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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December 30th, 2012 by Global Research News

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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An attack perpetrated by armed men took place early morning on October 22 on Parliament Hill in the immediate aftermath of a historic divisive vote in the House of Commons concerning Canada’s participation in the US led crusade directed against the Islamic State.  The vote pertained to the “deployment of Canadian warplanes  and special forces on a combat mission to Iraq.” It was passed with the Conservative government’s slim majority.

According to reports, one soldier was killed as well as one gunman on the morning of October 22nd, identified as Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, a Canadian born in 1982.

One report says one suspect was armed with a “double barrel hunting rifle”. A journalist on the scene when the incident occurred said she did not see the shooter but was told he was “wearing a black and white scarf with Arabic patterns”. Others who saw him said he had long hair and was masked.

After the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) press conference this afternoon, it was still not clear whether other suspects were still on the loose or even how many there were. Journalists were given practically the same answer for every question: “it is too early to comment at this stage”.

The goal of the press conference was clearly not to give information, but rather to repeat to Canadians that they must be “vigilant” and report any “suspicious activity”. Many fear the recent events will dramatically increase racial profiling and islamophobia.

This attack in Ottawa comes two days after a man hit two soldiers with his car killing one in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec. The suspect, a 25 year old named Martin Couture-Rouleau, was later killed by the police after being chased. The domestic terror threat level went from low to medium on Tuesday.

According to testimonies Rouleau had converted to Islam in the past year and was known by the authorities who had confiscated his passport.

Image right: Picture of Martin Rouleau that illustrates the National Post article “‘He seemed like a typical and fairly boring convert’: Inside Martin Rouleau’s rapid descent to extremism

We are being told that he wanted to join in the Islamic State and “wanted to become a terrorist”. The Ottawa Sun goes as far as saying that “family and law enforcement try to find out why he followed ISIS kill commands.” Some reports say he called 911 to say he was doing it “in the name of Allah.”

Although no link has been officially made between the two events, some officials have indicated they could be related. After the first incident, in which a man we don’t know much about acted alone, the media was quick to jump to conclusion: Islamic terrorism.

These two tragedies targeting Canadian soldiers occur as Canada is joining the United States in the illegal military intervention in Iraq. Soldiers were told not to wear their uniforms outside of military bases for their own safety. One Lieutenant said today the killings signal “the end of Canadian naivety” with regards to the “terrorist threat”.

Fear campaign or “very real threat”?

In the days leading up to Canada’s involvement in Iraq, Canadian authorities have clearly increased their fear campaign.

On October 9, 2014, “Canada’s top intelligence and police officials warned the ‘homegrown terror threat’ is real as authorities disclosed the Mounties are working on 63 active terrorism probes targeting 90 individuals.

“RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson told the public safety committee the 90 individuals currently the subject of national security investigations by the Mounties and partner agencies are “related to the travelling group, both people who intend to go or people who have returned and have been referred to us by (CSIS). It’s nothing that I think Canadians need to be alarmed about. I think we’re managing through our collective efforts a response that is . . . appropriate to the nature of these suspected offences.”

Canadian Security Intelligence Service CSIS director Michel Coulombe said “The threat is real. Like Commissioner Paulson said earlier, we don’t want to sound alarmist; we’re telling people that they should go about their daily life but we have to be vigilant.”

We don’t know if Rouleau was one of the individuals under investigation, but we can assume he was, since his passport was confiscated for fear he would join a terrorist group abroad.

The public safety minister Stephen Blaney, warned that same day:

Recently our Conservative government announced the listing of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant […] in all its forms and identities as a terrorist organisation making it clear that joining or attempting to join this despicable group is a terrorist offence.

If, as the media report, Rouleau was known by the police and his passport was confiscated because he “wanted to join ISIS” and “wanted to be a terrorist”, Rouleau should have been accused of a terrorist offence. Why was he not?

As for the attack in Ottawa, “RCMP National Division commanding officer and Assistant Commissioner Gilles Michaud said the attack caught authorities by ‘surprise.’” It’s a rather surprising surprise, since we were told only two weeks ago by both the RCMP and CSIS that the “homegrown terror threat” was “very real”.

How could that attack in Ottawa be a surprise to the Canadian authorities? We were also told in June: “Iran’s ‘anti-Canada rhetoric’ has officials on guard for possible Ottawa area terror attacks”. This article by the National Post cited an intelligence document which explicitly states:

The National Capital Region has long been considered an attractive target for terrorists and extremists of all stripes…

“The presence of numerous high-profile federal institutions, foreign embassies, military facilities, tourist attractions, and special events make the NCR a rich environment for possible plots by a variety of differently-motivated terrorists,” the report says.

[I]ntelligence officials believe Canada’s top terrorist threat comes from Sunni Islamist extremists — essentially followers of al-Qaeda’s ideology of violent intolerance.

In Ottawa, such an attack would most likely be carried out by a “lone actor” or small group, the report said. The three scenarios outlined in the documents involve an “active shooter,” “bladed weapon attacks” and improvised bombs.

“Simple, straight forward, small-scale attacks, using available weapons and minimal preparation against undefended targets are a realistic match with the actual capabilities of most extremists,” it says.

Global Research will follow this issue closely as more details emerge.

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October 22nd, 2014 by Global Research

Dr. Issa wrote Part One of this article for the September 6, 2011, issue of Black Agenda Report, when he was an assistant professor of history and Africana Studies at Delaware State University, in Dover, an historically Black institution that becomes less Black each year. Dr. Issa planned to quickly follow through with Part Two, but was interrupted by the U.S. criminal justice system. He was fired from his job after campus police charged him with resisting arrest near a student demonstration, a legal nightmare that did not end until a mistrial was declared, this September. In the interim, Dr. Issa and his family were left without income. More than three years later, he has returned to the subject that so upset his former employers at Delaware State University: the ethnic cleansing of HBCUs.

W.E.B. Du Bois, “Whither Why and Now,” 1960:

“The American Negro has now reached a point in his progress where he needs to take serious account of where he is and whither he is going. Yet this situation is in sight and it brings not as many assume an end to the so-called Negro problems, but a beginning of even more difficult problems of race and culture. Because what we must now ask ourselves is when we become equal American citizens what will be our aims and ideals and what will we have to do with selecting these aims and ideals. Are we to assume that we will simply adopt the ideals of Americans and become what they are or want to be and that we will have in this process no ideals of our own?

That would mean that we would cease to be Negroes as such and become white in action if not completely in color. We would take on the culture of white Americans, doing as they do and thinking as they think. Manifestly this would not be satisfactory. Physically it would mean that we would be integrated with Americans losing first of all, the physical evidence of color and hair and racial type. We would lose our memory of Negro history and of those racial peculiarities which have long been associated with the Negro. We would cease to acknowledge any greater tie with Africa than with England or Germany. We would not try to develop Negro music and Art and Literature as distinctive and different, but allow them to be further degraded as is the case today.

As I have said before and I repeat, I am not fighting to settle the question of racial equality in America by the process of getting rid of the Negro race; getting rid of black folk, not producing black children, forgetting the slave trade and slavery, and the struggle for emancipation; of forgetting abolition and especially of ignoring the whole cultural history of Africans in the world.

“Theoretically Negro universities will disappear. Negro history will be taught less or not at all…”

Take for instance the current problem of the education of our children. By the law of the land today they should be admitted to the public schools. If and when they are admitted to these schools certain things will inevitably follow. Negro teachers will become rarer and in many cases will disappear. Negro children will be instructed in the public schools and taught under unpleasant if not discouraging circumstances. Even more largely than today they will fall out of school, cease to enter high school, and fewer and fewer will go to college. Theoretically Negro universities will disappear. Negro history will be taught less or not at all, and as in so many cases in the past Negroes will remember their white or Indian ancestors and quite forget their Negro forebearers.

Some are ashamed of themselves and their folk. They regard the study of Negro biography and the writing of Negro literature as a vain attempt to pretend that Negroes are really the equal of whites. That tends to be the point of view of those of our children who are educated in white schools. There are going to be schools which do not discriminate against colored people and the number is going to increase slowly in the present, but rapidly in the future until long before the year 2000, there will be no school segregation on the basis of race. The deficiency in knowledge of Negro history and culture, however, will remain and this danger must be met or else American Negroes will disappear. Their history and culture will be lost. Their connection with the rising African world will be impossible.”

In 1960, W.E.B. DuBois keynote address at Johnson C. Smith University in North Carolina was prophetic. It was his last speech in the United States before he departed permanently to Ghana, West Africa. He warned African Americans of what was to come as it regards the Civil Rights Movement goals and the dangers he foresaw due to his 70 years of activism fighting for full citizenship guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States. 54 years later DuBois foresight has come true. African American education as we know it is at a crossroad! If it continues at its present course, the most democratic ethnic group in America’s 300-year quest for freedom would be aborted! African American education will be destroyed! African Americans as we know them will cease to exist. History can repeat itself and African Americans can be re-enslaved! This is what we are fighting against! This is why we have published this series of essays.

The Nation Responds to Our Research: The College Board, NPR, MSNBC, Time Magazine and the HBCU Digest

Since the publication of our first essay on HBCUs, several organizations that have a deep commitment to improving and providing educational services to citizens responded to our article. One notable organization that reacted to our research was the College Board. During the Winter of 2011, Jason Lee, Ph.D., the former policy administrator for the College Board conducted a closed forum online presentation on the Future of HBCUs. The title “American Higher Education Without Public HBCUs” showed the effects that systematic closures, forced mergers and Federal mandated integration of these institutions will have on African American student access to college and degree attainment outcomes in Florida, Maryland, Mississippi, and Tennessee over the next 20 years. Only a small controlled group of people were allowed to ask questions after his presentation. Many questions were directed to the possible end of HBCUs. All questions were deflected with the statement “HBCUs will always exist.”

Major media outlets have given credibility to the research provided in Part One of “How Black Colleges are Turning White: The Ethnic Cleansing of HBCUs in the Age of Obama.” In October of 2013, National Public Radio (NPR) titled “The Whitest HBCU in America” showed how racist state policy, coupled with systematic terrorism such as bombing the all black campus, forced African American out of the one of West Virginia’s HBCUs. Bluefield State University currently stands as the nation’s Whitest HBCU in America that still receives millions of dollars of federal funding geared for African Americans. MSNBC and Time Magazine also contributed a significant amount of coverage on the dismantling of HBCUs. Time Magazine’s article quoted the current White House Advisor on HBCUs, Mr. George Cooper, as stating that despite the fact that HBCUs are turning white, “These schools still are, and always will be, legally considered historically black… The definition is a federal definition…They’re living up to it.” But is he twisting the truth? The Higher Education Act of 1965 clearly states that HBCUs are “…any historically black college or university that was established prior to 1964, whose principal mission was, and is, the education of black Americans.” Why are State and Federal officials not dealing with federally mandated policy as it regards HBCUs? Why is the current White House Advisor on HBCUs misleading the American public?

The most lucid response to the disassembling of HBCUs has come from J.L. Carter of the HBCU Digest. On October 7, 2014, Mr. Carter in his article “On HBCUs, White House Moves from Disregard to Dismantling.” The popularity of his article has yielded dozens of comments and almost as many online repost. For the first time a well-grounded and well received journalist has called President Barack H. Obama’s White House policy as it regards his most loyal constituents the “final death blows to our timeless institutions.” In other words, Carter makes it clear that the end is near as it regards America’s HBCUs. But still, although Mr. Carter’s article is critical regarding public policy and the future of African Americans, he never delineates the reasons why HBCUs are being dismantled by Federal and State governments.

Ayers and United States vs. Fordice

It will be ironic, to say the least, if the institutions that sustained Blacks during Segregation were themselves destroyed to combat its vestiges.–Justice Charles Thomas

In 1975 an African American family sued the state of Mississippi for maintaining an unconstitutional dual system of higher education. The plaintiff’s son was a student at one of the HBCUs in Mississippi and felt that the schools economic status was not equal to that of the white public universities in the state. According to the Ayers family, Black students and faculty learned and taught in inferior conditions. The Ayers family simply wanted the tax dollars that African Americans paid to go to the schools of their choice as mandated by Brown vs. Board of Education (1954). In 1992, the United States Supreme Court ruled that that Mississippi’s HBCUs had been discriminated against. Justice J. White Opinion of the Court 1992 decision also warned that “If we understand private petitioners to press us to order the upgrading of Jackson State, Alcorn State, and Mississippi Valley solely so that they may be publicly financed, exclusively black enclaves by private choice, we reject that request.”

In 2002, Mississippi HBCUs were awarded $500 million to upgrade their schools. The schools were forced to integrate classes by bringing a certain amount of white students and faculty in order to receive federal monies. Furthermore, the district courts left it totally up to state legislators to determine how HBCUs enrollment would be dealt with. Various states interpreting the Supreme Courts vague language regarding its ruling sought to immediately increase White enrollment and faculty recruitment at HBCUs. In 1992, Tennessee State University was told by its state legislator that if it didn’t increase its student and faculty white numbers by 50% in 1993, it would be forced to shut down. “TSU is offering 500 full scholarships, worth $768,000, to white students, based not on their financial need but on the color of their skin. It is searching for more white teachers.” This increase in White student and faculty enrollment and recruitment caused a decrease in many HBCU’s enrollment of African Americans. Because of this, the Ayers family again made an appeal to the District court stating that they did not want Black student and faculty declines, but were simply asking that HBCUs be treated equally to that of White public schools as it regarded funding. Their appeal was denied. In Mississippi, Black Male enrollment decreased because of the 1992 Fordice decision. In all the Fordice case continues to have a tremendous impact on African Americans and HBCUs as a whole.

Obama HBCU Cuts Began in 2009: Lest We Forget!

In 2007, President George Bush announced that his White House had proposed an $85 million cut to HBCUs for the years 2008-09. Just months into his first term as president, Obama’s White house announced that they would continue the Bush cuts to HBCUs by decreasing the budgets by up to $85 million. Many media outlets had called the president cuts the beginning of the Great Depression for African Americans. They were also concerned that since African Americans gave Obama unyielding support during the 2008 election, how could he then cut HBCUs while at the same time granting Hispanic-serving schools up to $200 million in increased funding.

During the second term of Obama’s presidency, he again imposed major cuts to HBCUs. The Plus Loans cuts to HBCUs caused a tremendous amount of damage because many African American students were not able to attend school and this caused a major drop in enrollment for many HBCUs. Howard University lost $7.5 million dollars, while Hampton University lost $6.4 million. In all HBCUs more than $160 million and more than 28,000 students were denied loans and unable to attend school during the 2012 academic year. Many African American leaders saw this as a direct attack on the already dwindling African American middleclass and called for an immediate meeting with President Obama and threated to sue.

End of Affrimative Action In Higher Education Good or Bad for HBCUs: The Case Of California

With the end of Affirmative Action in Higher Education, African Americans who attend predominately white colleges and universities will become fewer and fewer. African American faculty at these schools will also decrease. African Americans in higher education in California have already been affected by Affirmative Action. In 1996 and 2003 Proposition 54 and 209, state policies that ended race-based admission, had an immediate impact on African American enrollment at the state’s public colleges and universities. Of the 4,422 students in UCLA’s freshman class of 2006, only 100 (2.26%) were African American. This is significantly down from 4% in 1996. Furthermore, according to a study that was put out in 2013 by The Campaign for College Opportunity, African American admissions rates to the University of California system have declined by 17 % over the past 16 years. African Americans had the lowest admission rates compared to Whites, Asians and Hispanics in the state. According to the study, this was not always the case. Before Affirmative Action was struck down in the state, the African American admission rate was almost 75%. As of 2012, it now stands at a dismal 58%. The report continues by stating that African Americans are least likely to be admitted to UC’s most “selective campuses—UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego.” At UCLA, located in Los Angeles were the state’s largest Black population resides, African American admission is less than 14%. And at the California State University schools, African Americans have the lowest graduation rates of any group. The report maintains that “the four year graduation gap between Blacks and Whites is getting bigger, from 11 percentage points in 2003 to more than 15 points in 2012.”

Where Did All Of The Africans American Students Go At “California’s HBCU?”

California State University at Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), an African-American and Hispanic-serving school of higher learning, has been affectionately called “little Africa” and “California’s HBCU.” Created during the unrest called the Watts Rebellion, Governor Edmund G. “Pat” Brown determined that the Dominguez Hills site would have the best openness to the Black and Hispanic community who wanted college training for upward mobility.

From its earliest inception, CSUDH has always had a large African American population. It served as the former headquarters for The National Council for Black Studies during the 1970s. According to data, the schools African American student population was around 45% until the state ended affirmative action in the 1990’s. From 2006-2008, the school Black population hovered around 30%. But during the presidency of Dr. Mildred García (2007-12) the school’s African American population dropped to a dismal 17% by 2013. According to anonymous sources, Dr. Mildred García tenure represented an unspoken policy to increase the Hispanic student’s population at the expense of African Americans. Without serious community dialogue, and a commitment from federal and state agencies, African American higher education in the state of California will be a footnote in history in 20 years.

Several other states have witnessed a decline in African American enrollment at predominately white schools. These decreases will continue as the effects of the 2014 Supreme Court decision to end Affirmative Action at White schools continue. If HBCUs are turning White and or being obstructed or shut down because of lack of federal funding, where will African Americans be educated in the next 20 years?

The Attack on Africana Studies

The attack on Africana studies, Black studies, Pan African studies and African American studies reached its apex when Naomi Schaefer Riley, a blogger for the Chronicle of Higher Education, wrote her infamous essay entitled “The Most Persuasive Case for Eliminating Black Studies?” Here, Riley gives a passionate appeal to the readers of the Chronicle for her belief that Black studies should be eliminated from America’s colleges and universities. Riley’s essay is part of a systemic effort to dilute or eliminate African Americans studies from mainstream academic life. But the attack on Africana studies did not start with her. This ongoing cultural war against Black identity in the United States is linked to the Ethnic Cleansing of HBCUs and African Americans at predominately White universities. Below is a reading list of books that seek to reshape and end Africana studies and all studies that are not deeply entrenched in Eurocentric Hegemony discourse:

Samuel Huntington, Who Are We?: The Challenges to America’s National Identity (2005).

“America was founded by British settlers who brought with them a distinct culture, says Huntington, including the English language, Protestant values, individualism, religious commitment, and respect for law. The waves of immigrants that later came to the United States gradually accepted these values and assimilated into America’s Anglo-Protestant culture. More recently, however, our national identity has been eroded by the problems of assimilating massive numbers of primarily Hispanic immigrants and challenged by issues such as bilingualism, multiculturalism, the devaluation of citizenship, and the “denationalization” of American elites.”

Arthur Schlesinger, The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society (1998).

“The classic image of the American nation — a melting pot in which differences of race, wealth, religion, and nationality are submerged in democracy — is being replaced by an orthodoxy that celebrates difference and abandons assimilation. While this upsurge in ethnic awareness has had many healthy consequences in a nation shamed by a history of prejudice, the cult of ethnicity, if pressed too far, threatens to fragment American society to a dangerous degree. Two-time Pulitzer Prize winner in history and adviser to the Kennedy and other administrations, Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr., is uniquely positioned to wave the caution flag in the race to a politics of identity. Using a broader canvas in this updated and expanded edition, he examines the international dimension and the lessons of one polyglot country after another tearing itself apart or on the brink of doing so: among them the former Yugoslavia, Nigeria, even Canada. Closer to home, he finds troubling new evidence that multiculturalism gone awry here in the United States threatens to do the same. “One of the most devastating and articulate attacks on multiculturalism yet to appear.”—Wall Street Journal ‘A brilliant book . . . we owe Arthur Schlesinger a great debt of gratitude.’—C. Vann Woodward, New Republic”

John J. Miller, The Unmaking of Americans: How Multiculturalism has Undermined the Assimilation Ethic (1998). “Will today’s immigrant population become the first in American history that fails to assimilate? If so, the United States threatens to collapse into disunion. Much of the blame for this state of affairs can be laid at the feet of multiculturalists, who have undermined the concept of Americanization by attacking it as racist and advancing in its place a divisive agenda of group rights and bilingual education. Unfortunately, many on the right have responded to this crisis by viewing immigrants themselves as their mortal enemies– instead of the entrenched native-born liberal elite that has declared war on the American idea itself.

“In The Unmaking of Americans, John J. Miller breaks this standoff with a commonsense call for a new Americanization movement based on fundamental American principles. He draws on lessons from the Americanization movement of the early 20th century, which helped the Ellis Island generation of immigrants adapt to their new home. In doing so, Miller makes the first modern defense of a patriotic social crusade that many “tenured radicals” have come to scorn as nothing more than a gentrified form of ethnic cleansing.

“Miller sets out to convince conservatives concerned about immigration that the real threat to American unity is not the huddled masses of hardworking newcomers, but longstanding left-wing policies that actively inhibit assimilation. Proponents of bilingual education refuse to teach children in English, racial preferences encourage harmful group loyalties, welfare rules threaten the work ethic, and the citizenship process is under constant pressure from people who want to dumb it down. “The Unmaking of Americans” reveals where and how the system of assimilation fell apart– and lays out a specific plan of action for correcting the problem that conservatives, libertarians, and sensible liberals can support.”

Clarence Walker, We Can’t Go Home Again: An Argument About Afrocentrism (2001).

“Afrocentrism has been a controversial but popular movement in schools and universities across America, as well as in black communities. But in We Can’t Go Home Again, historian Clarence E. Walker puts Afrocentrism to the acid test, in a thoughtful, passionate, and often blisteringly funny analysis that melts away the pretensions of this “therapeutic mythology.”

As expounded by Molefi Kete Asante, Yosef Ben-Jochannan, and others, Afrocentrism encourages black Americans to discard their recent history, with its inescapable white presence, and to embrace instead an empowering vision of their African (specifically Egyptian) ancestors as the source of western civilization. Walker marshals a phalanx of serious scholarship to rout these ideas. He shows, for instance, that ancient Egyptian society was not black but a melange of ethnic groups, and questions whether, in any case, the pharaonic regime offers a model for blacks today, asking “if everybody was a King, who built the pyramids?” But for Walker, Afrocentrism is more than simply bad history–it substitutes a feel-good myth of the past for an attempt to grapple with the problems that still confront blacks in a racist society. The modern American black identity is the product of centuries of real history, as Africans and their descendants created new, hybrid cultures–mixing many African ethnic influences with native and European elements. Afrocentrism replaces this complex history with a dubious claim to distant glory.

Afrocentrism offers not an empowering understanding of black Americans’ past,” Walker concludes, “but a pastiche of ‘alien traditions’ held together by simplistic fantasies.” More to the point, this specious history denies to black Americans the dignity, and power, that springs from an honest understanding of their real history.”

The next article will deal with Delaware, Tennessee and Maryland. It will also give solutions on how to stop the dismantling of HBCU.

Dr. Jahi Issa is an historian specializing in African Studies.

Several Months after writing the first article, Dr. Issa was arrested and charged with four misdemeanor counts because he supported his students Constitutional Rights to petition government as it regarded the status of African Americans on the campus. Dr. Issa was also fired. After almost three years of prosecution, Dr. Issa went to trial in September of 2014 on one charge. The other charges were dropped. The trial lasted 8 days and ended in a mistrial. The Attorney General’s office headed by Mr. Beau Biden Jr. has announced that they will try him again. Dr. Issa needs your help in raising money for his legal defense fund. Please click link below and donate:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/dr-jahi-issa-legal-defence-fund/x/8914824

Petition by  Hamilton Coalition To Stop The War

1) The recent divisive vote to deploy warplanes, reconnaissance aircraft, support personnel, and special forces on a combat mission to Iraq – carried only by the Conservative government’s slim majority in Parliament – was a bad decision. It will make things worse, not better, for the people of the Middle East and is the thin edge of the wedge to pull Canada deeper into another long quagmire of a war, just six months after the failed twelve-year mission to Afghanistan. Moreover, this instance of mission creep is being conducted without United Nations Security Council approval and is therefore illegal under international law.

2) According to NDP Foreign Affairs Critic, Paul Dewar, who was part of the recent Canadian mission to Iraq, the Iraqi government asked that Canada send humanitarian, rather than military, assistance. The Iraqi government also did not request that Canada become involved in Syria. Rather, it appears that it was completely at the initiative of the Harper government that Canadian troops have joined the latest US-led “coalition of the willing” in Iraq. Former Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who, in 2003, wisely bowed to the wishes of hundreds of thousands of protesters in the streets – organized by the Canadian Peace Alliance and Collectif Échec à la Guerre – and refused to send Canadian troops to join Bush and Blair’s previous “coalition of the willing”, has recently spoken out against the present combat mission and urged a massive humanitarian mission instead.

3) Whether or not the Iraqi government has authorized air strikes by foreign powers on its territory, the US and its allies have no right under international law to bomb targets inside Syria, without the approval and cooperation of the legitimate government of Syria.

4) The true purpose of the US campaign against ISIL is not to destroy terrorism. In fact, since at least 2011, the USA and other countries in the “Friends of Syria” Group (FSG), including Canada, financed, armed, and organized a deadly covert war of aggression using jihadi mercenaries against Syria. ISIL grew out of this explicitly terrorist operation against the people of Syria, which so far resulted in about 200,000 deaths, millions of refugees, and the laying waste of much of Syria. In other words, the USA, Canada, and their FSG partners created this terrorist ISIL Frankenstein. In our opinion, the ISIL crisis is being used by the USA and some countries neighbouring Syria as a pretext for bombing for regime change in Syria and perhaps, eventually, other countries such as Lebanon and Iran. The Turkish government’s recent call for a “no fly zone” over Syria is a case in point and reminiscent of NATO’s abuse of UN Resolution 1973 for the illegal overthrow of the government of Libya.

5) The USA has “dirty hands.” Its 2003 attack on Iraq was also without UN approval and left that country in ruins, with at least half a million dead, millions of refugees, and effectively split into three parts. The USA should not be entrusted to play any role in Iraq. In fact, the result of the US and NATO-led “humanitarian” interventions in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya, Haiti, and Syria has uniformly been to make things much worse for civilians and to destroy the territorial integrity of those countries.

6) If the Canadian government is sincerely interested in dealing with ISIL, it needs to cooperate with all the governments of the region, including Syria and Iran, as well as Russia and China, to develop a common strategy. That strategy would best be developed at the United Nations where recent resolutions 2170 and 2178 might serve as first steps in a global action against terrorism. To deal with ISIS, the Harper government of Canada could ask the Turkish, Israeli, and Jordanian governments to close their borders to ISIL terrorists and to remove any terrorist bases on their territories. It could demand that Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait stop funding jihadi mercenaries altogether. It could call for disbanding the “Friends of Syria” Group.

7) The sending of Canadian forces personnel and equipment the Middle East raises the likelihood of a major confrontation between Canada and Russia, because Russia has important national and traditional interests in the Middle East, where it has a major base on the Mediteranean Sea in Syria. Removing Canadian military personnel and equipment from this theatre of war would reduce the threat of any regional or global confrontation.

8) Canadians are rightly proud of the fact that our post-WW2 history, until recently, was marked by support for international institutions such as the United Nations, for the international rule of law, and for a preference for peace-keeping and diplomacy over war-making.

9) Therefore, we the undersigned, call on all members of parliament to use their individual and partisan influence to withdraw Canada from the US-led coalition for war in Iraq and Syria and also from the so-called “Friends of Syria” Group.

While U.S. warplanes strike at the militants of the so-called Islamic State in both Syria and Iraq, truckloads of U.S. and Western aid has been flowing into territory controlled by the jihadists, assisting them to build their terror-inspiring “caliphate.”

The aid—mainly food and medical equipment—is meant for Syrians displaced from their hometowns, and for hungry civilians. It is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development, European donors, and the United Nations. Whether it continues is now the subject of anguished debate among officials in Washington and European. The fear is that stopping aid would hurt innocent civilians and would be used for propaganda purposes by the militants, who would likely blame the West for added hardship.

The Bible says if your enemy is hungry, feed him, and if he is thirsty, give him something to drink—doing so will “heap burning coals” of shame on his head. But there is no evidence that the militants of the Islamic State, widely known as ISIS or ISIL, feel any sense of disgrace or indignity (and certainly not gratitude) receiving charity from their foes.

Quite the reverse, the aid convoys have to pay off ISIS emirs (leaders) for the convoys to enter the eastern Syrian extremist strongholds of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor, providing yet another income stream for ISIS militants, who are funding themselves from oil smuggling, extortion, and the sale of whatever they can loot, including rare antiquities from museums and archaeological sites.

“The convoys have to be approved by ISIS and you have to pay them: The bribes are disguised and itemized as transportation costs,” says an aid coordinator who spoke to The Daily Beast on the condition he not be identified in this article. The kickbacks are either paid by foreign or local nongovernmental organizations tasked with distributing the aid, or by the Turkish or Syrian transportation companies contracted to deliver it.

“What are we doing here helping their fighters, who we are bombing, to be treated so they can fight again?”

 

And there are fears the aid itself isn’t carefully monitored enough, with some sold off on the black market or used by ISIS to win hearts and minds by feeding its fighters and its subjects. At a minimum, the aid means ISIS doesn’t have to divert cash from its war budget to help feed the local population or the displaced persons, allowing it to focus its resources exclusively on fighters and war-making, say critics of the aid.

One of the striking differences between ISIS and terror groups of the past is its desire to portray the territory it has conquered as a well-organized and smoothly functioning state. “The soldiers of Allah do not liberate a village, town, or city, only to abandon its residents and ignore their needs,” declares the latest issue of Dabiq, the group’s slick online magazine. Elsewhere in the publication are pictures of slaughtered Kurdish soldiers and a gruesome photograph of American journalist Steven Sotloff’s severed head resting on top of his body. But this article shows ISIS restoring electricity in Raqqah, running a home for the elderly, a cancer-treatment facility in Ninawa, and cleaning streets in other towns.

Last year, a polio outbreak in Deir ez-Zor raised concerns throughout the region about the spread of an epidemic. The World Health Organization worked with the Syrian government and with opposition groups to try to carry out an immunization campaign. This has continued. In response to a query by The Daily Beast, a WHO spokesperson said, “Our information indicates that vaccination campaigns have been successfully carried out by local health workers in IS-controlled territory.”

“I am alarmed that we are providing support for ISIS governance,” says Jonathan Schanzer, a Mideast expert with the Washington D.C.-based think tank Foundation for Defense of Democracies. “By doing so we are indemnifying the militants by satisfying the core demands of local people, who could turn on ISIS if they got frustrated.”

U.S. and Western relief agencies have been caught before in an aid dilemma when it comes to the war on terror. Last December, the Overseas Development Institute, an independent British think tank focusing on international development and humanitarian issues, reported that aid agencies in Somalia had been paying militants from the al Qaeda offshoot al-Shabab for access to areas under their control during the 2011 famine.

Al-Shabab demanded from the agencies what it described as “registration fees” of up to $10,000. And in many cases al-Shabab insisted on distributing the aid, keeping much of it for itself, according to ODI. The think tank cited al-Shabab’s diversion of food aid in the town of Baidoa, where it kept between half and two-thirds of the food for its own fighters. The researchers noted the al Qaeda affiliate developed a highly sophisticated system of monitoring and co-opting the aid agencies, even setting up a “Humanitarian Co-ordination Office.”

Something similar appears to be underway now in the Syrian provinces of Raqqa and Deir ez-Zor.

Aid coordinators with NGOs partnering USAID and other Western government agencies, including Britain’s Department for International Development, say ISIS insist that the NGOs, foreign and local, employ people ISIS approves on their staffs inside Syria. “There is always at least one ISIS person on the payroll; they force people on us,” says an aid coordinator. “And when a convoy is being prepared, the negotiations go through them about whether the convoy can proceed. They contact their emirs and a price is worked out. We don’t have to wrangle with individual ISIS field commanders once approval is given to get the convoy in, as the militants are highly hierarchical.” He adds: “None of the fighters will dare touch it, if an emir has given permission.”

That isn’t the case with other Syrian rebel groups, where arguments over convoys can erupt at checkpoints at main entry points into Syria, where aid is unloaded from Turkish tractor-trailers and re-loaded into Syrian ones.

Many aid workers are uncomfortable with what’s happening. “A few months ago we delivered a mobile clinic for a USAID-funded NGO,” says one, who declined to be named. “A few of us debated the rights and wrongs of this. The clinic was earmarked for the treatment of civilians, but we all know that wounded ISIS fighters could easily be treated as well. So what are we doing here helping their fighters, who we are bombing, to be treated so they can fight again?”

What becomes even more bizarre is that while aid is still going into ISIS-controlled areas, only a little is going into Kurdish areas in northeast Syria. About every three or four months there is a convoy into the key city of Qamishli. Syrian Kurds, who are now defending Kobani with the support of U.S. warplanes, have long complained about the lack of international aid. Last November, tellingly, Syrian Kurds complained that Syria’s Kurdistan was not included in a U.N. polio-vaccination campaign. U.N. agencies took the position that polio vaccines should go through the Syrian Red Crescent via Damascus when it came to the Kurds.

The origins of the aid programs pre-date President Barack Obama’s decision to “degrade and defeat” ISIS, but they have carried on without major review. The aid push was to reach anyone in need. A senior State Department official with detailed knowledge of current aid programs confirmed to The Daily Beast that U.S. government funded relief is still going into Raqqa and Deir Ez-Zor. He declined to estimate the quantity. But an aid coordinator, when asked, responded: “A lot.”

The State Department official said he, too, was conflicted about the programs.

“Is this helping the militants by allowing them to divert money they would have to spend on food? If aid wasn’t going in, would they let people starve? And is it right for us to withhold assistance and punish civilians? Would the militants turn around, as al-Shabab did when many agencies withdrew from Somalia, and blame the West for starvation and hunger? Are we helping indirectly the militants to build their caliphate? I wrestle with this.”

Western NGO partners of USAID and other Western agencies declined to respond to Daily Beast inquiries about international relief going to ISIS areas, citing the complexity of the issue and noting its delicacy.

Mideast analyst Schanzer dismisses the notion that ISIS can use an aid shutdown as leverage in its PR campaign: “I think this is false. In areas they control, everyone understands they are a brutal organization. This is their basic weakness and by pushing in aid we are curtailing the chances of an internal revolt, which is the best chance you have of bringing down ISIS.”

On Oct. 17, the 208th anniversary of the assassination of Haiti’s founding father Jean-Jacques Dessalines, tens of thousands of demonstrators took to Haiti’s streets, once again, to demand the unconditional resignation of President Michel Joseph Martelly.

In an effort to undercut the protest, Martelly and his Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe did what they do best: they organized a one-day Carnival, with big-name bands like Djakout and T-Vice (and, of course Martelly’s son, Ti Micky), on the former runway of the old military airport near Pont Rouge, where Dessalines was killed in an ambush in 1806. The government publicized the festive extravaganza, so disrespectful on such a somber occasion, via recorded robot messages over the Digicel cell phone network.

But most of the Haitian masses shunned the unfitting spectacle and instead marched to demand Martelly and Lamothe’s resignations, an end to the UN military occupation (renewed three days earlier for another year) and to political persecution, arrests, and assassinations. Demonstrators also marched in Jacmel in the Southeast, in Sainte-Suzanne in the Northeast, and in Léogane, Petit Goâve, and other cities.

In Port-au-Prince, demonstrators marched along the Delmas Road to Pétionville under the slogan, “Dessalines pral kay Pétion,” Dessalines is going to visit Pétion. Alexandre Pétion, who conspired in Dessalines’ murder and succeeded him as Haiti’s president, was a representative of Haiti’s nascent comprador bourgeoisie.

As they did against demonstrators on Sep. 30, the Haitian National Police (PNH) tried to disperse the demonstrators with tear gas and skin-irritating pepper water. Police and armed thugs were also observed firing leveled weapons at demonstrators.

As some demonstrators assembled at a rally point in front of the former Church of Perpetual Help in the Bel Air neighborhood, thugs affiliated to the musical group Grand Black – such as Ti Roi, Didi Manikile, and Evens Thélemas – beat up and fired weapons at protesters, and then tore up fleeing protesters’ placards.

However, the demonstrators from Bel Air joined other marchers gathering in front of the ruins of St. John Bosco church on Jean Jacques Dessalines Boulevard (Grand Rue). After the traditional ceremony around a bonfire, the march stepped off and passed through the popular neighborhoods of La Saline, St. Martin, and Bel Air before heading towards the Delmas Road to proceed as planned to Pétionville.

But the police and thugs blocked the marchers from taking the Delmas Road so they detoured through the Solino neighborhood to the Nazon Road in hopes of finally reaching the Delmas Road that way. But on Nazon, police fired tear-gas canisters into the dense crowd to prevent them from reaching Nazon’s intersection with the Delmas Road.

“Down with Martelly!” chanted the demonstrators. “Martelly said he’d kill us, the people. Quickly, quickly, let’s send him packing. Onward to Pétionville!”

The Dessalines Coordination party (KOD) contingent held signs that read: “Down with Martelly and Lamothe! Both are lackeys of the colonists!”

Along the march route, hoodlums hiding behind walls threw rocks at the demonstrators. But the determined protesters pressed on. At Delmas 30, they again tried to reach Delmas Road. But the police again met them with tear gas, pepper water, and leveled gunfire. Noone was spared: political party leaders, parliamentarians, protesters, journalists, children, merchants, and public transportation passengers, all inhaled gas.

Teargas canisters were fired at a car clearly marked with the logos of Radio Vision 2000, which carried several journalists. Hundreds of people fainted from tear gas. Children had to be taken to hospital emergency rooms.

Senator Moïse Jean-Charles, the spearhead of this mobilization who rode on a horse behind a demonstrator dressed like Dessalines, was clearly targeted for attack by some PNH units. At Delmas 30, he was also overcome by the teargas, prompting some demonstrators to start screaming “Moïse is dead!” The senator was revived by people rubbing limes under his nose and pouring soda over his head.

“This is a peaceful demonstration to commemorate Dessalines’ assassination, and the PNH is dispersing it,” Sen. Moïse said afterwards. “Today Martelly shows us once again that he does not want democracy and is politicizing the country’s police force.” (Later in the day, Police Chief Godson Orélus, dressed in a white uniform, stood grinning on the Carnival stage as President Martelly vulgarly danced with a woman.)

In the end, there were dozens of arrests and injuries. The protesters arrested were taken to the Delmas police station, and, without hearing before a justice of the peace, 19 were transported to the National Penitentiary. Among them are: St. Gourdain of Delmas 2, and Ralph Laudan Louis and Evens Clergé Jeff from the Christ-Roi district.

There are reports that the attack against Senator Moïse was aimed at assassinating him. Indeed, it is widely rumored that such a plan was hatched at a meeting involving Communications Minister Rudy Hériveaux, Sports Minister Himmler Rébu, Interior Minister Réginald Delva, Reynaud Léné of the Defense Ministry, and Police Chief Godson Orélus with some of his aides including Samuel Moreau and John Alexis, a former member of the New York diaspora organization HEAR (Haitian Enforcement Against Racism) and a unionist at 1199.

There were many political reactions after the police dispersed the demonstration. The Fanmi Lavalas political organization, in a press statement read by the coordinator of the Executive Committee, Dr. Maryse Narcisse, condemned the crackdown when the “sons of Dessalines were extending a hand to the sons of Pétion” to resolve the structural problems which have plagued Haiti since the Feb. 29, 2004 coup d’état. She also demanded the liberation of all the protestors illegally arrested and decried the police attack on professional journalists.

Former Senator Turneb Delpé of the Patriotic Movement of the Democratic Opposition (MOPOD), one of the march’s organizers, thanked the people for taking part in the anti-Martelly protest and condemned that the police who used tear gas and pepper water to prevent protesters from reaching Pétionville. He said that MOPOD along with other organizations of the democratic opposition would continue to mobilize against the Martelly regime and its repression.

The Association of Local Reporters, a journalists’ union, condemned the PNH’s firing of teargas at journalists, including those in the Vision 2000 vehicle. The union plans to file a formal complaint against the police.

Meanwhile, many severely criticized the Martelly-Lamothe regime for dancing on Dessalines’ grave by organizing a carnival with music groups. By doing this, they said, Martelly proves, once again, that he has no respect for the Haitian people’s sensibilities on this important nationalist and patriotic date.

In 2012, Martelly and Lamothe appalled people on Oct. 17 by going to the Church of St. Clair in Marchand Dessalines for a Requiem Mass dressed inappropriately in informal guayabera shirts and jeans. On that same date, the Tourism Minister Stéphanie Villedrouin shockingly said: “Happy Birthday to the Haitian people.” In 2013, Martelly marked the date by distributing money to people in Cap Haïtien.

The cruelest irony is that three days before the anniversary, on Oct. 14, the UN once again renewed its military occupation of Haiti, which has been in place since 2004. Dessalines would be horrified. Instead of using the date to solemnly organize the people to resist the choke hold put on Haiti by foreign troops, Martelly organizes a festival to entertain the masses and put them to sleep.

That is why on Oct. 17 the demonstrators, who were so savagely repressed by the police, called for both Martelly and MINUSTAH to go, a mobilization which shows signs of sharpening in the weeks ahead.

The argument of “stock versus flow” has been debated from many angles and across many asset classes. The most heated may be in the gold and silver bullion categories. I’ve written on this topic before and I’m sure I will again but for this exercise I want to talk about U.S. stocks.

Zero Hedge put out a piece yesterday reporting that JP Morgan E-Mini Liquidity Has Crashed 40% In The Past Quarter, JPMorgan Finds. Zero Hedge says liquidity has dropped 40% in the S+P E mini contract.

The study looks at “depth” of both bids and offers, this is now drying up, in fact, the ramp upwards was performed on continually lower volume. Not exactly a confidence builder as volumes dried up out of, well, lack of confidence. Without spending a whole lot of time on this, suffice it to say “liquidity is the blood of life” as far as the markets are concerned. Without it or when liquidity decreases, accidents tend to happen. “Accidents” in this case are when the markets move violently which affects a good part of the $1.4 quadrillion in derivatives. Big moves in either direction can affect the standing of these derivatives as for every winner there is a loser. The problem arises when a loser is so crippled, they cannot perform (pay) on their losses.

The above is a very basic synopsis of the “what”, the important thing right now is the “why”. Why is volatility increasing? Why has volume and liquidity decreased so much? There are two basic reasons, first the global economy is slowing at a time when debt is a bigger percentage of financing than ever. Debt service must be paid whether good times or bad. It just happens that right now we are seeing a global slowdown which leaves less free cash flow available whether it be a sovereign, corporation or individual …money is tight so to speak. Secondly, the Fed has reduced their “free money spigot” called QE by $75 billion per month down to only $10 billion per month. This is slated to drop to zero next month.

I guess the best way to explain this is the financial system got “used to” an extra $85 billion per month sloshing around. By no longer providing this, the Fed, even though not actually tightening credit conditions …are tightening credit availability. What we now see happening is the economy must stand on its own without any help from the Fed, it’s not working very well and this is what the markets are telling us.

Shifting gears just a little bit, we recently saw as a reaction to the lessening QE, a stronger dollar. Scared capital sought safe haven and did so into the dollar out of “habit” because that’s the way it’s always been. Fear capital has always (during our lifetimes) fled into the dollar because the U.S. had a history of a strong rule of law and stable politics. Do we still have a strong rule of law? Are we politically stable as we once were? I personally don’t think so but this topic is for another day.

What I think we will soon see is this “fear capital” will soon leapfrog the dollar altogether and arrive as a bid into gold and silver. Gold and silver have no “politics” and the rule of law is “whoever possesses it holds value”. Simple right? Yes, but think this through all the way. We are headed through the gates of hell if (when) the Fed must announce another round of QE. QE is pure monetization, deep down everyone knows (and have known all along) that QE will not work and is nothing more than printing money out of thin air. It hasn’t worked, it won’t work and it can never work. All it did was buy “cover” or time in the hopes of something coming along to magically fix the mathematically unfixable problem.

The “problem” as I have said all along is one of solvency rather than liquidity. This I believe will be understood whenever the next QE is announced. The “solvency” I am talking about here is that of the Fed and the U.S. which is why the “safety” of the dollar will be shunned on the next go round. I wrote years ago that “all roads will lead to gold and silver”. This is as true today as when I first wrote it back in 2008 …with the exception the “road” is now much much shorter!. The road is shorter because every “tool” in Ben Bernanke’s (now Yellen’s)toolbox has already been taken out and used …to no avail.

People “wanted” to believe they would work because of the alternative if they did not. The Chinese were content to sit back and let us play the paper games while they filled their vaults with our gold, how much do you suppose is left? You will know the answer when one day our markets do not open for “business as usual”. No tools, no White Knights, no flight into dollars …no more “benefit of the doubt”. We have lived in a “benefit of the doubt” world for quite some time, once this runs out, capital will arrive to that last asset standing of no doubt …real money.

The Obama administration has blocked the public release of disturbing torture photos out of concern they would endanger US troops. Now, a federal judge is giving the government until December to justify its actions.

In addition to the disturbing Abu Ghraib photos released in 2004, an estimated 2,100 images of US military personnel torturing and degrading detainees – possibly even more disturbing – may soon be released into the public realm.

Federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein has given the US Justice Department until December 12 to defend its rationale for withholding each photograph on an individual basis. Hellerstein will then deliver his ruling on the future fate of the photographs after he conducts a review of the government’s case.


Image: This handout photo from Australia’s SBS TV released 15 February, 2006 allegedly shows a prisoner in Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib. (AFP Photo/HO/SBS Dateline)

In 2009, President Obama denied release of the photographs on the grounds they would “further inflame anti-American opinion and … put our troops in greater danger.”The move by the president was supported by passage of the Protected National Security Documents Act, which gives the Secretary of Defense the power to keep any photographic images classified if it is believed their release would endanger Americans.

Marcellene Hearn, an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said the release of the photographs would shed some light on US military facilities abroad.

Image: This handout photo from SBS TV received 15 February, 2006 shows a hooded prisoner allegedly being tortured at Iraq’s notorious Abu Ghraib jail supposely during interrogation by US soldiers in Baghdad in 2004. (AFP Photo/HO/SBS Dateline)

“It’s disappointing that the government continues to fight to keep these photographs from the public,” Hearn said after the hearing, as quoted by the Guardian. “The American people deserve to know the truth about what happened in our detention centers abroad. Yet the government is suppressing as many as 2,100 photographs of detainee abuse in Iraq and elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, in a separate case, a Federal District Court earlier this month ordered the release of 28 videotapes reportedly showing the force-feeding of a hunger-striking detainee at Guantánamo Bay detention center, rejecting the government’s assertion that releasing the tapes would risk the lives of troops.

With the United States military conducting air missions in Iraq and Syria, this time to fight against militants of the Islamic State, there will be much greater incentive to keep the disturbing images classified so as not to inflame anti-American passions even more.

Professor Noam Chomsky has written an essay entitled, “The End of History: The short, strange era of human civilization would appear to be drawing to a close.” Chomsky invokes the Roman goddess Minerva as she contemplates the end drawing nigh. His essay is thoughtful. It is eloquent. But something is missing.

Professor Chomsky references the devastation visited upon the Middle East by the American war machine. He mentions the brutal onslaught of ISIS, the self-proclaimed Islamic caliphate, as well as the military dictatorship in Egypt. And then he turns to the principal issue, climate change and a report issued by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The report concludes that the increasing level of greenhouse gas risks “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.” Ice sheets are melting. Sea levels will rise. Major cities and coastal plains will be inundated.

Species are disappearing from the planet at an alarming rate. The melting of permafrost regions will result in even more greenhouse gases being released, with even graver consequences for the planet’s ecosystem. The Siachen Glacier, high up in the Himalayas, has been home to armed conflict between India and Pakistan. As the glacier melts “empty artillery shells, empty fuel drums [and] ice axes” appear, “a most appropriate metaphor,” says Arundhati Roy, “for the insanity of our times.”

Chomsky’s brief essay concludes on an elegiac note—“Sad species. Poor Owl,” referring to the goddess Minerva—and makes us wonder if this piece isn’t primarily a lament. Implicitly there is a shrug of the shoulders, “Don’t blame me. I’m just reporting the facts.” Perhaps this is the problem. Missing is the framework that would help the reader direct his thoughts productively. There is a fatalistic disengagement. Some larger force is at work over which we humans have no control. God?

This fatalism pervades several of Professors Chomsky’s pieces. One essay is entitled, “Humanity Imperiled: The Path to Disaster,” another, “Can Civilization Survive Capitalism?” In “Is the World Too Big to Fail? The Contours of Global Order” Chomsky observes that maybe the financial system can be fixed, “but no one will come to the rescue if the environment is destroyed. That it must be destroyed is close to an institutional imperative.”

Jeremiah was one of the major prophets of the Hebrew Bible. It was his role to reveal the sins of his people, thus explaining the reason for impending disaster, hence the word jeremiad, a moralistic essay in which its author denounces society for its wickedness, and prophesies its downfall.

Our Puritan forefathers were Calvinists. They also believed that mankind had sinned and that there was nothing he could do to save himself. There was an elect. They were the saints. They would be saved. God alone would determine who they were. The rest would perish. Whether it was crop failure, blizzard, drought or pestilence, a jeremiad would be sure to follow.

Chomsky’s brief essay is jeremiad like. From some higher place, where reside the saints, he has issued civilization’s death certificate. We have made war and killed many innocents. We have sinned against nature by fouling the air. And we must pay the price. There is no redemption through good works.

The effect of “The End of History” is to close the door to original thought and to eliminate the possibility of public initiative. The essay disempowers those who would undertake to redirect the forces that are destroying our planet. In this context it is useful to consider what Alexis de Tocqueville has to say on the subject of history and historians.

Tocqueville (Democracy in America, vol. 2) speaks of historians who “not only deny that the few have any power of acting upon the destiny of a people, but deprive the people themselves of the power of modifying their own condition, and they subject them either to an inflexible Providence or to some blind necessity.” He adds, “In perusing the historical volumes [of our age] . . . it would seem that man is utterly powerless over himself and all around him. The historians of antiquity taught how to command; those of our time teach how to obey.” I believe these remarks apply to Professor Chomsky’s writing as well. In his version of history there is no room for human agency. “An inflexible Providence” marches us inexorably to our demise. There is nothing humans can do to stop it.

In 1967, Professor Chomsky wrote an essay entitled “The Responsibility of Intellectuals.” His piece was inspired by the writing of Dwight McDonald who, a decade earlier, had explored the issue of responsibility concerning the suffering wrought by the Nazis. Were the German people, just ordinary folk leading modest lives, responsible for the actions of their government? Shouldn’t they have done something to stop the devastation? Chomsky raises the same question and applies it to the war in Vietnam. Did we Americans have responsibility for the atrocities and wasn’t it our job to stop them? And don’t intellectuals have a special responsibility?

Intellectuals are in a position to expose the lies of governments, to analyze actions according to their causes and motives and often hidden intentions. In the Western world, at least, they have the power that comes from political liberty, from access to information and freedom of expression. For a privileged minority, Western democracy provides the leisure, the facilities, and the training to seek the truth lying hidden behind the veil of distortion and misrepresentation, ideology and class interest, through which the events of current history are presented to us. The responsibilities of intellectuals, then, are much deeper than what Macdonald calls the “responsibility of people,” given the unique privileges that intellectuals enjoy.

Specifically, what is the intellectual’s responsibility, as Chomsky sees it? “It is the responsibility of intellectuals to speak the truth and to expose lies.” Based on this definition one can say that Professor Chomsky has acquitted himself admirably over the past decades.

But one can reasonably ask if there is any difference between the journalist and the intellectual based on Professor Chomsky’s definition. It most certainly is the job of responsible journalism to speak the truth and expose the lie. Then what is it that we expect from an intellectual that we don’t expect from a journalist? New ideas. And here I am afraid Professor Chomsky has had little if anything to offer.

To quote Sean O’Casey, “Th’ whole worl’s in a terrible state o’ chassis.” Why is it that way? Does it have to be that way? What can be done to set it straight? These are the questions the intellectual should be asking.

There are many factors creating the “state o’ chassis.” Most of them can be traced to a combination of action and inaction on the part of government. Government promotes the exploitation of fossil fuels. It favors the private car over public transportation. It diverts to war critical resources that could be used to develop alternative sources of energy. All of these policies are humankind’s contribution to global warming. These policies can be reversed, but not without transforming government. And I am afraid yet another election will not do the job.

Currently, there is considerable discussion and some experimentation exploring the possibilities of using sortition as a means of restructuring government. In ancient Athens, sortition was used as a means of selecting magistrates. We could substitute sortition for elections as a means of selecting our representatives and senators.

Sortition is another word for lottery. Essentially, a number is picked out of a hat. A pool of candidates is established. Often it is simply those who volunteer, those who want to hold the office. Then there is some kind of vetting process. Perhaps there are requirements of age and citizenship. Other parameters can be introduced as well.

Once the pool of candidates is established a number is drawn and the name attached to that number is now the magistrate. In ancient Athens he served for a year and but once in a lifetime. The Athenians used juries to keep track of a magistrate’s performance. If they didn’t like what he was up to another lottery was held and the magistrate was replaced.

Such a means of selecting those who govern has some obvious advantages over holding elections. There is no electioneering, i.e., lying and pandering, at election time. There are no political parties and no leaders to be bought off. Thus there is considerably less corruption. Corporate control of government is dramatically reduced.

Sortition is more democratic than elections because it establishes true political equality. Anyone can serve. Setting brief term limits insures rotation in office—this could be applied to the presidency as well—further limiting the opportunity for abusing power. If one wanted to democratize the process even further one could introduce referenda on key issues. Decisions concerning war and peace would certainly be one opportunity. This was the protocol in ancient Athens.

Or one could completely democratize the governing process by having the citizens govern themselves. This was the meaning of democracy in ancient Athens. The citizens, not their representatives, met in the Assembly, debated and voted on legislation and policy. The same principle could be applied in the United States. Instead of one assembly there would be thousands spread throughout the country. In Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained: The True Meaning of Democracy, I explore these and other possibilities at length.

Such thoughts will undoubtedly be dismissed as foolhardy, naïve, utopian by those who are stuck in the here and now, mired in the fixity of things as given, those who have a fear of change and want to cling to the present setup at all costs. Yes, changing government has its risks. There are outcomes that cannot be predicted. But if Professor Chomsky is right—and I believe he is—then the biggest risk of all is letting things stay as they are and believing we will survive. Change does occur and will continue to do so. The only questions are: What direction will it take? Whose hands will guide it?

What is the responsibility of the intellectual? Is it simply to gather the facts and uncover the lie, or is it the intellectual’s responsibility to lead the way? It is easy enough to predict the end of civilization. It is quite another thing to do something about saving it. With courage and imagination mankind can live to see another day, but not without transforming government into an instrument that serves the common good.

Arthur D. Robbins is the author of “Paradise Lost, Paradise Regained: The True Meaning of Democracy,” referred to by Ralph Nader as “An eye-opening, earth-shaking book . . . a fresh, torrential shower of revealing insights and vibrant lessons . . .” and the soon to be released e-book based on Part II of “Paradise Lost” entitled, “Democracy Denied: The Untold Story.” Visit acropolis-newyork.com to learn more.

An American political commentator says the resurgence of opium trade in Afghanistan is a “direct result of the US invasion” in 2001.

“I think the growth of the opium trade in Afghanistan is a direct result of the US invasion of Afghanistan,” James Petras, retired Bartle Prof. of sociology at Binghamton University, told Press TV in an interview on Tuesday.

According to US federal auditors, Afghanistan’s opium industry is booming despite $7.6 billion spent in US counternarcotics efforts since 2002.

The most recent report was released on Tuesday by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR).

SIGAR said the net land area used for poppy cultivation in 2013 was more than 500,000 acres, a 36 percent jump from the previous year and a historic record.

The United Nations said that the majority of the cultivation happened in Helmand and Kandahar provinces that were the focus of the 33,000-strong American troop surge four years ago.

“The antinarcotics international agencies all noted that during the reign of the Taliban, there were [sic] virtually no poppies being grown,” Petras said. “The Taliban was strictly enforcing the outlawing of the growing of the narcotic plants.”

“Subsequent to the invasion, we have the breakdown of government responsibilities, the imposition of US rule through warlords and selected client regimes which had no authority, no influence over the countryside,” Petras continued.

He noted that the Afghan government under the influence of US presence had no influence on rural areas of the country and bribed tribal leaders by letting them grow narcotics.

“One way they attempted to secure the allegiances of various tribal and rural leaders was by tolerating the growth of opium and other narcotic plants as a way of trying to outlaw the Taliban,” he said.

Petras concluded that the end of the US military occupation in Afghanistan and large scale alternative farming and subsidies could end the “narcotics epidemic” in the country.

Protests on October 22 against intensified police killings, tortuous conditions being inflicted on tens of thousands of incarcerated people, and young people treated like criminals, guilty until proven innocent if they can survive to prove their innocence, will mark 19 years of the annual National Day of Protest to Stop Police Brutality, Repression and the Criminalization of a Generation. Continuing defiant protests in Ferguson, MO, in response to the police killing of Michael Brown are part of heightened resistance to police murder all across the country.

Against this backdrop, people in more than 50 cities across the U.S. are planning to take to the streets and act in other ways on Wednesday. The Organization for Black Struggle has called for civil disobedience outside the jail where people arrested in Ferguson have been imprisoned. A march is planned in Ferguson from the site of the murder of Michael Brown to the police station. In NYC, organizers are waging a battle to be allowed to take the October 22 march, and their message that police brutality must STOP into Times Square and before the eyes of the world.

This year the annual protests are part of an October Month of Resistance to Mass Incarceration which was initiated by Cornel West & Carl Dix. Cornel and Carl were both arrested in Ferguson in October as they participated in and amplified the protests in Ferguson.

The Month of Resistance has garnered the support from notable figures such as Chuck D, who recorded a Pledge of Resistance, and Alice Walker, who wrote a poem “Gather”, dedicated to West and Dix. It has also included protests against attacks on immigrants and deportations, panels and assemblies on High School and College Campuses, and support from the Faith­ based community ­where over 30 churches/synagogues have lent their moral influence to speak out against mass incarceration and police brutality.

Carl Dix, speaking in Ferguson, stated:

“October 22 is a day when those who have suffered the devastation of police murder have a platform to speak about this. And when others throughout society are rallied to stand with them in the fight to STOP police murder…Are we going to stand aside while police wantonly murder Black youth, or are we going to act now to put up a big STOP SIGN to the horrors the criminal injustice system enforces on tens of millions of people?”

When most of us think of a State of Emergency, we think of isolated natural disasters like hurricanes, winter storms or a flood that passes through. In those cases it’s quite obvious when the emergency is over. But what if an emergency is declared for something that hasn’t happened yet? How will we know when it’s over?

Both Pennsylvania and Connecticut governors recently declared a State of Emergency, not because a disaster is taking place at this moment, but because bad things may happen in the future. This is an incredible development that citizens should be concerned about.

You should know that during a state of emergency your rights are suspended along with Constitutional restraints on government.

According to Wiki , a state of emergency “means that the government can suspend and/or change some functions of the executive, the legislative and or the judiciary during this period of time,” and it ”can also be used as a rationale for suspending rights and freedoms, even if those rights and freedoms are guaranteed under the Constitution.”

It short, a state of emergency is martial law.

It is the legal equivalent to living under a dictatorship who can change and ignore existing laws while at the same time citizens lose their rights. This power should be viewed as an absolute last resort in times of genuine crisis; but lately it’s declared merely over fear of something potentially happening in the future, instead of an actual emergency — which, by definition, is an immediate crisis.

Pennsylvania is currently operating under a state of emergency due to a manhunt for a single individual suspected of shooting two policemen. Police found an unusual orgy of evidence in the case, like finding the suspect’s journal detailing all of his alleged crimes. Any detective will tell you that this level of “evidence” almost always indicates a frame job, but I digress.

The state government also hastily passed “temporary” legislation allowing out-of-state law officers to make arrests within state borders.

According to PennLive :

As alleged cop killer Eric Matthew Frein continues to elude police, legislation is heading to Gov. Tom Corbett might make it possible for even out-of-state law enforcement to arrest him should they find him.

The Senate voted 48-0 on Thursday to approve House-passed legislation that would extend arrest powers to out-of-state officers when the governor has declared an emergency and it would remain in effect until the disaster emergency declaration is terminated.

Pennsylvania State Police information officer Adam Reed told PennLive, “It’s (the legislation) very important because in any large-scale incident like this, we need to rely on out-of-state agencies. They need to have some method in place … to grant them arrest powers in extreme cases.”

A random fugitive is considered a “large scale incident”? Something smells rotten here. Apparently the emergency is ongoing until this specific individual is detained. What about the next fugitive?

The logic behind the state of emergency in Connecticut is even more ridiculous. The state has not had a single resident or even a passing traveler with Ebola and yet Governor Malloy recently declared an emergency due to the potential threat from Ebola.

From Gov. Malloy’s  office :

Governor Dannel P. Malloy today signed an order that gives the Commissioner of the Department of Public Health (DPH) the ability to effectively quarantine an individual or a group of individuals who may have been exposed to or infected with the Ebola virus.

The order is not being executed because a specific case has been identified, but rather as a precautionary and preparatory measure in the event that the state has either a confirmed infection or has confirmed that someone at risk of developing the infection is residing in the state.

They even admit there is no actual emergency, but Connecticut officials can now force you into isolation, quarantine you, and medicate you by decree. This is otherwise known as indefinite detention without a right to defense, and it only needs to be based on some bureaucrat’s suspicions about your health, not criminal acts. Are you beginning to see how dangerous this is?

And don’t we already pay the CDC, HHS, FEMA, and other agencies to prepare and take precautions for potential outbreaks? Why does Connecticut need to declare an emergency to prepare for something that is already being prepared for? It seems ludicrous.

For those of you breathing a sigh of relief that you don’t live in either of these states, I’ve got bad news for you.

America, at the federal level, has been operating in a perpetual State of Emergency since the attacks of September 11th. That is why executive orders are technically legal, as well as warrantless spying, TSA groping, indefinite detention, military patrolling neighborhoods, wars without Congress, and the rest of the seemingly lawless behavior by the government.

These unconstitutional provisions were meant to be temporary due to the “emergency” of 9/11. That’s why the PATRIOT Act had annual sunset clauses until Obama auto-signed  a four-year extension  in 2011. This happened around the time Osama was allegedly killed and Al Qaeda was said to number less than 50. Still, the emergency and war on terror persists.

Isn’t it interesting how all these new terror groups and hyped pandemics are gaining momentum in the months leading up to the PATRIOT Act’s latest sunset in 2015?

The PATRIOT Act aside, it seems like the government at all levels is either pathetically easy to frighten, or they’re looking for any excuse to harness the extra authority that comes during a state of emergency. We have become the land of cowards, but I bet on the latter.

If you care about your rights, you might want to make some noise about these state emergencies that aren’t actually emergencies, because they’re setting dangerous precedents to justify tyranny.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a report Monday documenting the widespread use of banned cluster munitions rockets by the Ukrainian military against heavily populated civilian centers in eastern Ukraine, including central Donetsk city.

The detailed account, based on an on-the-spot investigation by the New York-based organization, working with a New York Times reporter, is a damning exposure of the brutal and illegal methods being used by the US- and European Union-backed regime in Kiev against Ukrainians in the pro-Russian east of the country.

The report includes video interviews with victims of the cluster rocket attacks. It charges the Kiev regime with firing the weapons into Donetsk city, the center of the separatist rebellion against the fascist-backed, pro-Western government that was installed last February in a putsch orchestrated by the CIA and German intelligence.

HRW also released photos showing sections of the cluster munitions rockets in and around Donetsk, unexploded submunitions and remnants of exploded submunitions released by the rockets, and other physical proof of the regime’s use of the weapons.

The report focuses on attacks launched October 2 and October 5 against Donetsk, a month after the signing of a ceasefire agreement between the pro-Russian rebels and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. HRW writes that these cluster munitions attacks, along with ten others it documented, were responsible for at least six deaths and dozens of injuries. The October 2 attack killed a 37-year-old International Committee of the Red Cross administrator stationed in Donetsk.

“It is shocking to see a weapon that most countries have banned used so extensively in eastern Ukraine,” said Mark Hiznay, senior arms researcher at HRW. A 2008 international convention banning the use of cluster munitions has been signed by 114 countries. The US, Ukraine and Russia are among those that have not joined the convention.

“Ukrainian government forces used cluster munitions in populated areas in Donetsk city in early October 2014. The use of cluster munitions in populated areas violates the laws of war due to the indiscriminate nature of the weapon and may amount to war crimes,” the report states.

Asked about the HRW report, Andriy Lysenko, the official spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council, said Ukrainian troops had never used any prohibited munitions in the east. The government spokesman for the so-called “anti-terrorist operation” in eastern Ukraine, Vladyslav Seleznyov, described the accusations as “utter nonsense.”

However, the HRW report outlines detailed physical evidence that cluster munitions were used for attacks on regions controlled by the pro-Russian rebels, and that they were fired by government forces. The report states:

“There is particularly strong evidence that Ukrainian government forces were responsible for several cluster munitions attacks on central Donetsk in early October. In addition to evidence at the impact site indicating that the cluster munitions came from the direction of government-controlled areas southwest of Donetsk, witnesses in that area said that they observed rockets being launched toward Donetsk on the times and days when cluster munitions struck the city. A New York Times journalist tracked down several rockets in that area, which appeared to have malfunctioned and fallen to the ground shortly after they were launched, clearly establishing the flight path of the rockets.

“Human Rights Watch found evidence of surface-fired 220mm Uragan (Hurricane) and 300mm Snerch (Tornado) cluster munitions rockets. Human Rights Watch researchers observed and photographed the remnants of the cargo sections of 16 Uragan and 6 Smerch cluster munitions rockets. Altogether, these 22 rockets would have contained 912 individual fragmentation submunitions. The total number of cluster munitions rockets used so far in the conflict is unknown.”

In Donetsk, doctors at a city hospital and morgue said they had found cluster munitions fragments in several patients.

Cluster munitions are designed to indiscriminately kill or maim anyone within a wide radius. Those who fire them into heavily populated areas do so for the purpose of terrorizing and killing non-combatants.

As the HRW report explains:

“Cluster munitions contain dozens or hundreds of smaller munitions, called submunitions, in a container such as a rocket or a bomb. After launch, the container opens up dispersing the submunitions which are designed to explode when they hit the ground. They submunitions are spread indiscriminately over a wide area, often the size of a football field, putting anyone in the area at the time of attack, whether combatants or civilians, at risk of death or injury. In addition, many of the submunitions do not explode on contact, but remain armed, become de facto landmines.”

The HRW report is not the first time charges have been made that the Kiev regime is using cluster munitions in its attempt to crush the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine. Last July, Sarah Blakemore, the director of the Cluster Munitions Coalition, which lobbies for a total ban on the weapons, wrote to the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry after images were published indicating the use of cluster rockets against rebel positions in the cities of Slavyansk and Kramatorsk. Blakemore says she never received a reply.

The US and the European Union have continued to give unstinting support to the Kiev regime and its offensive in the east, despite repeated atrocities against civilians—air and tank assaults, massacres, abductions—carried out by the Ukrainian military as well as far-right militias and the National Guard, whose members are drawn largely from the neo-Nazi Right Sector and the far-right Svoboda party. These crimes include the torching of the Trade Unions House in Odessa on May 2, which killed 38 pro-separatist protesters.

In fact, the bloody offensive in the east is largely directed by the CIA and US Special Forces operatives deployed to Ukraine. Last May, the German media published reports that 400 Academi (formerly known as Blackwater) mercenaries were directing the activities of the National Guard, the Right Sector and other government-backed neo-fascist militias such as the Azov Battalion.

These facts expose the lies promulgated by the US and Western governments and media presenting last February’s fascist-led coup and the US puppet government that replaced the deposed pro-Russian government as a “democratic revolution,” and blaming the ensuing crisis in Eastern Europe on Russian “aggression.”

The pro-Western protests in Kiev that led to the coup were orchestrated by the US and Germany for the purpose of weakening Russia and removing it as an impediment to their imperialist agendas in Europe and the Middle East.

That agenda remains unaltered by the cease-fire agreed to in early September. On Tuesday, one day after the release of the HRW report, Senators Carl Levin (Democrat of Michigan) and James Inhofe (Republican of Oklahoma) published a joint column in the Washington Post under the headline “Why Ukraine Should Have US Weapons.”

The chairman and ranking minority member, respectively, of the Senate Armed Services Committee called for Washington to increase its military assistance to Kiev by providing “defensive weapons” such as anti-tank weapons, ammunition and military vehicles. They backed their proposal with the claim that “[President] Poroshenko and the Ukrianian military has (sic) shown great restraint in resisting Russian provocations.”

Census Report: Half of Americans Poor or Near Poor

October 22nd, 2014 by Andre Damon

Forty-seven percent of Americans have incomes under twice the official poverty rate, making half of the country either poor or near-poor, according to figures released last week by the Census Bureau.

These figures are based on the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), which takes into account government transfers and the regional cost-of-living in calculating the poverty rate. According to that calculation, there were 48.7 million people in poverty in the United States, three million higher than the official census figures released last month. The US poverty rate, according to the SPM, was 15.5 percent.

Data from the Census Bureau report

The release of these figures, as well as last month’s official poverty figures, have been greeted with silence in the media, despite the fact that the US is a mere two weeks away from a midterm election. As with every major social and political question, the issues of poverty and social inequality are being totally excluded from debate and discussion in the elections, and ignored by the two big business parties.

The figures follow the release of a series of reports and studies documenting the growth of social inequality in the United States. Last week, Credit Suisse reported that the top one percent of the world’s population controls nearly half of all wealth, and that the United States has nearly ten times more super-wealthy people than any other country.

The census figures “show that poverty is still a major problem in the US,” said Christopher Wimer, Co-Director of the Center on Poverty and Social Policy at Columbia University, in a telephone interview Tuesday.

He said the SPM begins with a slightly higher poverty threshold then the official poverty figure, and then adjusts it based on the local cost of living and the prices of necessities of life.

As a result, both the poverty rate and the number of people in poverty are slightly higher than under the official poverty figure. But the biggest difference is that the more- sophisticated supplemental measure shows the extent to which a much broader section of the population is struggling to make ends meet. “Because the supplemental poverty measure subtracts non-discretionary income, you get a lot more people hovering close to the poverty line,” Dr. Wimer said.

The official poverty threshold is calculated as “three times the cost of a minimum food diet in 1963,” adjusted for inflation. By that calculation, the poverty threshold of an adult living alone is $11,888, and an adult with two children is $18,769, both of which are absurdly low.

Since the SPM takes into account regional differences in the cost of living, it better reflects the true prevalence of poverty in high cost-of-living states, such as California, and cities, such as New York City.

“The supplemental poverty measure reflects the fact that the cost of living is much higher in many major metropolitan areas,” Dr. Wimer said. “Those areas also tend to have higher population densities, so that ends up affecting a lot of people.”

Based on the latest Census numbers, nearly one in four people in California lives below the poverty line. Using the supplemental measure, California has a poverty rate of 23.4 percent, compared with the state’s official poverty figures of about 16 percent.

Dr. Wimer said he and fellow researchers at Columbia University have followed a methodology similar to that used by the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure to study economic hardship among a representative sample of New York City residents.

They found that nearly a quarter of the city’s residents were in poverty—23 percent, compared to the official poverty rate of about 21 percent. Fifty-five percent of New York City residents had an income of below twice the poverty line.

Thirty-seven percent of New York City residents were affected by what the survey called “severe material hardships,” including “staying at a shelter, moving in with others or having utilities shut off.” The report added, “If we consider the number of New Yorkers who suffer moderate, if not truly severe, material adversity, the number climbs to 6 in 10 New Yorkers.”

Based on these findings, the report concluded, “Nearly two-thirds of New York City residents struggled to make ends meet at some point during 2012.”

The wealth of the super-rich, meanwhile, continues to soar, with the net worth of the Forbes 400 richest people in the United States surging 13 percent last year. Fifty-two members of the Forbes 400 resided in New York City, more than twice the number living in any other city.

Dr. Wimer noted that the Census SPM report shows the role played by government anti-poverty programs in keeping large sections of the population out of destitution. To the extent that there has been a decline in poverty in recent decades, “it is not driven by market income; the reduction has been coming from government policies and programs such as food stamps and unemployment insurance,” he said.

According to the Census SPM report, food stamps kept two percent of the population out of poverty in 2012, while unemployment insurance kept about one percent of the population out of poverty. The census figures reflect cutbacks in both of these programs in 2013.

With the end of federal extended unemployment benefits for the long-term unemployed at the end of last year, together with additional cutbacks to food stamps, the number of people affected by cuts to these vital anti-poverty programs will only increase.

Cuts to these programs have been implemented and supported by both the Democrats and Republicans. The Obama administration’s 2015 budget proposal, for example, calls for slashing the budget of the Department of Health and Human Services, which funds the Head Start preschool program, and the Department of Agriculture, which administers the food stamp program, by more than five percent.

In the ongoing effort by the establishment to demonize resistance to an expanding federal government, a new narrative is emerging that could provide justification for a nation-wide crackdown on dissent.

The riots in Ferguson, Missouri are a focal point for an unfolding historical drama that could further divide the nation. Tribal passions are being stirred across the world by outside manipulators.

Members of The Islamic State (ISIS) are announcing their support for protesters in Ferguson, with one member saying on twitter “It’s time to strike fear into the hearts of the oppressors.” Another tweet from ISIS supporter Abu Ottoman says, “Blacks in #Ferguson, there’s an alternative to this indignity: pick yourselves up with Islam, like #IS in #Iraq.”

The support of ISIS for racial violence will further exacerbate the rising tensions in the U.S. and distract from the larger issue of government oppression of every individual regardless of race. The Washington Post reports, ISIS is “hoping to use black disenchantment as a recruiting tool.”

In March of 2013 – several months prior to the Syrian gas attacks that helped spark the current mid-east unrest – Intelligence Chief James Clapper testified before Congress that Al-Qaeda was no longer a major threat to the United States.

A year later, ISIS is a renewed Al-Qaeda terror force backed by the west that is being used to reshape the middle east and threaten domestic terror inside the United States. The terror group has its hands on at least 52 American made howitzer artillery guns and almost 2,000 Humvees.

In response to the reported execution of American journalist James Foley, Neocon John McCain said that unless the United States stops ISIS, “…these people are going to attack us in the United States of America.”

If citizens of the United States have any hope of remaining free, we must look through the fog of war and see the globalist forces at work manipulating us all. Police and military pay attention; If ISIS happens to suddenly announce its support for the resistance in America against a corrupt federal government, the American people are not your enemy.

Iraqi Doctors Call Depleted Uranium Use “Genocide”

October 22nd, 2014 by Dahr Jamail

(Photo: Patty Mooney / Flickr)

Contamination from depleted uranium (DU) munitions is causing sharp rises in congenital birth defects, cancer cases and other illnesses throughout much of Iraq, according to numerous Iraqi doctors.

Iraqi doctors and prominent scientists believe that DU contamination is also connected to the emergence of diseases that were not previously seen in Iraq, such as new illnesses in the kidney, lungs and liver, as well as total immune system collapse. DU contamination may also be connected to the steep rise in leukaemia, renal and anaemia cases, especially among children, being reported throughout many Iraqi governorates.

There has also been a dramatic jump in miscarriages and premature births among Iraqi women, particularly in areas where heavy US military operations occurred, such as Fallujah during 2004, and Basra during the 1991 US war on Iraq.

It is estimated that the United States used 350 tons of DU munitions in Iraq during the 1991 war, and 1,200 tons during its 2003 invasion and subsequent occupation.

Official Iraqi government statistics show that, prior to the outbreak of the first Gulf War in 1991, the country’s rate of cancer cases was 40 out of 100,000 people. By 1995, it had increased to 800 out of 100,000 people, and, by 2005, it had doubled to at least 1,600 out of 100,000 people. Current estimates show the trend continuing.

The actual rate of cancer and other diseases is likely to be much higher than even these figures suggest, due to a lack of adequate documentation, research and reporting of cases.

“Cancer statistics are hard to come by, since only 50 percent of the health care in Iraq is public,” Dr. Salah Haddad of the Iraqi Society for Health Administration and Promotion told Truthout. “The other half of our health care is provided by the private sector, and that sector is deficient in their reporting of statistics. Hence, all of our statistics in Iraq must be multiplied by two. Any official numbers are likely only half of the real number.”

“Genocide”

“The world should know that Iraqi people were the victims of the aggression inflicted by the use of DU munitions by the American and British troops during these wars, and this is genocide,” Dr. Jawad al-Ali, a consultant physician and oncologist, told Truthout.

Al-Ali, an expert oncologist at the Basra Cancer Treatment Center, member of the Iraqi Cancer Board and a member of the Basra Cancer Research Group, estimates that there are 300 sites throughout Iraq that are contaminated with radiation from the DU munitions.

He attributes the extreme rates of birth defects in Fallujah to the US use of DU there during its two sieges of the city in 2004.

An epidemiological study titled “Cancer, Infant Mortality and Birth Sex-Ratio in Fallujah, Iraq 2005-2009″ involved a door-to-door survey of more than 700 Fallujah households. The research team interviewed Fallujans about abnormally high rates of cancer and birth defects.

One of the authors of the study, chemist Chris Busby, said that the Fallujah health crisis represented “the highest rate of genetic damage in any population ever studied.”

The crisis in Iraq is bad enough that the country recently called for a global treaty ban on all DU weapons. At this time, it is unknown whether DU munitions are still being used in Iraq, but it seems unlikely they are as US attacks are presently limited to airstrikes, while most DU in the past was used in rifle rounds and tank shells.

In a report submitted to the UN Secretary General in August, Iraq “expresses its deep concern over the harmful effects of the use in wars and armed struggles of armaments and ammunitions containing depleted uranium, which constitute a danger to human beings and the environment (the air and the soil).”

In September, the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to the US Department of Defense (DOD) and the State Department on behalf of itself and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW), seeking the firing coordinates of weapons used in Iraq that contained depleted uranium.

According to a 2013 report by the Netherlands-based organization Pax Christi, Iraq has been subject to the largest use of DU munitions of all areas of conflict and test sites, conservatively estimated to be at least 440 metric tons – though the UN Environment Program has estimated an amount up to five times that based on satellite imagery.

Meanwhile, doctors in Fallujah continue to witness the aforementioned steep rise in severe congenital birth defects, including children being born with two heads, children born with only one eye, multiple tumors, disfiguring facial and body deformities, and complex nervous system problems.

Residents there have told Truthout that many families are too scared to have children, as an alarming number of women are experiencing consecutive miscarriages and infant deaths with critically deformed and ill newborns.

Dr. Samira Alani, a pediatric specialist at Fallujah General Hospital, has taken a personal interest in investigating an explosion of congenital abnormalities that have mushroomed in the wake of the US sieges since 2005.

“We have all kinds of defects now, ranging from congenital heart disease to severe physical abnormalities, both in numbers you cannot imagine,” Alani told Truthout at her office in the hospital last year, while sharing countless photos of shocking birth defects.

Alani also co-authored a study in 2010 that showed the rate of heart defects in Fallujah to be 13 times the rate found in Europe. And, for birth defects involving the nervous system, the rate was calculated to be 33 times that found in Europe for the same number of births.

In pursuit of answers, Alani visited Japan, where she met with Japanese doctors who study birth defect rates they believe are related to radiation from the US nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Alani was told birth defect incidence rates in Hiroshima and Nagasaki are currently between 1 and 2 percent. Alani’s log of cases of birth defects amounts to a rate of 14.7 percent of all babies born in Fallujah, more than 14 times the rate in the effected areas of Japan.

In March 2013, Alani informed Truthout that the incident rates of congenital malformations remained around 14 percent. Alani has had to flee the city due to bombardments from the Iraqi government, including shellings that targeted clinics and hospitals, as Truthout previously reported.

Basra

Iraq’s southern city of Basra was heavily bombarded with DU munitions by US warplanes during the 1991 war.

Al-Ali was heavily involved in working on two birth defect studies carried out in the wake of that war.

“The types of birth defects were hydrocephaly [an abnormal buildup of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in the ventricles of the brain], anencephaly [the absence of a large part of the brain and the skull], cleft lip and phacomelia [loss of limbs],” al-Ali told Truthout. “Other consequences are the cancers which increased three-fold during the last two decades.”

He said that clusters of cancers occurring at higher incidence within the same family were another new phenomenon seen in Iraq only after the 1991 and 2003 wars.

“Other diseases related to effects of DU were the kidney failure of unknown cause and stone formation,” he added. “Respiratory problems like asthma and also myopathy and neuropathy are now very common as well.”

In Babil Province in southern Iraq, cancer rates have been escalating at alarming rates since 2003. Dr. Sharif al-Alwachi, the head of the Babil Cancer Center, blames the use of depleted uranium weapons by US forces during and following the 2003 invasion.

“The environment could be contaminated by chemical weapons and depleted uranium from the aftermath of the war on Iraq,” Alwachi told Truthout. “The air, soil and water are all polluted by these weapons, and as they come into contact with human beings they become poisonous. This is new to our region, and people are suffering here.”

According to a study published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology, there was a sevenfold increase in the number of birth defects in Basra between 1994 and 2003.

In addition, never before has such a high rate of neural tube defects (“open back”) been recorded in babies as in Basra, and the rate continues to rise. According to the study, the number of hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”) cases among newborns is six times as high in Basra as it is in the United States.

Childhood cancer also appears to be unusually prevalent in Basra.

“We have noticed bouts of malignant tumors affecting children’s limbs,” an Iraqi doctor who has worked in various parts of the country for 20 years told Truthout. He requested anonymity for security reasons. “These malignancies are usually of very aggressive types and in the view of the shortage of facilities we are running in our hospitals they usually have a fatal outcome.”

His prognosis was grim.

“The only help we can provide to those children is amputation, which sometimes does nothing but prolonging their suffering, in addition to the great psychological impact on both the child and the parents,” he said. “We know that it is possible to save most of these children in specialized oncology centers by advanced salvage surgery, with the attendant chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Unfortunately, this seems to be a kind fantasy for our government and health administrations, which are currently busy with the large amount of trauma overwhelming our hospitals’ resources.”

Other Struggles

Al-Ali, Alani and the anonymous doctor all agreed that the two biggest challenges they face today are security and the lack of adequate supplies and equipment.

“Since 2003 and just [a] few months after the American occupation of the country, we witnessed the emergence of gangs and mafias specialized in threatening and kidnapping for ransoms and assassinations,” the anonymous doctor told Truthout. “Most of these groups work under Islamic logos, yet their affiliations are ambiguous. Amongst the target victims were doctors and their families.”

He himself had to hide in hospitals and the homes of relatives for more than half a year after he and his family was threatened.

Al-Ali said the major challenge in the south of Iraq now is the difficulty in obtaining new medicines – things like equipment for PET scans – “and also the advanced centers for bone marrow transplantation.”

The anonymous doctor explained that the security situation has degraded from bad to worse.

He explained that when Mosul was under control of the Iraqi military, military personnel regularly threatened doctors.

Now, of course, doctors across the country are under a new security threat, with militants affiliated with the Islamic State now in control of many areas of Iraq.

“The greatest concern now is the future,” al-Ali said. “After the many blind airstrikes that destroyed civilian housing and sacrificed innocent lives, we believe that the war against ISIS is going to be a process of retaliation against Sunni people in an indiscriminate way. This is how things go on in Iraq, terrorism against terrorism, blood for blood, destruction for destruction, and the vicious circle goes on.”

Ultimately, he, like many Iraqis today, blames the United States and Iran for triggering and maintaining the chaos that is engulfing Iraq.

The violence contributes to an exodus of doctors from the country, as more than half of all medical personnel in Iraq have fled the country since 2003.

“Doctors are trying to escape outside the country to save themselves and their families,” al-Ali added. “Doctors that have remained in the cities are still there for humanitarian reasons.”

Copyright, Truthout. Reprinted with permission.

The VIX index, a measure of how volatile the S&P 500 is likely to be over the next 30 days, is showing unprecedented activity, feeding into concerns that the financial markets are about to experience huge turmoil.

The Chicago Board Options Exchange Market Volatility Index (VIX) is commonly known as the ‘fear index’ or the ‘fear gauge’ because it is used to predict short-term market expectations.

As Zero Hedge points out, “The last 3 days have seen VIX drop 12.74%, 15.55%, and 13.4% today… VIX has NEVER dropped more than 10% for 3 days in a row ever.”

Last week, VIX spiked to its highest level in almost three years off the back of concerns about collapsing oil prices, the Ebola virus and weak economic growth.

As Money Morning explains, “When the markets grow, the VIX will generally shrink alongside positive investor sentiment and a growth in the major stock indexes. But in times of uncertainty, such as during a financial collapse or geopolitical turmoil, investors load up on option trading to bet on the market’s downside. The VIX will then spike.”

Could the unprecedented drop in the VIX index over the last three years represent the calm before the storm?

Last week, the Dow Jones suffered a drop of 450 points, its biggest loss in over a year, following weeks of turbulent market action, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index fell 31 points, or 1.7 percent.

Although stocks have rebounded since, uncertainty about the durability of the economic recovery remains a dominant theme. Last month, the so-called Hindenburg Omen, a technical analysis pattern that is said to forecast a stock market crash, was triggered twice, an event CBS News described as “another dark sign” for the markets.

Traders also remain wary of a “black swan event,” a surprise incident that could send stocks plummeting. Earlier this month, UBS director of floor operations at the New York Stock Exchange Art Cashin told CNBCthat a shock geopolitical development could cause turmoil.

“People don’t want to get too deeply involved, I don’t think, fearing that some bit of news or rumor could pull the plug on them,” said Cashin.

Paul Joseph Watson is the editor at large of Infowars.com and Prison Planet.com.

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Ebola: Are U.S. Bioweapons Labs the Solution, or the Problem?

October 22nd, 2014 by Institute for Public Accuracy

On Friday, the New York Times published the article “White House to Cut Funding for Risky Biological Study,” which states: “Prompted by controversy over dangerous research and recent laboratory accidents, the White House announced Friday that it would temporarily halt all new funding for experiments that seek to study certain infectious agents by making them more dangerous.” The piece quotes Richard H. Ebright, “a molecular biologist and bioweapons expert at Rutgers University, [who has] argued that the long history of accidental releases of infectious agents from research labs made such work extremely risky and unwise to perform in the first place. Dr. Ebright called Friday’s announcement ‘an important, albeit overdue, step.’” See USA Today from Aug. 17: “Hundreds of Bioterror Lab Mishaps Cloaked in Secrecy.”

MERYL NASS, M.D., merylnass at gmail.com, @NassMeryl
Nass writes at the Anthrax Vaccine blog. She has debunked government claims from early on in the Ebola crisis, including the slowness of the response in Africa and the notion that U.S. hospitals were prepared. Her most recent post is “Is This A New, More Virulent Ebola?” She also suggests “examining the possibility of converting the excess BL4 labs to treatment centers for Ebola.”

FRANCIS BOYLE, fboyle at illinois.edu
Professor at the University of Illinois College of Law, Boyle drafted the U.S. Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, which is the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the Biological Weapons Convention. His books include Biowarfare and Terrorism.

He said today: “If, as some in the Liberian press are claiming, this outbreak of Ebola is from one of the labs in west Africa run by the CDC and Tulane University, it could be an unprecedented human disaster. That could mean it was GMOed into a ‘Fluebola.’ Recall that the 2001 weaponized anthrax attacks were traced to a U.S. government lab. It’s incredibly odd that this outbreak occurred 1,000 miles from past outbreaks and it is clearly more easily transmissible.

“Scientists like Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin have been ‘researching’ Ebola for years. Since the anthrax attacks, some $79 billion has been spent. But we still don’t have a vaccine ready to protect us. These labs have actually spent government money, including from the National Institutes of Health, to make viruses more deadly. The work done at these labs shouldn’t be curtailed or temporarily suspended as the administration seems to be talking about, but stopped. This work is criminal. It violates the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, which I wrote. It was passed unanimously by both Houses of Congress and states:

“‘Whoever knowingly develops, produces, stockpiles, transfers, acquires, retains, or possesses any biological agent, toxin, or delivery system for use as a weapon, or knowingly assists a foreign state or any organization to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both. There is extraterritorial Federal jurisdiction over an offense under this section committed by or against a national of the United States.’

“After the law was passed, the government has claimed that it’s not violating it because it is creating these more deadly viruses to help protect against them should they develop elsewhere. It’s a ridiculous argument to get around the blanket prohibition in the law. This policy has been a catastrophe waiting to happen — a statistical certainty.”

BARRY KISSIN, barrykissin at hotmail.com
Kissin is a researcher, lawyer and activist in Frederick, Maryland, where Fort Detrick, a major facility of the United States Army Medical Command installation, is based. He has closely monitored the expansion of the facility. He said today: “The fear is that the government is doing things in the biolabs in west Africa that it might be reluctant to do at Fort Detrick and other facilities inside the U.S.”

In 2010, Kissin wrote a piece that noted: “The [Frederick] News-Post has published articles that reflect Fort Detrick has already aerosolized plague, and looks forward to a new facility, only recently announced, that plans on aerosolizing Ebola. Why in the world would we be aerosolizing plague and Ebola? The official answer is that this is necessary to the development of our defenses. Left out of the answer is the plain fact that these purported defenses are against ghastly threats that we ourselves are originating.”

Earlier in 2010, the Frederick News-Post reported in “New facility to test drugs, vaccines for FDA approval” that “George Ludwig, civilian deputy principal assistant for research and technology at Fort Detrick, said the project will represent a new level of research there. … Ludwig said researchers at the facility will likely start out working on vaccines for filoviruses such as Ebola and Marburg, as well as new anthrax vaccines. … The facility will have the capability to produce viruses in aerosolized form that would simulate a potential biological attack on the test animals. Ludwig said aerosol is the means of exposure researchers are most concerned with given its implications to battlefield and homeland defense.” [This particular facility was never built.]

See from the Global Security Newswire: “Obama Seeks $260M Boost for Protecting African Disease Labs” from 2011, which notes: “The Obama administration has requested $260 million in fiscal 2012 funding to bolster protective measures at African research sites that house lethal disease agents, the Examinerreported on Sunday.” The piece noted they “hold potential biological-weapon agents such as anthrax, Ebola and Rift Valley fever.” From Vice in 2013: “Why the U.S. Is Building a High-Tech Bubonic Plague Lab in Kazakhstan.”

See Guardian piece from earlier this year: “Scientists condemn ‘crazy, dangerous’ creation of deadly airborne flu virus” about the work of Yoshihiro Kawaoka at the University of Wisconsin, who has worked on Ebola and reconstituted the Spanish Flu, which killed over 50 million people in 1918.” The MilwaukeeJournal Sentinel just ran a positivity piece on Kawaoka on Oct. 17: “UW-Madison scientist Kawaoka on front lines in fight against Ebola.”

See overview article from 2007 from in The Humanist: “America the Beautiful’s Germ Warfare Rash.”

See 2006 piece in the Washington Post: “The Secretive Fight Against Bioterror,” which states: “The government is building a highly classified facility to research biological weapons, but its closed-door approach has raised concerns. … “‘If we saw others doing this kind of research, we would view it as an infringement of the bioweapons treaty,’ said Milton Leitenberg, a senior research scholar and weapons expert at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy. ‘You can’t go around the world yelling about Iranian and North Korean programs — about which we know very little — when we’ve got all this going on.’”

See “Russia Rejects Bioweapons Talk in U.S. Congress as ‘Propaganda’” from May 14, 2014. The piece states: “Russia issued the remarks in reaction to a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, where University of Maryland senior scholar Milton Leitenberg said the existence of a Russian biological-arms program cannot be ruled out because Moscow does not permit outside access to key facilities of concern. According to the ministry, ‘It is surprising that certain representatives of the U.S. establishment continue demanding unilateral access to the Russian biological facilities amid the U.S. refusal from such a fair and clear [verification] mechanism. Such demands are inappropriate and unacceptable.’”

The former head of Yukos, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, delivered a speech at the Washington headquarters of the international human rights organization Freedom House in early October, denouncing the government and president of Russia. This speech forms the basis of the manifesto which he later published. With the support of the global financial oligarchy, Khodorkovsky presents some conceptual theses, using comparisons, analogies and associations close to the Russian heart, sometimes even copying the techniques of patriotic rhetoric. Pretending to the status of a sort of judge of final appeal, the former oligarch tries with enviable pathos to reconcile the irreconcilable. He attempts to combine certain liberal “values” alien to Russia and the Russian people, with concepts of national pride and justice close to the Russian heart, creating a dangerous illusion of their organic compatibility.

Khodorkovsky, as it were, habituates the active part of society to the future liberal reforms initiated by the backstage world, and moreover he presents these reforms as the only possible and useful ones. Unfortunately, we can’t just ignore this “warm, soft” compilation and leave it unanswered. These words from an explicit enemy of Russia are just too dangerous, and the effects of any attempt to put his scenario into practice would be just too destructive. To answer the liberal globalist scenario proposed by Khodorkovsky under the guise of a new round of “reforms”, we must provide the Russian patriotic response. These are not just the idle speculations of a rich and extraordinary criminal escaped from his Motherland; they are the ideological program for a new coup d’etat in Russia, the “road map” for a rebellion of the oligarchs, directed as always in Russian history against the Leader, the People and the State Power. Well, let’s analyze it point by point.

The Russian choice, social justice and national mobilization

1. The last Russian Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II wrote 100 years ago of a “circle of treason, cowardice and deceit.” He spoke not of the people, nor of fools and roads. He meant the political, military and economic elite of that time. The treason of the elite had resulted in the collapse of the Russian Empire, the greatest power in the world. Under the leadership of the British envoy 200 years ago, the political elite participated in the regicide of Emperor Paul. The later effect was the Napoleonic invasion and the War of 1812. During the Time of Troubles 400 years ago, the political elite of Russia swore fealty to impostors and the Polish king, betraying the Fatherland and Faith. Only a Russian militia revolt saved Russia and Orthodoxy at that time, starting a new dynasty of Russian tsars. Little has changed in Russia since those times. Russian leaders relying on the Russian people sacrifice their lives on the altar of the Fatherland, while corrupt comprador elites stop at nothing to betray the Motherland and the Emperor, to rob and subjugate the people in the pursuit of immediate personal gain. Although peace always returned after long and painful years of disturbance, Russia began to move on and on to progress after crisis . 23 years ago (beneath our eyes), history repeated itself. The “Red Empire”, which really needed extremely careful and serious reforms, was looted, pillaged and destroyed by a clique of unscrupulous nouveaux-riches and superior party officials, “recoloured” and sold out to their erstwhile “ideological enemies”. History is accelerating … its cycles are getting shorter. And again, for the second time in our lives, the country, hardly begun its recovery after the last “demolition”, is facing another greedy carve-up. Those who did not succeed in plundering the long-suffering Motherland in the 90s, crave their revenge now.

2. 10 years of imprisonment for you, Mr Khodorkovsky, is a real tragedy. How much you could have stolen within that period! And now your only purpose is to compensate the loss of that decade. Let us examine the last 10 years of your life. Mr Khodorkovsky, between 1991 and your arrest, you created a huge financial and industrial empire, really “ex nihilo” (having invested not a rouble but misappropriated tens of billions of dollars’ worth of public property) and became one of the richest people in the country. Moreover, you walked upon corpses, like all the other oligarchs of those times. Not shy yourself of any moral constraints, you robbed and ruined the vast Soviet industrial heritage. You rolled in wealth and enjoyed “elitism” which brooked no denial. At the same time my friends, my comrades and I myself were almost continuously fighting for Russia and the Russian people against the enemies of the Fatherland, first in Transnistria and later in Bosnia and Chechnya. And when we had to retreat, defeated due to the betrayal of the so-called “new elite”, grinding our teeth and followed by the despicable and hateful comments of corrupt mass media pretending to be democratic, you and your kind, Mr Khodorkovsky, were completely ignoring the needs of the country and its people. And consequently. we have quite different experiences. You were learning to steal, rob and lie, and we were learning to protect Russia and its people, even when nobody asked us to do so. Imprisonment always changes people, sometimes for the better. You, alas, have not learned your lesson. Even after returning to freedom, you continue to regard yourself as not guilty of anything. Moreover, you have immediately joined the enemy’s camp, thus confirming the judgement of those that condemned you.

3. How dare you speak about anything “stolen”? You, whose credo was to steal, steal and steal? Have you ever made or built any thing in your life by yourself – any thing that could be stolen personally from you? No, you have not. Because you never achieved anything other than theft, fraud and robbery before you went to prison. Among all of your achievements, personally I can recognize only one socially useful result, namely the boots that you made in prison. From the moral point of view, that is the only worthwhile work in your entire rather dirty life (to put it mildly) as a highly talented thief and swindler. But the worst thing is that this work hasn’t done you any good, and judging by what you are doing now, has not helped you to realize your own mistakes and crimes. While the real patriots of Russia and Russian people struggle in battle in Novorossia, you receive a grant of pardon from President Putin and immediately side with his enemies and the enemies of Russia. You have been on the Russophobic Maidan in Kiev and collected all the “colours” of Russian traitors to rally a “Russian spring” upon enemy territory. Do you say that Russia has stopped developing? This is a direct result of your activities, your privatization and your comprador policy. Now are you calling upon us for radical reforms? In alliance with whom? With the real enemies of everything Russian? And all this for patriotic motives?

4. You demonstrate your “patriotism” particularly sharply when you repeat a thriller about Russia as “a threat to Europe and around the world”. Once Goebbels screamed loudly (and with much more talent) about this threat, and before him Napoleon, and the British Lord Palmerston and Disraeli. Later on, both Winston Churchill and President Ronald Reagan called the USSR the “evil empire.” So you, Mikhail Borisovich, have taken a quite well-trodden path. You make it look as if you alone are “the most intelligent” and know something about history, whereas all the Russian people are complete idiots and ignoramuses, and also cowards who are easy to cheat and frighten with the spectre of “World War III” to the point where they will agree to deny their Fatherland and refuse help to their half-brothers in Novorossia, “anything to avoid war”. But the main addressee of this appeal is not in Russia. This is a kind of “pledge” to those who have wanted to eliminate Russia throughout its history. In my opinion, this is the typical tactic of the card-sharp who, understanding that he is about to be exposed, gets his own accusation in first. The Western world, ruled by the global financial oligarchy of which you, Mikhail Borisovich, are a part, labours to depict us as intending to conquer or destroy our neighbours. But always and everywhere they practice this method of pre-emptive accusation against their intended future opponents, attributing to them exactly their own intentions. So we can say: Russia is really threatened by war. They hope that Russia will be frightened and surrender. And afterwards, we are to let us disarm us and then finally destroy us. What can we say to that? The task of the real Russian patriots (not the regular pseudo-patriots of Washington’s “Freedom House”) is to get ready to repel aggression from the West, because only thus can Russia prevent it and to defend its sovereignty.

Back to Russia

5. When you speak of “European values”, Mr Khodorkovsky, you do not understand (or you pretend not to understand) that these “values” of yours have no relation to real, traditional European values. The latter are exactly what President Putin is attempting to revive in Russia. But the “values” that are now being imposed upon the world by the global financial oligarchy under the name of “European” values, have elicited thousands of vigorous protests in Europe itself. Last time Russia’s then-Soviet leadership decided to “turn” to these so-called “values”, more than 20 years ago, the country was split as a result, looted and humiliated, and the Russian people abruptly seemed to be the most divided people in the world. Since Putin came to power, he has begun to correct the disaster of the 1990s, to tame the absolute power of the oligarchs, to re-nationalize the property of the elite and to restore the shattered economy. Re-establishing order, step by step, the President has found it possible to grant pardon even to such a bastard as you were before your time in prison, Mr Khodorkovsky..

But you did not appreciate this, probably because you regarded his pardon as a mere sign of weakness. Because of course you would not stand on ceremony, would you, Mr Khodorkovsky? And now, after having deceived the President with your false repentance, are you going to take revenge on him for everything he has done? For the fact that he wants to strengthen the state and to protect national interests at the expense of comprador elites? That he did not allow you to sell the largest reserves of natural resources to the Rothschilds on the cheap, thus condemning Russia for external control? That he has punished you for your openly-expressed intention to remove him from power by unconstitutional means? According to your words, you re-evaluated a lot of things while you were in prison. But no sooner are you returned to freedom, than once again you take up your position on the opposite sides of the front to the Russian people in the war for the Russian World, the hard, actual confrontation in the Donbass. Your hatred for Putin has led you not only into the camp of his enemies, but into the camp of the enemies of the Russian state and the entire Russian people. How do you dare reproach Putin for defending the people of Crimea and Novorossiya, for refusing to let the Ukrainian Nazis supported by West set up their bloody dictatorship in Crimea and the Donbass? The Russians are protecting themselves, fighting for their very lives.

And you are blaming the victims for having the gall to defend themselves. A Third World War is excluded as long as Russia is strong and powerful enough to ensure not only asymmetrical, but full strategic parity, and as long as there are people in power who are not ready to sell their country and their people on the vine, just for a promise that they will be allowed entry into the supranational financial elite. We will stand up to your persistent desire to sell something that you do not own, which has not waned during your years of prison. And we won’t allow ourselves again to be inspired by false slogans, as we were 23 years ago.

6. What you say about “European values and Euro-Atlantic civilization” has nothing to do with Russia. On the contrary, it contradicts our national history, psychology and destiny. Europe moved away from its own Christian values long ago and plunged into the quagmire of the most vile evils, and the much-vaunted “Euro-Atlanticism” is nothing more than a geopolitical doctrine of global domination by the USA, which opposes every people in the world which still retains its own religion, sovereignty and national traditions. Russia has already twice in the recent past been affected by the leprosy of “advanced European ideas”, and as a result it has been gravely injured by the manias of its own elite and its own intellectuals. Today there are two paths open to the Russians: either to return to themselves and regain their faith, their tradition, their values and their sovereignty or to be dissolved in the global West, becoming enslaved, disappearing as a civilization and losing everything. Again I shall emphasize your outstanding hypocrisy, Mr. Khodorkovsky, as you mouth regrets over lost art, literature, science, space travel and other achievements of the Imperial and Soviet “totalitarian past”. Indeed, “the wolf regretted its treatment of the mare, specifically the fact that it had left the tail and mane”! But even if we assume that some of what you have said is almost true, then I ask you to brush up on your history: Russia received the Christian faith not from the Catholic West, but from the Orthodox East, directly from the Eastern Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the guardian of true Christianity for an entire millennium. But how, in any case, can you talk about the Christian faith?

7. Everything that Russia has today has been created by our people and our country in a desperate struggle to keep our own identity, freedom and sovereignty, a struggle against enemies both from the West and from the East. Russia first developed as a national state, and then grew into a great empire, because it was flexible enough to perceive the positive qualities of its neighbours. There is nothing shameful or dishonourable about this; this is a way of all nations with sane rulers who are building and developing their own states. To learn from the experience of other peoples does not mean to blindly copy them. We have already copied enough. Marxism, which was brought to us from Europe, cost our country a great deal! Every nation and every country is unique. A field of fine grasses and differing flowers is beautiful because of the differences within it, and humanity is beautiful in its efflorescence of unique nations, even as they fight amongst themselves for “a place in the sun”. They are not like a “manicured public lawn” full of standardized “Euro-Atlantic common human beings”.

8. “Euro-Atlantic” values are the “values of a strong and just state”? Boldly said, Mikhail Borisovich! Currently, these values are bringing about the extinction of the nations of Europe, which now follow these values, yet once created the great Europe which our home-brewed liberals are so fond of talking about. Is this your so-called “justice”? However, for obvious reasons, you’re not bothered about the historical fate of a few Germans, French or British. Likewise, the Russians, Bashkirs, Tatars, Lezgins and so on. So, presumably, the “strong state” referred to is the United States? After all, there are no “strong” (that is, truly sovereign and independent) states left in Europe. Yugoslavia, the last sovereign state in Europe except for the former Soviet Union which dared to defend the interests of its citizens, was destroyed and subordinated 15 years ago. It was persuaded with the help of bombs and missiles to follow “Euro-Atlantic values”, with the aid of siege and the rebellion of immigrants belonging to a different faith. Now it’s the turn for Belarus and Russia, isn’t that so? A foothold has already been created in the Ukraine, and now it’s time for the “final push”?

The values imposed by the world oligarchy, the “European”, “Euro-Atlantic”, “common” values, etcetera, are the values of the complete destruction of all nation states and the radical abolition of everything even vaguely reminiscent of social justice. Here, Mr Khodorkovsky, you are either ignorant or deliberately lying. Actually, to suggest that it’s “ignorance” is just “for effect”. I have no illusion that there were any flaws in your education. The liberalism you promote has as the final goal of total globalization, the levelling of all peoples and religious communities under one consumer “comb”, and installing the authorities of the global financial oligarchy, eliminating all historical states. The EU project was the first step in this direction. In the area of economic policy, liberalism firmly denies any social justice, not only in practice but also in its theory. The free market the liberals talk about, is incompatible with the redistribution of profit on which the supporters of social justice insist. The more Russia becomes involved in the processes of globalization, the faster it will lose its sovereignty and its ability to carry out a social policy of its own. And as to the “mobilization”: we, of course, need a powerful national mobilization against the aggression of the “Euro-Atlantists”, which is aimed at accelerated final looting of Russia under the pretext of “integration into the world community” and “the global economy.” We need a mobilization of both state and public, because the threat is looming not only over the state sovereignty of Russia, but also over the cultural and moral identity of its people, which disintegrating amid the promotion and imposing of “Euro-Atlantic” vices: sodomy, debauchery, paedophilia, the murder of children and the elderly by means of abortion and euthanasia respectively, drugs, terrorism, and everything else that comes with the “New humane World Order”.

9. “Whoever wants to be strong must not allow himself to fall behind.” This is an absolutely correct thesis. And that is why the decision by President Putin to bring about full rearmament by 2020 is an absolutely appropriate response to the Russophobic hysteria generated by the West. The Russian military, the leaders of the military-industrial complex, the regional industrialists and entrepreneurs need to replace the comprador elite of the 90s, the so-called “oligarchs”, a typical representative of which you, Mr Khodorkovsky, are. Russian oligarchs are alien to Russia. Their capital and their families are in the West, although they amassed their fortunes by exploiting the Russian people. They represent the interests of the global financial oligarchy, they think in terms of ultra-liberalism and, in fact, consider themselves to be something of a colonial administration. That’s why they prefer to make their “revelations” through your “prophetic” voice in Washington.

10. Today, the fault is not in Europe, but in ourselves. Our way is to return to ourselves. We should return to Russia, to our history, to our culture, to our mission. This mission has always been and will always be to carry the light of the Christian faith, the ideals of good and social justice to the people of the world, to be the “refraining from evil”, as the Apostle Paul said. We have a very troubled past. Throughout the whole of the 20th century, Russia shook with the fever of bloody revolutions and destructive wars. But, through these severe ordeals, Russia managed to preserve much of what Europe has lost almost irrevocably. And if Europe wants to return to its own traditions and to its own Christian principles, it should travel this way with us, not with the financial oligarchy of the USA, who offer the nations of the world only a godless civilization of moral corruption, ideological zombification, and spiritual and physical death.

Building a fair society

11. “Modern Russian society is structured unfairly,” you say. I completely agree with you. However (to repeat what I have already said) it is you and people like you who are responsible. Taking advantage of the crisis of the USSR, you started robbing and killing, gathering into your hands the heritage of the entire nation. Thus, you and your cronies laid the foundations of “modern Russian society,” where the most cynical and despicable stratum of society has got all the levers of economic power, and to some extent of political power also, acting in collusion with, and on instructions from, overseas managers. Immediately after coming to power, Putin began to recover the situation. However, injustice has struck its roots deep. Therefore, it will be a long difficult process to return our society to a state of social justice. But I believe we can get through it without the advice of an exiled tycoon who made his fortune by looting the national wealth, created by the hard work of generations of Russian people.

12. Reading your criticism of privatization (quite reasonable, by the way), I am amazed at your cynicism: you and people like you have gained your wealth by means of this exact criminal seizure of public property, and you are trying now to blame anybody but those who are truly guilty. Privatization, in the form that it took, was no mere “distortion”. It was a crime. As a result, what had been public property became the private property, not of ordinary people, but of an agile and unscrupulous minority. And the greatest “chunks” of property were acquired with the direct support of foreign financial capital, marching literally “across the bodies of the dead”. Don’t you know that? Putin began to establish just proportions here as well, returning the most important strategic sectors of the economy to the state. In this, he was simply trying to repair the disastrous consequences of criminal privatization. Without elimination of the oligarchy based on that criminal privatization, there will be neither social justice nor proper development of private enterprise.

13. You are totally right when you say “Russia’s subsoil needs to belong to the people of Russia.” The subsoil should belong to the people. As I have already mentioned, sometimes (though hardly ever) prison can be beneficial. On this point, the change in your views is undoubtedly positive. That was precisely what happened in your case: the assets of your energy companies were returned to state ownership, that is, they were returned to the people. There is no other way to turn the subsoil into public property except by means of its nationalization and the redistribution of the profits accrued from it, to the benefit of all citizens. This precludes private ownership of large entities in the field of energy production. The denationalisation of Yukos is an example of returning the subsoil to the people. Another problem is the efficiency of utilization of the subsurface resources. First they need to be repossessed from you and people like you, and then they need to be utilized with maximum efficiency. The current utilization of resource rent is far from perfect, this fact is hardly arguable. The key to solving the problem is to leave no part of our natural resources in the private ownership of the oligarchy.

14. Proportional taxation is indeed the right way. This is a step in the direction of social justice. But this issue is not to be discussed by you, Mr Khodorkovsky, who became rich by plundering his people and sending his capital abroad. In what country do you pay taxes? In Switzerland, in Britain or the United States? Return what you have stolen to the people, start with yourself, pay taxes in Russia. Or is this only acceptable to you on condition that you become the president yourself? Another oligarch like you, in our neighbouring country, recently swore the same to his voters. His name was Poroshenko. He swore to return to the people of Ukraine all the wealth that they had created through their back-breaking labours! But now he doesn’t seem to be in any hurry to do that. So start with yourself! Present the image of “a responsible taxpayer”! Someone (at least among the really naive) may believe in you, if you do.

15. Liberalism as you understand it, Mr Khodorkovsky, is an absolute delusion. It is a false teaching which completely ignores God, spirit, culture, humanity and society, which recognizes solely the individual and his private interests in the material and financial field. Liberalism conceived in such a way is entirely incompatible with genuine freedom: how can a man be free if the society in which he lives is enslaved by debt bondage to the international financial oligarchy and its local supervisors? Where all of human life is subject to the search for increased financial gains, and the state of bank accounts is the measure of all? Liberalism today is a totalitarian ideology, and its expansion is the basis of the USA’s global hegemony. It is unacceptable for Russia in any form, whether political, economic or legal. And that’s the most important thing: for you, Mr Khodorkovsky, liberalism is the ultimate truth, and as for national development and social justice, those are mere fodder for populist rhetoric. Your new Russian liberalism is doomed, it is accepted neither by the Right nor by the Left. This is a colonialist ideology which works against our Russian identity. Your efforts to destroy this identity so that your liberalism may triumph, are efforts to destroy Russia. That is what appears to be your ultimate goal.

16. “A socially oriented nation state”, based on Christian values, has to be the goal and orientation of all strategy for real Russian patriots. To achieve this goal, the “Right” and the “Left”, the supporters of monarchy and the supporters of socialism, are completely free to unite their forces. Naturally such a state should be based on strict adherence to the law. But what is your real attitude to this project? Because you need to seduce this people, and they are currently somewhat ready to listen to your pledge to create “a socially oriented nation state”, not really knowing how to build a “national” government in place of the centuries-old Russian Empire, in which hundreds of peoples were able to live and develop. This bone you toss to us, the Russian people. But the Russians are no longer a trusting flock, having twice in the past century fallen for barbed promises of a “land of milk and honey” which have resulted in oceans of blood. I sincerely hope we have learned some lessons and will be able to distinguish the true from the false, even when the latter is covered with a pretty wrapper. “A socially oriented nation state” may include anyone but you, the oligarchs, the lackeys of the Rothschilds. Desist, Mr Khodorkovsky, from matters national and social: these matters require clean hands and a perfect life history.

The war is a tragedy that sometimes cannot be avoided

17. The United States and American hegemony mean war. We can see it in Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and now Ukraine. Wherever the United States helps to bring about “colour revolutions”, there fascists, extremists and fundamentalists come to power. To follow the United States, the West and NATO means to be accessory of fascism, an advocate of war. This war is being waged against the part of humanity who refuse the American rules and do not want to humbly and slavishly serve the interests of the global financial oligarchy.

18. This war is being waged against Russia, as well as against Ukraine. Those heroes who defend the Russian world now, who fight in Novorossia, did not want this war. They wanted peace. But the price of peace cannot be freedom and dignity. Under the terms of the neo-Nazi junta brought to power in Kiev by your masters and supported by you personally, Mr Khodorkovsky, life is no life, and peace is no peace. The Russians in Crimea and Novorossia rose up for freedom and justice, for the right to their own national development, and to preserve their own language and culture. It was a war against war. Your calls for peace are not just hypocrisy, they are treachery. But this is all of a piece with the rest of what you are. We’re just on opposite sides of the front, and your words to me, who took an active part in the hostilities in Novorossia, sound like calls from the other side: “Russians, give yourselves up! We promise you all an amnesty! You have been deceived!” In combat conditions there can be only one answer. You can guess for yourself what that is. The problem for Russia today is not that war, as you claim, has become the “driver”. Quite the opposite: Putin has done and is doing everything in his power to avoid a “big” war (a small one has already been unleashed, by the USA but using the hands of Kiev, and it continues, taking dozens of lives every day). To accuse the Russian government of doing anything other than trying to defend the Russian Fatherland is nothing short of blasphemy. By propounding this notion, you can gain the support of the Western-backed comprador elite, who promote regular anti-Russian “peace marches”. But you must say goodbye forever to the people who stand on the side of historical and social justice for Russia (the vast majority). You are on the opposite side to them in regard to Crimea and Novorossia, which more than ever unite all Russians in supporting Putin’s unequivocally decisive steps in this direction.

National mobilization

19. The current government have brought Russia to the threshold of a decisive breakthrough in the direction of independence, power and freedom, which will free it from the direct influence of American hegemony. Unfortunately, in my personal opinion, this breakthrough is clearly being held back by some force, I would guess by your secret associates, who still have an enormous influence because of their stolen wealth and the domestic political influence they bought with it. There is visible oscillation about the need to move forward. But the population of the country is quite ready for it, and that’s what frightens you, hence your hysterical remarks about the threat of “a Chinese protectorate.” This “Chinese threat” is still nothing but a theory. But there is already a clear and obvious “American protectorate” established over Russia, as a result of the treason of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. The main threat to the sovereignty of Russia is in an aggressive onslaught by the global financial oligarchy, frightened by possibility of the “loss” of Russia from the slop trough of the “colonial economy”, and by its fifth column, one of whose ideologists you are.

20. The global financial oligarchy is fighting desperately and furiously against Russia’s revival. If Russia can withstand this onslaught, it has a future; it will re-enter history and win. But if some Russia-hating, mercenary agent of the global financial oligarchy like yourself comes to power, we will all fall into an abyss, compared to which the bandit 1990s will look like child’s play. The disintegration of the country, with all the consequences attendant upon that – wars, rampant poverty, hunger, epidemics and large-scale man-made disasters – that’s what awaits us in that eventuality. I have had the opportunity to witness this, though on a much smaller scale, more than once or twice, and most recently in Ukraine, where most of the “berries” are yet to come. And you, Mr Khodorkovsky, now want to help the West to destroy once more, everything that Putin started to recover in 2000. But you will fail, because we are Russian, and God is with us! The global financial oligarchy, the priests of Mammon who put themselves in the place of God, and claim to direct the world’s destiny in His Name, are lost in the jungle of their own false creation. American hegemony is crumbling like a giant with feet of clay. The West is falling. Its indigenous population is dying off. In 20 years’ time, the European countries will have become Muslim. Christian culture has been driven to the periphery of public life. China has officially become the world’s largest economy. The United States is unable to pay its huge foreign debt; it is rocked by racial and social unrest; in its agony, the West wreaks on the world only chaos, destruction, blood and suffering. But we can follow a different path: towards the revival of Great Russia against all threats and challenges. And in this regard a grate reversal has already been made: the Crimea has been recovered for us by Putin, and no one shall take it from us again!

21. You have talked of the heroic deeds of the Russian people, but you have reduced them to matters of moderation and labour. Apparently, you believe that the future happiness of Russian people consists in slave labour for a bowl of gruel, for the benefit of the global financial oligarchy, which you represent. And in the base “spectacle” offered to complement the gruel, guaranteed to return the viewer to the most primary instincts of the animal. So, well now: “only over our dead bodies!” The Russian people have different horizons and goals, quite distinct from dumb obedience to a depraved Western elite. Here I will digress from your thesis and articulate briefly our Russian response, which is expressed by the simple formula: “For Faith, Tsar and Fatherland.” The Russian people have been dying for these sacred ideas for centuries, knowing that in fighting for them, they are fighting for themselves and for their future. Today it means a very specific loyalty: to the Russian Orthodox Church, the Russian state and the Supreme Commander-in-chief, Vladimir Putin.

22. For fifteen recent years Russia has been preparing to leap into the great Russian future. The time has come to commit.

Igor Strelkov

Pew headlined on October 21st, “Political Polarization & Media Habits,” and reported “Striking Differences Between Liberals and Conservatives,” such as that Fox News Channel dominates as the news-source among conservatives, but that no news-source dominates among liberals. 

47% of “Consistent Conservatives” cite FNC as their “main source for news about gov’t and politics,” whereas 15% of “Consistent Liberals” cite CNN as theirs — and no news-source is more-frequently cited by them than CNN. NPR ranks second among them, at 13%. MSNBC is third, at 12%. New York Times is fourth, at 10%. Local TV is fifth, at 5%.

By contrast: for “Consistent Conservatives,” Local radio is second, at 11%. Local TV is third, at 5%. Local newspaper is fourth, at 3%. Google news is fifth, at 3%.

Those are the main news-sources for more than 96% of Americans.

Here are the two main tables, showing which news sources each of the 2,901 respondents named:

The key question listed 36 news-sources, and doesn’t indicate influence but only that the respondent has “heard of” the named source (it’s like a politician’s name-recognition, versus his actual support):

ASK ALL WEB RESPONDENTS:

Q.20 Please click on all of the sources that you have heard of, regardless of whether you use them or  not. If you are unsure, please DO NOT click it. You can click anywhere in each of the boxes.

Mar 19-Apr 29 2014

Based on web respondents

[N=2,901] [%]

95 CNN 

94 ABC News 

94 NBC News 

93 CBS News 

93 Fox News Cable Channel 

90 USA Today 

89 MSNBC 

88 PBS 

85 New York Times 

82 Wall Street Journal 

80 Yahoo News 

80 Washington Post 

76 BBC 

71 Google News 

66 Rush Limbaugh Show 

66 Huffington Post 

65 The New Yorker 

64 Daily Show

62 Colbert Report

60 Bloomberg

53 NPR

49 Glenn Beck Program

42 Al Jazeera America

36 The Guardian

34 The Economist

34 Drudge Report

32 Politico

31 BuzzFeed

22 Mother Jones

21 Slate

18 The Blaze

15 Breitbart

12 Daily Kos

9 ThinkProgress

In addition, there were included a few news-sources that shouldn’t have been. For example, the Ed Show, on MSNBC, was listed, whereas it’s only one show of many on that channel and not even the most-watched. (Among the ones more-watched there are Rachel Maddow, and Lawrence O’Donnell.) But no show on the channel should have been listed, because the channel itself, MSNBC, was one of the listed options. Similarly, the Hannity Show on Fox was listed, though FNC itself was also listed, and though the O’Reilly show on that channel has an even larger audience. Moreover, Mother Jones was listed, but The Nation was not, National Review was not, Harper’s was not, etc.

The list that I have included here from Pew’s does, however, include the Colbert Report, and Daily Show, because the Comedy Channel wasn’t listed; and it includes Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, because they are independently syndicated.

The Pew study just wasn’t well-thought-out. Nonetheless, it’s not a complete waste.

Here is their other key table, indicating actual influence: the respondent’s “main source” of political news:

 ALL SOURCES MENTIONED 

Mar 19-Apr 29

Based on 

web respondents

[N=2,901] [%]

16 CNN

14 Fox

10 Local TV

5 NPR

4 Local radio

4 Yahoo

4 Google

4 MSNBC

4 Local newspaper

3 NBC

3 ABC

3 New York Times

3 MSN

2 CBS

2 Facebook

2 Huffington Post

2 Local digital

1 BBC

1 Blog

1 Drudge

1 Univision/Telemundo/MundoFox

1 PBS

1 Blaze

1 Reddit

1 HLN

1 Rush Limbaugh

1 USA Today

1 Wall Street Journal

1 Other radio

11 Other

2 Refused

This indicates that even the TV networks and major newspapers have little political influence; only CNN, Fox, Local TV, NPR, and Local radio, do. Any political news that isn’t presented on one of those five is inconsequential, reaching too small an audience — unless another news-medium (such as The New York Times) picks the news-report up and it becomes spread so as to reach one or more of these five news-media.

Finally, the most-trusted news-sources also differed between liberals and conservatives, except the Wall Street Journal, which was trusted by all ideological groups (but un-influential on political matters because it’s mainly a business paper).

Liberals trusted everything except conservative media: BuzzFeed, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Drudge, Breitbart, FNC, and The Blaze.

Conservatives trusted The Wall Street Journal and those other conservative sources, except BuzzFeed, which was the opposite of The Wall Street Journal: it was distrusted  by all ideological groups.

In any case: It seems that these are the only 5 news-sources that have any real political impact:

16 CNN

14 Fox

10 Local TV

5 NPR

4 Local radio

Everything else is just “buzz.”

NIST releases Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests very reluctantly — and only when it’s sued.

That is AE911Truth researcher David Cole’s conclusion after making numerous attempts since 9/11 to extract information from the National Institute of Standards and Technology. This secretive federal agency perpetually ignores Cole’s requests, though what he seeks — and NIST suppresses — should be available to the public.  Here’s where you come in!

As a result of NIST’s inaction on Cole’s latest inquiry, AE911Truth needs to hire an attorney to file a lawsuit. This proposed action stems from AE911Truth’s conviction that the 9/11 research community must have access to the same unfiltered evidence that government officials had when creating their reports on the destruction of the three World Trade Center buildings. In a constitutional Republic, it is the duty of citizens to monitor their public servants, including, as Cole puts it, “checking their math.”

A brief background on our upcoming lawsuit: In 2011, Cole asked the Federal Emergency Management Agency for the records of its investigation on the World Trade Center.

At first, FEMA denied having any records, then it claimed to have turned over everything to another federal agency — namely, NIST. FEMA referred Cole’s FOIA request to NIST, and NIST eventually released a tiny portion of the records. But that arrangement between the two agencies wasn’t legal under the FOIA statute, which mandates that agencies maintain control over their own records.

Thus, the lawsuit by AE911Truth will ask the court to order both NIST and FEMA to release all of the WTC records gathered by FEMA during its 2001-2002 WTC investigation — text and images that go above and beyond the selective records FEMA chose to put in its May 2002 report. The complete record includes all evidence gathered by the various contractors that FEMA employed as part of its investigation. Cole estimates that the total exceeds 490,000 documents, videos, photographs, and any other format that FEMA or its contractors used.

Here’s where you come in. To pay an attorney to file a lawsuit, we need your help. Please pitch in today to support this $8,000 project. We hope to accomplish our fund-raising goal in two days. Can we count on you to meet that target?

“Imagine a group of corporate lawyers on a hilltop in Switzerland with the power to decide that a law passed in Illinois to regulate fracking is detrimental to the maximisation of corporate profits and therefore null and void.”
Letter to The Herald News, Oct 11, 2014

If you want to do your very best to bash the commonweal and undermine the premise of a social compact, a trade deal, masked by the lingo of beneficial free trade, is a good start.  The Transpacific-Partnership (TPP) continues its ride through the negotiating rooms in top secrecy, punctured occasionally by a WikiLeaks release and the utterings of concerned bystanders.  The latest variant of the TPP’s intellectual property chapter (the “second release”) suggests a predictably corporate driven agenda on the issue of health care.[1]

Significant in the chapter is the coverage of pharmaceuticals, patents, and copyright over digital rights canvassed in the Vietnam meetings in May.  The Office of the US Trade Representative, caught with its proverbial pants down, has warned against drawing “premature conclusions of any kind based on supposed leaked text from unsubstantiated, unnamed sources.”  Rather blandly, the statement goes on to say that “pharmaceutical intellectual property issues” should be best dealt with in accordance with “flexibility” and “needs”.[2]

As health is very much a government concern, falling within the social contract, so to speak, responses to upholding it have varied.  This is where the pongy scent of political interference can become problematic, notably if done through the forum of an international “trade” agreement.  Local laws can be such irritating things, and bypassing them has become something of the holy grail for trade negotiators.

Some, like many members on the Hill, would rather see people perish in accordance with good old Social Darwinian principles.  Sick people of the world, exit!  Others back the Scandinavian social model, where health is generally free; or the British health scheme and variants of the same principle: care should, at least at some level, be affordable, and most imperatively so for the indigent.

The Washington approach to this, however, is vastly different.  It sneers at the prospects of a healthy commonweal, preferring, instead, a sicker one.  (Preferably one cashed up and ready to part with it.)  In fact, a sicker citizenry satisfies the profit motive rather nicely, and has become something of a biblical incentive for corporations, the holy grail of share earnings and dividends.

The privileging of the corporate model in the TPP is made clear by the description of corporations as “investor states”, a term loaded and highly suggestive.  Relevant provisions governing such peculiar “states” would “allow corporations to sue governments over local laws that might hinder their profits.”[3]

The positioning of the parties on the latest variant of the IP chapter suggest that countries such as the United States and Japan are less than enthusiastic over the issue of affordable cancer treatment, or for that matter life-saving treatment in general.

Much of this can be presumed by the opposition of the two countries to the objectives section tabled by nine countries ranging from New Zealand to Mexico.  Strikingly, one of the provisions is to “Support each Party’s right to protect public health, including by facilitating timely access to affordable medicines”.  Other objectives seem logical but take the sting out of the Washington-Tokyo drive, including the sense that, in protecting IP rights, they “do not themselves become barriers to legitimate trade.”

There are a few structural ways that the patent regime will be affected should the IP chapter be passed with its Japan-US impress.  One is allowing an extension of patents.  The US-tabled Article QQ.E.20 would force signatories to adopt an “automatic monopoly period (marketing exclusivity) for life-saving drugs, with a choice for the groups to decide for definitive inclusion within the treaty of 0, 5, 8 or 12 years.”[4]

The logical consequence of this is permitting drug companies to maintain high prices on products that would otherwise become manufactured as generics once the patent date has expired.  Given the US and Japanese domination in areas of IP, this bodes ill for those needing such drugs, and developing countries within the TPP. This is the law of corporate contracts, not social contracts.

An additional and sinister feature to this negotiating agenda are the instituting of criminal procedures and penalties for disclosing trade secrets. This broad blanket expansion of what would constitute corporate and economic espionage would implicate whistleblowers and journalists in the business of discussing topics of trade and economic sensitivity.

The US and Japan are also barnstorming on the subject of criminalising non-commercial copyright infringements, though the released IP chapter suggests that many countries are losing their enthusiasm for it.  The tactic of Washington’s trade officials in response to this dilution is to “work through proxies, proposing and opposing far fewer times than anyone else in the Chapter”.[5]

The secrecy mania surrounding the TPP demonstrates the open contempt those engaged in negotiations hold their constituents. Transparency is deemed detrimental, an unnecessary form of enlightenment for the public.  Keep the discussion down; keep the lights off.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) outlines it rather well, having personally “heard the argument that transparency would undermine the Trade Representatives’ policy to complete the trade agreement because public opposition would be significant.  In other words, if people knew what was going on, they would stop it.”[6]

Ignorance is not so much golden here but deadening. “If transparency would lead to widespread public opposition to a trade agreement,” argues Senator Warren, “then that trade agreement should not be the policy of the United States.”  Or any other country for that matter.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge and lectures at RMIT University. Email: [email protected]

The forces of the Kiev government used cluster munitions in populated areas in the city of Donetsk, eastern Ukraine, says Human Rights Watch. It adds that the use of this forbidden weaponry violates the laws of war.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) was documenting the “widespread use of cluster munitions” in fighting between government troops and self-defense forces, according to investigation carried by the watchdog

“While it was not possible to conclusively determine responsibility for many of the attacks, the evidence points to Ukrainian government forces’ responsibility for several cluster munition attacks on Donetsk [Donetsk Region, Eastern Ukraine],” says the report.

The UN is “concerned” by the report, a spokesman for Secretary General Stephane Dujarric said at a briefing, adding that Ban Ki-moon is calling for a “political solution.”

 

 

Kiev however denied the use of cluster munitions by the Ukrainian military in the operation in eastern Ukraine.

“Ukrainian military did not use weapons forbidden by international legal law. This also applies to cluster munitions,” Andrey Lysenko, spokesman for Ukraine’s National Security Council, said at a briefing on Tuesday.

He also said that the observers could have been given “provocative information” from DPR militia, as he proposed to increase the number of international observers in eastern Ukraine.

“When it comes to the use of cluster munitions on civilian quarters of Donetsk, then I must say that the Ukrainian military did not use weapons on the peaceful quarter of the city.”

Donetsk, which before the launch of the Kiev military operation in April had a population of about 1 million people, is now literally in ruins. Heavy shelling claimed hundreds of civilians in the city.

On Monday a huge blast rocked a chemical factory in Donetsk in eastern Ukraine, the city council says on its website. The blast wave reportedly shattered windows in houses in a radius of several kilometers.

Blast rocks chemical plant in Donetsk, claims of tactical missile

An investigation says that at least six civilians were killed and dozens injured in these attacks. But the real casualty number is probably higher, says HRW, as the watchdog hasn’t yet probed all the allegations of the cluster munition use in the conflict zone.

 

A destroyed building at Donetsk airport. (RIA Novosti / Gennady Dubovoy) A destroyed building at Donetsk airport. (RIA Novosti / Gennady Dubovoy)

“It is shocking to see a weapon that most countries have banned used so extensively in eastern Ukraine,” said Mark Hiznay, senior arms researcher at HRW. “Ukrainian authorities should make an immediate commitment not to use cluster munitions and join the treaty to ban them.”

The danger of cluster munitions is that each of them contains hundreds of smaller submunitions. After the bomb explodes the container opens up “dispersing the submunitions, which are designed to explode when they hit the ground,” says the investigation.

War-torn Donetsk airport reminds of Chernobyl wasteland (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

“The submunitions are spread indiscriminately over a wide area, often the size of a football field, putting anyone in the area at the time of attack, whether combatants or civilians, at risk of death or injury.”

The Convention on Cluster Munitions signed in 2009 includes 114 countries so far. However Ukraine has yet to join the treaty.

A destroyed residential building at Donetsk's airport area. (RIA Novosti / Gennady Dubovoy)
A destroyed residential building at Donetsk’s airport area. (RIA Novosti / Gennady Dubovoy)

“There is particularly strong evidence that Ukrainian government forces were responsible for several cluster munition attacks on central Donetsk in early October,” HRW said.

The watchdog identified cluster munitions by the distinctive craters, remnants of the submunitions found at the impact sites, and remnants of the rockets found in the vicinity.

“Ukrainian forces should immediately make a commitment to not use cluster munitions and to investigate and hold accountable any personnel responsible for firing cluster munitions into populated areas. Ukraine should accede to the treaty banning their use,” HRW said.

 

A destroyed building at Donetsk airport. (RIA Novosti / Gennady Dubovoy) A destroyed building at Donetsk airport. (RIA Novosti / Gennady Dubovoy)

Ukraine’s authorities neither confirmed nor denied the allegations, says the group, adding that Kiev didn’t respond to a letter sent by the Cluster Munition Coalition in July or a letter sent by HRW on October 13.

“Firing cluster munitions into populated areas is utterly irresponsible and those who ordered such attacks should be held to account,” Hiznay said. “The best way for the Ukrainian authorities to demonstrate a commitment to protect civilians would be an immediate promise to stop using cluster munitions.”

On October 21st, the German Economic News  headlined (as translated), “Merkel: EU Taxpayers Should Finance Debt of Ukraine,” and reported that, “Angela Merkel visited [Slovakia's Finance Minister] Robert Fico on Monday [in the Slovak capital of Bratislavia]. Both leaders demand that Kiev should take more responsibility,” and not push the EU to pay Ukraine’s past-due gas bills from Russia’s Gazprom. 

Ukraine’s leader, Petro Poroshenko, was “demanding” that the EU bail out Ukraine, which is months behind on its gas bill from Gazprom, and which furthermore has been getting Slovakia to reverse flow of Russia’s gas, in order to meet Kiev’s own heating-needs.

“Ukraine and Russia negotiate Tuesday morning in Brussels about the dispute over gas supplies,” to Europe, through Ukraine’s pipelines from Russia.

“Russia demands that Ukraine pay its past-due gas bill of $4.5 billion, but doubts Kiev’s solvency.”

Merkel proposes that the EU provide a bridge-loan to help Ukraine get through the winter. She says, “It could not be expected that the EU will take over Ukraine’s gas debt to Russia. Fico’s anger is understandable.”

BusinessWeek  headlined on Monday that, “Russia Won’t Accept Terms to End Sanctions Over Ukraine,” and reported that, “Russia’s top diplomat [Sergei Lavrov] said his country won’t accept [Obama's and the EU's] conditions to end sanctions after talks in Italy produced no breakthrough over the truce in Ukraine.” That truce is between the residents in Ukraine’s southeast, and the Ukrainian Government, which has been bombing them ever since May, in order to end their desire to break away from that Government and support instead their own republic or republics, set up by themselves. Those regions had voted at around 90% for the Ukrainian President, Viktor Yanukovych, who was overthrown on February 22 in Kiev, after America’s State Department official Victoria Nuland appointed Arseniy Yatsenyuk to lead Ukraine until a new President would be elected by voters in Ukraine’s northwest, on May 25th. The people in Ukraine’s southeast wanted to join Russia.

Russia isn’t buckling to the U.S.-EU pressures. BusinessWeek notes that Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, whose nation pipes about 15 percent of the EU’s natural gas needs through Ukraine, “said last week that supplies to Europe would be reduced if the Ukrainian government siphoned off fuel for its own use.”

So, Russia seems to be standing firm on getting its back-due payments from Ukraine, and on refusing to accept the West’s conditions for ending sanctions against Russia, and on prohibiting Ukraine from reverse-flowing any more of Russia’s gas.

Russia thus seems to be standing firm on everything pertaining to Ukraine and the EU. If this will keep up, then the EU’s taxpayers could end up paying a very hefty price for ‘winning’ Ukraine to join the EU.

The United States, by comparison, suffers very little from the entire matter.

This article contains David McNeill’s introduction followed by Matsumoto Masayoshi’s testimony (Japanese and English transcript and video of testimony), translation by Miguel Quintana

For years, Abe Shinzo, Japan’s prime minister, has been playing with diplomatic fire over a sordid episode of wartime history that has been at the center of a storm of controversy involving Japan, China, Korea and other outposts of Japan’s empire: the herding of thousands of women across Asia into Japanese military brothels. His decision this year to order an investigation into a landmark government apology to the so-called “comfort women” might have helped end the controversy. Instead, it has further ignited it, which may indeed have been Abe’s intention – he has campaigned for nearly two decades to undermine the apology.

The 1993 Kono statement, compiled in consultation with South Korea by Japan’s then chief cabinet secretary Kono Yohei, acknowledged the army’s role in forcing the women into sexual slavery. Nationalists, championed by the Yomiuri, Japan’s most popular newspaper, deny coercion and insist the women voluntarily provided “comfort” to frontline troops. They have repeatedly demanded the withdrawal of the so-called Kono statement, with potentially explosive diplomatic consequences.

In June, a government panel set up by Abe said the facts used to draft the statement were accurate and there are no plans to change it. But the panel’s report also revealed that the statement was the product of months of secret negotiations with South Korean diplomats. The diplomatic record reveals intense discussion on the level of “coerciveness” used to recruit the women, with Japan implying that some may have gone to brothels voluntarily. Predictably, perhaps, revisionists say that proves the statement was a political fudge, not an admission of official responsibility.

The campaign to rewrite the Kono statement has been given an added push by the decision of the Asahi newspaper in August to retract a series of articles it carried on the comfort women. The articles, written in the 1980s and ‘90s, some of which used a now discredited witness called Yoshida Seiji, were not true, said the newspaper. The editors had been “unable to see through” Yoshida’s “fraudulent testimony” they admitted ruefully.

The humbling of Japan’s liberal flagship has triggered a tsunami of abuse. The Yomiuri said the Asahi’s coverage had helped fuel anti-Japan sentiment in South Korea, and became a basis of “misperception of Japan” throughout the world. Abe told the Sankei newspaper, which has led a two-decade campaign against the Kono Statement that “many people had suffered” because of the Asahi’s reporting. Emboldened, ultra-nationalists have threatened to firebomb universities that employ ex-Asahi journalists.

A boycott campaign, led by the Sankei, has taken a toll. Asahi’s circulation is down by 770,000 since November 2013. A national “anti-Asahi Shimbun” committee, led by lawmaker Nakayama Nariaki, is seeking to press the advantage. Its inaugural conference in Tokyo this month (Oct. 25th) will discuss plans to widen the boycott and haul Asahi editors and journalists before the Diet. The committee’s ultimate aim is clear: pressure the government to rewrite the Kono statement and in the words of cabinet minister Inada Tomomi, “restore Japan’s honor.”

Neonationalists such as Inada have ignored a string of well-documented reports making it clear that the Asahi’s coverage of Yoshida had relatively little impact on the surge of interest in the comfort women issue in Japan and internationally, and in no way detracts from the extensive documentation of military and government involvement in the comfort women system. Many of those involved in the 2007 US House of Representatives Comfort Women resolution 121, for instance, including Dennis Halpin, a former senior Asia policy staffer, said in September that: “There was ample documentary and testimonial evidence from across the Indo-Pacific region to support the fact that Imperial Japan organized and managed a system of sexual slavery for its military…” The Yoshida memoir and Asahi’s reporting of it were “not factors” in drafting the resolution, they added.

Nevertheless, several members of Abe’s cabinet are gearing up for a demand that the statement be withdrawn next year, the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II – and the 50th anniversary of the normalization of relations with South Korea, an action, if successful, that is certain to poison Japan’s relations with South Korea, China and other Asian countries.

Abe, as a parliamentarian, long supported nationalist think tanks that reject Japan’s “apology diplomacy” for its wartime misdeeds. During his first term as prime minister in 2007, he got himself into hot water by saying there was “no proof” the comfort women were coerced by the military. But in March, 2014 he bowed to pressure by pledging not to revise the Kono statement.

Ironically, the statement was intended to end the controversy and reset the diplomatic compass. Instead, the dispute has festered and spread to the US, where a string of memorials to the comfort women, erected by Korean communities, has triggered Japanese diplomatic protests.

One way out of the impasse might be to shift the probe to the perpetrators. Matsumoto Masayoshi, a former medical orderly with the Japanese army, has spoken out this year about what he saw. Matsumoto, 92, says Korean women were used like public toilets, with soldiers lining up to rape them. He has offered to tell what happened to anyone who will listen. It might come as no surprise to learn that nobody from Abe’s government has bothered to turn up and hear his story.

Matsumoto full video: Japanese testimony with English translation by Miguel Quintana

00:00 まあ、私たちの部隊に、大隊に、一個大隊に千人ぐらいいるんですけど、5人か6人の慰安婦さんたちを連れて行っているんですね。

Our battalion had approximately one thousand men.

We took about 5 or 6 “comfort women” with us.

00:14 そこで私は衛生兵でしたから、…衛生兵っていうのは分かりますね。

I was a corpsman… do you understand that word?

0031衛生兵ですから、その慰安婦さんたちの性病検査を軍医がやりますよ。私は衛生兵ですから手伝わされる。まあ看護婦さんですからね、手伝わされますよ。手伝わされますから、

I had to help the army doctor to do tests for venereal disease on comfort women.

00:37 性病検査の仕方だとか、道具の扱い方だとか覚えましたね。

I learned the testing methods, how to handle the equipment and all that.

00:45 顕微鏡なんてあるわけがないですから、ただ見るだけですよ。

Obviously we didn’t have microscopes, so we did simple visual checks.

00:49なんかこう、ポコッと性器に入れる道具がありまして、それはねポコッと開けると中が見えるんですよ。

There’s this instrument you put in the vagina.

It pops open like this and allows you to see inside.

01:07 だから中が、例えばおかしくなっている、とかいうことを見るだけです。

We just visually checked if the inside didn’t look funny.

01:15 盂県(ウケン)というところがありますね、ウケンという所は大きな町で、周囲に城壁で囲まれてた大きな町です。そこに大隊本部があります。

There’s a place called Yu County .in (Shanxi) China. It was a large city surrounded by ramparts. That’s where our battalion had its headquarters.

01:28 それから他に、一中隊とか二中隊とかが、奥地にひとつ(? inaudible)ありますが、そこには慰安婦はいません。大隊本部だけにしかいない。

Apart from that, companies one and two were stationed further away, but there weren’t any comfort women there. You could only find them at battalion headquarters.

01:37 大隊本部には、本部付きというのが、一個中隊と指揮班というのがおって、だいたい300人ぐらいの兵隊がいますね。

Attached to the headquarters were one company and the command section. That was about 300 soldiers.

01:47 それであとは全部むこうの、20キロも、30キロも奥の町や村にずーっと分散して、その辺一帯を、ま、支配している、と申しましょうかね。

The rest of the battalion was spread over towns and villages 20 to 30 kilometers further away. They – how can I put it – ruled over that entire area.

02:04 大隊本部付きの兵隊たちは、あるいはたまには行けることもあったかも知れませんが、それは分かりませんね。だいたい、将校、下士官用、だと思いますね。

The men in the company attached to the battalion HQ may have been able to visit the brothels from time to time, but they were primarily meant for the officers and the NCOs.

02:15 そんな、自分の意志で来た人なんてないですよ。自分の意志であんな奥地まで来る人なんてないですよ。

These [women] had definitely not arrived there of their own will. Nobody would be willing to travel to such a remote area.

02:23お金は、その慰安婦さんたちの世話をしている軍属というのがおりましてね、軍人ではないですよ、日本人ですけれども。その人たちが取り仕切ってるんです。

The money was handled by Japanese civilians employed by the military, who took care of the women.

02:39 慰安婦制度がね、慰安婦っていう制度が出来たのがそもそもね、兵隊たちが中国の人たちとセックスをして、そしてもう兵隊たちの中に性病が蔓延して、兵隊が全部使いものにならなくなった。

The reason why the comfort women system was set up is that our soldiers were having sex with the Chinese. Diseases started spreading and that would have made the army completely useless.

02:57

それでね、これじゃいかん、という事で、日本の慰安婦制度というのを作って、慰安婦として連れて行くようにしたんです。

This situation was unacceptable, and that’s why they created the comfort women system and had those women accompany us.

03:05 部落の急襲をした時、ま、普通は部落を急襲したら、部落内はもう逃げていないんですけれども、逃げ遅れた人たちがいて、

When we raided a village, there happened to be some villagers left behind. Normally during a raid all the villagers would flee.

03:14 そしてその人たちの中に婦人たちがいて、7人、8人ぐらいね、

03:14 Among them were seven or eight women.

03:21兵隊たちがみな捕まえて、部落の兵舎に連れて帰ったんです。ですから、その人たちは、抵抗すると殺されますから、もう抵抗しないで付いて来るんです。

The soldiers grabbed them and took them away to the barracks. Knowing that they would be killed if they resisted, these women came along without resisting.

03:34 その人たちを、兵舎の一部のところに住まわせて、そして兵隊たちが勝手に行っては、性交すると。

The women were made to live inside the barracks, and whenever the soldiers felt like it they would visit them to have sex.

03:50 それで衛生兵の仕事は、その人たちの性病検査をすること。

So my job as a corpsman was to monitor these people for venereal diseases.

03:58 そして医務室には山ほどコンドームがありましたからね、それを兵隊たちに配って、注意しろよ、と言って兵隊に配るというのが、私の仕事です。衛生兵のしごとです。

The infirmary had a pile of condoms. I distributed them to the soldiers and urged them to be careful. That was my job as a corpsman

04:11 (婦人たちの)反応はね、もう、抵抗したら殺されること分ってますから、もう従順です。ただもう何にも言わなくて、ただ言われるままにしてるんですよ。

The women understood that they would be killed if they resisted, so they were docile. They didn’t say anything; they just did as they were told.

04:26 隊長がね、隊長が1週間ぐらいしてから、「もうよかろう、帰そうじゃないか」と言って、帰したんです。「もう帰んなさい」と言って。

After about one week, our commander said “that’s enough, let them go.” And he released those women, telling them to go home.

04:39 その代わりにね、村長にね、村長に言って、「婦人を出せ」と。

But in exchange, he asked the head of the village to give us other women.

04:49 それは、ですから、2人来ましたけどね婦人は。その2人の婦人たちは、まあ、そうしたことを仕事にしている人たちだったと思います。

And so two women came to us. I think these two were actually professionals.

05:00でその人たちの性病検査も私の仕事です。

And again, I was in charge of checking them for VD.

05:05 それはもう戦争が終わるまでずーっと、帰って来るまで。帰って来るときはもう、ほったらかしですからね。

That was my job all the way up to the end of the war, until we returned to Japan. When we left, these women were abandoned on the spot.

05:15 強姦はしょっちゅうあるんです、兵隊たちは。もう女を見つけたら強姦するんです。

Rape was rampant among soldiers. As soon as they found a woman, they would rape her.

05:23 色んなことを、いろんなものを読んでると、やっぱりね、過去をちゃんと見てないものは、また同じことを始める。

While reading all kind of things, I realized that if we don’t face our past squarely, we’re bound to repeat the same mistakes.

05:31 そうするとね、今の安倍さんなんか見ていると、ほーそうじゃな、また同じこと始めたな。こらやっぱり言わないかんと。

When I look at (Prime Minister) Abe, I think he’s starting to do exactly that. Someone needs to speak up.

05:39 これはやっぱりね、自分は、生きている以上は、証言するのが私の(使命)。…92まで生きてるんですから、

And I feel that for as long as I’m alive, I should bear witness to what I saw, having made it to the age of 92.

05:48 あと4,5年もしたら戦争の体験者はいなくなる、と。僕の存在は今、貴重な存在だ、と。

In another 4 to 5 years those who experienced the war will all have died. I think my existence, right now, is precious.

だからやっぱり言わにゃいかんと。言い続けることが僕の使命だと思って、言っています。

That’s why I speak out. Continuing to speak out is my mission, and that’s what I’m doing.

06:07

Jump to the following…

14:47

Q: 安倍さんは強制はないといってるでしょう?

Mr. Abe is insisting there was no coercion involved in the abduction of the women.

14;52

そんなことないですよ! そ~んなこと・・・

Such a thing is not true! It’s…..

14;58

Q ばかばかしい?

Nonsense?

15:00

ばかばかしい。うそを言うな、っていうんだ。

Nonsense. A lie.

David McNeill writes for The Independent and other publications, including The Irish TimesThe Economist and The Chronicle of Higher Education. An Asia-Pacific Journal coordinator, he is a coauthor of Strong in the Rain: Surviving Japan’s Earthquake, Tsunami and Fukushima Nuclear Disaster (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012).

 

Our country did not take a single minute to give a response to the international agencies requesting its support to combat the brutal epidemic outbreak in Western Africa.

This is what our country has always done, without excluding anyone. The Cuban Government had already given the relevant instructions to urgently mobilize and reinforce the medical personnel that were offering their services in that region of the Africa continent. An equally fast response was given to the United Nations, as has always been the case in an event of a request for cooperation. Any sensible person would know that the political decisions that entail some risk for the highly qualified staff involve a high level of responsibility from those who call on them to fulfill a risky task. This is something far more difficult than sending soldiers to fight and even die for a just political cause; and they also did so because they always thought it was their duty.

The best example of solidarity that human beings can offer

The medical staff that is ready to go to any region to save lives, even at the risk of losing their own, is the best example of solidarity that human beings can offer, particularly if they are not moved by any material interest. Their closest relatives are also contributing to that mission a part of what they love and admire the most. A country seasoned by long years of struggle can fully understand what is being expressed here.

We all understand that in fulfilling this task with maximum preparation and efficiency, we would also be protecting our people and the brother peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean, by avoiding the spread of the virus, since it unfortunately has entered and could further spread in the United States, a country with so many personal links and exchanges with the rest of the world. We will gladly cooperate with the US staff in this endeavor, not in the pursuit of peace between the two States which have been adversaries for so many years, but, in any case, for world peace, which is a goal that could and should be pursued.

The time of duty has come.

Fidel Castro Ruz
October 17, 2014 9:23 p.m.

By Yaima Puig Meneses and Leticia Martínez Hernández

A profoundly moving moment came yesterday, after the conclusion of the ALBA-TCP Ebola Summit, when regional leaders attending the event met with members of the Cuban medical brigades departing today, October 21, to Liberia and Guinea Conakry, to battle the epidemic impacting these West African nations.

At the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), Cuban Minister of Public Health Roberto Morales Ojeda announced that the new brigades are composed of 91 health professionals, 53 headed to Liberia, and 38 to Guinea Conakry. As a group, they average 15 years of experience, he reported, adding that 39 are doctors, 48 nurses, and 67 % are under 50 years of age.

“These are our troops departing tomorrow,” President Raúl Castro told visiting ALBA leaders, as he asked individual brigade members about their experiences on other international missions. Two doctors preparing to leave reported that they had previously participated in five other missions.

Jorge Pérez, IPK director, summarized the history of the renowned institution and its current objectives, including the role it is playing in confronting Ebola.

He explained that the Institute had set up a vigilance ward for travelers coming from areas impacted by Ebola, and has provided training on treatment for brigade members. He presented a series of photos depicting the strict protection measures brigade members would be taking, and some of the safety precautions they would be use while working with Ebola patients.

Leonardo Fernández, 63 years of age and departing for West Africa, briefly described his experiences on missions in Nicaragua, Pakistan, Timor Leste, Haiti and Mozambique. “We are not mad,” he said, “We are determined doctors, trained by the Revolution, and we are sure we will return healthy.”

Following this gathering, ALBA leaders visited the Medical Cooperation Central Unit (UCCM), located in the Havana municipality of Boyeros, where all medical personnel participating in international missions is trained – a total of  more than 50 000 who have served in 66 countries, according to Health Minister Morales, who said, “The presence of all of you here encourages us to continue upholding the legacy of Fidel and Raúl, to reaffirm that what we are doing is for humanity, for the real possibility that a better world is possible.”

Concluding the tour, President Raúl Castro bid farewell to each individual participant in the extraordinary ALBA Summit on Ebola, who all again expressed their gratitude to Cuba, the government and people, for the commitment to making ALBA an alliance for life.

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October 21st, 2014 by Global Research

The secretive Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will increase patent protection for the benefit of big pharmaceutical companies, but are such policies really in the interests of global health?

Eradicating disease from the face of the Earth

There are many illnesses that I have never known in my life, but surely two of the most profound are smallpox and polio. Smallpox once killed 400,000 people annually in Europe alone, with as many as 500 million deaths worldwide attributed to the disease in the first 80 years of the 20th Century. Polio was once also endemic to most parts of the world. It killed, too, but also left sufferers – many of them children – with serious physical disabilities, including partial paralysis. Even in highly developed countries like the USA, tens of thousands of children contracted polio each year with scores forced into the dreaded “iron lung” just to keep breathing. Yet today polio exists in only a handful of countries.

These radical advances in global health are due to nothing more complicated than cheap medicine and extensive public health programs that owe more to the spirit of scientific discovery than mercantilism. Such advances often originate from unlikely sources.

Image: Dr. Jonas Salk (Reuters)

In the late 18th century, Edward Jenner, a small-town English doctor, noticed that milkmaids rarely contracted smallpox. He soon came to the conclusion that this was because they were often infected with cowpox, a similar but less dangerous disease, as a result of their occupation, and that this immunized them against future infection. Jenner used this knowledge to develop a successful and safe vaccine against smallpox which he then refined and shared with others. The British government eventually awarded Jenner £30 000 to allow him to abandon his practice and focus on the vaccine. It was a generous gift, but could not have motivated the doctor – he had already made his discovery and shared his work before these awards were bestowed on him.

The history of polio is similar. A safe vaccine was developed against polio by research scientist Jonas Salk in 1955. Salk was funded by the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis (now the March of Dimes) a group set-up by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to combat polio. When asked in an interview who owned the patent to his vaccine, Salk was taken aback, eventually responding, “There is no patent. Could you patent the sun?” Shortly thereafter Albert Sabin, co-operating with Russian scientists, came up with a cheaper oral polio vaccination that is now used in most of the developing world. He didn’t patent it, either.

Salk, Sabin and Jenner are hardly household names, yet their effect on history is hard to overstate. I was born in the 81st year, but I have never received a vaccination against smallpox, because I was one of the first children born into a world where no one would ever get this lethal illness again. Shortly before I arrived, a massive, global public health program, spearheaded by the United Nations and World Health Organization, officially eradicated smallpox. These organizations are currently working to send polio the same way. Indeed, they are nearly there.

Public health projects don’t just effectively save lives; they also save money – enormous quantities of money. The cost of fighting smallpox is now zero, the cost of fighting polio nearly so. Millions of people are alive and well, at work and caring for their loved ones today because of these medications and the public funding that financed their dissemination. In a world with less debilitating disease, we are all much more productive.

This trend continues. The most promising treatment that currently exists for Ebola – the drug ZMapp – has been developed by small businesses and academic researchers relying heavily on governmentfunding, Governments rightly identified that while Ebola might have been rather limited in its spread over the last 40 years, and it does remain a threat to global health. Over the same period, large pharmaceutical conglomerates chose not to pursue Ebola treatments because the disease has killed relatively few people (so far) and none of them could afford to pay top dollar for a cure. Treating Ebola, so it is said, just isn’t profitable.

Image: AFP Photo / Ted Aljibe

Private and public profit

But this is a warped and narrow way of understanding profit. Getting rid of Ebola is profitable in exactly the same way that getting rid of smallpox and polio was profitable. In fact, it is hard to think of something that could generate a bigger return on investment. The profit from these public health programs is clear: more people living longer, no hospital bills, no psychological suffering, no orphans and widows, no blinded, paralyzed or scarred survivors, no relatives spending weeks or months away from work caring for the ill and dying. The profits, in fact, are so all-pervasive that we often don’t even fully appreciate them. Contrary to popular wisdom, money can buy these things. Money paid for Salk and Sabin’s research and allowed Jenner to widely share his vaccine. Money paid for the UN programs that have virtually wiped out some diseases and inhibited the spread of others. But it was public money invested in humanity to generate public profit.

This way of operating is under attack. Instead of using laws and international structures to tilt the playing field towards the small researchers and public bodies that are contributing to public health and public profits, we are instead devising ways to allow private companies to appropriate a greater share of the wealth generated by medical advances.

This was made apparent again last week when WikiLeaks revealed a new draft of the Trans-Pacific-Partnership agreement. This treaty is currently being negotiated between about a dozen Pacific Rim countries, including the US, Canada, Malaysia, Japan and Vietnam. The public is not invited to contribute to these discussions but industry leaders are. Perhaps therefore it is unsurprising that some of the provisions under debate in this tentative treaty will, if agreed upon, help to lock-in a level of patent protection that is not compatible with pursuing public health goals. In particular, some of the TPP provisions may facilitate a tactic known as “evergreening” in which companies procure patent extensions on the basis of minor changes to the patented formula (e.g. exchanging one inactive ingredient for another, or coming up with a secondary use for the medication), and in limiting the criteria a product must fulfill in order to be eligible for a patent, thereby making it easier to procure patents for products that are not what the average person would be perhaps willing to acknowledge as particularly innovative. In particular, the draft argues for a radical increase in the duration of patent protection for vaccines and some forms of cancer treatment. Earlier versions of the draft even tried to secure patents for particular methods of performing surgery, something that has traditionally and without question been freely shared among practitioners.

The object of the TPP draft, clearly, is to maximize profits – but not in the way that Jenner or Salk or the World Health Organization maximized profit by giving medicine away. The TPP will help to maximize profits by increasing the ability of large corporations to acquire or hold international monopolies on a product for longer periods than they are currently able to. They can use this position to ensure that prices remain high – too high for many. Those unable to afford necessary medicine will suffer, become sicker, and in many cases die. They will probably be unable to work for periods of time and they may leave dependents behind them. Or they may survive the illness but never fully recover without proper medical treatment. Multiply this scenario a thousand times or ten thousand times and you don’t just have a humanitarian problem, you have an economic problem, too.

Overly robust patent protections, especially rules that permit practices like “evergreening,” are not good economic sense for society as a whole. Moreover, patent revenues are not the only way to fund medical research. Many extremely important breakthroughs in medical science were not funded this way and truly wide-scale implementation often requires some degree of public funding. Rules, like the ones proposed in the TTP protect profit – private profit that is measured as abstract numbers on a bank account. And they do so at the expense of public profit that is measured in terms of real productivity and human benefit.

At a time when the world is once again presented with the specter of a deadly virus, world leaders would do better to focus on working together than on offering further protection to some of the most privileged among us.

Cut Through the Spin: It’s Time for Truth in Media

October 21st, 2014 by Global Research

Terrorism… Military invasions… Resources wars… We can call it what we want, but the bottom line is that there is no end to greed until we stand up and say “enough is enough”. In fact, it’s too much. The drums of war are beating and it’s up to us to choose whether we march along, or we rewrite the score.

In an era of media disinformation, our focus at Global Research has essentially been to center on the “unspoken truth”. Since its inception in 2001 we have established an extensive archive of news articles, in-depth reports and analysis on issues which are barely covered by the mainstream media. From modest beginnings, with virtually no resources, the Centre for Research on Globalization has evolved into a dynamic research and alternative media group.

What motivates us? The same thing that motivates you to visit our website and read the articles, watch the videos and share them with your networks: we want the truth. We NEED the truth. Our lives and the lives of future generations depend on it.

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-Bonnie Faulkner, Producer/Host, Guns and Butter, The Pacifica Radio Network

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New York Times FAIL: ‘McCain No Connections To ISIS?!?’

October 21st, 2014 by Brandon Turbeville

GR Associate Editor’s note

The author mentions a picture in which we see John McCain with Free Syrian Army Commander Salim Idriss and a man who looks like Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (behind McCain). Although the identity of the man remains to be confirmed, John McCain’s links to terrorists in Syria are very real, as the author demonstrates.


“Conspiracy Theory!!!” cried the New York Times in its recent attempt to defend John McCain against revelations that show the Senator from Arizona providing material support to terrorism. The NY Times was called into action to “debunk” the evidence that McCain had met with terrorists, cannibals, and ISIS militants in Syria after the photographs of those meetings began circulating in the alternative media and more mainstream figures began to pick up on and run with them over the last few months.

From the New York Times, Rick Gladstone writes,

Senator John McCain was one of the earliest advocates of American military action against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria . So it has been vexing for Mr. McCain to be battling persistent — and false — Internet rumors that he not only helped invent the group but also knows its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-proclaimed caliph of the Muslim world and America’s latest Public Enemy No. 1.

The rumors are based partly on images of a Syrian fighter who resembles Mr. Baghdadi, seen in photographs with Mr. McCain — some originally posted on Twitter by the senator — during his visit in May 2013 to northern Syria . He met members of the Free Syrian Army, an insurgent group that opposes ISIS and that President Obama, in a speech Wednesday on his new strategy for battling ISIS, has vowed to strengthen.

Nurtured by conspiracy blogposts, social media and photo-altering tricks, the false rumors of Mr. McCain’s relationship with ISIS have taken on a life of their own.

While the NY Times denies the photographs showing John McCain and Baghdadi together, it freely admits that McCain met with the Free Syrian Army, itself a terrorist organization responsible for indiscriminate killings, imposition of sharia law, murders, rapes, cannibalism and more.

Although Gladstone and the NY Times attempt to portray the FSA as moderate rebels, the writer and the publication should remember one of its own articles from as far back as April, 2013, written by Ben Hubbard. Hubbard wrote,

In Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, rebels aligned with Al Qaeda control the power plant, run the bakeries and head a court that applies Islamic law. Elsewhere, they have seized government oil fields, put employees back to work and now profit from the crude they produce.

Across Syria, rebel-held areas are dotted with Islamic courts staffed by lawyers and clerics, and by fighting brigades led by extremists. Even the Supreme Military Council, the umbrella rebel organization whose formation the West had hoped would sideline radical groups, is stocked with commanders who want to infuse Islamic law into a future Syrian government.

Nowhere in rebel-controlled Syria is there a secular fighting force to speak of. [emphasis added]

Even one of the FSA commanders, Bassel Idriss, recently admitted to openly collaborating with ISIS and al-Nusra, revealing yet another example of the fact that the “moderate rebels” are not moderate at all.

In an interview with the Daily Star of Lebanon , Idriss stated “We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in . . . Qalamoun . . . . Let’s face it: The Nusra Front is the biggest power present right now in Qalamoun and we as FSA would collaborate on any mission they launch as long as it coincides with our values.”

Idriss also admitted that many FSA fighters had pledged allegiance to ISIS. He said, “[ISIS] wanted to enhance its presence in the Western Qalamoun area. After the fall of Yabroud and the FSA’s retreat into the hills [around Arsal], many units pledged allegiance [to ISIS]”.

Abu Fidaa, a retired Syrian Army Colonel who is now a part of the Revolutionary Council in the Qalamoun, corroborated Idrisss’ statements by saying that “A very large number of FSA members [in Arsal] have joined ISIS and Nusra. In the end, people want to eat, they want to live, and the Islamic State has everything.”

Not only the FSA, but also the Syrian Revolutionary Front has also openly admitted to working with Nusra and al-Qaeda. The leader of the SRF, Jamaal Maarouf admitted that his brigades coordinate with Nusra and al-Qaeda regularly.

Salem Idriss, one of the men seen in the photograph with John McCain, is the commander of the FSA, the “opposition group” touted as a “moderate rebels.” In reality, of course, the FSA is nothing of the sort. As Daniel Wagner wrote for the Huffington Post in December, 2012,

In the outskirts of Aleppo, the FSA has implemented a Sharia law enforcement police force that is a replica of the Wahhabi police in Saudi Arabia — forcing ordinary citizens to abide by the Sharia code. This is being done in a secular country which has never known Sharia Law. This type of action is currently also being implemented in northern Mali, where the West has officially declared its opposition to the al-Qaeda government that took control earlier this year. If what is happening near Aleppo is representative of what may happen if the FSA assumes control of Syria, the country may become an Islamic state. Is that really what the U.S. and other Western countries are intending to tacitly support?

[...]

Indeed, the FSA has also been targeting the infrastructure of the country. One of the main power plants in Damascus was knocked out for three days last week, impacting 40 percent of the city’s residents. Do ‘freedom fighters’ typically attack critical infrastructure that impacts ordinary citizens on a mass scale? The FSA long ago stopped targeting solely government and military targets.

The FSA is no stranger to atrocities. The FSA is the “moderate opposition” that was filmed forcing a young child to behead a Syrian soldier. It is also the “moderate opposition” that maintained “burial brigades,” a system of mass murder and mass executions against soldiers and those who support the Syrian government. The burial brigades were only one small part of a much wider campaign of terror and executions implemented by the Free Syrian Army.

Of course, the Free Syrian Army is merely the umbrella group of death squads carefully crafted to present a “moderate” face on what is, in reality, nothing more than savage terrorists. Thus, the FSA encompasses(d) a number of smaller “brigades” of al-Qaeda terrorists in order to cover up the true nature of its own ranks.

One such brigade was the Farouq brigade, to which Abu Sakkar was a member. Sakkar, also seen in photographs with John McCain, was the famous rebel videotaped cutting the heart out of a Syrian soldier and biting into it .

Yet, for all its noble attempts to protect McCain’s terrorist sympathies, the evidence the organization provides in his defense is incredibly weak. Note that the only thing the Times can produce in the way of evidence is a counter-claim that simply says the accusations are “internet rumours” and that the person in the picture with McCain simply looks like Baghdadi. The idea that he is Baghdadi is considered an impossibility.

The only other offering in the way of McCain’s defense is a statement by his own Communications Director, Brian Rogers, who claims that the man in the picture was not Baghdadi but another individual associated with the Northern Storm Brigade, ironically a terrorist organization in its own right. Northern Storm was famous for kidnapping a group of religious pilgrims crossing through Syria in September, 2012.

Nevertheless, the comparisons of the photographs and the individuals in them lean toward the idea that the terrorist in the picture is Baghdadi. Regardless of who it was, the individual was a terrorist since McCain’s defense is that it was a fighter/commander with Northern Storm.

The New York Times’ Gladstone might also be surprised to learn that “the false rumors of Mr. McCain’s relationship to ISIS” was confirmed by none other than John McCain himself. On the Sean Hannity Show, when responding to some tepid criticism by Rand Paul regarding the methods taken to support the death squads in Syria, McCain stated ,

Has Rand Paul ever been to Syria? Has he ever met with ISIS? Has he ever met with any of these people? No. No. We’re gonna have a fight because it’s patently false. This is the same Rand Paul that said we didn’t want to have anything to do with anything by the way. I don’t want to get in a fight with him at all. But it’s not true. I know these people. I’m in contact with them all the time and he is not.

Earlier in the interview, after stating that he could personally show Obama places on the map to bomb in Syria to kill ISIS, he also stated that, in regards to the death squads, “I know these people intimately. We talk to them all the time.”

McCain’s also referred back to the tired line of Syrian death squads actually being peaceful protesters “fighting for freedom.”

So McCain has met with at least three terrorists and terrorist organizations in Syria. But these groups are by no means the end of the trail of McCain’s treachery or his connection to terrorism. After all, it must be remembered that McCain traveled to Libya during the assault against Ghaddafi in order to meet with terrorists in that country and promote the barbarism which they would ultimately bring. As Tony Cartalucci writes in his article, “ John McCain Claims Al-Qaeda Thugs Have ‘Inspired The World ,’”

He [McCain] had made an April visit to Benghazi, a city cited along with neighboring Darnah by a 2007 West Point report as the terror recruiting capitals of the world and the primary sources of foreign fighters that made their way to Iraq fighting and killing American troops. These fighters did so under the flag of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG), listed to this day by the US State Department as a “foreign terrorist organization.” Despite overwhelming evidence and even admissions from Libyan rebels themselves of having ties to, being members of, or in Tripoli “council leader” Abdul Belhaj’s case, a leader of this listed terrorist organization, McCain would declare he had “met with these brave fighters, and they are not Al-Qaeda. To the contrary: They are Libyan patriots who want to liberate their nation.”

Despite McCain’s reassuring words, the rebels over the next several months would increasingly reveal their true nature to a horrified world as they waged racist genocide against Libya’s darker and black tribes, and conducted their “liberation” against cities resisting them with indiscriminate heavy weapons, blockades designed to literally starve the populations into submission and horrific reprisals once cities fell. While the corporate media did its best to obfuscate these atrocities, when entire cities like Tawarga with its 10,000 residents began disappearing from the map, even the propagandists were forced to acknowledge the “liberators” were less than noble.

It should also be noted that McCain is extremely close to the color revolution apparatus organization, the International Republican Institute , a wing of the National Endowment for Democracy and USAID.[1] In fact, he is the current Chairman of the IRI .

As it currently stands, the fact that some people are more equal than others is clearly proven in the case of John McCain. While any other American would be immediately imprisoned and possibly tortured as a result of their connections to terrorism, John McCain is rewarded with the title of U.S. Senator and the false label of “war hero.”

While John McCain has proven his disloyalty to the United States time and time again – from his scuttling of Congressional inquiries into the existence of American prisoners of war in Vietnam to the support for obvious terrorists overseas, the mainstream media has consistently given him a pass on his treasonous behavior.

It is thus important for every American to know that not only is there no such thing as a moderate opposition in Syria but that John McCain is no American hero. If the Americans mentioned in the recent AP report can be investigated, tried, and convicted of providing support for terrorists operating abroad then surely John McCain has earned his day in court.

A new video has emerged from northern Syria showing the weapons the US says it is sending to Kurdish forces end up in the hands of the ISIL terrorists.

The video shows masked insurgents inspecting the military equipment which was airdropped in areas controlled by ISIL near the Syrian border city of Kobani.

The supplies include several boxes of hand grenades and RPGs, as parachutes used for the airdrops were clearly visible on the ground in the video.

The US Central Command said on Sunday it has airdropped weapons and ammunition, and medical supplies for the Kurdish forces defending Kobani.

It said the airdrops, which have been provided by Kurdish authorities in Iraq, were “intended to enable continued resistance against ISIL’s attempts to overtake Kobani.”

The US and its allies also say they are carrying out airstrikes against the Takfiris in Syria and Iraq in order to curb their advances in the region. The air raids have so far failed to halt the insurgents’ military gains.

The ISIL advance in the region has forced tens of thousands of Syrian Kurds to flee into Turkey.

Turkey continues to block any delivery of military, medical or humanitarian assistance into Kobani where the ISIL terrorists are feared to be aiming at massive bloodletting.

This comes as the US and its Arab allies have been backing ISIL as a tool to put more pressure on Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad. The group has committed heinous crimes in Syria and Iraq.

Watch the video here

Three months ago, the CEO of Total, Christophe de Margerie, dared utter the phrase heard around the petrodollar world, “There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars,”  as we noted here. Today, RT reports the dreadful news that he was killed in a business jet crash at Vnukovo Airport in Moscow after the aircraft hit a snow-plough on take-off. The airport issued a statement confirming “a criminal investigation has been opened into the violation of safety regulations,” adding that along with 3 crewmembers on the plane, the snow-plough driver was also killed.

De Margerie, 63, joined Total in 1974 after graduating from the École Supérieure de Commerce in Paris. He served in several positions in the Finance Department and Exploration & Production division. In 1995, he became President of Total Middle East before joining the Total’s Executive Committee as the President of the Exploration & Production division in May 1999. In May 2006, he was appointed a member of the Board of Directors. He was appointed Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Total on May 21, 2010.

As RT reports,

According to preliminary data, the light aircraft collided with a snow-cleaning machine on takeoff, a source at the capital’s airport told RIA.

The aircraft was sending distress signals while still in the air and reporting an engine fire and fuselage damage, LifeNews reports. Upon crashing on the runway, the aircraft was engulfed in flames, reportedly killing everyone on board.

While initials reports suggested four people died in the tragedy, officials report that five bodies were found at the crash site, one allegedly being the driver of the snow-cleaning vehicle.

Vnukovo Airport has temporarily suspended all flights following the incident.

“A criminal investigation has been opened into the violation of safety regulations after a light aircraft crash in the capital’s Vnukovo airport,” transport official Tatyana Morozova told RIA.

An investigative group is working at the crash site, Morozova added. In addition to people who were on board the plane, she said, the driver snowplow was killed.

Debris from the aircraft was scattered up to 200 meters from the crash site, according to the rescue services. The engine was found some 50 meters from the crash site, while one of the landing gears was ripped off and discovered nearly 200 meters from the main mass of debris.

*  *  *

The plane he was aboard…

*  *  *

Of course this could merely be a desparately sad accident… aside from the coincidence of this so recently…

Christophe de Margerie, the CEO of Total (the world’s 13th biggest oil producer and Europe’s 2nd largest), believes “There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars.” Clearly, based onhis comments, that we have passed peak Petrodollar.

As Reuters reports,

 Oil major Total’s chief executive said on Saturday the euro should have a bigger role in international trade although it was not possible to do without the U.S. dollar.

Christophe de Margerie was responding to questions about calls by French policymakers to find ways at EU level to bolster the use of the euro in international business following a record U.S. fine for BNP.

“There is no reason to pay for oil in dollars,” he said. He said the fact that oil prices are quoted in dollars per barrel did not mean that payments actually had to be made in that currency.

So even a major beneficiary of the status quo appears to see the end in sight for the Petrodollar.

*  *  *

Furthermore, despite Western-imposed sanctions on Russia that prohibit western financing and technology transfer to some Russian energy projects, Total is continuing to pursue a natural gas project in Yamal, a joint venture with Russia’s Novatek and China’s CNPC.

“Can we live without Russian gas in Europe? The answer is no. Are there any reasons to live without it? I think – and I’m not defending the interests of Total in Russia – it is a no,” the Total boss told Reuters back in summer.

*  *  *

And of course, it had to happen in Russia!


 

GR Editor’s note: According to an update from RT the plane did not take off:

During the taxiing before take-off, at around 0:10 am Moscow time on Tuesday, the light aircraft hit a snow-clearing machine, the head of Vnukovo’s press service, Elena Krylova, told the media.

“A Falcon airplane that was en route from Moscow to Paris collided with a snowplow while the jet was preparing to take off. The plane caught fire after the collision and all the people onboard – including a passenger and three crew members – died,” Krylova said.

The aircraft did not leave the ground after hitting the vehicle, she added, refuting earlier reports that the plane did eventually take off but then the pilot made a decision to turn back and land. The investigators have already found the aircraft’s black boxes while the airport staff were writing explanatory reports, she added.

Newsweek has an article out called “When It Comes to Beheadings, ISIS has Nothing on Saudi Arabia”.

The article accurately illustrates that Saudi Arabia is essentially an established version of ISIS; in fact it was established the same way, which is also how Britain established its colonies like the USA, how US/Israel was, and is being, established, how the Afghan Taliban was established in a joint venture with the USA that lasted until 2001, and so on.

Newsweek details how the Saudis behead more people than ISIS (not to mention Saudis are big supporters of ISIS, and, according to leaked 2009 US documents, are the world’s overall biggest supporters of Sunni terror groups such as the formerly US-backed Taliban.)

The Saudi theocracy doesn’t just behead people or crucify people.  They slice your head off in public then crucify you.

Newsweek:

…if you were accused of banditry or drug smuggling, like seven Yemenis who were beheaded last year, your corpse will also be crucified.

There are different methods of crucifying the headless … while the headless corpse is mounted, your head is placed in a plastic bag… Your head is then raised above your body and appears to be floating and detached. Your corpse might be kept in that position for up to four days, as a grotesque warning to others of what might happen if they stray outside the law.

The article documents how this is done to people accused of being “sorcerers”, adulterers, people who plead not guilty to crimes (and, the article suggests, are likely innocent), and political dissidents (though Israel has the most political prisoners in the region, and it should also be noted that the USA puts people in cages for the rest of their lives for pretty crimes like shoplifting, while almost no one else does this.)

Noam Chomsky pointed out in a talk this month that Saudi Arabia is the single most radical Islamic state, and makes Iran look moderate by comparison (even though Iran also executes people; the top three countries for executing their own people are always Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the USA.  China’s numbers are likely higher, but unknown.)  And Saudi Arabia, exactly unlike Iran, has been pursuing, and has in fact obtained access to, nuclear weapons, via a deal with nuclear Pakistan, another Islamic fundamentalist US ally and distant runner up to Obama’s USA for greatest threat to world peace at the start of 2014.

Newsweek likewise points out that Iran has “a far more democratic political process than Saudi Arabia.”  Iran, like the USA, China, and others, has a kind of fake democracy wherein candidates must be supported by religious authorities; in China, it is state authorities, and in the US, financial authorities, or oligarchs.

Newsweek then documents how the USA demonizes and criticizes not Saudi Arabia, but rather the more moderate and “democratic” country, Iran.  When US politicians visit Saudi Arabia, as Kerry, Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others regularly do, they “do not publicly condemn the country”; human rights violations are “not mentioned”.

Indeed, though the USA cages more women than any other country in the world, Saudi Arabia is the only country where women are not allowed to operate cars.

Newsweek then points out that this behavior – criticizing a relatively moderate country but not a far more extremist ally – reveals a blatant double-standard by the US.

However, Newsweek then asks “why” the USA has this double-standard, and doesn’t explore the question beyond offering a couple of incidental hints throughout the article.

Perhaps the Newsweek author doesn’t know, thinks the answer is unknowable, or has some other motive for not exploring the topic further, but it should be pursued and the article presents a good opportunity.

Again, the question is, why does the otherwise wonderful USA have this confusing and seemingly nonsensical “double standard”, wherein it criticizes countries (like Iran) that are moderate compared to US ally Saudi Arabia (not to mention scores of others)?

US Relationship with Saudi Arabia

“…starting in the 1930s, the Americans would come to displace the British as the chief ally of the Saudis, especially after the American-aided discovery of vast reserves of oil in Saudi lands. [Murray] Rothbard spelled out the military and crony connections involved:

The Rockefeller interest and other Western Big Oil companies have had intimate ties with the absolute royalties of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia ever since the 1930s. During that decade and World War II, King Ibn Saud of Saudi Arabia granted a monopoly concession on all oil under his domain to the Rockefeller-control-led Aramco, while the $30 million in royalty payments for the concession was paid by the U.S. taxpayer.

The Rockefeller-influenced U.S. Export-Import Bank obligingly paid another $25 million to Ibn Saud to construct a pleasure railroad from his main palace, and President Roosevelt made a secret appropriation out of war funds of $165 million to Aramco for pipeline construction across Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, the U.S. Army was obligingly assigned to build an airfield and military base at Dhahran, near the Aramco Oilfields, after which the multi-million dollar base was turned over, gratis, to Ibn Saud.”

(Dan Sanchez)

In the 1940s, US planners confirmed that the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia, contained the greatest material prizes in world history, and set about ensuring that the US could control these resources (just as the US had previously worked to control the formerly most important resource, cotton, in order to bring Britain “to its knees”.  Britain then was holding profitable colonies and enticing lands that ambitious US slave-owning empire-builders were drooling over.)

In the 1950s, Dwight Eisenhower asked his staff, privately, the question asked again decades later, publicly, by Bush Jr.: Why do people in the Middle East seem to hate us?  His staff investigated and determined that it was because the USA prevented democracy and supported repressive regimes in the Middle East so the US could control the region’s energy resources, and that the US should continue doing that.

The cozy gift-based US relationship with Saudi Arabia continues up to today, under Obama, who brown-noses the Saudis by, for example, sending them the biggest shipment of lethal weapons in US history, which Obama did in 2013.  The shipment included internationally banned cluster bombs, one of the personal favorite toys of Obama, as well as the Boston Bombers.

Professor Chalmers Johnson concludes from his extensive research that if Saudi Arabia were to become too upset with the USA, stopped dealing its oil in dollars and switched to some other currency (as did Saddam prior to the US invasion, after which the US switched Iraq back to dollars), then the entire US empire would collapse.

So, quite clearly, the USA refrains from criticizing Saudi Arabia because it is a cornerstone of the extremely profitable (for people like the Rockefellers and Bushes) US empire, but that is only one reason.

Tradition of Excellence

Another reason, one that people go to astounding lengths to avoid saying or even thinking, but which is plain to those looking from outside, is that the USA™ is a vicious, extreme country.  Since its inception, it has killed, enslaved, conquered, raped and tortured uncountable millions of people, continuing up to this second and projected far into the future.  Countries don’t have to do that.  China, for example, sailed to Africa before any western country.  The difference was China didn’t then enslave the people it found living there.  China still has zero foreign military bases.  Switzerland, during the same period in which the USA has been taking innumerable lives, expanding its living-space, and putting the entire world under garrison with 1,000 or so terrorist training camps, has never entered one war.  Instead, the Swiss developed an actual, highly effective defense policy (which partly hinges on not going around killing, torturing, and repressing people), and invented the Red Cross.

Beheading people is obviously not good, and it’s bad that the USA participates in it by backing Saudi Arabia to the literal hilt, but, as Chomsky pointed out this month, smashing the bodies of children into unrecognizable pieces like a sadistic giant, as the USA and its friends do constantly, makes beheading look “kind of polite”.  And the act, mostly carried out by Bill Clinton, of knowingly killing (way) over 500,000 kids (and many innocent others) simply has no contemporary equivalent, and constitutes more murders than all people to have ever been slain by WMD in human history.

Of the US invasion of Vietnam to uphold Western colonial domination, “David Hackworth, a retired colonel and the most decorated officer in the Army, commented in 2003:”

”There were hundreds of My Lais. You got your card punched by the numbers of bodies you counted.”

As a reminder, at My Lai, a bunch of US terrorists strolled into town and machine-gunned hundreds of women and kids.  US soldiers also collected Vietnamese ears, noses, virginity, and so on, as trophies during the invasion.

Here’s Jimmy Carter, considered to be the absolute extreme end of US “human rights advocacy”, speaking about the US invasion of Vietnam:

The destruction was mutual.

I don’t feel that we ought to apologize or castigate ourselves or to assume the status of culpability.

I guess that’s why, rather than paying reparations to Vietnam, the USA is, to this day, making Vietnam pay reparations to the USA.  That, or it’s just bully’s justice.

As for the destruction being “mutual”, I’m not really sure why Carter thinks Vietnam invaded the USA, raped and machine-gunned countless women and children, carried out massive chemical warfare and land-mining that’s mutating and killing swathes of US citizens right now, took people’s ears and noses as trophies, and so on, but, uh… okay…

Anyway, the Western tradition of barbarism is old.  Europe is so outstandingly brutal that it has taken over essentially the entire world at one time or another, and has dug in like ticks (ticks with ICBMs) in the places where it was able to exterminate most of the previous inhabitants: the USA, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.  Those great nations, along with the homeland of Britain, have formed an illegal, global privacy-invasion, big-brother racket that creepily refers to itself as the “five eyes”, and is part of the ongoing domination expansion campaign of these groups.

For one specific example of traditional Western terrorism, British conquerors in India would slaughter people en masse and sew the skins of their Hindu and Muslim victims into the corpses of cows and pigs, as a form of religious humiliation, then fire them out of cannons!  This is how the Brits went about trying to convert people to Christianity.  It was a “convert or die and then get sewn into a sacred or forbidden animal and fired out of a cannon” kind of thing. ISIS makes people convert or die, but the Brits took it to another level of perversion.  Maybe it was the famous dry British sense of humor.

The Brits also beheaded people, but seemed to look happier about it (though maybe ISIS guys are smiling under their masks):


Image: A British Royal Marine in April 1952 grins proudly as he displays the severed heads of a young man and woman who may have or may not have exercised their legal right to resist foreign occupation.

The classy Brits would also, a la Game of Thrones, line the roads with rotting corpses of people they had slaughtered, as a terror-warning to anyone thinking about resisting the Empire.  This is how the Brits were, as was often claimed in the West, establishing their global empire in a “fit of absent-mindedness.”  Just absent-mindedly displaying slaughtered corpses and sewing people into animals like in Silence of the Lambs.  Hm?  What’s that?  Sorry, I nodded off while I was doing my sewing.  So absent-minded.

As the world’s overall most extreme and dangerous terrorist group, there is no reason the driving forces of the USA would want to criticize Saudi Arabia as long as it is acceptably cooperative.  Sure, some individuals within the USA (though not role models like Obama, Hillary) see reason to strongly criticize the Saudi practices; so do individuals in Saudi Arabia.  But the dominant barbarism of the USA prevails, and thus Saudi Arabia not only gets more US weapons in one 2013 shipment from Obama than any other country ever, but remains backed by Obama when it invades places like Bahrain to back up dictators who are carrying out repression by “systematically torturing children”, as documented by Amnesty.  The USA not only participates in what Saudi Arabia does to its own people, but goes far beyond that and slaughters millions of people thousands of miles from US shores.

So, to pick up where Newsweek left off with a question, it would certainly seem that the reasons for the USA’s apparent “double-standard” (which is really just a crude, very basic propaganda tactic) are that the US doesn’t care what allies do as long as they don’t present an obstacle to US government/corporate domination, and that US controllers are themselves the world’s leading extremists: If you don’t pay enough tribute or cooperate sufficiently, we’ll kill you slowly by cutting you off from the world, kill you quickly by detonating a million explosives in your cities, drench you with toxic chemicals, and send hundreds of thousands of impoverished US kids to kill you.

If Iran suddenly decided to give control of its resources and space back over to the USA, virtually all criticisms of Iran’s human rights issues emanating from the US would end, as in the case of Saudi Arabia, where they never began.  And if Saudi Arabia switched its oil-dealings to a non-US currency, the USA would, if it didn’t launch an outright terrorist invasion or proxy war, quickly start criticizing human rights issues in Saudi Arabia, just as the Bush regime used criticism of Israeli human rights abuses to make Israel cancel a weapons deal with China.

There are endless illustrations of this dynamic going back forever, but let’s look at one more crucial contemporary example:

Turkey

In August of last year, someone carried out a chemical weapons attack in Syria, intentionally killing room-fulls of kids, as well as innocent adults.

Obama intentionally lied and said Assad, president of Syria, did it because only he could have done it, and, based on that lie, stated that he was going to punish Assad, because such an attack warranted a punishment.  (That part is obviously true – such an attack certainly warrants punishment; legal punishment decided by an international tribunal, not ridiculous war criminal Barack Obama.)

Here, thanks to leaked information given to Seymour Hersh and reported in the London Review of Books, is what Obama determined was the correct punishment for the chemical attack:

Obama ordered the Pentagon to draw up targets for bombing. Early in the process, the former intelligence official said, ‘the White House rejected 35 target sets provided by the joint chiefs of staff as being insufficiently “painful”…

The original targets included only military sites and nothing by way of civilian infrastructure. Under White House pressure, the US attack plan evolved into ‘a monster strike’: two wings of B-52 bombers … navy submarines and ships equipped with Tomahawk missiles … ‘Every day the target list was getting longer,’ …

…two B-52 air wings with two-thousand pound bombs were assigned to the mission. Then we’ll need standby search-and-rescue teams to recover downed pilots and drones for target selection. It became huge.’ The new target list was meant to ‘completely eradicate any military capabilities…’,

The core targets included electric power grids, oil and gas depots, all known logistic and weapons depots, all known command and control facilities, and all known military and intelligence buildings.

‘…a massive assault…’

That’s what Obama says is the necessary punishment for carrying out this chemical weapons attack against civilians.  Remember that.

Obama’s launch day came, but, seemingly inexplicably, Obama didn’t go through with his planned “massive assault”.  What happened?

It turned out the chemical attack was almost 100% certainly not carried out by Assad, and was almost 100% certainly carried out by major US ally and NATO member, Turkey:

‘We now know it was a covert action planned by [Turkish president] Erdoğan’s people to push Obama over the red line,’ the former intelligence official said. ‘They had to escalate to a gas attack in or near Damascus when the UN inspectors’ – who arrived in Damascus on 18 August to investigate the earlier use of gas – ‘were there. The deal was to do something spectacular. Our senior military officers have been told by the DIA and other intelligence assets that the sarin was supplied through Turkey – that it could only have gotten there with Turkish support. The Turks also provided the training in producing the sarin and handling it.’ Much of the support for that assessment came from the Turks themselves, via intercepted conversations in the immediate aftermath of the attack. ‘Principal evidence came from the Turkish post-attack joy and back-slapping in numerous intercepts. Operations are always so super-secret in the planning but that all flies out the window when it comes to crowing afterwards. There is no greater vulnerability than in the perpetrators claiming credit for success.’ Erdoğan’s problems in Syria would soon be over: ‘Off goes the gas and Obama will say red line and America is going to attack Syria…

Obama’s staff began warning him not to attack Syria, though apparently without giving him this specific information (they self-censored since they were afraid to contradict Obama’s lies).

But after a while, the excuse no longer flies.  Certainly, once Hersh’s article was released and the whole world found out that it was Turkey who carried out the chemical terror attack, the NSA-expanding president could not credibly claim to be in the dark while the world is in the light.

The point is, look at what Obama did when he was saying that Assad was the one who carried out the attack: he went on TV and said we need to punish him with massive illegal violence.

But when it got out that Turkey was the one who carried out the attack, did Obama go on TV and say we need to teach the Turks a lesson by detonating tons of explosives in their cities?

No.  And now Obama is bombing Syria, anyway, just using a better propaganda pretext.

But why is he also not detonating explosives in Turkey?  The crime didn’t change.  Only the perpetrator changed.  How does that make a difference?

What kind of POS “global policeman” and “protector of the innocent” stops wanting to punish a gas attack intentionally targeting kids when he finds out his friends did it?

The evil, corrupt kind, that doesn’t care about terrorism, genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes at all, and in fact commits them constantly, because what he really cares about is maintaining and expanding a global profit racket, or empire.  It couldn’t be much more clear.

Which takes us back to the beginning: as the record illustrates, the US corporate state is not bombing ISIS for any reason (including killing US citizens, which the US doesn’t care about outside of the implications for expansionism) except to try to nurture its profits racket.  The USA is not a human rights organization - in fact it spies on human rights organizations, like Amnesty.  The US does not bomb people for humanitarian purposes, and its bombings are illegal and virtually always make things much worse, regardless.  If we buy that the US corporate state bombs for humanity (just like how Chevron dumps toxic waste into the Amazon for humanity), we are being duped into embodying the precise desired response to the propaganda of the world’s biggest and most extreme terrorist network, which tells us: “Think that we are doing this to help you (even though we can’t stand you), and pay no attention to our personal enrichment and your impoverishment, mutilation, and death.  Those are also for your good.  We just don’t subject ourselves or our families to those parts because… uh… uh… Look over there!”

Don’t like referring to the blood-soaked venom excreted by Obama and the USA as “propaganda”?  Check out this video game created and released by the US army, which it uses as a propaganda tool to try to radicalize US children into becoming militants who will die and kill people to secure profits for US companies:

America’s Army  

Virtually everyone you kill in the game is unshaven, and there is almost no blood, unlike every other one of these games.  This one is sanitized.  When you shoot someone, the person just falls down, lies still, and is no longer a “target”.

The US Army advertises this in gaming magazines so it can, like cigarette companies, target and hook children when they are young and impressionable.

In corporate news style (i.e. Fox’s “bomb them bomb them keep bombing them!” refrain) I’ll offer some ideas for what we can do, without using Fox’s suggested mass, illegal violence. 1) To stop crimes, stop being the world’s biggest perpetrator of crimes.  2) To achieve a more just and peaceful world than what he have now, let’s focus our efforts on balancing (otherwise known as “democratizing”)  the distribution of world power –  exactly what the USA and its integrated mega-corporations like Fox don’t want, and forcefully block and prevent, so you know it’s the right track.  Here’s why this would help.

(Note on Newsweek: In the late 80s, Newsweek referred to then senator John Kerry as a “randy conspiracy buff” for investigating what was a completely true allegation: that the USA was protecting cocaine dealers in the US so it could illegally finance an illegal US terrorist operation against Nicaragua, with staging grounds in Honduras.)

Robert Barsocchini is a researcher focusing on global force dynamics.  He also writes professionally for the film industry.  Here is his blog.  Also see his free e-book, Whatever it Takes – Hillary Clinton’s Record of Support for War and other Depravities.  Click here to follow Robert and his UK-based colleague, Dean Robinson, on Twitter.

Ebola Epidemic Linked to CIA: Former NSA Contractor

October 21st, 2014 by Kurt Nimmo

Investigative journalist and former NSA contractor Wayne Madsen told Press TV on Monday the latest Ebola outbreak in Africa may be a resurfacing of an earlier infection linked to the CIA.

“We see a year [1976] when the US was violating a Senate law that forbid the US from engaging in the Angolan Civil War and we saw Zaire being used as a bait for the CIA and then we saw the outbreak of Ebola in Zaire. The same year that George H. W. Bush was the director of the CIA,” Madsen said.

“In 1980 we saw the outbreak of HIV in Zaire and Angola where the CIA was operating,” he said.

“I think what we need to see is an investigation of how intense the CIA biological warfare program was in Zaire and Angola between 1976 and 1980, and what has hit in Sierra Leon and other countries is the Zaire strain of Ebola.”

Madsen said the militarization of the U.S. Ebola effort in West Africa is suspicious. “It’s very peculiar that the US is sending the military in when obviously health workers, doctors, and other health care professionals are needed,” he said.

CIA and U.S. military involvement in the use of biological pathogens as weapons is well documented. In the 1970s, evidence was revealed by the Church Committee.

“Although such military research was highly classified, by 1975 concern over revelations of myriad intelligence abuses led to a comprehensive investigation by the U.S. Senate’s Church Committee, which published a CIA memorandum listing the deadly chemical agents and toxins then stockpiled at Fort Detrick. These included anthrax, encephalitis, tuberculosis, lethal snake venom, shellfish toxin, and half a dozen lethal food poisons, some of which, the committee learned, had been shipped in the early 1960s to Congo and to Cuba in unsuccessful CIA attempts to assassinate Patrice Lumumba and Fidel Castro,” Ellen Ray and Willam H. Schaap write in Bioterror: Manufacturing Wars the American Way.

Citing the Tuskegee syphilis experiments and the 1978 hepatitis-B experiments as a precedent, researchers also believe the CIA is behind the AIDS epidemic originating in West-central Africa. Many prominent Africans, including  former South African President Thabo Mbeki and Wangari Mathai, a Nobel Peace Prize winner, believe the CIA is responsible.

In the 1980s, John Stockwell, a former CIA paramilitary intelligence case officer stationed in Angola, said there is circumstantial evidence the CIA was involved in spreading the deadly virus.

Stockwell suggested the origin of AIDS may be linked to a mass smallpox inoculation conducted by WHO and that the disease was used by the agency intentionally to target gay men and intravenous drug users.

Israel’s Most Important Source of Capital: California

October 21st, 2014 by Darwin Bond Graham

Originally published on August 20, 2014:

Last Saturday between one and two thousand protesters marched on the Port of Oakland to blockade one of its busy marine terminals and prevent an Israeli ship from docking. After confronting a line of police guarding the waterfront the protesters declared victory; the Zim Lines vessel hovered offshore, afraid to dock, they said, and port workers wouldn’t be unloading its cargo.

One protester, looking beyond the line of police guarding the port, explained that the purpose of the action was to “impede the flow of capital.” Stopping one of Zim’s ships—the company’s vessels arrive in Oakland about four times a month, according to Zim’s web site—was a small, but real economic blow against Israel.

But if it’s a matter of stopping the flow of capital, the ports are a relatively small conduit of trade between California and Israel. For over 20 years California’s technology industry has been channeling billions of dollars to finance the growth of Israeli tech firms. In that time, tech has become a key sector for Israel’s economy. The flow of capital between California and Israel is digital, transmitted as currency and intellectual property. And this flow of capital occurs mostly through the decisions of a small number private equity firms and perhaps as few as a dozen large corporations. These flows of capital supporting Israel’s economy are less susceptible to social movement pressure.

The amount of support of for Israel’s economy originating from Silicon Valley’s private equity firms is especially large. In 2001, during the first year of the Second Intifada, Sequoia Capital Partners, a private equity company headquartered in Menlo Park, raised $150 million to invest in Israeli technology companies. This was Sequoia’s second Israel-focused venture capital fund. Last year Sequoia raised its fifth Israel-dedicated fund, totaling $215 million. Since 1999 Sequoia Capital has injected over $789 million into Israel’s software and electronics industries. Much of this money managed by Sequoia Capital was contributed by California investors, including major tax-exempt institutions like the J. Paul Getty Trust, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

Accel Venture Partners, another one of the giants of Silicon Valley private equity, set up its first Israel-focused investment vehicle in 2001. Joseph Shoendorf of Accel told the Haaretz newspaper in 2007 that Accel has invested over $200 million in 20 Israeli companies. He added that many of Accel’s investments in Israel are not the run-of-the-mill consumer apps and gadgets that are so popular in the Bay Area’s tech scene. Although Israeli engineers produce plenty of that, Shoendorf said, “the world’s security situation is expected to get worse, and as a result, inventiveness will increase. The armies of the world are seeking solutions to a problem, and will encourage technological answers.”  Last March, Accel successfully raised $475 million for a fund that will burn a lot of its powder supporting Israeli tech companies.

You’re starting to get the picture. Billions flow from California’s Bay Area into Israel to support chip manufacturers, Internet startups, and telecommunications companies.

A lot of California’s venture capital has been exported to Israel to fund military and cybersecurity startups. Israeli society, constantly mobilized for a counter-insurgency war and occupation, creates an environment in which the nation’s hi-tech firms see their main role as contributing to the security of the Jewish state.

But the U.S. tech industry is also steeped in surveillance and weapons companies, and even the big consumer and enterprise brands like Google, Microsoft, and Cisco produce militarized software and hardware for use in the “homeland” and abroad. The contributions of Hewlett Packard in creating Israel’s biometric tracking system to control the movements of Palestinians is well known. Hewlett Packard also maintains the Israel Defense Ministry’s server farms, a job IBM previously held.  What makes the California-Israel economic connection powerful, however, isn’t so much the nature of the technologies being traded, and the capabilities they provide the Israeli state and military, but more so the sheer economic value of these transactions.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Israel received $1.846 billion in direct investment from U.S. investors in 2012, the most recent year for which statistics are available. This is about two thirds of the total military aid the U.S. government provided Israel the same year.

U.S. investors have built up large positions in Israel’s economy, mostly through ownership of stock in Israeli corporations. In 2012 U.S. investors held a $19.7 billion stake in Israel’s economy, more than double the interest owned by all European countries combined. And corporations registered in the Cayman Islands, a tax shelter where thousands of American investors establish offshore funds, owned another $8.6 billion of Israel’s economy. For example, the Sequoia Capital Partners venture firm of Menlo Park raised $215 million last August to invest entirely in Israel. The legal place of incorporation for this fund? The Cayman Islands.

California investors own and manage stakes in Israeli companies like Mellanox Technologies, Ltd.. In 2002 Silicon Valley venture capital firms and several U.S. tech companies provided Mellanox with $64 million in funding. The American investors included three Menlo Park private equity firms, Sequoia Venture Partners, U.S. Venture Partners, and Bessemer Venture Partners, as well as technology giants IBM and Intel. Using this capital, Mellanox, headquartered in Yokneam, Israel, grew from a small company into a transnational technology giant valued today at $1.8 billion. It’s a key supplier of hardware to Hewlett Packard, IBM, and Intel. It’s main office in Yokneam looks like any other tech campus you can see in San Mateo County off the 101 Highway with gleaming glass mid-rise buildings tucked among trees and grass.

Yokneam is in the heart of Israel’s Silicon Wadi (“wadi” being a dry stream bed in Arabic, meaning “valley” in colloquial Hebrew). Prior to 1948 Yokneam was called Qira, the site of a Palestinian village and farms, but the area was “depopulated” and occupied by Israeli forces, and later settled and transformed into one of Israel’s most affluent cities.

Lots of Silicon Valley venture capital firms have set up offices in Israel. The location of choice for California investors seems to be Herzliya Pituach, a posh ocean side district of the city of Herliya. North of Tel Aviv, Herzliya is named after Theodor Herzl, considered by many to be the intellectual father of Zionism. The Herzliya Pituach is one of the wealthiest spots in all of Israel, home to many of the nation’s elite families. Bessemer Venture Partners’ Israel office is located just a few blocks from the Marinali Marina yacht harbor, and a short drive from million dollar beachfront homes. Sequoia Venture Partners maintain an office on Ramat Yam in one of the high rise towers with views of the azure Mediterranean Sea.

The business links between Silicon Valley and Israel aren’t apolitical. Many of California’s venture capital investors and technology executives are staunch supporters of pro-Israel causes. They have established numerous nonprofit organizations to strengthen economic and political ties between California and Israel.

The California-Israel Chamber of Commerce, located in Sunnyvale in an office park filled with software firms, is funded by Silicon Valley investors, corporations and law firms including Intel, Paypal, Silicon Valley Bank, and Morrison Foerster. Executives from these companies sit on the Chamber’s board of directors. Their ties to pro-Israel political groups are numerous.

Zvi Alon, a director of the California-Israel Chamber, runs a family foundation out of his Los Altos Hills home. Alongside a donation of $9,900 in 2011 to the California-Israel Chamber, Alon also made donations worth $36,000 to the Friends of Israeli Defense Forces. Alon is also credited as being a founder of Israel21C, an “online news magazine offering the single most diverse and reliable source of news and information about 21st century Israel to be found anywhere.”

Operating out of offices on Montgomery Street in downtown San Francisco, across the Street from Israel’s consulate, Israel21C produces media promoting Israel’s technology companies. Recent articles published by the group include “20 top tech inventions born of conflict,” and a profile of the “maverick thinker” behind the creation of Israel’s Iron Dome missile defense system. A recent film produced by the organization promotes Tel Aviv as a startup epicenter similar to San Francisco.

The General Consul of Israel in San Francisco, Andy David, is a board member of the California-Israel Chamber, as is the president of Silicon Valley Bank.

Nir Merry, another board member of the California-Israel Chamber, was born and partly raised in Israel in the Ma’agan Michael kibbutz. His father worked in a hidden underground ammunition factory making armaments used by Jewish commandoes in the battles that created the state of Israel. In a talk to students at the University of California, Santa Barabara, Merry elaborated on the links between Israel’s technology companies and its military.

“I volunteered to become a commando. It’s quite related to the topic of innovation,” said Merry. “Because to be a commando we have to be very innovative.”

Silicon Valley’s financial and technological assistance to Israel is by no means only a private sector effort. In March of 2014 Governor Jerry Brown signed a memorandum of understanding with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising to promote economic links between California and Israel. The setting for the signing ceremony, Mountain View’s Computer History Museum, underscored the centrality of the tech industry in the agreement.

On the same trip Netanyahu visited Apple’s Cupertino headquarters where he was ushered into the executive board room for a chat with the company’s leaders. He also toured Stanford University.

Netanyahu’s California appearance was designed to beat back the Palestinian solidarity movement’s boycott, divest and sanction campaigners who, in recent years, have increased pressure on California’s universities and other public institutions to divest from companies that do business with Israel. During the signing ceremony for the MOU that would give Israeli companies access to California’s technology infrastructure, Netanyahu thanked Governor Brown for California’s divestment from Iran. In 2012, California virtually barred insurance companies from owning Iranian assets. Earlier the state passed legislation requiring its pension funds to divest from Iranian companies. As a result of these laws, the state’s teachers retirement fund CalSTRS even consults with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee regarding its investments.

Netanyahu also thanked Brown for the economic benefits that California’s giant public employee pension funds, CalPERS and CalSTRS, provide to Israel. Both are major investors in Israel’s economy.

The California-Israel MOU originated from California assembly member Bob Blumenfield’s office. Blumenfield, the sponsor and author of several Iran sanctions bills, is now a city council member in Los Angeles. Blumenfield is a staunch ally of Israel, and has used his political offices, from Sacramento to the state’s largest city, to strike back against the boycott, divest, sanction movement aimed against the Israeli military occupation of Palestine. Most recently Blumenfield organized LA’s top elected officials, including mayor Eric Garcetti, to make a public statement in support of Israel.

“We stand with Israel against a Hamas regime that terrorizes Israelis from the skies and now, from beneath the ground,” Blumenfield told the public.

Mayor Garcetti called Israel “our strongest ally in a tumultuous region.”

Palestinian solidarity activists inside Israel’s biggest economic and military partner, the United States, and inside one of its biggest investors, California, have struggled for years to build a boycott, divest and sanction movement. They’ve asked pension funds and universities to divest from companies that do business with the state of Israel, and they’ve asked academics and musicians to boycott Israel by canceling concerts and shunning conferences. They’ve had some success, but as California’s continuing links to Israel show, their task is a difficult one.

Their struggle will continue long after Zim’s ship pulls anchor and leaves Oakland’s harbor. Supporters of Israel will be working to strengthen California’s ties to their cause and prevent any economic protest movement from gaining traction. This coming October the California-Israel Chamber of Commerce will be hosting an international business summit at the Microsoft Campus in Mountain View where innovation and investment will be among the topics of discussion. And between now and then another six to eight Israeli vessels will probably also moor along Oakland’s waterfront trading millions in goods.

Darwin Bond-Graham is a sociologist and investigative journalist. He is a contributing editor to Counterpunch. His writing appears in the East Bay Express, Village Voice, LA Weekly and other newspapers. He blogs about the political economy of California at http://darwinbondgraham.wordpress.com/

While researchers scramble to develop a vaccine or monoclonal antibody against the Ebola virus – and continue to develop chemo treatments to stem HIV and Hepatitis-C while fearing SARS – nature has already provided a natural treatment.

Research has shown that a healthy strong immune system can allow a person to not only avoid contracting the disease – but become resistant to it as well.

For those of us who need help or extract assurance, red algae proves to provide a key antiviral.

Hunting Natural Immunity For Ebola

After the two 1996 Ebola outbreaks in Gabon Africa, medical scientists determined that Ebola causes death among about 70 percent of those who contracted the virus.

This question led researchers from Gabon’s Franceville International Center of Medical Research to investigate. The questions ensued: Why don’t the other 30 percent die? How do 30 percent of those infected recover?

Furthermore, medical researchers found many instances where there were close contacts of those who became infected who never were infected at all. Even though they were in contact with the infected patient while the patient was symptomatic.

Note: An infected patient with Ebola must be symptomatic in order to be contagious – with fever and other flu-like symptoms. A person must also have direct mucosal or blood contact in order to become infected with the virus. This means a transfer of saliva, urine, semen or blood from one person to another.

Thus, when the researchers investigated “close contact” individuals, they focused upon those who had this sort of exposure.

Ebola Antibodies

The research found that nearly half of those who were asymptomatic and seemingly immune developed antibodies (IgM and IgG) to the Ebola virus.

This means these individuals certainly were intimately exposed to the virus, but simply naturally developed the immunity tools – including those discussed below – that prevented the infection from replicating out of control.

Furthermore, the asymptomatic group exhibited greater anti-inflammatory responses in general. They were found to have higher levels of circulating cytokines and chemokines – which speed up the body’s natural ability to break down the viral cells and stop their activity within the body.

They concluded:

“Asymptomatic individuals had a strong inflammatory response by high circulating concentrations of cytokines and chemokines.”

Mannose-Binding Lectins Attack Ebola Virus

The particular mechanism with which the body naturally breaks down and prevents infection from lethal infections including Ebola, HIV, HCV and SARS has gradually emerged.

The mechanism is called mannose-binding lectins. Mannose-binding lectins are apparently produced in the human body via a DNA sequence, called the MBL2.

When this part of our genes is in order, the body will produce and release these mannose-binding lectins into the bloodstream. Mannose-binding lectins will then recognize and glom onto certain carbohydrate molecules that cover and make up various microorganisms.

These include fungi, bacteria and even parasites, which utilize glycoprotein shells to protect themselves. But they also include viruses. Once the lectins attach to these shells, they will break apart the surface of the microbe and basically break them down, allowing the body’s other immune cells to kill off the microbe and prevent it from replicating.

In fact, a healthy body that produces good levels of these mannose-binding lectins will be able to easily fight off colds and flus, as well as other microbial infections. Several animal studies have shown mannose-binding lectins heartily beat down coronaviruses and infectious bronchitis.

Research over the past five years has found that low levels of mannose-binding lectins increases the risk of respiratory infections, including syncytial virus infections, pneumonia and others.

For example, in a study of 121 children, RSV-infections were associated with low levels of mannose-binding lectins. Nearly 70 percent of RSV-infected children had low levels of mannose-binding lectins. But other infections – especially those related to bacterial infections – are not necessarily connected with mannose-binding lectin levels.

When it comes to virulent infections such as Ebola, Hepatitis C and HIV, however, these are different. These viruses come with glycoprotein shells that protect the virus from being broken down.

Furthermore, the glycoprotein shell of the Ebola virus produces glycoproteins that damage cells, allowing the virus to penetrate and replicate within the cell.

Mannose-binding lectins actually break down this shell and the glycoprotein matrix through a mechanism called the lectin pathway.

Humans that don’t produce enough of these mannose-binding lectins are not only more susceptible because they don’t have enough lectins, but they are typically also immunosuppressed with regard to the rest of their immune system.

One of the reason some humans don’t produce enough mannose-binding lectins is because of a slight genetic mutation, where the MBL2 gene is switched off. The reason for this mutation/switch-off has yet to be fully understood. (Guess – something to do with our toxic environment and/or nutritional deficiency.)

Mannose-Binding Lectins From Red Algae

This brings us to the fun part. Yes, humans aren’t the only critters that produce mannose-binding lectins. Red algae also produce these profusely, which allow the algae to protect themselves from invasion by viruses.

The most promising form of mannose-binding lectins is a component of the Scytonema varium red algae called Scytovirin. The protein extract was isolated by researchers from the National Cancer Institute at Frederick, Maryland in 2003. The protein contains 95 amino acids, and was found to bind to HIV-1 viral shells.

A similar antiviral protein was found in Nostoc ellipsosporum – called Cyanovirin-N. Both of these antiviral proteins did similar things – they broke down the glycoprotein shells of HIV and HCV.

Yet another anti-viral extract was found from the New Zealand red alga species, Griffithsia sp. This protein is called Griffithsin, abbreviated with GRFT.

Over the next few years, Griffithsin was tested against HIV-1 with great success in laboratory studies, which included studies with mice. The epidemic-potential virus SARS was also tested against Griffithsin, also with great success.

Multiple studies illustrated these effects. Research from the Center for Cancer Research in Frederick, Maryland found that Griffithsin not only stopped HIV-1 virus replication, but stopped cellular intrusion of the virus.

In 2010 Harvard researchers tested a recombinant version of Griffithsin – called rhMBL – against Ebola. Once again, they found the mannose-binding lectins were able to not only breakdown the viral shells of the Ebola, but when given to mice infected with Ebola, the mice became immune to the virus.

Yes, when the mice given the recombinant mannose-binding lectins were rechallenged with the Ebola virus, they were found to be immune to the Ebola virus.

Since that study other research has tested other animals with Griffithsin, with similar results.

Recombinant Griffithsin Produced in Nicotiana Benthamiana Plants

As modern medical researchers continually strive for isolated and synthesized versions of nature able to be patented, recombinant versions of Griffithsin were eventually produced using Nicotiana benthamiana plants (a relative of the tobacco plant). These plants were genetically modified so they would produce the same mannose-binding lectins.

This form of Griffithsin was tested on mice and guinea pigs infected with HIV-1, with successful antiviral results.

This was also found when testing the recombinant Griffithsin on Ebola-infected mice.

In all the studies, the Griffithsin was found to be safe and tolerated.

As to whether red algae can be taken in natural form to increase immunity, there is no doubt this is the case. Prior to this antiviral research that has spiraled into biopharm research, red algae had been shown to have antiviral and anticancer effects.

So the most logical answer is “yes” – certainly consuming red algae in supplement form has been found to boost antiviral immunity, and from the available research, blood levels of mannose-binding lectins. This should in turn boost immunity and create a natural method of preventing and even treating viral infections such as Ebola, SARS, HIV and Hepatitis-C.

Of course, this strategy should be used with other natural immunity-boosting strategies.

Other plants also produce these mannose-binding lectins, some of which have been used in traditional medicines. A study from Belgium’s University of Leuven studied 33 different plant lectins, and found 10 different mannose-binding lectins among the plants that inhibited coronovirus, and intervened upon the replication cycle of SARS-CoV.

Consult with your health professional if you are sick.

Case Adams is a California Naturopath and holds a Ph.D. in Natural Health Sciences. His focus is upon science-based natural health solutions. He is the author of 25 books on natural health and numerous print and internet articles. His articles and books can be found on plantmedicines.org and Healing Naturally - and many of his books are available for immediate download on GreenMedinfo’s book library. Contact Case at [email protected].

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Turkish Government Seeks New Police State Powers

October 21st, 2014 by Jean Shaoul

The government of President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is intent on giving sweeping new powers to Turkish security forces to clamp down on the pro-Kurdish protests sparked by its blockade of the Syrian border city of Kobani during its month-long siege by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria… In so doing, Erdogan has strengthened the security and military establishment whose power he has sought to curtail during the 12 years in office of his Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) government.

In addition, he has jeopardised relations with Turkey’s Kurdish community, who form 20 percent of the population, 19 months after initiating talks aimed at resolving the decades-long conflict. This is threatening Turkey’s domestic stability just as economic growth is grinding to a halt and unemployment is rising.

In 2013, the imprisoned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) leader Abdullah Öcalan called for an end to the three decades-long civil war, abandoned his demand of Kurdish independence in favour of greater autonomy, and announced a ceasefire agreement with the government. But Öcalan has declared that the talks would be over without some progress in the negotiations by October 15 and if Kobani fell to ISIS.

According to Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, a proposed Homeland Security Reform Bill would “give the upper hand to the police” in the face of “widespread violence”, and “more space to resort to new tools and measures.” There will be harsher punishment for offenders damaging public property and demonstrators wearing masks to conceal their identities.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the new law treats the throwing of Molotov cocktails as a crime on a par with throwing bombs, since such weapons have been used to set ambulances and public buildings afire. He warned protesters against destroying water cannon trucks, a favourite tool of Turkish police in dispersing protests, saying, “We will buy five or 10 TOMAs [the Turkish acronym for water cannon trucks] for each TOMA destroyed.”

Opposition legislators denounced the new measures, saying they would turn Turkey into a police state. Pro-Kurdish MP Idris Baluken of the People’s Democratic Party (HDP) said, “This is like throwing gasoline on a fire… at a time when so many children are being killed by police on the streets.”

He added, “From now on, the police will resort to not only using shields but also guns, with an authority to kill.”

Ozcan Yeniceri, a legislator from the far-right Nationalist Action Party (MHP), postured as a defender of democratic rights, stating, “Police will do whatever they want, as if a martial law has been imposed. Turkey will become a police state.”

The new measures come in the wake of a week of nationwide “solidarity” protests by Turkey’s Kurdish population–called by the HDP and the PKK via social media–in which at least 35 people were killed and 360 wounded. According to government sources, 531 police cars and 631 civilian vehicles were set on fire and around 122,000 buildings, including 214 schools, museums, and libraries, were damaged during the protests. More than 1,000 people have been detained and curfews imposed in several cities.

While it was at first thought that protestors had died as a result of the security forces’ actions, it now appears that at least some of the deaths followed clashes between secular Kurds and the Sunni Islamist Kurdish group, Huda-Par, the successor organisation to Hezbollah (no relation to the Lebanese Hezbollah). Hezbollah was widely believed to have been trained and armed by the Turkish state, which unleashed them against the Kurds in south eastern Turkey, and to have been responsible for the unsolved murders of 500 Kurdish activists, writers, journalists and intellectuals in the 1990s.

Davutoglu said that Turkey will not allow its citizens to fight in Kobani whether they are pro-ISIS, supporters of the Syrian opposition, or pro-Kurdish groups. He attacked Selahattin Demirtas, leader of the HDP, for saying that “tens of thousands Kurdish youth” were ready to take on ISIS if the Turkish-Syrian border gates into Kobani were opened.

The fall of Kobani to ISIS would threaten the survival of the Syrian Kurdish autonomous region known as Rojava in the north and east of Syria, as it is located between two geographically isolated Kurdish areas along an east-west axis. The two remaining enclaves would find it difficult to resist ISIS, which would free up the Islamists to take the region north of Aleppo.

Ankara views the Syrian Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing the YPG, which control Rojava, as an offshoot of the PKK. Having fought a 30 year war with the PKK over its demands for Kurdish independence, it fears that the PYD/YPG’s control of a relatively autonomous Syrian Kurdish region sets an example for the much larger Kurdish population in south eastern Turkey.

The AKP government had refused to relieve the blockade unless the PYD dissolves its self-ruling local governments in northern Syria, joins the largely ineffectual Free Syrian Army which has opposed minority rights in Syria and is under Turkish control, distances itself from the PKK, and becomes part of Turkey’s “buffer zone project” along the Syrian border.

The Davutoglu government now classifies both the PKK/YPG and ISIS as “terrorists,” after a recent shift, but it is, in effect, using ISIS against the Kurds. Indeed, one reason for Turkey’s previous sponsorship of ISIS as part of the military campaign to overthrow President Bashar al-Assad was to counter Rojava and Kurdish aspirations in Syria.

US Boosts Support for Kurdish Militia in Syria

October 21st, 2014 by Peter Symonds

The Obama administration has stepped up its war inside Syria with air drops of military and medical supplies on Sunday to beleaguered Kurdish forces holding the town of Kobani against a sustained offensive by Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militia. At the same time, the US is putting intense pressure on the Turkish government to assist in preventing Kobani, near the Turkish border, being overrun by ISIS fighters.

Lahur Jangi Talabani, director of the intelligence agency of the Kurdish regional government in northern Iraq, told the Guardian that three US military transports delivered 24 tonnes of small arms and ammunition as well as 10 tonnes of medical supplies to Kobani. The Turkish press reported that the US aircraft did not cross Turkish airspace en route from Iraq.

Turkey, which has long borders with Syria, Iraq and Iran is the only NATO ally in the Middle East. It has adamantly opposed providing any support for the Kurds against ISIS, revealing deep tensions within the anti-ISIS coalition. Turkey’s air force even carried out strikes on positions in south east Turkey of the outlawed separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), who were crucial in pushing back ISIS in northern Iraq.

The PKK’s affiliate in Syria is the Kurdish Democratic Union Party (PYD), whose armed wing, the YPG, has borne the brunt of the fighting against ISIS in Kobani. The fear in Ankara is that the consolidation of the YPG’s hold in northern Syria will strengthen the PKK’s position inside Turkey, including through the provision of arms.

Speaking on Saturday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan flatly ruled out facilitating the transfer of American arms to Kobani. “There has been talk of arming the PYD to form a front against ISIS. For us, the PYD is the same as the PKK. It is a terrorist organisation. It would be very, very wrong to expect us to say ‘yes’ to our NATO ally America to give this kind of support. To expect something like this from us is impossible,” he said.

Erdogan also continued to insist that US demands for the use of Turkish air bases were contingent on US support for imposing no-fly and buffer zones in Syria and explicitly targeting the Syrian government of President Bashar al-Assad. Turkey, along with other regional allies such as Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, signed up to the new US war understanding that its main aim was the ouster of Assad. Turkish tensions with the US reflect tactical differences over the timing and means for regime change in Damascus.

Nevertheless, within hours of the airdrops, the Turkish government announced that it will allow Kurdish peshmerga fighters from Iraq to transit Turkey to reinforce Syrian Kurds in Kobani. The decision followed a phone conversation between US President Barack Obama and Erdogan in which Obama was said to have described the situation in Kobani as desperate and warned Erdogan of the planned arms drops.

US Secretary of State John Kerry stated on Monday that the Turkish president had been told that the action was “not a shift in policy by the United States,” but rather a “momentary effort.” He dismissed Turkish objections, saying that “while they [the YGP] are an offshoot group of the folks that our friends the Turks oppose, they are valiantly fighting ISIL [ISIS] and we cannot take our eye off the prize here.”

Kerry’s comments underscore the utter cynicism behind US support for the YGP and other Kurdish militias. The battle for Kobani presents an opportunity for the US not only to inflict significant losses on ISIS, but potentially to establish a base for US operations inside Syria against the Assad regime. While the PYD and the PKK are still on the US State Department’s list of terrorist organisations, Kerry is rebadging the Syrian Kurds as Washington’s latest “valiant” freedom fighters.

While welcoming the US air drops, the PYD in Kobani greeted the Turkish announcement of peshmerga fighters coming to their relief as “Turkish propaganda.” There are significant divisions between the Turkish and Syrian Kurdish groups, on the one hand, and the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq, which has forged close ties to Ankara.

The Al Jazeera news agency reported that there has been no official decision by Iraq’s Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) to send its fighters, who are already stretched very thin combating a renewed ISIS offensive. Yesterday, ISIS launched a wave of around 15 near simultaneous attacks on Kurdish peshmerga positions in northern Iraq, including the strategic Mosul Dam.

The US is clearly seeking to turn the various Kurdish militias, which have been the only ground forces able to stem ISIS advances, into a reliable proxy force to advance its strategic ambitions in Iraq and Syria. The US State Department held formal direct talks with the PYD just over a week ago.

At the same time, the various Kurdish organisations, which have always sought the support of imperialism to secure their aims, have been seeking to accommodate. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that about 20 Syrian Kurdish factions, including the groups fighting in Kobani, have been meeting in the Kurdish autonomous region in northern Iraq to thrash out a common agenda. As one PYD leader Sinam Mohamad told the newspaper, the aim is to fashion a front that will attract “more international support.”

The US is continuing its bombing campaign with 10 strikes in Iraq and 13 in Syria over the weekend. The air attacks in Iraq focussed on the western province of Anbar where ISIS and its Sunni militia allies control large swathes of territory and threaten to encroach on the capital Baghdad. The strikes in Syria were directed predominantly against ISIS positions around Kobani.

The sectarian character of the war in Iraq and Syria was underscored by the Iraqi parliament’s approval on Saturday, after a lengthy delay, of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s appointees to the key ministerial posts of defence and interior. Under pressure from Washington to include Sunni politicians into his predominantly Shiite government, Abadi nominated Sunni parliamentarian Khalid al-Obeidi as defence minister. However, his appointee as interior minister—Badr Organisation member Mohammed Salem al-Ghabban—is sure to fuel sectarian tensions. The Shiite Badr brigades were notorious for sectarian violence against Sunnis under the US occupation of Iraq.

Yesterday four car bombs exploded near two important Shiite shrines in the southern Iraqi city of Karbala, killing 22 people and wounding another 51. Another attack involving a suicide bomber killed at least 18 people and wounded 33 more at a Shiite mosque in Baghdad.

China is facing increasing pressure along two fronts. In its western province of Xinjiang, terrorists have been stepping up destabilization and separatist activities.

In China’s southeast Special Administrative Region of Hong Kong, protests have disrupted normality in the dense urban streets, with protest leaders seeking to directly confront Beijing while dividing and destabilizing both Hong Kong society and attempting to “infect” the mainland.

What is more troubling is the greater geopolitical agenda driving both of these seemingly “internal” conflicts – and that they both lead back to a single source beyond China’s borders. With the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) now implicated in receiving, training, and employing terrorists from China’s Xinjiang province, and considering the fact that ISIS is the result of an intentional, engineered proxy war the US and its allies are waging in the Middle East, along with the fact that the unrest in Hong Kong is also traced back to Washington and London, presents a narrative of an ongoing confrontation between East and West being fought on the battlefield of fourth generation warfare.

ISIS: Washington’s Global Expeditionary Force 

If one was asked to name a global-spanning military and intelligence operation opposed to Syria, Iran, Russia, and China, they might say the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the US Government – and they would be right. But they could also easily answer by saying the “Islamic State” or ISIS/ISIL as it is also known. This is especially true after revelations surfaced that US-backed Uyghur separatists in China’s western-most province of Xinjiang have joined ISIS for training with intentions of leading an armed rebellion against Beijing upon their return.

Reuters in their article, “China militants getting IS ‘training’,” would claim:

Chinese militants from the western region of Xinjiang have fled from the country to get “terrorist training” from Islamic State group fighters for attacks at home, state media reported on Monday.

The report was the first time state-run media had linked militants from Xinjiang, home to ethnic minority Uighur Muslims, to militants of the Islamic State group of radical Sunni Muslims.

China’s government has blamed a surge of violence over the past year on Islamist militants from Xinjiang who China says are fighting for an independent state called East Turkestan.

However, it isn’t just China’s government that claims militants in Xinjiang seek to carve out an independent state in western China – the militants themselves have stated as much, and the United States government fully backs their agenda to do so. Indeed, first and foremost in backing the Xinjiang Uyghur separatists is the United States through the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED). For China, the Western region referred to as “Xinjiang/East Turkistan” has its own webpage on NED’s site covering the various fronts funded by the US which include:

International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation $187,918To advance the human rights of ethnic Uyghur women and children. The Foundation will maintain an English- and Uyghur-language website and advocate on the human rights situation of Uyghur women and children.

International Uyghur PEN Club $45,000To promote freedom of expression for Uyghurs. The International Uyghur PEN Club will maintain a website providing information about banned writings and the work and status of persecuted poets, historians, journalists, and others. Uyghur PEN will also conduct international advocacy campaigns on behalf of imprisoned writers.

Uyghur American Association $280,000To raise awareness of Uyghur human rights issues. UAA’s Uyghur Human Rights Project will research, document, and bring to international attention, independent and accurate information about human rights violations affecting the Turkic populations of the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

World Uyghur Congress $185,000To enhance the ability of Uyghur prodemocracy groups and leaders to implement effective human rights and democracy campaigns. The World Uyghur Congress will organize a conference for pro-democracy Uyghur groups and leaders on interethnic issues and conduct advocacy work on Uyghur human rights.

ISIS Conveniently Targets Washington’s Adversaries Worldwide

The next step Washington appears to be taking in China is an attempts to enhance the menace of terrorists in Xinjiang. In addition to assisting US attempts to destabilize territory in China, ISIS has also threatened to launch a campaign against another US enemy – Russia – this in addition to already directly fighting Hezbollah in Lebanon, the governments of Syria and Iraq, and with ISIS claiming to be behind attacks in Egypt against the military-led government that ousted the West’s Muslim Brotherhood proxies.

With both Russia and China now in ISIS’ sights, the global public must begin asking questions as to how and why ISIS just so happens to be arraying itself against all of Washington’s enemies, by-passing all of its allies including Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar, and where exactly they are getting the weapons, cash, intelligence, logistical, and administrative capabilities to do so.

So suspicious is ISIS’ appearance, agenda, and actions, many across the world have long-ago concluded they are simply the latest creation of the US and other Western-aligned intelligence agencies, just as Al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood was before them, So loud has this narrative become, establishment newspapers like the New York Times have begun writing columns to tamp down what they are calling “conspiracy theories.”

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The New York Times would report in a piece titled, “Suspicions Run Deep in Iraq That C.I.A. and the Islamic State Are United,” that:

The United States has conducted an escalating campaign of deadly airstrikes against the extremists of the Islamic State for more than a month. But that appears to have done little to tamp down the conspiracy theories still circulating from the streets of Baghdad to the highest levels of Iraqi government that the C.I.A. is secretly behind the same extremists that it is now attacking.

The New York Times dismisses these claims, despite reporting for the past 4 years on the CIA’s presence along the Turkish-Syrian border dumping weapons and cash into the very hotbeds of extremism and terrorism ISIS rose from. Upon closer examination, not only are these claims plausible, they are documented fact.

As far back as 2007, Pulitzer Prize-winning veteran journalist Seymour Hersh would warn of the creation of just such a terror group in his 9-page report in the New Yorker titled, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” He stated that (emphasis added):

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.

That “by-product” is ISIS. It is through America’s own premeditated conspiracy to plunge not only Syria, but the entire region and now potentially Russia and even China into genocidal sectarian bloodshed that gave intentional rise to ISIS. The creation of ISIS and its use as a proxy mercenary force for Western designs is once again revealed in ISIS’ otherwise irrational declaration of war on Russia first, and now China.

America Opens Second Front in Hong Kong

It was in April of 2014 that two co-organizers of the so-called “Occupy Central” protests now ongoing in Hong Kong, would sit in Washington DC giving a talk hosted by the US State Department’s National Endowment for Democracy (NED). There, Martin Lee and Anson Chan set the stage for the impending “Occupy Central” demonstrations, introducing soon-to-be famous “characters” like US-cultivated “activist” Joshua Wong, as well as repeating, verbatim, the agenda, talking points, and slogans now flooding the airwaves and headlines regarding Hong Kong’s unrest.

While the US attempts to peel off Xinjiang province by brute force, it is using a more subtle and insidious method in Hong Kong. During Lee and Chan’s talk in DC earlier this year, a representative from the Council on Foreign Relations would literally proclaim it was hoped that ongoing movements in Hong Kong would “infect” mainland China. Indeed, while militancy and terrorism is being sown in China’s west, sedition, political instability, and social divisions are being cultivated in China’s east.

America’s Long War With China  

The adversarial nature of Washington’s posture toward Beijing has become increasingly obvious as tensions are intentionally ratcheted up in the South China Sea between US proxies and mainland China, as well as in Hong Kong. This is simply the latest in a much longer proxy war waged against Beijing since as early as the Vietnam War, with the so-called “Pentagon Papers” released in 1969 revealing the conflict as simply one part of a greater strategy aimed at containing and controlling China. 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.

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 the “international system” as responsible stakeholders, an increasingly confrontational posture must be taken to contain the rising nation.

This includes funding, arming, and backing terrorists and proxy regimes from Africa, across the Middle East, Central Asia, Southeast Asia, and even within China’s territory itself. Documented support of these movements not only include Xinjiang separatists and the leaders of “Occupy Central” in Hong Kong, but also militants and separatists in Baluchistan, Pakistan where the West seeks to disrupt a newly christened Chinese port and pipeline, as well as the machete wielding supporters of Aung San Suu Kyi in Myanmar’s Rakhine state – yet another site the Chinese hope to establish a logistical hub.

It is not a coincidence that ISIS is standing in for and fulfilling America’s deepest imperial aspirations from North Africa, across the Middle East, and now inching toward the borders of the West’s two largest competitors, Russia and China. Nor is it a coincidence that “Occupy Central” protesters are parroting verbatim talking points scripted in Washington earlier this year. It is no coincidence that the US State Department’s NED is found involved in every hotspot of instability and conflict both within China’s borders and beyond them. It is a documented conspiracy that is now increasingly seeing the light truth cast upon it. Whether or not that is enough to end the unnecessary barbarism and bloodshed that has resulted from the West’s hegemonic aspirations remains to be seen.

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

The punters know that the horse named Morality rarely gets past the post, whereas the nag named Self-interest always runs a good race.
Gough Whitlam, Daily Telegraph, Oct 19, 1989

Hagiography is the curse of the Australian Labor movement.  It is a movement that searches for, and craves, mythical figures and myths.  Such a phenomenon might be termed mummification, and detracts from closer examination.  There is no greater mythic hero for that tradition than Gough Whitlam, who died at 98.  In his brief period as Prime Minister, between 1972 and the infamous dismissal by the Governor-General in 1975, Australia nudged its way into something akin to revolution.

On November 13, 1972, Whitlam’s Labor policy speech at Blacktown Civic Centre emphasised the importance of the electoral decision to be made in December.

It was “a choice between the past and the future, between the habits and fears of the past, and the demands and opportunities of the future.  There are moments in history when the whole fate and future of nations can be decided by a single decision. For Australia, this is such a time.”

Whitlam’s victory stirred the Australian beast from what amounted to a colonial slumber, its cradle all so comfortable and comforting.   In the words of former Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, “He snapped Australia out of the Menzian torpor – the orthodoxy that had rocked the country asleep, giving it a new vitality and focus.”  Suddenly, a sense of geography was instilled – a location in the Asia Pacific, an awareness of its historical links with empire, but also with neighbours.

His domestic policy saw Australians obtain free education, a version of universal health care, the recognition of indigenous title exemplified by the handing over of deeds to part of the traditional lands of the Gurindji people at Wattie Creek.  The Racial Discrimination Act was passed; no-fault divorce laws were enacted.  In foreign policy, he recognised Communist China and withdrew troops from Vietnam.

But other features of his policies tend to be skirted over.  Labor’s tradition of suicidal dysfunctionalism was established with ominous vengeance.  Whitlam ran into budgetary problems, with the conservative opposition blocking moves for supply.  The argument being made there was that Whitlam, with his ministers, had been rather cavalier with the purse and various financial dealings.  The Khemlani loans affair, involving attempted borrowing of funds from Middle Eastern sources without the approval of the Loan Council, ostensibly to fund infrastructure and energy programs, cost him heavily.  Ministerial heads began rolling.

There was also the “Iraqi money affair” in 1975, occasioned by a donation from Saddam Hussein’s Baath Party in Iraq for the election campaign.  The equivalent of $2 million in today’s money never made it to Labor hands – it was stolen on its transfer route by an intermediary.

This is where the hagiography breaks down, dissolving before the pragmatic self-interest that comes with political survival.  In a meeting between the now opposition leader, Whitlam, with United States ambassador, James Hargrove, on February 27, 1976, the ex-prime minister revealed how he had been “aware of the efforts to secure funds from Iraq”, being prompted by such figures as the leader of the Victorian ALP, Bill Hartley.  Such moves enraged the then ALP president Bob Hawke, described as “a pro-Israeli fanatic”.[1]

Indeed, the Hawke angle on this is often neglected, lost as it were in the ceremonial tribute to the Whitlam shrine. While Whitlam stumbled, another future prime minister was sinking a series of unsheathed blades into his leader.  Hawke would make regular trips to the US consulate in Melbourne, happy to term Whitlam “politically crazy”.  His approach to Israeli and Middle Eastern issues were deemed “beyond belief”. (The consulate document takes issue with Hawke’s language, which were found “not suitable for [a] family newspaper.”)[2] That Middle Eastern policy had seen an erosion of funds from the Jewish base.  But it also suggested that the ALP was always happy to keep Washington in the loop about its own internal dysfunctions.  Hawke was merely the first in a long line, showing passing deference to a tyrant wife.

Questions are now being asked whether a similar, Whitlam-like figure would be fighting the wars of an obedient vassal, running with a child-like thrill into every distant conflict waged at the behest of empire.  The question is a moot one, but is doing the rounds with flighty wings.  Certainly, Whitlam did express understandable agitation at the role being played by US bases on Australian soil. Pine Gap had become a stain and target of Cold War fears, and Washington was hardly going to let the cat out of the strategic bag.  Australia was growing up, and this was proving troubling.

Robert Lindsey’s The Falcon and the Snowman makes no bones about it.  The election in 1972 of the Australian Labor Party after years in the wilderness of Cold War exile did not cheer the American intelligence community.  “The [CIA] feared that a left-leaning government in Australia might reveal the function of the bases or, worse, abrogate the agreement and close down the facilities.”  Keeping Malcolm Fraser’s government-in-waiting on call was certainly very much in Washington’s purview.

Where the hagiography struggles to get to grasp with Whitlam are the other, darker chapters of the foreign policy portfolio.  Portuguese East Timor was steamrolled by a militant Suharto regime, and while Australia’s role in preventing the subsequent calamity was always going to be minor, its silence on this was deafening.  Australian intelligence officials had uncomfortably intimate knowledge of the impending Indonesian invasion.  But Whitlam preferred to see East Timor integrated into Indonesia, a policy of “obeisance” as opposed to self-determination.[3]  The territory was doomed to Australian indifference.

Histories strewn with the cloying language of martyrdom are not particularly insightful ones. But it says much about Whitlam that he managed to exert the hold for so long. To a large extent, the 1975 dismissal caused a good deal of the progressive movement to go into mourning. With such dashed hopes, Australia returned to a fairly dour conservatism that, in general, characterises it today, an attitude of affluence and fearful wonder at the outside world.  It is a fear expressed as a concubine’s loyalty and the need for security, a variant of spreading one’s legs for empire.

The election of Fraser in a 1975 landslide doubled up as a confession and seal on the part of the Australian electorate. Reform had proven, to a large extent, indigestible.  The world of Prime Minister Tony Abbott is, in truth, one of reversal – a return to the cradle, to the slumber, to a loss of memory.  If conservatism suggests, as Whitlam himself claimed in his book on the years in office, a base pessimism, with reform being optimistic, then the forces of pessimism have the upper hand – at least for now.

Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge.  He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne.  Email: [email protected]

Global Justice or World Domination

October 21st, 2014 by Živadin Jovanović

History is a teacher of life, says the old proverb. Hence, it should be regarded as a part of life and the future, not only a part of the past.

We recall that the drive for redrawing the borders was one of the key objectives of aggressors in the First World War. The revision of history and results of the First and Second World Wars could prove to be but a front for the revision of borders.

The Great War began following the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, one that everyone clearly knew that Serbia could not have possibly accepted. At the end of that same, 20th century, Serbia (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia) was given A similar ultimatum by NATO in Rambouillet, also one that obviously could not be accepted. The request contained therein was: either accepting unconditional occupation of the entire country, or having war. NATO aggression against Serbia (the FRY) of 1999 was the turning point in global relations, marking the transition from the relative peace and a sort of observance of the UN system, towards the global interventionism and violation of the basic principles of the international relations. Many intellectuals, including the speakers at this Conference, believe that this has triggered the Third World War.

The post-2008 period is marked by a serious global economic crisis. The military spending in the world is heading to reach two trillion US dollars. Step by step, the world has entered a new spiral of arms race. Are we going to respond to it by launching initiatives and activating mechanisms to put it to an end, or are we, just like on the eve of the World War I, going to let this race throw all of us once again into the chasm of disaster?

A short period of global partnership is being replaced by an increasing global distrust. Is there any readiness to seek just compromises in resolving outstanding problems and revert to general interests of the humanity, as embodied in peace and progress for all peoples and nations?

The narrow circles of the privileged ones are amassing enormous wealth. In a stark contrast, misery, poverty, illnesses, extremism and terrorism are on the rise. How can we possibly seek to develop and spread human and civilization values and rights against the backdrop of such misery, poverty, illnesses, extremism and terrorism? Do we realize the danger entailed by the boiling social discontent? Are we ready to concede that the previously applied methods of combating international terrorism exclusively by military force, have instead been actually powering its further strengthening and dissemination?

The poverty suffered by a major share of human kind is not a mere result of the growing population, but rather an outcome of the increasing iniquity in distribution of assets, within the system that defends the privileges of the rich and prevents development of the poor. The roads to both First and Second World Wars were paved by egotism, denial of equality, and trampling the interest of other nations. The ball is in our court. Shall we continue to speak up and fight for a just international order, or shall we assert that the era of liberal capitalism aggression is not the right moment for such an action? Are we aware that external and forcible imposition of internal systems in target countries, pursuant to the “one-for-all” model, gradually emerges as the foundation of global domination, interventionism, and neo-fascism?

The question at hand is, do we opt for the global domination of “exceptional” ones, or for the multi-polarity and a democratic world order of all equal sovereign nations?

What is left out of the UN’s and the OSCE’s functions of preventive action and peaceful resolution of disputes? Should we, really, consent that the policies of force and of double standards have become legitimate or we should oppose it and struggle for civilization of peace, dignity and freedom for all? There is growing evidence that we have entered the age of hybrid democracy and ersatz civic values and human rights. Institutions of democratic state became the service of the most powerful corporations possessing military-industrial and financial capital.

Although the institutional formations persevere, an even the new ones are being created in the international domain, the true power is steadily shifting into the narrow and usually informal groups, councils or commissions directly influenced by such military-industrial and financial capital. Issues of war or peace are rarely discussed in parliamentary proceedings; at best, they are being decided in a summary procedure.

Democratic public debates on vital issues have definitely become a rarity.

The tangible aspect of militarization is expressed in rapid growth in numbers of foreign bases, especially on the European soil. Presently, Europe hosts more foreign military bases that at the peak of the Cold War. Why? After the USA Military base Bond-steel, erected in Kosovo and Metohija in 1999, there mushroomed four more USA bases in Bulgaria, additional four in Romania, and so on. Pre-1999 existing bases are being upgraded, either by anti-missile shields, or by new facilities for revolving rapid-response task forces. All are creeping closer to the borders of Russia. We are witnessing a new edition of the old, almost forgotten doctrine, “Drang nach Osten”. In parallel, the media, including even in countries of the oldest democratic traditions, are having increasingly less freedom.

Is it possible to maintain THIS unipolar world and privileges by inciting wars, fratricidal conflicts, coups, or colored revolutions?

On the eve of the First World War, it was obvious that certain countries were rapidly arming, and, in parallel, that their appetites for territories and resources were growing. The true meaning of these trends was played down. This illusion was, alas, paid dearly, in millions of human lives. The ”September Program”, authored by that-time German Chancellor von Bethmann-Hollweg, dated 9 September 1914, one hundred years ago, openly stated German territorial pretensions aimed at neighbors, customs union in the form of an expanded market, and “German colonial Africa”, as considered by Franz Fischer, a prominent German historian. Hollweg’s “September Program” had a clearly invading, expansionist character. Hollweg’s plan triggers various reminiscences, such as this one:

In April 2000, ten months after the end of NATO’s armed aggression against Serbia (the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia), Bratislava hosted a summit of heads of governments and states, and ministers of foreign affairs and of defense of that-time candidate states for joining NATO, and senior public officials of the USA. At this Summit, the American representatives presented their plan for rearranging the relations in Europe. Willy Wimmer, Germany’s State Secretary in the Ministry of Defense, and at that time Vice-President of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly, who was present at the Summit, wrote about this “April Plan”:

“European legal order is an obstacle for implementation of NATO plans. For this purpose is much more convenient to also apply American legal order in Europe. During the expansion (towards the East, added by Z.J.), it is necessary to reinstate the same spatial situation between the Baltic Sea and Anatolia (in Turkey, added by Z.J.), as existed at the heyday of the Roman Empire expansion. This is why Poland has to be encircled from the north and the south by democratic states as neighbors. Romania and Bulgaria have to ensure land connection to Turkey, whereas Serbia has to be permanently excluded from the European development. North of Poland, a complete control over the Sanct Petersburg access to the Baltic Sea must be ensured.” (Published in: Actual Issues of Foreign Policy, the Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals, Belgrade, 2006, pages 73-77).

Almost imperceptibly, the war marketing evolved into a new discipline. It seems that we got accustomed to that “science” very quickly and underestimating the risks. At present, even the non-professionals can easily recognize the pattern of preparing, propagating, and justifying all kinds of aggressions and instigating civil wars. The process comprises these steps: choosing the target; demonizing its legitimate leadership via the media; promises of democracy and fast “better life” that serve to disorientate the public; funding and, as necessary, arming the “pro-democratic” opposition; intensification of destabilizing actions of the NGOs; staging massacres/poisoning by chemical warfare/humanitarian disasters, i.e.: event brands like “Markale” in Sarajevo, “Racak” in Kosovo and Metohija, “Majdan” in Kiev; then follows instigating civil wars or armed aggression; toppling legitimate authorities; installing “pro-democratic” opposition in power; and, finally, assuming the target country’s natural and economic resources by the corporations and even by individuals from administrations of the aggressor countries by the so-called transition, also known as the predatory privatizations.

One of disturbing contemporary phenomena is a very extensive interpretation of the notion of national interests. The USA was the first to appropriate the right to proclaim its national interests in practical terms, in any corner of the Planet, and to defend them by armed force. European partners followed suite. Particular attention provoke statements of Joachim Gauck, President of Germany, that Germany must be ready to defend its national interests abroad by force, if needed. State sovereignty over its natural resources is derogated. Brzezinski and Albright openly claim that natural resources in Siberia cannot belong to Russia only, but rather to the so-called international community! The claims for redistribution of natural wealth of the planet are clearly articulated. Here, one may recall the consequences the humanity suffered owing to German ambitions for redistribution of colonies in the run-up to the World War I.

Back in 1914, that-time aggressors solely relied on brute force. Austro-Hungary sought to halt its declining power and decreasing control over other nations’ territories, whereas Germany wanted to effect its burgeoning economic and military might by invading neighbors’ territories, and by imposing its control over the Berlin-Bagdad route and, eventually, over the entire Europe and Africa. The lessons from World War I show that reliance on force exclusively, coupled with arrogance and disregard for the rights and interests of other nations are not advantage but rather a major weakness.

Another great danger for the contemporary world stems from the presence of power centers which believe they are destined to govern the word, and entrusted with this mission by providence. They hold anyone else in the planet to be handicapped and obliged to do as told and obey directives of the “exceptional” ones. Such centers do not recognize profound changes bringing new distribution of global power. They apply the logic of uni-polar world order not recognizing that this concept is gone and that the history cannot be stopped.
Therefore, having regard to the lessons of history, we may conclude, that it is not the time to seek privileges and domination by force; it is in the interest of humanity to accommodate to the new multi-polar reality, to accept righteous compromises and work for peace.

Notes 

[i] Address at the International Conference “World War I – Messages to Humanity”
Belgrade, 17 September 2014

In response to Mumia’s Commencement speech at Goddard College earlier this month, Pennsylvania legislators passed a Bill this week, the “Revictimization Relief Act, “which will allow victims, District Attorneys, and the Attorney General to sue prisoners for speaking if it causes “mental anguish.”

This is a clear attempt to silence Mumia, by passing bills supposedly intended to help victims. The FOP simply wants to shut prisoners up and shut Prison Radio down!

Prison Radio has vowed to continue to broadcast his words, regardless of threats or intimidation. Prison Radio has pledged that if the DA or AG sues Mumia and gets an injunction we will have dozens of notable people stand in for him and read his work so that his words will continue to reach the airwaves.

Also consider that Mumia has recorded over 3,000 essays and published seven books (2 more will be released in 2015) in nine languages, and has three major broadcast and theatrical movies of which he is the subject. The latest movie “Mumia: Long Distance Revolutionary” is currently airing on the STARZ network, sold out theaters from coast to coast, and has been translated into German and Spanish, and has sold 20,000 DVDs.

The Abolitionist Law Center is representing Mumia and Prison Radio. ALC legal director Bret Grote: “The ‘Silence Mumia Law’ should be understood in the wake of the Ferguson rebellion, as race and class-based mass incarceration – and the role of police in enforcing it via arbitrary arrests, frame-ups, and extrajudicial killings – is being questioned more than ever, and the Fraternal order of Police and the government are scrambling to re-establish the lie that police forces and other institutions of state violence are righteous protectors of public safety that are beyond question.”

TAKE ACTION!

1) Call PA Governor Tom Corbett and demand that he veto SB508.

(717) 787-2500  (215) 560-2640  [email protected]

“This bill is an unconstitutional attempt to silence prisoners and specifically Mumia Abu-Jamal and violates the First Amendment”

2) Send a positive note to the two PA state senators who took a principled stand against this bill. These folks spoke out eloquently on why the assembly should not pass this bill. We know that the Fraternal Order of Police have threatened and pressured them. click here for the address

Pennsylvania Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) called the bill “the  most extreme violation of the First Amendment imaginable.”

Watch the video of the FOP and PA state senate authorizing legislation for injunction to silence Mumia. 10/6/14 full press conference with Gov. Corbett, DA Phil Seth Williams, etc.
Dear friends, please realize that we are carrying a heavy burden. We are putting up 2-3 Mumia’s essays each week and we are now engaged in a legal battle of great import. The first amendment stands in the balance. We have a matching grant of $45K – yes, that is right! 45K. We need to match this grant by Nov. 15th. Can you help us?

Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s newspaper, The New Times of Rwanda, has called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) to indict the BBC for “genocide denial” because of its documentary, “Rwanda: The Untold Story.”

International criminal defense attorney Peter Erlinder – in handcuffs for “genocide denial” – appears in a Kigali, Rwanda, courtroom with Kenyan lawyer Kennedy Ogetto in May 2010.

International criminal defense attorney Peter Erlinder – in handcuffs for “genocide denial” – appears in a Kigali, Rwanda, courtroom with Kenyan lawyer Kennedy Ogetto in May 2010.

KPFA Evening News Anchor Cameron Jones: The BBC documentary, “Rwanda: The Untold Story,” has become the subject of fierce argument including many open letters to the BBC both applauding and attacking it. Paul Kagame accused the BBC of “genocide denial” and his state newspaper, The New Times, even called on the International Criminal Court to indict the network and/or its producers.

KPFA’s Ann Garrison spoke to international criminal defense attorney Peter Erlinder, who was arrested for “genocide denial” and thrown in a Rwandan prison in 2010, until an international campaign for his release prevailed.

KPFA/Ann Garrison: Peter Erlinder, “genocide denial” sounds like a pretty bad crime, just as any crime including the word “genocide” does. Could you explain what it means in this context?

Peter Erlinder: Well, in the context of Rwanda, “genocide denial” is questioning the version of events that is told by the Rwandan government, and the current Rwandan government (leaders) were the victors in a four year civil war, so that any description of the four year civil war that differs from the Rwandan government’s description is called genocide denial.

William Mitchell Law Professor Peter Erlinder

William Mitchell Law Professor Peter Erlinder

And the BBC’s description of what happened during the four years of the Rwandan Civil War and the 20 years after, which include 5 million or more deaths in the Congo and in Rwanda, is called genocide denial by the Rwandan government.

KPFA: Genocide denial is outside the mandate of the International Criminal Court, isn’t it? They’re mandated to prosecute war crimes, genocide and crimes against humanity?

Peter Erlinder: Yeah, the mandate of the International Criminal Court is to punish actions, not to punish thoughts. And genocide denial, of course, is a thought crime. And the question of what genocide denial actually is is one that is very difficult to sort out because it depends on one’s view of history, and in this case it’s the victors in the war, in the Rwandan war, that are deciding what the genocide was and how it took place.

Victoire Ingabire, despite being in handcuffs for “genocide denial,” gives a thumbs up to her supporters outside a Rwandan courtroom on April 17, 2012.

Victoire Ingabire, despite being in handcuffs for “genocide denial,” gives a thumbs up to her supporters outside a Rwandan courtroom on April 17, 2012.

Certainly there was mass violence, but the way the mass violence took place was different than the way that it’s described by those who won the war. And Robert McNamara, the United States’ secretary of state, in a documentary called “The Fog of War,” made that point very clear, saying that leaders of the United States would have been the war criminals had the Japanese won World War II.

KPFA: Doesn’t President Kagame’s newspaper seem a bit confused about the balance of institutional force in suggesting that the ICC should indict the BBC?

Peter Erlinder: Well, it seems to me that it’s consistent with the policy of President Kagame and the RPF (Rwandan Patriotic Front) government, which is to mount the maximum political attack against anyone who disagrees with Mr. Kagame. Political opponents like Victoire Ingabire, who attempted to run against him in the election in 2010. Victoire Ingabire is in prison now for at least 15 years.

There’s a long list of opponents who have been assassinated or forced into exile, and the idea that opponents of Mr. Kagame’s view of history, or of politics, pay a high price is now being felt by the BBC. And to suggest that an august journalistic institution like the BBC is engaged in “genocide denial” is almost laughable.

KPFA: And that was international criminal defense attorney Peter Erlinder on The New Times of Rwanda’s call for the ICC to indict the BBC for “genocide denial.”

For PacificaKPFA and AfrobeatRadio, I’m Ann Garrison.

 

Oakland writer Ann Garrison contributes to the San Francisco Bay ViewCounterpunchGlobal Research,Colored OpinionsBlack Agenda Report and Black Star News and produces radio news and features for Pacifica’s WBAI-NYCKPFA-Berkeley and her own YouTube Channel. She can be reached at[email protected]. If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website, anngarrison.com.

In October every second week on Monday, Columbus Day is celebrated in western culture in general and in the America’s specifically. This is an American tradition and school children of all ages are taught about  his  so-called discovery of his New-World. Annual parades are given around the country, and every year dignitaries participate in these festivities. 

Unfortunately, most people celebrate his holiday  without knowing the truth about Columbus’s  purpose for taking such risky voyages, and his horrendous behavior against the indigenous population, together with brutality against his own men.

At the other end of the spectrum, Columbus’s impact has been most devastating on the indigenous people together with  African communities everywhere. For a better understanding, three historical events before Columbus’s four voyages are presented, along with the reasons for these voyages.

Three Historical Events:

The first event occurred  when the African Berbers/Moors  conquered the Iberian peninsula (present-day Portugal and Spain). Back then the conquered territory was identified as Andalusia and at that time was most of Spain, Portugal, parts of France, Italy and Gibraltar. Their conquest began in 711 and lasted up to the fall of Granada on January 2, 1492.

The second event is the conquest of Ceuta an Islamic city in North Africa by the Portuguese in 1415. Notably, that was over three decades before the fall of Constantinople in 1453. In the meantime, Portuguese mariners sailed beyond Cape Bojador, Morocco, for the first time in the 1430s.

By 1445, a trading post was established on the small island of Arguim off the shores of present-day Mauritania. As Portuguese ships continued to explore coastlines and rivers over the following decades, they established trade with the preexisting  industries. Portuguese traders procured not only various west African commodities such as ivory, peppers, textiles, wax, grain, copper, as well as captive African slaves for exporting. At this time, these slaves were only used as servants in Europe.

In addition to building trading posts, Portugal established colonies on previous uninhabited islands off the African shores that would later serve as collection points for captive slaves, and commodities to be shipped to Europe, and eventually sent to the colonies in the Americas. After several generations, Portuguese navigator Bartolomeu Dias sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in 1488, opening up European access to the east Indies.

By the close of the fifteenth century, Portuguese merchants could circumvent commercial, political, and military strongholds in both north Africa and in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Indeed, they were successful in using maritime routes to bypass trans-Saharan overland trade routes controlled by Islamic Ottoman Turks.

The third event occurred in 1453, when the Islamic Ottoman Turks  successfully captured Christian Constantinople (present-day Istanbul)—formerly western Europe’s main source for spices, silks, paper, porcelain, glass, and other luxury goods produced in India, China, Japan, and the spice islands (present-day Indonesia)   collectively these areas were known as the east Indies, and the silk road  trade route  was shutdown by the Ottoman Turks conquest.

The Fall of Granada in 1492:

Obviously, the passages to the east Indies were denied to the Christian west by the Ottoman Turks who controlled the main overland routes to the Orient. Desert robbers, along with the  heat and sand storms, as well as other unforeseen hazards eventually made the trip too dangerous and expensive.

The Portugal’s  alternate  route, by sea, was now in demand.  Christopher Columbus spent the better part of his adult life embracing a different navigational solution other than Portugal’s already established maritime route. The core  of his idea was  sailing west across the Atlantic Ocean to the east Indies would be shorter, and  quicker. Moreover, knowing modern geography  makes his idea  a guaranteed failure.  In hindsight if his idea was correct, a world of opportunity would open up not only for  him but other fortune hunters.   Of course,  this did not happen.

By the late 13th century, the Spanish Christian kingdoms of Castile and Aragon had reconquer most of the Islamic Berber/Moors controlled territory. In 1479, the two kingdoms were united as a result of the marriage of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella of Castile. The last Islamic kingdom, Granada, was lost in  1492. For Christian Spain, this  conquest was the most important event in their history.  After nearly eight centuries of fighting, the Christian Iberians finally defeated the African Islamic Berbers/Moors.  On the second of January, 1492, King Ferdinand together with Queen Isabella rode into Granada victoriously. Columbus was present at that joyful event.

The Spanish monarchy agreed to sponsor his voyage but with stringent modifications. He angrily refused their offer and went to France for financial support. A short time afterward, the king and queen  had second thoughts and decided to meet Columbus’s demands.  Eventually, their courier  caught up with  him just before he reached France.

Upon his return, he was promised huge amounts of gold plus given the title captain of the ocean seas, along with absolute power as administrator for the future to be colonized New World. Columbus promised to bring back gold, spices, and silks, to spread Christianity, and at the same time charter a quicker route to the east Indies. Consequently, he was outfitted with three ships, the Nina, La Pinta and the Santa Maria.

Columbus’s Four Voyages:

This set the stage for his four voyages. All of them had some sort of disaster. Which begin with his maiden voyage in 1492 that was disaster number one. While exploring an uncharted island he name Hispaniola (present-day Dominican and Haitian Republics), on Christmas Day he wrecked his flag ship the Santa María; together with the help of the indigenous Taino people using wreckage from the ship and anything else they could find to built small fortress named La Navidad (Christmas in English). He left 39 men at the fortress, and proceeded to Spain to request funding for another voyage.

Unknowing to Columbus, the left-behind Spaniards began enslaving the Taino women for domestic work, which, after several months, led to armed conflict with the Taino’s, who destroyed the temporary settlement, killing them. Upon returning to Spain on the La Niña with a little gold, parrots, spices, and Taino  captives that Columbus displayed for the Spanish Monarchy convinced them of the need for a rapid second voyage. He received a great deal of fanfare. Columbus   was cheered and followed everywhere he went. After all he was ” admiral of the ocean sea ” and governor-general of the new lands he discovered.

In reality, he did not bring anything in the way of gold or other valuable items like he promised, and he certainly did not find a shorter route to the east Indies. However, he did display some indigenous Taino’s whom was forcibly bought to the Monarchy with a few trinkets of gold. His persuasiveness convinced the Spanish monarchy to finance a second voyage of discovery and colonization;   later with the blessing of Pope Alexander VI in the Treaty of Tortillas on June 7, 1494. Which assign spheres of influence in the Americas to Portugal and Spain.

Leaving the Canary’s Islands on October 13, 1493, Columbus’s second voyage of conquest was outfitted with a huge fleet of 17 ships, domesticated animals, with over 1,000 colonists together with six priests, attack dogs and canons. Notably, from an African perspective, this was the precursor to chattel slavery and colonialism.

Arriving in Hispaniola in late November to find the fort of La Navidad destroyed with no survivors. Immediately, other fortified places were built, including a city, founded on January 2, and named La Isabella in honor of  the queen. On February 2 Antonio de Torres left La Isabella with 12 ships, some gold, spices, parrots, and Taino captives (most of whom died en route), as well as the bad news about Navidad and some complaints about Columbus’s methods of governance.

Meanwhile,  he managed to find a small source of  gold on Hispaniola.  Columbus forced the natives to work in gold mines as slaves until they died of exhaustion. If a Taino did not deliver his full quota of gold dust by his  deadline, soldiers would cut off the man’s hands and tie them around his neck to send a message.  Slavery was so intolerable to the island people that at one point, 100 of them committed mass suicide. Catholic law forbids the enslavement of Christians, but Columbus solved this problem. Although, priests were available to convert  natives into Christians, he simply refused to have them baptize, in all likelihoods never intended to do so.

One of his men, Bartolome De Las Casas, was so mortified by Columbus’ brutal atrocities against the native peoples, he  became a Catholic priest. He described how the Spaniards under Columbus’s command cut the legs off of children who ran from them, to test the sharpness of their blades. According to him,  the men made bets as to who, with one sweep of his sword, could cut a person in half.

In a single day, De Las Casas was an eye witness as the Spanish soldiers dismembered, beheaded, or raped 3000 native people. ” Such inhumanities and barbarisms were committed in my sight as no age can parallel, ” He  wrote. ” My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature that now I tremble as I write. ”

Columbus had been appointed governor and Viceroy of the new lands by the Spanish crown, and for the next year and a half, he attempted to do his job. Although, he was a good ship’s captain but an inapt administrator. The one thousand or so colonialist sole purpose was to seek gold, and none was to be found. The gold they had been promised never materialized, and what little gold was discovered was sent to the Spanish crown.  In the meantime, supplies began to run out, and it was discord in the colony. Columbus used brutality and cruelty to restore order.   With the supplies almost gone in March of 1496, he returned to Spain for more resources to keep the struggling colony from failing.

In Spain this time around  he was not met with jubilation, on the contrary, there were skepticism and doubt about his venture. However, he managed to get enough financial support, and his third expedition left on May 30, 1498 with six ships. The fleet split into two squadrons; three ships to sail directly for Hispaniola with supplies to the colonists, and the other three led by Columbus’s further exploration of the uncharted islands.

After a short time exploring, Columbus returned to Hispaniola on August 19, 1498, he found open hostility. As a matter of fact, it was civil unrest  by the colonist. The constant unrest  was resolved when Ferdinand and Isabella appointed Francisco de Bobadilla as royal commissioner, with administrative powers in Hispaniola.

His first order of business was to send the Admiral and his two brothers Bartolome and Diego back to Spain in chains  in October of 1500. At this point, he came from being the Admiral of the Oceans seas to a miserable failure.  Despite the justifiable charges brought against Columbus and his two brothers, the Spanish Monarchy released them. Considering,  he was sending them gold all along, perhaps not as much as he promised but gold non-the-less.

Christopher Columbus made a fourth voyage, to search for the Strait of Malacca to the Indian Ocean. Mindfully, when examining a current map his westward theory was doomed from the beginning; On May 11, 1502, four old ships and 140 men under Columbus’s command put to sea from the port of Cadiz. Insultingly, he was forbidden to enter Hispaniola the colony he founded.

He proceeded to explored parts of southern, and central America. However, his ships were damaged by a hurricane and termites. Columbus and his men unable to seek assistances in Hispaniola were stranded on Jamaica for a year before being rescued.

This concludes Columbus four voyages, which were all failures; beginning with wrecking the Santa Maria in Hispaniola, and on the second voyage running out of supplies; and on the third upon his return was arrested together with his two brothers and sent back to Spain in chains. On his fourth voyage, he was not allowed in Hispaniola, although it was the island, he founded. More insulting was he was stranded on Jamaica for a year before returning to Spain.

Contrarily, the Caribbean Islands is often called the west Indies. With certainty, the descendants of the native inhabitants are mistakenly called Indians around the world because Columbus believed until his death, he was in the east Indies. After 25 years of Spanish occupation, the Taino’s populations, numbered several million in 1492, were reduced to about 50,000.

In today’s contemporary world, he would be guilty of crimes against humanity with evidence from his diary, as well as, accounts from his own men. In all probabilities, he would be sentenced to death or life in prison.

Conclusion:

Columbus Day, was brought on by the Knights of Columbus, a fraternal service organization. Back in the 1930s, they were looking for a Catholic hero as a role-model. In 1934, as a result of lobbying by the Knights of Columbus, Congress and President Franklin Roosevelt signed

Columbus Day into law as a federal holiday.

In western culture, there are some whom honor and worship him, and others recognized his atrocities, and loathe him. For those that honor and worship him, it might be worthwhile to Google ” Columbus slave trade, ” it just might change their opinions.

None the less, Columbus Day from an African perspective has a different dynamic altogether. His decade of exploration was founded on the principals of conquering and destroying other culture’s economic livelihoods and at the same time enhancing the Spanish crown. The rest of Europe followed these  principals resulting in  500 years of their domination. More specifically, it started with Columbus’s second voyage in 1493 as previously mentioned.

Shortly after his alleged discovery the world was divided by  two European world powers at the time, which was Spain in Portugal. The Roman Catholic Pope was ecstatic over the discovery of the so-called New World by Columbus. The Pope divided the world between Portugal and Spain in the treaty of Tortillas in 1494. Where Portugal was assigned Brazil,  both coastal shores of Africa, the southern and eastern shores of Asia, and the east Indies.

On the other hand, Spain was given the Americas, the Philippines, and future lands encountered by Columbus. These two historical events set the precedent of conquering other cultures, which was condoned and embrace by the two super powers then,  and later all of Europe.

Within these same scenarios, White-Supremacy evolved based on color. Whereas, white represent supremacy in contrast to   people of color whom were deemed inferior, which is the foundation of racism. After 500 years these principals, although modified for all intents and purposes are still prevalent today.

By establishing a permanent foothold based on conquering, Spain took the first steps towards building their mighty empire by destroying indigenous Aztecs, Incas and Mayan cultures, and then a century later the rest of Europe followed using the same conquering techniques. The evidence is 500 years of Western domination.

In the process of profitable plantations during the 1500s, expanded the demand for African slaves in the colonies in the New-World. Trade in slaves soon overshadowed gold as the main export of the area. At this time in history, Portugal’s trading post off the shores of Africa became one of the principal sources of slaves. By the early 16th century, the native slave trade was not sufficient. As they died out, Africans were imported for the plantations in the New-World.

The wealth and the trade it generated by the Spanish conquests were enormous and within Europe was the backbone around which capitalism was built. As the native populations of the Americas were wiped out merchants made more profits by importing Africans and selling them to work the tobacco, sugar, cotton plantations and mines.

Later in the century, England, France, and the Dutch joined in the enslavement of Africans. Notably, Portugal together with Spain  already had an established  slave trade in Latin America a century before their arrival.

A hidden fact is the majority of the African slaves were sent to Latin America led by Spain and Portugal, whom were influenced by Columbus’s enslaving the native Americans.  These fact still prevails today where the majority  of the  slave descendants  are in Latin-America.

It would be a gross oversight not to mention Australia, together with Africa. The aborigines of Australia suffered the same fate as the natives in Columbus’s so-called New World. Summarily, three continents were destroyed and now being controlled by victors of western culture based on Christopher Columbus conquering principals.

Although, Africa has been colonized and their cultural and economic progress has been altered forever. Colonization was planned during a conference held in Berlin from 1884 until 1885. The purpose of this conference was to use their superiority of weapons to partition Africa. There were six countries evolved led by England, France, Portugal, Spain, Germany and Belgium, partition Africa according to their economic interest.

Due  to Columbus’s conquering precedent Africa and Australia were also victimized just as the other  two continents in his New-World. It can be said with certainty that Christopher Columbus conquering exploits have benefited western culture. At the other ends of the spectrum, to some degree people of color and Africans particularly are at the same time suffering.

Obviously, there are two sides to every story. Specifically, this presentation is from the African communities’ perspective. It must be said, collectively, these communities are the victims of slavery as well as colonialism along with other Africans scatter around the world.

Conclusively, for the descendants of the native populations in the New-World, and within the African, communities everywhere together should conclude that  Columbus Day is nothing but a huge April Fool’s Joke.

Sabamya Jaugu [email protected]

Resources:

 Moors in Spain                                                      Stanley-Lane Poole

A short Account of the Destruction of the Indies    Bartolome De Las Casa

American Holocaust                                               David E Stannard

Christianity Islam and the Negro Race                  Edward W.  Blyden

African Slavery in Latin America and the Caribbean        Herbert S Klein,   Ben Viinson III                                                                             

The Afrikan Holocaust                                          John H.  Clarke

Lies My Teach Told Me                                        James W. Lowen

The Scramble for Africa                                        Thomas Parkenham

How Europe Undeveloped   Africa                       Walter Rodney

A people History of the United States                   Howard Zinn 

Shock Claim From Ghana: Ebola is Not Real

October 21st, 2014 by Nana Kwome

The following text was written by Ghana based nurse Nana Kwome.  It provides an interesting yet controversial opinion on the Ebola pandemic, focussing on the geopolitical implications and America’s hidden agenda in Africa. (M.Ch, GR editor)

People in the Western World need to know what’s happening here in West Africa. THEY ARE LYING!

“Ebola” as a virus does NOT Exist and is NOT “Spreading”. The Red Cross has brought a disease to four specific countries for four specific reasons and it is only contracted by those who receive treatments and injections from the Red Cross. That is why Liberians and Nigerians have begun kicking the Red Cross out of their countries and reporting in the news the truth.

Now bear with me

Most people jump to “depopulation” which is no doubt always on the mind of the West when it comes to Africa. But I assure you Africa can NEVER be depopulated by killing 160 people a day when thousands are born per day. So the real reasons are much more tangible.

Reason 1: This vaccine implemented sickness being “called” Ebola was introduced into West Africa for the end goal of getting troops on the ground in Nigeria, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. If you remember America was just trying to get into Nigeria for “Boko Haram” but that fell apart when Nigerians started telling the truth. Global support fell through the floor, and a new reason was needed to get troops into Nigeria and steal the new oil reserves they have discovered.

Reason 2: Sierra Leone is the World’s Largest Supplier of Diamonds. For the past 4 months they have been on strike, refusing to provide diamonds due to horrible working conditions and slave pay. The West will not pay a fair wage for the resources because the idea is to keep these people surviving on rice bags and foreign aid so that they remain a source of cheap slave labor forever. A reason was also needed to get troops on the ground in Sierra Leone to force an end to the diamond miners strikes. This is not the first time this has been done. When miners refuse to work troops are sent in and even if they have to kill and replace them all, the only desire is to get diamonds back flowing out of the country.

Of course to launch multiple campaigns to invade these countries separately would be way too fishy. But something like “Ebola” allows access to an entire area simultaneously…

Reason 3: In addition to stealing Nigerian oil, and forcing Sierra Leone back to mining, troops have also been sent in to FORCE vaccinations (Deadly “Ebola” Poison) onto those Africans who are not foolish enough to take them willingly.

3000 troops are being sent in to make sure that this “poison” continues to spread, because again it is only spread through vaccination. As more and more news articles are released as they have been in Liberia, informing the populous of the US lies and manipulation, more and more Africans are refusing to visit the Red Cross. Troops will force these vaccinations upon the people to ensure the visible appearance of an Ebola pandemic. In addition to this they will protect the Red Cross from the Liberians and Nigerians who have been rightfully ejecting them from their countries.

Reason 4: Last but not least, the APPEARANCE of this Ebola “pandemic” (should Americans not catch on) will be used to scare the countless millions into taking an “Ebola vaccine” which in reality is the pandemic. Already they have started with stories of how it has been brought to the U.S. and has appeared in Dallas, how white doctors were cured but black infected are not being allowed to be treated, etc.

ALL that will do is make blacks STRIVE to get the vaccine, because it appears that the “cure” is being held back from blacks. They will run out in droves to get it and then there will be serious problems. With all we have seen revealed about vaccines this year you would think we learned our lesson. All I can do is hope so, Because they rely on our ignorance to complete their agendas.

Ask yourself: If Ebola really was spreading from person to person, instead of controlled spread through vaccination – then WHY would the CDC and the US Government continue to allow flights in and out of these countries with absolutely no regulation, Or At All? We have got to start thinking and sharing information globally because they do not give the true perspective of the people who live here in West Africa. They are lying for their own benefit and there aren’t enough voices out there with a platform to help share our reality. Hundreds of thousands have been killed, paralyzed and disabled by these and other “new” vaccines all over the world and we are finally becoming aware of it. Now what will we do with all this information?

A More Dangerous Strain

The head of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota – Dr. Michael Osterholm – is a prominent public health scientist and a nationally recognized biosecurity expert.

Dr. Osterholm just gave a talk shown on C-Span explaining that a top Ebola virologist – the Head of Special Pathogens at Canada’s health agency, Gary Kobinger – has found that the current strain of Ebola appears to be much worse than any strain seen before … and that the current virus may be more likely to spread through aerosols than strains which scientists have previously encountered.

Watch this minute-long clip:

Another top Ebola expert – chief scientist at the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and discoverer of the Reston strain of Ebola (Dr. Peter Jahrling) – said last week that this strain of Ebola appears to be more virulent than other strains we’ve seen, producing a much higher viral load much quicker than other strains.

It’s getting difficult to remember a time when the Canadian Parliament actually tried to make principled decisions regarding foreign policy and our place in the community of nations. But we should try. Perhaps a first step in returning to such a time was the decision of the NDP and Liberal Party to oppose Stephen Harper’s most recent ill-considered and cynical march to war with his decision to join the bombing of Iraq.

Harper’s amoral political calculations about who and when to bomb people has little to do with any genuine consideration of the geopolitical situation or what role Canada might usefully play — or even in what Canada’s “interests” are. So long as he is prime minister it will be the same: every calculation will be made with the single-minded goal of staying in power long enough to dismantle the post-war activist state. The nurturing of his core constituency includes appeals to a thinly disguised pseudo-crusade against Islamic infidels, a phony appeal to national security (preceded by fear-mongering) and in the case of Ukraine, a crude appeal to ethnic votes.

Reinforcing this legacy is a mainstream media that lets him get away with it, and in particular, refuses to do its homework while the bombing — or posturing — is taking place and then refuses to expose the negative consequences of the reckless adventures. The result is what cultural critic Henry Giroux calls “the fog of historical and social amnesia.”

The three most obvious examples are Harper’s extremist policy in support of Israel, his joining with France and the U.S. in the catastrophic destruction of the Libyan state and his infantile posturing on the Russia-Ukraine conflict. And now we have Harper’s mini-crusade (six fighter bombers for six months) against ISIS or the Islamic State. With rare exceptions the media has gone along with him at every turn, treating Canadians as children incapable of navigating the nuances of foreign policy.

Regarding Israel, Harper, with widespread support in the media, has gone so far as to try to establish criticism of Israel as a kind of Orwellian “thought crime.” By declaring repeatedly (and even threatening supportive legislation) that criticism of Israel was anti-Semitic, Harper hoped to establish what Orwell referred to as “protective stupidity” — a kind of mass denial of the obvious. Freud referred to it as “knowing with not knowing” and when it comes to most of Canada’s military adventures, it is epidemic.

In Afghanistan the war went for so long that the facts eventually broke through the protective stupidity, but only partially. Even with the total failure of the mission to accomplish a single worthwhile goal, it is likely that most Canadians still see it as having been a “good war.”

Everyone who reads the news or watches it on television knows that Libya is now a failed state, swarming with literally scores of heavily armed and murderous Islamist militias, and facing an almost total collapse of central government authority and public services (formerly the best in Africa). Life in Libya is ten times more insecure and dangerous now than it ever was under the “madman” Gadhafi. Yet we choose not to know what we know.

This was supposed to be a humanitarian mission — the much-touted “duty to protect” principle in action. The catastrophe of the failure soon spread of course to Mali and elsewhere as Gadhafi’s carefully constructed balancing of competing tribal interests collapsed. In the ensuing chaos massive supplies of weapons seized by the “democratic forces” were distributed to lunatic militias (including the ISIS) across the Middle East. But still there are no mea culpas, no accountability, and no price to pay for the misery created. The cheerleading pundits have gone silent as if they had never written a word in support of the war. Planned amnesia.

As Giroux puts it: “Neoliberal authoritarianism has changed the language of politics and everyday life through a poisonous public pedagogy that turns reason on its head and normalizes a culture of fear, war and exploitation.”

Harper’s response to the Russia-Ukraine conflict has been similar: a maximum of infantile, simplistic sabre rattling rhetoric with an absolute minimum of reflection on the historical context or even the immediate facts of the situation. This is foreign policy for the willingly — if not willfully — ignorant. We are encouraged — or perhaps enlisted is a better word — to treat facts and history with a disdain bordering on contempt. Facts, context, history and thoughtful anticipation of the consequences of our actions — all of this is for sissies and Putin apologists. The nay-sayers are all Neville Chamberlain clones.

The fact that the boys with their military toys in NATO have been provoking Russia for 20 years, encircling it with hostile regimes aligned with members of this military alliance, promising to put missiles on its border, breaking promise after promise made in agreements with Russia — it’s all irrelevant. So is the fact that the “revolution” in Kyiv — don’t dare call it a coup, the thought police will knock on your door — was promoted with millions of American “democracy” dollars.

And the fact that the movement was hijacked by neo-Nazis? Just an inconvenient detail to be assigned to the amnesia machine. And the consequences? Just how is driving Russia away from integration with Europe (which it had been seeking throughout Putin’s reign) and into the arms of the imperial Chinese in Canada’s interests? The $400-billion natural gas deal Putin signed with China — accelerated and made a certainty by NATO’s aggression — will likely kill B.C.’s dream of billions in LNG investment (a silver lining in my view but hardly a smart move for an “energy superpower”).

All of this is swept aside when foreign policy is decided in a kindergarten class instead of a graduate class. But there will be no lasting consequences for governments — Harper’s or anyone else’s. The structure of protective stupidity is in place and without a radical change in consciousness the current political consensus will prevail. All will be forgotten.

Which brings us to the Islamic State. Here, too, the conventional approach to making intelligent foreign policy is cast aside on the basis of reacting to a handful of Westerners being beheaded (as happens on a regular basis already to citizens of Saudi Arabia). Can it be possible that our policy making has been reduced to this level of drunken barroom reaction? We know that the ISIS did this precisely to provoke a Western military response. But “we don’t know.” We prefer denial and the simplistic — the notion that we can correct 25 years of imperial hubris, ignorance and gross incompetence by Western powers by bombing our own creation.

Ooops, sorry for introducing a fact here — a bad habit. The West fostered these murderous madmen decades ago when the U.S. funded, armed and advised the nascent mujahedeen to drive the Russians out of Afghanistan. They are now a permanent feature of the Middle East and beyond, an evolving monster the U.S. Department of Defense and CIA lost control of a long time ago. Yet politicians like Obama and Harper think we can correct it with bombs. Ironically after decades of treating their citizens like children, our governments are reduced to behaving like them.

Several United States congressional representatives have called for a ban on travel into the country from three West African states which have been the most severely impacted by the recent outbreak of the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). These proposals have specifically targeted President Barack Obama demanding that he institute the prohibition of anyone from Sierra Leone, Guinea and Liberia from entering the U.S.

Obama along with many interests in the corporate community have rejected a travel ban. In light of the corporate press coverage of the EVD outbreak that has reportedly killed in excess of 4,500 and infected over 9,000, all three West African states and others in the region have experienced significant losses in humanitarian assistance, trade and tourism.

Congressional hearings on the Ebola outbreak have degenerated into discussions about measures that do not emphasize the need to attack the disease and bring about its eradication. Efforts by officials within the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) which sought to apportion blame on two nurses for not following protocol in treating the first patient Thomas Eric Duncan have been consistently refuted by the National Nurses United (NNU) through demonstrations and daily press releases, interviews and media conferences.

Issues of safety on the part of healthcare workers are a critical concern of the NNU. In Orange, California at St. Joseph Hospital, nurses were publically criticized by administrators saying that they were attempting to evoke fear among patients and employees when the nurses petitioned management for the implementation of basic medical guidelines for the handling of Ebola cases.

Nurses at the St. Joseph facility in Orange are not officially represented by the California Nurses Association (CNA) an affiliate of the NNU.

In an Oct. 17 press release from the NNU it notes that “St Joseph RNs were appalled at management’s reaction to their petition. First, the hospital allowed supervisors, and other RNs who don’t do direct patient care, to stage a protest on hospital property with signs saying ‘shame on CNA for preying on fear.’” (nationalnursesunited.com)

This same release went on to stress that “Second, the hospital administration issued a statement to the press—without responding to employees’ concerns—claiming they are ‘prepared to deal with infectious diseases’ and attacking the nurses’ union for using ‘scare tactics’ to ‘address labor issues.’”

Overreaction Takes Focus Away From Fighting Disease

Despite the calls for travel bans and other measures that tend to stigmatize West African expatriate communities, those relatives, workers and students who had contact with Thomas Eric Duncan, have been cleared of the threat of developing symptoms associated with EVD. The first wave of contacts was cleared on Oct. 20 and no further cases had been announced since the diagnosis of Nurse Amber Vinson of Dallas.

Another round of contacts is scheduled to be cleared by Nov. 7. Both Nina Pham and Amber Vinson are being treated in specialized units at Atlanta’s Emory University Hospital and the National Institute of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland.

Reports were published on Oct. 20 speculating over the status of Pham’s fiancé who is reportedly being monitored for EVD symptoms. The company Pham’s friend works for issued a statement saying that he had not been diagnosed with the disease and that his fellow employees were not endangered. (International Business Times)

The Struggle Continues in West Africa

In West Africa, two nations, Nigeria and Senegal, were successful in isolating and eliminating the disease inside their countries. Senegal was reported to only have one case even though they share a border with one of the most severely affected states, Guinea-Conakry.

Early on in Oct., President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria declared the country Ebola free. The World Health Organization (WHO) agreed with this assessment on Oct. 20.

In regard to Senegal, the Associated Press noted that “On Friday (Oct. 17), WHO officials declared that the outbreak of the Ebola virus in Senegal was over. In a press release, the WHO stressed that Senegal’s approach was “a good example of what to do when faced with an imported case of Ebola.”(Oct. 20)

“The government’s response plan included identifying and monitoring 74 close contacts of the patient, prompt testing of all suspected cases, stepped-up surveillance at the country’s many entry points and nationwide public awareness campaigns,” the WHO agency said in the same release.

With specific reference to Nigeria, the agency’s (WHO) country director, Rui Gama Vaz, called it a “spectacular success story. The outbreak in Nigeria has been contained,” he told a news conference in the political capital of Abuja. (independent.co.uk, Oct. 20)

Nonetheless, the official warned that “we must be clear that we only won a battle. The war will only end when West Africa is also declared free of Ebola.”

Nigeria’s outbreak began in July, when a Liberian-American development consultant, Patrick Sawyer, collapsed in the arrivals hall of Lagos airport. Many believed that Sawyer had traveled to Nigeria to seek health treatment where he later died.

Nigeria later reported eight deaths and nearly 20 cases. Schools were closed throughout the country until the nation’s health system believed the threat had subsided.

Yet other countries such as Liberia remain in the grips of the outbreak. President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf issued a “Letter to the World” through the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Oct. 19 appealing for international assistance in efforts to treat patients and to eradicate the disease in this West African state that has reported over 2,200 deaths from EVD since March. The Obama administration has deployed troops to Liberia to ostensibly assist in the building of field hospitals as part of a general escalation of military interventions in West Africa through the U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM).

Johnson-Sirleaf said in the letter that the current situation “requires a commitment from every nation that has the capacity to help – whether that is with emergency funds, medical supplies or clinical expertise. We all have a stake in the battle against Ebola. It is the duty of all of us, as global citizens, to send a message that we will not leave millions of West Africans to fend for themselves.” (BBC, Oct. 19)

In Guinea, President Alpha Conde in an interview with eboladeeply.org emphasized the need for education about the virus’ transmission and the significant role of traditional leaders in the battle to eliminate the disease. He rejected the imposition of travel bans related to the most severely impacted states saying that the place to fight EVD is in West Africa itself.

“My message is clear: we need to fight on three fronts,” Conde said. “First, we must address the acute health crisis by containing the virus until it is gone. Second, after we have vanquished the virus we must make sure it doesn’t come back.”

However, the underlying solutions are clearly related to the overall development of Guinea and the entire region, saying “That’s why we also need to invest in our health-care systems. Third, we must stop the economic contraction that the virus has caused.”

These objectives will of course be difficult to achieve in light of the prevailing international division of economic power and distribution. All of the most impacted West African states are largely dependent upon the capitalist markets for the sale of strategic minerals and natural resources such as gold, bauxite and rubber as their principal means of generating foreign exchange.

Until Africa can retain the wealth produced by its land and people there will be no long term solutions to the problems associated with providing healthcare and social services to the majority of working people, farmers and youth. Lessons can be learned from socialist Cuba which although having faced a 55 year blockade by the U.S., has still been able to produce medical personnel and a healthcare system that is lauded internationally.

Today Cuba is on the frontlines in West Africa combating the EVD pandemic. Their work will set a sterling example for both underdeveloped and developed states to emulate.

Libya War Continues Three Years After Gaddafi Assassination

October 21st, 2014 by Abayomi Azikiwe

On Oct. 20, 2011, the leader of the North African state of Libya was brutally assassinated in the city of Sirte. Col. Muammar Gaddafi had been leading a struggle to defend his country from a war of regime-change coordinated and financed by the United States and NATO.

Since the overthrow of the Jamahiriya system of government in Libya, the social conditions prevailing inside the country are by no means stable. Various factions, most of which were utilized as ground troops in the Pentagon-NATO aerial war between March 19 and Oct. 31 of 2011, remained locked in a mortal conflict for control over the oil-rich state.

Conflicting sources of political power backed up by armed militias exist in the two largest cities of Tripoli, the capital, and Benghazi in the east where the counter-revolution against Gaddafi began. Areas in the south of the country have armed themselves against the U.S.-installed regimes in Tripoli and Benghazi often in sympathy with the previous system under the Jamahiriya.

Two regional states which participated in the imperialist-engineered war against Libya, Egypt and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have been carrying out periodic airstrikes against alleged “Islamist” strongholds in various locations in the east and west. Also the former renegade Gen. Khalifa Hefter, a longtime Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) asset, has mounted a bid for power utilizing sophisticated weapons and air strikes.

Oil Production Rising Despite Internal Conflict

For several months during 2014 oil production in Libya was down considerably. Conflicts between various labor organizations in addition to clashes among the militias resulted in the decline of barrels-per-day extraction to almost nil.

A dispute over who could actually sell Libyan oil on the international market was eventually addressed by the U.S. when it sent a naval warship to reclaim cargo traded by interests inside the country who were not endorsed by Washington. Subsequent efforts aimed at resolution of the disagreements have still not cleared the way for a consistent boost in production.

Unrest has erupted again surrounding which political group claiming authority in Libya would control the proceeds from oil sales. Both the parties controlling the capital of Tripoli who are often labelled as “Islamists” and the “government in exile” in the eastern city of Tobruk, say they are entitled to the revenue generated from the trade in oil.

With the decline in prices on the global market during Oct. the situation involving the struggle over the control of oil in Libya prompted the attention of the Wall Street Journal. Efforts by five western countries designated by the United Nations to reach a political settlement in the Libyan quagmire has failed, and consequently, the major imperialist powers are concerned about the supply of oil and the role of Libya in the process.

“In a joint statement late Saturday, France, Italy, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. said they supported the U.N.-sponsored peace talks and a cessation of hostilities, “noted the Wall Street Journal. “The five governments condemned the violence by Islamist group Ansar al-Shariah, voiced concern about the attacks of the renegade general and said they were ready to sanction those threatening Libya’s security.” (Oct. 19)

This same article went on to point out that “Libya is normally one of Europe’s largest oil suppliers, but disruptions since the fall of strongman Moammar Gadhafi in 2011 have reduced its contribution to the continent’s oil supply.” Therefore, even the publication of the international finance capital has to openly acknowledge that the Pentagon-NATO policy of regime-change in Libya has disrupted oil supplies to the European continent.

The Libya Dawn group which is contesting control of the state with the ostensible moderate group led by Prime Minister Abdullah al-Thani, who called themselves the House of Representatives, sent their own oil minister, Mashallah al-Zawie, to Turkey to participate in an industry conference held in Istanbul. The rival group headed by al-Thani based in Tobruk dismissed the Central Bank director Sadiq Kabir and claims they have control of the revenue from oil sales.

Nonetheless, the Wall Street Journal reports that “officials at NOC (the state-owned National Oil Co.) and at the central bank subsidiary which receives payments from oil buyers said revenues had continued to flow to its Tripoli-based accounts. Mr. al-Kabir also remains in office, they said.”

Such confusion over which entity controls Libyan oil could very well hamper the country’s future production and exports projections. Libyan oil officials say production is at 850,000 barrels a day, marking an increase of 40,000 barrels compared with earlier in Oct., suggesting that some facilities have boosted their output. In contrast operations at oil fields in eastern Libya have been interrupted by labor unrest led by workers seeking jobs at the facilities.

Imperialists Continue Proxy War in Libya

The present situation in Libya is the direct result of the war of regime-change led by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), the Pentagon and NATO during 2011. U.S. policy is designed to overthrow all of the sovereign and anti-imperialist governments throughout Africa and the Middle East.

Consequently, the outcome of the current situation in the regions of North Africa and the Middle East will be critical in the future course of imperialist militarism worldwide. Obviously, these policies in Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Sudan, Syria and Libya have prompted massive destabilization of these societies including the vast increase in internally displaced persons and refugees.

Libya, which under the years of the Jamahiriya-Gaddafi rule was the most prosperous state in Africa, now is a major source of instability in the region. The response of aerial bombardments from Egypt and the UAE will only further the generalized sense of lawlessness and terror.

Only the Libyan people themselves united around a political program of national unity and genuine sovereignty will be able to reverse the current malaise. The plans suggested involving the direct intervention of thousands of NATO troops to Libya under the rubric of the United Nations would eventually result in greater anti-western sentiments already prevalent throughout the country.

What the role of the U.S. in Libya has proven is that Washington and Wall Street has no rational policy towards Africa and the Middle East. Its interventionist posture will only breed more anti-U.S. consciousness and mass resistance to imperialist control.

The United States has withheld assurances from Germany that the Ebola virus – among other related diseases – would not be weaponized in the event of Germany exporting it to the US Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases.

German MFA Deputy Head of Division for Export Control Markus Klinger provided a paper to the US consulate’s Economics Office (Econoff), ”seeking additional assurances related to a proposed export of extremely dangerous pathogens.”

Germany subsequently made two follow-up requests and clarifications to the Army, according to the unclassified Wikileaks cable.

“This matter concerns the complete genome of viruses such as the Zaire Ebola virus, the Lake Victoria Marburg virus, the Machupo virus and the Lassa virus, which are absolutely among the most dangerous pathogens in the world,” the request notes.

The Zaire Ebola virus was the same strain of Ebola virus which has been rampaging through West Africa in recent months.

“The delivery would place the recipient in the position of being able to create replicating recombinant infectious species of these viruses,” the cable notes.

However, it also points out that Germany has in place an exceptionally restrictive policy,” adding that approval would not be granted to the export until US assurance was provided.

“A decision about the export has not yet been made. Given the foregoing, we would appreciate confirmation that the end use certificate really is from the Department of the Army and of the accuracy of the data contained therein,” the document stated.

There is no follow-up document available to confirm whether the US Army eventually provided Germany with the necessary guarantees.

Bioweapons were outlawed in the Biological Weapons Convention of 1972 and was signed and ratified by 179 signatories, including Germany, the US and Russia.

It dictates that signatories, ”under all circumstances the use of bacteriological (biological) and toxin weapons is effectively prohibited by the Convention” and ”the determination of States parties to condemn any use of biological agents or toxins other than for peaceful purposes, by anyone at any time.”

 As I read this notice from ClinicalTrials.gov, a service of the US National Institutes of Health, the US Government and Pharmaceutical corporations have been conducting ebola tests on humans. http://clinicaltrials.gov/show/NCT02041715

This is official confirmation of Dr. Boyle and Dr. Broderick’s reports that the US government has conducted ebola experiments. Perhaps the vaccine was not effective, and those on whom the experiment was conducted came down with ebola and perhaps also employees in the US bio-warfare laboratories located in Africa where the experiment was conducted. 

It appears that the test consists of giving an ebola vaccine and then exposing the unaware person to ebola, apparently an engineered version for bio-warfare. Whatever the tests are, it is clear that Boyle and Broderick in their articles below are correct that experimentation with ebola by the US government is underway.

Two Scientists Say Ebola Originated In US Bio-warfare Lab

Experts have brought to the public’s attention that ebola is a genetically modified organism developed in US biowarfare laboratories in Africa.

In the two articles below reproduced from Tom Feeley’s Information Clearing House (a good site worthy of your support), Dr. Francis Boyle of the University of Illinois and
Dr. Cyril Broderick of the University of Liberia and the University of Delaware provide their fact-based assessments. Dr. Boyle drafted the Biological Weapons Anti-Terrorism Act of 1989, the US implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention.

For speaking out, both Boyle and Broderick will be viciously attacked by the US print and TV media. Remember the case of Gary Webb who exposed the CIA’s drug-running that supported the Contras in Nicaragua. The cocaine that launched the War on Drugs was brought in by the CIA. http://www.opednews.com/articles/WPost-s-Slimy-Assault-on-G-by-Robert-Parry-CIA_Cocaine_Gary-Webb_Journalism-141018-836.html

These are the URLs for the articles by Dr. Boyle and Dr. Broderick:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40012.htm

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40013.htm

See also:  http://www.lewrockwell.com/2014/10/no_author/its-the-worse-strain-of-ebola-ever/

Whisper – a new social network that claims to provide anonymity – has been accused of  secretly tracking users. The allegations were made by the Guardian newspaper, provoking renewed scrutiny of a multitude of data privacy claims made by software companies.

Makers of the Whisper application, which was launched in March 2012, claim that anyone that posts thoughts or secrets on their web site will remain anonymous. In the last 30 months, the company has exploded in popularity with over 2.6 million posts a day, notably by college students, who use the application to put up a picture and a line of text for anyone to read.

But Whisper also secretly mines the posts to send out hundreds of pitches a week to over 75 media organizations ranging from serious newspapers like the Guardian and the Washington Post to blog sites like Mashable and low brow entertainment web sites like Total Frat Move. The media can also request information on a certain topic or help finding sources.

The Guardian revelations were made after newspaper executives met with the company to discuss deepening their collaboration. The newspaper says it was astonished to discover that the company was secretly storing users posts as well as rough location data in an in-house searchable database.

The application data can also be provided to governments. “Whisper is also sharing information with the U.S. Department of Defense gleaned from smartphones it knows are used from military bases, and developing a version of its app to conform with Chinese censorship laws,” wrote Paul Lewis and Dominic Rushe in a Guardian article published Thursday.

The Guardian articles said that the data shared with the Pentagon was intended to prevent suicides and self-inflicted harm. It also claimed that Neetan Zimmerman, the editor-in-chief, was using the data stored to track individuals that Whisper believed worked for companies like Disney and Yahoo as well as on Capitol Hill.

The company denied the story immediately. “Whisper does not collect nor store: name, physical address, phone number, email address, or any other form of publicly identifiable information,” Whisper said in a press statement. “The privacy of our users is not violated in any of the circumstances suggested in The Guardian story.”

Zimmerman lashed out stating that the allegation were a “pack of vicious lies.”

However, on Saturday, Michael Heyward, the co-founder of Whisper, tacitly acknowledged some of the claims. “We realize that we’re not infallible, and that reasonable people can disagree about a new and quickly evolving area like online anonymity,” he wrote on Medium, a blog site. “Whisper is not a place for illegal activity. If we receive a valid legal request, or we learn that you tried to use Whisper to post content that exposes imminent danger to yourself or others, we will share the limited information we have, including IP address, with the appropriate authorities.”

The revelations about Whisper come just over 16 months after whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed the extent of U.S. government surveillance of global data communications, provoking an angry reaction from not just the public, but also from data corporations.

“We’re going to wind up breaking the Internet,” Eric Schmidt, Google executive chairman recently said at a panel discussion. “Just as people won’t put their money in a bank they won’t trust, people won’t use an Internet they won’t trust,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s top lawyer, said at the same event.

Yet, it is clear that the data companies are just as guilty of tracking individuals, if only for marketing purposes. Snowden himself acknowleged as much at another recent panel discussion where he called Google and Facebook “dangerous services.” “The unexplored elephant is the corporations – so privileged, so powerful in access, so unregulated – [and] are then tapped by the government,” he said.

Julian Assange, the founder of Wikileaks, has echoed this idea. “Google has become an invasive organization that wants to have a business model of formulating every single person it can on the Earth, collecting their private information, storing it, indexing it, and producing profiles of individuals so they can sell those profiles to better target ads on them and also sell its other services to the National Security Agency, and the US military, and enter into strategic relationships with the US state department,” he said at a recent press conference.

Hong Kong’s chief executive Leung Chun-ying has accused external forces from various countries of attempting to destabilize the situation in the Asian financial center.

Speaking in an interview with ATV World that aired on Sunday, Chun-ying said: “I shan’t go into details, but this is not entirely a domestic movement.”

He said various people and organizations from abroad have been meddling in Hong Kong’s political affairs, declining to name the particular countries.

“This is not the only time when they do it, and this is not an exception either,” he added.

The Hong Kong leader stressed that the Occupy Central movement is already “out of control even for the people who started it.”

In September, Chinese state media reported that the US secret services were trying export the successful experience of “color revolutions” from Eastern Europe to Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, the leaders of protests have decisively denied reports that foreign forces are behind the events.

The student-led protests, which broke out over three weeks ago, are demanding reforms on how Beijing vets Hong Kong candidates for elections in 2017 as well as the resignation of the current leader.

A Lebanese-American reporter working for Iranian channel, Press TV, Serena Shim has been killed in a car crash in Turkey, following her reports of accusations from Turkey’s intelligence agency that she had been “spying.”

“Our correspondent Serena Shim has been killed near the Turkey-Syria border. Serena was killed in a reported car accident when she was returning from a report scene…their car collided with a heavy vehicle,” a Press TV broadcast stated on Monday. Shim had also been the mother of two young children.

The driver of the vehicle was subsequently arrested, according to Turkish news agency Hurriyet, citing the Turkish Doğan News Agency. Press TV disputed this, alleging that both driver and vehicle have disappeared.

Press TV has additionally expressed suspicion, implying that it may not have been an accident. “Just a couple of days ago she had been threatened by Turkish intelligence,” the broadcast said.

 

Shim had been returning to her hotel after reporting from Suruç – a rural district near the Syrian border, where a many foreign journalists are based. They are covering news from the Syrian northeastern border town of Kobani, under siege by Islamic State militants for the past month due to its strategic importance.

She had expressed fears for her own safety; her death came a day after she reported receiving threats from the Turkish intelligence agency (MİT), saying they had accused her of spying.

“The Turkish intelligence agency has now accused our correspondent Serena Shim of being a spy,” said a Press TV report on Saturday.

 

“I’m very surprised at this accusation – I even thought of approaching Turkish intelligence because I have nothing to hide,” Shim said in the broadcast on Saturday.

“I am a bit worried, because…Turkey has been labeled by Reporters Without Borders as the largest prison for journalists…so I am frightened about what they might use against me,” she said.

Shim had been reporting that IS militants had crossed the border from Turkey into Syria in trucks apparently affiliated with NGOs, some of which allegedly bore World Food Organization symbols. She claimed that she had received images from Islamic militants crossing the Turkish border and was one of the few reporters focusing on the matter.

“We were some of the first people on the ground –if not the first people – to get that story of…militants going in through the Turkish border…I’ve got images of them in World Food Organization trucks. It was very apparent that they were militants by their beards, by the clothes they wore, and they were going in there with NGO trucks,”

she said.

Dozens of suspected Nazi criminals have collected millions of dollars in Social Security benefits after they were deported from or agreed to leave the United States, according to an investigation.

A group of Hitler followers, some of whom still alive in Europe and receiving Social Security checks, were given the benefits as a bargaining tool to leave the US voluntarily, a two-year investigation by the Associated Press has found.

According to the shocking report released on Sunday, former death camp guards and SS soldiers collected more than $1.5 million in retirement funds after being deported from the US decades ago.

A few of them continue to receive up to $1,500 a month in Social Security, living their golden days in Europe.

The Justice Department has rejected the report.

“The matter of Social Security benefits eligibility was raised by defense counsel, not by the department, and the department neither used retirement benefits as an inducement to leave the country and renounce citizenship nor threatened that failure to depart and renounce would jeopardize continued receipt of benefits,”

Justice Department spokesman Peter Carr said in a statement.

But the AP investigation has found that the US government asked the war criminals to leave the country to face prosecution abroad, in return for a continued Social Security.

An analysis of the report showed that at least 38 of the 66 Nazi guards removed from the United States were allowed to keep their Social Security benefits. Only 10 were prosecuted for war crimes in Europe.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan) said he plans to introduce new legislation to close the legislation loophole. “It’s absolutely outrageous that Nazi war criminals are continuing to receive Social Security benefits when they have been outlawed from our country for many, many, many years,” Maloney said.

Image: Jakob Denzinger looks from his apartment window in Osijek, eastern Croatia, in this July photo. A former Nazi guard at the Mauthausen, Sachsenhausen and Auschwitz death camps, he now lives comfortably on a Social Security payment of about $1,500 a month.

Former Auschwitz guard Jakob Denzinger was one of the people who was asked to leave the US with the promise of a continued Social Security. He owned a successful plastics company in Ohio before he was tracked down in the late 1980s.

Denzinger, now 90, settled in Osijek, Croatia, and now receives $18,000 in US checks every year.

“I don’t want to say anything,” Denzinger said when confronted by reporters.

Japan TV Anchor: I Couldn’t Tell the Truth About Fukushima

October 20th, 2014 by Global Research News

Photo: Former NHK anchor Jun Hori. (TEDxKyoto/Flickr Creative Commons)

Nuclear Scientist: I have not trusted the information from beginning… “The worst scenario I predicted has happened” 

PRI’s ‘The World’, Oct 17, 2014:  Japan’s timid coverage of Fukushima led this news anchor to revolt — and he’s not alone — No one is telling [evacuee] Shiga Kamematsu the truth

  • Complaints about censorship… continue to this day… Evacuees don’t trust the gov’t or Tepco… they’re blaming the media for not holding them both accountable… Criticism goes beyond a lack of investigation. Journalist Jun Hori says his news agency prevented him from accurately reporting what happened… It restricted what he and other journalists could say about Fukushima [like] how much radiation was spreading.
  • Jun Hori. NHK news anchor: “I couldn’t tell the true story on my news program… It was very frustrating… A lot of people kept asking me, ‘Why didn’t you tell us earlier about what is happening?’… My superiors said NHK was getting complaints from politicians…They told me I had to stop… The Japanese thought someone was [giving them accurate information] — companies, the government, someone. But once you peeled back the cover, you saw that nobody was doing it.”

Jun Hori at TEDx Kyoto: ‘Do not create panic, do not fuel public anxiety, do not impair national interests, do not compromise the interests of our sponsors’… There is a plethora of information available on the web, one cannot learn the truth from watching TV or reading newspapers… Drastic changes need to be made… A man [wanted] to see what is really going on in the nuclear plants… The recordings he sent us a few months later were shocking and overwhelming.

Asahi Reporter: “Tepco declined…  access of the complete recordings… Footage has not yet been released… There are much more shocking parts… Workers have been told… they’d receive 100 millisieverts [a day] of radiation exposure.

Dr. Uzi Even, nuclear scientist: “I do not trust the reporting system… In fact from the beginning of this crisis… Japanese authorities were trying to play down the danger… The worst scenario that I predicted happened… I claimed from the beginning that the information given to the public is either erroneous or misleading… The first few days they said, ‘Everything is under control, nothing will happen, you don’t have to be worried.’ I doubted it from the moment of the earthquake.”

Watch the interview here

Even amid the public outrage and pushback in the wake of whistleblower revelations about the global spy network, the establishment continues to push forward with justifications about why it is in our best interest to be under their constant watch. 

Social media is a playground for data harvesters of all stripes, but it is now apparent that it is becoming the single most pursued line of open surveillance.

I reported recently about Twitter’s ChatterGrabber program that is “used to monitor tickborne diseases, such as Lyme disease, public sentiment involving vaccines, and gun violence and terrorism, serving as an early warning system for public health officials through suspicious tweets or conversations.” That story was followed shortly after by the announcement that Twitter would open up its entire database to MIT beginning with its very first Tweet in 2006. We know that Facebook has used their algorithms to go beyond surveillance and actually manipulate the emotions of users as a type of psychology experiment. And the list goes on.

Now The Hill is reporting on a federal program that even has one member of the FCC saying that it “seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel.”

While some have defended new modes of biosurveillance and social media tracking to identify and counter heightened public health risks, no one except social engineers can tolerate the tracking of political speech – for the simple reason that it blankets both sides of the political spectrum, and everything in between. The above-mentioned MIT program using Twitter’s full database hinted at studying political language, but this new program leaves no doubt:

The “Truthy” study, which is funded by the National Science Foundation, is being developed by Indiana University researchers to study how popular ideas and jokes spread throughout popular culture. One focus is the spread of “political smears, astroturfing, misinformation, and other social pollution,” researchers said. (emphasis added) 

And a new term is born: social pollution . Not much of a stretch to see how this could merge with hate speech in the political arena and be used to silence legitimately dissenting voices.

The press release below frames the Indiana University study. It’s a shameful use of public data, university tools and taxpayer funds. Combined with corporate social media platforms, this is fascism at its finest.

My emphasis and parenthetical comments added.

  1. We study how individuals’ limited attention span affects what information we propagate and what social connections we make, and how the structure of social networks can help predict which memes are likely to become viral.
  2. We explore social science questions via social media data analytics. Examples of research to date include analyses of geographic and temporal patterns in movements like Occupy Wall Street, societal unrest in Turkey, polarization and cross-ideological communication in online political discourse, partisan asymmetries in online political engagement, the use of social media data to predict election outcomes and forecast key market indicators, and the geographic diffusion of trending topics.
  3. Truthy is an ensemble of web services and tools to demonstrate applications of our data mining research, from visualizing meme diffusion patterns to detecting social bots on Twitter.

The current focus of the project follows three directions:

  1. Modeling efforts to better understand how information spreads, why some memes go viral,competition for attention, the role of sentiment on the diffusion process, the mutual interaction between traffic on the network and the emergent structure of the network.
  2. Analyzing differences in meme diffusion patterns between different domains, such as news and scientific results, and the correlations between certain online behaviors and offline events.
  3. Expanding the platform to make the data derived from our analyses of meme diffusion and from our machine learning algorithms more easily accessible and thus more useful to social scientists, reporters, and the general public.

In an ironic turn of events, the project has itself become the target of a disinformation campaign online and on TV. Read our post: The Truth about Truthy.

***

Yes, real ironic. I encourage you to go ahead and read “The Truth about Truthy” linked above – If the program itself is Orwellian, the defense of it is doubly so.

If you’d like to contact Indiana University’s Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research to express your distaste for its cooperation with the surveillance-industrial complex, you can do so here: http://cnets.indiana.edu/contact/

Main source: The Hill 

Unbelievable.

On Wednesday, stocks were hammered after economic data showed that the US and global economies were headed for a major slowdown. By mid-day, the Dow was down 460 points before clawing its way back to minus 173 points. It looked like the market was set for another triple-digit flogging on Thursday when the Fed stepped in and started talking-up an extension to QE3. That’s all it took to ease investors jitters, stop the meltdown and send equities rocketing back into space. By the end of Friday’s session, all the markets were back in the green with the Dow logging an impressive 263 points on the day. Here’s more background from Wolf Street:

“But just when some profusely sweating souls on Wall Street thought that the bottom was falling out, a savior appears. St. Louis Fed President James Bullard got on Bloomberg TV and pressed the red panic button (and) handed them what they wanted….That was enough.

Using declining inflation expectations as a pretext, he proposed to delay the end of QE. The Fed should continue buying $15 billion in securities a month…. it instantly turned around the markets. The spoiled brats on Wall Street were ecstatic to imagine that the Fed might continue to deliver the goodies they’ve become addicted to, and without which life seems unbearable.” (This Market is Driven by Psychology and Momentum,’ which ‘Works Really Painfully on the Way Down, Wolf Street)

For those readers who still think that the Fed doesn’t meddle in the markets: Think again. Friday’s stock surge had nothing to do with productivity, price, earnings, growth or any of the other so called fundamentals. It was all about manipulation; telling people what they want to hear, so they do exactly what you want them to do. The pundits calls this jawboning, and the Fed has turned it into an art-form. All Bullard did was assure investors that the Fed “has their back”, and , sure enough, another wild spending spree ensued. One can only imagine the backslapping and high-fives that broke out at the Central Bank following this latest flimflam.

As most people now realize, stocks haven’t tripled in the last 5 years because the economy is expanding. Heck, no. The economy is still on all-fours and everyone knows it. The reason stocks have been flying-high is because the Fed added a hefty $4 trillion in red ink to its balance sheet. Naturally, when someone buys $4 trillion in financial assets, the price of financial assets go up.

Who would’ve known?

And here’s something else to chew on: On Thursday I wrote an article titled “Stocks Plunge 460 Points on QE Exit”. Among the 2 or 3 thousand other articles on the topic in the mainstream, not one mentioned the fact that QE was set to end at the end of October. Instead, they pointed to sluggishness in Europe and China, and weaker-than-expected economic data in the US as the proximate causes of the downturn.

So let me ask you this, dear reader, if the end of QE was not the real trigger for the Dow’s 460 point bungee jump, then why did the markets do a quick 180 right after Bullard made his statement on Thursday? In fact, the media even admits that point now. Check out this article on Marketwatch on Friday titled “Bullard’s surprise suggestion of continuing QE lifts markets”:

“A comment from a hawkish Federal Reserve official on Thursday that central-bank bond buying should continue beyond its scheduled end lifted stock markets and surprised many observers.

The Federal Reserve should consider extending its bond-buying program beyond October due to the market selloff to see how the U.S. economic outlook evolves, said James Bullard, the president of the St. Louis Fed, on Thursday. …

If the economy is still as robust as I am describing it, then I think we could just end the program in December. But if the market is right, and this is portending something more serious for the U.S. economy, than the committee would have an option of ramping up QE at that point,” he said.

The S&P 500 SPX, +1.65% jumped from its session low of a 0.9% drop after Bullard’s remarks came out.” (Bullard’s surprise suggestion of continuing QE lifts markets, Marketwatch)

How do you like that? Just one word from the Fed and the markets do an immediate about-face. Now that’s power.

It’s too bad the Fed can’t put in a good word for the real economy while they’re at it. But, oh, I forgot that the real economy is stuffed with working stiffs who don’t warrant the same kind of treatment as the esteemed supermen who trade stocks for a living. Besides, the Fed doesn’t give a rip about the real economy. If it did, it would have loaded up on infrastructure bonds instead of funky mortgage backed securities (MBS). The difference between the two is pretty stark: Infrastructure bonds put people to work, circulate money, boost economic activity, and strengthen growth. In contrast, MBS purchases help to fatten the bank accounts of the fraudsters who created the financial crisis while doing bupkis for the economy. Guess who the Fed chose to help out?

Do you really want to know why the Fed isn’t going to end QE? Here’s how Nomura’s chief economist Bob Janjuah summed it up:

“I want to remind readers of a message that may be buried in the past: When QE1 ended, the S&P 500 fell just under 20% in a roughly three-month period before the QE2 recovery.

When the QE2 ended, the S&P 500 fell about 20% in a three-month period before the next Fed-inspired bounce (aided by the ECB). QE3 is ending this month…”

Is that why the Fed started jawboning QE4, to avoid the inevitable 20 percent correction?

You bet it is. But what’s odd is that stocks hadn’t even dropped 10 percent before the Fed hit the panic button. Why is that?

Could it be that they have no confidence in the market? Could it be that they know that their loosy-goosey monetary policies have inflated the biggest bubble of all time which has created a fragile, crisis prone system that can’t even withstand a measly 10 percent drop before bank balance sheets start going up in flames and the whole wobbly financial house of cards comes crashing to earth in a thud?

Of course, it is. They’re scared sh**less, which is why they dispatched bigmouth Bullard to promise investors the moon as long as they keep loading up on equities. Yellen an Co. are going to do everything in their power to keep this runaway train from going off the cliff, even if they kill us all in the process.

Now check out this blurb from Allianz ‘s chief economic adviser, Mohamed A. El-Erian, one of the few analysts who got it right:

“Due to excessive confidence in central banks, investors eagerly decoupled high market valuations from what was warranted by the sluggish fundamentals.”… That disconnect has been undermined over the last few weeks by signs that the global economy’s fundamentals are weaker than they seemed and concern that the European Central Bank will not adequately fight that continent’s economic drift…” (New York Times)

What El Erian is saying, is that, stocks are vastly overpriced given “sluggish fundamentals”. The only reason investors have been buying is because the Fed has been shoving money into the market hand-over-fist. That’s what’s kept equities airborne. But on Wednesday, investors woke up and said to themselves, “Hey, the economy’s circling the plughole, the Fed is bailing out, and I’m left with a boatload of dodgy stocks that might be worth $.30 on the dollar. Maybe I’ll get out now while I still can.” That’s why the market tanked.

So, what’s the lesson here?

The lesson is that the Fed is driving the markets. The whole “free market” trope is baloney. No one is loading up on stocks because they’re a good deal or because they think the economy is going gangbusters. Investors are buying stocks because they still believe in the power of money. They still think the Fed can pump a few more wisps of helium into the equities balloon and keep the rally going for a bit longer. And that’s why stocks surged on Friday, because, at least for now, greed still trumps fear.

But what’s the overall effect of this loony policy on the economy, or is that a fair question to ask after 6 years of falling incomes, flatlining wages, widening inequality and widespread economic stagnation?

The truth is, we already know what the impact is: The rich have gotten richer while the poor have been shunted off to tent cities, food pantries and under freeway off-ramps. Isn’t that what’s happened? Get a load of this brief summary in Friday’s World Socialist Web Site:

“The richest one percent of the world’s population now controls 48.2 percent of global wealth, up from 46 percent last year, according to the most recent global wealth report issued by Credit Suisse, the Swiss-based financial services company.

Hypothetically, if the growth of inequality were to proceed at last year’s rate, the richest one percent for all intents and purposes would control all the wealth on the planet within 23 years.

The report found that the growth of global inequality has accelerated sharply since the 2008 financial crisis, as the values of financial assets have soared while wages have stagnated and declined…

The study revealed that the richest 8.6 percent of the world’s population—those with a net worth of more than $100,000—control 85 percent of the world’s wealth. Meanwhile, the bottom 70 percent of the world’s population—those with less than $10,000 in net worth—hold a mere 2.9 percent of global wealth.

The growth in inequality is bound up with a worldwide surge in paper wealth, fueled by the trillions of dollars pumped into the financial system by central banks via zero interest rate and “quantitative easing” policies…

As the report noted, “The overall global economy may remain sluggish, but this has not prevented personal wealth from surging ahead during the past year. Driven by … robust equity prices, total wealth grew by 8.3% worldwide … the first time household wealth has passed the $250 trillion threshold.” (Richest one percent controls nearly half of global wealth, Andre Damon, World Socialist Web)

That says it all, doesn’t it? The widening chasm between rich and poor is traceable to the policies that were adopted in 2008. That’s why things are so fu**ed up, it’s because the “surge in paper wealth, fueled by the trillions of dollars pumped into the financial system by central banks via zero interest rate and “quantitative easing” policies.”

In other words, it’s all deliberate. Robbing the poor and giving to the rich is all part of the plan.

That strikes me as an important point, and one that’s worth mulling over for awhile; that crushing the middle class isn’t an accident. It’s what they want. It’s the policy.

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].

Internal National Security Agency documents published by the Intercept earlier this month provide powerful evidence of active collaboration by the large technology corporations with the US government’s worldwide surveillance operations. The documents give a glimpse of efforts by the American state—the scale and complexity of which are astonishing—to penetrate, surveil and manipulate information systems around the world.

Reportedly leaked by whistleblower Edward Snowden, the documents catalogue a dizzying array of clandestine intelligence and surveillance operations run by the NSA, CIA and other US and allied security bureaucracies, including infiltration of undercover agents into corporate entities, offensive cyber-warfare and computer network exploitation (CNE), theoretical and practical aspects of encryption cracking, and supply chain interdiction operations that “focus on modifying equipment in a target’s supply chain.”

The trove of documents, made available in their original forms by the Intercept , are largely comprised of classification rubrics that organize NSA secrets according to a color-coded scale ranging from green (lowest priority secrets), through blue and red, to black (highest priority secrets).

The secret facts organized in the leaked classification guides supply overwhelming evidence that the NSA and Central Security Service (a 25,000-strong agency founded in 1972 as a permanent liaison between the NSA and US military intelligence) rely on cooperative and in some cases contractual relations with US firms to facilitate their global wiretapping and data stockpiling activities.

Blue level facts listed in the documents include:

* “Fact that NSA/CSS works with US industry in the conduct of its cryptologic missions”

* “Fact that NSA/CSS works with US industry as technical advisors regarding cryptologic products”

Red level facts include:

* “Fact that NSA/CSS conducts SIGINT enabling programs and related operations with US industry”

* “Fact that NSA/CSS have FISA operations with US commercial industry elements”

Black level facts include:

* “Fact that NSA/CSS works with and has contractual relationships with specific named US commercial entities to conduct SIGINT [signals intelligence] enabling programs and operations”

* “Fact that NSA/CSS works with specific named US commercial entities to make them exploitable for SIGINT”

* “Facts related to NSA personnel (under cover), operational meetings, specific operations, specific technology, specific locations and covert communications related to SIGINT enabling with specific commercial entities”

* “Facts related to NSA/CSS working with US commercial entities on the acquisition of communications (content and metadata) provided by the US service provider to worldwide customers; communications transiting the US; or access to international communications mediums provided by the US entity”

* “Fact that NSA/CSS injects ‘implants’ into the hardware and software of US companies to enable data siphoning”

Particularly damning are facts reported by a leaked classification schema detailing operation “Exceptionally Controlled Information (ECI) WHIPGENIE,” described in the document’s introduction as covering NSA “Special Source Operations relationships with US Corporate Partners.”

According to the ECI WHIPGENIE document, unnamed “corporate partners” facilitate NSA mass surveillance as part of undisclosed “contractual relations,” through which “NSA and Corporate Partners are involved in SIGINT ‘cooperative efforts.”’

Among the classified TOP SECRET items listed in the ECI WHIPGENIE document is the fact that “NSA and an unnamed Corporate Partner are involved in a ‘cooperative effort’ against cable collection, including domestic wire access collection.”

As part of WHIPGENIE, the document further states, the FBI facilitates NSA partnerships with industry that are both “compelled and cooperative” in nature. In other words, the NSA carries out domestic wiretapping and “cable collection” operations with the cooperation of at least one US corporation.

These revelations are especially significant in light of persistent claims by the major tech and communications corporations that their involvement in the surveillance operations is strictly involuntary in nature.

Last year, a leaked NSA PowerPoint presentation titled “Corporate Partner Access” showed that the volume of data transferred to the agency by Yahoo, Google, and Microsoft during a single 5-week period was sufficient to generate more than 2,000 intelligence reports. The companies all defended their actions by claiming they were forced to furnish data by the government.

Other documents contained in the trove detail the NSA’s development of sophisticated offensive cyber-warfare capabilities targeting the information systems of foreign corporations and governments. These programs highlight the threat of outbreaks of electronic warfare between competing capitalist elites, which could provide the spark for full-fledged shooting wars.

One document, titled “Computer Network Exploitation Classification Guide,” states that NSA, CSS and the NSA’s in-house hacker unit, the so-called Tailored Access Operations (TAO), engage in “remote subversion” as well as “off-net field operations to develop, deploy, exploit or maintain intrusive access.”

Another classification guide, titled “NSA / CSS Target Exploitation Program,” covers target exploitation operations (TAREX), which are said to “provide unique collection of telecommunication and cryptologic-related information and material in direct support of NSA / CSS.”

TAREX also involves “physical subversion,” “close access-enabling exploitation,” and “supply chain enabling,” the document shows, through which the surveillance agencies intervene directly to modify and sabotage the information systems of rival states.

TAREX operations are supported by outposts located in Beijing, China, South Korea, Germany, Washington DC, Hawaii, Texas and Georgia, and TAREX personnel are “integrated into the HUMINT [human intelligence] operations at CIA, DIA/DoD, and/or FBI,” according to the document.

On top of the electronic surveillance, infiltration and cyber-warfare operations themselves, the intelligence establishment has launched a slate of secondary operations designed to protect the secrecy of its various initiatives, as shown in another leaked document, titled “Exceptionally Controlled Information Listing.”

These include:

* AMBULANT, APERIODIC, AUNTIE—“Protect information related to sensitive SIGINT Enabling relationships”

* BOXWOOD—“Protects a sensitive sole source of lucrative communications intelligence emanating from a target”

* CHILLY—“Protects details of NSA association with and active participation in planning and execution of sensitive Integrated Joint Special Technical Operations (IJSTO) offensive Information Warfare strategies”

* EVADEYIELD—“Protects NSA’s capability to exploit voice or telephonic conversations from an extremely sensitive source”

* FORBIDDEN—“Protects information pertaining to joint operations conducted by NSA, GCHQ, CSE, CIA, and FBI against foreign intelligence agents”

* FORBORNE—“Protects the fact that the National Security Agency, GCHQ, and CSE can exploit ciphers used by hostile intelligence services”

* OPALESCE —“Protects Close Access SIGINT collection operations, which require a specialized sensor, positioned in close physical proximity to the target or facility”

* PENDLETON—“Protects NSA’s investment in manpower and resources to acquire our current bottom line capabilities to exploit SIGINT targets by attacking public key cryptography as well as investment in technology”

* PIEDMONT—“Provides protection to NSA’s bottom line capabilities to exploit SIGINT targets by attacking the hard mathematical problems underlying public key cryptography as well as any future technologies as may be developed”

* And others…

The number and character of the NSA’s “protection” programs gives an indication of the scope of its activities.

The latest round of leaked NSA documents underscores the absurdity of proposals aimed at “reforming” and “reigning in” the mass surveillance programs, which, propelled by the explosive growth of social inequality and the rise of a criminal financial oligarchy, have enjoyed a tropical flourishing since the 1970s, acquiring an extravagant scale and diversity.