC as well as several million in satellite states,3 while Kaplan estimated that 175 million Russians and Chinese would be killed by the ‘alert’ force and 285 million would be killed by a ‘full’ force, and an additional 40 million more injured.4 To make such threats credible, the Departments of Defense (DoD) and Energy (DoE) and the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) conducted visible tests of new nuclear weapons in various atmospheric conditions in a twenty test series between 1946 and 1963. Even after the limited test ban treaty was adopted, they continued with underground tests.

General Thomas Power presided over the creation of SIOP-62 as Commander in Chief, Strategic Air Command (1957–1964) and Director, Joint Strategic Target Planning Staff (1960–1964).

As nuclear intimidation continued, and as other nations sought to gain ‘parity’, the global nuclear industry grew. It was clearly understood in these early decades that the dual-use of nuclear materials in nuclear energy generation and nuclear weapons served to establish and maintain national influence in the international arena. Since 1945, the supply and procurement of uranium together with coal (for steel production) has been a good indicator of a nation’s capacity to both rapidly increase its energy production with the potential to produce munitions and, for those states already with the capacity, to produce and enhance a nuclear weapons arsenal. High-energy power generation was an index of a nation’s war-making potential underlining the link between mining and militarisation.

In the following I seek to explain why and how the Australian government in 2014 has concluded a uranium trade deal with India that is in breach of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by tracing the development of a nuclear nexus between India, Australia, Japan and the United States. Just as it was in the early cold war, this trade in nuclear materials is informed by interlocking and mutually reinforcing economic and geostrategic interests that have long undermined international disarmament initiatives. I argue that changing climatic conditions caused by emissions intensive energy production, however, demand a fundamental re-thinking of this paradigm.

Crisis and Response in the post-2011 nuclear industry

The disastrous nuclear meltdowns at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant following 11 March 2011 re-awakened the world to the dangers of nuclear power after the nuclear disasters of Three Mile Island in the United States (1979) and Chernobyl in Ukraine (1986). The price of uranium in the global markets plunged from a peak of US $135/pound in 2007 to US $30/pound by 2013 in part due to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster whose effects included sharp cutbacks or even termination of plans in some countries to build nuclear reactors, and in part due to uranium stockpiles and oversupply.5 Many advanced economies, led by Germany, downscaled, shut down and turned away from nuclear energy projects and toward renewable energy production. Rising costs (including insurance), construction delays, complex managerial coordination and onerous safety requirements, public opposition and ageing fleets of reactors have made it difficult to justify committing to new nuclear power projects for the supply of energy targets. As global electricity supply from nuclear power generation declined from a high of 17.6 percent of global power generation in 1996 to 10.8 percent in 2013 – the lowest level since 1980, the number of operating units reduced to 388 (fifty less than the peak in 2002), nuclear power capacity declined by 19 Gw between 2000 and 2013,6 and global nuclear power generation dropped by 4 percent in 2011 and a further 7 percent in 2012. By one estimate, roughly three-quarters of this decline was due to the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, while the remaining quarter was due to a decrease of nuclear generation by 16 other countries.7

Of the 67 reactors under construction globally as of July 2014, at least 49 were experiencing delays and eight had been under construction for 20 or more years. China too, having planned before 2011 to replace heavy carbon emitting coal-fired power stations with nuclear power stations, stalled and re-assessed its position after 3.11.8 For the most part, China (along with the US, India and Germany) has boosted its renewable electricity generating capacity so that by 2013, it produced through wind, solar and hydro power over 1000 terawatt hours – the equivalent of the total power generation of France and Germany.9 In Japan, nearly four years after the Fukushima Daiichi meltdowns, 46 other nuclear reactors remain shut down. The Nuclear Regulatory Authority (NRA) approved the restart of two reactors in Sendai, Kyushu on 10 September 2014 and Mayoral consent was secured in October.

Until 2014, along with China, Japan has also seen a boom in mostly solar and wind electricity generation. But this has been stalled by utilities who have refused to take an influx of renewable power into the grid or to reduce electricity prices.10 With fewer nuclear plants scheduled for construction around the world than for shutdown, however, the nuclear industry faces the likely prospect of contraction11 and replacement by rapidly advancing renewable energy options, including solar, wind, tidal, hydro and possibly geothermal power over the longer term.

Despite this gloomy prognosis for the uranium sector, confidence began to return to the uranium mining industry in Australia from late 2012. One significant reason for this was the election of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) in Japan in December 2012. Shares of uranium producers Paladin and Rio Tinto/Energy Resources Australia rose by 8 percent and 5 percent respectively in the days after the election and the spot price of uranium compound rose from $US 40.80/pound in November to $US 44/pound in December 2012.12

New mining leases were approved in Western Australia, Queensland and New South Wales, and Queensland Premier Campbell Newman broke his electoral commitment not to permit uranium mining by inviting uranium mining companies to commence exploration operations. The new (Queensland) Mineral and Energy Resources (Common Provisions) Bill 2014, for example, passed on 9 September 2014 authorizes a Coordinator General to overrule community objection rights to ‘State significant projects’ including coal, bauxite and uranium mines, or to limit them to concerns unrelated to environmental protection.13 This Act gives virtual immunity to large companies exploring for uranium deposits in the Mitchell and Alice River basins in Cape York and the Gulf country. Encouraged by these positive signs, along with other Japanese, Chinese and Indian investors in uranium projects in Australia, the major French energy corporation Areva recently bought a 51 percent share in a joint venture with Australian uranium miner Toro Energy for exploration in the Wiso Basin in Northern Territory.14 In other words, federal and state governments in Australia have been approving exploration licenses and the opening of uranium mines at a time when the global nuclear and uranium industry was marked by decline and exit.

While some of the larger corporations chose to wait for uranium demand to rise, many in the Australian uranium mining industry scrambled to reprioritise, turning to the newly emerging market of nation-states tipped for rapid economic expansion. India attracted attention due to its high-growth economic potential, geostrategic positioning and nuclear ambitions. As then Prime Minister Howard had done in 2007, ‘energy starved’ India’s ‘power crisis’ is again being widely portrayed in desperate terms,15 while the solutions are presented as economic expansion and greater energy consumption by a growing middle class.16 In addition to coal exports, Australian politicians, in consultation with business representatives in the uranium and minerals sector, have framed the push for uranium trade with India as a ‘moral duty’ and ‘humanitarian responsibility’ to improve living standards of India’s impoverished people.

Since the early 2000s Australian uranium interests have sought to retain and expand market share by arguing that increasing nuclear power reliance could support the demands of the rapid growth economies of China and India while achieving lower carbon emissions than coal-fired power and cheaper and more reliable energy than renewable alternatives. In the period known as the ‘nuclear renaissance’, in 2004, the US and Britain also moved to re-commence new nuclear power plant construction after inaction since Three Mile Island and Chernobyl. Even after 3.11, these plans (such as in Georgia, Tennessee, and South Carolina in the US and Hinkley Point in the UK) appear to be continuing.17

On 7–11 July 2014, Japanese Prime Minister Abe made a five-day visit to Australia, which included a trip with Prime Minister Abbott to the Rio Tinto operations in the Pilbara region in north-western Australia. They visited the open-pit iron ore mine in the West Angelas mine, south-east of Cape Lambert, in which Rio Tinto has a share of 53 percent, Mitsui Bussan 33 percent and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation 14 percent. Other Japanese companies including Japan Uranium Management Inc (JUMI) and Japan Australia Uranium Resources Development Co Ltd (JAURD), Mitsubishi, and Itochu also have shares in uranium mines (Kintyre, Lake Maitland) in this region. The day Abe arrived, the CEO of the Mitsubishi Corporation (heavily involved in nuclear technologies) announced that Australia was a ‘veritable lifeline’ for Japan’s resource-dependent economy, and promised billions in investment in Australia’s resources sector, agribusiness and retail.18

Over the nearly four years since the Fukushima disaster, the Japanese government and corporations have actively courted more than 20 countries for the purchase of Japan’s nuclear technologies. Agreements had been reached with Jordan, Vietnam, South Korea and Russia under the Kan and Noda Democratic Party Japan (DPJ) governments, and the export of nuclear technology remained central to the Abe government’s economic plans. Two more nuclear technology agreements with Turkey and the United Arab Emirates have since been reached,19 and six more are under consideration – with India, South Africa, Mexico, Brazil, Saudi Arabia and Bangladesh. Despite the continuing negative effects of ongoing radioactive contamination dispersal from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, the Abe government remains intent both on nuclear startups in Japan and on promoting its exports of nuclear technology to other countries.

These activities on the nuclear industrial front occurred in the context of Japan’s steadily deteriorating relations with China, the establishment of a National Security Council (December 2013), the commitment to a substantial increase over time in military spending,20 and the Cabinet reinterpretation of the constitution (in July 2014) to permit collective security operations with the US and its allies. In 2014, Abe also made vigorous diplomatic initiatives to secure security and trade agreements with the US, UK, EU, Australia, India and the ASEAN nations. He devoted special attention to the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar. A free trade agreement was negotiated with Australia that moved toward the purchase of Japanese Sōryū-class submarines, designed to counter China’s anti-access/area-denial (A2/AD) capacities and to support US Navy carrier strike groups.21

A similar initiative followed on 5 September 2014, when Abbott and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi signed the Australia-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement in New Delhi. It was the culmination of the efforts initiated by the Howard government in 2006,22 carried forward by the Gillard government in 2011–2012.

After India’s ‘Smiling Buddha’ Pokhran-I nuclear tests in May 1974, when the Indian government declared that it intended to harness nuclear  energy to manufacture nuclear weapons, the Australian government (and many other countries including the US) placed a ban on exporting uranium to it (France and Russia continued to sporadically export uranium under a safety clause). India had built its clandestine nuclear weapons program using imported Canadian reactors.

Since Nehru, India has justified its indigenous development of civil and military nuclear capacity and fuel and its refusal to ratify the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) by pointing to the nuclear weapons held by existing nuclear weapons states. It has argued that the NPT is a flawed agreement that reflects the hypocrisy of the nuclear weapons states in refusing to seriously engage in disarmament while expecting non-nuclear weapons states to abstain from possession. In 1975, partially in response to the Indian tests of the previous year, the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) initially comprising seven nations (United States, United Kingdom, Soviet Union, Japan, France, Canada, West Germany) was formed to prevent the diversion of nuclear materials used for commercial and peaceful purposes for the production of nuclear weapons. NSG members were obliged to cease trade with governments that did not submit to international inspection. India and Pakistan were included. Despite the bans, India went ahead to conduct its Pokhran II nuclear tests in May 1998. These were followed by Pakistan’s tests two weeks later. UN Security Council Resolution 1172 of June 199823 expressed grave concern and demanded that both countries foreswear further tests and abandon their nuclear weapon ambitions.

expressed grave concern and demanded that both countries foreswear further tests and abandon their nuclear weapon ambitions.

Despite the resolution’s unanimous adoption and threat of sanctions, the turning point was when the George W. Bush administration (2001-2009) chose to prioritize U.S. bilateral relations with India over any unified front to counter nuclear proliferation. The US–India energy agreement of July 2005 opened the way for other states, such as Australia, to engage bilaterally with India.

In 1996, Australian PM John Howard (1996–2007) had already scrapped the Australian Labor Party-initiated Three Mine (uranium) policy (in place since 1983, it compromised the original outright ban on uranium mining), which limited uranium mining in Australia to Olympic Dam (SA), Ranger (NT) and Beverley (SA). After the US-India agreement, the Howard government actively sought to reverse the bi-partisan long-term ban on exporting uranium to non-NPT signatory states in keeping with the NPT and announced the decision to allow exports to India in August 2007. In November 2007, the Rudd-led Labor party (2007–2010) claimed electoral victory, and decided to continue to carry into government the decision to expand uranium mines while permitting state and territory governments to veto that policy. But the Rudd government reversed Howard’s initiative with India and reverted to the ban on exports to non-NPT states.24 Nevertheless, China had already taken the opportunity by signing an agreement with Australia in April 2005 to permit it to conduct exploration for uranium in Australia and to import 20,000 metric tonnes per year of it for power generation from 2010,25 and in 2008 India’s Reliance Industries also invested in Uranium Exploration Australia Ltd (UXA) in order to secure uranium exploration licences.26

Meanwhile in October 2008, the Singh government overcame stiff opposition in parliament to secure national and international backing for the signing of the US–India ‘1-2-3’ Nuclear Cooperation Agreement.This Agreement stipulated that India would open its civilian nuclear facilities to inspection by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and delineate its civil and military facilities so as to ensure US-origin fuel would not be used for military purposes. In return the US would supply nuclear fuel and nuclear technologies (six reactors) and gain greater access to the Indian nuclear market.

As unanimous approval from the 48 states of the NSG was also required, the US and India lobbied hard and secured an unprecedented waiver of NSG export guidelines so as to permit nuclear commerce with India despite its non-NPT signatory status. Having granted the exception, several NSG members then negotiated bilateral nuclear accords with India (including France, United Kingdom, South Korea, Canada and Kazakhstan). In 2008 the Singh government purchased 300 MT of uranium ore concentrate from Areva of France, in 2009 2000 MT of uranium oxide pellets and 58 MT of enriched uranium dioxide from JSC Tvel/Russia, also in 2009 2100 MT of uranium dioxide concentrate from NAC/Kazakhstan and in 2013 2000 MT of uranium ore concentrate from NMMC Uzbekistan.27 While details are yet to be finalised, the deal with Australia in 2014 would secure for India a steady, reliable, high-grade uranium supply from the world’s largest known uranium deposits (its uranium resources are about 28 percent of the world total).

While details are yet to be finalised, the deal with Australia in 2014 would secure for India a steady, reliable, high-grade uranium supply from the world’s largest known uranium deposits (its uranium resources are about 28 percent of the world total).

But it was not all smooth sailing. In the 2008 Indo-US nuclear cooperation agreement28 India promised to improve its regulatory framework for nuclear safety. It was also obligated to sign and ratify the International Atomic Energy Agency’s Convention of Supplementary Compensation (CSC),29 a pre-formulated text that exempts suppliers from any liability and fixes ‘absolute’ and ‘exclusive’ liability on the operator of a nuclear installation. Prior to ratifying the CSC, however, the Indian government passed the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Act (CLNDA) in 2010, whose Article 17(b) stated that the operator has a right of recourse where the nuclear incident resulted as a consequence of an act or negligence of the supplier.30

In November 2010, in a joint statement signed by US President Obama and Indian PM Singh, it was agreed that negotiations would begin between Nuclear Power Corporation India Ltd (NPCIL) and US nuclear energy companies in return for implementing India’s full membership of the NSG in a ‘phased manner’. India agreed to accommodate the demands of General Electric and Westinghouse, which sought strict adherence to the CSC31 by diluting the CLNDA to reduce both suppliers’ liability and the time period for exercising right of recourse in the Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Rules 2011.32 The US-India Business Council, PM Modi and industry executives from the Nuclear Power Company of India Ltd. (NPCIL) also devised an insurance package to indemnify the American suppliers in the event of a nuclear accident for the maximum liability amount stipulated in the CLNDA (INR 1500 Crore/$250 million).33 This was to encourage US/Japan companies (among others) to collaborate in building new nuclear reactors to allow India to ‘achieve its full blown potential’.34 In short, India would take as close to full liability for nuclear accidents as possible in return for receiving the benefits of NPT and NSG membership without the full obligations expected of its members. In doing so, the integrity of the NPT was further compromised.

Australia joined this practice in 2011 after Rudd was ousted as Australian party and national leader in 2010, and his successor PM Gillard resumed the Howard policy toward India. In December 2011, she declared that it was in ‘the national interest [to strengthen] our strategic partnership with India in the Asian century’. In 2012, the New South Wales Labour government lifted the ban on uranium mining, and both Canada and Australia negotiated a uranium trade agreement with India.35

Given that Australia’s uranium mining and export accounts for less than 1 percent of its hundred billion dollar mineral export business (iron ore, bauxite, coal, copper, nickel etc),36 however, these decisions by Australian leaders risked significant political capital over what has been a highly contentious issue in Australia’s recent political history.

Nuclear trade with India: Breaching the NPT

The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is one of several Arms Control and Disarmament treaties to which most of the 190 member states have signed. With its three central tenets of Non-Proliferation, Disarmament and Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy, the NPT supports the grand bargain in which

the NPT non-nuclear-weapon states agree never to acquire nuclear weapons in exchange for which the NPT nuclear-weapon states agree to share the benefits of peaceful nuclear technology and to pursue nuclear disarmament aimed at the ultimate elimination of their nuclear arsenals.

Nuclear weapons states have had the primary responsibility to ensure disarmament of their own arsenals so as to prevent nuclear non-proliferation among other states. The export controls regime of the NSG and enhanced verification measures of IAEA (International Atomic Energy Association) Additional Protocols are ostensibly to end every possible means to acquire nuclear weapons. While Article Four of the NPT provides ‘inalienable rights to every non-nuclear weapon state’ to pursue nuclear energy for power generation, India is neither a member of the NPT nor a Non-Nuclear Weapon State and there is no provision in the NPT which permits for signatories to form nuclear cooperation agreements with Non-NPT states.

India quite rightly has pointed out the hypocritical approach of the nuclear weapons states in approaching the NPT regime. As the Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee stated in 2007, India was not an NPT signatory because it considers the regime to be not one of ‘universal, non-discriminatory verification and treatment’.37 In the same statement, Minister Mukherjee also claimed that India had an ‘impeccable record on non-proliferation… [was] a leading advocate of the elimination of all nuclear weapons… [and was an adherent] to the values of peace and non-violence’. India’s ‘impeccable track-record on non-proliferation’ was a catch phrase coined by President Bush in 2005,38 and reiterated by both PM Modi and PM Abbott in 2014.

Treating India as an exceptional case and a de facto nuclear weapons state makes even more conspicuous the selective imposition of sanctions or favour upon other non-NPT signatory nuclear weapons states such as Pakistan and Israel, or NPT signatory non-nuclear weapons states such as Iran.39 But the self-interested and strategically motivated application of the NPT was not new, nor was it limited to the US and its allies. The Soviet Union supplied China with the necessary technologies and skills to develop its own nuclear weapons capabilities, as China then supplied Pakistan. In turn, Pakistan also supplied other states that aspire to obtain nuclear capabilities. All were in a chain reaction, however, to U.S. threats to China and ultimately to the Soviet Union, in the early decades of the Cold War. While it is debatable that uranium and nuclear technology supply to India by others might serve to deter contemporary Chinese or Pakistani nuclear aggression, it has not served to prevent Indian conflicts with either of those two nations in the past. In any case, the use of nuclear trade as a strategic instrument does not ensure greater security or stability of the international community broadly defined, and this sort of leverage is not a valid use of the NPT.

So despite PM Abbott’s assurances that ‘suitable safeguards’ were in place to guarantee that Australian uranium would be used for ‘peaceful purposes’ and for ‘civilian use only’, as the former Director General of the Australian Safeguards and Non-Proliferation Office John Carlson points out, the Agreement departs from two principles of Australia’s 1987 Safeguards Act (section 51):40 the acquirement of ‘consent to reprocessing’ from the Australian government prior to the separation of plutonium from spent fuel; and the ‘right of return’ of nuclear materials supplied in the event of a breach of the agreement.41 Instead, the Agreement defers to the US-India nuclear cooperation agreement in which India would reprocess in facilities built with the assistance of US companies, and leaves open the question of how separated plutonium would be used or how arbitration would apply to settle disputes.

Ten of India’s twenty nuclear facilities are beyond the regulatory authority of the IAEA and India only selectively recognises IAEA safeguards for specific foreign supplied reactors and facilities. India also refuses to submit to suppliers inventory reports and accounting processes for nuclear material flowing through the nuclear cycle. As the IAEA is not able to fully inspect India’s dual-purpose (civilian and military) indigenous reactors and facilities for reprocessing, enrichment, retransfers to third countries, research and development or the production of tritium (used as a trigger for weapons), India is not fully accountable to either the IAEA or the supplier nation with which it has a bilateral agreement with in-built IAEA norms.

So even if India adheres to Australia’s requirements that its uranium be used solely to supply civil nuclear reactors for electricity generation that may be inspected by IAEA as per the nuclear safeguards agreement, Australia’s (or any other NPT members’) uranium export to India effectively supplements or liberates limited supplies of Indian uranium for military uses.42 Nor could, in the unlikely discovery of the ‘misallocation’ of some Australian origin uranium toward military use, the IAEA force compliance. In fact, whether or not India accounts for the flows of Australian material in its nuclear fuel cycle, it is impossible to verify whether it has actually adhered to the safeguards.

In sum, the contingent or ‘strategic’ approach to nuclear non-proliferation as led by the United States and the former Soviet Union has undermined the credibility of the IAEA safeguards as part of the NPT regulatory regime.43

The costs of boosting India’s rise

Australia’s uranium deposits as of 2005

All of Australia’s three currently operational mines – Ranger, Olympic Dam and Beverley – are known to have caused environmental problems by seepage and dispersal from their tailings dams into the surrounding ecosystem. From 80 possible uranium sites in Queensland, the new demand from India for Australian uranium will likely draw from the Mary Kathleen mine which has re-opened despite its negative environmental impact on surrounding lands, and the Ben Lomond mine near Mt Isa in Queensland. Uranium will likely be shipped from Townsville Port, which has applied to become the state’s yellowcake gateway. Together with coal mined from the gargantuan Carmichael Coal and Rail project in the Galilee Basin, which has been approved by the Queensland government (owned by Indian coal giant Adani, Australia-India combine GVK Hancock, and Palmer’s Waratah project), the uranium will be shipped from a new export terminal at Abbot Point. Unless plans are halted, ships will depart from these ports and pass through a newly dredged channel through the world heritage-listed Great Barrier Reef. Alternatively, the material could be freighted by road to Darwin or Adelaide ports (which hold uranium licenses).44 Environmentalists in both India (Conservation Action Trust) and Australia (Greenpeace/Environmental Justice Australia) mounted a campaign against the Carmichael mine arguing that it threatens the health and livelihood of poor rural people in India while not delivering the benefits promised, and is contrary to the principles of ecologically sustainable development.45

Australian Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson, Adani group founder Gautam Adani, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman in India in 2012.

As has been recommended by the United Nations (UN), World Health Organisation (WHO), International Energy Agency (IEA), Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), and recognised by the World Bank and the European Investment Bank, the rapid phase out of coal-fired power stations is essential if the world is to meet the now seemingly optimistic carbon emissions reductions necessary to keep planetary warming below 2 percent of pre-industrialisation levels.46 While two hundred licenses for coal-fired power stations have been revoked by the Supreme Court of India recently, many Indian overseas coal projects are still underway.

Alongside boosting its renewable energy production (such as the Gujarat Solar Park), the Modi government has claimed that nuclear fuel and more nuclear reactors are essential if India is to meet its ambitious targets to double national energy consumption (presently 949 kwh) and triple electricity generation (presently 135 kwh) over the next 20 years. It favours locally-designed Pressurised Heavy Water Reactors (PHWRs) at 700 Mw per unit, and imported Light Water Reactors (LWRs) of roughly 1000 Mw per unit, procured and built in accord with bilateral agreements with nations like the USA, Japan, France, and Russia. The electricity generated from 19 nuclear reactors it plans to build with a total of 17,400 Mw capacity over the next five years would increase from 4 to 25 percent, or about 20,000 Mw by 2020 and 62,000 Mw by 2032. This would bring it to half of China’s current power consumption level, which is roughly 4000 kwh.47

Such plans help explain PM Singh’s welcome for PM Abe in India in January 2014, and explain why just prior to Abbott’s visit to India in September 2014, PM Modi visited Kyoto and Tokyo for five days from 31 August 2014. Although Modi failed to clinch the much-anticipated Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement, he reportedly secured Abe’s pledge to speed up discussions on a nuclear agreement.48 With the promise of Japanese investment ($35 billion over five years), the Japan-India relationship was upgraded to a ‘special strategic and global partnership’. Modi has set up a ‘Japan-plus special management team’ under the Prime Minister’s Office to fast-track approvals of investment proposals from Japan. Even if India did not procure Japan’s turbines for 1000 Mw capacity reactors, it could seek supply from France, Russia or South Korea.49 With guarantees from Australia and Japan, Modi then met with President Obama on his maiden visit to the United States where they agreed, alongside security, space and technology, aid, infrastructure and investment issues, to focus on the shift to renewable energy while boosting electricity production.50 No specific definition of ‘renewables’ was included but cooperation on civil nuclear energy from U.S.-built nuclear power plants in India was high on the agenda.51

Actual risks

There are a number of flaws underpinning the logic of this activity between political leaders and nuclear industry executives. PM Abbott insisted at the time of signing the nuclear deal with India that the Agreement would be safe. In fact, the Abbott government has committed to selling uranium to an ambitious nation that barely conceals its intentions to expand its nuclear weapons arsenal and has refused to become a full signatory to the NPT and, along with the US, China and Pakistan, has not ratified the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT).

Prime Minister Modi is a pro-business politician and hardliner on Pakistan and Muslim populations in India and favours a security policy based on nuclear deterrence. The BJP holds a commanding majority in the lower house of Parliament. There is little reason to assume that Indian relations with Pakistan – or indeed with China – will soften by furnishing India with greater means to project its military power in the region. The surge of fundamentalist and jingoist forces in South Asia and rising military budgets and tensions between India and Pakistan on the one hand and China and the US, Japan and its allies on the other, aggravate the security situation in the region. Further, India has been waging an on-going long-term campaign against an insurgency within its borders, and it cannot guarantee against theft of nuclear-related materials.

Second, the Indian government continues to maintain a very repressive approach to imposing nuclear installations and uranium operations on vulnerable communities (such as in Gorakhpur, Koodankulam, Jaitapur, Mithi Virdi, Chutka, Kovvada, Jaduguda). This has produced significant civil protest, and led to the deaths of five protesters since 2010. Those in Australia who promote uranium trade with India for nuclear power projects as the solution to Indian poverty rarely acknowledge the danger this poses to ‘the safety and livelihoods of the most vulnerable and politically disenfranchised sections of Indian society – farmers, fisherfolk, tribal women and children’, as Indian physicist M V Ramana observes. Likewise in Australia, uranium mining activities predominantly affect Aboriginal communities.52

Scientific studies of communities living around mines and nuclear reactors have found that dust and water nearby are contaminated with heavy metals from India’s central forty five year old uranium mine operated by Uranium Corporation of India Ltd. (UCIL) in Jaduguda in Jharkhand (19,500 people). Toxic materials in water, fish, animals, crops and humans have steadily accumulated. This has produced higher rates of sterility, shorter life expectancy, disease and congenital malformations in communities who live near the Jaduguda uranium mining operations.53

Third, given that Japan’s nuclear industry and government have proven unable to properly contain the damage from a disaster at one of its domestic nuclear power stations, India’s nuclear industry, which is under much less regulation faces even greater risk. The increasing number and frequency of extreme weather events adds to the risk of similar disaster(s) involving these mega-technologies in India. This point has recently been emphasised in Japan again, in the recent volcanic eruptions of Mount Ontake and Mount Sakurajima both of which are within 50 kms of the Sendai nuclear power plant in Kyushu that is soon to be restarted. Despite the high risk of nuclear power stations sitting atop a geological ‘Ring of Fire’ on the Japanese archipelago, the Japanese government continues to assure the public that there is no danger and that safety measures and evacuation plans are sufficient.54

Fourth, the option of nuclear power as the ‘clean’ alternative is nothing of the sort. Although the fission operation of nuclear power stations may be ‘cleaner’ than coal-fired power stations in terms of carbon emissions, and although the heat from fission may produce more energy and less waste per volume of uranium than coal, many problems remain unresolved. These include the safe storage of long-lived nuclear waste, long build time of reactors in proportion to rapidly accelerating effects of climate change, enormous financial costs, use and contamination of vital resources required across the nuclear cycle from mining to waste production (including water and fossil fuels),55centralised monopolisation of power management necessitated by nuclear power generation, excess heating of the atmosphere through the discharge of excess heat through water and air, danger to ecologies downwind or downstream from venting while refueling reactors, and increased potential for large-scale and long-term damage from accidents.

Given the advances of wind, solar, tidal and geothermal energy production which have become cheaper and more productive, as field-tested in China, Germany,56 Spain and other countries, and the abundance of these sources of energy in countries like Australia, the myth of base-load power is less sustainable than it was in the heady renaissance days. India’s pitch to rapidly increase economic growth has been embraced by the transnational nuclear industry as it represents an opportunity to expand the nuclear industry, and an opportunity to diversify from reliance on the Chinese market. But when typical cost-benefit analyses are extended to include the actual costs of the above-mentioned scenarios (nuclear weapons exchange, public health effects from industrial pollution from uranium mining and nuclear reactors, nuclear reactor disasters, nuclear waste storage, renewable energy alternatives), in an already fragile ecology in India, India’s nuclear energy plan reflects neither deep commitment to climate change mitigation nor serious concern for India’s impoverished populations.

To resume and expand uranium mining and nuclear energy generation will not significantly reduce the effects of climate change. The possibility of nuclear accidents presents a serious, long-term security, social and environmental threat. The standards required to prevent such threats are too onerous, and the damages from the manifestation of such threats are too enormous to be sufficiently covered by insurance. The risks of uranium trade and nuclear projects far outweigh the benefits. This is understood even in the ‘pragmatic’ world of business economics.57

Why does the Australian, Indian, the United States and Japanese governments (among others) and their affiliated transnational corporations, continue to accelerate nuclear related operations despite these significant obstacles?

Geostrategic considerations

Although Modi returned from his August meeting with Abe without a nuclear agreement, he is proceeding to consolidate India’s power and industrial base and feed into an upgraded and stronger military-strategic ‘partnership’ with Tokyo. Japan seeks to encourage India to develop a blue-water navy (a naval capacity to project power over large distances), ostensibly so as to ‘fill the power vacuum’ left by a declining U.S. military presence in the Indian Ocean or due to its preoccupation elsewhere.58 Japanese armaments, and missile technologies in particular (whether from Japan or elsewhere), will advance the integration of Indian with US, Japanese and Australian military operations. Although India maintains significant financial involvement with China in the Asia Infrastructure and Investment Bank (AIIB) and BRICS bank and is considering the recent Chinese invitation to join the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, India’s ‘Look East’ security policy focuses on cultivating relations with ASEAN nations and favours a trilateral military security cooperation between the US, India and Japan (with Australia as a possible fourth). Japan has participated in the annual US–Indian Malabar naval exercise since 2010 and the annual Japan-India Military Exercises (JIMEX) ongoing since 2012 as a gesture toward securing its supply lines in the Indian Ocean. These rehearsals slot neatly into an overarching US anti-China ‘pivot’ and serve as a ‘counter-balance’ to the perceived rise in Chinese power in the Asia-Pacific.59

It is unlikely that the Japan-India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement went unsigned because of any putative scruple Japan may have about selling nuclear technologies to India as a non-NPT nuclear weapons state. As the Modi and NPCIL accommodation of American supplier demands demonstrates, the liability clause can be flexible. It remains unlikely, however, that India will consent to opening all of its reactors for inspection.60 Rather, it is likely that Japan is awaiting an American executive decision on the liability issue and the possible inclusion of India into the NPT as a nuclear weapons state, since prior agreement would appear to abrogate Japan’s NPT obligations.

That PM Modi reasserted India’s customary ‘no first use’ policy does not mean that he does not intend to stockpile and bolster India’s nuclear arsenal. The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) estimates that India possesses 90 to 110 nuclear weapons.61 In June 2014, the IHS (Information Handling Service) Jane’s military research group identified what they believe to be a new uranium hexafluoride (enrichment) facility at the Indian Rare Metals Plant near Mysore. As with its other military plants, this plant is not within IAEA safeguards. Estimated to be operational by mid-2015, it would produce roughly double the amount of enriched fuel (160 kilos a year enriched to 90 percent purity) required for India’s ballistic missile nuclear submarine fleet.62 The IHS analysts surmise that the surplus could be used for thermonuclear weapons (mixing enriched uranium and plutonium stockpiles).63 It could also be used to fuel nuclear submarines, space satellites, tactical and intermediate ballistic missiles, and multiple warhead Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (Agni V ICBM MIRVs) with the ability to reach cities in China and Pakistan. India joins the US, Russia, UK, France and China in possessing the ICBM with MIRV, leaving Pakistan further behind in terms of weapons parity, particularly in navy, air and ground forces, and missile capabilities.64 As India seeks to rival China, it could further destabilize relations with Pakistan by intensifying the ongoing arms race between the two. Regional tensions could be further exacerbated by Pakistan’s border skirmishes with Afghanistan and Iran over its support of the Taliban in Afghanistan.65 Along with increasing tensions involving US-Japan-India and China, this is precisely the scenario that NPT members have tried to avoid by subscribing to IAEA safeguards.

‘Nirbhay’ sub-sonic cruise missile launched from Chandipur, Odisha, India on 17 October 2014

The US-led initiative for the NSG (including Australia) to engage in nuclear commerce with India has the additional effect of opening the opportunity to loosen NPT and IAEA safeguards for other states, and possibly NPT members. As a uranium supplier, Australia’s consent to allow reprocessing until now has been limited to the EU (UK and France) and Japan, stated to be for the purposes of reprocessing spent fuel into plutonium and MOX fuel for use in nuclear reactors for electricity generation. Even though Japan is an NPT signatory, however, high-level officials both prior to and after 3.11 have publicly entertained the notion of Japan’s nuclear armament. Former Defence Minister Morimoto Satoshi and LDP Secretary General Ishiba Shigeru have both re-asserted that Japan’s commercial nuclear program, plutonium stockpiles and nuclear plant re-starts could be regarded as a ‘tacit nuclear deterrent’ in the eyes of other nations.66 Further, in October 2012, Japan’s Foreign Ministry refused to sign a UN initiative mounted by 16 member states to outlaw nuclear weapons worldwide as it stated that it would not be compatible with the Japan–US security alliance. In January 2014, Foreign Minister Kishida Fumio, though he stopped short of stating that Japan would endorse the use of nuclear weapons, reiterated that the potential use of nuclear weapons should be limited to extreme circumstances defined by the right to individual and collective self-defence.67

Since the late 1950s, there have been elements in the Japanese government (led by Abe’s grandfather and former Prime Minister Kishi Nobusuke) who have advocated the procurement of tactical nuclear weapons as an entitlement under the nation’s right to self-defence as stipulated in the UN Charter. Although the US has long discouraged Japan’s nuclear weaponisation with assurances of extended nuclear deterrence, in 2003 US Vice-President Cheney stated that Japan’s possession of nuclear weapons could be tenable if it were aligned to US strategic deterrence policy.68 As an NPT signatory, Japan has accumulated the fourth largest stockpile of ‘civilian’ plutonium, the largest stockpile of any non-nuclear weapons state.69 Despite reprocessing programs having been closed down by many other countries, Japan claims that its significant nuclear reprocessing and fuel fabrication program is for ‘energy autonomy’ by which it means ‘closing the nuclear fuel cycle’. This relies upon the ability to separate plutonium from spent fuel and reprocess and fabricate it ‘upwards’ so as to produce more plutonium than is consumed, thereby facilitating an endless loop of fuel production and consumption. In this scenario, the Japanese government regards spent nuclear fuel and stockpiled plutonium as an ‘asset’ rather than a ‘debt’.

This ability should not be understood as solely for the reduction of reliance on foreign fuel imports or even of nuclear waste. In 2009, Ernest J. Moniz, an MIT professor and United States Secretary of Energy in 2014, admitted that uranium, once thought to be scarce, was now so abundant as to raise doubt over the necessity for nuclear fuel reprocessing.70 As of March 2011, despite the recommendations by the Japan Atomic Energy Commission and the Science Council of Japan of both direct disposal and limited surface storage of spent nuclear fuel in dry casks over fuel pool storage and reprocessing, the Japanese government would not rule out the reprocessing option. If the closed fuel cycle ever did eventuate, it would negate Japan’s dependence on the import of vital energy resources (uranium, oil, natural gas) so as to achieve ‘energy autonomy’. This would drastically reduce fuel costs and would also reduce vulnerability to sanctions should Japan breach the NPT (or other international agreements) in its decision to ‘go nuclear’.

As an interrelated factor, the development of missile technologies by the U.S. military in collaboration with the Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) should not be overlooked. In the overall shift in US military posture toward missile and satellite weapons (US Missile Defense (MD) program) since the 1990s, the JSDF has collaborated with the US in joint research into Anti-Ballistic Missile Systems (ABMS), also known as Aegis Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis BMD). This System functions as a multi-layered ‘fence’ of PAC-2 missiles for air defence and SM-3 land and sea missiles (Block II-A) and PAC-3 land missiles for ballistic missile interception either in mid to late flight or even prior to launch from mobile and stationary launch platforms. It is built to be interoperable with US military operations. Infrared spy satellites and advanced radar (X-band) technology form an integral part of the system. Its architecture ties JSDF operations to a larger and broader US ‘global missile shield’ that includes Aegis-class destroyers, F-35 planes, super-stealth nuclear bombers, and satellite and space weapons.71

Japan’s long-term investment in co-developing this high-level technical capability has made it the second most powerful missile power in the world, and the only nation outside the US with both low and upper-tier defences reputedly capable of intercepting missiles beyond the Earth’s atmosphere.72 Given this long-term commitment, it was not surprising that the Abe government in 2013 decided to declare the constitutional right to participate in ‘collective security’ operations with the US and other allies.

Should Japan choose to construct its own nuclear warheads to fit this system, high-grade fissile material from its own nuclear reprocessing facility would be necessary. Alternatively, pre-loaded missiles could be ‘shared’ with the US, or US extended nuclear deterrence could be continued. In any case, it would mean Japan becoming a ‘proxy nuclear weapons state’ in contravention of its NPT obligations (Article II). It would also implicate those of Japan’s bilateral nuclear suppliers with whom it has Agreements based on IAEA safeguards. The full-scale production and export of this system to Aegis-capable nations (which at this point are South Korea, Australia, Norway and Spain) together with upgrades planned from 2018 (such as ‘Aegis ashore’) would further degrade the NPT regime.73

This technology, and Japan’s ambiguous intentions concerning nuclear and space weaponisation, means that the US and Japan, in collaboration with partners such as Australia and India (in sea-going operations in particular), could potentially integrate not only their BMD systems but also their nuclearized capabilities. As South Korea and Taiwan have also expressed interest in reprocessing their spent nuclear fuel (as have other states such as Saudi Arabia), these developments carry strong potential for proliferation.

One of the major implications of this distributed form of ‘self-defence’ is that US Pacific Command would further extend the pre-emptive strike capacity of its global nuclear strike force. With Japan’s recent release of space assets for military use (reconnaissance, communications, navigation, early warning) in collaboration with the US, this further augments the current period of US ‘nuclear primacy’ and a return to the conditions prior to 1963 when the Soviets had developed long-range bombers to deliver their nuclear payloads over US territory. Nuclear primacy transcends the concept of Mutually Assured Destruction in its ability to win a nuclear war, which the US is proposing to do by eliminating retaliatory capability with a single massive attack called ‘Prompt Global Strike’.

The Obama administration has claimed to have reduced the number and tonnage of nuclear weapons held in US stockpiles in accordance with the New START treaty signed with Russia in 2010. Yet its current plan estimated at roughly US $355 billion in the first ten years has focused on deploying smaller yet more powerful and lethal nuclear weapons. Throughout this process, the Obama administration has maintained the US policy of nuclear first strike against nuclear weapons states and the right to use nuclear weapons in extreme circumstances to ‘defend the vital interests of the United States or its allies and partners’.74 In addition, the US also released a thirty-year ‘modernization’ plan for the US nuclear arsenal estimated to amount to US $1 trillion which will see a renewal of existing nuclear warheads, development and construction of improved nuclear weapon delivery systems (submarines, bombers, missiles), and upgrade of major nuclear weapons plants and laboratories. Aside from undermining the New START iniative, this could be used to force compliance and further undermine international stability.75

Conclusion

Under the Australia–India uranium trade agreement, India will use Australian yellow cake to diversify its nuclear program. If and when the Japan–India Nuclear Cooperation Agreement is concluded, it will supply the nuclear technology India requires to build its industrial capacity and indirectly enhance its nuclear arsenal. Negotiated almost simultaneously and in coordination, both of these Agreements, together with and following the US–India nuclear agreement, tacitly legitimise India’s nuclear status and assist in its ambitions for greater international influence. Australia and Japan, both NPT and NSG members, have become complicit in India’s nuclear weapons program and partially responsible for increasing the risk of nuclear accident in India, and for potentially aggravating nuclear rivalry in Asia.

India claims to need more electricity for domestic and industrial growth as well as to lift a significant population out of poverty. Yet there are many factors which create the conditions for the advance of India’s poor, just as there are many forms of alternative energy generation beyond nuclear and coal which would be safer, more reliable and powerful if given comparable investment and with smart power grid distribution networks.76 To the extent that governments and corporations continue to invest in nuclear power construction and reprocessing as a source of ‘renewable energy’, they diminish the potential to stem the destructive and exponentially increasing effects of climate change.77 China, Germany, the United States, India and even Japan are presently leading the world in investing in renewable energy technology. Yet, with the exception of Germany, this is being done in parallel with plans to expand nuclear power production.

The ongoing contamination from radiation dispersed from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant came, in part, from Australian uranium.78 When the benefits of uranium trade are weighed against the potential and actual costs and damages from uranium mining, the actual risks of nuclear reactor accidents and mismanagement, the decline in costs and advances in renewable technologies, potential nuclear weapons use (broadly defined) and proliferation, and the steady production of nuclear waste, it becomes clear that state-corporate policies to expand the industry are ill-conceived.

In 2014, as in 1945 and throughout the intervening decades, uranium mining, nuclear power generation and nuclear weapons remain ineluctably tied to the formation of a global power structure of nation-states and transnational corporations and instrumental in their overarching ambitions.

Adam Broinowski is an ARC postdoctoral research fellow at the School of Pacific and Asian History, College of Asia and the Pacific, The Australian National University. His recent work includes a chapter, ‘Sovereign Power Ambition and the Realities of the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster’ in Nadesan/Boys/McKillop/Wilcox (eds.), Fukushima: Dispossession or Denuclearization?, The Dispossesion Publishing Group, 2014, and a forthcoming article, ‘Conflicting Immunities: Priorities of Life and Sovereignty amid the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster’, European Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies, December 2014. His book, Cultural Responses to Occupation in Japan: The Performing Body during and after the Cold War is forthcoming in 2015.

Recommended citation: Adam Broinowski, “Undermining Nuclear Non-Proliferation: Energy and Security Politics in the Australia–India–Japan–U.S. Nuclear Nexus,” The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 46, No. 2, November 1, 2014.

Notes

1 R. A. Paulsen, The Role of Nuclear Weapons in the Post-Cold War Era, Maxwell Airforce Base: Alabama Air University Press, 1994, pp. 1–11.

2 William Burr (ed.), ‘The Creation of SioP-62: More Evidence of the Origins of Overkill’, National Security Archive Electronic Briefing book No. 130, 13 July 2004.

3 Government of United States of America, Joint Chiefs of Staff, ‘Berlin Contingency Planning’, June 1961, National Security Archives.

4 F. Kaplan, The Wizards of Armageddon, New York: Simon and Schuster, 1983, p. 269. To what extent they calculated the ‘bonus kills’, as General LeMay put it, from radiation exposure is unclear, but it was likely a very conservative estimate.

5 For example, Uranerz Energy Corporation announced a net loss in the second quarter of 2013. See, ‘Uranerz Records Q2 Net Loss of $4.45 million’, 11 August 2014.

6 See Suzuki Tatsujiro in Mycle Schnyder and Anthony Froggat (eds.), World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2014, 18 August 2014, pp. 4, 76, 155; Aaron Sheldrick, ‘Global nuclear power contribution falls to lowest since 1980s’,Reuters, 29 July 2014; Jim Green, ‘Uranium – how low can it go’, Business Spectator, 29 May 2014.  

7 Schneider and Froggatt, ‘Executive summary and conclusions’, World Nuclear Industry Status Report 2013, July.

8 David von Hippel, James H. Williams, ‘Nuclear safety concers with China’s growing reactor fleet’, NAPSNet Policy Forum, 28 October 2014.

9 John Mathews and Hao Tan, ‘China shows there is more to renewable energy than fighting climate change’, The Conversation, 11 September 2014.

10 Daniel Cusick, ‘Power companies in Japan move to restrict solar’, Scientific American, 2 October 2014.

11 Aaron Sheldrick, ‘Global nuclear power contribution falls to lowest since 1980s’, Reuters, 29 July 2014.

12 Paddy Manning, ‘Producers bullish on Japanese demand’, Sydney Morning Herald, 18 December 2012.

13 Andrew Picone, ‘Mining companies now have more rights than the community in Newman’s Queensland’, SBS News1 October 14. Between 2013–14 and 2017–18 Australia’s uranium production is projected to increase by 32 per cent to total 9590 tonnes, as supported by the Alliance Resources’ Four Mile mine in South Australia, ore extraction at Ranger uranium mine and Toro Energy’s Wiluna mine in Western Australia. Other additional mining operations such as Cameco’s Kintyre and Yeelirrie projects as well as potential projects in Queensland are not projected to begin until 2017–18. Government of Australia, BREE, Resources and Energy Quarterly, October 2013, p. 26.

14 ‘Toro signs NT deal with AREVA’, The West Australian, 29 September 2014.

15 The World Bank estimates that nearly 400 million Indians have no access to electricity. World Bank, ‘Energy’.

16 At the recent opening of a coal mine, Prime Minister Abbott was quoted as declaring ‘Coal is good for humanity, coal is good for prosperity, coal is an essential part of our economic future, here in Australia, and right around the world.’ Editors, ‘Coal is good for humanity’, The Australian, 15 October 2014.

17 ‘Nuclear power in the USA’, World Nuclear Report, 23 October 2014.

18 Mitsubishi CEO Kojima Yorihiko quoted by Rick Wallace, ‘Billions to flow from Shinzo Abe visit, says Mitsubishi chairman’, The Australian7 July 2014.

19 Editor, ‘Exports that defy reason’, Japan Times, 20 April 2014.

20 The Defense Ministry of the Abe government has sought a 3.5 percent increase to ¥5.05 trillion for the fiscal year of 2015, an unprecedented military budget for the nation. Takenaka Kiyoshi, Reuters, 29 August 2014.

21 P. Kallender-Umezu, ‘Japan Quietly Builds Limited Counter-A2/AD Capabilities’, 17 September 2013, Defense News.

22 The Howard government proposed the expansion of uranium mining and uranium exports, establishment of a uranium enrichment industry, and construction of 25 power reactors. Others in Australia propose 20 nuclear by 2050. See Government of Australia, Prime Minister and Cabinet, 29 December 2006, ‘Uranium mining, processing and nuclear energy – opportunities for Australia’.

23 United Nations, UN Security Council Resolution 1172.

24 For more discussion on this, see C. Rovere and K. Robertson, ‘Australia’s Uranium and India: Linking Exports to CTBT Ratification’, Security Challenges, Vol. 9, No. 1 (2013), pp. 51–61.

25 ‘China wants Australia’s uranium’, ABC, 17 October 2005.

26 ‘Reliance Arm paid $3.45 million to UXA for uranium exploration’, The Hindu Business Line, 28 May 2008.

27 Later, it was admitted that Indian projections are overly ambitious, and they would scale down from 20,000 MWe of new nuclear capacity to 11,080 MWe by the year 2020.

28 ‘Agreement for Cooperation Between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of India Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy (123 Agreement),’ August 2007,

29 IAEA, Convention on Supplementary Compensation for Nuclear DamageInternational Atomic Energy Agency.

30 Government of India, ‘The Civil Liability For Nuclear Damage Act’, 2010.

31 Editors, ‘U.S.-India Business Council Statement on Nuclear Liability Law’, Reuters, 30 August 2010.

32 Government of India, ‘Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Rules 2011’.

33 Indrani Bagchi, ‘India gives US insurance plan for nuclear plants’, The Times of India, 13 March 2014; Kapil Patil, ‘Untying the Civil Nuclear Liability Knot in the Indo-US Nuclear Deal’, Nautilus Institute, 30 September 2014.

34 Kapil Patil, ‘Untying the civil nuclear liability knot in the Indo-US nuclear deal’, NAPSnet policy forum, 30 September 2014.

35 Paul Meyer, ‘India and the meltdown of Canada’s nuclear non-proliferation policy: Ottawa abandons principled position for greater access to India’s economy’, Reuters.

36 Editors, ‘Yellow cake fever: Exposing the Uranium industry’s economic myths’, Australian Conservation Foundation, April 2013, p. 27.

37 Editors, ‘India dismisses NPT as ‘flawed’ treaty’, The Times of India, 23 March 2007.

38 Demetri Sevastopulo, Caroline Daniel, Jo Johnson, ‘India nuclear deal takes Congress by surprise’, Financial Times, 19 July 2005.

39 Yusra Mushtaq, ‘A Blatant Violation Of NPT’, 26 September 2014, Eurasia Review. See also, IAEA, Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, ‘IAEA Topic 2: The Implementation of the NPT for the Non-Supporters of this Treaty’.

40 Government of Australia, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, ‘Australia’s uranium export policy’.

41 John Carlson, ‘Is the Abbott Government abandoning Australia’s nuclear safeguards standards for India?’, The Interpreter, 1 October 2014 (part 1) and (part 2).

42 K. Subrahmanyam, ‘India and the nuclear deal’, The Times of India, 12 December 2005.

43 Crispin Rovere, ‘Australia–India nuclear treaty: a non-proliferation disaster’, Australian Strategic Policy Institute, 14 October 2014.

44 Comprising six open-cut pits and five underground mines, the Carmichael mine will cover an area seven times that of Sydney Harbour. Despite warnings from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and UNESCO that this will place it ‘in danger’, plans to dredge and dump about 3 million cubic metres of the Reef into a wetlands sanctuary to make way for port expansions for 480 additional ships to access 330 million tonnes of coal per year from this mega-mine will use 12 billion litres of fresh water per year and will affect the habitat of humpback whales, sea turtles and dugongs. With 130 million tonnes of carbon dioxide produced every year for ninety years, this will cancel out the Queensland Direct Action target of 131 million tonnes of carbon dioxide reduction. Adani Enterprises has a dubious track record including illegal large-scale exports of iron ore at its port and numerous cases of environmental pollution. It has also been a significant supporter of the Bharatiya Janta Party. Deutsche Bank, HSBC, Citi, Morgan Stanley and possible JP Morgan Chase and Goldman Sachs have refused to fund the project while the ‘big four’ Australian banks seem to be giving their approval. India is the third largest producer, consumer and importer of coal in the world and the fourth largest energy consumer in the world. See, Mary McCarthy, ‘Darwin and Adelaide likely export hubs for Queensland uranium’, ABC Rural; Ben Pearson, ‘Carmichael coal mine impacts will be felt for generations,’ ABC Environment28Jul2014, William Rollo, ‘Carmichael Coal and Rail Project: Queensland mine gets Federal Government approval’, ABC News, 29 July 2014; Candace Dunn, ‘India falls back on imported fossil fuels’, Business Spectator, 15 August 2014.

45 ‘Indian activists take on Adani coal mine’, Geelong Advertiser, 9 October 2014; ‘Ramping up against coal’, Beyond Zero Emissions, September – August 2012.

46 In support of the claim for the rapid shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy and energy savings, the United Nations’ Secretary General Ban Ki-moon stated ‘We need to limit global temperature rise within 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. This is what the international community has recognised as the upper limit of safety. Beyond 2 degrees, the consequences will be unpredictable, highly dangerous and perhaps irreversible’. See, United Nations, ‘Secretary-General’s remarks at Climate Leaders Summit’, 11 April 2014. It is estimated that at least two thirds of proven fossil fuel reserves must stay in the ground and that carbon utilities and infrastructure must be developed beyond 2017 as 80 percent of cumulative emissions allowable between 2010 and 2035 are already locked into existing power plants, factories, buildings and services. In addition this will result in significant positive in health effects, job production, biodiversity conservation, energy independence and stronger sovereignty and resilience. Although several countries have moved to end public finance for coal and other fossil fuels, Australia has yet to do so in a significant manner. See WHO – 7 million premature deaths linked to air pollution and Climate Change – IPCC Response Strategies.

47 Editors, ‘A new engagement: The Indo-Australian nuclear deal signals a paradigm shift in the quality of the relationship between the two nations’, The Hindu Business Line, 8 September 2014.

48 Neeta Lal, ‘India’s Nuclear Energy Imperative’, The Diplomat, 8 October 2014.

49 Sanjay JogCivil nuclear deal: India expects turbine from Japan, uranium from Australia’, Business Standard, 20 August 2014

50 Joby Warrick, ‘Obama and Modi announce agreement on U.S.-India efforts to fight global warming’, Washington Post, 30 September 2014.

51 Government of the United States, The White House, ‘U.S.-India Joint Statement’, 30 September 2014.

52 M. V. Ramana, ‘Indian activists detained for protesting against India-Australia uranium agreement,’ Dianuke, 5 September 2014.

53 While there are conflicting reports, in contrast to studies based on dose estimates in accordance with institutional levels (such as the ICRP), an Indian Doctors for Peace and Development (IDPD) epidemiological study found in 2007 that living within 2.5kms of the mining operations increased rates of illness (2118 households) and was upheld by the Jharkhand High Court in 2007. This was supported by a study in 2004 by Koide Hiroaki who found the level to be 10mSv/y around the mine and over 1 mSv/y in the villages. The UCIL managers have used the As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA) principle to set permissible radiation exposure limits and precautionary measures and have shown disregard for the conditions of indigenous peoples living in the area. See, Shakeel ur Rahman, ‘Study on Health status of Indigenous people around Jadugoda uranium mines in India’, IDPD.

UCIL Chairman Diwakar Acharya denied any correlation and blamed ordinary socio-economic factors (malnutrition). Stephanie March, ‘Australia to sell uranium to India but at what cost to its people?’, ABC 7:30 Report, 3 September 2014; Uranium Corporation of India hopes to get renewal of Jaduguda mine lease soon PTI, 6 October 2014; Rakteem Katakey, Tom Lasseter, ‘India’s Uranium Boss Says Deformed Children May Be ‘Imported’,’Bloomberg, 24 July 2014.

54 Mari Yamaguchi, ‘Sendai reactors vulnerable to eruptions, state-picked volcanologist says’, The Japan Times, 18 October 2014.

55 France, which until recently has drawn roughly three quarters of its energy supply from nuclear power stations, uses 40-50 percent of the nation’s mostly fresh water supply to cool its plants.

56 Germany, for example, prior to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011 was heavily reliant on nuclear and fossil fuels. Over the past decade, however, its use of renewable energy mainly from solar and wind, has tripled. In 2013, however, renewable energy accounted for 24 percent of the nation’s total electricity supply. Despite government subsidies of roughly EU 16 billion, the Government claims to have created new businesses worth 40 billion euros per year and created additional employment to 400,000 people. Emily Steward, ABC, 29 October 2014.

57 See for example, Jeremy Rifkin, ‘No nukes!’, Los Angeles Times, 29 September 2006.

58 Nagao Shigeru, ‘Why Japan needs India as a Strategic Power’, Defence and Security Alert, 26 October 2014.

59 Vince Scappatura, ‘The U.S. “Pivot to Asia”, the China Specter and the Australian-American Alliance’, Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol. 12, Issue 36, No. 3, September 9, 2014.

60 Bhattacharjee, S., A. Sasi, ‘Japan wants slice of the nuclear pie, warms up to liability law’, Indian Express, 12 June 2014.

61 Editors, SIPRI Yearbook 2014.

62 Along with the P-5 states, India and Pakistan also continue to develop new systems capable of delivering nuclear weapons and are expanding their capacities to produce fissile material for military purposes. India conducted successful tests of the 5,000-km Agni-V, India’s first ICBM. Along with its shorter-range Prithvi missiles, India’s 2,000-km K-4 SLBM and its Agni-I (700-km), Agni-II (2,000-km) and Agni-III (3,000-km) missiles were tested under Strategic Forces Command in March 2014. It is still to test the 750-km K-15 SLBM in India’s first indigenous nuclear-powered submarine the INS Arihant in sea trials in late 2014. Rajat Pandit, ‘Pakistan surges ahead of India in nuclear stockpile: Report’, The Times of India, 17 June 2014.

63 ‘IHS Reveals New Potential Nuclear Enrichment Site in India: Potential to expand India’s uranium enrichment for its nuclear submarine’, IHS, 20 June 2014; Hasan Ehtisham, ‘Australian and Indian nuclear trade’, Daily Times, 4 September 2014; Douglas Busvine, ‘India nuke enrichment plant expansion operational in 2015  IHS’,

Reuters, 20 June 2014.

64 Pakistan possesses roughly the equivalent nuclear weapons as India, which serves as a cheap deterrent in the face of India’s overwhelming conventional superiority. Nevertheless, Pakistan is developing shorter-range cruise missiles to evade ballistic missile defence and is planning a long-term build-up of its nuclear arsenal and delivery systems, including tactical short-range missiles, as a ‘full spectrum deterrent’. See for example, Tim Craig and Karen DeYoung, ‘Pakistan is eyeing sea-based and short-range nuclear missiles, analysts say’, Washington Post, 21 September 2014; Kyle Mizokami, ‘If Pakistan and India clash: 5 Pakistani weapons of war India should fear’, The National Interest, 24 August 2014; Kyle Mizokami, ‘If Pakistan and India went to war: 5 Indian weapons of war Pakistan should fear’, The National Interest, 16 August 2014; Amin Saikal, ‘Pakistan must de-escalate conflicts with three of its neighbours’, Canberra Times, 4 November 2014.

65 Amin Saikal, ‘Pakistan must de-escalate conflicts with three of its neighbours’, Canberra Times, 4 November 2014.

66 Kageyama Yuri, ‘Japan pro-bomb voices grow louder amid nuke debate’, Associated Press, 31 July 2012.

67 Adam Westlake, ‘Surprisingly Japan declines 16 UN outlawing nuclear weapons’, Japan Daily Press, 23 October 2012.

68 M. Mochizuki, ‘Japan tests the nuclear taboo’, Non-Proliferation Review, vol. 14, no. 2, July 2007.

69 M. Pomper and M. Toki, ‘Time to stop reprocessing in Japan’, Arms Control Today, January/February 2013.

70 Matthew Wald, ‘U.S. Panel shifts focus to reusing nuclear fuel’, New York Times, 23 September 2009.

71 Missile shield deployments are currently in Alaska and the Aleutian Islands, Greenland, Britain, Norway, Japan, South Korea, Australia, Poland, the Czech republic, Turkey, Georgia and potentially in Ukraine.

72 Chester Dawson, ‘Japan shows-off its missile defense system’, Wall Street Journal, 9 November 2012.

73 While Japan may have a powerful missile system integrated with the US, one should not overlook the US-initiated NATO interceptor missile system that incorporated the U.S.–Germany-Italy Medium Extended Air Defense System (MEADS) and NATO’s Active Layered Theatre Ballistic Missile Defence (ALTBMD) program and is being deployed in the ongoing military build-up in Eastern Europe. See for example, ‘SM-3 BMD, in from the sea: EPAA & Aegis Ashore’, Defense Industry Daily, 13 October 2014.

74 Government of the United States, Department of Defense, ‘Nuclear Posture Review Report’, April 2010.

75 K. Lieber and D. Press (2006), ‘US Primacy in Foreign Policy’, Foreign Affairs, March/April, pp. 42–54.

76 Andrew Picone,‘Queenslanders have more reason than ever to be concerned about uranium mining in the sunshine stateMining companies now have more rights than the community in Newman’s Queensland’, SBS News, 1 October 2014.

77 Yusra Mushtaq, ‘A Blatant Violation Of NPT’, Eurasia Review, 26 September 2014.

78 Dave Sweeney, ‘Fukushima: Australia’s Radioactive Rocks And Responsibility’, New Matilda, 29 August 2014.

Russland legt Beweise zum Abschuss der MH 017 vor

November 24th, 2014 by Peter Haisenko

Von Anfang an stand die Frage im Raum, warum die USA-NATO keine Aufnahmen ihrer Spionagesatelliten veröffentlicht haben, um ihre Version des Absturzes der MH 017 zu beweisen. Diese Frage ist jetzt geklärt. Die Satellitenfotos beweisen das Gegenteil. Ich selbst muss meine Analyse vom 27. Juli dieses Jahres in einem Punkt revidieren: Das ukrainische Kampfflugzeug war keine SU 25, sondern eine MIG 29, und damit hat sich die ablenkende Diskussion um die technischen Fähigkeiten der SU 25 ebenfalls erledigt. Niemand wird in Frage stellen, dass eine MIG 29 eine Boeing abschießen kann.

Richtigstellung: Um das hier veröffentlichte Bild ist eine erbitterte Diskussion entbrannt, ob es sich um eine Fälschung handelt, oder nicht. Neueste Recherchen haben ergeben, dass es sich bei diesem Bild nicht, wiederhole nicht um eine Satellitenaufnahme handelt. Vielmehr ist dieses Foto von einem Spionageflugzeug aufgenommen worden, das sich in einer Höhe von etwa 14 Kilometern aufgehalten hat. Das Kampfflugzeug ist keine MIG 29, sondern eine SU 27. Ich kann nicht einmal ausschließen, dass dieses Bild eine komplette Fälschung ist. Das ändert jedoch nichts Wesenliches an den folgenden Ausführungen, zeigt aber, dass in dieser Gegend noch viel mehr abläuft, als wir erfahren dürfen.

Am 14. November 2014 hat Russland endlich dafür gesorgt, dass wenigstens eines der zweifellos zahlreich vorhandenen Satellitenfotos der US-Spionagesatelliten der Öffentlichkeit zugänglich ist. Natürlich stellt sich die Frage, warum Russland so lange damit gewartet hat. Ich sehe hier vornehmlich zwei Motive strategischer Natur. Russland hat sich genüsslich zurückgelehnt und zugesehen, wie sich die westliche Seite immer weiter in unhaltbare Lügen verstrickt, bevor diesem Treiben mit unwiderlegbaren Beweisen ein Ende bereitet wird. Zum andern haben die Russen generell kein sonderliches Interesse daran, den USA mitzuteilen, in welchem Ausmaß sie fähig sind, die verschlüsselten Daten ihrer Spionagesatelliten abzugreifen.

MIG 29 trifft die Boeing mit einer Luft-Luft-Rakete

Bild anklicken zum Herunterladen als PDF in hoher Auflösung

Das jetzt von Russland freigegebene Satellitenbild ist aufschlussreich in mehreren Hinsichten. Damit alle Leser die Informationen auf diesem Foto für sich selbst erschließen können, habe ich es in hoher Auflösung in eine PDF umgewandelt, die in vollem Detailreichtum durch Anklicken heruntergeladen werden kann. Zunächst gehe ich auf das Offensichtliche ein. Man kann deutlich erkennen, dass sich eine MIG 29 in Schussdistanz zur MH 017 befindet. Besser noch ist unübersehbar, dass diese MIG eine Luft-Luft-Rakete abgefeuert hat, deren verlängerte Flugbahn genau auf die Malaysische Boeing ausgerichtet ist. Es ist sogar erkennbar, dass diese Rakete vor dem Abschuss unter der linken Tragfläche des Kampfjets montiert war. Man betrachte hierzu die Vergrößerung, die anhand der Bodenstruktur eine genaue Flugbahn der Rakete in Richtung der MH 017 aufzeigt. Wenn man die Flugbahnen der beiden Flugzeuge weiter projiziert erkennt man, dass der hitzesuchende Steuerteil mit der Rakete in einer Kurve direkt hinter die Boeing gelangen und so der Treffer unvermeidlich wird. Das Kampfflugzeug selbst befindet sich dann bereits in einer günstigen Position für den direkten Beschuss des Passagierflugzeugs. Für den Abschuss einer Boden-Luft-Rakete gibt es keinerlei Hinweise.

Es fällt auf, dass die Konturen beider Flugzeuge etwas unscharf sind. Das liegt daran, dass der Fokus der Spionagekamera auf den Boden eingestellt ist. Objekte in einer Höhe von zehn Kilometern werden dadurch unscharf, was auch als Beweis für die Echtheit der Aufnahme gewertet werden kann. Der Mitarbeiter des MIT (Massachusetts Institut of Technologie) George Bilt bestätigt, dass dieses Foto hundertprozentig nicht manipuliert ist und den Abschuss der MH 017 durch die MIG 29 ebenfalls hundertprozentig belegt. Damit ist der von mir bereits geschilderte und damals noch als größte Wahrscheinlichkeit bezeichnete Ablauf dieses Verbrechens ebenfalls zu 100 Prozent bestätigt: Die MH 017 ist zuerst von einer Luft-Luft-Rakete an einem Triebwerk getroffen worden. Weil das nicht zum sofortigen Absturz geführt hat, vollendete der Pilot des Kampfflugzeugs sein grausames Werk durch direkten Beschuss der Boeing mit Bordwaffen, in zwei Anflügen von beiden Seiten. Er muss mit dem vorsätzlichen Mord an 298 unschuldigen Menschen leben.

Wo sind die Beweise gegen Russland? Die Technologie, sie zu zeigen, ist vorhanden

Nun zu weiteren Informationen, die uns dieses Satellitenbild erschließt. Man muss davon ausgehen, dass Russland nicht preisgeben will, in welcher Qualität die amerikanischen Satellitenbilder abgegriffen werden können. Tatsächlich dürften Fotos vorhanden sein, die eine wesentlich höhere Auflösung haben als das, was für die Öffentlichkeit zur Verfügung gestellt wurde. Ich gebe zu bedenken, dass die USA bereits während des Vietnamkriegs über die Technologie verfügten, anhand der Reflexionen auf den Gesichtern der Soldaten aus Satellitenbildern zu erkennen, ob diese frisch rasiert waren. Das gab Aufschluss über die Kampfmoral der eigenen Soldaten. Heute ist es möglich, Kfz-Kennzeichen aus dem Weltraum zu identifizieren. Google-Earth-Nutzer wissen, welche Detailauflösungen sogar im nicht-militärischen Bereich Standard sind.

Dieses Wissen vorausgesetzt, darf niemand daran zweifeln, dass es sich um komplette Lügen handelt, wenn Russland immer wieder vorgeworfen wird, die Separatisten in der Ost-Ukraine mit Material und sogar Soldaten zu unterstützen. Über der Ost-Ukraine stehen andauernd Spionagesatelliten der USA, denen nichts, aber auch gar nichts entgehen kann. Ergäbe die Auswertung der Bilder dieser Satelliten auch nur den kleinsten Beweis für die Richtigkeit der Anschuldigungen gegen Russland, ist mit absoluter Sicherheit davon auszugehen, dass uns dieser mindestens zehnmal täglich zur besten Sendezeit vorgeführt würde. Im Umkehrschluss kann man daraus nur folgern, dass die diesbezüglichen Anschuldigungen gegen Russland jeglichen Beweises entbehren.

Gezielte Desinformation seit Monaten

Die Veröffentlichung dieser (amerikanischen) Satellitenaufnahme durch Russland müsste jetzt endlich auch unsere Regierung zum Umdenken zwingen. Sie beweist unzweifelhaft, dass uns unsere Medien und unsere Politiker seit mehr als drei Monaten vorsätzlich belügen, vitale Informationen zurückhalten und mit einem „Bericht“ beleidigen, der vor Auslassungen und rabulistischen Interpretationen nur so strotzt. Sollten unsere Politiker aber tatsächlich nicht über den Kenntnisstand der USA zu diesem Massaker informiert gewesen sein, inklusive der Kanzlerin, ist es an der Zeit, unser Verhältnis zu den USA einer peinlichen Prüfung zu unterziehen.

Immerhin hat auch Frau Merkel andauernd weitere Sanktionen gegen das nun eindeutig unschuldige Russland gefordert und durchgesetzt. Dass diese Sanktionen vor allem zu unserem eigenen Schaden sind, beweist der Umstand, dass die „Wirtschaftsweisen“ ihre Wachstumsprognosen in den letzten Monaten stetig nach unten korrigieren mussten. Dabei vermeiden auch diese tunlichst den Hinweis auf die wahre Ursache für ihre Prognosen: Die Sanktionen gegen Russland. Wir werden also auch in dieser Hinsicht desinformiert, wahrscheinlich deswegen, weil mit Offenlegung dieser Tatsache die Unterstützung der Politik gegen Russland gegen Null gehen würde.

Wer Frieden will, muss aufhören zu lügen

Wenn wir also zugunsten unserer Regierung annehmen, dass diese von den USA nicht über deren eindeutige Erkenntnisse informiert worden ist, ist das Verhalten der USA vollkommen intolerabel. Sie haben Deutschland/Europa und den Rest der Welt vorsätzlich und wider besseres Wissen gegen Russland aufgehetzt und Europa nicht nur angehalten, sondern gezwungen, Russland zu diffamieren und mit Sanktionen zu „bestrafen“. Der amerikanische Vizepräsident Biden hat das ineiner Rede am 3. Oktober 2014 vor Studenten der Harvard-Universität genau so vorgetragen. Sie können diese selbst ansehen unter diesem Link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgzQFjl1iA8&feature=youtu.be

Vergessen wir nicht mit welch grotesken Lügen die USA ihren Angriffskrieg gegen den Irak begründet haben. Dieses Land, und mit ihm die gesamte Region, ist auf unabsehbare Zeit dem Chaos ausgeliefert. In der Ost-Ukraine herrschen bereits Kampf, Mord und Zerstörung, letztlich weil die USA es so wollen. Anstatt die Kiew-Regierung zur Mäßigung zu ermahnen, werden die Beweise für deren Schandtaten zurückgehalten und stattdessen wird Russland zum „Sündenbock“ gemacht. Jetzt, mit diesem vorliegenden Beweis gibt es für unsere Regierung keine Entschuldigung mehr, den Lügen der USA weiter zu folgen. Wenn wir wirklich Frieden anstreben – und ich gehe davon aus, dass auch unsere Regierung das will, dann müssen die USA endlich zur Ordnung gerufen werden. Einen anderen Weg zu Frieden und friedlicher Zusammenarbeit gibt es nicht, denn es ist nicht Russland, das den Frieden bedroht, auch wenn Obama das noch so oft wiederholt.

——————–

Hier eine Aufstellung meiner Artikel zum Abschuss der MH 017:

Der „Verband der Ingenieure Russlands“ bestätigt die „Haisenko-Analyse“ zu MH 017-Absturz in allen wesentlichen Punkten

The Dutch Commission Report on the MH17 Crash is not worth the Paper it’s Written On.

Der Bericht der holländischen Kommission zum Absturz von MH 017 ist das Papier nicht wert, auf dem er steht

MH 017: Korrekte Unfalluntersuchung findet nicht statt

Shocking Analysis of the ‘Shooting Down’ of Malaysian MH17

Schockierende Analyse zum Abschuss der Malaysian MH 017

Gefälschte Nachrichten zu MH 17 Absturz

Malaysian MH 017 und die schnellen Erklärungen

Angesichts dieser neuen Entwicklung und der gesamten “Ukraine-Krise” lege ich unseren Lesern nochmals mein Buch über das 20. Jahrhundert ans Herz. Ich belege schlüssig, wie speziell Deutschland mit der von den Siegermächten vorgeschriebenen Geschichtsschreibung seit 1945 belogen wird, wie nach 1945 mindestens 13 Millionen Deutsche unter der Verantwortung der Alliierten umgekommen sind: England, die Deutschen, die Juden und das 20. Jahrhundert, zu bestellen hier oder im Buchhandel.

Swiss Gold Referendum: What It Really Means

November 24th, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

In a few days the Swiss people will go to the polls to decide whether the Swiss central bank is to be required to hold 20% of its reserves in the form of gold.  Polls show that the gold requirement is favored by the less well off and opposed by wealthy Swiss invested in stocks.http://snbchf.com/gold/swiss-gold-referendum-latest-news/  

These poll results provide new insight into the real reason for Quantitative Easing by the Federal Reserve and European Central Bank. 

First, let’s examine the reasons for these class-based poll results. The view in Switzerland is that a gold backed Swiss franc would be more valuable, and a more valuable franc would increase the purchasing power of wage earners, thus reducing their living costs.  For the wealthy stock owners, a stronger franc would reduce Swiss exports, and less exports would reduce stock prices and the wealth of the wealthy.

The vote is clearly a vote about income shares between the rich and the poor.  The Swiss establishment opposes the gold-backed franc, as does Washington.

A few years ago the Swiss government, after experiencing a strong rise in the exchange value of the Swiss franc as a result of dollar and euro inflows seeking safety in the Swiss franc, decided to expand the Swiss money supply in line with the foreign currency inflows in order to stop the rise of the franc.  The liquidity supplied by the central bank creating new francs has stopped the rise of the franc and supports exports and stock prices.  As a vote in favor of a gold backed franc is not in the interest of the elite, it is unclear that the vote will be honest.

What does this tell us about the Federal Reserve’s policy of Quantitative Easing, which is an euphemism for printing an enormous amount of new dollars?

The official reason for QE is the Keynesian Phillips Curve claim that economic growth requires mild inflation of 2-3%.  This false theory was put to death by the supply-side policy of the Reagan administration, but the misrepresentation of the Reagan administration’s policy by the Establishment has kept the bogus Phillips curve theory alive.  http://www.paulcraigroberts.org/2014/11/14/global-house-cards-paul-craig-roberts/

The claim based in disproven Phillips Curve theory that the Fed’s policy is directed at helping the overall economy is another example of the deception practiced by US authorities. The real purpose of QE is to drive up the wealth and income of the one percent by providing the liquidity that flows into financial asset prices such as stocks and bonds.

Since the 2008 US recession, skeptics of the Fed’s explanation of QE as support for the US economy have stressed instead that the purpose of US economic policy has been to support the federal deficit at low interest rate costs and to support the balance sheets of the troubled banks by pushing up the prices of debt-related derivatives on the banks balance sheets.

These have been important purposes, but it now appears that the main purpose has been to make the rich richer.  This is why we have a stock market whose high values are not based in fundamentals but, instead, are based on the outpouring of liquidity by the Federal Reserve. As the economic policy of the US is entirely in the hands of the rich, it is not surprising that the rich use it to enrich themselves at the expense of everyone else.  The Fed’s monetary policy that enriches the rich by driving up the prices of stocks and bonds also has robbed retirees of hundreds of billions of dollars, perhaps trillions, in lost interest income on their savings. http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/11/bill-sardi/how-10000-in-a-bank-in-2008/

As Nomi Prins and Pam Martens have made clear, QE is not over. The Fed is rolling over its interest and principal payments on its $4.5 trillion bond inventory into new bond purchases, and the banks now infused with $2.6 trillion in cash from the Fed are purchasing the bonds in place of the Fed’s QE purchases.

According to the latest news reports, Mario Draghi, the head of the European Central  Bank will print all the money necessary  to support financial asset prices. http://www.marketwatch.com/story/draghi-says-ecb-will-do-what-it-must-on-asset-buying-to-lift-inflation-2014-11-21?dist=beforebell   Draghi, like the Federal Reserve, masks his policy of enriching the rich in Phillips curve terms of driving up inflation in order to support economic growth.  Of course, the real purpose is to drive up stock prices.

Like the Fed, the ECB pretends that the money it prints flows into the economy.  But given the poor condition of the banks and potential borrowers, loan volume is low. Instead the money created by central banks flows into paper financial asset prices.  Thus, the monetary policy of the Western world is directed toward supporting the wealth of the rich and worsening the inequality in the distribution of income and wealth.

The rich are far from finished with their pillage. In exchange for campaign donations, state governors are turning over state pension funds to the management of high-fee, high-risk private pension fund managers who do a better job of maximizing their fee income than protecting the nest eggs of retirees.  http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40287.htm

Throughout the Western world economic policy is run for the sole benefit of the one percent and at the cost of everyone else.  The greed and stupidity of the rich are creating ideal conditions for violent revolution.  Karl Marx might yet triumph.

EEUU Ingiere en Argentina por su Reserva de Gas de Esquisto

November 24th, 2014 by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

La reserva de gas de esquisto en Argentina podría ser la causa de la injerencia de EE. UU. a través de los fondos buitre que acosan este país. 

El geopolítico internacional, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, analizó la creciente tensión de los fondos buitre sobre Argentina. Según Nazemroaya, EEUU utiliza  los fondos buitre como un arma contra Rusia en una guerra energética por el gas de esquisto del país sudamericano.

“Debemos examinar los recientes acuerdos entre Gazprom de Rusia y la renacionalización de YPF, la compañía de petróleo y gas nacional de Argentina. Es muy claro que Rusia ayudará a Argentina a desarrollar su gas de esquisto ya que este país es el segundo depósito de gas de esquisto recuperable del mundo después de China. La participación de Rusia en esto instó a EEUU a intervenir como fuerza desestabilizadora”, explica el analista internacional.

Actualmente, Argentina está librando una batalla contra los fondos buitre. Estos especuladores internacionales reclaman 1300 millones de dólares más intereses.

La corte estadounidense decidió que Argentina debía pagar 1600% de intereses en un periodo de 5 años, lo cual es inaudito. Esto pone una inmensa presión económica sobre Argentina, no solamente porque los pone en una posición de incumplimiento de pago pero también, por una clausula que se llama “el derecho de retorno” que forzará a incrementar todas sus otras deudas al 70 %. Esto desestabilizará a Argentina”, agregó Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya.

En septiembre pasado, la ONU aprobó una resolución que condena a los fondos buitre. Hector Timerman, Canciller de Argentina, enfatizó que los fondos buitre  impiden a los gobiernos cumplir sus obligaciones en materia de Derechos Humanos.

El analista concluyó que “Lo que estamos viendo en Argentina es una guerra energética. Esta guerra energética no es solamente dirigida contra Argentina, es principalmente dirigida contra Rusia y los fondos buitre son básicamente las águilas del imperio”.

El G-20 de Brisbane incluyó en su documento final la necesidad de garantizar los procesos de reestructuración de deudas soberanas y fortalecer cláusulas contractuales para poner límites a los fondos buitre.

 

 

 

Arabs in Canada

November 24th, 2014 by Dr. Ibrahim Hayani

Introduction: The Beginning

Exactly a century and a quarter ago, amid the numerous immigrants then pouring into Canada, a 19-year-old youth landed in Montreal. It was 1882, just 6 years after the establishment of Canada as a federal state, and Abraham Bounader from Zahle, a small town in The Lebanon (then part of Syria) overlooking the fertile Beka’ valley, had become Canada’s first Arab immigrant. By 1901, there were 2,000 others of Arab origin in Canada, by 1941 this number had grown to about 12,000 persons, and today it is estimated that there are about 600,000 Canadians of Arab origin (i.e., about 1.8% of Canada’s total population).

Syrians (including Lebanese) have sailed forth from their relatively small, resource-poor land for many thousand of years. Their perpetual Odyssey has led them to the farthest parts of the earth. If one knows how to identify them, he can find Lebanese (and Syrians) in almost every country, in almost every major city. And so they came eventually to Canada; from one rocky shore to another. Gradually they make a new home; gradually they took root and grew. As they did, they transformed both themselves and their new country.

They voyaged not only to political liberty and stability and better economic opportunities although these were important motives. They voyaged, too, for adventure, for excitement, for the taste of something new. Their ancestors, the Phoenicians, sailed and traded throughout the ancient world and established colonies in several locations (Cadiz in Spain, and Carthage in Tunisia, are two famous examples). It is not known for certain what caused the Phoenicians to adopt their commercial role, but it is likely that their region’s poverty in natural resources and the raggedness of its terrain were contributing factors. Certainly, these factors were of great importance in 19thand 20th century emigration from Lebanon.

Virtually all early Arab immigrants to Canada came from the regions included in the contemporary states of Lebanon and Syria. The earliest migrants from the Fertile Crescent were not distinguished as Syrians or Lebanese. Until 1956, Canadian immigration statistics grouped the two together.

Anecdotes of Arab immigrant pioneers reflect the importance of the steamship lines factor. One Colorado pioneer had jumped ship in Canada, and traveled south; a group of travelers rejected in New York in 1885 returned to Halifax, and from there traveled overland to New York. Mr. Howar, builder of the famous Islamic Centre of Washington, D.C., journeyed by chance from his home in Palestine to Egypt, India, and England before arriving in the United States around the turn of the last century. He went to Washington because that was where the President lived. According to historical records, the first Lebanese to settle in Canada came via New York. In those early years, it was only the very adventurous few, mostly Lebanese and Syrian, who left home and ventured to seek their fortune in distant lands. The majority went to the United States, but few made it to Canada.

The immigration patterns of these early years illustrate clearly the factors that determined the rate at which immigrants, Arabs and others came to Canada. Immigration legislation provides excellent insight into the prevailing values and beliefs of the day. In the 19th and early 20th century, the salient view among most English Canadians was that the values and way of life of the “white race” were superior to all others. Preference was therefore given to British and American immigrants, followed by immigrants from western and northern Europe, then from the rest of Europe. Asians and Blacks were the least preferred of all immigrants and were allowed in only when there was a demonstrated need for their labour (e.g., building the Canadian Pacific Railroad in the 1890s allowed thousands of Chinese immigrants into Canada. Yet during the next 50 years, when “orientalphobia” was widespread among Anglophiles, less than a 100 Chinese were admitted into the country).

It was only in the second half of the 20th century that discriminatory restrictions on immigration began to ease. The Second World War forced Canadians to re-examine their view of immigrants. In the years leading up to the war, Canadians had become guilty of excessive human rights violations against local minorities, the most infamous of which was the treatment of the Japanese in 1942. But other groups suffered as well (e.g., Germans and Italians). The injustices committed against these minorities became all the more pronounced because the Second World War was to a larger extent a war against the concept of racial superiority. Canada’s joining of the United Nations in 1945 was the final blow to a long history of discriminatory practices against non-whites, and to the preferential treatment given to Anglophiles. It was then only a matter of time before artificial barriers to immigration had to come down even though old attitudes and beliefs persisted for a while longer and have occasionally surfaced since then.

The Post World War II Period

With each change in immigration laws and regulations, it became easier for Arabs to immigrate to Canada, mostly through sponsorship. The post WWII period witnessed a dramatic increase in the number of Arab immigrants to Canada. Unfavourable conditions in their home countries, coupled with more liberal immigration policies in Canada made Canada a choice destination for many an Arab immigrant.

The period following the War was one of social tranquility and economic prosperity in Canada. In the Arab world, this same period saw nothing but one disaster after the other (Al-Nakba in Palestine in 1948, the Suez War of 1956 following the Egyptian Revolution of 1952, the Six-Day-War of June 1967, the 1973 War, the Civil War in Lebanon, the Iran-Iraq War of 1980-88, the 1991 Gulf War and subsequent invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, the Civil Wars in Sudan, Somalia and Algeria, and the continuing Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories). It was these “push factors” that largely determined the origin, religion and other socio-economic profile of Arabs who immigrated to Canada.

Canada Egyptians are a case in point. Starting in the mid-1950s there was a significant upsurge in the number of Arab immigrants from Egypt even though their number in Canada until 1954 was relatively insignificant. Yet within a period of less than twenty years, (1956-1974), over 17,000 Arab immigrants who came to Canada gave Egypt as their country of origin. Today, Egyptians (as well as Iraqis) are only second to the Lebanese in making up the Canadian Arab population.

The Egyptian immigrants of the 1950s and 1960s were largely Copts and middle class Muslim Egyptians who were disaffected with the socialist transformation of their country by President Nasser. Concerned about religious and economic freedom, they left their country in search of better living conditions elsewhere. Many came to Canada.

The same was, and still is, true for immigrants from other Arab countries, especially Iraq, Palestine, Sudan, and the North African states of Tunisia, Libya, Algeria, and Morocco. The precarious balance that had kept in check volatile and explosive religious and political forces in the Lebanon came apart with horrendous consequences for the Lebanese people in the mid-seventies. A civil war erupted with a level of destruction not seen anywhere in many generations. Tens of thousands of Lebanese came to Canada where many of them had relatives who could either sponsor or nominate them. Some came under the new immigration category of business investors while other came as refugees. Many, in the latter group, were probably of Palestinian origin.

More recently, the human catastrophe that has befallen Iraq precipitated a massive wave of Iraqi immigrants to Canada. The same can be said about the Palestinians. These people have been direct victims of the creation of the State of Israel in 1948, the subsequent Israeli expansionist policies in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, and scapegoats for Arab conflicts. The number of Palestinians in Canada is significantly higher than those reported by either the Census or immigration statistics. Because they do not have their own state, Palestinians hold the citizenship of various Arab and non-Arab countries, so that when they come to Canada, Palestinians are likely to be counted as nationals of the countries from which they have just arrived (e.g., Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates), or of countries whose citizenship they hold (e.g., Jordan and Syria).

The Changing Profile of Arab Canadians

The period following WWII, particularly the last five decades, has witnessed not only a substantial growth in Arab immigration to Canada, but also significant changes in the socio-economic characteristics and national origins of Arab immigrants.

Prior to 1954, virtually all Arab immigrants to Canada were from Syria and Lebanon, the majority of them were Christians who came from the many villages and towns that dot the Lebanese and Syrian mountains. After 1945, the national origins of Arab immigrants became far more diversified; their composition in Canada became more representative of the Arab world by region, religion, and social class.

Arab Canadians can be found in virtually all Canadian provinces and major urban centres. However, Ontario, and to a lesser extent Quebec, have always been the provinces of choice for immigrants from the Arab world since the 1950s. According to the most recent Census figures, Ontario is now home to more than 40% of the total Arab population in Canada. The Greater Toronto Area (GTA) alone is home to almost half of Ontario Arabs and close to one-fifth of all Arab Canadians. Such residential concentration has proven to have quite an impact on social and institutional development. It has resulted in the formation of Arab cultural niches. In Toronto, for example, one can drive along a two-kilometre stretch of Lawrence Avenue and find Arab stores dotting both sides of the street; supermarkets whose shelves stock all kinds of Arabic (and Middle Eastern) food and other products, a bakery that produces and sells thousands of pita bread daily, confectionery/sweet shops whose colourful delights match – in sight, if not always in taste – the best that is produced anywhere in the Arab world. There are also a number of restaurants, which in recent years have been responsible for introducing Canadians to such Arabic foods asFalafelHummusCouscosTabouleh and so forth. On a typical Saturday, the parking lot of what must be dubbed the “Nasr Plaza” is crowded with people who speak different dialects of Arabic and exchange pleasantries, gossip, and news about the local community and their home countries. The same developments have occurred elsewhere in Mississauga, Montreal, Ottawa, Edmonton, London, Windsor, Hamilton, Halifax and other major urban centres throughout Canada.

Age and Sex Composition

The age and sex composition of an ethnic group has social, economic, and even political consequences. Masculinity ratios – number of males per 100 females – for example, may have an impact on the rate of mixed marriages. Also, the age profile of a group will have an effect on such economic factors as participation in the labour force, and the demands that are placed on such social services as health, education, and employment benefits.

Arab Canadians, when compared with other Canadians, tend to have a younger age profile. This may be due to the fact that the great majority of the Arab Canadian population is made up of recent immigrants who tend to be younger in age. Initially, they also maintain the relatively high fertility rate of the Arab world.

The net effect of this age distribution is that (1) the per capita demands made on government health and other support services for seniors of Arab origin is less than that of the average for the total Canadian population; and (2) that the relatively younger profile of the Arab Canadian population will contribute positively to future entrants into the labour force.

For the Arab community in Canada, there are considerably more males than females. As a result, masculinity rates for Arab Canadians are quite high, especially when compared with national averages. A shortage of females within one’s own ethnic group will, out of necessity if nothing else, force eligible males to seek marriage partners from outside the group. Some may overcome this problem by finding a mate from the “old country”, but the majority will be left with no option but to seek a mate outside their own ethnic group.

Religious Affiliation and Diversity

Although the great majority of Arabs, well in excess of 90%, are Muslims, the religious affiliation of the first wave of Arab immigrants to Canada which lasted until the WWII was predominantly Christian. They brought with them a version of Christianity which, at least in name, was not all that easily recognizable to the average Canadian Catholic or Protestant. They were mostly Melkites, Syrian Orthodox and Maronites.

In the post-Second World War period, the proportion of Muslim Arabs immigrants increased dramatically with the upsurge of immigration from the Arab world. Those Arab immigrants who came from Egypt in the 50s and 60s were largely Christian. They brought with them a version of Christianity known as Coptic, a Christian sect with deep historical roots in Egypt. The same can be said about Christian immigrants from Iraq who belong to the Assyrian and/or Chaldaean branch of Christianity.

In Canada, the early history of the Arab Muslims goes back to the last half of the 19th century when a few began to immigrate to North America from the Greater Syria area. According to the Canadian Census, in 1871 there were only 12 Muslims in Canada – all living in Ontario. In 1931, there were 645 Muslim residents, probably mostly Arab, spread throughout different regions of Canada. Small size and relatively even geographical spread underlay the slow development of Mosques and related Muslim institutions. In 1938, as many as 20 families residing in Edmonton, Alberta, built the first Canadian Mosque – declared a historic site in 1978 – in that city.

After the Second World War, the Muslim population increased rapidly, mostly in Ontario. Today, there are well over 1.2 million Muslims in Canada – about 33% being of Indo-Pakistani origin, followed closely by Somalis and other Arabs. There are also a good number originating from East and South Africa, the Caribbean, Iran, Turkey, and Europe – principally from Albania, Bosnia and Croatia. Canada is home to roughly 1.2 million Muslims Canadians (about 3.6% of Canada’s total population).

By far the largest Islamic religious education and community services are concentrated in the Greater Toronto Area. In this prosperous Canadian city, the Muslims have established a series of religious institutions to cater to the nearly 300,000 members of these Toronto Islamic organizations. To meet the expanding need, old mosques are being expanded and new ones are continuously being built.

The Arab Canadian community has undergone a remarkable degree of institutional development involving religious, social, and secular organizations. The most prominent of secular and pan-Arab Canadian organization is the Canadian Arab Federation (CAF) that was founded in 1967 as a direct by-product of the Six Day War of June of that fateful year. Currently, there are numerous newspapers and other types of popular Canadian Arab media outlets. Both the religious and secular ethnic institutions have provided a link with the ancestral land, reinforcing the maintenance of cultural and linguistic identity. At the same time, they have played an important role adaptive role, encouraging acculturative change and integration with the host society.

A Socio-Economic Profile of Arab Canadians

The first wave of Arab immigrants to Canada which lasted until the WWII was characterized by people who were mostly uneducated and unskilled. They were quite young, single, and primarily interested in making money (A good example of that generation is the family of Leon’s Furniture Stores). Handicapped by their limited knowledge of North American culture and the English language, they sought jobs that did not require familiarity with either of these. The majority of them made a living working as industrial labourers, as peddlers or as shopkeepers.

The more recent immigrants from the Arab world, however, have been better educated, more professionally qualified and more adept at coping with the demands of modern society. Add to this the emphasis that Arabs have traditionally placed on education, and the result is an Arab community in Canada whose members, on average, enjoy high levels of educations, of income, and of occupational status.

The economic adaptation of the early Arab immigrants was often linked with a keen desire for economic and occupational success. (The story of Clair Haddad and her remarkably successful career in the fashion industry could be used as an example). Many of the early Syrian immigrants entered the labour force through peddlery, an independent but relatively low status occupation. Through devotion to hard work, frugality and reciprocal support, the three elements of what can be described as the “Levantine Ethic”, peddlers often experienced a steady rise in their economic fortunes and a broadening of their entrepreneurial functions (The story of the founders of Leon’s Furniture stores is an excellent example).

The post-war immigrants entered Canada with higher average educational and occupational qualifications and the majority of them planned to follow professional and other white collar careers. Thus the economic/occupational characteristics of the typical Arab immigrant have been changing.

Economic adaptation is a central life concern, relevant not only to the material but also the social, psychological and spiritual well-being of the individual immigrant and his/her ethnic community. Throughout the years, Arab immigrants and their descendants have entered all levels of the occupational hierarchy, some of them achieving renown in their respective fields (Clair Haddad: Fashion designer, Leon’s Furniture; the late Joe Ghiz, former premier of PEI is a powerful symbol of how Prince Edward Island’s Lebanese community has overcome prejudice and won the respect of the Islanders; virtually every Canadian university has one of more faculty member who is of Arab origin).

Adaptation to Canadian Life

The successful adjustment of Arab immigrants requires both linguistic and psychological adaptation. It requires that they learn or improve their knowledge of one or both of Canada’s official languages and, as well, that they develop new attitudes and commitments, which may be reflected in such things as acquiring Canadian citizenship, deciding to make Canada a permanent home and developing a general liking for Canadian society and culture.

The acculturation experience, how an ethnic group adapts to the host society, is greatly influenced by (1) how it is perceived by the other dominant groups; (2) how it perceives the other groups; and (3) how it perceives itself.

It is generally accepted that the higher is the level of education or occupational status, the easier it is for the immigrant to cope with the challenges of entering a new society. Among other things, education provides a person knowledge, language and conceptual skills, and problem solving tools that enable him/her to deal better with the demands of acculturation. Good occupational qualifications also make it easier for the immigrant to deal with one of the most pressing practical problems upon entry, finding a job.

There has been a strong tendency for immigrants from the Arab world to be favourable to permanent residence in Canada and to the acquisition of Canadian citizenship. There is no doubt about their generally positive feelings towards the new way of life, despite attachment to certain aspects of the Arab heritage. Having experienced both East and West, and having chosen the West, Arab immigrants see acculturative change, in the form of integration, as desirable, yet they and their descendants have continued to maintain links with the ancestral heritage.

Whether or not an Arab Canadian knows Arabic, links with the ancestral heritage can be, and have been, maintained through such things as Arabic food, music, dances, mass media exposure, visits to the Old Country (or homeland), and correspondence with friends and relatives left behind.

Arab cultural identity in Canada is not likely to be reduced to a uniform configuration among Arab Canadians, and we will probably always encounter patterned variations in its strength. Because of the relative youthfulness of the immigrant generation, coupled with its numerical dominance, Arab ethnicity will continue to be vigorously manifested, especially with continued immigration from the Arab world. Also, the federal government’s policy of multiculturalism and relatively tolerant public attitude towards ethnic differences, if continued, will enhance the development and preservation of ethnic identity without diminishing loyalty to Canada as the chosen land. Pluralism is one of Canada’s foundational values. It is based on the recognition that our diversity is a source of strength and that every individual and community has an equal voice and can, and should, use that voice to participate as a full member of the Canadian society.

For Arab Canadians, living in Canada has meant the adoption of many Canadian norms and values. To be sure, they have also retained, in varying degrees, their ethnic identity and elements of the cultural heritage; but the demands of the new socio-cultural system have necessitated the development of new orientations and modes of behaviour. As a consequence, they now have in common the experience of having abandoned, or even rejected some of the ways of the Old Country, in the process of embracing the ways of the new land. This process appears to intensify with each succeeding generation and with economic advancement.

At the same time, there are also pressures towards the maintenance of ethnic identity, reflected in part in a moderate degree of institutional development within the Arab Canadian community. The ethnic institutions developed include churches, mosques, secular associations, newspapers, radio and TV programs. In addition, the Arab-Canadian family has played a role in maintaining aspects of the ancestral heritage. In all other spheres, Arab Canadians have been, and still are, integrated with the institutions of the larger society.

The Future

We have already pointed out the major reasons why Arab immigrates to Canada: wars, population displacement, political instability, religious persecution (real or imagined), economic deprivation, and the existence of attractive conditions in Canada. Unfortunately, there is little reason to believe that the political and social conditions in the Arab world is likely to improve in the foreseeable future.

Economically, the Arab world is in dire straits. The widening gulf between rich and poor is festering a growing frustration among millions of the Arab masses. Many of them can easily become convinced that Arab wealth, in the form of oil, is being squandered by the few in collusion with a decadent West. Increases in population size coupled with improvements in education have produced a large class of qualified and energetic young people who have very limited employment prospects in the Arab countries. Furthermore, the initial optimism that characterized the earlier phase of the Palestinian-Israeli peace talks, there is now the realization that peace is not likely to break out soon.

The festering Arab-Israeli conflict with its destabilizing effects on the whole region, combined with the dangerous situation in the Gulf (i.e., the conflict with Iraq), and the mounting social and political problems throughout the Arab world, will no doubt put pressure on Canada to admit more, rather than less, immigrants from Arab countries.

In conclusion one may be justified to say that the Canadian Arab community (1) is growing in numbers and influence; (2) is diverse but culturally unified; (3) has an integrationist mode of acculturation; and (4) is a misunderstood community.

In a U.N. vote, on November 21st, only three countries — the United States, Ukraine, and Canada — voted against a resolution to condemn racist facsism, or “nazism,” and to condemn denial of Germany’s World War II Holocaust primarily against Jews.

This measure passed the General Assembly, on a vote of 115 in favor, 3 against, and 55 abstentions (the abstentions were in order not to offend U.S. President Obama, who was opposed to the resolution).

The measure had been presented to their General Assembly after a period of more than a decade of rising “neo-Nazi” (i.e., racist-fascist) movements in Europe, including especially in Ukraine, where two Ukrainian nazi parties were installed by the U.S. into high posts in Ukraine’s new government, immediately after the democratically elected Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych was overthrown in a violent coup in Kiev during February of this year. The entire Ukrainian ‘defense’ establishment was then immediately taken over by the leaders of these two nazi parties, which rabidly hate ethnic Russians, and Ukraine is now led by the first — and so far, the only — nazi government to take charge of any country after the end of WW II. Within less than a mere three months after the coup, this new Government began an ethnic-cleansing program in Ukraine’s own ethnic-Russian southeast, where around 90% of the residents had voted for the man who had been overthrown in the coup — this was a campaign to isolate and exterminate those people, so that those voters could never again participate in a Ukrainian national election. Unless those voters would be eliminated, these nazis would be elected out of power — removed from office.

Ukraine voted no on this resolution because this new Ukrainian Government is the only nazi regime in the world, and they are doing the standard nazi things, and so what they are doing is in violation of numerous international laws, which are not being enforced, but which are re-asserted and re-affirmed in this resolution, though Ukraine and the Ukrainian situation aren’t at all mentioned in the resolution. The United States voted no on it, because the U.S. Government had placed them into power. And Canada voted no on it because their far-right Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, has been a virtually unquestioning supporter of all U.S. foreign-policy positions, and wants U.S. President Barack Obama to approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline to assist the Koch brothers and other large oil giants to profitably transport and sell to Europe and around the world, tar-sands oil from Canada’s landlocked Athabasca region.

Germany abstained from voting on this resolution because their leader, Chancellor Angela Merkel, does not want to offend the U.S. President by voting for a resolution that the U.S. Government strongly opposes; and also because, as today’s leader of the land where nazism started — in the first nazi political party, the Nazi Party of Germany — she does not want Germany to vote against a resolution that condemns Nazism. If Germany were to have voted against this anti-nazi resolution, she would have faced a political firestorm at home. So, Germany abstained, in order not to offend Obama on the one side, and her public on the other.

Key to understanding the vote on this resolution is knowing the relevant historical background, which has largely to do with the world’s only nazi-led Government: today’s Ukraine. Consequently, the remainder of this article will explore that issue in depth, so that this otherwise-incomprehensible U.N. vote will become comprehensible.

According to the U.N.’s press-report on the votes occurring on November 21st, “Speaking before the vote [on this resolution], the representative of Ukraine said Stalinism had killed many people in the Gulag, condemning Hitler and Stalin alike as international criminals. Calling on the Russian Federation to stop glorifying and feeding Stalinism, he said he could not support the draft text.” Ukraine refused to condemn nazism, because the resolution did not call for a condemnation also of Stalin, and of Russia. “Any intolerance should be dealt with in an appropriate and balanced manner, he added.”

Samantha Power, the U.S. Representative at the U.N., gave as her reason for voting against the resolution, its unacceptability to the Government of Ukraine. “Her delegation was concerned about the overt political motives that had driven the main sponsor of the current resolution. That Government had employed those phrases in the current crisis in Ukraine. That was offensive and disrespectful to those who had suffered at the hands of Nazi regimes. Therefore, the United States would vote against the resolution.” In other words: the U.S. opposed this resolution, supposedly, because it was offensive to Ukraine, even though the very term “Ukraine,” and all other conceivable references to Ukraine, were and are entirely absent from it. (Here is the entire resolution.) The world’s only nazi Government, Ukraine, thus had an opportunity to condemn nazism, and chose not to not vote on it, but to vote against  it. And their sponsor, the United States, joined them in that. But which was the master here, and which was the slave? Was the U.S. simply doing the will of the Ukrainian Government? Or was the Ukrainian Government doing the will of the U.S. Government — the Government that had installed it? Consider this:

THE IMMEDIATE HISTORICAL BACKGROUND:

My prior article, “Meet Ukraine’s Master Mass-Murderer,” documented how U.S. President Barack Obama — through his State Department and CIA and the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine, and with funding by U.S. and Ukrainian oligarchs — exploited the “Maidan” movement in Ukraine, to replace the corrupt but democratically elected pro-Russian Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, by a rabidly anti-Russian, racist-fascist and thoroughly corrupt regime, whose most powerful person is Dmitriy Yarosh, who had founded and still leads one of Ukraine’s two racist-fascist, or “nazi,” armed political parties, Right Sector, and who commands a dedicated personal army of 7,000 highly trained “paramilitaries,” who not only terrorize and freely murder dissenting Ukrainians, but who even publicly, and with equal impunity, threaten the nation’s figurehead President, Petro Poroshenko, to keep him in line.

The present  article will mainly describe Yarosh’s chief competitor for power, the thuggish Ukrainian-Israeli-Swiss multibillionaire, Ihor Kolomoysky, who likewise commands a private Ukrainian army of around 7,000 mercenaries, and likewise issues public threats to overthrow Poroshenko, if Poroshenko fails to do his bidding. But first, here’s the story about

THE FIGUREHEAD LEADER — POROSHENKO:

It’s important to note that the figurehead, Poroshenko himself, is a corrupt billionaire oligarch, who, like Kolomoysky and Yarosh, has long been working with the CIA and U.S. Ambassadors and Presidents, in order to wrench Ukraine away from its historical alliance with Ukraine’s main bordering nation, Russia. So, Ukraine’s figurehead is the man whom U.S. President Obama and Republicans in Congress, and conservative congressional Democrats such as Senator Robert Melendez of New Jersey, parade before the U.S. media and their essentially captive American audience, as the face of ‘Ukrainian democracy,’ which is threatened by the ‘imperialistic designs’ of Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin.

Putin, of course, doesn’t like America’s and the EU’s surrounding his nation by new NATO nations (such as, perhaps, now Ukraine) which invite in U.S. military bases, and become next-door launching-pads for U.S. nuclear missiles aimed against Russia. Putin is vilified in “the West,” as Washington wants. The media pass along what the U.S. Government says. The American public doesn’t care whether Russia is surrounded by hostile nuclear missiles, and whether ethnic Russians in Ukraine, right next door to Russia, are being exterminated and driven out to become refugees in Russia. Putin isn’t being feted in Washington, as Poroshenko is. Instead, the United States is on Poroshenko’s side, against Putin’s side. In fact, U.S. President Obama, all congressional Republicans, and all conservative Democrats, praise Poroshenko, and condemn Putin, as if Putin were surrounding the U.S. with his military bases, instead of us surrounding his country with ours.

But, actually, Poroshenko is on America’s side: America isn’t on his side. Poroshenko has for a decade been a bought U.S. agent, after having first achieved his wealth by serving Ukraine’s Russian-appointed communist leaders, and then getting sweet inside deals on Harvard-designed privatizations of what had formerly been Ukrainian state-owned properties, such as a shipyard, a chocolate factory, and a TV station. But now, he’s ‘on America’s side.’

For America’s oligarchs, the Cold War never ended; it wasn’t really about communism versus capitalism; it was instead about which nation’s oligarchy would be supreme over all other nations’ oligarchies. And, when the communist (Russia-allied) team went down, Poroshenko knew to take his favors from them before, in 2004, selling himself out to the opposite (America-allied) team. And that’s what he did.

As regards what type of man Poroshenko himself actually is, consider carefully the phone-conversation between the top EU foreign-affairs official Catherine Ashton and her investigator in Kiev Urmas Paet, on 25 February 2014, right after the coup. See the call’s transcript in the middle of this, in italics, at the point where I’ve marked in brackets, “[So, Poroshenko himself knows that his regime is based on a false-flag U.S.-controlled coup d’etat against his predecessor.]”. In other words: by no later than 25 February 2014, Poroshenko already knew that this was a U.S.-backed coup and not an action on the part of the Yanukovych Government. From at least that moment forward, he was participating in, and keeping quiet about, treason to his country. He is a traitor to his nation. That’s the type of man he is. (EU officials likewise knew about it, after this phone-conversation. But they’re all quiet about it. Apparently, they, too, are on the take.)

UKRAINE’S MOST POWERFUL OLIGARCH — KOLOMOYSKY:

Britain’s Independent reported on 11 September 2013 (which was before the coup and so our ‘news’ media were reporting such things then), “Mr Kolomoisky had the reputation of being a ‘corporate raider’, someone who attacked companies by destabilising management, driving down the share price and grabbing control ‘without paying what the other shareholders would regard as a proper premium for their shares’. Mr Kolomoisky had, the judge noted, a reputation of having sought to take control of a company ‘at gunpoint’ in Ukraine. Even his main witness in the trial admitted that was his boss’s image.”

Then, on 15 January 2014, barely a month before the coup, The Hill reported about Kolomoysky and his sidekick Bogolyubov and about Kolomoysky’s huge bank, Privat, that, “In the takeover of the Kremenchuk steel factory in 2006, Privat’s raid was literal, with Kolomoisky and Bogolyubov hiring an army of thugs to descend upon the plant with baseball bats, gas and rubber[-bullet] pistols, iron bars and chainsaws. Needless to say, Kremenchuk’s steel production was soon under Privat’s control.”

Then, after the February coup, the great American independent journalist George Eliason, who happens to live in Ukraine’s conflict-zone, reported on 23 June 2014, that, “When the Kolomoisky mercenaries go into the shops it’s like a siege. They come twenty at a time circling the shop with their weapons pointing at anyone walking by. They do not receive government supplies so they clean out the stores, leaving little for residents.”

Then, Eliason added: “In reaction to the peace plan, Kolimoisky (banker, Jewish leader, oligarch statesman of Ukraine) stated that he will not be governed by Poroshenko. He would continue military operations until all the Moskal [ethnic Russians] are killed. Take him seriously: this is a guy that rips down holocaust memorials (Crimea—before Maidan) and built luxury housing where the crematorium stood. He organized and paid for the Odessa Trade Union House massacre and the Mariupol massacre. He has challenged the legitimacy of Kiev and declared himself a separatist. Should we tell president Obama?” (Obama says that the people who are being killed by his new Ukrainian Government deserve to die because they’re separatists.)

In other words: Kolomoysky respects no law but his own.

Right after the coup, Kolomoysky was appointed by Obama’s team as the Governor of the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast, or region, on 2 March 2014.

AFP reported on October 31st, “Kolomoisky, one of Ukraine’s most controversial billionaires, funds the paramilitary, which returns the favour in these troubled times by boosting the banking and industrial tycoon’s personal security and political clout. All the signs are of a flourishing military enterprise.” Kolomoysky’s henchman Yuriy Bereza was asked how many men are in the battalion, and he answered, “Unofficially, it’s 7,000.” Bereza was threatening to overthrow the Poroshenko Government if they didn’t kill or drive out enough ethnic Russians fast enough, and was asked how much time Kolomoysky was intending to give Poroshenko. “We’re going to give them half a year.” And then, if Kolomoysky still isn’t satisfied? “‘A coup,’ he said.”

I have previously written about Kolomoysky’s links to the Obama White House. Kolomoyskyi has hired Joe Biden’s son, and another young man who is connected to John Kerry. Both could become billionaires if the U.S. team kills and drives out enough people in the targeted regions, because Ihor Kolomoysky’s company that hired them has claims to the fracking rights in much of the area the Government is bombing. To Obama’s team, the residents there are trash, but the land is golden.

RESISTANCE TO OBAMA’S UKRAINIAN OPERATION:

Some members of the U.S. Congress are opposed to the U.S. supporting nazism in Ukraine. All are Democrats. One, Rep. John Conyers of Michigan, introduced a bill against it, and the journalist Max Blumenthal posted its text at Alternnet, on November 18th. Headlining there, “How the Israel Lobby Protected Ukrainian Neo-Nazis,” Blumenthal presented the “Failed Amendment barring US assistance to Ukrainian neo-Nazis.” What killed it was the rabid anti-Russian sentiment at the Anti-Defamation League, plus congressional Republicans, and the few conservative congressional Democrats.

As that incident shows, anti-nazi sentiments can pass toothless measures at the United Nations, but not meaningful measures in the U.S. Congress, where Obama’s campaign to vilify Russia resonates strongly, especially amongst the U.S. Establishment.

Even after communism in Russia ended, America’s oligarchs (including even Democratic ones, such as George Soros, and Pierre Omidyar) still loathe Russians, and aren’t at all shy about using foreign nazis in order to do the dirty-work of mass-murdering them, where and when they can.

Washington Plays Russian Roulette

November 24th, 2014 by Pepe Escobar

These are bleak times. I’ve been in serious conversation with some deep sources and interlocutors – those who know but don’t need to show off, privileging discretion. They are all deeply worried. This is what one of them, a New York strategic planner, sent me:

The propaganda attack against Putin equating him with Hitler is so extreme that you have to think that the Russians cannot believe their ears and cannot trust the United States anymore under any circumstances.

I cannot believe how we could have gotten ourselves into this situation to protect the looters in the Ukraine that Putin would have rid the Ukraine of, and even had the gall to place in a leadership role one of the worst of the thieves. But that is history. What is certain is that MAD [mutually assured destruction] is not a deterrent today when both sides believe the other will use nuclear weapons once they have the advantage and that the side that gains a decisive advantage will use them. MAD is now over.

That may sound somewhat extreme – but it’s a perfectly logical extension, further on down the road, of what the Russian president intimated in his already legendary interview with Germany’s ARD in Vladivostok last week: the West is provoking Russia into a new Cold War. [1]

Mikhail Gorbachev just stressed a few days ago the new Cold War is already on. Princeton’s Stephen Cohen says the Cold War in fact never left. The Roving Eye reported about Cold War 2.0 months ago. Brits – still stranded in the 19th century new Great Game – prefer to spin the “strident toxic personality” of “diminutive Putin”; [2] he is the “ruthless, charming and ultimately reckless” man who “put the cold war back in vogue”. The Council on Foreign Relations, predictably, mourns the end of the post-Cold War world, blasts the current “disorder”, and dreams of the good ol’ unchallenged exceptionalist days. [3]

For arguably the best detailed background on how we came to this perilous state of affairs, it’s hard to beat Vladimir Kozin of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies. [4] Read him carefully. And yes, it’s Cold War 2.0, the double trouble remix; between the US and Russia, and between NATO and Russia.

Seeing red

In his ARD interview, Putin stuck to actual facts on the ground:

“NATO and the United States have military bases scattered all over the globe, including in areas close to our borders, and their number is growing ? Moreover, just recently it was decided to deploy special operations forces, again in close proximity to our borders. You have mentioned various [Russian] exercises, flights, ship movements and so on. Is all of this going on? Yes, it is indeed.”

For the Russia-demonizing hordes, it’s always convenient to forget that NATO expansion to Georgia and Ukraine was clinched at a NATO meeting in Bucharest in April 2008. The Georgia op spectacularly failed in the summer of 2008. Ukraine is a work in progress.

Crucially, in the ARD interview, Putin also told the EU coalition of the clueless/vassals/puppets/ that Russia can bring down the Ukraine House of Cards in a flash; Moscow just needs to emphasize it’s time to collect the humongous amounts of cash it is legally owed.

Putin also made it very clear Moscow won’t allow – and that was categorical: won’t allow – Donbass to be overrun/smashed/ethnic-cleansed by Kiev:

“Today there is fighting in eastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian central authorities have sent the armed forces there and they even use ballistic missiles. Does anybody speak about it? Not a single word. And what does it mean? What does it tell us? This points to the fact, that you want the Ukrainian central authorities to annihilate everyone there, all of their political foes and opponents. You want that? We certainly don’t. And we won’t let it happen.” [5]

According to Kiev’s own figures, no less than 65% of residential buildings and 10% of schools and kindergartens in Donbass have been destroyed. Over 40,000 medium-sized companies are paralyzed. Unemployment – Ukraine-wide, is over 40%. External debt may reach US$80 billion – and don’t expect the International Monetary Fund, which now owns Ukraine, to go philanthropic. Most of all, Kiev can’t pay its billionaire gas bills to Gazprom because it spends a fortune terrorizing eastern Ukraine citizens. This Poroshenko rant sums it all up – with the US and EU fully complicit.

So NATO has been warned about Russia’s real red lines. Still, substantial sectors of the Washington/Wall Street elites can’t get enough of war. And they like it hot. [6] No one should ever underestimate the unlimited stupidity of the Return of the Living Neo-con Dead using their favorite pulpit, the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal.

The “logic” behind Cold War 2.0 – now in full swing – couldn’t give a damn about European stability. The Obama administration launched it – with NATO as the spearhead – to in fact prevent Eurasian integration, building a New Berlin Wall in Kiev. The immediate target is to undermine Russia’s economy; in the long run, regime change would be the ultimate bonus.

So the logic of escalation is on. The economically devastated EU is a joke; the only thing that counts for the US is NATO – and the overwhelming majority of its members are in the bag, sharing the prevailing mood in Washington of treating Putin as if he were Milosevic, Saddam Hussein or Gaddafi. There are no signs whatsoever Team Obama is willing to de-escalate. And when the Hillarator President-in-Waiting ascends to the throne, all bets are off.

Notes

1. Putin’s Sunday Interview on German TV (Dubbed + Transcript), Russian Insider, November 19, 2014.
2. The new cold war: are we going back to the bad old days?, The Guardian, November 19, 2014.
3. The Unraveling: How to Respond to a Disordered World, foreignaffairs.com, December 2014 issue.
4. See here.
5. The broken-down beauty of Eastern Ukraine, 25 years after the end of the USSR, Quartz, November 15, 2014.
6. The Wall Street Journal Wants the US to Go To War in Ukraine, Russia Insider, November 18, 2014. 

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).  He may be reached at [email protected].

Extremists Flourish in Abe Shinzo’s Japan

November 24th, 2014 by Jeff Kingston

Many Japanese and long-time Japan observers have expressed dismay about the recrudescence of self-righteous nationalism under PM Abe Shinzo who has emboldened rightwing extremists now threatening democratic institutions, civil liberties and Japan’s relations with its neighbors.

Nakano Koichi, a professor of political science at Sophia University, comments, “The revisionist right in Japan with the active encouragement, if not involvement, of the Abe government has succeeded in controlling NHK news, intimidating Asahi Shimbun, and now academia.”

Abe has presided over the mainstreaming of reactionary extremism in his quest to rewrite and rehabilitate Japan’s dishonorable wartime past in Asia and in doing so instigates widespread international criticism. Any other national leader who did the same for their nation’s egregious history would merit a similar reaction.

Recently Hokusei University in Sapporo moved to fire part-time lecturer Uemura Takashi, a former Asahi Shimbun journalist, because rightwing goons have threatened violence if he isn’t removed. The provisional decision not to renew Uemura’s contract came under duress, the president pointedly emphasizing the university’s lack of resources to cope with the threats to student safety. Since the spring, the university has been inundated with threatening letters and phone calls demanding the teacher’s dismissal for his controversial articles in the 1990s about the comfort women system.

What started as a clash over history has morphed into a broader political battle over national identity and Japan’s democratic values. Nakano worries that, “each time a university succumbs to right wing intimidation, ‘success’ encourages more terrorist threats.”

Reactionaries maintain that the Asahi and its reporters tarnished Japan’s international reputation, but as Hokkaido University historian Philip Seaton explains, it is the “efforts by a small but powerful minority in Japan to deny atrocities that sullies Japan’s name in international eyes.”

These reactionaries are now inflicting infinitely more damage on Japan’s reputation than a handful of newspaper articles in the 1990s. It is scandalous that the so-called Net Right of extremists, lurking behind pseudonyms and spewing ill-informed vitriol on the Internet, are eroding democratic freedoms, censoring inconvenient truths and degrading Japan’s image internationally.

As Martin Fackler of the New York Times recently wrote (10/29/2014), these cyberactivists, “have gained an outsize influence with the rise of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s conservative government, which shares the goal of ending negative portrayal of Japan’s history, and with the acquiescence of a society too uninterested or scared to speak out.” Fackler goes on to note several examples around Japan where the Net Right has imposed its agenda through thuggery.

Japan’s cyber-terrorists sound like religious extremists, threatening “divine retribution” in the form of gas canisters packed with nails. By stopping towns from erecting repentant war memorials, caterwauling on the Internet and scaring employers into firing ‘undesirables’, these vigilantes represent Japan in jackboots. This evokes the 1930s when ultranationalists hounded respected academics such as Tatsukichi Minobe and Tadao Yanaihara from their posts, acts that coincided with a wave of assassinations.

The Net Right is the cutting edge of Japan’s 21st century McCarthyism, reminiscent of an era when communist hysteria in the US unleashed a witch-hunt in the 1940s and 1950s that trampled on democratic freedoms.

Seaton insists that, “defending academic freedom must be sacrosanct. To terminate the ex-Asahi reporter’s contract simply sends the message that “intimidation works”. This incident could initiate a dangerous slide toward the muzzling and dismissal of researchers working on sensitive issues.”

Andrew Horvat, former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan, points out that Uemura ” has been caught in the cross fire of a proxy war on the comfort women issue. The aim of the rightists is to undermine the reputation of the Asahi, a liberal paper and he has become a pawn in this game.”

Tomomi Yamaguchi, a professor of Anthropology at Montana State University says that Uemura has been on the right’s hit list from the mid-2000s largely due to vilification by Nishioka Tsutomu, a professor at Tokyo Christian University.

Satoku Norimatsu, director of the Vancouver-based Peace Philosophy Centre, speculates that Hokusei itself is a target because of its 1995 Peace Declaration that goes much further than the Murayama Statement in acknowledging Japan’s war responsibility and obligation to atone. Back then PM Murayama Tomiichi condemned Japanese aggression in Asia and called for an end to the “self righteous nationalism” currently embraced by the Net Right.

Andrew DeWit, a professor of public policy at Rikkyo University, asserts that, “The Abe regime has clearly abetted this mobilization of right-wing extremists against academic, media and other institutions.”

“Allowing extremists to intimidate academe will not foster the learning environment that Japanese universities require in order to become the ‘super global universities’ envisioned in Abenomics”, DeWit explains. “You cannot have it both ways, winking at ultra-nationalism that targets academe while at the same time actually building globally competitive institutions of critical inquiry.”

Alexis Dudden, a professor of history at the University of Connecticut, argues that post-1945 Japan has advanced because of, “the ability to study, learn, and teach in an open atmosphere. Since then, Japanese society and all who engage with it have benefited and thrived because of this fundamental freedom guaranteed in the 1947 Constitution.” In her view, “ Turning away now degrades Japan’s capacities to lead and defines a “safe” society as one that cowers from bullies and sanitizes history to fit contingent political demands.”

Sven Saaler, a professor of history at Sophia University, notes that, ”right-wingers have been pushing their agenda constantly with violence. They have actually violently attacked journalists, newspaper offices, and politicians.” Likewise, Mark Mullins, Professor of Japanese Studies at the University of Auckland, warns that, “Threats from right-wing activists have to be taken seriously. Recall that in 1990 Nagasaki Mayor Motoshima Hitoshi was shot by rightists for expressing his views about the Emperor and war responsibility; and in 2006 Katō Kōichi, a moderate LDP politician, had his house in Yamagata burned down for his criticism of Prime Minister Koizumi’s visits to Yasukuni Shrine.”

Saaler sees a broader pattern: “In recent years, pressure by right-wing groups has led to cinemas cancelling movies dealing with sensitive, war-related issues; hotels cancelling the reservations of conference rooms for symposia dealing with such issues; and museums cancelling or revising exhibitions with sensitive contents.”

Under Abe, Norimatsu believes the situation is worsening as,  “widespread anti-China and anti-Korea sentiments, books of that kind becoming bestsellers, hate demonstrations, assault on history by the nation’s leaders that trickles down to the general public, page-ripping of Anne Frank’s diaries, hiding of Barefoot Gen in school libraries, assault on protest tents in Okinawa and anti-nuclear tents in Tokyo, and public places refusing to rent space to groups that discuss issues like the constitution and anti-nuclear power.”

Amid this rightist chill, Mullins worries that,” Academic freedom—and freedom of speech more broadly—is clearly threatened and is a legitimate concern for those who care about the future of democracy in Japan.”

Nakano laments that, “when an important principle of liberal democracy is under attack, the government should be playing an active role to condemn the attacks in strongest terms”, but instead is fanning the fires.

Saaler concludes, “The situation can be compared to Weimar Germany, where the authorities turned a blind eye to right-wing activities and let right-wing violence go largely unpunished.” Here we remain far from descending into that Nazi abyss, but government tolerance for intolerance and hooliganism makes a mockery of the rule of law, democratic norms and the Olympic spirit.

(Readers interested in the Hokusei affair are referred to the Foreign Correspondents Club of Japan press conference by Koichi Nakano and Jiro Yamaguchi)

 Jeff Kingston is the Director of Asian Studies, Temple University Japan. He is the editor of Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan: Response and Recovery after Japan’s 3/11, Routledge 2012 and the author of Contemporary Japan. (2ndedition), Wiley 2013.

Anyone who follows the news regularly, knows that the media has done everything in its power to smear Vladimir Putin and to demonize him as a tyrant and a thug. Fortunately, most people aren’t buying it.

Yes, I’ve seen the polls that say that Putin and Russia are viewed “less favorably” than they were prior to the crisis in Ukraine. In fact, here’s a clip from a recent PEW survey which seems to prove that I’m wrong:

“Across the 44 countries surveyed, a median percentage of 43% have unfavorable opinions of Russia, compared with 34% who are positive.

Negative ratings of Russia have increased significantly since 2013 in 20 of the 36 countries surveyed…

Americans and Europeans in particular have soured on Russia over the past 12 months. More than six-in-ten in Poland, Germany, Italy, Spain, France, the U.S. and the UK have an unfavorable image of Russia. And in all but one of these countries negative reviews are up by double digits since last year, including by 29 percentage points in the U.S., 27 points in Poland, 24 points in the UK and 23 points in Spain.” (Russia’s Global Image Negative amid Crisis in Ukraine: Americans’ and Europeans’ Views Sour Dramatically, PEW Research)

These results strongly suggest that the public blames Moscow for the fighting in Ukraine and (presumably)agrees with the prevailing storyline that Putin is a vicious aggressor who seized Crimea in order to rebuild the Soviet Empire. The problem with the PEW survey is that the results are based random samples of nationwide face-to-face or telephone interviews.

Why is that a problem?

It’s a problem because the man-on-the-street hasn’t the foggiest idea of what’s going on in Ukraine. All he knows is what he’s heard on TV. So, naturally, when he’s asked to offer his opinion on the matter, he’s going to regurgitate some variation of the official version, which is that Putin is responsible.

But try asking someone who’s actually been following events in Ukraine that same question, and you’re going to get an entirely different answer. Among the people who follow the daily developments in Ukraine, roughly two out of three support the Russian position. This isn’t something you’re going to find in the survey data, but if you take the time to comb the comments lines in the international media, you’ll see what I’m saying is true.

I hadn’t figured this out until last week’s G-20 Summit in Brisbane when Canada’s PM Stephen Harper brusquely greeted Putin saying, “I guess I’ll shake your hand, but I only have one thing to say to you: you need to get out of Ukraine.”

The incident immediately became headline news around the world as journalists for all the major media heaped praise on Harper for courageously “shirt-fronting” the dastardly Putin. What was left out in the media’s account of the exchange, was Putin’s crisp retort, which was, “Unfortunately it is impossible, (for us to leave Ukraine) because we are not there.”

Touché. As you might expect, Putin’s response did not fit with the media’s narrative, so it was scrubbed from the coverage altogether.

The Harper incident was a particularly big deal in Canada where all the newspapers ran gushing articles lauding the prime minister for his righteousness and fortitude. Oddly enough, however, only a small percentage of the people who commented on the dust-up, saw Harper as the hero. Here’s a few samples of what ordinary people had to say. This is from BobsOpinion:

“Harper embarrasses Canadians again on the international stage. It will take years for Canadians to re-build our international relationships and to re-build our reputation.”

This comment is from redondex:

“Harper made a childish and baseless remark to Putin and walked off with a grin of a proud five year old spoilt kid. All Harper achieved was to ridicule himself in front of the rest of the world. That is our leaders usual behavior.”

This is from Makman1:

“I was under the impression that a proper democracy would first use negotiating as a way to understand the divergent groups involved in the Ukrainian revolution and then apply a political solution, if possible. The present Ukrainian government immediately used force. PERIOD! The Harper government, instead of using its “influence” to attempt to defuse a complex situation blindly followed the actions of the USA. If Harper really cared at all he would ask his foreign minister to get directly involved with Russian and Ukrainian counterparts and help reach a compromise…. Hopefully, Harper is not supporting Ukrainian right wing fascists?”

This is from Jörð:

“It’s not wise for Harper to follow America’s lead on every foreign policy. The USA government has a terrible track record when it comes to getting things right in foreign lands. Also Putin was correct when he responded to Harper’s comment by saying “It’s impossible, we are not there.” Technically Russia is not “In” the Ukraine.”

This is Time4Change:

“This is another example of Harper BLUSTERING backed with NO SUBSTANCE! Why are there NO SANCTIONS on the Russian Energy Giants Rosneft and Rostec? Could it be the hundreds of billions of $s the Russians have invested in the tar sands have caused Harper to be the SOFTEST on ACTIONS while shouting the loudest.”

And this is from Mt Athabaska:

” …one day Harper will reach puberty on global affairs.”

It’s worth noting that these comments were lifted from article that was published by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. I was shocked at how harshly Harper was criticized by his own countrymen. I was also surprised that the author’s obvious anti-Putin bias had virtually no impact on the opinions of the people who commented on the incident. In fact, it appeared to make many of them mad.

I should also mention that I omitted all of the comments that lambasted Harper for hiding in a broom closet “while a gun battle ensued in a nearby hallway of the Parliament building in Ottawa” in early October. (See here: Needless to say, Harper’s comical performance at the G-20 hasn’t convinced anyone that he’s the courageous leader he imagines himself to be.)

The media is increasingly worried that it’s losing its ability to persuade people to support policies that only serve the interests of elites. The media has rolled out all the heavy artillery in its campaign to demonize Putin, but the strategy hasn’t worked. In fact, it’s backfired quite badly leading some publications to cancel their comments section altogether.

And the response from readers has been huge too, mainly because the standoff between two nuclear-armed adversaries has galvanized the publics’ attention. For example, in the CBC article I cited above, more than 2,500 comments have been posted already, while many of the other articles on Ukraine or Putin have exceeded 6,000 comments. This just shows how closely people are following events and how passionate they feel about the policy.

And, as we said earlier, this isn’t just a Canadian phenom either. For example, here are a few of the comments I picked up from an article in the conservative UK Telegraph in an article titled Global economy to suffer as Putin quits G20 early.

Zeug Gezeugt:

“The US supports the neo-Nazi ethnic cleansing campaign in east Ukraine, Russia supports the Russian speaking Ukrainian majority in the east against it. Pretty simple really, and the US enforced sanctions can only harm EU Russian relations, a win-win all round for the neoconservative hawks.”

Pamela Cohen:

“So, the media tells us in the Title that Putin is to blame when the Global economy suffers, because he left the G20 early. What stupidity. And what a statement in bringing warships as their targeted President attends yet another meeting. Good for Putin. Blame the US-backed coup and looting and 4000 deaths on Putin, and blame the Ukrainian plane that shot down a passenger flight on him, too. Then shun him at a world meeting, as if he doesn’t have the right and responsibility to defend his country’s borders, Naval base, pipeline and brothers in the Ukraine as they are shelled and killed by US manipulation.

Instead of shock and awe and intruding where they didn’t belong like the US in all the Mid-Eastern countries according to long-ago made plans, Putin sends humanitarian aid and the people vote in Donetsk and Luhansk.

Putin-not all Americans are stupid sheep. My apologies for the onslaught of ignorance and imperialism. You are standing up to bullies of the worst kind. The world needs peaceful solutions to restore the harm of NWO fanaticism and corrupt bankers. Hold the line.”

MP Jones: “The US never ended the cold war and the ‘useful idiots’ in this context are us in Europe and the UK.”

Richard N:

“Most British people are deeply unconvinced by the flood of US and EU propaganda over Ukraine, trying to cast Russia as the villain – when the civil war there was caused directly by the US and their EU side kicks backing a coup to overthrow the elected government of a sovereign country, Ukraine.”

timepass:

“With due respect to the author, you say that his (Putin’s) popularity will rise at home as a consequence of this. Please read the message boards North American and European, you will find his popularity seems to have increased everywhere.

Guess the Brains behind 5 eyes and snooping will now have to move into the new reality of the power of the internet to provide information which they would not like others to get. Just a question of time before they make their next move – Censorship!”

Busufi:

“If, the ‘Seven Dwarfs’ (US, UK, EU, Japan, Australia, Canada, and South Africa) like bullies, weren’t so obsessed with beating Russia or China into a corner, rather than bringing Russia or China into their corner; the world would be a better place. Co-operation works better than devastation.”

John Derbyshire :

“Why all this Anti Russian propaganda. The fools who run the West keep creating bogeymen Bin Laden, ISIS, oddly both had connections to Western Powers. So as we face an economic down in the world economy we need another bogeyman, and up pops Putin in the Capitalist controlled media!

People seem to have short memories of pre Putin era, when Yeltsin backed by the West led the country to economic meltdown. Maybe he has scant regard for democratic institutions, but do Western governments support the views of the people!

All of this came about when the United States pushed Nato’s borders eastward and involved themselves in the Ukraine, particularly Mr Kerry. Russia felt itself threatened not by demands of democracy a device used by the worlds superpower, but the growing influence of the United States in the region. The fact that the USA exploited ethnic tensions only shows what was their intention in the region.”

petergardener:

“If the objective is to make Mr Putin appear isolated on the world stage in order to make him less popular at home, it isn’t working and also shows a profound misunderstanding of the Russian mind-set. ‘

Our Western political leaders also have a profound misunderstanding of strategy. Just about everything they do in relation to Russia is wrong and gains the West nothing. But they do like willy waving. Just a pity they do so much damage while they are at it.”

RedBaron9495: “With the public, the effect is rebounding and probably starting to gain Putin more support and worldwide sympathy. This British news forum is good example of that. They made the mistake of going into overkill…..and the public are wising up to the propaganda. They seen this all before prior to Iraq 2003 invasion…and again with Gaddafi.”

Circle of DNA :

“Well, the lives of average folks in Russia has been drastically improved since Putin took the reins of power. He defends Russian interests, fights the empire of chaos, and is massively supported by his people. He is also well educated and a first class statesmen. What is there not to like about him?”

Alltaxationistheft: “The Russian people appreciate how lucky they’ve been for Vladimir Putin to be around at the right time to resist the Neocon supremacist Wolfowitz doctrine…

Since the 1990s , the war mongering maniacs in the West have been planning to asset strip, and plunder Russia via ”liberal democracy”, claiming its natural resources while funding serial inter-ethnic tribal wars via US allies Qatar and Saudi Arabia…

In the 1990s, Russian people were driven into starvation ,prostitution and suicide under pro American ”Liberal” US corporate puppet Yeltsin… but Putin kicked the CIA EU Mossad lunatics out and has been re-building a Russia into a world power ever since.”

anonymous:

“The classless western free (loading) world that produces very little except paper currency, lies and bullshit. I am surprised Mr. Putin came and surrounded himself with such low life scum.
When all the western oligarchs hate someone as much as they hate President Putin, you know he has to be doing something right.”

There’s no need to be selective. Curious readers should go to any editorial platform that covers the crisis in Ukraine and judge for themselves if what I’m saying is true or not. The comments above are in no way extraordinary. What they do show, however, is that the media is losing the propaganda war in pretty stunning fashion, and that’s a huge victory for ordinary people. It’s very difficult for elites to prosecute their criminal wars or implement their rip-off economic policies when people can clearly see what they’re up to.

Now check out this article in the German paper Zeit Online where the author bemoans the media’s loss of influence. The article is titled “How Putin Divides”:

“Why do so many German citizens judge the crisis in Crimea in a completely different way than politicians and the media?

In my 30 years of experience with debates, I have never seen anything like what is now happening in Germany in the dispute over Russia and Crimea….

Unless surveys are misleading, two-thirds of German citizens, voters and readers stand opposed to four-fifths of the political class – in other words, to the government, to the overwhelming majority of members of parliament and to most newspapers and broadcasters. But what does “stand” mean? Many are downright up in arms. And from what one can gauge from letters to the editor, the share of critics seems significantly higher now than what was triggered by Sarrazin’s inflammatory book back then.” (Zeit Online)

Did you catch that part about the “two-thirds of German citizens.. stand opposed to four-fifths of the political class…and to most newspapers and broadcasters”?

That’s a triumph in itself, isn’t it? And what is the issue they disagree about?

They disagree “about the conflict between an aggressive autocrat (Bad Vlad) and Western democracies.”(the Washington-led troublemakers)

Here’s more from the same article:

“…the legitimacy of international law is being questioned in an offensive manner, while the legitimacy of Putin’s nationalist-imperialist ideology is being seriously considered….. It doesn’t do any good to accuse the majority of sheepishness or base economic selfishness, even if that seems to be the driving motive of some business leaders… The issue goes deeper, much deeper.” (How Putin Divides, Von Bernd Ulrich, Zeit Online)

“The legitimacy of international law is being questioned”?!?

Have you ever read such crybaby gibberish in your life?

Why is “the legitimacy of international law is being questioned”? Because people don’t accept blindly what they read the papers and hear on the news anymore? Because corporate editors no longer control how people think about issues? Because people are using their critical thinking skills to see through the lies and bullshit that idiots like the author ladle out in heaping doses every day? Is that why?

It seems to me that that’s a positive development, that people should question whatever they read in the papers and look for other sources of information before they form an opinion.

The bottom line is that no one believes the goofy propaganda the western media is trying to ram down the everyone’s throat anymore.

As kyle555 at Zero Hedge says: “India, China, Brazil and a host of other countries, representing more than half the world’s population, aren’t buying the western imperialist narrative on Ukraine. Nor are major segments of the domestic populations of the countries that are warmongering against Russia.”

Nor do they believe that US wars are a force for good in the world. Here’s strannick at Zero Hedge:

“Russia has seen firsthand the American dream for other nations, as American backed Oligarchs pillaged Russia while it’s people starved and were impoverished. Putin loves his country, and won’t sit on his thumbs while America attempts to encircle it through proxies while rationalizing its actions through corrupt MSMedia propaganda.”

Nor are they buying the “Putin is Hitler” crappola.

This is from smacker:

“People see in Putin a proud national leader who has the guts to stand up to our own criminals and who has over 80% support from his own population. That is enough to admire the guy, whatever else he might be.”

This is from Gaius frakkin’:

“A lot of the hatred from the political puppets in the West is due to Putin’s popularity. They’re jealous sociopaths who yearn to be respected and admired as much as him. The fact that Putin’s popularity is never mentioned is the key tell.”

And this from Joe Tierney:

“Vladdy-Poot is hammering home the point that the euros need to stop being America’s bitches, think for themselves, consider the terrible “costs” accruing to them for “wearing the blue dress” for America.

…America’s “global chaos ploy” is failing. Its cynical, “throw everyone under the bus” strategy just to cut across the rise of Russia-China is exposed for what it is – America cares nothing about the euros or anyone else. All it cares about is its own global dominance in perpetuity, no matter the “costs” to the rest of the world, including its friends and allies.

Putin has balls the size of the moon, and you can damn well bet that right now Russia and Putin are secretly being cheered on a grand scale around the globe.”

There’s a reason why, according to Gallup, Trust in Media (is at an) All-Time Low. It’s because the corporate media is the most perfidious, double-dealing, hypocritical institution in the country today. That’s why the anti-Putin propaganda has fallen on deaf ears. It’s because most people know you can’t believe anything you read in the news.

Mike Whitney lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition. He can be reached at [email protected].

US President Barack Obama has accepted the resignation of Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, senior administration officials have said, a number of US news outlets reported.

The outgoing Defense chief stepped down under pressure following the Democrats massive mid-term losses and the national security team’s failure to keep ahead of a series of global crises, the New York Times reports, citing senior administration officials.

A senior defense official told the Associated Press that Hagel submitted his resignation letter to Obama on Monday morning and the president accepted it. The former senator from Nebraska agreed to remain in office until the Senate has confirmed his replacement.

The official added that both Hagel and Obama had“determined that it was time for new leadership in the Pentagon” following weeks of discussion.

Hagel first assumed the position of Defense Secretary in 2013. Due to his previous opposition to the 2007 surge policy in Iraq and statements critical of the Israeli lobby in the United States, his confirmation was met with significant controversy. Following Monday’s announcement, Hagel will have served just longer than the 20 months his predecessor Leon Panetta held the position.

With a military background and less hawkish view of international affairs, Hagel was viewed as the ideal candidate to bring major US combat operations in Afghanistan to an end while managing a leaner Pentagon amidst deep defense cuts.

Recent events, however, including the rise of so-called Islamic State (IS) militants and the worldwide Ebola epidemic, “required a different kind of focus,” senior officials told the New York Times.

With the White House ramping up its military operations in Iraq and Syria, one longtime associate of Hagel told ABC news the writing was on the wall.

“He took the job to end the war–not start another one,” this associate of Hagel’s tells me.

Hagel’s departure, could both signal the White House is ready to carry out a more aggressive foreign policy, while also signaling to critics that the Obama administration is receptive to criticism of its perceived mishandling of recent events.

It remains unclear who is slated to replace the outgoing defense chief. According to the NYT, Michele Flournoy, the former under secretary of defense; Senator Jack Reed, Democrat of Rhode Island and a former officer with the Army’s 82nd Airborne; and Ashton B. Carter, a former deputy secretary of defense, are all likely candidates.

A senior administration told ABC news that a successor “will be named in short order.”

Desde 2006, el GEAB ha analizado el desarrollo y ha previsto los próximos pasos de lo que nuestros equipos han llamado, desde el principio, una “crisis sistémica global”. Nadie puede dudar del hecho de que realmente hemos estado en un “crisis” desde 2008. El hecho de que esta “crisis” es global también es comúnmente aceptado. ¿Pero ha cualificado realmente el mundo la medida de la dimensión “sistémica” de esta crisis?

La parte visible de este cambio de sistema con el cual ahora todos están de acuerdo es la aparición de nuevos protagonistas internacionales de gran tamaño que cuestionan el orden mundial establecido por EE.UU. desde el colapso del bloque soviético.

Por lo tanto, en el GEAB, hemos estado hablando desde hace tiempo de esta fuerte tendencia de multipolarización del mundo que exige la reforma de las autoridades internacionales existentes y/o, en caso de que esto no suceda, la invención de una nueva gobernanza mundial (un proceso de invención en el cual consideramos que Europa tiene que desempeñar un papel histórico en vista de su especial experiencia en la integración de identidades estatales de diferentes tamaños y tipos).

Pero otra fuerte tendencia, internet, del cual todos admiten su carácter profundamente reestructurador, es lo que hay más allá de su contribución a la facilitación de la globalización del comercio y de las economías, conecta de facto a toda la humanidad en un cuerpo orgánico social gracias a un “sistema” de red profundamente diferente de los sistemas piramidales heredados del Siglo XIX que fundaron, pero siempre oficialmente, nuestros “sistemas” sociopolítico-institucionales nacionales, internacionales y supranacionales. (1)

La combinación de estas dos tendencias importantes ayudará a dar una idea de cómo sería el mundo de mañana: una red social global organizada en gran parte por sí sola y para la cual aún no se ha inventado el modelo institucional-político de gobernanza. Se percibe de esta declaración el problema que enfrenta el mundo de que el modelo consistirá de estructuras pequeñas, parejas, de coordinación política (2) integradas con redes humanas que corresponden a su experticia administrativa (3).

Pero antes que este sistema sea formalizado, el desafío es integrar esas dinámicas del futuro con el antiguo sistema piramidal… o librarse de éste. Nuestro equipo cree que el mundo presencia actualmente este combate: los dogmas del imperio frente a la combinación de entidades políticas mutualmente independientes, democracia representativa frente a una participación ciudadana organizada directa, pirámides frente a redes, colonización militarizada frente a comercio regulado globalizado, sistemas nacionales frente a post nacionales, petróleo frente a energía renovable, una economía engorrosa frente a una digital, bancos frente a flujos financieros, empleo frente a actividad profesional en línea, instituciones de la ONU frente al club BRICS, etc.

Los protagonistas del mundo, sobre todo debido a un malentendido total de las características motivadoras de la sociedad de mañana, recurren actualmente a todos los instrumentos clásicos de dominación (financieros, militares, religiosos o ideológicos) para bloquear la evolución “natural” del mundo. Esta lucha está condenada al fracaso, lo que es seguro, pero según la velocidad con la que estos protagonistas se mezclen en el nuevo estilo de organización, el daño infligido a la humanidad podría ser considerable.

Nuestro equipo quería integrar su análisis usual de las recientes noticias en este paisaje de la transformación sistémica del mundo: China y la influencia de los BRICS en las noticias económicas y geopolíticas, el fin del estancamiento euro-ruso en medio del arsenal uranio, el ataque cardíaco de naciones-estados en Europa, la esperanza de resurrección a nivel europeo.

La globalización al estilo chino se reanuda 

¡Y funciona! El mes pasado nuestro análisis hablaba de un mundo que se había vuelto chino. Este mes una serie de eventos internacionales nos muestra que este hecho cambia en términos de gobernanza global:

  • Por primera vez, EE.UU. ha aceptado reducir sus emisiones de carbono en un 28% como parte de un acuerdo estadounidense-chino sobre calentamiento global (4). ¡Notamos en este acuerdo que es realmente mucho más restrictivo para los estadounidenses que para los chinos que se comprometen solamente a revertir el crecimiento de sus emisiones en 2030! Incluso si es probable que el Congreso de EE.UU. se niegue a votar por semejante cambio estratégico, este acuerdo constituye el primero de su tipo en el cual negociaciones bilaterales que involucran a EE.UU. son concluidas con ventajas para la otra parte. Este acuerdo también incorpora un principio de realidad: los chinos emiten 7 toneladas de CO2 cada año mientras los estadounidenses emiten 16. Durante mucho tiempo, todos han sabido que EE.UU. era el que tenía que hacer un esfuerzo real; pero durante mucho tiempo EE.UU. ha preferido presentar cifras cumulativas de emisiones para toda China con el objetivo real de utilizar la agenda medioambiental para cabildear contra el desarrollo de China y la explosión de su consumo de petróleo (que probablemente llevará a un aumento demasiado elevado de los precios).
  • La semana pasada, la cumbre de APEC realizada en Pekín del 8 al 10 de noviembre marcó un progreso significativo en todas las áreas y el papel dirigente de China en esta dinámica (5): el acuerdo medioambiental EE.UU.-China que acabamos de mencionar pero también la amplia liberalización del comercio con acuerdos respecto a visas, monedas, seguridad, el medio ambiente y el comercio entre EE.UU. y China, un acuerdo de libre comercio entre China y Corea del Sur (aunque es un aliado estratégico del famoso “giro” de EE.UU. en Asia) elementos tranquilizantes en las disputas territoriales entre China y varios países del sudeste asiático (Filipinas, Japón, Vietnam) en los que, en algunos casos, la buena voluntad de Shinzo Abe calmó las cosas. De facto, la agenda globalizadora se ha reiniciado, dirigida esta vez por China, lo que cambia todo.
  • Al margen de la cumbre de APEC, esta vez fue la hora del acuerdo entre China y Canadá por 2.500 millones de dólares en contratos y negocios en yuan. Si, el pasado mes, Europa y Rusia habían sido objetivo de la misma ofensiva china de seducción, esta vez la tocó a Norteamérica… con la diferencia de que los chinos no tuvieron que aproximarse a ellos, fueron los norteamericanos los que lo hicieron.
  • Incluso la cumbre de ASEAN del 9-13 de noviembre en Birmania, un campo de minas para los chinos en vista de la importancia de las disputas territoriales en la relación entre China y ASEAN, posibilitó la confirmación de importantes posiciones para su resolución, comenzando por el reconocimiento de la legitimidad china en su llamado a la solución bilateral de esas disputas (6), un tratado de amistad China-ASEAN, todo facilitado por un préstamo de 20.000 millones de dólares de China…
  • La cumbre del G20 del 15-16 de noviembre en Brisbane, Australia enfrenta el desafío declarado de iniciar finalmente una reforma de las organizaciones internacionales como evidencia de su utilidad. El G20, como los muros de defensa representativos del mundo del Siglo XXI, no sobrevivirá un fracaso al respecto. Con este ultimátum totalmente legítimo, los BRICS toman el control de la agenda del G20 que se ve arrastrado a una búsqueda de una solución para el bloqueo por el Congreso de EE.UU. de la reforma del FMI en particular (antes de otorgar a las naciones emergentes un papel más importante y de duplicar su capital (7). Incluso se ha planificado el método para resolver este bloqueo: una inteligente división de los objetivos de la reforma en lugar de un proyecto de reforma en bloque permitirá su aprobación por una mayoría y soslayará el derecho de veto de EE.UU. El desafío existe, así como las soluciones; apostemos a que sea probable que incluso el G20 produzca finalmente resultados bajo la dirección de los BRICS a fines de 2014.
  • En cuanto a la OMC, tenemos la resonante victoria de India que logró imponer sus puntos de vista en las negociaciones de los acuerdos de Bali. Sin que siquiera haya sido necesario reescribir el acuerdo, India logró que se pudieran aceptar sus condiciones de no cuestionamiento de su programa de seguridad alimentaria y puede firmar el acuerdo. Hay que decir que la supervivencia de la OMC dependía de ese acuerdo (8).
  • En cuanto a Irán, rusos y chinos, así como los alemanes, jugaron un fuerte papel en las negociaciones por obtener un acuerdo el 24 de noviembre que permita que finalmente se rompa el punto muerto, se levanten las sanciones, y se permita que Irán entre a la escena internacional… y juegue el papel que le corresponde en la pacificación de Medio Oriente. Prevemos que, a pesar de las dificultades (9), se llegará a un acuerdo el 24 de noviembre.

¡Todo esto en solo un mes! El mundo parece haberse reiniciado, dirigido por la dinámica de las naciones emergentes. Es multipolar, pacífico, abierto, y Occidente también tiene su lugar.

 

Fuente: http://www.globalresearch.ca/global-systemic-economic-crisis-2015-the-tenets-of-empire-vs-brics-and-euro-russian-trade/5414775

Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin (GEAB)

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

Notas:

(1) En esta terminología notamos que la nación-estado siempre constituye el punto final de referencia institucional-político.

(2) Cuya legitimidad democrática aún no ha sido inventada.

(3) A modo de ejemplo, el Secretariado de la Comunidad Europea para coordinación política podría ser una pequeña entidad descentralizada (compuesta de un grupo de individuos que ni siquiera tienen que tener un lugar de trabajo común) trabajando en una red para coordinar la implementación de las acciones acordadas dentro del marco de un sistema legítimo de toma de decisiones (nuestro objetivo en este caso es mostrar cómo el sistema en 2030 sería diferente del actual, no dar una idea de cómo será exactamente).

(4) Fuente: EUObserver, 12/11/2014

(5) Vale la pena leer este artículo en The Economist (15/11/2014), que sigue las mismas líneas que nosotros.

(6) Bloquear (especialmente) el intervencionismo estadounidense en esta área. Fuente: Reuters,13/11/2014

(7) Fuente: China Post, 09/11/2014 

(8) Fuente: Deccan Chronicle, 14/11/2014

(9) La edición de septiembre de GEAB en particular presentó un detallado análisis de la importancia de integrar Irán en la estrategia de paz en Medio Oriente.

 

The Israeli PM, Binyamin Netanyahu, argues the law is needed because the notion of Israel as a Jewish homeland was being challenged. (Photograph: Barcroft Media)

The Guardian reports that

“A controversial bill that officially defines Israel as the nation-state of the Jewish people has been approved by cabinet despite warnings that the move risks undermining the country’s democratic character.

Opponents, including some cabinet ministers, said the new legislation defined reserved “national rights” for Jews only and not for its minorities, and rights groups condemned it as racist.

The bill, which is intended to become part of Israel’s basic laws, would recognise Israel’s Jewish character, institutionalise Jewish law as an inspiration for legislation and delist Arabic as a second official language.”

Netanyahu’s measure is much worse than that of Mississippi fundamentalists who want to declare Mississippi a principally Christian state and want to celebrate the white-supremacist Confederacy as part of the state’s heritage.

wrote earlier of this kind of development when Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu was planning it out:

“So either way Netanyahu defines Jewishness, it disenfranchises substantial numbers of self-identifying Israeli Jews. If it is a matter of maternal descent, it leaves 300,000 or so out in the cold. If it is a matter of belief and observance, it leaves nearly 2 million Israeli Jews out of the club.

In addition, of course, 1.7 million Israelis, about a fifth of the population, are Palestinian-Israelis, mostly Muslim but some Christians. They are, in other words, a somewhat greater proportion of the Israeli citizen population than Latinos are of the US population (Latinos are about 17% of Americans). If current demographic trends continue, Palestinian-Israelis could be as much as 1/3 of the population by 2030.

Saying Israel is a “Jewish” state in the sense of race would be analogous to insisting that the US is a “white” state and defining Latinos as “brown.”

And saying Israel is a Jewish state in the sense of observant believers would be like asserting that the United States is a Christian state even though about 22% of the population does not identify as Christian (roughly the same proportion as non-Jews in Israel). The point of the US first amendment is to forbid the state to to “establish” a religion, i.e. to recognize it as a state religion with privileges (the colonists had had bad experiences with Anglicanism in this regard). While we can’t stop other countries from establishing state religions, we Americans don’t approve of it and won’t give our blessing to it, as Netanyahu seems to want. In fact our annual State Department human rights report downgrades countries that don’t separate religion and state.

While some countries have a state or official religion, that is different from what Netanyahu is demanding. Argentina’s constitution says Roman Catholicism is the state religion. But Argentina is not a “Catholic state” either in the sense of being mainly for people of Catholic religious faith (only 20% of Argentines are observant) or for being for persons descended from traditionally Catholic populations. Indeed, Argentina has about half a million Muslims, who are not discriminated against in Argentine law the way Palestinian-Israelis are discriminated against (their villages not ‘recognized’) in Israel. Anyway, as I said, in the U.S. we don’t approve of that part of the Argentine constitution. If all Netanyahu wanted was that Judaism be the ‘state religion’ of Israel, that could surely be achieved by a simple vote of the Knesset. He wants something much more, something that requires that outsiders assent to it.

Netanyahu’s demand is either racist or fundamentalist and is objectionable from an American point of view on human rights grounds either way (and I’m not just talking about the human rights of Palestinian-Israelis).”

Elsewhere I pointed out that Israel is moving in the opposite direction from Morocco, Tunisia and other more successful Middle Eastern states, which have new constitutions affirming citizen equality and freedom of conscience and avoiding specifying Islamic law (sharia) as the main source for law, in the way this new Israeli measure specifies Jewish law (halakha) as the inspiration for Israeli legislation. Netanyahu’s Israel looks more and more like the Muslim Brotherhood Egypt of now-deposed President Muhammad Morsi.

“Netanyahu is also moving in the opposite direction from the more positive developments in the Middle East itself. Iraq’s old Baathist Arab nationalism (qawmiya) had racialized Arabness (which is really just a linguistic group) and had excluded the Kurds, who speak an Indo-European language, from full membership in the Iraqi nation. Interestingly, many Arabic-language news items on Netanyahus speech translate his use of “national” by the Arabic qawmiya, which has overtones of extremist nationalism of a racist sort. The new Iraqi constitution rejects that kind of racist nationalism. It recognizes Kurdish as a national official language (and Turkmen and Aramaic as provincial ones). Without denying the Arab or Muslim identity of the majority, it recognizes the right of the minorities to their own ethnic identities within the nation. It doesn’t say that Iraq is only a homeland for the Arab-Shiite majority.

And Morocco suffered deep political divisions between its Arab majority and Berber/ Amazigh minority in earlier decades. But its new constitution finally recognizes Berber/ Amazigh as an official language and celebrates Amazigh identity as one of the key heritages of all Moroccans, including Arabic speakers. The constitution does say that Islam is the religion of state, while guaranteeing freedom of belief and religion to the country’s Jews and adds:

… the Kingdom of Morocco intends to preserve, in its plenitude and its diversity, its one and indivisible national identity. Its unity, is forged by the melting together of its Arab-Islamic, Berber [amazigh] and Saharan-Hassanic components, nourished and enriched by its African, Andalusian, Hebraic and Mediterranean influences.”

So could we really expect Netanyahu to say that Judaism is the religion of the Israeli state and that:

… Israel intends to preserve, in its plenitude and its diversity, its one and indivisible national identity. Its unity is forged by the melting together of its Jewish and Palestinian components, nourished and enriched by its Hebraic, Arab and Mediterranean influences.”

No. Netanyahu is talking of an indivisible national identity, but its unity is achieved by exclusion, not by melting and inclusion. He does not celebrate Israel’s Arab heritage, but wants to exclude it from any claim on the national homeland, wants to make it lesser. (Arabic is an official language of Israel, but Netanyahu’s rejection of the idea of a binational state makes it clear he thinks it is very much a de facto and unfortunate component of Israel, not something to be celebrated).

Interestingly, the Israeli left has a different objection. They mind the idea of Israeliness, of the Israeli national identity (akin to the Moroccan national identity in the constitution, quoted above) being demoted in favor of a Jewish identity. Haaretz’s Hebrew edition wrote on May 5:

“Yesterday Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu explained why he is promoting a new Basic Law: ‘The Nation State of the Jewish People’: ‘Israel’s status as the nation-state of the Jewish people is not given sufficient expression in our Basic Laws, and this is what the proposed Basic Law is meant to do’… For 66 years now ‘Israeliness’ has attempted to gain recognition and win independence, and has been rejected repeatedly by the establishment. It has been described as the ‘slivers of people-hood’ whose existence has not been proven, while at the same time, no one seeks to enact a law that will define and protect it. Again and again it is forced to bow before its ‘big sister’, the Jewish state… The creation of Israeli literature, Israeli art, Israeli music, Israeli theatre, Israeli humour, Israeli politics, Israeli sports, an Israeli accent, Israeli grief – are these not enough to speak of an ‘Israeli people’…?” [From [Hebrew language] editorial of left-of-centre, independent broadsheet Ha’aretz]. – [Trans. via BBC Monitoring]

Juan Cole teaches Middle Eastern and South Asian history at the University of Michigan. His new book, The New Arabs: How the Millennial Generation Is Changing the Middle East (Simon and Schuster), will officially be published July 1st. He is also the author ofEngaging the Muslim World and Napoleon’s Egypt: Invading the Middle East (both Palgrave Macmillan). He has appeared widely on television, radio and on op-ed pages as a commentator on Middle East affairs, and has a regular column at Salon.com. He has written, edited, or translated 14 books and has authored 60 journal articles. His weblog on the contemporary Middle East is Informed Comment.

A St. Louis County grand jury is scheduled to reconvene today to continue deliberations on whether to bring charges against Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who shot Michael Brown on August 9.

Legally, the grounds for bringing charges against Wilson, defined as “probable cause” that he committed a crime, are easily provided by the six bullets in the unarmed teenager’s body, as well as the testimony of a half-dozen witnesses who say that Brown was surrendering when he was killed. On basic democratic principles, he should clearly go to trial and face the judgement accorded by the judicial process.

There is a saying, “A grand jury will indict a ham sandwich.” That is, the outcome of a grand jury hearing is largely controlled by the prosecutor. To the extent that there is any debate over whether or not to indict Wilson, it relates not to deliberation among the jurors, but to the tactical considerations of different sections of the ruling class over how best to contain—and prepare for—opposition within the population.

To this end, the protracted wait for the final announcement has been accompanied by an escalating campaign of intimidation and threats on the part of local, state and federal officials, led by the Obama administration. Like the proverbial robber who shouts, “Stop, thief!” officials are endlessly declaiming about violence as they themselves prepare for a massive police crackdown.

Obama, who is himself responsible for vast death and destruction all over the world, gave an interview Sunday morning in which he warned, with a straight face, that “using any event as an excuse for violence is contrary to rule of law and contrary to who we are.”

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a preemptive “state of emergency,” activating the National Guard, hundreds of members of which are to be stationed at strip malls, shopping centers and government buildings throughout the area. While there have been absolutely no signs of violence from demonstrators, the police have conducted arrests day after day, including of a news reporter on Saturday evening.

Violence in Ferguson has been entirely instigated by the state, beginning with the shooting of the unarmed Brown. Spontaneous protests that erupted in response were met with a militarized police crackdown, including officers dressed in combat uniforms and toting assault rifles, backed up by armored vehicles as they shot tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters.

Now, the ruling class is preparing for the grand jury decision to set new precedents for military-police mobilization, including the argument that even the possibility of protests justifies extraordinary measures and the abrogation of basic democratic rights. It is the domestic equivalent of the doctrine of preemptive war. Both the physical instruments of aggression abroad and its ideological justifications are being aimed ever more directly at the working class and youth within the United States.

Increasingly, the language of the “war on terror” is being applied to domestic opposition. Thus we have the letter from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, sent out to local police departments throughout the country, warning, without any substantiation, that “extremists” are planning to use the Ferguson protests to carry out “attacks” against “critical infrastructure.”

There can be no doubt that provocations are being planned. Over 100 FBI agents have been deployed to the St. Louis area, where they have set up a temporary office. The nature of their operations can already be seen in the highly dubious arrest of two purported members of the New Black Panther Party for allegedly seeking to buy explosives.

To the extent that there is any truth to the allegations, the case reeks of provocation and entrapment by intelligence agencies. Such tactics have been used countless times before. A warning should go out to all protesters: anyone advocating violent actions is likely a provocateur, seeking to create the conditions to justify a police crackdown.

The resort to violence and repression is an expression of deep-seated anxiety within the ruling class—a fear of popular unrest. In his great work of political theory, The State and Revolution, Vladimir Lenin, drawing on the work of Frederick Engels, defined the state power as fundamentally a “coercive force” consisting “of special bodies of armed men having prisons, etc., at their command.”

He added, this time directly quoting Engels, that the degree to which the state power exercises a dominion over society is not the same in all historical periods. “It [the public power] grows stronger, however, in proportion as class antagonisms within the state become more acute.” Engels warned, more than two decades before the calamity of the First World War, that “class struggle and rivalry in conquest have tuned up the public power to such a pitch that it threatens to swallow the whole of society.”

It is exactly these processes that are expressed in the events in Ferguson. Six years after the 2008 financial crash, all of the world’s imperialist powers, led by the US, see war increasingly as the only way out of their domestic economic crises. The drive to war is accompanied by an ever-greater police and military presence in all aspects of life.

At the same time, domestic antagonisms, fueled by the pervasive growth of social inequality, become increasingly incompatible with the maintenance of basic democratic forms. The super-rich, who monopolize an ever-greater share of society’s wealth while workers’ wages plummet, look upon the great mass of the population with fear and hostility.

In analyzing the 2014 elections, characterized by extremely low voter turnout and record campaign spending, the WSWS wrote that they expressed above all the widening chasm between the political establishment and the mass of the population and a fundamental breakdown of the American political system, which is increasingly seen as illegitimate by the majority of the population. With nothing to offer, the ruling class responds to the eruption of social unrest with force.

The lessons of the police crackdown in St. Louis must be drawn all over the country. The breakdown of democracy in the United States is the product of the bankruptcy of the capitalist system, which is the source of war and social inequality. The only way to defend democratic rights is by building an independent political movement of the working class to reorganize society in the interest of social need, not private profit.

by Manal Ismael

President Bashar al-Assad said the region is going through a “critical juncture”, with the steadfastness of the Syrian people being a crucial factor in determining where the region is heading to.

President al-Assad was speaking during his meeting with leadership members of Tartous branch of al-Baath Arab Socialist Party.

Added to that, the President stressed, the support of friends and the international acknowledgment of the dangers of terrorism on regional and international stability until reaching a real and genuine international cooperation against this ‘dangerous scourge’ are crucial for determining the future of the region.

1

President al-Assad praised the ‘advanced national sense’ that the Syrians embody in all Syrian areas, including Tartous province, a sense that he said is manifest through the sacrifices they are making and their hosting compatriots who have been displaced from terror-stricken areas.

“The unfolding crisis in Syria has shown the importance of al-Baath Party as an ideological party that is open to all, placing extra responsibility on it, especially that part of what we are living today is an intellectual, exclusionist warfare that needs to be confronted by thought, not only by battling terrorists on the ground,” added the President.

He indicated that the crisis in Syria has “added to the political awareness of citizens” which he said has made developing the performance, discourse and techniques of al-Baath Party a pressing necessity, a goal that the party has a great potential to achieve as it has a clear intellectual and political project derived from a ‘natural phenomenon, which is Arabism.’

“Syrian citizens are no longer comfortable with the old style,” the President said.

2

He underscored the significance of dialogue within al-Baath Party to confront future challenges. “It is dialogue that generates ideas, cements bases and prepares leadership cadres,” he said, emphasizing the necessity of finding new work mechanisms inside the Party.

Chief among these mechanisms, the President said, is fighting corruption, monitoring performance and weeding out opportunists.

Commenting on the situation in Syria and the latest regional and international developments, the President said the Syrian armed forces continue to repel terrorist organizations, emphasizing in the meantime the importance of national reconciliations.

Any international effort should serve to bolster these reconciliations and pressure the countries backing terrorists with funds and arms to cease their support, the President pointed out.

The President considered that the international situation ‘lacks vision in the current stage’ in light of the atrocities of terrorist organizations, namely the Islamic state in Iraq and Syria, known as ISIS.

“[ISIS] has not emerged out of thin air. ISIS came to cap accumulating wrong-headed policies by parties involved in the war against Syria that have supported, armed and funded terrorist and takfiri organizations to undermine Syria and strike the Syrians’ unity, ” said the President.

A new study published in the journal Archives of Toxicology makes the audacious claim that MON810 biotech corn, a genetically-modified (GM) cash crop owned by Monsanto, exhibits no toxicological effects in mammals. But the study has several major flaws that render it null, including the fact that data appears to have been intentionally removed to make the corn appear safer than it actually is.

According to Testbiotech, the study took place over the course of just three months, which isn’t nearly long enough to make a proper assessment about the safety of a synthetic organism. Additionally, the study failed to even try to discover a dose threshold at which MON810 might pose health problems, a basic data point that any legitimate study on the matter would have included.

Archives of Toxicology Editor-in-Chief co-authored BPA review with employee of BPA manufacturer

Another major issue is the journal in which the study was published, which has major conflicts of interest with the biotech industry. The journal’s Editor-in-Chief Jan Hengstler was caught back in 2011 writing a review on the plastics chemical bisphenol-A (BPA), which like the MON810 study found it to be safe. The only problem is Hengstler’s review was co-authored by an employee from Bayer AG, a leading BPA manufacturer.

Likewise, the authors of the MON810 study also have questionable ties to the biotech industry. One of them works for a biotech consultancy firm with a vested interest in promoting GMO technologies, while another works in the agricultural genomics department of a major university. There are also co-authors who work for plant biotechnology research organizations.

“…the failure in this study to determine a concentration of MON810 at which there were no observable toxic effects makes the entire study more or less invalid,” explains Testbiotech. “Testbiotech also criticizes the authors (who) purposely published the results of the study in a scientific journal with close affiliation to industry.”

European Commission used taxpayer dollars to fund bogus GMO study

The purpose of the study, of course, was to provide further “evidence” that GMOs are safe in order to push them in Europe, where the general population is much more skeptical about biotechnology. But it was funded by the European Commission using public money, meaning taxpayers ultimately foot the bill for this atrocious, pro-industry junk science.

As it turns out, Hermann Bolt, the deputy Editor-in-Chief at Archives of Toxicology, also has ties to the biotech industry. And the lead author of the larger GRACE study, under which the MON810 feeding trials were conducted, has collaborations with industry-funded groups like the International Life Science Institute (ILSI) as well [4].

“We are shocked by the outcome of our own evaluation,” stated Christoph Then from Testbiotech about what his group discovered. “According to the EU Commission, the outcome of these feeding studies will be decisive for future standards of risk assessment for genetically engineered plants in the EU.”

“Now, it looks as though the outcome was manipulated to eradicate doubts concerning the safety of these products.”

Testbiotech is calling for the immediate retraction of the MON810 study, with possible republication only in the event that a rigorous peer review is conducted.

“If toxicological studies are publicly funded we must demand the highest standards in scientific quality and in the avoidance of conflicts of interest,” added Then. “This is not the case with this project. This case shows that the mechanisms for securing quality scientific work are not functioning.”

Sources:

[1] http://testbiotech.de

[2] http://www.environmentalhealthnews.org

[3] http://link.springer.com

[4] http://www.gmwatch.org

Cooperation is an essential part of maintaining a healthy and progressive international order that serves the interests of multipolarity and the people as opposed to the powers of the financial elite and imperialism.

Cooperation is needed in a world increasingly affected by the machinations and whims of a ruling elite in the west that thrives on the use of destabilization and power projection to orient the world in their own interests while simultaneously calling for “cooperation”. The Arab Spring has been a means of geopolitical reorientation for the west, the largest since the post-WWII period. Culminating in this destabilization has been the fracturing of Syria and the volatile nation of Iraq along ethnic and sectarian lines, creating a power vacuum which was deliberately stroked by the west to facilitate in the rise of ISIS. When the dynamic of western involvement in the rise of ISIS is taken into account, the duplicity and illegitimacy of continued western calls for “cooperation” against ISIS is increasingly being seen as farcical and the need for truth even more critical.

ISIS: Imperialism is the Problem, Not Religion

To obfuscate the nature of the ISIS menace, pundits across the west frame the conflict in a particularly religious dimension and in the case of stations like Fox News, we are given the impression that the Arabs and Muslims are simply crazy people who have no regard for human life and are motivated by hate. This ignorant and untrue characterization seeks to pacify the short attention span of the majority of western intellect and keep them from peeling back the reality and understanding the geopolitics of western imperialism across the region and the regime change agenda being played which is responsible. Also missed in the discussion is the fact that ISIS is not simply menacing minorities but even Muslims (including Sunnis) who are just as much among the greatest victims of ISIS and western balkanization in the Middle East as are minority victims like Syrian Christians and the Yazidis.

Sectarian violence incurred by ISIS in both Syria and Iraq is not a fundamentally religious issue. Both Sunnis and Shiites are united against ISIS and extremism. The problem is the hegemonic and imperialist designs of the NATO governments who have on-record worked with Saudi Arabia and Qatar to use Islamic extremists throughout the Middle East as their “Swiss army knife of destabilization” in order to reorient the Middle East per their interests. This comes at the expense of their Iranian, Russian and Chinese competitors. Retired US Army General  and former Supreme Allied Commander-Europe for NATO, Gen. Wesley Clark has spoken out multiple times in both 2007 and in a 2011 “DemocracyNow” interview on how after 9/11, the US was hijacked by a policy coup whose objective was to “destabilize the Middle East, turn it upside down, and bring it under our control.” Among the nations he cited as listed for destabilization include “Libya, Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon.”

Zbigniew Brzezinski has also labeled the region as important geostrategically in his book “The Grand Chessboard” in ensuring America’s global “pre-eminence” and essentially dominance over the world order. To understand what drives western strategists, one must understand the “ Heartland Theory” of geopolitics put forward by Halford John Mackinder in 1904 to the Royal Geographical Society  who stated , “Who rules East Europe commands the Heartland [Central Asia]; who rules the Heartland commands the World-Island [Eurasia]; who rules the World-Island controls the world”(Mackinder, Democratic Ideals and Reality, p. 194). US domination over Central Asia is central to its global power projection and the Middle East and Iran, along with Eastern Europe, are the windows into Central Asia. What Bush began under his radical Neo-Con administration, Obama has continued under a different political cover whose nature was clearly seen in examples such as the regime change in Libya against Gaddafi which served as the prequel to the destabilization of Syria.

The Redirection

What is happening now in Syria was predicted by Pulitzer-Prize winning investigative reporter Seymour Hersh in his 2007 New Yorker article “The Redirection” which documented how the US was working with the Saudis and the Hariri political faction in Lebanon to undermine Syria and Iran. Tony Cartalucci has extensively documented the thesis of that piece in various publications demonstrating its centrality to the geopolitics being played out today. Consider the following points from “The Redirection”:

“To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.”

One the coming reality of persecution to religious minorities, it was noted:

“Robert Baer, a former longtime C.I.A. agent in Lebanon, has been a severe critic of Hezbollah and has warned of its links to Iranian-sponsored terrorism. But now, he told me, “we’ve got Sunni Arabs preparing for cataclysmic conflict, and we will need somebody to protect the Christians in Lebanon. It used to be the French and the United States who would do it, and now it’s going to be Nasrallah and the Shiites.”

To dispel critics’ notions that this is passive, uncontrollable, and indirect support, consider also:

“[Saudi Arabia's] Bandar and other Saudis have assured the White House that “they will keep a very close eye on the religious fundamentalists. Their message to us was ‘We’ve created this movement, and we can control it.’ It’s not that we don’t want the Salafis to throw bombs; it’s who they throw them at—Hezbollah, Moqtada al-Sadr, Iran, and at the Syrians, if they continue to work with Hezbollah and Iran.”

Terrorism is not a “threat” to the West. It is a weapon of the West.

Saudi Arabia is the author of global Islamic radicalism and a close ally of the US, interlocked with the western ruling establishment. The largest US weapons sale in history was to Saudi Arabia in 2011. Saudi Arabia’s connection to terrorism is universally acknowledged in academia because Saudi Arabia funds the “madrassas” that indoctrinated people into fundamentalist thinking and these people are in turn manipulated to serve the geopolitical agenda of the Saudis and Qataris and in turn their western allies. Geopolitical analyst Tony Cartalucci notes in his article, “US-Saudi Funded Terrorists Sowing Chaos in Pakistan” how these militant dupes benefit NATO objectives from Mali to Pakistan in undermining any rival geopolitical competitor like China by offsetting their strategic ambitions. For example, Baluchi terrorists in Pakistan harm China’s investments in a deep-sea port at Gwadar; terrorists in Mali prevent Chinese attempts to make business in-roads into Africa and strengthen Qatari ties. Syria is no different. Destabilizing Syria prevents Chinese and Russian influence in the Middle East and preserves Israeli and American domination in the pivotal region by fracturing the Arabs and keeping a unified resistance from developing.

This is not merely conspiracy theory; veteran journalist Robert Dreyfuss has noted the long history of US and British covert cooperation with the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic groups against secular nationalist and Arab leftist groups that sought to undermine British and other western interests in the Middle East. Said Ramadan, the Brotherhood’s chief organizer in the 1950s was documented by both Dreyfuss and Wall Street Journal’s Ian Johnson as having ties to western intelligence and being backed by the CIA. The Islamic right wing was an effective proxy against anti-imperialist and nationalist Arab leftism. Wikileaks reports from 2005 also showed that backing of Syrian opposition groups, including the Brotherhood, had begun under Bush.

Nothing has changed today. The US and Britain claim that they backed “moderate rebels” in Syria but this is an obfuscation to hide their support for terrorism. I don’t believe there are any viable and effective moderates among the ranks of the driving forces among Syria’s rebels. A chart by the Economist documenting who’s who among the rebels on the ground notes that most of the fighting factions, with the exception of the Kurdish PYD and alleged exception of the “Free Syrian Army” (FSA) under the western-backed umbrella group, the “Supreme Military Council” are Islamist. As will be noted, even the supposedly non-Islamist FSA is stocked with and influenced by Islamists blanketed by the west as “moderates”, the same moderates who supported the influx of foreign jihadis into Syria which led to the creation of ISIS.

The Syrian rebels’ highest-level leader to receive direct support from the US, Free Syrian Army Col. Abdel Jabbour al-Okaidi from the ranks of the “moderates”, has admitted that he has “good relations with ISIS/ISIL” and Jabhat Al-Nusra and denied media “allegations” against them, openly stating his cooperation. He apologizes for and defends both terrorist groups and downplays what he calls “allegations” and “mistakes” committed by both which are in reality grave crimes against the Syrian people. He and his “moderates” have also worked with ISIS to capture the critical “Menagh Airbase” in Aleppo, Syria. One of the radical jihadis of ISIS, Abu Jandal, was even seen in a video next to al-Okaidi praising the men for their “victory”; moments before, the same Abu Jandal was being filmed wielding a sword and hysterically calling for genocide against the Alawites while praising ISIS leader “Al-Baghdadi.” Another key “moderate” leader, Jamal Maarouf of the Syrian Revolutionary Front (SRF), has admitted to the “Independent” that he regularly carries out joint operations with Al Qaeda and has no problem with them. One example of such cooperation between “moderates” and extremists was the attack on the Syrian Christian town of Sadad in November 2013.

As others have pointed out, Reuters has admitted that the “moderate” Free Syrian Army’s (FSA) command is “Islamist dominated.”  The Associated Press says that “Many of the participating groups have strong Islamist agendas, and some have fought in ways that could scare away Western backers.” The Wall Street Journal reports that Brig. Gen. Mithkal Albtaish, an FSA leader, says that the organization is “dominated by Islamist groups that are in close coordination with al Nusra [Syrian Al Qaeda].” Even the pro-establishment think-tank, the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) , admitted in 2012 that the FSA’s effectiveness depended on Al Qaeda and pro-establishment Neo-Con, Gary Gambill, even wrote an article demonstrating this titled “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists”, praising the Islamists in helping to undermine Iran geopolitically. Consider the CFR’s Ed Husain’s statement:

“The Syrian rebels would be immeasurably weaker today without al-Qaeda in their ranks. By and large, Free Syrian Army (FSA) battalions are tired, divided, chaotic, and ineffective. Feeling abandoned by the West, rebel forces are increasingly demoralized as they square off with the Assad regime’s superior weaponry and professional army. Al-Qaeda fighters, however, may help improve morale. The influx of jihadis brings discipline, religious fervor, battle experience from Iraq, funding from Sunni sympathizers in the Gulf, and most importantly, deadly results. In short, the FSA needs al-Qaeda now.”

To drive the point home, even Zbigniew Brzezinski has admitted, “You know, we started helping the rebels, whatever they are, and they’re certainly not fighting for democracy, given their sponsorship, Qatar and Saudi Arabia, as far back as early spring of last year, 2012, without saying it publicly.” He throws in the claim that the people who “we want to win” (i.e. the moderates) are the smallest and weakest faction in Syria.  Apparently, this comes after the fact that the west has invested the summation of its resources into “moderates” to topple Assad. Either we have a case of “failed policy” or a successful destabilization campaign, Nicaragua-Contra style, which seems to be the mostly likely explanation given the facts and geopolitical motivations.

The Solution

All these points together are the problem, not religion. What we in the West must do is realize this and stop funding to Syrian rebels which are clearly counterproductive to regional stability and also stop perpetuating constant media spin. Bashar al Assad is not the issue from the geopolitical vantage point and the Syrian Arab Army commands the popular support in Syria, which is a nationalist and patriotic nation, against the Islamist ranks that have been propped up by the regional Arab powers and the West.  Many of the accusations leveled against Assad as a pretext to forego cooperation and force a change on the ground in favor of US interests by means of military intervention have been found to be based on distortions, false allegations, or hearsay, especially the chemical weapons claims.

Before the US comes before the world to call for “cooperation” and “airstrikes”, let them take responsibility for their actions and come clean on the truth from Libya to Syria. Russia, China and the non-aligned countries who are increasingly aware of the duplicity and imperialism of the west should collectively work to get their governments to pressure the west on this point and raise awareness through alternative media, awareness that will shatter the blinds of corporate media spin. Only then will we be able to genuinely guarantee a secure, multi-polar world order driven by unity in truth against the forces of money and power.

Sam Muhho is a student of history at Florida State College at Jacksonville (FSCJ) and is an advocate of anti-imperialism and anti-globalism. He can be reached at [email protected].

Obama Authorizes Wider War in Afghanistan

November 24th, 2014 by Patrick Martin

President Barack Obama has authorized the US military to carry out far more widespread air and ground operations in Afghanistan in 2015, effectively reversing his order to end combat actions this year, White House officials told the New York Times.

In a report published Saturday, the Times gave details of the new authority, citing unnamed sources in both the White House and Pentagon, in what amounts to an official leak of the expanded battle plan for the Afghanistan war.

In an announcement delivered in the White House Rose Garden in May, Obama said the US military would end combat operations in Afghanistan by December 31 and the remaining 9,800 troops would be limited to training Afghan forces and conducting strikes against “the remnants of Al Qaeda,” previously estimated to be fewer than 100 people in Afghanistan.

The new rules of engagement set by the president expand the scope of permitted military operations to include attacks on Taliban forces if they are threatening US or NATO troops and actions to assist Afghan forces in the field. In effect, US military commanders will be able to do anything they want with the forces they have available, which includes air strikes from US carriers in the Arabian Sea.

Obama’s decision came as a result of intense pressure from the military brass, reinforced by the debacle suffered by the US-trained Iraqi Army during the summer, when it collapsed in the face of an offensive spearheaded by the Sunni fundamentalist group Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), an offshoot of Al Qaeda.

According to the Times account, there was a conflict between “the promise Mr. Obama made to end the war in Afghanistan, versus the demands of the Pentagon that American troops be able to successfully fulfill their remaining missions in the country.”

Civilian advisers pushed for maintaining the longstanding pledge to end US combat operations in Afghanistan. According to the Times, “the military pushed back, and generals both at the Pentagon and in Afghanistan urged Mr. Obama to define the mission more broadly to allow American troops to attack the Taliban.”

“There was a school of thought that wanted the mission to be very limited, focused solely on Al Qaeda,” one official told the Times, adding, “the military pretty much got what it wanted.”

This account, unlike many “official” leaks from the White House and Pentagon, rings true because it underscores who actually calls the shots in official Washington. Democrats and Republicans, presidents and congressmen, come and go, serving as the political front men for Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus, the real decision-makers.

According to several press reports, there were additional reasons of a legal and political character for the White House reversal on Afghanistan. On December 31, Operation Enduring Freedom, the name given by the Bush administration to its invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, comes to an end.

An official declaration of the end of combat operations in Afghanistan would have several undesirable consequences from the standpoint of Washington—not least of which being the fact that the US would be required under international law to release the remaining Taliban prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay (alleged Al Qaeda prisoners would be kept until the end of the “war on terror,” in other words, forever).

Now, Operation Enduring Freedom is to be replaced by Operation Resolute Support, and the remaining Afghan prisoners at Guantanamo, as well as those at CIA and military prisons and torture centers in Afghanistan itself, will remain incarcerated.

From a political standpoint, the US regime-change operation in Kabul, otherwise known as the 2014 Afghan presidential election, achieved its result by replacing the increasingly obstreperous and unstable Hamid Karzai with a condominium of two more dependable American stooges, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah.

Both men ran pledging, unlike Karzai, to sign a Status of Forces Agreement authorizing continued US military operations in Afghanistan after 2014, including a grant of immunity from prosecution in Afghan courts for US soldiers implicated in war crimes against the Afghan population. Ghani signed the pact immediately after taking office.

In an e-mail to the Times, General John F. Campbell, the US-NATO commander in Afghanistan, said of the transition from Karzai to Ghani, “The difference is night and day.” He added, “President Ghani has reached out and embraced the international community. We have a strategic opportunity we haven’t had previously with President Karzai.”

The new Afghan regime, despised by the country’s population as US stooges and beleaguered by a swelling rural insurgency, desperately needs American military protection to keep its leaders from swinging from the lampposts in the near future. In addition, Afghan officials are hungry for American cash to swell their bank accounts in Dubai and Switzerland, stashed away for the day they are forced to flee Kabul.

The result of Ghani’s capitulation and Obama’s reversal is that thousands more Afghan civilians will be slaughtered in US air strikes. The Times cited a “senior American military officer” reporting that “the Air Force expects to use F-16 fighters, B-1B bombers and Predator and Reaper drones” in Afghanistan next year.

Under the battle plan drawn up by the Pentagon in conjunction with NATO, US forces will operate in southern Afghanistan next year, US and Italian forces in eastern Afghanistan, German forces in northern Afghanistan, and Turkish troops in Kabul. The western part of the country is dominated by the militia of the Uzbek warlord Abdul Rashid Dostum, a notorious mass murderer who is now vice president, having been Ghani’s running mate in the election.

The Obama administration still publicly maintains that there will be a continued drawdown in US forces in Afghanistan, from 9,800 at the end of this year to about 1,000 by the end of 2016, whose job will be limited to protecting the US Embassy in Kabul. This promise is worth no more than Obama’s order that the US combat role end December 31, now a worthless scrap of paper.

Obama’s reversal on Afghanistan sheds additional light on the completely anti-democratic character of the US electoral system. Sometime in October, well before the November 4 vote, the White House came to two major foreign policy decisions: doubling the number of US troops in Iraq and drastically expanding the combat authorization for US troops in Afghanistan.

Popular hostility to these two wars was the principal reason for the victory of the Democrats in the 2006 congressional elections and the election of Obama in 2008. Obama ran for reelection in 2012 claiming to have ended the war in Iraq and pledging to end the war in Afghanistan by December 31, 2014. Both pledges were scrapped in the period leading up to the November 4 congressional vote, without a word being said to the American people.

Civilians and nongovernmental organizations in Mexico found four more mass graves Sunday, as part of the search efforts to locate the 43 students from the Ayotzinapa Teacher Training College that went missing after being detained by Iguala police on the night of September 26.

Since that date, more than 15 mass graves and dozens of bodies have been found. However, none of the remains found as of yet have been linked to the missing students.

The most recent mass graves were found in La Laguna, just west of Iguala, the place where federal authorities say police officers shot at several buses that were transporting the students, killing three of them along with another three civilians, before handing over the survivors to a local gang.

The nongovernmental organizations involved in the most recent discovering are now waiting for local authorities to arrive in order to start the forensic investigation.

The alarming unearthing of numerous mass graves has raised considerable criticism towards local and federal authorities, who despite more than 50 days having passed since the students disappeared, cannot yet provide information or evidence on their fate.

The situation has sparked outrage and protests across Mexico, with a significant portion of the society distrusting the Attorney General’s assertion that the students were killed and burned in a garbage dump.

Federal authorities allege that the Iguala police handed the students to a local gang called United Warriors, who are said to have ties the former Mayor of Iguala, Jose Luis Abarca and his wife. The pair, who were recently captured by the police after weeks of hiding following the events in Iguala, are accused of being masterminding the attacks on the students who were on their way to protest an event that the Abarca’s wife was attending.

Many protesters say the disappearance of the students is a state crime and are demanding the resignation of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto.

Japan Times, Nov 22, 2014 (emphasis added): Tepco fails to halt toxic water inflow at Fukushima… [TEPCO] admitted failure Friday in its bid to halt the flow of toxic water into underground tunnels alongside the ocean… Some 11,000 tons of highly radioactive water have accumulated in the tunnels… connected to the reactor 2 and 3 turbine buildings… according to Tepco. There are fears that this toxic buildup… could pour into the Pacific, which is already being polluted by other radioactive leaks… Friday, Tepco proposed a new technique for the tunnels: injection of a cement filler… some [highly radioactive water] would be left behind, endangering plant workers, Tepco acknowledged… [Gov't experts] argued that Tepco should stick to the original plan and draw out all of the water. Others said giving up on it may hamper the construction of the ice wall.

Mainichi Daily News, Nov. 22, 2014: TEPCO fails to stop toxic water inflow into tunnels – [TEPCO] said Friday its attempt to stop the flow of highly toxic water into underground tunnels by the sea had failed… There are fears that the toxic water… could leak into the ocean… Removing the water is a necessary step in TEPCO’s unprecedented attempt to create a huge underground ice wall… Initially, TEPCO sought to freeze water in a section of a tunnel… The utility also took some additional measures, but they also failed.

Asahi Shimbun, Nov 22, 2014: After failures, TEPCO to use special cement… [TEPCO] plans to fill in trenches on the coastline in yet another attempt to prevent highly contaminated water from pouring into the sea… The new method will allow radioactive materials to remain in the surrounding soil, but TEPCO decided to employ the technique because it puts high priority on preventing massive amounts of highly contaminated water from leaking into the ocean. This spring, TEPCO tried to stop the water influx at the trench for the No. 2 reactor by freezing the junction of the turbine building and the trench… The company then attempted to stop the water inflow with a cement mixture, but was unable to do so…

NHK, Nov 21, 2014: TEPCO gives up on freezing tainted water – [TEPCO] is drastically changing its plan to remove highly radioactive water from underground tunnels… inundated with water from the plant’s heavily contaminated reactor buildings… TEPCO officials found that water levels in the tunnels were still changing in sync with volumes in the reactor buildings. The officials admitted to the Nuclear Regulation Authority on Friday that the tunnels hadn’t been pluggedThey said they’re giving up on the plan… [NRA]commissioners asked whether the new method can really halt the inflow. They also spoke of the risk of cracks forming in cement… [O]ne commissioner asked what all the trouble over the past months was for.

NHK transcript: Regulators said they’re worried [the cement] might not stop the water and that it could crack. >> Watch the broadcast here

Under a bill that has passed the US House, the people best qualified to say whether a chemical is dangerous will not be allowed to do so. (Photo credit: Gavin Schaefer via wikimedia commons)

A bill passed through the US House of Representatives is designed to prevent qualified, independent scientists from advising the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). They will be replaced with industry affiliated choices, who may or may not have relevant scientific expertise, but whose paychecks benefit from telling the EPA what their employers want to hear.

The EPA’s Science Advisory Board (SAB) was established in 1978 to ensure the EPA uses the most up to date and relevant scientific research for its decision making and that the EPA’s programs reflect this advice. It has served in this role, most often uncontroversially, through 36 years and six presidents. If the new bill passes the Senate and wins presidential approval, however, that is about to change.

It’s hard to be against “balance”, which no doubt helped Rep Chris Stewart (R-Utah) gather 229-191 support for his bill H.R. 1422 to overhaul the way appointments to the SAB are made. Of the 51 members of the SAB, three come from the industries the EPA is regulating. Stewart wants more, saying, “All we’re asking is that there be some balance to those experts…We’re losing valuable insight and valuable guidance because we don’t include them in the process.”

However, deeper investigation suggests the agenda involves more than getting input from a wider range of backgrounds. For one thing, the vote was largely on party lines with four Democrats supporting and one brave Republican opposed. Moreover, Stewart doesn’t have much of a record for listening to genuine scientific expertise, considering 98% of qualified scientists’ assessments irrelevant.

Moreover, Stewart has made clear he doesn’t believe the EPA should exist at all, calling for its scrapping because it “thwarts energy development”. Axing a body that ensures water is drinkable and air doesn’t kill you is politically hard, but nobbling is easier.

The legislation has been under consideration since 2013. At an early hearing on the bill Dr Francesca Grifo, previously director of the Center for Biodiversity and Conservation at the American Museum of Natural History testified, “Conflicts of interest threaten the integrity of science. Specifically, the objectivity of the members of an advisory committee and the public’s trust in the advice rendered by that committee are damaged when a member of an advisory committee has a secondary interest that creates a risk of undue influence on decisions or actions affecting the matters in front of the committee.”

The bill would prevent scientists from voting on the release into the environment of a chemical by their employers. Nevertheless, they would be allowed to vote to release a nearly identical chemical, Grifo notes, including some that would set a precedent that would be very useful to the company in future decisions.

More insidiously, research scientists are barred under the act from advising on any topic that might “directly or indirectly involve review and evaluation of their own work”. In other words, the only people barred from advising the EPA on a particular chemical are those who have actually studied its toxicity or effect on the environment.