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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Image: Hillary Clinton with the so-called pro-democracy rebels in Libya during the NATO intervention which overthrew Gaddafi.

An anonymous source told Fox News on Tuesday the U.S. government believes a terror attack comparable to the 9/11 attack will arise from Libya.

Citing the presence of Islamic State operatives in Benghazi, Derna and Sirte, the government argues it needs authority to go into Libya in pursuit of terrorists.

In late February the Director of National Intelligence, James R. Clapper, said during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Libya is the most “troublesome” country in the Middle East.

“There are, in addition to ISIL, probably six or eight other terrorist groups that have gathered in Libya,” he said. “So it’s a magnet because, essentially, it’s ungoverned.”

“From an intelligence perspective, I think clearly we need to step up our game,” Clapper added. “I think there’s a lot of merit to partnering with the French, who have sort of staked out their claim in the Sahel region of North Africa.”

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters Libya must deal with its security issues with the help of the United States and the United Nations.

“Are we happy with the situation in Libya from a governance and security perspective? No. Absolutely not,” she said.”At the end of the day, though, this is not just a line, it’s true. This is ultimately up to the Libyan people, leaders in Libya to take the security of their country into their own hands and try to move it in a better direction with our help, the U.N. and others’ help as well.”

Current Policy Ensures Rise of ISIS in Libya

The United Nations and the U.S., however, have tied the hands of Khalifa Haftar, a general supported by the West in the ongoing battle against Libya Dawn, a coalition of Islamic militias that has taken over Tripoli and large part of western Libya.

Libya Dawn claims it is opposed to the presence of the Islamic State in the country. Jamal Naji Zubia, a Tripoli government spokesman, told The New York Times Libyans who appeared to be part of the Islamic State were Gaddafi loyalists who had “put on the mantle of the Islamic State.”

The United Nations has called for the creation of a maritime monitoring force to prevent weapons from entering and illegally exported oil from leaving the north African country.

“Current transfers to Libya are probably contributing to further onward proliferation of materiel,” a United Nations report released over the weekend said. It claims the proliferation of weapons poses “a significant security challenge for other countries in the region, particularly from a terrorism perspective.”

According to UNSC resolution 2174, weapons may only be imported into Libya with the permission of “recognized authorities” and the transfers have received approval from the Sanctions Committee which must be notified of any transactions in advance.

The U.S., the United Nations and Britain want a handpicked government installed before the current arms embargo is lifted.

U.S. Responsible for Situation in Libya

The recent State Department remarks on Libya ignore the fact the United States is directly responsible for arming Libyan militants, including al-Qaeda.

“The White House and senior Congressional members deliberately and knowingly pursued a policy that provided material support to terrorist organizations in order to topple a ruler Muammar Gadhafi ,” the Citizens Commission on Benghazi said in an interim report released last April.

The policy has produced “utter chaos” in Libya and has facilitated “the spread of dangerous weapons (including surface-to-air missiles), and the empowerment of jihadist organizations like al-Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood.”

“The United States switched sides in the war on terror with what we did in Libya, knowingly facilitating the provision of weapons to known Al-Qaeda militias and figures,” said Clare Lopez, a former CIA officer and a member of a commission established by Accuracy in Media to study the Benghazi arms transfer.

“They were permitted to come in. … They knew these weapons were coming in, and that was allowed,” she said. “The intelligence community was part of that, the Department of State was part of that, and certainly that means that the top leadership of the United States, our national security leadership, and potentially Congress—if they were briefed on this — also knew about this.”

Caracas, March 2nd 2015 (venezuelanalysis.com) The Venezuelan government has responded to increased pressure from Washington by revoking visa rights for former US politicians such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, described by President Nicolas Maduro as “terrorists against the peoples of the world” on Saturday.

“I have decided on a prohibition list for people who will not be permitted visas and who can never enter Venezuela, for a set of chief US politicians who have committed human rights violations. They have bombed the people of Iraq, the people of Syria, the people of Vietnam… It is an anti-terrorist list,” declared the head of state to an impassioned crowd.

The statements were part of a rousing speech delivered by the president on Saturday to thousands of marchers who had taken to the streets of Caracas to reject White House interference in the South American country. The march was a direct response to a string of further US sanctions enacted against the Venezuelan government in early February and to what Maduro characterised as a “moment of increased aggression” from the Obama administration. The head of state went on to call for a “global rebellion against US imperialism”.

“The US thinks it is the boss, the police of the world… Something happens somewhere, let’s say in Asia, and a spokesperson for the US comes out saying that the US government thinks that such and such a government shouldn’t do such and such a thing in Asia… Are we going to accept a global government? Enough of imperialism in the world!” stated an incensed Maduro.

During his speech, the head of state also announced a slew of new diplomatic measures against the US which include the implementation of visa requirements for all US citizens visiting Venezuela.

“They must pay what Venezuelans pay when they want to travel to the United States,” said the president.

Maduro explained that the changes were designed to “protect” Venezuelans, after a number of US citizens were discovered to be taking part in acts of espionage by Venezuelan authorities.

One of the most recent detections includes the pilot of a US airplane who was stopped and questioned by authorities on the border last week. A number of US citizens were also detained last year for their participation in the armed barricades or Guarimbas which sought to bring down the government and led to the deaths of at least 43 Venezuelans.

Despite the latest measures, Maduro emphasised that Venezuela continued to value its relationship with US citizens.

“You can count on the fact that the people of Bolivar respect the people of the US, and recognise in you a brother peoples, these decisions are against the imperialist elite,” he stated.

The new measures will see the number of staff at the US embassy in Caracas significantly reduced and US representatives obliged to inform Venezuelan authorities of any meetings that they intend to hold.

The diplomatic institution currently has over 100 employees, in comparison to just 17 who work at the Venezuelan embassy in Washington. Venezuelan Foreign Minister, Delcy Rodriguez, has explained that the US diplomatic mission will be obliged to reduce its staffing numbers to 17 over the next 2 weeks.

Tense Relations 

Recently the US embassy in Caracas has become embroiled in a diplomatic altercation with the Maduro administration which has intensified since the discovery of a planned coup against the government in February. The Venezuelan head of state has accused the White House of conspiring against his government and charged embassy personnel with having advanced knowledge of the coup plot, which was allegedly being funded in US dollars from Miami.

Prior to the discovery of the coup, the US embassy was reported to have attempted to bribe senior military and government officials to partake in insurrectionist actions against the government. US Vice-president Joe Biden also made a series of statements accusing the Venezuelan government of repression following a meeting with the wife of jailed opposition leader, Liliana Tintori.

Current opinion polls suggest significant support amongst the population for government actions against the US. According to a February poll conducted by opposition aligned think tank, Hinerlaces, 92% of Venezuelans oppose any kind of foreign intervention while 62% think that the US should not be allowed to pass judgement on the country’s internal affairs.

In 2014, the US government issued 103 statements against Venezuela and another 65 since the start of the year. Just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration also approved increased funding for Venezuelan opposition groups and Non-Governmental Organisations.

Here’s Time Magazine‘s David von Drehle: “The greatest threat that ISIS poses — even to the poor souls living under ISIS rule — is the unintended damage that might follow from the effort to eradicate the group. . . . As dangerous as it is to have a terrorist kingdom in the middle of the world’s geopolitical tinderbox, ousting ISIS will be every bit as dangerous.”

Drehle goes from there immediately into the debate over whether U.S. troops or local troops should do the job. His article is followed by Max Boot arguing for U.S. ground troops and Karl Vick arguing for U.S. bombing with local ground troops. All three writers seem to be aware that ISIS wanted U.S. bombing and wants U.S. ground troops even more, that ISIS recruitment climbs in response to U.S. military action. All three can’t help but be aware that terrorist kingdoms like Saudi Arabia already exist in the region with the blessing of the U.S. government (and of magazine writers who seek to please the U.S. government). All three are fairly condescending toward local troops, eager to (somehow) get Sunnis to attack Sunnis, and wary of allowing Iranian “death squads” to get involved in the, you know, mass killing they are proposing.

None of the three have one word to say about the great many innocents already killed in the latest U.S. bombings, but all three seem to grasp that the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 was necessary for the creation of ISIS, all three seem to understand that fighting ISIS is counterproductive, and yet all three strive to place the need to attack ISIS beyond the range of any debate. The question is not whether to make the disaster worse, but exactly how to do it.

What, after all, makes the region a global tinderbox? Israel’s nukes? Certainly not, those are not supposed to be mentioned or even thought about. Well then, all the other weapons? But over 80% of those are supplied by the United States, so that can’t be it. Perhaps the violent overthrows and devastation of so many governments and countries? But it was the U.S. and friends who destroyed Iraq and made Libya what it is and who have done what they’re still doing to Afghanistan. It is the U.S. that has ruined Yemen. It is the U.S. that arms and supports Israel’s wars. It is the U.S. that props up the terrorist states in Saudi Arabia and Bahrain and Egypt. Surely what makes the region a tinderbox (rather than a region rich in oil about which greedy earth-destroying interests might be concerned) is something unthinkable or nonsensical or inscrutable, something ethnic or religious or unworthy of consideration.

Because otherwise we might have to consider cease fires and arms embargoes and diplomacy and humanitarian aid as possible alternatives to the usual choices of (1) do nothing, or (2) make it all worse with more of what caused much of the problem in the first place. We might have to consider that it isn’t ISIS that’s posing the greatest threat in the form of “the effort to eradicate the group.”

Obama indicates that remaining options would be limited, including additional sanctions or military actions, if ongoing negotiations with Tehran fail. ‘Why wouldn’t we take that deal?’ the president asked, if there are assurances Iran cannot build a covert nuclear weapons program. (Image: Screenshot/Reuters)

Though voicing no overall criticism of Israeli state policy when it comes various issues involving regional politics, its own nuclear weapons program, or its treatment of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the number of U.S. lawmakers who now say they will not attend the speech of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday has grown to nearly 60 members of Congress, with high-profile Democratic Senators Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken among the most recent to register their objection to the address.

According to The Hill on Tuesday, nearly a quarter of House Democrats will not attend.

Meanwhile, President Obama sat down with the Reuters news agency and offered his most detailed comments yet about the so-called “rift” that has publicly percolated around the prime minister’s decision to address the joint session just weeks ahead of Israeli elections. The speech also comes amid tense, high-level talks in Switzerland this week, where Iran and the P5+1 nations (the U.S., U.K., China, Russia, France, and Germany) are in the final stages of trying to reach a deal on monitoring for Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.

Declaring her reasons for not attending the speech, Sen. Warren said, “It’s unfortunate that Speaker Boehner’s actions on the eve of a national election in Israel have made Tuesday’s event more political and less helpful for addressing the critical issue of nuclear nonproliferation and the safety of our most important ally in the Middle East.”

For his part, Sen. Franken said he would not attend Netanyahu’s speech because it had devolved into a “partisan spectacle” he wants no part of. “I’d be uncomfortable being part of an event that I don’t believe should be happening,” Franken said. “I’m confident that, once this episode is over, we can reaffirm our strong tradition of bipartisan support for Israel.”

In his remarks to Reuters, President Obama also affirmed the “depth of the U.S./Israeli relationship” – a bond, he said, that would never be broken.

“I don’t think it’s permamently destructive,” Obama told Reuters in reference to Netanyahu’s visit, “but I think it’s a distraction from what should be our focus. And our focus should be: how do we stop Iran from getting a nuclear weapon?”

“Why not wait to see if there’s actually going to be a deal – can Iran accept the terms that we’re laying out. If, in fact, Iran can accept terns that would ensure a one-year breakout period, for ten years or longer—and during that period we know that Iran is not developing a nuclear weapon; we have inspectors on the ground that give us assurances that they’re not creating a covert program—why would we not take that deal when we know that the alternatives—whether through sanctions or military actions—will not result in as much assurance that Iran is [or is not] developing a nuclear weapon? There’s no good reason not to let these negotiations play themselves out.”

Obama added, “If, in fact, a deal is arrived at, that it’s going to be a deal that is most likely to prevent Iran from getting a nuclear weapon.”

Obama said that in his mind it’s “still more likely than not” that Tehran will back away from finalizing a deal, but added that “in fairness to them, they have been serious negotiators” and acknowledged that internal Iranian politics have their own potent dynamics. That said, Obama continued, “It is more likely we could get a deal now than it was three or five months ago.”

On Monday, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said that if the U.S. could find the political will, he was sure “we can have an agreement this time.”

The Iraqi Army has once again claimed that it has downed a NATO aircraft that was providing military assistance directly to ISIS according to Iranian FARS News Agency.

This time, the Iraqis are claiming they shot down a US Helicopter in the Al-Bagdadi region in Anbar Province last week. The reason for shooting the helicopter, according to FARS and, apparently, high-ranking Iraqi officials, was that the helicopter was carrying weapons to ISIS.

Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee and senior Iraqi legislator, Hakem al-Zameli has stated that the Iraqi government is constantly receiving reports from its security forces that NATO aircraft is dropping weapons to ISIS.

Zameli claims that the reason for the airdrops is that NATO wishes to prolong the situation in Anbar Province for geopolitical purposes.

Zameli stated that “The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL.”

Indeed, the claims come only one week after a video was released purporting to show a US Chinook helicopter dropping at least two boxes of weapons to ISIS and flying a low altitudes unmolested over ISIS-controlled territory south of Fallujah. It is reported that the footage was filmed by Hezbollah Brigades based in Iraq.

In order to prove the fact that they did indeed down an American helicopter the FARS report claims that the Iraqi fighters posted a picture of the chopper and the weapons that were recovered from the wreckage.

Credit: FARS News Agency

The alleged downing of the US Helicopter comes on the heels of an alleged downing of two UK planes by Iraqi forces using the same reason (NATO dropping weapons to ISIS) as justification.

In this regard, Zameli stated that “The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL.”There are also reports that some US helicopters have landed in Fallujah, a stronghold of ISIS fighters in Iraq for the purpose of completing airdrops to al-Qaeda/ISIS.

The al-Ahad News website has quoted Khalaf Tarmouz, head of the al-Anbar Provincial Council as saying “We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region.”

Tarmouz also claimed that weapons made in Israel and Europe were also discovered in Ramadi.

“The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations,” he said.

These reports are by no means the first time that the United States, Europe, or Israel have been implicated in the arming and support of ISIS. It is, however, the first time Iraqi forces (since the initial US invasion of 2003) have mounted a direct resistance to US and NATO treachery.

Brandon Turbeville is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He has a Bachelor’s Degree from Francis Marion University and is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1and volume 2, and The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria. Turbeville has published over 500 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s podcast Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV.  He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com. 

She became the face of the Ebola crisis during its publicity peak last fall. But nurse Nina Pham, the first known case of an individual contracting Ebola within the U.S., is now suing the parent corporation of her former employer, which she says violated her personal privacy and left her chronically ill by exploiting and neglecting her during the outbreak.

Pham reportedly filed a lawsuit on March 2 in Dallas County against Texas Health Resources, the overseer of Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital where she contracted Ebola while treating “patient zero” Thomas Eric Duncan. The 26-year-old nurse says she now suffers from constant nightmares, body aches and insomnia due to the experimental medications that were forced upon her while in isolation.

She also says the hospital was negligent in properly training both her and the other nurses in how to safely care for Ebola patients, resulting in her contracting the disease. According to Pham’s lawyer, the nurse is seeking damages for physical pain, mental anguish, medical expenses and loss of future earnings.

During an exclusive interview with The Dallas Morning News, Pham explained that her goal is to “make hospitals and big corporations realize that nurses and health care workers, especially frontline people, are important. And we don’t want nurses to start turning into patients.”

“I wanted to believe that they would have my back and take care of me, but they just haven’t risen to the occasion,” stated Pham to the paper about how she was treated at Texas Health.

Pham says Texas Health made her “a symbol of corporate neglect”

As images of Pham and her story were being plastered all across the media, the nurse says she was still given inadequate safety wear that left her exposed to the hemorrhagic virus. Pham and other nurses were also made to become custodians, she says, in the cleanup of Ebola-infected waste that was piling up inside the hospital due to nobody wanting to touch it.

Pham describes her fate as being made “a symbol of corporate neglect — a casualty of a hospital system’s failure to prepare for a known and impending medical crisis.”

Despite being Duncan’s primary nurse, Pham says she was among the last to be informed that he had tested positive for Ebola. The entire hospital became stricken with panic as a result, leading to chaos and failed protocols that exposed Pham and her close nurse friends to a disease that could have killed them.

“You’d think the primary nurse would be the first to know,” she stated to The Dallas Morning News, adding that she and her colleagues “fought in the trenches together,” despite neglect from the hospital.

“I broke down and cried, not because I thought I had it but just because it was a big ‘woah, this is really happening’ moment.”

Experimental Ebola “medicine” has left Pham chronically ill

Concerned about being paraded around in the media and exploited, Pham says that after she tested positive she asked that “no information” about her be released to the media. Instead of honoring her wishes, the hospital allowed Pham to be filmed while speaking to a doctor in a hospital room, with video footage later released to the public without her permission.

Pham was also given experimental medicine that she says left her with chronic fatigue and pain, as well as high liver enzymes that cause her to become ill on a regular basis.

“I don’t know if having children could be affected by this, but that’s something I worry about,” she explained.

Sources for this article include:

http://res.dallasnews.com

http://www.reuters.com

http://www.nbcnews.com

Netanyahu at AIPAC

March 3rd, 2015 by Stephen Lendman

His Monday bluster was a warmup for what honest observers call the most outrageous address ever by a foreign official to a joint congressional session – scheduled for Tuesday, March 3 at 11:00AM EST.

Netanyahu spurned protocol. He circumvented administration control over who gets invited to address Congress.

 He’s persona non grata at the White House. No welcome mat greeted him on arrival. Obama refused to see him.

Nearly five dozen House and Senate members intend boycotting his address – showing unprecedented disapproval of a foreign leader visiting Washington.

Voters should demand others explain why they intend showing up to support a cold-blooded racist mass-murderer serial liar.

On the one hand, his address is a thinly veiled campaign stunt two weeks ahead of March 17 Israeli elections.

On the other, It’s an anti-Iranian fear-mongering effort – intended to sabotage ongoing P5+1 talks.

It represents an unprecedented affront to US presidential authority – besides willfully lying about a Tehran nuclear weapons program his own intelligence agency (Mossad) says doesn’t exist.

Annual US intelligence assessments say the same thing. Hard truths don’t matter. Any excuse to bash Iran will do. Big Lies substitute for cold, hard facts.

Netanyahu’s AIPAC speech was beginning-to-end demagogic boilerplate – full of bluster, megalomaniacal ranting, pompousness,  and Big Lies.

“Israel never forgets its friends,” he said. He then recited a list of individuals complicit with Israeli crimes.

He insulted Palestinians and freedom fighters everywhere calling Jerusalem Israel’s “eternal undivided capital.”

False! It’s a UN established international city. The vast majority of countries with embassies in Israel refuse to locate them there – including America.

Netanyahu avoided explaining what he’ll tell Congress on Tuesday. It’s no secret. He’ll lie about a nonexistent Iranian nuclear weapons program.

He absurdly called Iran an existential threat. It hasn’t attacked another country in centuries. It has no intention of doing so now.

None of its neighbors feel threatened. Tehran seeks cooperative relations with all states.

Netanyahu gives chutzpah new meaning. Despite deliberately circumventing US presidential protocol, he ludicrously claimed his speech isn’t intended to show disrespect.

Or inject himself “into the American partisan debate.” In 2012, he openly supported Romney. It’s no secret he and Obama dislike each other.

How anyone can stand either of them they’ll have to explain. They’re both serial liars and war criminals multiple times over.

Israel’s attorney general is investigating Netanyahu for alleged criminal use of state funds. Possible prosecution and imprisonment could follow.

He thanked Washington for “back(ing) Israel in defending itself at war and in our efforts to achieve a durable peace with our neighbors.”

He ludicrously said “a potential deal with Iran could threaten the survival of Israel.” He repeated the Big Lie about “Iran (being) the foremost state sponsor of terrorism in the world.”

He turned truth on its head claiming “Iran vows to annihilate Israel.”

Fact: Israel deplores peace. It thrives on wars and instability it creates.

Fact: Its only enemies are ones it invents.

Fact: It wages perpetual war against defenseless Palestinian civilians.

Fact It terrorizes them ruthlessly.

Fact: It incarcerates 1.8 million Gazans in the world’s largest open-air prison.

Fact: Last summer it terror-bombed large parts of the Strip to rubble. it murdered or maimed thousands of its people.

Fact: Israel and Washington partner in each other’s wars.

Fact: They’re cold, calculated acts of premeditated aggression.

Fact: Washington provides Israel with generous funding, weapons, munitions and full support.

Netanyahu’s serial lying wore thin long ago. It bears repeating. Iran threatens no one. Its nuclear program is peaceful. It has no military component. No evidence proves otherwise.

Anyone paying attention knows Netanyahu’s claims are deliberate acts of deception – Big Lies to influence Congress, the US public and his own constituents about a nonexistent Iranian threat.

“Israel lives in the world’s most dangerous neighborhood,” he claims. Israel and Washington bear full responsibility for violence and instability throughout the region. Both countries threaten world peace.

Common values they share aren’t “liberty, equality, justice, tolerance (and) compassion,” as Netanyahu claims.

They’re polar opposite aims to conquer, dominate and exploit – benefitting rich and powerful interests at the expense of all others.

No two countries in world history threaten humanity’s survival more. None more reflect pure evil – a scourge vital to stop before it destroys everyone in its maniacial aim for world dominance.

On Monday, the White House and State Department warned Netanyahu against revealing sensitive details he apparently knows about P5+1 talks.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest said doing so would constitute a “betrayal” of US trust

John Kerry said “(w)e are concerned by reports that suggest selected details of the ongoing negotiations will be discussed publicly in the coming days.”

“I want to say clearly, doing so would make it more difficult to reach the goal that Israel and others say they share in order to get a good deal.”

Deputy State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Obama officials gave Israel detailed classified information.

She explained Kerry’s remarks were directed at Netanyahu. Revealing information given Israel in confidence would be more of an affront than already

In recent weeks, US officials largely ceased keeping their Israeli counterparts informed on P5+1 talks – because of concern about Netanyahu leaking information or revealing it publicly before Congress.

On Monday, Israel’s Channel 10 said Washington halted all intelligence cooperation with Israel pertaining to Iran’s nuclear program.

Days before his congressional address, a blistering Haaretz editorial accused Netanyahu of “wrecking Israel’s ties with” Washington.

It said his actions “gravely impair” what’s called a special relationship. “(D)ue primarily to electoral considerations, (he’s) determined to act like a wrecking ball,” it stressed.

He “insist(s) on damaging Israel’s most important relationship. (He’s) embarrassing Barack Obama in his home court.”

He’ll challenge him openly “on Capitol Hill and urge (his opponents) to (sabotage) his diplomacy with Iran, just so that he can portray himself as the ‘savior of the nation’ back home and please his (paymaster) American billionaire Sheldon Adelson…”

Haaretz editors called him an irresponsible leader. His congressional address is meant to be a deliberate “frontal confrontation with the US president,” they said.

On the one hand, his actions will have no effect on US policy, Haaretz editors maintain. On the other, they’re destroying the fabric of a longstanding relationship.

His “flawed judgment” shows he’s unfit to serve. Haaretz editors urged Israelis to replace him. Adding one of a new prime minister’s “first tasks will be to fix what Netanyahu has destroyed”

It’ll take more than a rogue prime minister to undo decades of US/Israeli partnership in high crimes against peace,

Leaders come and go. An ugly alliance of pure evil persists. A rising tide of resistance needs to confront it. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance.

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected].

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.

Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

 

Sedki al-Maket, rearrested in secret by Israel’s Shin Bet for exposing collaboration between Syrian rebels and the IDF

Israel’s Shin Bet rearrested Golani Druze Sedki al-Maket (age 48).  Until his release in 2012 (Hebrew), he’d been the longest serving Israeli security prisoner, having spent 27 years detained.  News of his arrest is under gag order by Israeli media. The gag is laughable since the arrest has been reported not only by Syrian media, but in a Hebrew Facebook post.

Though Israeli security services haven’t offered any reason for his arrest, it’s likely they’re angered because a week ago he followed Syrian rebels to a meeting inside Israeli-occupied territory.  The rebels met with IDF forces who’ve previously been shown to receive logistical and intelligence support from Israel in previous reports here and in Israel and foreign media.  Al Maket filmed a video  while the meeting was underway, in which he described what he saw and offered it to Syrian TV.  It was aired to the entire nation and likely monitored by Israeli security.

The Shin Bet doesn’t want any further leaks about such collaboration because it allows the Syrian regime to paint the rebels as Israeli stooges.  It also gives the lie to those Israeli intelligence figures and journalists who’ve spoken falsely about Israel remaining neutral regarding the two sides fighting in Syria.  Despite numerous air attacks against Syrian government facilities, assassinations of Syrian, Hezbollah and Iranian military, and security cooperation with rebels, Israel continues to maintain the fiction it hasn’t chosen sides.

If anyone wonders why Islamists are beheading western journalists and occupying Iraq and Syria, while carefully avoiding Israeli targets, this will explain a lot.  It will also explain Israel’s approach which is to weaken central power in Syria, so that the Golan region closest to the border will become a protectorate, as was southern Lebanon until Israel’s withdrawal in 2000.  Having Syrian rebels under Israeli sponsorship ruling the Syrian Golan will be much more conducive to maintaining Israel control and occupation for years to come.

Meanwhile, the Israeli media is content to publish happy news about the Golani Druze village of Majd al-Shams (home to al-Maket), which apparently has become a playground for a certain hip Israeli scene which enjoys pub crawling in the midst of Israeli-occupied Golan.  If the report is to be believed, you can hardly tell the difference between it and Berlin or New York!  And let’s not forget the glorious skiing almost under the guns of those nasty Syrians who spoil all the fun with their inconvenient civil unrest.

Israel’s media fiddles while Syria burns.

Azerbaijan Should Be Very Afraid of Victoria Nuland

March 3rd, 2015 by Andrew Korybko

The US’ Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland, visited Baku on 16 February as part of her trip to the Caucasus, which also saw her paying stops in Georgia and Armenia. While Azerbaijan has had positive relations with the US since independence, they’ve lately been complicated by Washington’s ‘pro-democracy’ rhetoric and subversive actions in the country. Nuland’s visit, despite her warm words of friendship, must be look at with maximum suspicion, since it’s not known what larger ulterior motives she represents on behalf of the US government.

A Bad Omen

Nuland is most infamously known for her “F**k the EU!” comment that was uncovered during a secretly recorded conversation with the American Ambassador in Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt. The two were conspiring to build a new Ukrainian government even before democratically elected (but unpopular and corrupt) president Viktor Yanukovich was overthrown by the US-supported EuroMaidan coup. Nuland played a direct role in events, not only behind the scenes, but also on the streets, since she proudly handed out cookies and other foodstuffs to the ‘protesters’ that would violently seize power just over two months later. Her role in the Ukrainian events forever marks her as an agent for US-supported regime change in the former Soviet sphere, and her visit anywhere in that space should be seen as the bad omen that it is.

Like Husband, Like Wife

Normally an individual’s personal life doesn’t have any bearing on their professional one, but in the case of Nuland, it’s the opposite because her husband is the leading neo-conservative thinker Robert Kagan. He and his ilk are known for their expertise in exploiting foreign geography to maximize US power, regardless of the regional cost. Also, he previously referred to Azerbaijan in 2006 as a “dictatorship” and said the US will “pay the price” for dealing with it when responding to a user-submitted Q&A session with the Financial Times:

“During the Cold War, both Europeans and Americans had to compromise with dictators around the world in order to weaken the Soviet Union and communism. What would be, in your view Mr Kagan, the new sort of compromises that the US government is willing to make to defeat terrorism? Corneliu, Bucharest

Robert Kagan: Clearly we are making such kinds of compromises all over the place in the war on terrorism, although I must say I doubt they are proving very useful.

We are turning a mostly blind eye to the Mubarak dictatorship in Egypt, despite much rhetoric to the contrary, as well in Saudi Arabia. We have been forgiving of the dictatorships in Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan. Nor have we been very critical of the Putin dictatorship in Russia, no matter how many people he assassinates.

This is all largely in the service of the war on terror. During the Cold War I actually believed that we wrong to support so many dictators, for it often did not help but hurt in the struggle against communism, in addition to being a violation of the principles we were struggling to defend.

I am equally unpersuaded today that our support for these dictatorships will help us fight terrorism, and once again we pay the price of moral and ideological inconsistency.”

Given the ideological context in which Nuland likely sees eye-to-eye on with her husband, plus her experience in instigating the Color Revolution in Ukraine, it is not likely that she came to Baku with positive intentions, or even with a positive image of the country in her mind. This is all the more so due to the recent scandal over Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.

Foreign Agent, Domestic Punishment

The US-government-sponsored information agency was closed down at the end of December under accusations that it was operating as a foreign agent. While the US has harshly chided the Azeri government for this, at the end of the day, it remains the country’s sovereign decision and right to handle suspected foreign agents as it sees fit. Azerbaijan’s law is similar to Russia’s, in that entities receiving foreign funds must register as foreign agents, and interestingly enough, both of these laws parallel the US’ own 1938 Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

So why does the US feel that it reserves the sole right to register foreign agents and entities, and if need be, identify and punish those that are acting in the country illegally, but Azerbaijan is deprived of this exercise of sovereignty? The reason is rather simple, actually – it’s the US that is the most likely to use these foreign agents to destabilize and potentially overthrow governments (as in Ukraine most recently), whereas Azeri agents in America, should they even exist, are nothing more than an administrative nuisance incapable of inflicting any real harm on the authorities. This double standard is at the core of the US’ relations with all countries in the world, not just Azerbaijan, but it’s a telling example of the power and leverage Washington attempts to hold over Baku, which is seen most visibly by the blistering criticism leveled on the government after Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty’s closing in compliance with the law.

Duplicitous Games

Even more concerning for Azerbaijan isn’t the seditious game that the US and Nuland might be playing within the country, but the geopolitical one that they might be playing next door with Armenia. Although Washington says that it values Baku as a strategic and pragmatic partner, one needs to wonder to extent a prosperous, neutral Azerbaijan is more important to the US than a destabilized one that could be used as a weapon against Russia. To put everything into context, take a look at the threat that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton issued towards Russia and the Eurasian Union back in December 2012:

“There is a move to re-Sovietise the region, It’s not going to be called that. It’s going to be called a customs union, it will be called Eurasian Union and all of that, but let’s make no mistake about it. We know what the goal is and we are trying to figure out effective ways to slow down or prevent it.”

One year later, Ukraine, which could have been of immense value to the US and its geostrategy as a neutral, stable state, was in the middle of the US-supported EuroMaidan Color Revolution, showing that Washington will go to great and dramatic lengths to sacrifice its pragmatic interests for the sake of destabilizing Russia. So the question is, could the US also do the same in the Caucasus in order to simultaneously destabilize Russia from the southern flank while it’s distracted in dealing with Ukraine?

In Armenia Against Azerbaijan, The US Always Wins

Click to enlarge

Armenia is arguably the weakest member of the Eurasian Union, and is thus the most prime for any external destabilization attempt. As the world has seen, the US will even go as far as instigating a war on Russia’s borders (the Ukrainian Civil War) just to hamper its regional integration efforts in the west. Could it also try to instigate a new war in Nagorno-Karabakh, too, in order to facilitate this goal in the south? Azerbaijan doesn’t know what matters Nuland discussed with Armenia behind closed doors, nor what convincing promises or irresistible threats she may have given Yerevan. The authorities can no longer be assured that Azerbaijan’s enormous energy reserves guarantee it a safe place in the US’ regional vision, especially considering the caustic language the US has used since the closing of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. If America is successful in instigating a continuation war between Armenia and Azerbaijan over Nagorno-Karabakh, neither of the two states would emerge as the strategic victor, since it’s the US that would ultimately triumph because it would have succeeded in destabilizing Russia at the entire Caucasus’ expense.

Walking A Tightrope

Given the fact that Azerbaijan can no longer trust the US to not conspire against its internal or external affairs, it is necessary for the country to tweak its foreign policy in order to best safeguard its interests. This means that although Baku cannot outright reject Washington or forget the two-decades-long history of fruitful cooperation with it (nor should it), it must pragmatically reorient its policies to adapt to multipolarity. By this, it is meant that Azerbaijan should look to diversify its partners and foreign policy dealings, namely, in the direction of Russia and Iran, the two neighborly countries that would support its leadership against any US-inspired plot against it. Although there are certainly challenges existing in bilateral relations with Iran, this doesn’t mean that they can’t be overcome in the interests of preserving Azerbaijan’s prosperity and protecting the country’s overall population from any unwanted trans-Atlantic tinkering that could endanger it.

Despite the fact that the US is most definitely interested in seeing Azeri energy power the EU, it is not yet known whether this objective of EU energy diversification is more important than the one of Russian destabilization. Under such circumstances, Azerbaijan must carefully walk a tightrope between the West (US/EU) on one hand, and the East (Russia/Iran) on the other, and if it is successful in delicately balancing between both worlds, then it can pivotally reap the resultant benefits thereof and propel its global prominence.

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

Major US news media have presented a grossly distorted and misleading interpretation of vaccines and their relationship to public health since early January. These journalistic organs have suggested the recent measles outbreak in the Western US has been a crisis of monumental proportions.

This flagrant and cynical sensationalism has become a foundation for intense advocacy on behalf of the pharmaceutical corporate and regulatory cartel targeting patient informed consent—a founding principal of modern medical practice and personal freedom. Keeping in mind the close to 300 vaccine products now in the pharmaceutical industry’s pipeline,[1] closer analysis of “measles outbreak” press coverage suggests a conscious effort by corporate news media to virtually banish such notions and practices from the public mind. A news media dependent on over $1 billion in advertising dollars from big pharma must almost by necessity indulge their clients’ broader agenda. 

David Dees (right)

dees_vaccine

An impartial journalistic approach to the question of vaccination and personal choice would provide equal and unprejudiced airing of “both sides,” in addition to the varied grey areas in the debate, from the corporate and statist entities flying the banner of mandatory vaccination to cautious segments of the citizenry voicing reservations toward such technology alongside the foremost prerogative of personal choice.

A LexisNexis search of US newspaper and wire service articles from December 28, 2015—the official start date of the California measles outbreak—to February 8, 2015 [2] using the search terms “measles” and “vaccination” yields 799 press releases or wire stories and 746 newspaper articles and opinion pieces. Much of this coverage predictably emphasizes the array of vaccine-friendly assumptions and pronouncements from entities abetting the pharmaceutical industry’s long-term profit-specific objectives.

For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is, alongside the Food and Drug Administration, the most powerful bureaucratic arm utilized by the global pharmaceutical cartel to elicit compliance with the federal vaccine schedule for children from the medical profession and broader population. Of the article sample referenced above, close to one-third (517) reference the “Centers for Disease Control” or “CDC” in their text, suggesting citation of the agency and its policies to persuasively instruct readers on vaccine efficacy and safety.

In contrast, the same body of over 1,500 press releases, news stories and editorials reference “informed consent” only three times—and when the term is used it is done so either in passing or to disparage the practice itself. For example, Arthur Caplan, a professor of medicine at New York University, warns against doctors even considering the practice of informed consent in regard to vaccines. “The science is unimpeachable,” Caplan proclaims. ” Vaccines do not cause autism; measles is dangerous and contagious; inoculating against the disease is neither pointless nor riskier than abstention.” The physician then amazingly suggests that genuine informed consent–explaining how a vaccine such as Measles, Mumps, Rubella, which can severely injure, incapacitate, or kill the child patient–must be categorically replaced by the dissemination of pharmaceutical industry propaganda and half-truths. “Those doctors who counsel otherwise – who distort what patients need to know to preserve their health or that of their children – have crossed a bright red line. They have violated a patient’s right to informed consent, which depends on accurate information.”[3]

The foremost US organization advocating the fundamental doctrine of informed consent, the National Vaccine Information Center, is referenced a paltry 22 times in the sizable article sample. And while the NVIC routinely emphasizes that it is not “anti-vaccine” and merely advocates that patients or their parents fully understand the risks associated with the industrialized, “one size fits all” immunization process, it is nevertheless framed as the official voice of “anti-vaccination.” A recent New York Times article from the data set is exemplary of this practice. “Members of the anti-vaccine movement said the public backlash had terrified many parents. ’People are now afraid they’re going to be jailed,’ said Barbara Loe Fisher, the president of the National Vaccine Information Center, a clearinghouse for resisters.”[4]

Of the 746 articles published in newspapers, 143 are editorial and opinion pieces. Almost without exception each vigorously supports wide-scale vaccination, even proposing punitive measures for those clinging to informed consent and personal choice. Such uniform opinion among newsroom management provides a clear indication of exactly how warped the overall news coverage of the “measles outbreak” has been.

“If we’re not willing to permanently exile anti-vaxxers from the public square,” one opinion in the Philadelphia Daily News remarks, “we should at least make emergency provisions to do so. Anti-vaxxers should be made to understand that when there is a public-health emergency – such as a measles outbreak – they’ll be quarantined for the duration.”[5] “Those who refuse to vaccinate are wrong,” the Salt Lake Tribune argues. “They endanger themselves and those around them.”[6] “The growing anti-vaccination movement is one of the most frustrating developments of this decade,” the San Jose Mercury News similarly contends. “Some of the parents who mistrust vaccine are uneducated and have no access to pediatric counsel, but there’s no excuse for the irresponsible parents who have access to the latest science yet irrationally fear that vaccines are not safe for their children.”[7]

In an effort to console parents concerned about the very real possibility of vaccines causing autism, US government press releases and US news outlets alike reference a 1998 study authored by British physician and medical scientist Andrew Wakefield linking vaccination to Crohn’s disease and autism. “Public health officials blame a decline in parents having their kids vaccinated that began after a now-thoroughly discredited 1998 British report alleged that common early childhood vaccinations triggered autism,” the San Diego Union Tribune grouses. “Unfortunately, that discredited report continues to be cited by know-nothing celebrities and vapid New Age authors who broadly reject modern medicine. They do so even as life expectancy hits all-time highs and medical researchers make steady progress on many fronts.”[8]

The US government’s own public relations service—US Official News—likewise chimes in on Wakefield’s alleged deceit. “A 1998 article in the medical journal The Lancet caused a firestorm of controversy when it was published and helped create the anti-vaccine movement that continues today,” one US government press release reads. “There’s only one problem–the article was later retracted by the publisher for being ‘utterly false,’ and the author, Andrew Wakefield, was found to have been paid big bucks by plaintiffs’ lawyers.”[9]

The fact that Wakefield’s 1998 findings have been upheld in 19 peer-reviewed papers he has contributed to the literature between 1998 and 2010, in addition to 28 studies from other scientists around the world [10] has been consciously overlooked by US newspaper editors and other drug industry propagandists. That this key piece of disinformation–soundly rebutted in the published research–continues to be repeated by journalists and government publicists alike suggests the hardcore disinformation tactics deployed to perpetuate the misunderstanding and unwarranted faith the majority of US families continue to place in big pharma’s immensely profitable vaccine agenda.

As direct result of this well-coordinated publicity campaign and resulting hysteria the legal right by which families may exercise informed consent is now under intense legal assault across the US. “Hearings to remove philosophical/conscientious exemptions to vaccine mandates have already taken place in Washington and Oregon,” NVIC reports.

California, Maine, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Vermont all have bills already filed or press announcements of bills about to be filed to remove philosophical/conscientious exemptions. Maine, Minnesota and Texas have bills to substantially restrict philosophical/conscientious exemptions. Religious exemptions are also under attack. Maryland, New Jersey, Texas and Vermont have bills filed or announced to eliminate religious exemptions, and Illinois, New Mexico and Texas have bills filed or announced to unconstitutionally restrict religious exemptions.

In addition, Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia all have legislation underway to expand vaccine mandates.[11]

In light of the above one should be unsurprised at the mob-like antipathy toward “anti-vaxxers,” and how the notions of personal liberty and informed consent have been made to appear increasingly bizarre by being effectively stricken from public discourse. The population has been expertly propagandized on the issue by medical practitioners, their professional associations, and regulatory agencies tethered to the pharmaceutical industry’s agenda vis-a-vis a news media reliant on drug advertising revenue. With these observations in mind one must seriously ask themselves, In what meaningful way would a wholly scientific authoritarianism differ from what is witnessed in America today?

Notes

[1] Medicines in Development: A Report on the Prevention and Treatment of Disease Through Vaccines, Pharmaceutical Researchers and Manufacturers of America, 2013.

[2] Jennifer Zipprich, Kathleen Winter, et al, “Measles Outbreak – California, December 2014-February 2015,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 20, 2015.

[3] Arthur Caplan, “Quacks Against Vaccines? Revoke Their Licenses,” Washington Post, February 8, 2015.

[4] Jack Healy and Michael Paulson, “Vaccine Critics Turn Defensive Over Measles,” New York Times, January 31, 2015.

[5] Joel Mathis and Ben Boychuck, “The Vaccination Debate Continues,” philly.com, February 9, 2015.

[6] “Washington Post: Measles in America,” Salt Lake Tribune, February 3, 2015.

[7] “Disneyland’s Measles is a Hard Lesson in How Vaccines Work,” San Jose Mercury News, January 29, 2015.

[8] “Anti-Vaccination Charlatans Take Toll on Public Health,” San Diego Times Union, January 19, 2015.

[9] “Flashback: The Anti-Vaccine Movement and a Trial Lawyer-Funded Climate of Fear,” Plus Media Solutions/US Official News, February 17, 2015.

[10] Joseph Mercola, “Why Medical Authorities Went to Such Extremes to Silence Dr. Andrew Wakefield,” Mercola.com, April 10, 2010, http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/04/10/wakefield-interview.aspx

[11] “You Need to Act Now: Vaccine Exemptions and Mandates Threatened in Even More States,” National Vaccine Information Center, February 23, 2015.

When Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker compared labor unions to ISIS his audience cheered. At the end of the speech he got a standing ovation. His wealthy audience hated labor unions that much.

In fact, the 1% despises unions much more than they hate ISIS. Islamic extremists in the Syrian desert pose no threat to anyone in the U.S., while labor unions pose a direct threat to the profits of the super rich.

Conversely, the average U.S. worker has much more to fear from Scott Walker than any knife-wielding Jihadist. For example,Scott Walker is subtly campaigning for president among the elite by bragging about his successful butchering of Wisconsin unions, a model that he and his supporters hope to spread nationally.

Walker is idolized by the super rich for having dismembered Wisconsin unions in a way that recalls Ronald Reagan’s smashing of the PATCO air traffic controllers strike in 1981. The rich view Walker as a Reagan-like messiah who will transform labor relations yet again, giving corporations still more power in relation to the U.S. workforce.

For example, Walker’s anti-union laws have reduced union membership in Wisconsin by 50 percent since he defeated the “Wisconsin Uprising” in 2011, a battle victory that the super rich consider more heroic than the campaigns of any current military general.

The deathblow that Walker delivered to Wisconsin public unions devastated the powerful teacher union that has been the target of the 1% nationally, as reflected in Obama’s anti-union Race to the Top education policies that have weakened teacher unions in every state.

Walker’s stunning 2011 victory has been studied across the country by politicians inspired to follow in Walker’s footsteps by striking at the heart of union power, rather than the decades-long practice of chipping around the edges. The Walker copycat craze was described by the New York Times:

“[Governor Walker] has already emboldened other Republican-controlled states to enact measures that weaken unions and cut benefits. Tennessee and Idaho passed laws that cut back bargaining rights for public schoolteachers… Even longtime union strongholds like Michigan and Indiana have enacted right-to-work laws that undercut private-sector unions…”

Now the Illinois Governor, Bruce Rauner, is imitating Walker by signing an executive order that would cripple public sector unions in his state, which includes a direct attack on the very powerful Chicago Teachers Union.   The president of the Chicago Teacher’s Union, Karen Lewis, recently called the Illinois governor “Scott Walker on steroids.”All the conditions for a Wisconsin-like clash in Illinois have been set.

Scott Walker himself discussed the national significance of his actions in Wisconsin:

“I’m at the top of the list of people they’d [labor unions] have on a platter. Not just for retribution, but they understand that if they could take me out [electorally], it would send a very powerful message to other governors and other mayors. But if we’re able to win again in a tough, evenly divided battleground state, that would send another message — that you can take on some of these issues and still survive.”

Walker is right.  He struck at the heart of union power and won. The union’s blinked first. And Walker wants to take the Wisconsin model nationwide. In the same speech that Walker compared unions to ISIS he said:

“If we can do it in Wisconsin, there’s no doubt we can do it across America.” He was talking about crushing unions, and his wealthy audience cheered wildly.

But Walker isn’t resting on his laurels after crushing Wisconsin unions. Now that he’s unofficially running for president he has to maintain his anti-union momentum, to convince the rich that he’ll continue his “bold” anti-worker agenda if elected. Walker has thus voiced support of new Wisconsin legislation that would eviscerate what little power Wisconsin unions have left.

The New York Times acknowledged the political motive for Walker’s new attack on Wisconsin unions:

“As Mr. Walker builds a presidential run on his effort to take on unions four years ago, he is poised to deliver a second walloping blow to labor.”

Scott Walker, however, can’t be blamed for everything. Wisconsin unions are not mere victims, but powerful actors that pursued bad strategy. When the unions were mobilizing hundreds of thousands of supporters alongside an activated rank and file, they backed down from Walker instead of organizing mass civil disobedience or advocating a general strike.

Instead, Wisconsin unions wasted their momentum by collecting signatures for a recall election, where they stupidly backed an anti-union Democrat against Walker. Surviving the re-call election further empowered Walker and weakened the unions.

And the unions were weakened even further recently when Walker won his re-election campaign. Yet again, the Wisconsin unions threw their weight behind an uninspiring corporate Democrat, who completely ignored union issues in her losing campaign that wasted enormous union resources. The Wall Street Journal correctly noted that the recent Wisconsin gubernatorial election signaled “a historic shift in the power of unions,” exposing the weakness of their political strategy.

Scott Walker’s new anti-union attack in Wisconsin has provoked fresh calls for a general strike to stop the legislation. If Wisconsin unions have the organizational power to win a general strike they should immediately begin preparations for it. However, it’s unclear if the rump that remains of the Wisconsin movement is organized enough to win a general strike, and losing one would certainly encourage Walker to napalm what remains of the Wisconsin labor movement.

Scott Walker and his followers have made it clear: they are declaring total war on unions, who can either fight back or accept their fate. The labor movement must engage its rank and file over a national discussion on fighting back and strategy.

Many unions remain suicidally content with burying their heads in the sand and hoping the attackers go away. Other unions, however, are taking powerful, pro-active steps to defend themselves.

SEIU, for example, was one of the Wisconsin unions in 2011 that got their teeth kicked in. Consequently they initiated a national campaign for “$15 and a union,” a masterstroke that has directly led to thundering union victories in Seattle and San Francisco that won a citywide $15 minimum wage. Such a campaign is now being mimicked statewide by Oregon’s labor movement.

The $15 campaign has inspired low wage workers across the country, making the West Coast unions less vulnerable to “right to work” legislation, since an active and strong labor movement is itself a repellent to anti-union attacks. The $15 campaigns have arguably been the biggest victories for unions in decades, especially given the current political climate. These unions have dominated the public political discussion and multiplied the popularity of unions in the broader community.

Also critically important are the actions of unions across the country that are building political programs such as “labor candidate schools,” where union members are being trained and encouraged to run for office. Ohio unions showed the potential of such a strategy by running for and winning several elections against Democrats, prompting calls for the creation of a labor party. This is crucially important given the events in Wisconsin, where unions tied their fate to the Democrats, who dragged the unions underwater in losing campaigns that wasted millions of their members’ money.

The U.S. labor movement has reached a historic crossroads, as labor relations in the United States are undergoing dramatic, sudden shifts. The only way to answer the aggressiveness of Scott Walker and his clones is by aggressively throwing counter punches that mobilize union members and the community. The Steelworkers union is waging its first strike in decades and other unions must re-learn how to effectively organize lest they die without a fight.

Shamus Cooke is a social service worker, trade unionist, and writer for Workers Action (www.workerscompass.org).  He can be reached at [email protected]

Two days ago, we announced that Dr. Niels Harrit, the distinguished co-author of the landmark nano-thermite paper, will be appearing in Danish High Court two weeks from now to bring an appeal in his libel suit against the Danish newspaper Weekendavisen.

It all started back in December 2012 with an article titled “Madness in the Royal Library.” In it, Weekendavisen writer Søren K. Villemoes referred to Dr. Harrit and his fellow 9/11 activists as “crackpots,” while also comparing them to creationists and Holocaust deniers.

“. . . Is the library soon going to open its doors to an exhibition showing us ‘alternative’ theories about evolution? . . . Why not just invite in Niels Harrit and the other crackpots from the 9/11 skeptics movement while we are at it? What about the holocaust denial movement?”

Søren K. Villemoes, Weekendavisen, December 7, 2012

For Dr. Harrit, a scientist who taught chemistry for 40 years at the University of Copenhagan, this amounted to an allegation of scientific misconduct and a baseless attempt to damage his hard-earned reputation. So he decided to seek recourse under Denmark’s strong libel law — and give himself the opportunity to prove in a court of law the scientific legitimacy of his 9/11 research.

Now Dr. Harrit Needs Our Help

The lower City Court ruled against Dr. Harrit in 2013, basing its decision on politics rather than the law. Dr. Harrit, of course, appealed.

This time around, he’ll be allowed to submit more evidence, and he is now receiving assistance from attorney Mads Krøger Pramming, chairman of the Danish whistleblower organization Veron. Although Mr. Pramming is providing his services at a greatly reduced rate, he still needs to be compensated for his indispensible assistance to Dr. Harrit.

Of course, this is about much more than undoing baseless insults. It’s an opportunity for a leader in the 9/11 Truth Movement to show in a court of law that the science behind controlled demolition is not just legitimate, but overwhelming.

Moreover, because Dr. Harrit has been a national figure ever since his 2009 appearance on TV2NEWS, the case is likely to be widely covered in the Danish media — especially if he wins! 

What the Case Comes Down To

Under Danish libel law, Villemoes has the burden of demonstrating a factual basis for his claim. As a journalist, he must also demonstrate that his reporting meets the standards of good journalism. At the first trial, he did neither. Still, the judge egregiously ruled in his favor.

In the High Court, Villemoes will have a much harder time, because Dr. Harrit is being allowed to submit more evidence — namely, the video of WTC 7’s destruction, as well as an actual sample of the WTC dust, which Dr. Harrit will use to demonstrate the dust’s authenticity, and therefore his good scientific conduct.

Dr. Harrit will also call two witnesses. One, Jan Utzon, is a world-renowned architect and AE911Truth petition signer who testified previously. The other, Dr. Per Hedegård, is a physics professor from the University of Copenhagan’s Niels Bohr Institute. His statement to a newspaper in 2010 dismissing Dr. Harrit was the only evidence used by Villemoes at trial. Today, Dr. Hedegård has completely reversed his position and insists on testifying in support of Dr. Harrit!

Thanks to Dr. Harrit’s relentless pursuit of the truth, we now have an incredible opportunity to achieve some symbolic justice for all 9/11 researchers and activists.

You can learn more about the case by reading our recently published article.

We thank you for helping us support Niels Harrit.

Destroying History and Civilization in the Middle East

March 3rd, 2015 by Dr. Mazin Qumsiyeh

The kingdom of “Saudi Arabia” is going to behead a man for “apostancy” (renouncing his belief in Islam and the Quran) while welcoming Egyptian Al-Sisi whose security forces are torturing people to death in Egypt for being supportive of an Islamic political system more moderate than that of that Kingdom! Meanwhile the Egyptian kangaroo courts are declaring resistance movements outside of Egypt who have little to do with Egypt to be terrorist organizations. Sisi is also helping Israel enforce a siege on 1.6 million Palestinians (now that is terrorism). The Jewish State in Israel and the Levant (JSIL) in the name of ancient mythologies is using colonial settlers to kill natives, ethnically cleanse them, and torch churches and mosques with impunity. Meanwhile their progeny ISIL loots and destroys priceless human heritage going back thousands of years. It started in 2003 when US invaded Iraq and its soldiers sacked Baghdad. US soldiers were instructed to go and protect the ministries of oil and internal security but allowed pillaging 15,000 priceless archaeological artifacts from Baghdad. At that time I wrote warning that the plan was to break-up Iraq by encouraging sectarianism (until then unknown and people living harmoniously for hundreds of years). 

Ashurian and Babylonian and Sumerian cultures were perhaps more civilized than our current “civilization” (based on monotheistic “religions” or on secular traditions). It is no wonder the remnants of those are being destroyed in Iraq in favor of the new idols (Netanyahu and Zionism). The congress of the strongest military power on earth (the USA) funds regimes that commit Nazi-like atrocities around the world. Israel gets the lion share of this (several billion annually). Netanyahu will try to justify genocide and ethnic cleansing of Palestinians and others. Republicans and some democrats will listen to Netanyahu call for yet another war for Israel. Zionists pushed for the catastrophic war on Iraq and Syria (Mesopotamia) and now are pushing for an even more catastrophic war on Iran (ancient Persia).

Persian history and archaeology maybe destroyed like they are now doing for Mesopotamian history. Many of the bible myths are taken from ancient Mesopotamian and Persian stories recounted >1000 years before they were taken by the writers of the Bible/Torah (the stories of Adam and Eve, Noah and the flood, Abraham and Sara, Moses and an “exodus”). Perhaps the selective historiography while destroying records of earlier periods of human history is useful to those who want to use their religious narrative to rule. But it seems also useful for those secular people who want to advance hegemonic racist ideas. But it is not just history but the fragile environment that is targeted (see below on Red-Dead canal).

Perhaps the Obama administration is starting to see this and maybe that is why they declassified a document showing how the US helped Israel skirt International obligations and develop nuclear weapons (see below). Maybe that is a first and I hope that more documents would be released that show how previous administrations hurt US interests to help the Israeli lobbyists get their way (from hiding the Israeli deliberate attack on the USS liberty to selling US technologies to US enemies to the Iran-Israel-Contra affair etc).

Hypocrisies and atrocities go on daily in this “Middle East” thanks to all the weapons pouring in from countries that claim they want peace. The USA is the largest weapon exporter in the world and most of it comes here. Here is a novel idea if we want peace here: A total arms embargo on shipments of weapons to all countries in the Middle East (Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and others). Spending one percent of that money on human needs instead of on promoting killing would go a long way to reclaim our humanity. Here in occupied Palestine, we are trying on a small scale to resist. From the Friday demonstrations in several village (this was tenth anniversary of the demonstration in Bilin) to trying to open Shuhada Street in Hebron (closed to punish Palestinians after a Jewish racist settler massacred dozens of Muslims at the Ibrahimi mosque) to daily sumud stories (we are planting hundreds of trees weekly) to education and research….Life goes on.

Note: Please write to object to the environmentally devastating project to link the Red Sea to the Dead Sea (supposedly to save the Dead Sea) whose first $800 million stage was launched last week. The Dead Sea was shrinking because of the Israeli diversion of the waters of the Jordan valley starting in the 1950s, a catastrophic project. The only way to fix that is to return the flow of the Jordan river to its pre-Zionist plan. The envisioned project will destroy the coral reefs in the Gulf of Aqaba and will devastate the fragile ecosystem of Wadi Araba. http://electronicintifada.net/content/how-historic-israel-jordan-water-deal-leaves-palestinians-high-and-dry/13139

Notes

US Helped Israel With H-bomb – 1980s Report Declassified
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article40986.htm

This opinion piece in the NY Times explains the importance of the work we do in the Palestine Museum of Natural History (Palesinenature.org). Libraries of Life: “… These collections are particularly critical in today’s era of rapid ecological and climate change, providing a unique and vitally important glimpse into ecological conditions of the past….” http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/27/opinion/libraries-of-life.html?_r=0

Banksy’s Grim Tour of Gaza: Watch a Mini Documentary by the Shadowy Street Artist http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/02/25/banksy-s-grim-tour-of-gaza-watch-a-mini-documentary-by-the-shadowy-street-artist.html

Remarkable: How two Palestinian Americans plan to PIVOT the world
http://mondoweiss.net/2015/02/working-pivot

Obama bears full responsibility for replacing Ukraine’s democratically elected government with Nazi lunatics.

Russia’s lower house State Duma Speaker Sergey Naryshkin said “(t)he guilt of the United States of America for (what happened) is considerable and obvious to the entire world.”

Ukraine’s crisis “poses a risk to international security, first of all to European security.”

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey was clear and unequivocal saying:

“For a quarter of century, the key principles of the United Nations had been systematically violated.”

“The US and other Western nations neglected the fundamental rules of international law, widely used double standards and didn’t hesitate to intervene directly into other nations’ sovereign affairs.”

“The impact of this policy is fully felt by the peoples of Yugoslavia, Iraq, Libya and now Ukraine.”

He omitted Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, Yemen, Somalia, numerous other countries, and his own affected by the scourge of US policies.

The good news is Washington “failed to make up a global anti-Russian coalition,” said Lavrov.

“We are engaged in a dialogue with the majority of the countries. Support of the world community for Russia’s balanced policy is growing.”

America makes more enemies than friends. Pressure won’t force Russia to change its foreign policy, Lavrov stressed.

Obama’s new National Security Strategy reflects US business as usual, he said – permanent wars against invented enemies.

Obama’s lunatic aim for “global dominance and readiness to use military force unilaterally to ensure American interests” threatens everyone, said Lavrov.

He “mentions over a hundred times the exceptional right of the US to exercise the notorious American leadership.”

He believes it’s “inevitable…(I)t looks like the White House forgot what seeking hegemony to the detriment of other countries’ interests may lead to.”

“…(T)he ferocity that we see in (Britain and other) Western capitals now exceeds the levels seen during the…Cold War.”

Lavrov clearly sees the danger of heading things toward possible East/West war responsible leaders don’t want.

Britain announced sending combat troops to Ukraine masquerading as military trainers.

An unnamed Kremlin source accused its government of “apparently prepar(ing) to derail” Minsk.

“Statements from London that say there’s no military solution to the Ukrainian crisis amid this move appear to be at least hypocritical and a case of gambling with the security of all Europe in worst-case scenario,” it added.

Ceasefire is largely holding, but for how long. Its fragility suggests conflict could resume any time at Washington’s discretion.

It uses Kiev’s military as a proxy force waging naked aggression in Europe’s heartland. Battleground Ukraine is pretext for targeting Russia.

Anyone paying attention knows Washington’s main objective is toppling its government. Replacing it with one it controls.

Risking nuclear war to achieve its objective. No nation threatens humanity’s survival more than America. None is governed more recklessly and ruthlessly.

Former Czech health minister Ivan David said Washington is turning Europe into a battlefield.\

EU nations “whose elites are taking orders from an alien, American power, (are) leading the whole continent to the slaughterhouse,” he stressed.

They should partner with Russia to survive, he believes. Europe needs “new elites.” Current ones may set the entire continent ablaze.

They’re “promised they will be allowed to survive if they diligently serve (US interests) at the expense of their own peoples.”

If Europe wants to survive, it needs fundamental new policy, he stressed.

Tinderbox conditions remain in Donbass. Kiev beginning to withdraw heavy weapons may be more head-fake than willingness to observe Minsk.

On February 27, Sputnik News said its forces “will leave enough units and equipment along the line of contact (on the pretext of being able) to react to a possible ceasefire violation.”

Fascists in charge violated previous ceasefire agreements straightaway. It takes a giant leap of faith to believe they’ll observe what they systematically rejected before – regardless of what they agreed to in Minsk or say publicly.

Washington calls the shots. It’s Kiev’s paymaster. Obama deplores peace. He wants war. He wants total control over his newest colony.

Canada and Australia saying they’ll send combat troops to Ukraine under the guise of military trainers ups the stakes for more war.

Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance. Paul Craig Roberts addressed the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow via Skype.

He discussed reckless neocon policies responsible for wrecking Reagan/Gorbachev rapprochement – saving the world in the 1980s from possible humanity destroying nuclear war.

 Soviet Russia’s dissolution “removed the only constraint on Washington’s power to act unilaterally abroad,” said Roberts.

The Gulf and Baltic wars followed. The rape of Yugoslavia was prelude for Bush/Obama post-9/11 permanent direct and proxy wars in multiple theaters.

America’s maniacal drive for global hegemony may kill us all. Neocon lunatics making policy intend stopping at nothing to assure no nation challenges US dominance.

Life on earth is threatened like never before. Possible nuclear war should scare everyone. Western propaganda heads things toward the unthinkable.

Poroshenko wants US-led NATO doing his fighting for him in the next planned phase of war. It bears repeating.

It could start anytime at Obama’s discretion. Perhaps it’s a major US/Kiev false flag away.

Something big like 9/11 to get US-NATO forces directly involved risking war with Russia.

Ukraine is rearming in preparation for more war. After contracting with the UAE for US-made weapons, it agreed to buy drones and electronic warfare from France’s Thales Group.

Kiev official Oleg Gladkovsky said “contracts have been reached with US companies.” He provided no further details.

Ukraine is broke. It’s bankrupt. Where is it getting money to buy expensive weapons?

IMF funds supposedly exclude using them for war-making. The idea being they’re to pay bankers first. Apparently enough wiggle room permits virtually anything.

Bloomberg cited an unnamed source saying conflict in Donbass “would make it tougher for Ukraine to maintain its economic commitments to the IMF and (service its debt) while deepening the fund’s involvement in the worst standoff in Europe sine the end of the Cold War.”

Congress may provide a billion dollars more in aid. House legislation introduced authorizes the secretaries of defense and state “to provide assistance, including training, equipment, lethal weapons of a defensive nature (sic), logistics support, supplies and services, and sustainment to the military and national security forces of Ukraine through September 30, 2017.”

The measure ludicrously says it’s to help Kiev secure its “sovereign territory against foreign aggressors (and promote) conditions for a negotiated settlement to end the conflict.”

Providing funds for weapons assures more conflict. Initiating it depends on:

  • what lunatics in Washington have in mind;
  • whether US forces will be directly involved; and
  • if or how efforts are made to draw Russia into a war on its border it wants ended once and for all.

For now, things are relatively (not entirely) calm. On Thursday, DPR Prime Minister Alexander Zakharcehcko issued the following statement in good faith:

“In pursuance of the Declaration of 12.02.2015 and the ‘Package of measures concerning implementation of the Minsk Agreement,’  the Donetsk People’s Republic has withdrawn heavy armament to the agreed upon and registered by the given document distance.”

As of Friday morning, withdrawal of artillery, mortars and heavy equipment was 90% completed.

Zakharchenko said “(t)he Ukrainian side (so far) evades (its) commitments” beyond token withdrawals to positions not in compliance with Minsk.

“In case of violation by the Ukrainian side, (DPR) reserve(s) the right to return heavy armaments to the places of previous dislocation…”

DPR holds Kiev fully responsible if Minsk fails like previous ceasefires.

If sporadic “shelling and attacks do not stop,” said Zakharchenko, “we reserve the right to consider the Minsk agreement wrecked by the Ukrainian side.”

“Military equipment will be returned to their previous positions. All attempts to attack our settlements will be checked in the bud.”

Zakharchenko said LPR leadership intends a similar announcement. Poroshenko’s latest comment should give them cause for concern.

He lied claiming a continued rebel “military threat.” Saying Kiev intends repositioning heavy weapons in front line positions any time he says they violated Minsk – whether true or false.

Throughout months of conflict, Kiev, Washington, other Western nations, Eastern European NATO members, and media scoundrels repeatedly accused rebels of Kiev crimes.

Expect a similar Big Lie to launch the next phase of conflict. Likely threatening Europe more than any time since WW II.

Will its leaders risk everything staying loyal to Washington’s imperial madness? Will their populations allow them to do it at the risk of their own demise?

Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected] 

His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

 http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html

 Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. 

 Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

 It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs. 

This is what one of the main US financial media organizations is saying about Russia and Putin.

This is the American Stephen Lendman’s response to Gessen and the NY Times:
“Marsha Gessen is a US propagandist/Putin basher living in Moscow. She’s a former controversial Washington controlled Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty Russian Service director.
Her job then and now is proliferating anti-Russian/anti-Putin propaganda. Virtually everything she says and writes is rubbish – fabrications polar opposite truth.
No legitimate editors would touch her stuff. On March 1, New York Times editors featured it. Gessen took full advantage headlining “Russia’s Army of Avengers.”
On the one hand, she ludicrously called Boris Nemtsov’s murder “the beginning of yet another new and frightening period in Russian history.”
On the other, she fabricated a tall tale about a Kremlin-created “loose army of avengers who believe they are acting in the country’s best interests…”
She lied calling Nemtsov “a logical first target for this menacing force.”
Fact: Nemtsov though well known was a political nobody with around 1% popular support. 
Fact: He was a US funded self-serving political opportunist – widely disliked for good reason.
Fact: A previous article quoted US ambassador to Russia John Tefft suggesting he was worth more to Washington dead than alive – without directly saying it explicitly. Draw your own conclusion.
Gessen repeated the Big Lie about nonexistent Russian aggression “waging battle against Ukraine for a year – and like any country at war, it has focused much of its rhetorical effort on the domestic opposition.”
Fact: Not a shred of evidence suggests Russian involvement in Kiev’s war on Donbass.
Fact: Plenty of evidence shows Putin and Sergey Lavrov continue going all-out for diplomatic conflict resolution.
Fact: Nothing suggests Moscow targets opposition elements. Polls show Putin enjoys overwhelming 85%+ popular support. So-called opposition is too insignificant to matter.
Gessen’s op-ed featured beginning-to-end Big Lies. Times editors treated them like gospel.  They banish hard truths systematically.
Managed news disinformation substitutes. It bears repeating. No legitimate editors would touch Gessen’s rubbish. Times editors featured it.
Outrageous Big Lies like Gessen saying “(t)he message (is) clear: People will be killed in the name of the Kremlin, in plain view of the Kremlin, against the backdrop of the Kremlin, simply for daring to oppose the Kremlin.”
Readers are advised to avoid them altogether. Choose reliable alternative sources of real news, information, and analysis to know what’s happening and why on issues mattering most.
I never hear anything from Russia in response.
Russia never fights back.  It pays loans on which it should default.  It doesn’t turn off the gas to Europe in the winter,
and so on and so forth.  The Russian Central Bank behaves like a neoliberal and wastes Russian reserves on supporting the ruble from Washington’s attack.  This stupid policy plays into Washington’s hands.
I do not understand the passivity of the Russian media and the Russian government.
Washington intends to destabilize Russia and to overthrow the Russian government.  Are Russians aware of this fact?

Michael Snyder noted at Global Research on March 1st, that the U.S. is now air-dropping weapons into ISIS territory inside Syria. The U.S. is arming ISIS against Syria’s President Bashar al-Assad, whom Obama wants to remove. Snyder asks rhetorically: “We have the most sophisticated military on the entire planet and yet we drop weapons into the hands of the enemy by mistake? Come on.” Can it be that the U.S. Air Force doesn’t have maps showing the half of Syria that’s controlled by ISIS? Of course not. ISIS’s chunk of the country constitutes almost the entire northeastern half of Syria. 

Snyder further notes:

“When it comes to airstrikes [against ISIS], the Obama administration has had an ‘Iraq first’ policy.  This has put ISIS on a defensive posture in Iraq, but this has actually encouraged expansion of ISIS in Syria. ISIS is just following the path of least resistance. Is Obama trying to discourage ISIS from committing troops and resources in Iraq because he actually wants them to focus on taking down the Assad regime in Syria?”

Well, it’s certainly working. Snyder also notes that, “ISIS has almost doubled the land it controls in Syria since the US-led coalition began airstrikes against the extremist group in the summer, a new map has revealed.” He points out the obvious conclusion: “Obama knows all of this. He just wants to take down Assad.”

He closes with the question: “So is Barack Obama actually trying to help ISIS take over Syria?” However, Snyder ignores one crucial thing: the reason why Obama is so obsessed with causing regime-change in Syria.

Bashar al-Assad is an ally of Russia, and Obama’s chief foreign-policy objective is to defeat Russia, not to defeat Islamic extremism.

Whereas President George W. Bush did nothing to defeat Islamic extremism (and he may actually be said to have created ISIS by his overthrow of Saddam Hussein and replacement of him by a Shiite, bigoted anti-Sunni, regime in Iraq), President Barack Obama started his Presidency with an authentic focus on killing Osama bin Laden, and on similarly droning-to-death most of Al Qaeda’s top leaders, as well as many Islamic extremists in Yemen and in Pakistan. So: no one can say that Obama just doesn’t care about Islamic extremism (which one could say about Bush, though perhaps Bush did care and was merely too stupid to be at all effective against it). Obama does care about suppressing Islamic extremism; but he cares more about causing regime-change in Russia. (So do Republicans, which is why Bush was even weaker against Al Qaeda than Clinton was, and far weaker than Obama has been.)

Almost all Republicans, plus the top level of the Democratic Party such as Obama, hate Russia, even after communism ended and the Soviet Union broke up. They are simply obsessed with destroying Russia. So: although Bush was weak against Al Qaeda, he was strong against Russia: he brought into NATO, the military club against Russia, the following seven nations: Bulgaria, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia — six of which seven nations had formerly been members of the Warsaw Pact along with the U.S.S.R., against the U.S.

The reality is: Obama, like Republicans generally, hates Russia.

That’s what his Ukraine-policy has been about. That’s what his Syria-policy has been about. That’s what his Iran-policy is about. And that’s what his Libya policy has been about.

Syria is important in this objective he has, because Syria is the key to replacing Russia as Europe’s main source of natural gas. Syria is the sole block against a natural-gas pipeline from Qatar through Saudi Arabia then Jordan then Syria then Turkey into Europe. Building and operating such a pipeline would enable Qatar to compete against Russia as a supplier of gas to Europe — the world’s largest gas-market. (Russia, Iran, and Qatar — in that order —have the world’s largest gas-reserves. Iran, an ally of Russia, has been blocked by U.S. sanctions, so has been out of the picture for supplying that; Obama wants to replace Russia by Qatar, which sponsors the moderate-extremist Muslim Brotherhood, not only in Egypt but in Syria and elsewhere.) Furthermore, the U.S. military alliance (NATO) could then end Russia as a gas-supplier to Europe, and switch all of that business to the royal family of Qatar, which sponsors the Muslim Brotherhood.

The only other route that Qatar had been considering, “through Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Iraq” into Turkey, was sidelined because Iraq was considered too unstable. Now, Syria too is on fire, so plans for both pipeline routes are in abeyance.

If Assad is defeated, then the United States will be able to arrange the entire Qatar-Saudi-Jordan-Syrian portion of the non-Iraqi route all the way up to the Turkish border, and the only question then will be Turkey, which at least until recently was hoping to become a transit-nation for Qatari gas. However, on 14 January 2015 was announced, in the anti-Russian news-medium Bloomberg, “Russia to Shift Ukraine Gas Transit to Turkey as EU Cries Foul,” and Turkey, in effect, allied with Russia. The anti-Russian Bloomberg quoted EU-sources as saying that “The decision makes no economic sense.” However, even whether it does make “economic sense” or boost their wealth, is almost beside the point. International aristocrats are far more interested in power than in wealth. What difference does another billion dollars make to someone whose net worth is already ten billion? It makes a difference, but power over an adversary is what’s key to them. At this level, power is key, economics is not.

Obama had been working with Turkey and Qatar to get the Muslim Brotherhood into control of Syria; and, now, Obama is switching to support the Saudi-backed ISIS, because the Muslim Brotherhood (Syria’s Qatari and U.S.-backed ‘moderates’) have simply proven ineffective. Syria, it turns out, is not just another Egypt.

Now that Obama needs to choose between defeating ISIS, or else defeating Russia, he is clearly choosing to defeat Russia. Forced to a choice in this matter, he is finally sacrificing everything, to his war against Russia.

And that gets us to the case of Iran: If Secretary of State Kerry can swing a deal there, then perhaps a way could be found to get Iranian gas into Europe. Turning Iran against Russia would certainly be game-changing. It can’t be done in Iran by a “color revolution” coup like in Ukraine, but our State Department are trying to do it, somehow. However, America’s virtual co-President Benjamin Netanyahu, has solid Republican backing to kill any such deal. So: it’s unlikely that Iran will be able to replace the current role of Qatar (as an alternative supplier of gas to Europe). Israel supports the jihadist Sunni Muslims (including the Qataris), against the Shiites (Iran), because that keeps Israel popular in the United States, where the average person is opposed to jihadists. (And every televised jihadist beheading thus adds to Israel’s support in the U.S.)

Furthermore, the U.S. has long been allied with Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist Sunni sect, against Iran and its Shiite sect. ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other jihadist Muslims are Sunnis, not Shiites; and the Saudi sect of Sunni, the Wahhabist sect, are the most extremist of all muslims. The deal between the fundamentalist Muslim cleric Wahhab and the first King Saud, which made him the king, was reached back in 1744; and it’s the foundation of the Saudi nation even today. Osama bin Laden’s accountant or bookkeeper, who kept the detailed financial records of all of the many million-dollar-plus donations that kept Al Qaeda going and that paid its top fighters handsomely, was kept muzzled by George W. Bush and Barack Obama until just recently, but finally he was able to reveal, and under oath, the deal between Al Qaeda and the royals of all of the Arabic oil kingdoms, all of whom are Sunni. 9/11 was financed by those royals, and Al Qaeda’s bookkeeper explained how he had picked up the checks that kept them going.

Things didn’t start this way. Wahhabist jihad developed only after the CIA arranged for fanatical jihadists to pour into Afghanistan to overthrow the Soviet-backed regime there. This created what Obama now calls “extremism.” Back when it was the weapon-of-choice against the U.S.S.R., it was praised by Zbigniew Brzezinski, who now advises Obama as a friend. Brzezinski said of Al Qaeda’s forefathers – the Mujahadin:

We know of their deep belief in god – that they’re confident that their struggle will succeed. That land over there is yours, and you’ll go back to it some day, because your fight will prevail, and you’ll have your homes, your mosques, back again, because your cause is right, and god is on your side.

Brzezinski is a former Polish aristocrat who has hated Russia throughout his life (the child of Polish aristocrats, who hated Russia and not only communism), but who hid the hatred from birth, for as long as the Soviet Union existed and he could pretend that the only bone he had to pick with the U.S.S.R. was ideological — communism — not ethnicity, not Russians per se, not like the people who are being bombed in today’s Ukraine, people who are not communists but just Russian-speakers in the easternmost region of Ukraine, and the war against whom is financed today by U.S. and European taxpayers because Western aristocrats can arrange for their respective nation’s publics to pay for these aristocrats’ wars-of-conquest against supposedly inferior peoples. So: he has basically been, throughout his life, an undercover warrior against Russians. However, this became clear only when the U.S.S.R. dissolved and broke up and so the ideological  explanation for his hostility was gone. All that was left was: against Russia.

Franklin Delano Roosevelt, the founder of the progressive Democratic Party, had a very different motivation for creating the U.S.-Saudi alliance. Today’s Republican and Democratic Parties are alien to FDR’s entire pprogram.

Back at the very end of World War II, Roosevelt met with the Saudi King and sealed the Saudi-U.S. alliance, in order to supply Saudi oil in return for U.S. protection of the Sauds against their own people and against any outside power. This was not originally an anti-Russian alliance at all. However, it was anti-communist, and it was even anti-imperialist because both Churchill and Stalin were imperialists, so the U.S. needed this energy-security for its own future, not as part of an alliance against any nation. Indeed, the war was now all but over, and FDR was already planning for a post-war world in which there would be no more big-power war but instead the end of all empires. The Republican Party, as the Party of Big Oil (“Drill, baby, drill!!” in 2008), was especially delighted to have this alliance. However, after Reagan, in this anti-FDR period we’re in, even the Democratic Party is now imperialist. This is the real reason why extending NATO missile-bases up to Russia’s very borders dominates U.S. foreign policy today.

Think of the Cuban Missile Crisis, and the way the U.S. felt in 1962 about having missiles in only one nearby country. Russia is being surrounded by them. How much longer will Russia be patient with the return of aggressive U.S. imperialism? Did Obama’s coup in Ukraine in 2014 cross the line?

Obama now is telling Russian President Vladimir Putin, with each one of those weapons-drops into ISIS territory: We’re moving forward against you, no matter what.

He’s telling him: Eliminating you is more important to us than eliminating ISIS.

He’s telling him, by his actions (not merely words, which from Obama are always to the contrary): Either resign from office, or we’ll do what we need to do in order to get rid of you.

He’s betting the planet, not merely the house. That’s his message to Putin.

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Image: An Israeli missile is launched from the Iron Dome defense missile system (Reuters/Baz Ratner)

Israel reportedly bypassed the White House and asked the US Congress for an extra $317 million to be added to President Barack Obama’s budget for the next fiscal year in order to fund Israeli missile defense programs, Bloomberg reported.

The requested funds would be in addition to the $158 million already proposed by the Pentagon for Israel’s security needs for the fiscal year that will begin on October 1. The new allocation will allegedly finance the ‘David’s Sling’ and ‘Arrow-3′ programs – designed to intercept medium- to long-range missiles – as well as provide an anti-ballistic missile system.

According to Bloomberg’s report on Friday, the director of Israel’s missile defense organization Yair Ramati “visited lawmakers and aides to the congressional defense committees on February 2 and 3 to outline the case for more money and thank them for past assistance.”

Ramati completely bypassed the White House and the Pentagon. The report links the move to the tense relationship between the Obama administration and the Israeli government ahead of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s speech to Congress on March 3, which is likely to stress that the White House is pursuing a “bad deal” by negotiating to curb Iran’s nuclear program.v

The report revealed that Ramati’s proposal included $250 million to start production of the David’s Sling system, in addition to Obama’s $37 million request for development. Another $35 million Ramati requested for the initial production of Arrow 3, in addition to the $55.7 million the US administration is seeking for development.

During his visit to Capitol Hill, Ramati distributed one-page sheets naming US contractors that would benefit from production funds for each of the missile defense systems.” According to Bloomberg’s information, the list included Chicago-based Boeing Co.; Waltham, Massachusetts-based Raytheon Co.; Arlington, Virginia-based Orbital ATK Inc.; and Falls Church, Virginia-based Northrop Grumman Corp.

When contacted by Bloomberg, the Israeli embassy in the US declined to comment on the report.

The US already provides Israel with $3.1 billion a year as “foreign military financing,” which excludes other missile defense funds, according to the report.

For the current fiscal year, Congress has reportedly provided $620 million, including about $347 million for missile defense programs. US Congress has appropriated more than $1.2 billion since 2011 for the Iron Dome, which is designed to intercept and destroy rockets.

In light of the large amounts of distributed funds, US lawmakers have been insisting that Israel use American-based defense contractors when spending the received money.

Last year, the Israeli government agreed to spend more than half the funds provided by the Pentagon for the Iron Dome in the US by this year. Until recently, the missile system was been built solely in Israel by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd.

Iran nuclear talks have created a significant rift between Israel and the US. Last week, the White House and State Department stated that Israel inaccurately provided information and twisted the official US position in nuclear talks with Iran, and accused Tel Aviv of “selectively” leaking details of sensitive talks.

Washington has also voiced suspicion that Netanyahu’s office directly provided Israeli journalists with the leaked information, including an alleged offer to Iran to keep 6,500 centrifuges for uranium enrichment. A White House spokesman expressed frustration with the “cherry-picked” information released by the Israelis out of context.

The worst fears of all free speech proponents are upon us. The Verizon suit against the Federal Communications Commission, appellate decision sets the stage for a Supreme Court review. The Wall Street Journal portrays the ruling in financial terms: “A federal court has tossed out the FCC’s “open internet” rules, and now internet service providers are free to charge companies like Google and Netflix higher fees to deliver content faster.”

In essence, this is the corporate spin that the decision is about the future cost for being connected.

“The ruling was a blow to the Obama administration, which has pushed the idea of “net neutrality.” And it sharpened the struggle by the nation’s big entertainment and telecommunications companies to shape the regulation of broadband, now a vital pipeline for tens of millions of Americans to view video and other media.

For consumers, the ruling could usher in an era of tiered Internet service, in which they get some content at full speed while other websites appear slower because their owners chose not to pay up.

“It takes the Internet into completely uncharted territory,” said Tim Wu, a Columbia University law professor who coined the term net neutrality.”

What the Journal is not telling you is that this “uncharted territory” is easy to project. If ISP’s will be able to charge varied rates or decide to vary internet speed, it is a very short step towards selectively discriminate against sites based upon content. Do not get lulled into thinking that constitutional protective political speech is guaranteed.

Once again, the world according to the communication giants paint a very different interpretation as the article, Verizon called hypocritical for equating net neutrality to censorship illustrates.

“Verizon’s argument that network neutrality regulations violated the firm’s First Amendment rights. In Verizon’s view, slowing or blocking packets on a broadband network is little different from a newspaper editor choosing which articles to publish, and should enjoy the same constitutional protection.”

The response from advocates of the Net Neutrality standard, that is about to vanish, sums up correctly.

“The First Amendment does not apply, however, when Verizon is merely transmitting the content of third parties. Moreover, these groups point out, Verizon itself has disclaimed responsibility for its users’ content when it was convenient to do so, making its free speech arguments ring hollow.”

Prepare for the worst. The video, Prepare To Be Robbed. Net Neutrality Is Dead!, which includes frank language and expletives, provides details that place the use of internet access into question coming out of this appellate decision.

Analyze the implications logically. It is one thing to charge a for profit service like Netflix a higher fee to transverse the electronic bandwidth of a communication network. Selling a membership to an end user is the source of their cash flow. However, most activist political sites usually provide internet users free access to their particular viewpoint and source links.

Your internet service provider controls the pipeline that feeds your devices and data connection. No matter which company you pay for this service, you are dependent upon this union. A free WiFi link may well become a memory. Beaming a satellite signal, mostly is an alternative, when DSL, cable or other broadband is not available.

No matter what method is used to surf the net, this decision clearly implies that internet access is now a privilege, at the effective discretion, if not mercy; of a provider that allow an account for service.

Next, consider the implication that search engines will use this decision to re-work their algorithms lowering their spider bots selection of sites that challenge the “PC” culture. Restrictive categorization used for years by Google, Yahoo and Bing can use this decision as cover to purge dissenting sites even more from their result rankings.

It is common knowledge that YouTube censors and targets certain uploads. One particular subject that experiences technical glitches is Fukushima. The video You Tube Censoring Truther Channels explains the drill. Add to the frustration are the ads, especially the ones with no skip option and imagine future requirements for uploading approval. What is next, a paid subscription to use and upload to the service?

Yes, the Ending Net Neutrality Signals A Digital Paradigm Shift. It also means that they could unfairly push sites like (add the name of your favorite sites) out of the way of users if they (the “PC” protectors) didn’t like them, acting as effective censors.

Stephen Lendman writes in Digital Democracy vs. Corporate Dominance: R.I.P. Internet Neutrality?

“Without Net Neutrality, ISPs will be able to devise new schemes to charge users more for access and services, making it harder for us to communicate online – and easier for companies to censor our speech.”

Corporate gatekeepers will control “where you go and what you see.”

Verizon, AT&T, Comcast and Time Warner Cable “will be able to block content and speech they don’t like, reject apps that compete with their own offerings, and prioritize Web traffic…”

They’ll be able to “reserve the fastest loading speeds for the highest bidders (while) sticking everyone else with the slowest.”

Doing so prohibits free and open communications. Censorship will become policy. Net Neutrality is too important to lose.”

Ready yourself for the inevitable results! According to Michael Hiltzik, Net neutrality is dead. Bow to Comcast and Verizon, your overlords.

“In the U.S., there’s no practical competition. The vast majority of households essentially have a single broadband option, their local cable provider. Verizon and AT&T provide Internet service, too, but for most customers they’re slower than the cable service. Some neighborhoods get telephone fiber services, but Verizon and AT&T have ceased the rollout of their FiOs and U-verse services–if you don’t have it now, you’re not getting it.

Who deserves the blame for this wretched combination of monopolization and profiteering by ever-larger cable and phone companies? The FCC, that’s who. The agency’s dereliction dates back to 2002, when under Chairman Michael Powell it reclassified cable modem services as “information services” rather than “telecommunications services,” eliminating its own authority to regulate them broadly. Powell, by the way, is now the chief lobbyist in Washington for the cable TV industry, so the payoff wasn’t long in coming.”

In a digital environment, access to an internet that provides uncensored content at the lowest costs is a direct threat to the corporate economy. Innovation and creative cutting-edge services are clearly marked as competing challenges to the Amazon jungle of merchandising. The big will just get bigger.

Then the unavoidable effects from the “all the news fit to report” mass medium, intensifies their suppression of honest investigative journalism. Filtering out the alternative and truth media is the prime objective of this ruling. Eliminating political dissent from the internet is the ultimate implication. What would the net be like without access to the Drudge Report?

When the cable or satellite services bundle their programming into a “take it or leave it” format, the choices for the consumer becomes a major financial burden just to watch the few channels that have interest. Applying this pattern to the internet will cause even greater resentment.

Just look at the disaster from the Yahoo retooling. That Ms. “wicked witch” MM have pushed up the stock price, but ask any yahoo group member what they think of the new format. This is a classic example of how to turn off users and ruin your product.

Subscription services are playing with fire. With the collapse of the main street economy, the added fees to access content that is mediocre at best, is the actual fallout. Like the dinosaur TV networks, the corporatist sites risk total rejection from internet visitors.

Totalitarian culturalists are rejoicing with this latest damper on free speech. News by way of government press releases is pure propaganda. How did this happen?
For a short explanation history, Nilay Patel writes in The Wrong Words: How The FCC Lost Neutrality And Could Kill The Internet.

“The FCC tried to appease the out-of-control corporate egos of behemoths like Verizon and Comcast by pretending internet providers were special and classifying them as “information service providers” and not “telecommunications carriers.” The wrong words. Then, once everyone was wearing the nametag they wanted, the FCC tried to impose common carrier-style telecommunications regulations on them anyway.”

Credo Action believes that “FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler can undo the Bush-era decision to deregulate broadband Internet providers and allow them to operate outside of the legal framework that has traditionally applied to companies that offer two-way communication services.”

Such optimism seems naive in light of the real controllers of policy, much the same, for the Supreme Court coming to the rescue. Mark this court decision as the strategic destruction of the internet as a beacon of unfeigned free expression of information and open political speech. The programmers will be working overtime to set up layers of tasks, restrictions and huddlers to jump over. If you think Facebook censorship is bad, get ready for a purely governmental approved net along the Chinese model.

Israel’s Prime Minister is well-placed to explain to the U.S. Congress the alleged danger of a nuclear Iran. After all, it was Israel and its allies in Washington who fabricated this issue to begin with. It is thus incumbent upon Mr. Netanyahu to try to give credence to that allegation even as U.S., European – and even Israeli – intelligence agencies agree that Iran is not trying to produce nuclear weapons. Some may remember that the claims that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction had come largely from the same people close to Israel’s right-wing Likud party.

The role of this Likud lobby has been seminal in stirring the campaign against Iran. It was at the AIPAC meeting in Spring 2006 that Iran was made a special target, with giant screens alternating clips of Adolf Hitler denouncing the Jews and then the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad threatening “to wipe Israel off the map”. The show ended with a fade-out to the post-Holocaust vow “Never Again.” Within months, the lobby distributed anti-Iran press kits to thirteen thousand journalists in the United States alone, durably embedding these emotionally charged images in mainstream media.

Iranian leaders have been routinely portrayed as deniers of the Holocaust who threaten to wipe Israel off the map. These two claims have been reproduced in thousands of newspapers, depicting Iran as a rogue state and a danger to world peace. They have also been used to impose Western sanctions on Iran for allegedly trying to produce nuclear weapons. Millions of Iranians suffer from these sanctions, and many more may suffer from military action that remains “on the table” in Tel-Aviv and Washington. This is why these claims, which present Iranian decision-makers as irrational Jews-haters, deserve closer scrutiny.

The issue of Iran’s nuclear programme requires cool-headed analysis. However, conflation of Israel and Zionism with Jews and Judaism has long stifled rational debate concerning the Middle East. This is how critics of Israel, whether Gentile or Jewish, are routinely accused of anti-Semitism. Such accusations have come to impact international relations on a larger scale, and “Iran’s nuclear bomb” is a case in point. Mr. Netanyahu arrives in Washington pretending to speak on behalf of world Jewry rather than as an elected representative of Israeli citizenry, at least one third of whom are not Jews.

Holocaust Denial

Among the participants at an international conference on the Holocaust convened by the former Iranian president nearly a decade ago there were a few notorious Holocaust deniers as well as black-clad Orthodox Jews who spoke of the massacre of their own relatives at the hand of the Nazis. It is of little practical interest to debate whether Mr. Ahmadinejad denies the veracity of the Holocaust since he has long been out of power. But one may wonder why we tend to consider Holocaust denial as exceptionally grievous. Indeed, a denier of the massacre of hundreds of thousands of Jews in Ukraine in the 17th century or of the expulsion of Jews from Spain in the 15th would attract no more attention than a member of the Flat Earth Society. It is not only the immediacy and the magnitude of the Holocaust, but the Zionists’ uses of its memory that make it unique.

Iranian leaders were not the first to decry the price that the establishment of the state of Israel has exacted from the Palestinians (Muslims, Christians as well quite a few Jews) who have been made to pay for the crime committed in Europe by European Nazis against European Jews. Whatever this objection is worth, it is not a denial of the Holocaust, but rather an objection against using this tragedy as a tool to legitimize Zionism and Israel’s continuing dispossession of the Palestinians.

According to Moshe Zimmermann, professor of German history and public intellectual in Israel,

“the Shoah [Holocaust] is an oft-used instrument. Speaking cynically, it can be said that the Shoah is among the most useful objects for manipulating the public, and particularly the Jewish people, in and outside of Israel. In Israeli politics, the Shoah is held to demonstrate that an unarmed Jew is as good as a dead Jew”.

Political uses of the Nazi genocide are common. Israel’s former minister of education affirmed that “the Holocaust is not a national insanity that happened once and passed, but an ideology that has not passed from the world and even today the world may condone crimes against us.” In addition to providing Israel with a highly persuasive raison d’être, the Holocaust has proved a powerful means of leveraging aid. An Israeli parliamentarian put it bluntly:

Even the best friends of the Jewish people refrained from offering significant saving help of any kind to European Jewry and turned their back on the chimneys of the death camps… therefore all the free world, especially in these days, is required to show its repentance… by providing diplomatic-defensive-economic aid to Israel.

Norman Finkelstein’s Holocaust Industry amply documents how the memory of the Nazi genocide can be harnessed for political purposes. For decades, the Holocaust has functioned as an instrument of persuasion in the hands of Israeli foreign policy to mute criticism and to generate sympathy for the state, which styles itself as the collective heir of the six million victims. Mr. Netanyahu regularly invokes the Holocaust in public debate about Iran. He claims that the hypothetical Iranian nuclear bomb constitutes “an existential threat”. However, in a peculiar non sequitur he calls Israel “the only secure place for the Jews”. In the wake of the recent attacks on Jews in Paris and Copenhagen Mr. Netanyahu again called on European Jews to leave their countries and move to Israel that he referred to as their “real home”. His invocations of “a nuclear holocaust” at the hands of Iran play well among his supporters but hardly represent a rational foreign policy argument.

Wipe Israel Off the Map

Much ink has been spilled over another claim, viz., that Iran declared its intention to “wipe Israel off the map”. Juan Cole and others have since shown that the translation was false and the word “map” does not even appear in the original. In fact, it was a quote from one of Ayatollah Khomeini’s old anti-Zionist diatribes: Esrâ’il bâyad az sahneyeh roozégâr mahv shavad, which means “Israel must vanish from the page of time.” After the canard about “wiping Israel off the map” circled the world and was firmly implanted in the public mind, the Zionist instigators of the anti-Iran campaign quietly dropped it from further use. A recent report about Iran published by the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, a Zionist think tank particularly active in stirring the anti-Iran campaign, translates the Khomeini quote correctly but still insists that the quote is “genocidal”. The latter term has become a favourite in recent Zionist publications: the same report refers to “the failed genocidal 1948 war of several Arab states and Palestinians against Israel.”

In fact, Iranian leaders have repeatedly called for a need to solve the problems facing the world, including the Palestinian issue, through dialogue. They propose, inter alia,

“a free referendum to establish a government based on the will of the Palestinian nation in which all Palestinians, including Jews, Christians and Muslims will be given the chance to vote.”

None of this seems to imply military action and cannot be interpreted as an “existential threat.” This may explain why none of this catches the attention of mainstream media: moderate statements from Tehran are not deemed “fit to print”.

Iranian leaders have also said that “the Zionist regime will be wiped out soon, the same way the Soviet Union was, and humanity will achieve freedom.” Just as the Soviet Union was dismantled peacefully, Israel may disappear peacefully under the weight of its internal contradictions. Just as the Soviet Union was not wiped out in a hail of nuclear bombs, Iran does not suggest using force to bring about the demise of Israel. Nor would this be even remotely serious since Israel enjoys an overwhelming military superiority in the region, in which it remains the sole nuclear power.

The call for an end to Zionism does not mean the destruction of Israel and its population. According to Jonathan Steel of The Guardian, it is no more than “a vague wish for the future”. This wish may amount to no more than the prayer “for the peaceful dismantlement of the Zionist state” uttered regularly by members of the Jewish anti-Zionist group Neturei Karta. In fact, Jewish liturgy itself abounds in rather aggressive stances against those who do not recognize God or commit evil acts. For example, in the High Holiday services, we have the phrase u’malkhut ha’rishaa kula ke’ashan tikhleh (And the kingdom of evil should disappear like smoke). Again, although this literally means to annihilate and destroy a whole country, what really is meant is that the “regime of evil” – any acts of evil done in any place – will be wiped out. Not any person in particular, certainly not thousands of innocent people.

Even though millions of Jews recite this every year, they don’t mean nuclear war. But if one wanted to demonize Jews, one could take this statement and turn it into a baseless accusation that Jews wish to wipe out entire countries. Some Israeli secularists have even interpreted that traditional prayer as a call to destroy the secular majority of Israel’s Jewish population. This is why Jewish tradition abhors literal readings of sacred texts and relies on their rabbinical interpretations however far-fetched these may sometimes appear. For example, the rabbis unanimously interpret the biblical principle of “an eye for an eye” as an obligation to pay monetary compensation, not to get the culprit’s eye knocked out. The above piece of Jewish liturgy is a case of religious rhetoric relying on strong metaphors while expressing a desire to see a world without evil.

More to the point, the last time Iran attacked another country was over three centuries ago. This is not exactly the record of Israel or the United States. To consider Iran somehow less responsible than Israel, which is reported to possess nuclear weapons, seems like an incongruous vestige of colonial mentality.

Moreover, Iran is actively combating the extremists of Daesh (“the Islamic State”) who justify their atrocities by literal interpretations of the Koran. The Jews of Iran continue to practice Judaism without much interference from the Iranian authorities and remain committed to staying put in the country they have inhabited for thousands of years. While overtly anti-Zionist, Iranian leaders have emphasized that they are not anti-Jewish. Had they been anti-Jewish, Iranian authorities would have harassed local Jews rather than provoke a nuclear-armed Israel.

Mr. Netanyahu’s claim to speak “on behalf of the Jews” endangers Jews, particularly in Iran. However, some Zionists remain undeterred and go as far as to reproach Iranian Jews for not leaving for Israel long ago. This attitude exposes the largest and perhaps the oldest Jewish community in the Muslim world since Israel’s raison d’Etat has naturally and often taken precedence over the welfare and the very survival of Jewish communities. Zionists relate to Jews outside Israel as potential immigrants or temporary assets in promoting Israel’s interests.

Jewish Dissent

Mr. Netanyahu’s appearance before the U.S. Congress and his current anti-Iran campaign has generated a profound schism between Jews who unconditionally support Israel and those Jews who reject or question Zionism and actions taken by the state of Israel. Public debate about Israel’s place in Jewish continuity has become open and candid, not only in Israel but elsewhere. Many see the future of the state of Israel as a state of its citizens, Jewish, Muslim, Christian and atheist, rather than a state established and run on behalf of world Jewry.

While there are relatively few Jews who publicly wonder whether the chronically insecure Israel is “good for the Jews”, many more deplore that militant Zionism destroys Jewish moral values and endangers Jews both in Israel and elsewhere. For example, the film Munich by Steven Spielberg sharply focuses on the moral cost of Israel’s chronic reliance on force. During one scene, as a member of the Israeli hit squad hunting Diaspora Palestinian activists quits in disgust, he proclaims “we’re Jews. Jews don’t do wrong because our enemies do wrong…we’re supposed to be righteous. That’s a beautiful thing. That’s Jewish…” While Schindler’s List explores threats to the physical survival of the Jews, Munich exposes threats to their spiritual survival. No wonder that Likud supporters in America besmirched the Jewish director and his film even before it was released. It also lashed out at several recent books (Prophets Outcast, Wrestling with Zion, Myths of Zionism, The Question of Zion) that are concerned with the same essential conflict between Zionism and traditional Jewish values. Mr. Netanyahu’s speech before the U.S. Congress has deeply sharpened his intra-Jewish conflict.

The Likud lobby routinely alleges that Jews who dare criticize Israel endanger its “right to exist” and foment anti-Semitism. This provokes a number of prominent Jews in Britain, Canada and the United States to speak out, which moved candid debate about Israel into mainstream, even conservative publications. The eminently pro-establishment Economist has published a survey of “the state of the Jews” and an editorial calling which calls on rank-and-file Diaspora Jews to move away from the “my country right or wrong” attitude adopted by many Jewish organizations. This certainly erodes the image of the Jews as a group united around the Israeli flag.

Making a stand for Jewish emancipation from the state of Israel and its policies has bridged some old divides and also created new ones. Thus an ultra-Orthodox critic of Israel, usually antagonistic to Reform Judaism, commended a Reform rabbi who had said that

“when Israel’s Jewish supporters abroad don’t speak out against disastrous policies that neither guarantee safety for her citizens nor produce the right climate in which to try and reach a just peace with the Palestinians … then they are betraying millennial Jewish values and acting against Israel’s own long-term interests.”

Many Jews and Israelis believe that the Likud lobby, a collective effort of right-wing Christians, Jews, Muslims and atheists, is a major threat to Israel’s long-term security since it invariably supports Israel’s hawks and undermines those Israelis who work for reconciliation in the region. The lobby is also a potent source of anti-Semitism since it is often seen as “Jewish”, which creates the erroneous impression that the Jews dictate American foreign policy by pushing it to the right. In fact, a vast majority of American Jews have voted for Barak Obama. While Israel’s current leaders and their allies in America continue to incite the world against Iran, several peace organizations in Israel and in various Jewish Diasporas issued statements condemning the anti-Iran campaign and Mr. Netanyahu’s behaviour.

Nowadays, when no Arab state poses a military threat to Israel it is Iran that many Israelis are made to fear. Just next to Iran, which has repeatedly denied any interest in acquiring a nuclear weapon, lies Pakistan, an unstable regime with a strong Islamist movement, including elements of Al-Qaeda, and a real, not imaginary, nuclear arsenal. While Pakistan has not threatened Israel, there may be no end to “existential threats” if the Zionist state stays its course and continues to defy the people of the entire region by denying justice to the Palestinians.

In Praise of Precision

The two emotionally charged claims hurled at Iran have dominated Western media. Another accusation that Iran had allegedly passed a law requiring Jews to wear a yellow insignia, reported by Toronto’s National Post a few years ago, further strengthened the image of Iran as a new Nazi Germany. While the report was retracted the following day, more people remember the damning news than the subsequent retraction from the daily whose owners are active in Canada’s own Likud lobby.

This disinformation certainly helps prepare the public opinion for a military strike – by the United States or Israel – against the oil-rich Iran, a disquieting remake of the scare of Iraq’s illusory weapons of mass destruction that triggered an all-out military attack on that unfortunate country, whose population had suffered from Western sanctions for over a decade. Saddam Hussein was duly portrayed as another incarnation of Hitler, and, once again, the spectre of a nuclear Holocaust was invoked.

It is Israel that reportedly possesses hundreds of nuclear weapons and, unlike Iran, refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty. Iran has never declared an intention to produce nuclear weapons. According to reputable Israeli experts, Iran cannot acquire a military nuclear capability for five to ten years, and if and when it does acquire it, they expect Iran to use it to restrain Israel’s foreign incursions rather than attack it.

Iranian leaders are misrepresented as demented extremists with unlimited powers who can be expected to act irrationally. It follows that they must be stopped at any cost. This has become a mantra not only of the Israeli right wing politicians, such as the eloquent Mr. Netanyahu, who, in defiance of the U.N. Charter, overtly threatens to attack Iran, but for quite a few American politicians who admire him. While the White House and foreign policy and intelligence professionals know that neither Israel nor the United States are in danger of an attack from Iran, their rational arguments seem less persuasive than emotional rhetoric from the Hill. The United States has well known geopolitical interests in the Persian Gulf, but the accusations against Iran based on the deliberate conflation between Israel and the Jews may fatefully distort foreign policy making in Washington.

Intellectuals appreciate precision. Policy-makers need it no less since they are expected to act prudently and rationally. Mr. Netanyahu’s intervention in America’s foreign policy making is part of a long-term attempt to align the lone superpower’s interests with those of the Zionist state. This is why his arguments should be weighed carefully and without undue emotion so often obscuring issues concerning Israel and its neighbours. For several years, Western chanceries have focused on restraining Israel from military action against Iran. Israel’s hands were thus freed to deal with the Palestinians with virtual impunity. The new “existential threat” from Iran’s hypothetical weapon of mass destruction has already served Israel’s purpose as a “weapon of mass distraction”.

The phenomenal growth of Daesh graphically shows what demodernization and the ensuing despair in that part of the world may entail. We need only to look at Iraq, Libya and Syria, all three subjected to outside military intervention, and at the subsequent emergence of Daesh, to understand that destabilizing a country or region has far-reaching sinister consequences. Israel’s Prime minister invokes the alleged Iranian threat in order to slow down or reverse Iran’s policies of modernization. The forced demodernization of Iraq, Syria and Libya, the most secular and educated countries in the Arab world, has certainly benefited Israel’s strategic position in the area. Mr. Netanyahu must now explain how exactly demodernization of Iran will benefit the United States.

Yakov Rabkin is Professor of History and associate of CERIUM, Centre for International Studies at the University of Montreal; he is the author of A Threat from Within: A Century of Jewish Opposition to Zionism (Palgrave Macmillan/Zed Books) and Comprendre l’Etat d’Israel (Ecosociete). Some of the material used in this article previously appeared in Revue internationale et stratégique 2/2008 (No 70), p. 195-208 in Paris.

When it comes to the Ukraine proxy war, which started in earnest just about one year ago with the violent coup that overthrew then president Yanukovich and replaced him with a local pro-US oligarch, there has been no ambiguity who the key actors were: on the left, we had the west, personified by the US, the European Union, and NATO in general; while on the right we had Russia. In fact, if there was any confusion, it was about the role of that other “elephant in the room” – China.

To be sure, a question few asked throughout the Ukraine civil war is just whose side is China leaning toward. After all the precarious balance of power between NATO and Russia had resulted in a stalemate in which neither side has an obvious advantage (even as the Ukraine economy died, and its currency hyperinflated, waiting for a clear winner), and the explicit or implicit support of China to either camp would make all the difference in the world, not to mention the world’s most formidable axis.

Today we finally got the answer, and the winner is… this guy:

Xinhua reported that late on Thursday Qu Xing, China’s ambassador to Belgium, was quoted as blaming competition between Russia and the West for the Ukraine crisis, urging Western powers to “abandon the zero-sum mentality” with Russia.

Cited by Reuters, Xing said that Western powers should take into consideration Russia’s legitimate security concerns over Ukraine.

Reuters’ assessment of Xing speech: “an unusually frank and open display of support for Moscow’s position in the crisis.

At least it is not a warning to the US to back off or else. Yet.

Speaking in very clear and explicit language, something diplomats are not used to doing, the Chinese ambassador said the “nature and root cause” of the crisis was the “game” between Russia and Western powers, including the United States and the European Union.

He said external intervention by different powers accelerated the crisis and warned that Moscow would feel it was being treated unfairly if the West did not change its approach.

“The West should abandon the zero-sum mentality, and take the real security concerns of Russia into consideration,” Qu was quoted as saying.

His comments were an unusually public show of understanding from China for the Russian position. China and Russia see eye-to-eye on many international diplomatic issues but Beijing has generally not been so willing to back Russia over Ukraine.

As noted above, China has long been very cautious not to be drawn into the struggle between Russia and the West over Ukraine’s future, not wanting to alienate a key ally. And yet, something changed overnight, with this very clear language, warning some could say, that China will no longer tolerate Pax Americana, and even the mere assumption of a unipolar western world, let alone the reality.

Qu’s comments take place just as talks between the United States and its European allies over harsher sanctions against Moscow.

On Monday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov accused Western powers of trying to dominate and impose their ideology on the rest of world. The United States and European delegations slammed Moscow for supporting rebels in eastern Ukraine.

Qu said Washington’s involvement in Ukraine could “become a distraction in its foreign policy”.

And then, Qu’s slap in the face of Obama: “The United States is unwilling to see its presence in any part of the world being weakened, but the fact is its resources are limited, and it will be to some extent hard work to sustain its influence in external affairs.

Especially if and when China decides to send a few peacekeepers of its own into Ukraine. You know – just to make sure US influence in external affairs isn’t “sustained” too much.

On three separate occasions in the past four days, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, one of the frontrunners for the Republican presidential nomination, has stressed the close connection between the struggle against the working class at home and Washington’s militarist policies internationally.

Linking the suppression of workers’ protests to the fight against terrorism, he has presented his success in defying mass demonstrations that broke out in 2011 in Wisconsin against his attacks on workers’ social and democratic rights as proof of his ability to take on and defeat ISIS.

Speaking Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in suburban Washington DC, Walker cited his experience in pushing through anti-worker legislation as proof of his fitness for the presidency. “If I could take on 100,000 protesters, I could do the same across the world,” he boasted, effectively comparing throngs of state workers and students to ISIS terrorists.

The next day, speaking before the Club for Growth, an assembly of billionaires and their political advisers meeting in Palm Beach, Florida, Walker returned to the theme. He declared that “the most significant foreign policy decision of my lifetime” was President Ronald Reagan’s smashing of the 1981 PATCO strike and mass firing of 11,000 air traffic controllers. “It sent a message not only across America, it sent a message around the world,” he said, that the Reagan administration was serious about confronting its enemies and “we weren’t to be messed with.”

Appearing two days later on “Fox News Sunday,” Walker repeated his claim that defeating public employee unions in Wisconsin was relevant to fighting ISIS terrorists, while pretending to disavow a direct comparison. “I want to make it clear right now. I’m not comparing those two entities,” he said, and then proceeded to do just that.

“What I meant was, it was about leadership,” he declared. “The leadership we provided under extremely difficult circumstances, arguably, the most difficult of any governor in the country.” He added that “if I were to run, and if I were to win and be commander-in-chief, I believe that kind of leadership is what’s necessary to take on radical Islamic terrorism.”

Walker’s initial statement at CPAC was widely described in the media as a gaffe. The problem, however, was not his implicit equation of working-class opposition with terrorist organizations that have been targeted for extermination, but rather his indiscretion in blurting out publicly what the US corporate-financial oligarchy thinks and discusses internally.

In the event, comparing public employees to ISIS terrorists has not disqualified Walker in the eyes of the media. If anything, it appears to have enhanced his stature as a serious presidential candidate.

This is certainly the case among the so-called “base” of the Republican Party that attended CPAC. Walker won the loudest ovations of any of the 13 potential candidates who addressed the group. In the CPAC straw poll, Walker vaulted from sixth place in 2014 to second place, with 21.4 percent of the vote, only narrowly behind Kentucky Senator Rand Paul.

As the WSWS noted Saturday, Walker is not the first US political figure to equate the struggle against popular opposition at home with the wars waged by American imperialism overseas. In the American ruling elite, whether among Republicans or Democrats, there is less and less of a distinction made between domestic and foreign policy. The financial aristocracy increasingly sees itself besieged and compelled at home as well as abroad to resort to force and violence.

Events of the past several years demonstrate that for the American ruling class, the main enemy is at home: the jailing of protesters on terrorism charges, such as the “NATO Three”; the lockdown of Boston after the 2013 Marathon bombing; the militarized response to protests in Ferguson and other cities over police violence; the constant invocations of “home-grown” terrorism as the pretext for the dismantling of democratic rights and the buildup of a police state.

There has been comparatively little media attention given to Walker’s open linkage of suppressing strikes and protests at home with waging war for imperialist interests abroad. The television networks and national newspapers prefer to leave such discussions to in-house assemblies of the ultra-right and conclaves of the corporate elite.

There was one revealing commentary, however, posted by right-wing columnist Peggy Noonan, on the web site of the Wall Street Journal. Noonan, a White House speechwriter in the Reagan administration, responded to Walker’s invocation of the PATCO strike as a historic turning point that showed the Soviet Union Reagan’s determination to smash opposition to his policies.

She noted that the PATCO strike had a direct international dimension, since Canadian air traffic controllers carried out job actions in sympathy with their American colleagues and there was widespread support among European workers. The Reagan administration bullied the Canadian government to force a return to work.

Noonan then wrote: “Sen. Edward Kennedy and Lane Kirkland of the AFL CIO played helpful and constructive roles” in support of Reagan’s handling of the PATCO strike.

What Noonan noted in passing was a devastating admission, confirming what the Workers League, forerunner of the Socialist Equality Party, and our newspaper, the Bulletin, explained throughout the 1981 strike: the outright hostility of both the Democratic Party and the AFL-CIO officialdom to the struggle of the 11,000 strikers, who had enormous support in the working class.

Kennedy had spearheaded the deregulation of the airline industry in the late 1970s and it was one of his aides, working in the Carter administration, who drew up the plans for strikebreaking and mass firings in the event of an air traffic controllers strike, eventually implemented under Reagan.

Kirkland played the central role in the AFL-CIO’s deliberate isolation of the strike. After a mass rally brought 500,000 workers to Washington on September 19, 1981, the biggest labor demonstration in US history, led by thousands of PATCO strikers, the unions shut down all support, blocked any solidarity strike action by airline or airport workers, and tacitly supported the jailing of strikers and the outlawing and destruction of PATCO.

It is critical that workers entering into struggle, such as the US oil refinery workers now in the second month of a bitter strike, carefully consider the significance of Walker’s statements as well as the record of the Obama administration in overseeing the buildup of the forces of state repression. The ruling class will stop at nothing to defeat the resistance of workers to its assault on living standards and social conditions. It recognizes in the working class its irreconcilable enemy.

The working class must respond with the same degree of consciousness, determination and ruthlessness.

The PATCO precedent remains of decisive importance today because the twin obstacles of the AFL-CIO and the Democratic Party remain the decisive barriers that the American working class must overcome in order to build a mass independent political movement that will challenge the profit system and advance a socialist and revolutionary program.

On Sunday March 1, a group of Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers shot and killed a homeless man in broad daylight as he was pinned to the ground, according to bystander video posted on Facebook.

The execution-style murder occurred after the unarmed man engaged in a brief scuffle with the large group of police officers on Los Angeles’s skid row. Five gunshots can be heard on the recording after the man has clearly been tackled and subdued by the officers. None of the officers involved were injured in the incident, according to an official police statement.

The shooting prompted an angry response from bystanders, who commented repeatedly that there were no guns present and that the large group of officers had no reason to use lethal force.

Police officers dragged the homeless victim out of his tent after he refused to crawl out himself, Tasing him in the process. Police have refused to release the name of the victim or of the officers involved. Witnesses told reporters that the victim’s name was “Africa,” and that he had been living on skid row for four months after being released from a mental hospital.

Family of Zambrano-Montes presses for federal investigation

The family of Antonio Zambrano-Montes demanded a federal investigation into his killing this week. Police gunned down Zambrano-Montes, an unarmed resident of Pasco, Washington, on February 10 after he allegedly threw rocks at a police vehicle.

Zambrano-Montes was killed by a volley of at least six or seven rounds that directly hit his body, along with two grazing wounds, according to a third autopsy report published this week.

A previous independent autopsy found that bullets struck Zambrano in the back of his right arm and his buttocks, and five more rounds struck the front of his body.

The autopsy reports contradicted official statements of investigators in Pasco. Kennewick Police Sgt. Ken Lattin, a spokesman for the special unit investigating Zambrano-Montes’ death, stated that he was shot five or six times, but that “there were no shots in the back.”

Zambrano-Montes was retreating when he was first shot by police, according to witnesses. A cell-phone video of the event demonstrates that as the victim stopped to turn around, the police continued firing on the unarmed man.

“In all, about 15 rounds were fired in a very congested area during rush hour. Having mortally wounded him, the police proceeded to handcuff this dying man without rendering aid or even checking his pulse,”

noted a letter from community group Consejo Latino, also demanding a federal investigation into the shooting.

“The three police officers who engaged Mr. Zambrano are Ryan Flanagan, Adam Wright and Adrian Alaniz. It should be noted that officer Flanagan and another officer were accused in 2009 of racial profiling and excessive force for pressing the face of a 30-year-old Hispanic woman onto the hot hood of a police car as they detained her. She suffered second-degree burns, which led to litigation,”

Consejo Latino wrote.

Protests over the police killing of Zambrano-Montes continued in Pasco for the third Saturday in a row, with roughly 35 people marching through the city.

Autopsy report confirms Jessica Hernandez shot from the side

Denver Police Department officers approached the parked car where 16-year old Jessica Hernandez and her friends were sitting from behind and quickly fired four times into the driver’s-side window without even yelling any commands at the five youths, according to an anonymous witness cited by the Associated Press .

Officers then pulled Hernandez out of the car, and handcuffed her motionless body with her face pressed to the ground, witnesses said. The Hernandez family’s attorney, Qusair Mohamedbhai, said that scratches on the girl’s face “confirm this inhumane treatment.”

An initial autopsy report was released by the Denver Police Department (DPD) last Friday had already confirmed that police shot Hernandez multiple times on the left side of her body. The autopsy showed that police shot Hernandez in the torso, pelvis and thigh, but it has not been determined how many times she was shot.

The autopsy showed that two bullets entered the left side of her chest and exited on the opposite end of her torso, confirming an anonymous witness’ report that she was shot from the driver’s side of the car.

“These facts undermine Denver Police Department’s claim that Jessie was driving at the officers as they shot her. The wound path and trajectory of the bullet that likely killed Jessica Hernandez undermines the version of events as indicated by the Denver Police Department,”

Mohamedbhai, noted in response to the autopsy.

The Hernandez family has issued a request for an independent autopsy and rejected claims by the police department that officers fired into the parked car where the teenage Hernandez was sitting with friends only after the vehicle began to drive toward one of them.

Police keep silent the Taser killing of an unarmed homeless man in Coconut Creek, Florida

Official silence on the in-custody death of 39-year-old homeless man Calvon Andre Reid has continued for over a week, with Coconut Creek police failing to provide any press release on the matter.

Multiple eyewitnesses have stated that Reid was shot with Tasers by multiple officers early last Sunday morning in the Wynmoor condominium complex retirement community.

Eyewitnesses have told local reporters that as many as four officers fired four Taser shots in two successive rounds of shooting. Witness John Arendale told FloridaBulldog.org that after the first round of Taser shots, roughly five officers “were around and on top of the man,” prompting him to shout “They are going to kill me.”

Local police have responded to press inquires by stating that all aspects of the investigation were “confidential.”

Reid “mysteriously turned up behind the gated walls at about 1:30 a.m., bleeding from unknown injuries and asking for help,” his father, Calvin Reid told Local 10 News. Police “used a Taser at least three times,” sending his son into cardiac arrest, Reid said.

“Stop moving or I will break your f**king arm,” one officer told Reid, according to a report sent to FloridaBulldog.org by Arendale’s fiancé, Bonnie Eshleman. A third officer “came around to where his head was and hit him with something about a foot long,” Eshleman wrote.

Her report continues, noting that,

“After a few minutes they were getting him to his feet. He pulled away and started to run. Two shots were fired (same popping sound) and he fell to the ground. The bush blocked my view of him except his feet…. A few minutes later I heard a cop say, ‘Is he breathing?’”

Neither Arendale nor Eshleman have been contacted or interviewed by detectives.

HSBC in Switzerland. Photo: Beat Strasser. Used under Creative Commons License.

A cache of secret documents has thrust HSBC, the world’s second largest bank, into the limelight for helping international clients dodge taxes. A series of articles published by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is finally pushing reluctant governments to act almost eight years after the original leaks.

The scandal began when Hervé Falciani, a Swiss employee of HSBC, blew the whistle in 2007 and handed over a stack of files on the bank’s clients to French government authorities, who later shared the files with officials in Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States, among other countries.

The files, which cover the period from 2005 to 2007, shed light on some 30,000 account holders with almost $120 billion in assets. They show that HSBC’s Swiss bank staff routinely doled out bundles of untraceable cash and advised clients how to circumvent domestic tax regulations.

I think they were a tax avoidance and tax evasion service. I think that is what they were offering,” Richard Brooks, a former UK tax inspector told BBC television. “They knew full well that people come to them to dodge their tax liabilities.”

Switzerland has long been a favored banking destination for wealthy people around the world because of the country’s strict secrecy laws. In turn Swiss banks have made a lot of money from these wealthy clients. In 1999, HSBC decided to get in on the lucrative business when it bought the Republic National Bank of New York and merged it with other HSBC units to create a special Swiss division for clients around the world.

Falciani’s files show that HSBC employees in Switzerland reassured clients they would not disclose details of their accounts to tax authorities in their home countries. Some documents also showed that HSBC proactively contacted clients to discuss options that would allow its clients to avoid a new tax introduced under a treaty Switzerland signed with the European Union. And yet other documents show that HSBC maintained secret bank accounts for numerous dictators, arms dealers who sold mortar bombs for use by child soldiers in Africa as well as to traffickers in “blood diamonds” - mined by warring parties in conflict zones.

One of the clients listed was an Emmanuel Shallop. “We have opened a company account for him based in Dubai,” wrote an unnamed bank official in a memo revealed in the leaked files. “The client is currently being very careful because he is under pressure from the Belgian tax authorities who are investigating his activities in the field of diamond tax evasion.” Shallop was convicted in 2010 of dealing in diamonds from Sierra Leone.

Another client listed in the files was Sanjay Sethi, a U.S. citizen. Sethi pled guilty to tax evasion in 2013. An HSBC banker promised that “the undeclared account would allow his assets to grow tax-free, and bank secrecy laws in Switzerland would allow Sethi to conceal the existence of the account,” according to the US Department of Justice.

The leaked files provide details on clients who made trips to Geneva to withdraw large amounts of cash, sometimes in used notes.

For example, the files show that Richard Caring, a British tycoon and owner of the Ivy restaurant in London, a celebrity dining spot, took out five million Swiss francs ($5.55 million) in a single day. “Why on earth would you travel to Switzerland to take out sterling cash? Why would you not just ask the Swiss branch to wire the money to your bank account in the UK?” Jolyon Maugham, a specialist UK tax barrister told the Guardian newspaper. “I struggle to see an answer to that question that doesn’t involve you wanting to obscure from the UK tax authorities the fact that you have money in a Swiss bank account.”

Likewise Andrew Silva, a U.S. surgeon who later pled guilty to tax evasion, admitted that HSBC’s Swiss bank deliberately gave him “bricks” of $100,000 in notes, to secretly post home in a series of envelopes. The bank told him not to wire money because that would “create a trail for US authorities,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

HSBC has not denied any of the allegations but has put forward the excuse that “the Swiss arm had not been fully integrated into HSBC after its purchase in 1999 … allowing significant lower standards of compliance and due diligence to persist.”

HSBC says that it has “taken significant steps over the past several years to implement reforms and exit clients who did not meet strict new HSBC standards, including those where we had concerns in relation to tax compliance”.

However, a progress report by an independent monitor appointed to the bank which is expected to be made public in April, is expected to show that HSBC is failing in its attempts to make substantial reforms, according to Wall Street Journal sources.

The HSBC documents highlight a culture of corruption in the international banking system that goes far beyond the world’s second biggest bank, says Global Financial Integrity (GFI), a Washington DC-based research and advocacy organization. Indeed, academics estimate that at least $7.6 trillion is held in overseas tax havens, allowing account holders to underpay at least $200 billion a year in taxes.

“While the leaks do really expose a culture of corruption at HSBC, it seems almost unfair at this point to single them out,” Joshua Simmons, policy counsel at GFI said in a press release. From Credit Suisse to UBS and BNP Paribas to Standard Chartered, it feels like nearly every major bank is either under investigation or subject to settlements for engaging in serious financial crimes.”

Meanwhile UK politicians have criticized the country’s tax collection agency – Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs (HMRC) – for not taking advantage of the documents to crack down on tax evaders.

“It seems to me absolutely clear that we’ve got an open and shut case of a systemic policy to support hundreds of people in avoiding paying their tax,” Margaret Hodge, the chair of the UK Parliament’s public accounts committee said. “And I think the tax authorities here in the UK, HMRC, should look to challenging the bank in the courts.”

U.S. authorities have also been accused of turning a blind eye. Loretta Lynch, the former U.S. attorney for the eastern district of New York and the new U.S. attorney general, has been heavily criticized for allowing the bank to escape criminal indictments in the US although HSBC did agree to pay more than $1.9 billion to settle criminal and civil investigations and entered into a five-year deferred prosecution agreement.

“From a policy perspective, that’s the most troubling aspect of this: that people not expert in this made an otherwise momentous policy that this bank was too big to jail,” Bart Naylor, an expert at Public Citizen, a Washington DC-based nonprofit and advocacy group, told the Guardian.

This week, HSBC’s top management finally apologized when they were ordered to testify before the UK parliament. ““We have absolutely no appetite to do business with customers that are evading taxes,” Stuart Gulliver, HSBC CEO, said in an official statement.

But Gulliver had a lot of difficulty explaining the tax affairs of one of the bank’s customers who was evading taxes – himself. On Monday, the Guardian revealed that he had personally hidden £5 million ($7.7 million) in a Swiss account via a Panamian subsidiary. Gulliver admitted that the money was hidden for the purposes of tax evasion. “Being in Switzerland protects me from Hong Kong, being in Panama helps protect me from the Swiss bank,” he said.

Tokyo Electric Power Co has already been seriously negligent, if not criminal, in reporting on the true severity of the Daiichi disaster. Now, fishermen from the Fukushima prefecture in Japan are shocked to find out that water containing cesium and other radioactive isotopes has been draining into the Pacific, while TEPCO sat silent and did nothing.

TEPCO apparently knew about the leak since last May. Fisheries are absolutely shocked. Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative, said at a meeting with Tepco officials:

 “I don’t understand why (Tepco) kept silent even though they knew about it.”

TEPCO had previously sought the approval of local fishermen to dump groundwater into the ocean before it became tainted as a means of reducing the volume of water stored in the tanks at the reactor site. But due to this latest development, TEPCO fears a second round of approvals will be hampered, and they will not be able to dump more water.

TEPCO admitted this past week that they did not disclose rainwater leaks containing radioactive substances that were found in a drainage ditch, thought to be contaminated after last Spring’s rains. They knew that the water likely contained high radiation levels (with radioactive particles like cesium), even before it was dumped. The ditch is in direct alignment with runoff from the roof of the reactor 2 building.

TEPCO admits it recorded 29,400 becquerels of radioactive cesium per liter in water pooled on the rooftop.

The same water also contained 52,000 becquerels of beta-ray-emitting radioactive substances such as strontium-90. 1,050 becquerels of radioactive cesium. What’s more, 1,500 becquerels of beta ray-emitting radioactive materials per liter were detected, but purposefully drained through an outlet leading to the sea.

Despite this, TEPCO says that seawater it has tested near the outlet still has ‘low concentrations’ of radioactive substances – to 1km from the site.

Meanwhile, just last Sunday, TEPCO reported more radioactive water flowing into the ocean from yet another drainage ditch.

Yuji Moriyama, a Tepco spokesman said:

“We were aware that the levels of radioactive materials around the drainage ditch were higher than other places,”

Moriyama added that they didn’t disclose the information because it was not considered ‘harmful to the environment.’

The EU and US media have also covered up information about continuing Fukushima leaks, along with TEPCO.

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Parents who don’t vaccinate their children are ignorantly letting celebrities like Jenny McCarthy dictate their medical decisions.

“Anti-vaxxers” reject sound science when they forego the CDC’s official vaccination schedule, which has been proven to save lives.

The reason why childhood illnesses are making a comeback is because of unvaccinated populations which are a threat to the vaccinated and society at large.

Parents who reject vaccinations for any other reason besides a medical diagnosis should be thrown in prison and have their children taken away by Child Protective Services.

As a doctor, I refuse to treat your unvaccinated children, and any doctor who opposes vaccinations should have his medical license taken away.

This is just a small sampling of the many outlandish assaults taking place within the mainstream media right now against anyone who opposes or even questions vaccines. The true colors of these corporate-controlled propaganda entities are on full display as every type of false accusation, pseudoscientific conjecture and overblown scare tactic in the book is being employed in an effort to maintain the vaccine status quo.

Everywhere you look, media pundits, industry-backed doctors, politicians and public health authorities are blaming the unvaccinated for spreading disease to the vaccinated. These mouthpieces are constantly regurgitating lies on television and in print about vaccines only being effective if everybody gets them, for instance, or diseases that were once eradicated by vaccines making a resurgence because some people choose not to vaccinate.

Militant vaccine fanatics call for parents of unvaccinated to be jailed, have their children taken away by government

The badgering has gotten so bad, in some cases, that a few of the more deranged-leaning control freaks in positions of power and influence have called for parents to be jailed for not vaccinating their children, and for doctors who oppose vaccines to lose their licenses. Even though vaccines are still privately owned medical interventions that come with serious side effects, including death, there are some who believe that everyone should be forced to get them.

A few brave physicians like Dr. Jack Wolfson, Dr. Sherri Tenpenny and Dr. Lee Hieb have spoken out publicly in defense of medical freedom, and against these Orwellian proposals that would force an unproven medical treatment on the entire population. But as a punishment for their courage, these few lone voices in the wilderness are being harassed and even threatened with losing their licenses over expressing free thought on the matter.

Phoenix-based integrative cardiologist Dr. Jack Wolfson, after appearing on cable television news recently to denounce vaccinations, landed himself as the subject of an investigation by the Arizona Medical Board. According to media reports, the licensing authority says it suddenly received numerous complaints about Dr. Wolfson’s practice, an obvious intimidation tactic that is now being paraded across news headlines in an effort to tarnish this doctor’s reputation — and warn others against speaking out against vaccines.

Osteopath Dr. Sherri Tenpenny, another outspoken advocate of vaccine choice, was practically run out of Australia after pro-vaccine activists found out she had been asked to speak about vaccines as part of a national speaking tour. Vitriolic “skeptics” not only made sure that Dr. Tenpenny didn’t get her visa, but they also helped fuel a campaign of violent threats that spurred the event’s organizers to disallow Dr. Tenpenny’s participation.

“We have reached a point where we can no longer guarantee the safety of those attending the seminar,” wrote the group that organized the event on its Facebook page, according to The Guardian. “The anti-free-speech terrorists have voiced bomb threats and have threatened violence against venue owners and their families.”

Without informed consent, and the freedom to accept or reject medical treatment, there is no ethics or morality in medicine

What we are now witnessing with all this is an escalating witch hunt similar to what occurred in Nazi Germany prior to the Holocaust. Dissenters of the government-medical-military-industrial complex are right now being branded, slandered, threatened and coerced into toeing the party line — and those who refuse to fall in line with the agenda face the very real threat of losing their careers, their children and even their lives.

The swelling medical dictatorship in the U.S. has taken on such an intense level of aggression against free thought that even the simple act of questioning vaccines is now considered a crime worthy of imprisonment. What these so-called physicians who endorse such persecution fail to recognize, though, is that the foundation of medical ethics rests on an individual’s freedom to accept or reject medical treatment based on informed consent.

“Medical ethics are clear: No one should be forced to undergo a medical treatment without informed consent and without their agreement to the treatment,” wrote Dr. Hieb in a recent editorial published by WND.com.

“We condemn the forced sterilization of the ’20s and ’30s, the Tuskegee medical experiments infecting black inmates and the Nazi medicine that included involuntary ‘Euthanasia,’ experimentation and sterilization. How can we force vaccination without consent? Vaccination is a medical treatment with risks including death. It is totally antithetical to all ethics in medicine to mandate that risk to others.”

Sources for this article include:

http://vaccineimpact.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://www.clickondetroit.com

http://www.globalresearch.ca

http://www.theguardian.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

For several years now, transnational food companies have understood that their main growth markets are in the South. To increase their profits they need to “dig into the pyramid”, as one company puts it, meaning they need to develop and sell products targeted at the millions of the world’s poor. These people generally eat food from their own farms or informal markets selling locally-produced foods, and in which many of them earn their livelihood.

To get at these potential consumers, food companies are infiltrating, inundating and taking over traditional food distribution channels and replacing local foods with cheap, processed junk foods, often with the direct support of governments. Free trade and investment agreements have been critical to their success. The case of Mexico provides a stark and horrific picture of the consequences for people.

Transnational food companies understand that their main growth markets today are in the global South. They are aggressively targeting the diets – and markets – of the world’s poorest people. (Photo: Thierry Collins)

Malnutrition, food insecurity and “diabesity” in Mexico

In Mexico, poverty, hunger, obesity and disease go hand in hand. Mexicans are not only struggling to afford enough to eat; the food they eat is making them ill.

In 2012, Mexico’s National Institute for Public Health released the results of a national survey of food security and nutrition.1 The study assessed Mexicans’ food security against what is known as the Latin American and Caribbean Food Security Scale (ELCSA).2 The results made it clear that these problems were far worse than had been acknowledged, as seen in the graphs and table below.

Click to enlarge

The ENSANUT report found that between 1988 and 2012, the proportion of overweight women between the ages of 20 and 49 increased from 25% to 35.5% and the number of obese women in this age group increased from 9.5% to 37.5%.4 A staggering 29% of Mexican children between the ages of 5 and 11 were found to be overweight, as were 35% of the youngsters between 11 and 19, while one in ten school age children suffer from anaemia.

The level of diabetes is equally troubling. The Mexican Diabetes Federation says there are 6.5 million to 10 million people who suffer from diabetes in Mexico, with around two million of them unaware that they have the disease. This means that more than 7% of the Mexican population has diabetes. The incidence rises to 21% for people between the ages of 65 and 74. Diabetes is now the third most common cause of death in Mexico, directly or indirectly. In 2012, Mexico ranked sixth in the world for diabetes deaths. The specialists predict that there will be 11.9 million Mexicans with diabetes by 2025”.5

Obesity and diabetes function together, interacting so strongly that a new name has emerged: “diabesity”.

“Diabetes linked with obesity is a very serious health problem in Mexico and our country paid an amount equivalent to 2.97 billion pesos [$228 million] in 2003 and 8.8 billion pesos [$670 million] in 2010 for treatments related to diabetes. This is a 290% increase in just seven years,” says Alexandro Calvillo, the director of El Poder del Consumidor, a national consumer protection group. Meanwhile, the Ministry of Health puts the cost of obesity treatments at 80 billion pesos [more or less $6 billion] and could rise to 150 billion pesos by 2017.6

Click to enlarge

All these data cannot be explained away by the popular explanations of “a change in the pattern of food consumption due to expanded possibilities and options”. The reality is that certain foods have been imposed on the country, while foods produced and nurtured by people according to their cultures and to their real needs are becoming more and more scarce.

The NAFTA effect

The various free trade agreements that Mexico has signed over the past two decades have had a profound impact on the country’s food system. After his mission to Mexico in 2012, the then Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, concluded: “The trade policies currently in place favour greater reliance on heavily processed and refined foods with a long shelf life rather than on the consumption of fresh and more perishable foods, particularly fruit and vegetables… The overweight and obesity emergency that Mexico is facing could have been avoided, or largely mitigated, if the health concerns linked to shifting diets had been integrated into the design of those policies.”7

The investment liberalisation aspects of these agreements are as much a source of the problem as the trade aspects.

According to Corinna Hawkes, NAFTA instruments are indeed fostering crucial aspects of the kind of economic integration that the powerful partners in the agreements want: “food trade and global production sourcing; the direct investment in food processing and a change in the retail structure (notably the advent of supermarkets and convenience stores); the emergence of global agribusiness and transnational food companies; deepening the global food advertising and promotion”.8 NAFTA instruments also provide for the development of global rules and institutions “that govern the production, trade, distribution and marketing of food”, but also “buying companies products and services”, something that create “incentives for TFC to grow through global vertical integration and sourcing”.9

To deal effectively with hunger and malnutrition, Mexico must focus on its small farmers and peasants. (Drawing: Rini Templeton)

Under its investment provisions, NAFTA required Mexico to provide equal treatment to domestic and foreign investors, with the elimination of rules preventing foreign investors from owning more than 49% of a company. It also prohibited the application of certain “performance requirements” such as minimum amounts of domestic content in production and increased rights for foreign investors to retain profits and returns from initial investments. New laws that might change the status of foreign investments once established were also heavily discouraged by the agreement’s notorious investor state resolution chapter.

NAFTA triggered an immediate upsurge of direct investment from the US into the Mexican food processing industry. In 1999 “US companies invested $5.3 billion in Mexico’s food processing industry [in 1999], a 25-fold increase from $210 million in 1987, and more than double the $2.3 billion in the year before NAFTA,” says researcher Corinna Hawkes. Between 1999 and 2004, “approximately two thirds of the $6.4 billion FDI in Mexican agricultural and food industries was from the United States. Nearly three-quarters of FDI was into the production of processed foods, and it stimulated considerable growth of the sector. Between 1995 and 2003, sales of processed foods expanded by 5–10% per year in Mexico.”10

Sales of baked goods, dairy products, snack and junk foods rose faster than any other category, especially soft drinks. Servings of 8 oz. soft drinks rose from 275 per person per year in 1992 to 487 servings per person per year in 2002.11

Mexico is now one of the ten biggest producers of processed food in the world, and all of the largest transnational processed food corporations, such as PepsiCo, Nestlé, Unilever and Danone, have expanded their major Mexican operations.12

These companies are making big money. Total sales of processed foods in Mexico was $124 billion in 2012, and processed food corporations pocketed $28.33 billion in profits from these sales, 46.6% [nearly $9 billion] more than in Brazil, Latin America’s largest economy.13

The Economist says Mexico is a haven for food processing companies not only because of low costs (which amount to a saving of 14.1% compared to the US).14 But other competitive advantages, such as the “network of trade agreements that permit access to big markets such as the European Union and the US with tariff preferences,” mean that, in spite of the global economic crisis, “the sales of retail business establishments have grown steadily in the last three years.”15 All in all, Mexico has signed 12 free trade agreements with 44 nations, 28 bilateral investment treaties and 9 agreements of economic cooperation.16

A token tax

Last year, the Mexican government, under pressure to address the growing health crisis, passed a bill to apply an 8% tax on high-calorie packaged foods, including peanut butter and sweetened breakfast cereals. It also passed a special tax of one peso (8 US cents) per litre on soft drinks.17 The government portrayed its actions as a tough measure to curb sales of junk foods. But without complementary actions to encourage healthy alternative options to the processed foods that have flooded the Mexican market and the country’s poorest neighbourhoods in particular, the tax seems to be merely a grab for a share of the lucrative junk food trade that the government’s own policies have facilitated. The only difference is that Mexican consumers will have to pay more for the foods that are killing them.

As if to drive this point home, immediately after the tax was passed, PepsiCo, one of the leading producers of junk foods in the country announced an investment of $5 billion in its Mexico operations, while Nestlé pledged a $1 billion investment.18 Contrary to what one could expect, the investment is not applied to publicity or marketing only, but to “innovation, brand building, infrastructure, and new links with agriculture and public relations and “projects” with communities.19

Domination of the sales point

One of the reasons why the big food corporations are so confident of their capacity to increase sales despite the new tax, is the high level of control they exercise over food distribution. This, says Corinna Hawkes, was NAFTA’s “second effect” on the Mexican food system20: an “explosive” growth of chain supermarkets, discounters and convenience stores, “from less than 700 to 3,850 in 1997 [alone], and 5,729 in 2004”.21 The success of Wal-Mart – now the “nation’s leading retailer” – and other supermarkets, is surpassed only by the growth of the “convenience store chains” (selling “a limited number of convenience items 24 hours a day”).

In these emerging patterns of retail distribution, huge supermarkets are, of course, important because they concentrate goods, but a crucial aim is to replace the corner shops (the “tienditas”), aggressively taking over former independent territories of trade.

Street vendor (Drawing: Rini Templeton)

The food corporations began by colonising the existing, dominant food distribution networks of small-scale vendors, known as tiendas (the corner stores). There are some 400,000 tiendas, estanquillos or misceláneas premises in Mexico, stores smaller than 10 square meters which carry a limited variety of products and are equipped with a limited amount of refrigeration and inventory.22

“Tiendas have proved critical to the spread of comidas chatarra [junk food]; they are the means by which transnationals and domestic food companies sell and promote their foods to poorer populations in small towns and communities,” said Corinna Hawkes in 2006. “Over 90% of all Coca Cola and PepsiCo sales [by the early 2000s] were from tiendas”.23

Food corporations swamped the tienda distribution channels with products to encourage consumption and lower transportation costs (by linking the delivery of various goods produced by the same company to each and every selected destination). PepsiCo, for example, distributes not only soft drinks to tiendas but also its Sonric line of candies, multiple varieties of its Sabritas potato chips and other related snacks and. Each product line has enormous sales because of what the industry calls “the absolute domination of the sales point”. Availability has become a crucial factor in buying and consuming. People will eat what they have at hand, and the available goods are almost only processed foods.

We need to understand that tiendas – and convenience stores even more – do not sell only what is generally accepted as junk food. These places also sell a narrow range of packaged, bottled or canned processed food, making them the only stuff available.

The tiendas are, however, quickly being replaced by corporate retailers that offer the processed food companies even greater opportunities for sales and profits.

By 2012, retail chains had displaced tiendas as Mexico’s main source of food sales, with 35% of the country’s market, and tiendas holding on to 30% and open street markets having 25%.24 According to the Mexican Chamber of Commerce, five tiendas close for every convenience store that opens.25

Oxxo (owned by Coca-cola subsidiary Femsa) opens an average of 3 new stores per day – it will open its 14 thousandth store in Mexico sometime in 2015.

For example Oxxo (owned by Coca-cola subsidiary Femsa) tripled its stores to 3,500 between 1999 and 2004.26 In July 2012, Oxxo was opening its ten thousandth facility, and is aiming to open its 14 thousandth store sometime during 2015. This means opening a thousand stores per year, an average of 3 stores per day.27 Oxxo did 19 billion pesos of trade (more than 1 billion dollars) during the first trimester of 2012.28 It received 72.40 billion pesos (more than 5 billion dollars) during the third trimester of 2014, 13.2% more than a year before.29

Oxxo’s sales growth was ten times that of Soriana, Mexico’s second largest supermarket chain.30 During 2014 Oxxo surpassed Soriana in retail sales, becoming to be the second largest retailer in the country behind Walmart, leaving the tiendas, and the families who operate them, in the dust.31 Now, with Soriana taking over one of the largest supermarket chains in México, Comercial Mexicana, the experts guess that Soriana will regain second place.32

A sweet solution to hunger

The food processing companies at the centre of Mexico’s health emergency spend enormous amounts of money on public relations to gloss over the problems their foods and marketing campaigns generate. Advertisements across Mexico associate these companies with family values, sustainability, charity, good health and quality jobs.33 The companies are particularly interested in being visibly involved in government campaigns, and Mexico’s governments, strangely enough, embrace their participation.

In April, 2013, the Ministry of Social Development (Sedesol) signed agreements with PepsiCo and Nestlé to involve them in the government’s “National Crusade Against Hunger”34

Under the agreement, Sedesol provides “federal subsidies for the execution of projects in selected priority zones” while the corporations claim that they “will guarantee food security through nutritional products for the populations that are in poverty and extreme poverty”.

The government is partnering with Nestlé to send a small army of Mexican women out to promote nutri- tion – using Nestlé products, of course.

PepsiCo pledged to develop two fortified oat based products under its Quaker brand and to build a Global Baking Category Innovation Centre in Monterrey, México.35 Nestlé promised a new coffee processing plant in Guerrero and the expansion of several projects, including one focused on “women entrepreneurs”, called Mi Dulce Negocio (My Sweet Business), which the company also runs in Venezuela and Bolivia. Under this project, Nestlé plans to train 1,500 Mexican women to make sweet but “nutritious” desserts containing Nestlé products, and to supply these women with kits so that they can go out and train another ten women each. In total, a “small army” of 15,000 Mexican women will be mobilised in “priority zones” across the country to promote the Nestlé way of nourishing children, with the financial support of Mexico’s Ministry of Social Development.

Backing rich producers and paying off the poor

Mexico is a country where 78.5 million people now suffer from some form of food insecurity. Yet there are more or less 48.6 million Mexican adults who are overweight or obese – about 7 out of 10 adult Mexicans – and 22.1 million adults who suffer from obesity alone. “These people will be ill for an average of 18.5 years during their lifetimes”. And the problem is increasing across all income levels, although fastest amongst the poorest 20%.36 The consequences are significant – escalating rates of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and different forms of cancer. Mexico’s Crusade Against Hunger will not solve the problem. No campaign against hunger can be effective with only a few demonstrative pilot projects scattered around a huge country like Mexico. The Crusade Against Hunger targets only 7.8 million people – barely a tenth of the number of Mexicans the ENSANUT study shows are suffering from food insecurity and only slightly higher than the 5.1 million children under 5 years old suffering from nutrition problems. (See tables 1, 2 and 3.) 37 The project’s priority zones are not even in the areas where there is extreme hunger or poverty as defined by the Consejo Nacional de Evaluación de la Política de Desarrollo Social (Coneval).38

A far more complex and radical approach is required than the sugar tax and hunger crusade that the government is advancing, one that takes on the empire of processed food, whose tentacles already reach into almost every urban space and are fast spreading through the countryside.

Free trade agreements like NAFTA have shifted Mexican diets away from fresh fruit and vegetables towards heavily processed and refined foods, with catastrophic effects on the health and development of children. (Photo: Actitud)

The terrible truth is that “between 1999 and 2006, consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages doubled and that, today, about 10% of Mexicans’ total energy intake comes from these beverages”. And they badly need that energy. Taxing these soft drinks is only “a soft-policy instrument”, says the UN’s former Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food Olivier De Schutter, because “it locates the problem of overweight and obesity in consumers’ behaviour, when in fact this problem stems from the food system as a whole.”39

For De Schutter, a programme that deal effectively with hunger and malnutrition has to focus on Mexico’s small farmers and peasants. They constitute a substantial percentage of the country’s poor, and they are the ones that can best supply both rural and urban populations with nutritious foods.40

“Most agricultural programmes fail to target the poor: taken as a whole, agricultural public expenditures are highly regressive,” says De Schutter. He points out that “while more than 95% of expenditures by the Mexican government on social programmes under its Special Concurrent Program for Sustainable Development (PES) target the poor” less than 8% of expenditures on agricultural programmes are similarly targeted”. Moreover, in 2005, the six poorest states received only 7% of total agricultural public expenditures despite the fact that they were home to 55% of the extreme poor.

“In a country made up by 80% of farmers with less than 5 hectares, it would appear desirable to consider allocating more resources to supporting small-scale farmers in disadvantaged areas, as the programmes in place currently fail to address rural poverty effectively,” says De Schutter.41

After hearing hundreds of testimonies from around the country, the international jury of the Peoples Permanent Tribunal, held in México city in November 2013, came to a similar conclusion.

Mexico could recover its self-sufficiency in food if there was official support for peasant agriculture backed with amounts comparable to the support granted to the big corporations. One of the necessary conditions for this would be the reconstitution of the instruments of support for the countryside that were disabled by NAFTA. The loss of food sovereignty directly caused by this array of policies has, as its main component, induced changes in the Mexican diet, with catastrophic effects.

Mexico has one of the highest rates of obesity, diabetes and high blood pressure in the world. It is the world leader in consumption per head of cola drinks and one of the highest consuming countries for “junk food”. The consumption of maize products in Mexico has also started to decline for the first time in history.

While Via Campesina argues that the most important component of food sovereignty is autonomous food production and that the people themselves should define what they eat, in Mexico governments, corporations and the media have jointly promoted a costly campaign to boost consumer habits that, under the cover of modernisation, have been systematically destroying the food preferences of Mexicans.42

Nothing less than a complete overhaul of Mexico’s disastrous trade and investment liberalisation polices and a new orientation towards support for the country’s small farmers is necessary to effectively deal with its national food and health crisis.

Notes

1 The Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (ENSANUT) includes documents, surveys, a webpage, academic articles and a whole and holistic array of research tools.

2 ELCSA, the Escala Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Seguridad Alimentaria, measures consumption of calories required for an active or healthy life.This scale divides into food insecurity into three categories: Mild food insecurity means the absence of diverse and healthy food; medium food insecurity denotes households facing chronic scarcity of food, where children do not get enough to eat and adults must sometimes skip one or more meals in the day; severe food insecurity refers to families where one adult routinely goes through the whole day without eating and children go to sleep hungry or even spend a whole day without food. See Melgar-Quiñonez, H, “Informe sobre la aplicación pasada y presente de la Escala Latinoamericana y Caribeña de Seguridad Alimentaria (ELCSA) y otras herramientas similares en América del Norte, Centroamérica y El Caribe”, FAO/Ohio State University, 2010 and Encuesta Nacional de Salud y Nutrición (Ensanut) 2012: “La distribución de la Inseguridad Alimentaria en México)”, Instituto Nacional de Salud Pública, 21 de noviembre, 2012..

3 Julio Boltvinik, “La Cruzada Nacional contra el Hambre: ve un árbol pero no el bosque”, La Jornada, 22 November 2013. Boltvinik is responsible for highlighting how the findings of the ENSANUT survey expose the failure of public policies against hunger to address the real problems.

4 Julio Boltvinik, op.cit.

5 Accu-chek, “Diabetes en México” and Alianza por la salud alimentaria, “Diabetes: #1 causa de muerte en México”, 21 May 2013.

6 Alianza por la salud alimentaria, “Mueren medio millón de personas por diabetes en el sexenio de Calderón”, 8 October 2012.

7 Report of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food, Olivier De Schutter, addendum, Mission to Mexico, Human Rights Council, Nineteenth session, Agenda item 3, 17 January 2012, A/HRC/19/59/Add.2

9 Vertical integration is “when a company brings together the entire process of producing, distributing and selling a particular food under its control by buying and contracting other companies and services worldwide, thus reducing the transaction costs associated with having different suppliers”. In global sourcing a company searches for inputs, production sites and outputs where costs are lower and regulatory, political and social regimes favourable. This enables TFCs to cut costs and helps safeguard against the uncertainty of commodity production and product sales. Corinna Hawkes, op.cit.

10 Ibidem.

11Ibidem.

12 Roberto Morales, “Alimentos, una industria muy pesada”, El economista, 25 October 2013.

13 Ibidem

14 Ver también Secretaría de Economía y ProMéxico, “Inversión y Comercio, Alimentos Procesados”, Unidad de Inteligencia de negocios, México, 2013.

15 Roberto Morales, op.cit

17 Secretaría de Hacienda y Crédito Público, Servicio de Administración Tributaria (Mexican Government), Resolución Miscelánea fiscal 2014.

19 Eric Schroeder. “PepsiCo, Nestlé plan big push in Mexico”, 24 January 2014.

20 Corinna Hawkes, op.cit.

21 Ibidem.

22 USDA Foreign Agriculture Service Gain Report, “Mexico’s Retail Food Sector”, 16 February 2005.

23 Corinna Hawkes, op.cit

24 The last 10%, sometimes not accounted for, is held by hotels, restaurants and cafés. See Agencia Andaluza de Promoción Exterior, “Nota sectorial alimentaria en México”, May 2012, PDF.

25 USDA, Foreign Agriculture Service, Gain Report, Mexico’s Retail Food Sector, op.cit. Quoted in Corinna Hawkes, op.cit.

26 Ibidem

27 Jesús Ugarte, “Oxxo va por 1,000 nuevas tiendas anuales”, 29 October 2012.

28 Jesus Ugarte, “Oxxo, el pequeño emperador minorista”, CNN-expansión, 13 July 2012.

29 Jesús Ugarte, “Adquisiciones y Oxxo le ponen ‘gas’ a Femsa”, El Financiero, 28 October 2014.

30 Miguel Ángel Pallares, “Oxxo va por el puesto de Soriana en 2014”, El Financiero, 26 November 2013.

31 Ibidem.

32 Silvia Olvera, “Desbanca Soriana a Oxxo”, El Norte, sección Empresas, 2 February 2015.

33 Take a look at this Sabritas brochure: Performance with Purpose, Sabritas Sustainibility Report 2013.

34 (A new programme which the government claims is addressing the hunger from the bottom up but which rests on the intervention by large corporations (such as Pepsico and Nestlé, prominent figures like FAO’s Graziano da Silva, former Brazilian president Lula Da Silva, and billionaires like Bill Gates and México’s own Carlos Slim.)

36 Olivier De Schutter, op.cit.

37 Julio Boltvinik, op.cit.

38 The zones are in 125 urban communities within 24 municipalities, in 11 states of the Country. See Norma Trujillo Báez, Subsidiará la Sedesol programa empresarial impulsado por Nestlé, La Jornada Veracruz en línea, May 13, 2013. See also Sedesol-Nestlé, “Convenio de Concertación”, Fifth Clause.

39 Olivier De Schutter, op.cit.

40 The conflict in Mexico, between high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and sugar is an issue that we need to address with deeper argumentation and research carried out over a long period. The evidence so far points to the fact that HFCS is driving the import of industrial maize to Mexico, possibly including GM maize, or even to its production, changing more and more the traditional goal of agriculture from producing foods to producing commodities. See “Rompen récord, importaciones mexicanas de maiz”, El economista, 7 January 2014; Alicia Loyola Campos, “Azúcar-fructosa: el sabor amargo de un comercio desigual”, February 2003; Nydia Egremy, “La amarga guerra de la fructosa”, Fortuna, negocios y finanzas

41 Olivier De Schutter, op.cit.

42 Peoples’ Permanent Tribunal, Lelio Basso Foundation, Mexico’s Process: Free trade, Violence, Impunity and the Rights of the People (2011-2014), Dictamen: Violencia contra el maíz, la soberanía alimentaria y la autonomía de los pueblos, Mexico City, 19-21 November, 2013.

CARACAS, VENEZUELA - An unnamed American has been detained in Venezuela, according to Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Speaking at a rally on Saturday, Maduro said that an “American pilot” with “Latino roots” had been captured near the Colombian border, in the western state of Táchira. The pilot, who was arrested along with five other U.S. nationals over the past few days, is being accused of espionage and attempting to recruit Venezuelan citizens in order to stage a coup and overthrow Maduro’s administration.

The pilot’s capture comes on the heels of four missionaries being detained and questioned on similar charges in Ocumare de la Costa, a coastal town located in the northern part of the South American nation. All four North Dakota missionaries – who have been in custody since Wednesday – were released on Saturday.

President Maduro stated that the pilot had “all kinds of documentation” to prove his affiliation with the United States.

Earlier this month, the United States imposed visa restrictions on Venezuelan officials, citing corruption and human rights violations.

The Venezuelan president responded with similar restrictions. Maduro banned certain U.S. officials – including George W Bush, Dick Cheney, Bob Menendez and Marco Rubio – from visiting Venezuela. He charged that these officials encouraged terrorism and also accused them of various human rights abuses, explicitly in Syria and Iraq.

Maduro has also recently accused the United States of collusion in a plot to bomb the presidential palace.

The White House responded to these accusations by labeling them as ludicrous.

…if all records told the same tale — then the lie passed into history and became truth.” (1984, George Orwell)

The New Scientist has the stunning story (2/28/15, “Google wants to rank websites based on facts not links,” by Hal Hodson):

THE internet is stuffed with garbage. Anti-vaccination websites make the front page of Google, and fact-free ‘news’ stories spread like wildfire. Google has devised a fix – rank websites according to their truthfulness.”

Great idea, right?

Sure it is.

The author of the article lets the cat out of the bag right away with his comment about “anti-vaccination” websites.

These sites will obviously be shoved into obscurity by Google because they’re “garbage”…whereas “truthful” pro-vaccine sites will dominate top ranked pages on the search engine.

This is wonderful if you believe what the CDC tells you about vaccine safety and efficacy. The CDC: an agency that opens its doors every day with lies and closes them with more lies.

The New Scientist article continues: “A Google research team is adapting [a] model to measure the trustworthiness of a [website] page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the [ranking] system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. ‘A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,’ says the team…The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.”

Right. Google, researchers of truth. Assessors of trustworthiness. Who in the world could have a problem with that?

Answer: anyone with three live brain cells.

Here’s the New Scientist’s capper. It’s a beaut:

“The [truth-finding] software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet. Facts the web unanimously agrees on are considered a reasonable proxy for truth. Web pages that contain contradictory information are bumped down the rankings.”

Right. Uh-huh. So Google, along with its friends at the CIA, will engineer a new and improved, greater flood of (dis)information across the Web. And this disinfo will constitute an overwhelming majority opinion…and will become the standard for measuring truth and trustworthiness.

Think about what kinds of websites will rise like foul cream to the top of Google page rankings:

“All vaccines are marvelously safe and effective, and parents who don’t vaccinate their kids should be prosecuted for felonies.”

“GMOs are perfectly safe. ‘The science’ says so.”

“The FBI has never organized a synthetic terror event and then stung the morons it encouraged.”

“Common Core is the greatest system of education yet devised by humans.”

“People who believe conspiracies exist have mental disorders.”

In other words: (fake) consensus reality becomes reality. Which is the situation we have now, but the titanic pile of fakery will rise much, much higher.

Also, think about this: the whole purpose of authentic investigative reporting is puncturing the consensus…but you’ll have to search Google for a long time to find it.

In the field of medical fraud, an area I’ve been researching for 25 years, the conclusions of standard published studies (which are brimming with lies) will occupy page after page of top Google rankings.

Let me offer a counter-example to the Google “knowledge team.” Here is a woman who has examined, up close and personal, more medical studies in her career than the entire workforce of Google. She is Dr. Marcia Angell. For 20 years, she was an editor at The New England Journal of Medicine.

On January 15, 2009, the New York Review of Books published her stunning statement:

It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.

In two sentences, Angell carries more weight than 20,000 blowhard “science bloggers,” to say nothing of lying drug companies and that criminal agency called the FDA.

Angell torpedoes an entire range of medical literature, based on her hard-won experience.

But you can be sure that when it comes to “medical facts,” the Google “truth team” will ascribe absolutely no merit (ranking) to her conclusion or its implications.

You may say, “But these search engines are already slanting the truth.”

The new Google program is going to double down. It’s going to set up its own Ministry of Truth. It’s going to standardize algorithms that unerringly bring about officially favored lies.

Stories on vote fraud?

Stories contradicting the official line on mass shootings?

Stories on the US government funding terrorist groups?

Stories on the hostile planetary intentions of Globalists?

Stories on corporate criminals? Secrets of the Federal Reserve?

Stories on major media censoring scandals?

Counter-consensus stories on 9/11, the JFK assassination, the US bankers and corporations who funded both sides in WW2? All anti-establishment versions of history?

After Google launches this Ministry of Truth program, you’ll have to put on diving gear and go deep underwater to find any trace of them.

Welcome to a new day.

“It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen.” (Opening line, 1984, Orwell)

Let’s take all this one step further. Google’s director of research is Ray Kurzweil, who many people know as the promoter of a “utopian” plan to hook the population up (through direct brain-machine interface) to a vast super-computer.

The super-computer will pass along virtually all human knowledge. Kurzweil believes such a momentous breakthrough will endow humans with a mystical level of consciousness.

Even if this technological wet dream could be realized, we can now see what “connecting to all human knowledge” means:

It means accepting all official knowledge. Being blind to counter-knowledge.

It’s time to reverse AI (Artificial Intelligence) and call it IA (Intelligent Androids).

IAs would be humans who are programmed to be androids. IAs accept truth as it delivered to them by official sources.

Google makes its contribution by promoting official sources.

And hiding other sources.

Yes, this surely seems like Nirvana.

You will be fed the Good and protected from the Evil.

Sound familiar?

Thank you, Google. When are you going to apply for non-profit status and open your Holy Church of Information?

“Today’s sermon will be delivered by the director of the CIA. It is titled, ‘Data: everything you need to know, everything you must not believe.’ Breathe deeply. Your neuronal circuits are now being tuned to our channel…”

Jon Rappoport is the author of two explosive collections, The Matrix Revealed and Exit From the Matrix, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at www.nomorefakenews.com

Search Engine giant Google, the major driver of traffic to the majority of media portals is moving to change the way it ranks websites, declaring that it intends to use known partisan debunking outlets to determine the “truthfulness” of content.

Currently, Google rankings are determined by the number of incoming links to a web page, meaning that if a story becomes popular it can be driven to the top of search results, and by viewed by millions of people.

However, this is a little too democratic for the liking of some, who only like to get their “facts” from pre-approved sources.

The proposed solution, according to a Google funded research team is to compute a“Knowledge-Based Trust score” for every web page, based on Google’s own “Knowledge Vault”, an automated database that determines “facts the web unanimously agrees on,” according to the New Scientist.

“A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy,” says the research team.

In short, any web pages that provide information that contradicts or questions Google’s own established “truth”, will be bumped down the rankings.

In addition, some of those working on “truthfulness” ranking technology have expressed a desire to verify or rebut web pages by cross-referencing them to other sources, such as Snopes, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org. These websites exist and profit directly from debunking anything and everything. What’s more, they have been previously exposed as highly partisan.

It is a move that will set alarm bells ringing for fans of alternative media websites, such as Infowars, which are regularly attacked by the professional debunking websites merely for questioning official narratives, and popularising underreported information.

Presumably, the meters of truthfulness and trustworthiness ultimately implemented by Google will stem from government accounts and it’s mouthpiece mainstream media reports. The rise of the alternative media has directly correlated with the routine exposure of misinformation, propaganda, and outright lies emanating from these institutions.

Steve Watson is a London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.com, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham, and a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Literature and Creative Writing from Nottingham Trent University.

Shutting off Tap Water: Revenge of the Rainforest

March 2nd, 2015 by Robert Hunziker

Imagine this scenario: The following is a Public Service Announcement by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Division of Water, July 4, 2015: Because of low water levels in state reservoirs, the Division of Water proclaims a statewide water-rationing program. Starting next month, on August 1st, 2015, water service will turn off at 1:00 P.M. on a daily basis for an indeterminate period of time.  Service will return the following morning.

Now, imagine a city the size of the State of New York with its 20 million people subjected to the same water-rationing plan. As it happens, São Paulo, capital city of Brazil, home to 20 million, is such a city. The water is turned off every day at 1:00 P.M., as reported by Donna Bowater.1

Brazil contains an estimated 12% of the world’s fresh water, but São Paulo is running dry.

Fatally, the city’s Cantareira Water Reservoir (water resource for 6.2 million of the city’s 20 million) is down to 6% of capacity, yes, six percent! The city’s other reservoirs are also dangerously low. Perilously, São Paulo’s days of water supply are numbered.

What’s the Problem?

Deforestation, the nearly complete disappearance of the Atlantic Forest and continuing deforestation of the Amazon, that’s the problem. Forests have an innate ability to import moisture and to cool down and to favor rain, which is what makes “regional climates” so unique.

According to one of Brazil’s leading earth scientist and climatologist, Dr. Antonio Nobre, Earth System Science Centre and Chief Science Advisor, National Institute for Research in the Amazon, Brazil: “There is a hot dry air mass sitting down here [São Paulo] like an elephant and nothing can move it… If deforestation in the Amazon continues, São Paulo will probably dry up.”2

According to Dr. Nobre: “Vegetation-climate equilibrium is teetering on the brink of the abyss. If it tips, the Amazon will start to become a much drier savanna, with calamitous consequences.”3

Deforestation Alters the Climate

“Studies more than 20 years ago predicted what is happening with lowering rainfall. Amazon deforestation is altering climate. It is no longer about models. It is about observation. The connection with the event in São Paulo is important because finally people are paying attention.”3

São Paulo is Brazil’s richest state as well as its principal economic region. Sorrowfully, it may “dry up.” It could really truly happen because it’s already mostly there, right now, as of today.

Where will its 20 million inhabitants go?

Nobody knows!

The Atlantic Forest stretches along the eastern coastline of the country. A few hundred years ago, the forest was twice the size of Texas. Today, it is maybe 15% of its former self and what remains is highly fragmented. The forest harbors 5% of the world’s vertebrates and 8% of Earth’s plants. Illegal logging, land conversion to pasture, and expansion of urban areas have put extreme stress on the Atlantic Forest. The same holds true for the giant Amazon rainforest.

Brazil holds one-third of the world’s remaining rainforests. In the past, deforestation was the result of poor subsistence farmers, but times change.  Today, large landowners and corporate interests have cleared the rainforest at an unprecedented rate. At the current rate, the Amazon rainforest will be further reduced by 40% by 2030.

Rainforests are the oldest ecosystem on earth and arguably one of the most critical resources for sustainability of life, dubbed “the lungs of the planet.”

National Geographic magazine summarizes the plight of rainforests in a recent article, stating: “In the time it takes to read this article, an area of Brazil’s rainforest larger than 200 football fields will have been destroyed. The market forces of globalization are invading the Amazon.”4

Yes, within 20 minutes, only 20, the Amazon rainforest loses the equivalent of 200 football fields. Americans connect with football. It is one of the biggest revenue-producing sports in history. And, that’s not all; football fields provide a good descriptive tool of dimensions. In fact, 200 football fields are equivalent to the space required for 1,000 stand alone single-family homes, which means the Amazon rainforest loses equivalent to 72,000 stand alone single-family homes, or a small city, per day, everyday, gone forever. That’s a lot of rainforest gone day-in day-out, which ironically provides timber for building houses, but, in point of fact, most of it is burned away.  Poof it’s gone, big puffs of smoke into the atmosphere.

During the past 40 years, close to 20 percent of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down—more than in all the previous 450 years since European colonization began… Scientists fear that an additional 20 percent of the trees will be lost over the next two decades into the atmosphere. If that happens, the forest’s ecology will begin to unravel. In fact, the Amazon produces half its own rainfall through the moisture it releases into the atmosphere. Eliminate enough of that rain through clearing, and the remaining trees dry out and die.4

Rainforests are the World’s Most Invaluable Natural Resource

Nature at work: (1) The Amazon produces half of its own rainfall and most of the rain south of the Amazon and east of the Andes, (2) rainforests sequester carbon by holding and absorbing carbon dioxide, thus, controlling global warming as it actually cleanses the atmosphere. (3) rainforests maintain remarkable panoply of life with species not found anywhere else and provide medicinal products, like cancer treatment, and (4) these spectacular forests produce 20% of the planet’s oxygen. Every fifth breath murmurs “thank you rainforests.”

Rainforests cover less than 2% of Earth’s total surface area but are home to 50% of the plants and animals. That’s a lot of “bang for the buck.” Moreover, critical for survival, the rainforests act as the world’s thermostat by regulating temperatures and weather patterns, and they are absolutely necessary in maintaining Earth’s supply of drinking and fresh water. For confirmation of the significance of that “necessity,” ask the residents of São Paulo.

As for the size of the world’s rainforests, “the original untouched resource of six million square miles of rainforests” has already been chopped down by 60%. Only 2.4 million square miles remain today.

Regrettably, according to The Guardian: “Forest clearance has accelerated under Brazil’s president, Dilma Rousseff [since 2011] after efforts to protect the Amazon were weakened… satellite data indicated a 190% surge in deforestation in August and September [2014].”

Is the Problem Bigger than Solutions?

“A paradox of chance,” claims Dr. Antonio Nobre: “Remarkably, there is a quadrangle of land in South America that should be desert. It’s on line with the deserts, but it is not. It’s the Amazon rainforest.”

Based upon studies of the Amazon’s impact on climate, Dr. Antonio Nobre offers a solution to climate change/global warming.  Rebuild Forests.  Yes, rebuild ’em: “We can save planet Earth. I’m not talking about only the Amazon. The Amazon teaches us a lesson on how pristine nature works… We can save other areas, including deserts, if we could establish forests in those areas, we can reverse climate change, including global warming.”5

For example, fighting back. China is building a giant green wall, a tree belt, hoping to stop the Kubuqi Desert from spreading east along the front line of the huge Chinese Dust Bowl, the world’s largest dust bowl. Fifty years ago, portions of this same eastern desert area were grasslands, growing crops, raising cattle and sheep. Today, windstorms from the Kubuqi send plumes all the way across the Pacific to the U.S. West Coast.

Ergo, proof positive people do not need to stand by idly twiddling thumbs, watching human-caused climate change ravage countryside. Things can be done!

However, as for China, it may already be too late: “Northwestern China is on the verge of a massive ecological meltdown.”6

Thus, the most provocative question surrounding the global warming issue is: When is the problem bigger than solutions?

The global warming/climate change issue is much, much deeper and considerably more robust than this short essay depicts. It is a gargantuan monster that is likely already out of control with CO2 in the atmosphere at levels flashing warning signals going back hundreds of thousands of years, frightening real scientists but not enough to frighten the U.S. Congress into instituting a nationwide renewables initiative. In fact, Congress is stiff and lifeless.

As it goes, the overriding climate change quandary consists of (1) “fossil fuels ruling the world,” (2) COP’s (Conference of Parties aka; UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) ineffective endless meetings, ho-hum, and (3) frankly, most of the people in the world don’t give a damn. End of story.

Meanwhile, with deforestation in the Amazon once again accelerating, hapless São Paulo may morph into a real life version of Road Warrior (Warner Bros. 1981), a dusty, dirty vision of the future where resources are hard to find and decent people turn nasty as desperate marauding groups battle for survival in the desert.

Maybe that’ll wake people up!

Postscript: To access a video about the Amazon by Dr. Antonio Nobre, click here.

Robert Hunziker (MA, economic history, DePaul University) is a freelance writer and environmental journalist whose articles have been translated into foreign languages and appeared in over 50 journals, magazines, and sites worldwide, like Z Magazine, European Project on Ocean Acidification, Ecosocialism Canada, Climate Himalaya, Counterpunch, Dissident Voice, Comite Valmy, and UK Progressive. He has been interviewed about climate change on Pacifica Radio, KPFK, FM90.7, Indymedia On Air, and the World View Show/UK, as well as Thom Hartmann’s Big Picture, and Norman B’s Life Elsewhere, 88.5 WMNF. He can be contacted at: [email protected]. Read other articles by Robert.

Notes:

1. São Paulo correspondent, Taps Run Dry in Brazil’s Biggest City as Drought Bites, The Telegraph, February 23, 2015. []

2. Wyre Davies, Rio de Janeiro correspondent, Brazil Drought: São Paulo Sleepwalking Into Water Crisis, BBC News, November 7, 2014. []

3. Jonathan Watts in Rio Janeiro, Amazon Rainforest Losing Ability to Regulate Climate, Scientist Warns, The Guardian, October 31, 2014. [] []

4. Scott Wallace, “Last of the Amazon,” National Geographic, March 2015. [] []

5. Antonio Donato Nobre, “The Magic of the Amazon: A River That Flows Invisibly All Around Us”, TEDxAmazonia, November 2010. []

6. Lester R. Brown, “The World’s Biggest Dust Bowl: China is Losing the War on Advancing Deserts”, The New York Times, August 13, 2013. []

Speaking last week in Pretoria, former UK Environment Minister Owen Paterson described critics of GMOs as comprising part of a privileged class that increasingly fetishizes food and seeks to turn their personal preferences into policy proscriptions for the rest of us. He called them backward-looking and regressive. He claimed their policies would condemn billions to hunger, poverty and underdevelopment because of their insistence on mandating primitive, inefficient farming techniques.

 He called them:

“… the ‘Green Blob’ – a reference to a 1950s Sci-Fi movie starring Steve McQueen in which a blob-like alien attacks Earth and swallows everything in its path: the environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape. This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interest of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely.”

He went on to state:

“There are many impediments standing between the vision of agricultural progress and Africa, of course, but none is more pernicious than the Blob. It is supported by massive funding provided by the EU itself, as well as numerous church and humanitarian groups, and the well-meaning but misguided generosity of the privileged classes in Europe and elsewhere. It has undue influence in the media, government and international institutions. Unfortunately, few question either its credentials or motives.” (see the full text of the speech here)

Paterson then proceeded to proclaim the virtues of GMOs and laid out a series of slurs, falsehoods and cherry-picked proclamations that anyone would be forgiven for thinking had come straight from the pen of a GMO agribusiness employee. But it wouldn’t have been the first time would it? In the case of this bit of poetry that Paterson likes so much, it came courtesy of Syngenta.

No, such practices are commonplace. Indeed, across the globe uncaged corporate parrots seem to be perched on the highest of ledges:

“We have had the National Academies of Science give a clean chit of biosafety to GM crops — doing that by using paragraphs lifted wholesale from the industry’s own literature! Likewise, Ministers in the PMO who know nothing about the risks of GMOs have similarly sung the virtues of Bt Brinjal and its safety to an erstwhile Minister of Health. They have used, literally, ‘cut & paste’ evidence from the biotech lobby’s ‘puff’ material. Are these officials then, ‘uncaged corporate parrots’?” Aruna Rodrigues, writing about the situation in India here in The Hindu.

Some points to consider for any rational thinking person

What would you do when presented with the option of sanctioning the commercialisation of genetically engineered food that is fundamentally different to conventional food? And have no doubt, it is: see this analysis by Steven Druker. Forget about those will try to confuse you that humans have always been tampering with food and genetic engineering represents more of the same. It doesn’t.

Would you engage in doublespeak about ‘substantial equivalence’ to try to convince people that it is just the same as conventional food in order to prevent public/scientific scrutiny (see this), and (as Druker shows to be the case) would you then ignore any fears, concerns and evidence in order to commercialise it?

You would if you are the US government, which has done exactly that, as described in Drukers new book ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truth: How the Venture to Genetically Engineer Our Food Has Subverted Science, Corrupted Government and Systematically Deceived the Public’ (Clear River Press, March 2015).

 In fact, if you are among the pro-GMO lobby, you would dream up some ideology about giving consumers and people greater choice by offering them the option of GMOs. You would also forward the myth that the corporations behind GMOs have humanity’s best interests at heart and that critics are anti-science ideologues whose policies and attitudes would leave billions dead or at least impoverished and starving. As part of this deception, you would forward the lie that GMOs are safe, even though there has not been one long-term epidemiological study conducted to show this, and are needed to feed the world. (See these claims debunked here).

And if you are part of this lobby or so gullible to unwittingly become its foot soldier by propagating the ideology in the media or on website comment threads, you would be part of a $100-million-dollar PR campaign (that figure is for the US alone).

And back to Owen Paterson

These powerful and extremely wealthy corporations or their foot soldiers in a display of glaring hypocrisy accuse critics of being part of a lavishly funded conspiracy against them and indeed humanity.

Yes, the same corporations whose financial clout has bought them political influence in so far that they exert huge control over WTO (see this), have captured regulatory bodies and public research institutions (see this and this), have had a key role in driving trade policies (see this) and are the biggest lobbiers (see this) for the world’s largest (secretive, pro-corporate) trade deal, the TTIP, which will constitutionally hand over regulatory and economic policies to a cartel of lawyers, officials and high-level corporate executives (see this).

So maybe it’s time to slightly rearrange parts of Paterson’s attack on his critics to provide him with a reality check. Paterson would have more truthfully presented the case by stating:

“It is these powerful corporations (not a ‘green blob’), whose owners are part of the privileged class that seek to turn their vested interests into policy proscriptions for the rest of us. It is this backward-looking and regressive class whose policies have already condemned tens of millions to hunger, poverty and underdevelopment. It is this privileged class (not a ‘green blob’) that has swallowed up everything in its path facilitated by public officials who are well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and ‘green revolution’ rhetoric.

“This tangled triangle of unelected, unaccountable corporations claims to have the interest of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely. There are many impediments standing between the vision of agricultural progress and Africa, of course, but none is more pernicious than this group that is supported by massive profits often secured from fraudulent practices and by often well-meaning but gullible people who buy into its rhetoric. It has undue influence in the media, government and international institutions. Fortunately, there are many who question either its credentials or motives.”

Readers are urged to read this to appreciate why Paterson has got is so wrong.

“In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.” Edward L. BernaysPropaganda

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Bill C 51, Canada’s so-called ANTI-TERRORISM ACT  was introduced to Parliament on January 30, 2015.

After some deliberation, the Bill came to a vote on Monday February 23. The governing Conservative party voted to support the Bill. The opposition Liberals voted to support the Bill in principle, although with the caveat they would make amendments once they came to power. [1] The Opposition NDP and Green Parties voted against the Bill. [2]

Bill C 51 is now being brought before the House committee on National Security and Defence. Pending approval it will eventually be re-introduced to the House of Commons for a final vote before it is enacted into Law.

Legal experts, civil liberties groups including Amnesty International, and the aforementioned politicians have begun to sound the alarm bells about this legislation. They argue that it it will have adverse impacts on Canadians not even remotely involved in terrorist activities.

Legal Professors Kent Roach and Craig Forcese  argue that the legislation essentially gives for the first time Canada’s spy Agency CSIS (Canadian Security and Intelligence Service) policing powers. CSIS would also have the active capacity to “take measures, within or outside Canada, to reduce (very broadly defined) threats to the security of Canada.”

So for example, if a project like the Keystone XL pipeline is deemed by the Canadian government to be a priority and strongly in the Canadian interest, then CSIS could theoretically provide misinformation to an anonymous foreign environmental funder in an effort to deter that funder from continuing to secretly fund a Canadian environmental group planning a protest of that pipeline without the requisite permit.

Likewise CSIS could break into a private home in order to destroy equipment it believes may be used to wreck pipelines. It could infect and destroy the computers of a radical environmental group believed responsible for “tree spiking,” but for whom there is insufficient evidence for criminal charges.

 

Bill C-51 (Antiterrorism Act 2015): Short Primer on Key Aspects from Craig Forcese on Vimeo.

Turning up the heat around this legislation, the day before Bill C 51 was to be voted on in Parliament, there was (coincidentally?) a story circulating in Canadian media warning of a Somali-based terrorist group inciting loyalists to launch attacks against facilities in Canadian cities, including the West Edmonton Mall.

This week’s Global Research News Hour focuses on some of the most regressive legislation introduced in Canada in a very long time, and particularly the role media is playing in enabling what Green Party leader Elizabeth May has dubbed ‘Secret Policing’ in the country.

Long time journalist, author, and media critic Barrie Zwicker dominates the hour with his take on the media campaign and whether it represents an unwholesome collusion between Canada’s fourth estate and the invisible government.

Zwicker’s analysis is followed by a brief breakdown of the Anti-Terrorism legislation by this producer. The source for this material is mostly derived from a series of backgrounders from the aforementioned legal experts.

Finally, we hear a classic tune from legendary folk singer Phil Ochs.

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The Global Research News Hour airs every Friday at 1pm CT on CKUW 95.9FM in Winnipeg. The programme is also podcast at globalresearch.ca .

The show can be heard on the Progressive Radio Network at prn.fm. Listen in every Monday at 3pm ET.

Community Radio Stations carrying the Global Research News Hour:

CHLY 101.7fm in Nanaimo, B.C – Thursdays at 1pm PT

Boston College Radio WZBC 90.3FM NEWTONS  during the Truth and Justice Radio Programming slot -Sundays at 7am ET.

Port Perry Radio in Port Perry, Ontario –1  Thursdays at 1pm ET

Burnaby Radio Station CJSF out of Simon Fraser University. 90.1FM to most of Greater Vancouver, from Langley to Point Grey and from the North Shore to the US Border.

It is also available on 93.9 FM cable in the communities of SFU, Burnaby, New Westminister, Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam, Port Moody, Surrey and Delta, in British Columbia Canada. – Tune in every Saturday at 6am.

Notes:

1) Daniel Leblanc, Liberals to support Conservative anti-terror bill, will address the ‘gaps’ later”;http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/politics/liberals-to-support-conservative-anti-terror-bill-but-want-more-oversight/article22784759/  Globe and Mail, ” February 4, 2015

2)  (February 23, 2015), Huffington Post Canada, “Bill C-51, Harper’s Anti-Terror Bill, Passes Second Reading Amid Criticism”;http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2015/02/23/rafe-mair-anti-terrorism-bill-c51_n_6739034.html

 

In an unprecedented move, 200 veterans of the Israeli security services accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday of being a “danger” to Israel.

The new group, called Commanders for Israel’s Security, warned that Netanyahu was doing irreparable harm to the country’s relationship with Washington, just two days before he is due to address the US Congress.

The Israeli prime minister is expected to use the speech to try to undermine negotiations currently taking place between major world powers and Iran. He has claimed that any agreement reached at the talks’ conclusion, later this month, will leave Iran a “nuclear threshold state” hellbent on destroying Israel.

Half a dozen former generals spoke out at a press conference in Tel Aviv on Sunday, urging Netanyahu to cancel the speech before ties with the US deteriorate even further.

The White House is reported to be furious that Netanyahu arranged his appearance before Congress behind President Barack Obama’s back.

With an Israeli election less than three weeks away, Netanyahu has already faced attacks from centrist political rivals and parts of the Israeli media over his clashes with the White House on Iran.

But it is the first time he has faced a large-scale backlash from members of Israel’s security establishment – and is likely to be more damaging to Netanyahu’s popular image as a strong leader on security matters.

The group comprises retired officers and those serving in the reserves, all of whom held a rank equivalent to general. Many are household names.

Yaron Ezrahi, a politics professor at Hebrew University and expert on Israeli-US relations, said there was no precedent for what he termed a “rebellion” by so many former senior officials.

“This is a very powerful and distinguished group of former commanders, who are extremely worried about where Netanyahu is taking Israel right now,” he said.

“It is clear they are speaking not only for themselves but also on behalf of many active commanders who are not allowed to speak their mind but share this group’s views.”

6,000 years of experience

General Amnon Reshef, widely regarded in Israel as a hero for his role in the 1973 war against Egypt and Syria, said the group’s membership had grown rapidly since he established it three months ago.

“We are experts with more than 6,000 years of security experience between us,” he told Middle East Eye. “It is time the prime minister listened to us before he wrecks our strategic interests with our closest ally.

“Nothing good for Israel can come from humiliating the US president.”

Among the generals denouncing Netanyahu on Sunday was Amiram Levin, a former head of the elite Sayeret Matkal commando unit, in which Netanyahu himself served.

Reshef’s attack echoed that of Meir Dagan, a former head of Israel’s spy agency Mossad, who has called separately for Israeli voters to remove Netanyahu.

Dagan, who is due to speak at an anti-Netanyahu rally next Saturday, told the Yedioth Aharonoth daily last Friday that the Israeli prime minister was taking “intolerable risks” with Israel’s security.

“The veto umbrella provided by the Americans [at the United Nations Security Council] could vanish, and Israel would promptly find itself facing international sanctions,” he added.

Ezrahi said the spate of attacks on Netanyahu by such high-level figures could become a “turning-point” in the elections.

“The difference between a right-wing Netanyahu government and a centrist one is a handful of seats, so these criticisms have the potential to do him a lot of damage.”

Netanyahu’s stance on Iran received a further blow last week with publication of a leaked Mossad document. It showed that he had misled the United Nations in 2012 about his own intelligence services’ assessment of the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear programme.

According to the Mossad report, Tehran was not actively pursuing a military nuclear programme. In contrast, Netanyahu had warned the international community that the Iranians were only a year away from building a bomb.

Iran denies that its nuclear research is aimed at developing weapons, saying it seeks only a civilian energy programme.

Growing distrust

In a possible sign of the increasing distrust between the Israeli prime minister and his closest security officials, Netanyahu is reported to have kept his national security adviser, Yossi Cohen, in the dark about his address to Congress.

The US media reported last week that Cohen, a former senior Mossad official, had privately expressed concern to US officials about Netanyahu’s speech.

Reshef said that the group would use its high profile to wage a public relations campaign to persuade the Israeli public that Netanyahu’s approach was wrong.

“It is not going to be easy,” he said. “Israelis have been brainwashed for many years. We need to give them a different message – they need to understand the real situation and Israel’s true interests.”

A poll by the Israel Democracy Institute recently found that 58 per cent of Israeli Jews believed a Netanyahu government would be best placed to deal with Israel’s security issues.

Reshef said Commanders for Israel’s Security had wider concerns about Netanyahu’s policy in the region.

The group was set up late last year to put pressure on Netanyahu’s government to re-enter peace talks with the Palestinians based on the Arab Peace Initiative, a Saudi plan that would normalise relations between Israel and the Arab world in return for the establishment of a Palestinian state.

“We can’t keep waging a war every couple of years in Gaza or with our neighbours,” said Reshef.

Netanyahu has in the past justified his refusal to agree to a complete withdrawal from the occupied West Bank on the grounds that Iran would set up “terror bases” there as soon as the army left.

Reshef rejected this scenario. “The IDF [Israeli military] is very strong and can defend Israel’s borders. We can deal with the threats from all of Israel’s enemies.”

Hawkish views

The group includes security veterans known for their hawkish positions, including former military chief of staff Dan Halutz. He called for leftwing activists who criticised an operation he ordered in 2002 against Hamas leader Salah Shahadeh in Gaza that killed more than a dozen Palestinian civilians, most of them children, to be tried for treason.

Ezrahi told MEE there were two specific factors driving the security establishment’s campaign against Netanyahu.

The first related to the damage he was seen to be doing to the traditionally strong ties between the Israeli and US militaries.

“These commanders have spent a lot of time in the US, at the Pentagon. They have a close working relationship with the US command and rely on their support for equipment, strategy, intelligence-sharing. All of that is under threat from Netanyahu’s behaviour.”

Further, Netanyahu’s removal of a diplomatic horizon had left senior commanders feeling they were carrying an impossible burden in policing the occupied territories.

“They recognise that there is no military solution to Israel’s predicament with the Palestinians and that borders created by force are inherently fragile and insecure.”

Tamir Pardo, the current Mossad head, is reported to have privately rejected Netanyahu’s claim that dealing with Iran was Israel’s top priority. According to the Haaretz newspaper, he told a group of Israeli businesspeople last summer that the “biggest threat to Israel’s security is the conflict with the Palestinians and not Iran’s nuclear program.”

Of particular concern among the security agencies, said Neve Gordon, a politics professor at Ben Gurion University in Beersheva, has been Netanyahu’s threats to launch an attack on Iran without support from Washington.

“The view is that an Israeli attack could only set back Iran’s nuclear programme a few months or a year, but the consequences in the region would be harsh indeed,” he said. “They don’t see any benefits from Netanyahu’s approach, but they do see a lot of dangers.”

Jittery about Pentagon ties

Almost as soon as he stepped down as head of Mossad four years ago, Dagan slammed Netanyahu’s idea of an Israeli attack on Iran, calling it the “stupidest thing I have ever heard”.

In his interview on Friday, Dagan said covert operations designed to bring about regime change were a better approach: “What we could have done was gain time with secret operations or nurture opposition forces and minorities within Iran.”

According to Israeli analyst Ben Caspit, the security establishment has become increasingly jittery about the future of its relationship with the Pentagon.

Caspit said some officials were worried that the US might consider abandoning its traditional Middle East allies, such as Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, in favour of strengthening relations with Tehran. They fear that the Pentagon might conclude its support for Iran is more important in stabilising the region than backing Israel.

Citing a senior US official, Caspit dismissed the idea as a “conspiracy theory”, but observed it was one gaining traction among Israeli security service staff.

Such fears will only have been heightened by reports that the Obama administration is refusing to share information with Israel about the Iran talks after suspicions that Netanyahu has been leaking details to undermine the White House’s position.

Ezrahi said Netanyahu was currently more concerned about keeping the electoral support of his rightwing constituency than antagonising his military commanders.

Netanyahu had earlier staked much of his credibility with the Israeli public on bombing Iran but had been blocked by opposition from his commanders, as well as the US and Europe, added Ezrahi.

He now needed to create a similar kind of “drama to prove he is a tough military leader” by taking on the White House in place of Iran. Ezrahi said: “The speech is like a diplomatic missile aimed directly at the White House.”

That view was confirmed by Israeli political analyst Yossi Verter. He said Netanyahu’s election strategists had concluded that “every American slap in Netanyahu’s face only strengthens support for their party’s leader among his electoral base”. One reportedly told him: “Obama is our best campaigner.”

Uri Avnery, a veteran peace activist and former MP, wrote at the weekend that the address to Congress would be a perfect election stunt for Netanyahu. “It will show him at his best. The great statesman, addressing the most important parliament in the world, pleading for the very existence of Israel.”

If Netanyahu wins the election on 17 March, as is currently predicted, Ezrahi expected him to seek a unity government with the centrist Zionist Camp party. “He will be facing threats of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation, and will want to present a more moderate face to the world.”

See more at: http://www.jonathan-cook.net/2015-03-01/netanyahu-a-danger-to-israel-say-200-security-veterans/#sthash.iScaGXqn.dpuf

This article was first published by Global Research in October 2013.

For years, Syria and Egypt refused to abandon their chemical weapons facing a threatening neighbor, Israel, which develops very sophisticated ones, in addition to biological and nuclear weapons. However, while Syria has joined the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , we are taking a look at Israeli activities.

The UN inspectors who monitor chemical weapons in Syria would have much to do if they were sent to monitor the nuclear, biological and chemical weapons (NBC) of Israel.

But according to the rules of “international law”, they cannot do so. Israel has not signed the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, nor the Convention Banning Biological Weapons , and has signed but not ratified the Convention Banning Chemical Weapons.

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The entrance of the Israel Institute for Biological Research,  Ness- Ziona . This structure is the cover for the research and manufacturing of Israeli chemical and biological weapons.

According to Jane’s Defense Weekly, Israel – the only nuclear power in the Middle East, has 100 to 300 nuclear warheads and their appropriate vectors ( ballistic and cruise missiles and fighter-bombers ). According to SIPRI estimates, Israel has produced 690-950 kg of plutonium, and continues to produce as much as necessary to make from 10 to 15 bombs of the Nagasaki type each year.

It also produces tritium, a radioactive gas with which neutron warheads are made, which cause minor radioactive contamination but higher lethality. According to various international reports, also quoted by the Israeli newspaper Ha’aretz, biological and chemical weapons are developed at the Institute for Biological Research, located in Ness- Ziona, near Tel Aviv. Officially, 160 scientists and 170 technicians are part of the staff, who for five decades have performed research in biology, chemistry, biochemistry, biotechnology, pharmacology, physics and other scientific disciplines. The Institute, along with the Dimona nuclear center , is “one of the most secretive institutions in Israel” under direct jurisdiction of the Prime Minister. The greatest secrecy surrounds research on biological weapons, bacteria and viruses that spread among the enemy and can trigger epidemics. Among them, the bacteria of the bubonic plague (the ” Black Death ” of the Middle Ages ) and the Ebola virus, contagious and lethal, for which no therapy is available.

With biotechnology, one can produce new types of pathogens which the target population is not able to resist, not having the specific vaccine. There is also strong evidence of research to develop biological weapons that can destroy the human immune system. Officially the Israeli Institute conducts research on vaccines against bacteria and viruses, such as anthrax funded by the Pentagon, but it is obvious that they can develop new pathogens for war use.

The same expedient is used in the United States and in other countries to get around the conventions prohibiting biological and chemical weapons. In Israel the screed secret was partially torn by the inquiry that was conducted, with the help of scientists, by the Dutch journalist Karel Knip. It has also come out that toxic substances developed by the Institute have been used by the Mossad to assassinate Palestinian leaders. Medical evidence indicates that in Gaza and Lebanon, Israeli forces used weapons of a new design: they leave the body intact outside but, upon penetration, dévitalise tissues, carbonise liver and bones, and coagulate the blood. This is possible with nanotechnology, the science that casts microscopic structures by building them atom by atom.

Italy also participates in the development of these weapons, linked to Israel by a military cooperation agreement and being its number one European partner in research and development. In the last Finance Act, Italy provided an annual allocation of € 3 million for projects of Italian- Israeli joint research. Like the one indicated in the last notice of the Farnesina (Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs), “new approaches to combat pathogens resistant to treatment.”

In this way, the Israel Institute for Biological Research could render pathogens even more resistant.

Translation Roger Lagassé

Over the past 50 years the US and European powers have engaged in countless imperial wars throughout the world. The drive for world supremacy has been clothed in the rhetoric of “world leadership”, the consequences have been devastating for the peoples targeted.  The biggest, longest and most numerous wars have been carried out by the United States.  Presidents from both parties direct and preside over this quest for world power.  The ideology which informs imperialism varies from “anti-communism”in the past to “anti-terrorism”today.

Washington’s drive for world domination has used and combined many forms of warfare, including military invasions and occupations; proxy mercenary armies and military coups; financing political parties, NGO’s and street mobs to overthrow  duly constituted governments. The driving forces in the imperial state , behind the  quest for world power, vary with the geographic location and social economic composition of the targeted countries.

What is clear from an analysis of US empire building over the last half century is the relative decline of economic interests, and the rise of politico-military considerations.  In part this is because of the demise of the collectivist regimes (the USSR and Eastern Europe) and the conversion of China and the leftist  Asian, African and Latin American regimes to capitalism.  The decline of economic forces as the driving force of imperialism is a result of the advent of global neoliberalism.  Most US and EU multi-nationals are not threatened by nationalizations or expropriations, which might trigger imperial state  political intervention.  In fact, MNC are invited to invest,trade and exploit natural resources even by post-neoliberal regimes .  Economic interests come into play in formulating imperial state policies, if and when nationalist regimes emerge and challenge US MNC as is the case in Venezuela under President Chavez.

The key to US empire building over the past half-century is found in the political, military and ideological power configurations which have come to control the levers of the imperial state.  The recent history of US imperial wars has demonstrated that strategic military priorities – military bases, budgets and bureaucracy – have expanded far beyond any localized economic interests of MNC.  Moreover, the vast expenditures and long term and expensive military interventions of the US imperial state in the Middle East has been at the behest of Israel.  The take-over of strategic political positions in the Executive branch and Congress by the powerful Zionist power configuration within the US has reinforced the centrality of military over economic interests

The ‘privatization’ of imperial wars – the vast growth and use of mercenaries contracted by the Pentagon- has led to the vast pillage of tens of billions of dollars from the US Treasury.  Large scale corporations which supply mercenary military combatants have become a very ‘influential’ force shaping the nature and consequences of US empire building.

Military strategists, defenders of Israeli colonial interests in the Middle East, mercenary military and intelligence corporations are central actors in the imperial state and it is their decision-making influence which explains why US imperial wars do not result in a politically stable, economic prosperous empire.  Instead their policies have resulted in unstable, ravaged economies, in perpetual rebellion..

We will proceed by identifying the changing areas and regions of US empire building from the mid 1970’s to the present.  We then examine the methods, driving forces and outcomes of imperial expansion.  We will then turn to describe the current ‘geo-political map of empire building and the varied nature of the anti-imperialist resistance.  We will conclude by examining the why and how of empire building and more particularly, the consequences, and results of a half century of US imperial expansion.

Imperialism in the post Vietnam Period:  Proxy Wars in Central America, Afghanistan and Southern Africa

The US imperialist defeat in Indo-China marks the end of one phase of empire building and the beginning of another:  a shift from territorial invasions to proxy wars.  Hostile domestic opinion precluded large scale ground wars.  Beginning during the presidencies of Gerald Ford and James Carter, the US imperialist state increasingly relied on proxy clients.  It recruited, financed and armed proxy military forces to destroy a variety of nationalist and social revolutionary regimes and movements in three continents.  Washington financed and armed extremist Islamic forces world-wide to invade and destroy the secular, modernizing, Soviet backed regime in Afghanistan, with logistical support from the Pakistan military and intelligence agencies, and financial backing from Saudi Arabia.

The second proxy intervention was in Southern Africa, where the US imperial state financed and armed proxy forces against anti-imperialist regimes in Angola and Mozambique, in alliance with South Africa.

The third proxy intervention took place in Central America, where the US financed, armed and trained murderous death squad regimes in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras to decimate popular movements and armed insurgencies resulting in over 300,000 civilian deaths.

The US imperial state’s ‘proxy strategy’ extended to South America:  CIA and Pentagon backed military coups took place in Uruguay (General Alvarez), Chile (General Pinochet) Argentina (General Videla), Bolivia (General Banzer) and Peru (General Morales).  Empire building by proxy, was largely at the behest of US MNC which were the principal actors in setting priorities in the imperial state throughout this period.

Accompanying proxy wars, were direct military invasions:  the tiny island of Grenada (1983) and Panama (1989) under Presidents’ Reagan and Bush, Sr.  Easy targets, with few casualties and low cost military expenditures:  dress rehearsals for re-launching major military operations in the near future.

What is striking about the ‘proxy wars’ are the mixed results.The outcomes in Central America, Afghanistan and Africa did not lead to prosperous neo-colonies or prove lucrative to US multi-national corporations. In contrast the proxy coups in South America led to large scale privatization and profits for US MNC.

The Afghan proxy war led to the rise and consolidation of the Taliban “Islamic regime” which opposed both Soviet influence and US imperial expansion.  The rise and consolidation of Islamic nationalism in turn challenged US allies in South Asia and the Gulf region and subsequently led to a US military invasion in 2001 and a prolonged (15 year) war (which has yet to conclude), and most probably to a military retreat and defeat.  The main economic beneficiaries were Afghan political clients, US mercenary military “contractors”, military procurement officers and civilian colonial administrators who pillaged hundreds of billions from the US Treasury in illegal and fraudulent transactions.

Pillage of the US Treasury in no way benefited the non-military MNC’s.  In fact the war and resistance movement undermined  any large scale, long-term entry of US private capital in Afghanistan and adjoining border regions of Pakistan.

The proxy war in Southern Africa devastated the local economies, especially the domestic agricultural economy, uprooted millions of laborers and farmers and curtailed US corporate oil  penetration for over two decades.  The ‘positive’ outcome was the de-radicalization of the former revolutionary nationalist elite.  However, the political conversion of the Southern African “revolutionaries” to neo-liberalism did not benefit the US MNC as much as the rulers turned kleptocratic oligarchs who organized patrimonial regimes in association  with a diversified collection of MNC, especially from Asia and Europe.

The proxy wars in Central America had mixed results.  In Nicaragua the Sandinista revolution defeated the US-Israeli backed Somoza regime but immediately confronted a US financed, armed and trained counter-revolutionary mercenary army (the “Contras”) based in Honduras.  The US war destroyed, many of the progressive economic projects,undemined the economy and eventually led to an electoral victory by the US backed political client  Violeta Chamorro. Two decades later the US proxies were defeated by a de-radicalized Sandinista led political coalition.

In El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the US proxy wars led to the consolidation of client regimes presiding over the destruction of the productive economy,and the flight of millions of war refugees to the United States.  US imperial dominance eroded the bases for a productive labor market which spawned the growth of murderous drug gangs.

In summary, the US proxy wars succeeded, in most, cases in preventing the rise of nationalist-leftist regimes, but also led to the destructive of the economic and political bases of a stable and prosperous empire of neo-colonies.

US Imperialism in Latin America:  Changing Structure, External and Internal Contingencies, Shifting Priorities and Global Constraints.

To understand the operations,  structure and performance of US imperialism in Latin America, it is necessary to recognize the specific constellation of competing forces which shaped imperial state policies.  Unlike the Middle East where the militarist-Zionist faction has established hegemony, in Latin America the MNC have played a leading role in directing imperial state policy.  In Latin America, the militarists played a lesser role, constrained by (1)the power of the MNC, (2) the shifts in political power in Latin America from right to center-left (3) the impact of economic crises and the commodity boom.

In contrast to the Middle East, the Zionist power configuration has little influence over imperial state policy, as Israel’s interests are focused on the Middle East and, with the possible exception of Argentina, Latin America is not a priority.

For over a century and a half, the US MNC and banks dominated and dictated US imperial policy toward Latin America.  The US armed forces and CIA were instrumentsof economic imperialism via direct intervention (invasions), proxy ‘military coups’, or a combination of both.

US imperial economic power in Latin America ‘peaked’ between 1975-1999.  Vassal states and client rulers were imposed via proxy military coups, direct military invasions (Dominican Republic ,Panama and Grenada) and military-civilian controlled elections.

The results were the dismantling of the welfare state and the imposition of neo-liberal policies.  The MNC led imperial state and its international financial appendages (IMF, WB, IDB) privatized lucrative strategic economic sectors, dominated trade and projected a regional integration scheme which would codify US imperial dominance.

Imperial economic expansion in Latin America was not simply a result of the internal dynamics and structures of the MNC but depended on (1) the receptivity of the ‘host’ country or more precisely the internal correlation of class forces in Latin America which in turn revolved around (2) the performance of the economy – its growth or susceptibility to crises.

Latin America demonstrates that contingencies such as the demise of client regimes and collaborator classes can have a profound negative impact on the dynamics of imperialism, undermining the power of the imperial state and reversing the economic advance of the MNC.

The advance of US economic imperialism during the 1975-2000 period was manifest in the adoption of neo-liberal policies, the pillage of national resources, the increase of illicit debts and the overseas transfer of billions of dollars However, the concentration of wealth and property, precipitated a deep socio-economic crises throughout the region which eventually led to the overthrow or ouster of the imperial collaborators in Ecuador, Bolivia, Venezuela, Argentina, Brazil, Uruguay, Paraguay and Nicaragua.  Powerful anti-imperialist social movements especially in the countryside emerged in Brazil and the Andean countries.  Urban unemployed workers  movements and public employees unions in Argentina and Uruguay spearheaded electoral changes, bringing to power center-left regimes which‘re-negotiaed’ relations with the US imperial state.

US  MNC influence in Latin America waned.  They could not count on the full battery of military resources of the imperial state to intervene and re-impose neo-liberal clients because of its military priorities elsewhere:  the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.

Unlike the past, the US MNC in Latin America lacked two essential props of power:  the full backing of the US armed forces and powerful civilian-military clients in Latin America.

The US MNC’s plan for US centered integration was  rejected by the center-left regimes.  The imperial state turned to bilateral free trade agreements with Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Panama and Peru.  As a result of the economic crises and collapse of most Latin American economies, “neo-liberalism” ,the ideology of imperial economic penetration, was discredited. Neo-liberal  advocates marginalized.

Changes in the world economy had a profound impact on US – Latin America trade and investment relations.  The dynamic growth of China and the subsequent boom in demand and the rising prices of commodities, led to a sharp decline of US dominance of Latin American markets.

Latin American states diversified trade, sought and gained new overseas markets, especially in China.  The increase in export revenues created greater capacity for self-financing.  The IMF, WB and IDB, economic instruments for leveraging US financial impositions (“conditionality”), were sidelined

The US imperial state faced Latin American regimes who embraced diverse  economic options, markets and sources of financing.  With powerful domestic popular support and unified civilian-military command, Latin America moved tentatively out of the US sphere of imperialist domination.

The imperial state and its MNC , deeply influenced by their “success” in the 1990’s, responded to the decline of influence by proceeding by ‘trial and error’, in the face of the negative constraints of the 21st century.  The MNC backed policymakers in the imperial state continued to back the collapsing neo-liberal regimes, losing all credibility in Latin America.  The imperial-state failed to accommodate changes – deepening popular and center-left regime opposition to “free markets” and the deregulation of banks.  No large scale economic aid programs, like Presideny Kennedy’s effort to counter the revolutionary appeal of the Cuban revolution by promoting social reforms via the  ‘Alliance for Progress”, were fashioned to win over the center-left,probably because of budget constraints resulting from costly wars elsewhere.

The demise of neo-liberal regimes, the glue that held the different factions of the imperial state together, led to competing proposals of how to regain dominance.   The ‘militarist faction’ resorted to and revived the military coup formula for restoration:  coups were organized in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Honduras and Paraguay . . .  all were defeated, except the latter two.  The defeat of US proxies led  to the consolidation of the independent, anti-imperialist center-left regimes.Even the “success”of the US coup in Honduras resulted in a major diplomatic defeat,as every Latin American government condemned it and the US role,further isolating Washington in the region.

The defeat of the militarist strategy strengthened the political-diplomatic faction of the imperial state.  With positive overtures toward ostensibly ‘center-left regimes’, this faction gained diplomatic leverage, retained military ties and deepened the expansion of MNC in Uruguay, Brazil, Chile and Peru.  With the latter two countries the economic imperialist faction of the imperial state secured bilateral free trade agreements.

A third MNC – military faction, overlapping with the previous two, combined diplomatic-political accommodations toward Cuba, with an aggressive political destabilization strategy aimed at “regime change” (coup) in Venezuela.

The heterogeneity of imperial state factions and their competing orientations, reflects the complexity of interests engaged in empire building in Latin America and results in seemingly contradictory policies, a phenomenon less evident in the Middle East where the militarist -zionist power configuration dominates imperial policymaking.

For example the promotion of military bases and counter-insurgency operations in Colombia (a priority of the militarist faction) is accompanied by bilateral free market agreements and peace negotiations between the Santos regime and the FARC armed insurgency (a priority of the MNC faction).

Regaining imperial dominance in Argentina involves, (1) promoting the electoral fortunes of the neo-liberal governor of Buenos Aires Macri, (2) backing the pro- imperial media conglomerate , Clarin, facing legislation breaking up its monopoly (3) exploiting the death of prosecutor and CIA-Mossad collaborator, Alberto Nisman to discredit the Kirchner-Fernandez regime(4)backing   NewYork speculaters’ (vulture)investment fund attempting to

extract  exorbitant interest payments and, with the aid of a dubious judicial ruling, blocking Argentina’s access to financial markets

Both the militarist and MNC factions of the imperial state converge in backing a multi-pronged electoral – and coup approach, which seeks to restore a US controlled neo-liberal regimes to power.

The contingencies which forestalled the recovery of imperial power over the past decade are now acting in reverse.  The drop in commodity prices has weakened post neo-liberal regimes in Venezuela, Argentina and Ecuador.  The ebbing of anti-imperialist movements resulting from center-left co-optation tactics has strengthened imperial state backed right-wing movements and street demonstrators.  The decline in Chinese growth has weakened the Latin American market diversification strategies.  The internal balance of class forces has shifted to the Right, toward US backed political clients in Brazil, Argentina, Peru and Paraguay.

Theoretical Reflections on Empire Building in Latin America

US empire building in Latin America is a cyclical process, reflecting the structural shifts in political power, and the restructuring of the world economy – forces and factors which ‘override’ the  imperial state and capital’s drive to accumulate.Capital accumulation and expansion does not depend merely on the impersonal forces of “the market” – because the social relations under which the “market” functions, operate under the constraints of the class struggle.

The centerpiece of imperial state activities-namely the prolonged territorial wars in the Middle East – are absent in Latin America.  The driving force of US imperial state policy is the pursuit of resources (agro-mining), labor power ( low paid autoworkers), markets (size and purchasing power of 600 million consumers).  The economic interests of the MNC are the motives for imperial expansion.

Even as, from a geo-strategic vantage point, the Caribbean, Central America as well as South America are located most proximate to the US, economic not military objectives predominate.

However, the militarist-Zionist faction in the imperial state, ignore these traditional economic motives and deliberately choose to act on other priorities – control over oil producing regions, destruction of Islamic nations or movements or simply to destroy anti-imperialist adversaries.  The militarists-Zionist faction counted the “benefits” to Israel, its Middle East military supremacy, more important than the  US securing economic supremacy in Latin America.  This is clearly the case if we measure imperial priorities by state resources expended in pursuit of political goals.

Even if we take the goal of “national security”, interpreted in the broadest sense, of securing the safety of the territorial homeland of the empire, the US military assault of Islamic countries driven by accompanying Islamophobic ideology and the resulting mass killings and uprooting a millions of Islamic people, has led to “blowback”: reciprocal terrorism.  US “total wars” against civilians has provoked Islamic assaults against the citizens of the West.

Latin America countries targeted by economic imperialism are less belligerent than Middle Eastern countries targeted by US militarists.  A cost/benefits analysis would demonstrate the totally “irrational” nature of militarist strategy.  However,if we take account   of the specific composition and interests that motivate particularly imperial state policymakers, there is a kind of perverse “rationality”.  The militarists defend the “rationality” of costly and unending wars by citing the advantages of seizing the ‘gateways to oil’ and the Zionists cite their success in enhancing Israel’s regional power.

Whereas Latin America, for over a century was a priority region of imperial economic conquest, by the 21st century it lost  primacy  to the Middle East.

The Demise of the USSR and China’s conversion to Capitalism

The greatest impetus to successful US imperial expansion did not take place via proxy wars or military invasions.  Rather, the US empire achieved its greatest growth and conquest, with the aid of client political leaders, organizations and vassal states throughout the USSR, Eastern Europe, the Baltic States the Balkans and the Caucuses.  Long term, large scale US and EU political penetration and funding succeeded in overthrowing the hegemonic collectivist regimes in Russia and the USSR, and installing  vassal states. They would soon serve NATO and be incorporated in the European Union.  Bonn annexed East Germany and dominated the markets of Poland,the Czech Republic and other Central European states.  US and London bankers collaborated with Russian-Israeli gangster-oligarchs in joint ventures plundering resources, industries, real estate and pension funds.  The European Union exploited tens of millions of highly trained scientists, technicians and workers – by importing them or stripping them of their welfare benefits and labor rights and exploiting them as cheap labor reserves in their own country.

“Imperialism by invitation” hosted by the  vassal Yeltsin regime, easily appropriated Russian wealth.  The ex-Warsaw Pact military forces were incorporated into a foreign legion for US imperial wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.  Their military installations were converted into military bases and missile sites encircling Russia.

US imperial conquest of the East, created a “unipolar world” in which Washington decision-makers and strategists believed that, as the world’s supreme power, they could intervene in every region with impunity.

The scope and depth of the US world empire was enhanced by China’s embrace of capitalism and its ruler’s  invitation to US and EU MNC to enter and exploit cheap Chinese labor.  The global expansion of the US empire, led to a sense of unlimited power, encouraging its rulers’  to exercise power against any adversary or competitor.

Between 1990 and 2000,the US expanded its military bases to the borders of Russia.  US MNC expanded into China and Indo-China.  US backed client regimes throughout Latin America dismantled the national economies, privatizing and denationalizing over five thousand lucrative strategic firms.  Every sector was affected- natural resources, transport, telecommunications and finance.

The US proceeded throughout the 1990’s to expand via political penetration and military force.  President George H. W. Bush launched a war against Iraq.  Clinton bombed Yugoslavia and Germany and the EU joined the US in dividing Yugoslavia into ‘mini states’

The Pivotel Year 2000:  the Pinnacle and Decline of Empire

The very rapid and extensive imperial expansion, between 1989-1999, the easy conquests and the accompanying plunder, created the conditions for the decline of the US empire.

The pillage and impoverishment of Russia led to the rise of a new leadership under President Putin intent on reconstructing the state and economy and ending vassalage.

The Chinese leadership harnessed its dependence on the West for capital investments and technology, into instruments for creating a powerful export economy and the growth of a dynamic national public-private manufacturing complex.  The imperial centers of finance which flourished under lax regulation crashed.  The domestic foundations of empire were severely strained.  The imperial war machine competed with the financial sector for federal budgetary expenditures and subsidies.

The easy growth of empire, led to its over-extension.  Multiple areas of conflict, reflected world-wide resentment and hostility at the destruction wrought by bombings and invasions.  Collaborative imperial client rulers were weakened.  The world-wide empire exceeded the capacity of the US to successfully police its new vassal states.  The colonial outposts demanded new infusions of troops, arms and funds at a time when countervailing domestic pressures were demanding retrenchment and retreat.

All the recent conquests – outside of Europe – were costly.  The sense of invincibility and impunity led imperial planners to overestimate their capacity to expand, retain, control and contain the inevitable anti-imperialist resistance.

The crises and collapse of the neo-liberal vassal states in Latin America accelerated.  Anti-imperialist uprisings spread from Venezuela (1999), to Argentina (2001), Ecuador (2000-2005) and Bolivia (2003-2005).  Center-left regimes emerged in Brazil, Uruguay and Honduras.  Mass movements, in rural regions,among Indian and mining communities gained momentum. Imperial plans formulated to secure US centered integration were rejected.  Instead multiple regional pacts excluding the US proliferated-ALBA,UNASUR,CELAC.  Latin America’s domestic rebellion coincided with the economic rise of China.  A prolonged commodity boom severely weakened US imperial supremacy.  The US had few local allies in Latin America and over ambitious commitments to control the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa.

Washington lost its automatic majority in Latin America:  its backing of coups in Honduras and Paraguay and its intervention in Venezuela (2002) and blockade of Cuba was repudiated by every regime, even by conservative allies.

Having easily established a global empire, Washington found it was not so easy to defend it.  Imperial strategists in Washington viewed the Middle East wars through the prism of the Israeli military priorities ,ignoring the global economic interests of the MNC.

Imperial military strategists overestimated the military capacity of vassals and clients, ill-prepared by Washington to rule in countries with growing armed national resistance movements.  Wars, invasions and military occupations were launched in multiple sites. Yemen, Somalia, Libya, Syria, Pakistan were added to Afghanistan and Iraq.  US imperial state expenditures far exceeded any transfer of wealth from the occupied countries.

A vast civilian – military – mercenary bureaucracy pillaged hundreds of billions of dollars from the US Treasury.

The centrality of wars of conquest, destroyed the economic foundations and institutional infrastructure necessary for MNC entry and profit.

Once entrenched in strategic military conceptions of empire, the military-political leadership of the imperial state  fashioned a global ideology to justify and motivate a policy of permanent and multiple warfare. The doctrine of the ‘war on terror’ justified war everywhere and nowhere.  The doctrine was ‘elastic’ – adapted to every region of conflict and inviting new military engagements:  Afghanistan, Libya, Iran and Lebanon were all designated as war zones.  The ‘terror doctrine’, global in scope, provided a justification for multiple wars and the massive destruction (not exploitation) of societies and economic resources.  Above all the “war on terrorism” justified torture (Aba Gharib) and concentration camps (Guantanamo), and civilian targets (via drones)anywhere. Troops were withdrawn and returned to Afghanistan and Iraq as the nationalist resistence advanced..  Thousands of Special Forces in scores of countries were active, purveying death and mayhem.

Moreover, the violent uprooting, degradation and stigmatization of entire islamic people led to the spread of violence  in the imperial centers of Paris, New York, London, Madrid and Copenhagen. The globalization of imperial state terror  led to individual terror.

Imperial terror evoked domestic terror:  the former on a massive, sustained scale encompassing entire civilizations and conducted and justified by elected  political officials and military authorities.  The latter by a cross section  of ‘internationalists’ who directly identified with the victims of imperial state terror.

Contemporary Imperialism:  Present and Future Perspectives

To understand the future of US imperialism it is important to sum up and evaluate the experience and policies of the past quarter of a century.

If we compare, US empire building between 1990 and 2015, it is clearly in decline economically, politically and even militarily in most regions of the world, though the process of decline is not linear and probably not irreversible.

Despite talk in Washington of reconfiguring imperial priorities to take account of MNC economic interests, little has been accomplished… Obama’s so-called “pivot to Asia” has resulted in new military base agreements with Japan, Australia and the Philippines surrounding China and reflects an inability to fashion free trade agreements that exclude China.  Meantime, the US has militarily re-started the war and reentered Iraq and Afghanistan in addition to launching  new wars in Syria and the Ukraine.  It is clear that the primacy of the militarist faction is still the determinant factor in shaping imperial state policies.

The imperial military drive is most evident in the US intervention in support of the coup in the Ukraine and subsequent financing and arming of the Kiev junta.  The imperial takeover of the Ukraine and plans to incorporate it into the EU and NATO, represents military aggression in its most blatant form: The expansion of US military bases and installations and military maneuvers  on Russia’s borders and the US initiated economic sanctions, have severely damaged EU trade and investment with Russia.. US empire building continues to prioritize military expansion even at the cost of Western imperial economic interests in Europe.

The US-EU bombing of Libya destroyed the burgeoning trade and investment agreements between imperial oil and gas MNC and the Gadhafi government… NATO air assaults destroyed the economy, society and political order, converting Libya into a territory overrun by warring clans, gangs, terrorists and armed thuggery.

Over the past half century, the political leadership and strategies of the imperial state have changed dramatically.  During the period between 1975 – 1990, MNC played a central role in defining the direction of imperial state policy:  leveraging markets in Asia; negotiating market openings with China; promoting and backing neo-liberal military and civilian regimes in Latin America; installing and financing pro-capitalist regimes in Russia, Eastern Europe, the Baltic and Balkan states.  Even in the cases where the imperial state resorted to military intervention, Yugoslavia and Iraq, , the bombings led to favorable economic opportunities for US MNC .The Bush Sr regime promoted US oil interests via an oil   for food agreement with Saddam Hussein Iin Iraq

Clinton promoted free market regimes in the mini-states resulting from the break-up of socialist Yugoslavia .

However, the imperial state’s leadership and policies shifted dramatically during the late 1990’s onward.  President Clinton’s imperial state was composed of  long-standing MNC represntatives , Wall Street bankers and newly ascending militarist Zionist officials.

The result was a hybrid policy in which the imperial state actively promoted MNC opportunities under neo-liberal regimes in the ex-Communist countries of Europe and Latin America,and expanded MNC ties with China and Viet Nam while launching destructive military interventions in Somalia, Yugoslavia and Iraq.

The ‘balance of forces’ within the imperialist state shifted dramatically in favor the militarist-Zionist faction with 9/11:the terrorist attack of dubious origens  and  false flag demolitions in New York and Washington served to entrench the militarists in control of a vastly expanded  imperial state apparatus.  As a consequence of 9/11 the militarist-Zionist faction of the imperial state  subordinated the interests of the MNC to its strategy of total wars.  This in turn led to the invasion, occupation and destruction of civilian infrastructure in Iraq and Afghanistan (instead of harnessing it to MNC expansion).  The US colonial regime dismantled the Iraqui state (instead of re-ordering it to serve the MNC).  The assassination and forced out -migration of millions of skilled professionals, administrators, police and military officials crippled any economic recovery (instead of their incorporation as servants of the colonial state and MNC).

The militarist-Zionist ascendancy in the imperial state introduced major changes in policy, orientation , priorities and the modus operandi of US imperialism.  The ideology of the “global war on terror” replaced the MNC doctrine of promoting “economic globalization”.

Perpetual wars (“terrorists” were not confined to place and time) replaced limited wars or interventions directed at opening markets or changing regimes which would implement neo-liberal policies benefiting US MNC.

The locus of imperial state activity shifted from exploiting economic opportunities, in Asia, Latin America and the ex-Communist countries of Eastern Europe to wars in the Middle East, South Asia and North Africa – targeting Moslem countries which opposed Israel’s colonial expansion in Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and elsewhere.

The new militarist – power configuration’s conception of empire building required vast – trillion dollar – expenditures, without care or thought of returns to private capital.  In contrast, under the hegemony of the MNC, the imperial state, intervened to secure concessions of oil, gas and minerals in Latin America and the Middle East.The costs of military conquest were more than compensated by the returns to the MNC.  The militarist imperial state configuration pillaged the US Treasury to finance its occupations, financing a vast army of corrupt colonial collaborators, private mercenary ‘military contractors’and,soon to be millionaire, US military procurement (sic) officials.

Previously, MNC directed overseas exploitation led to healthy returns to the US Treasury both in terms of direct tax payments and via the revenues generated from trade and the processing of raw materials.

Over the past decade and a half, the biggest and most stable returns to the MNC take place in regions and countries where the militarized imperial state is least involved – China, Latin America and Europe.  The MNC’s have profited least and have lost most in areas of greatest imperial state involvement.

The ‘war zones’ that extend from Libya, Somalia, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Iran and Afghanistan and Pakistan are the regions where imperial MNC have suffered the biggest decline and exodus.

The main “beneficiaries” of the current imperial state policies are the war contractors and the security-military-industrial complex in the US.Oversees the statebeneficiaries include Israel and Saudi Arabia…In addition Jordanian, Egyptian, Iraqui , Afghani and Pakistani client rulers have squirreled away tens of billions in off-shore private bank accounts.

The “non-state” beneficiaries include mercenary, proxy armies .In Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia and the Ukraine , tens of thousands of collaborators in self-styled “non-governmental” organizations  have also profited.

The Lost-Benefit Calculus or Empire-Building under the Aegeus of the Militarist-Zionist Imperial State

Sufficient time has passed over the past decade and a half of militarist-Zionist dominance of the imperial state to evaluate their performance.

The US and its Western European allies, especially Germany successfully expanded their empire in Eastern Europe, the Balkans and the Baltic regions without firing a shot.  These countries were converted into EU vassal states.  Their markets dominated and industries denationalized.  Their armed forces were recruited as NATO mercenaries. West Germany annexed the East.  Cheap educated labor, as immigrants and as a labor reserve, increased profits for EU and US MNC. Russia was temporarily reduced to a vassal state between 1991 – 2001.  Living standards plunged and welfare programs were reduced.  Mortality rates increased.  Class inequalities widened.  Millionaires and billionaires seized public resources and joined with the imperial MNC in plundering the economy.  Socialist and Communist leaders and parties were repressed or co-opted.In contrast imperial military expansion of the 21st century, was a costly failure.  The ‘war in Afghanistan’ was costly in lives and expenditures and led to an ignominious retreat.  What remained was a fragile puppet regime and an unreliable mercenary military.  The US-Afghanistan war was the longest war in US history and one of the biggest failures.  In the end the nationalist-Islamist resistance movements – the so-called “Taliban” and allied ethno-religious and nationalist anti-imperialist resistance groups- dominate the countryside, repeatedly penetrate and attack urban centers and prepare to take power.

The Iraq war and the imperial state’s invasion and decade long occupation decimated the economy .  The occupation fomented ethno religious warfare.  The secular Ba’thist officers and military professionals joined with Islamist-nationalists and subsequently formed a powerful resistance movement (ISIS) which defeated the imperial backed Shia mercenary army  during the second decade of the war.  The imperial state was condemned to re-enter and engage directly in a prolonged war.  The cost of war spiraled to over a trillion dollars.  Oil exploitation was hampered and the US Treasury poured tens of billions to sustain a “war without end’.

The US imperial state and the EU, along with  Saudi Arabia and Turkey financed armed Islamic mercenary militias to invade Syria and overthrow the secular, nationalist, anti-Zionist Bashar Assad regime.  The imperial war opened the door for the expansion of the Islamic –Ba’thist forces—ISIS– into Syria .  The Kurds and other armed groups seized territory, fragmenting the country.  After nearly 5 years of warfare and rising military costs the US and EU MNC have been cut off from the Syrian market.

US support for Israeli aggression against Lebanon has led to the growth in power of the anti-imperialist Hezbollah armed resistance.  Lebanon, Syria and Iran now represent a serious alternative to the US,EU, Saudi Arabia, Israeli axis.

The US sanctions policy toward Iran has failed to undermine the nationalist regime and has totally undercut the economic opportunities of all the major US and EU oil and gas MNC as well as US manufacturing exporters.China has replaced them

The US-EU invasion of Libya led to the destruction of the economy and the flight of billions in MNC investments and the disruption of exports.

The US imperial states’ seizure of power via a proxy coup in Kiev, provoked a  powerful anti-imperialist rebellion led by armed militia in the East (Donetsk and Luhansk) and the decimation of the Ukraine economy.

In summary, the military-Zionist takeover of the imperial state has led to prolonged, unwinnable costly wars which have undermined markets and investment sites for US MNC.  Imperial militarism has undermined the imperial economic presence and provoked long-term, growing anti-imperialist resistance movements, as well as chaotic, unstable and unviable countries out of imperial control.

Economic imperialism has continued to profit in parts of Europe, Asia , Latin America and Africa despite the imperial wars and economic sanctions pursued by the highly militarized imperial state elsewhere.

However, the US militarists’ seizure of power in the Ukraine and the sanctions against Russia have eroded EU’S profitable trade and investments in Russia.  The Ukraine under IMF-EU-US tutelage has become a heavily indebted , broken  economy run by kleptocrats who are  totally dependent on foreign loans and military intervention.

Because the militarized imperial state prioritizes conflict and sanctions with Russia, Iran and Syria, it has failed to deepen and expand  its economic ties with Asia, Latin America and Africa.  The political and economic conquest of East Europe and parts of the USSR has lost significance.  The perpetual, lost wars in the Middle East, North Africa and the Caucuses have weakened the imperial state’s capacity for empire building in Asia and Latin America.

The outflow of wealth, the domestic cost of perpetual wars has eroded the electoral foundations of empire building.  Only a fundamental change in the composition of the imperial state and a reorientation of priorities toward centering on economic expansion can alter the current decline of empire.  The danger is that as the militarist Zionist imperialist state pursues losing wars, it may escalate and  raise the ante ,and move toward a major nuclear confrontation:  an empire amidst nuclear ashes!

While Prime Minister Netanyahu points to the threat of Iran’s non-existant nuclear weapons program, amply documented Israel has developed an advanced nuclear arsenal, in defiance of international law.

The following documents released  by the National Security were first published by Global Research in July 2013. (M.Ch, GR Editor).

Previously Secret Documents Show That Canadian Intelligence Discovered That Israel Purchased Yellowcake from Argentina in 1963-1964

Information Later Shared with British and Americans, Who Accepted It after Hesitation

U.S. State Department Insisted that Uranium Sales Required Safeguards to Assure Peaceful Use but Israel Was Uncooperative and Evasive About the Yellowcake’s Ultimate Use

National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 432

For more information contact:
William Burr: 
[email protected]
Avner Cohen
: [email protected]

For more documents on the Israeli nuclear weapons program, see “Israel and the Bomb,” documents edited by Avner Cohen.

William Burr, National Security Archive, and Avner Cohen, James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, editors

Image: This and the three other photographs of the construction site near Dinoma in the Negev desert for Israel’s then-secret nuclear reactor were taken during 1960. It is difficult to identify precisely who took these photos, but information in a draft U.S. Intelligence Board post-mortem strongly suggests that British and U.S. military attachés took the photos. It is likely that these are the photographs described on pages 13 and 14 of that report. The plainly visible reactor dome undermined Israeli claims that a textile factory was under construction. These images of the reactor site, some of them classified secret or confidential, are located in State Department records at the National Archives. (Record Group 59, Records of the Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for Atomic Energy and Outer Space, General Records Relating to Atomic Energy, 1948-62, box 501, Country File Z1.50 Israel f. Reactors 1960)


During 1963-64, the Israeli government secretly acquired 80-100 tons of Argentine uranium oxide (“yellowcake”) for its nuclear weapons program, according to U.S. and British archival documents published today for the first time jointly by the National Security Archive, the Nuclear Proliferation International History Project, and the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies at the Monterey institute of International Studies (MIIS). The U.S. government learned about the facts of the sale through Canadian intelligence and found out even more from its Embassy in Argentina. In response to U.S. diplomatic queries about the sale, the government of Israel was evasive in its replies and gave no answers to the U.S.’s questions about the transaction.

These nearly unknown documents shed light on one of the most obscure aspects of Israel’s nuclear history-how secretly and vigorously Israel sought raw materials for its nuclear program and how persistently it tried to cultivate relations with certain nuclear suppliers. Yellowcake, a processed uranium ore, was critically important to Israel for fuelling its nuclear reactor at Dimona and thereby for producing plutonium for weapons. The story of the Argentine yellowcake sale to Israel has remained largely unknown in part because Israel has gone to great lengths to keep tight secrecy to this day about how and where it acquired raw materials for its nuclear program.

That Argentina made the yellowcake sale to Israel has already been disclosed in declassified U.S. intelligence estimates, but how and when Washington learned about the sale and how it reacted to it can now be learned from largely untapped archival sources. Among the disclosures in today’s publication:

    • French restrictions on Israel’s supply of uranium in 1963 made U.S. and British officials suspect that Israel would attempt to acquire yellowcake from other sources without any tangible restrictions to sustain its nuclear weapons program
    • A Canadian intelligence report from March 1964 asserted Israel had all of the “prerequisites for commencing a modest nuclear weapons development project.”
    • When the Canadians discovered the Argentine-Israeli deal they were initially reluctant to share the intelligence with Washington because the United States had refused to provide them with information on a recent U.S. inspection visit by U.S. scientists to Dimona.
    • U.S. and British intelligence were skeptical of the Canadian finding until September 1964 when U.S. Embassy sources in Argentina confirmed the sale to Israel.
    • The Israelis evaded answering questions about the transaction. When U.S. scientists visited the Dimona facility in March 1966 as part of the August 1963 secret agreement between Presiden Kenned and PrimeMinister Eshkol, they asked about the yellowcake but their Israeli hosts said that question was for “higher officials.”
    • In 1964 U.S. officials tried to persuade the Argentines to apply strong safeguards to future uranium exports but had little traction for securing agreement.
    • In 1965, while the CIA and the State Department were investigating the Argentine yellowcake sale, Washington pursued rumors that the French uranium mining company in Gabon had sought permission to sell yellowcake to Israel.

Ever since late 1960, when the CIA learned that the Israelis had been constructing, with French assistance, a major nuclear facility near Dimona in the Negev Desert, the United States and its close allies, Canada and the United Kingdom , and even its Soviet adversary, suspected that Israel had a nuclear weapons program under way.[1] Closely monitoring Israeli nuclear activities Canadian intelligence discovered the yellocake sale sometime in the spring of 1964 and soon shared this sensitive information with the British.

Convinced that the Canadian information confirmed Israel’s interest in nuclear weapons, a British diplomat calculated that the yellowcake would enable the Israelis to use their Dimona nuclear reactor to produce enough plutonium for its first nuclear weapon within 20 months. In light of these concerns, the British shared the information with the U.S. government; both governments were concerned about stability in the Middle East, which the Israeli nuclear program could threaten. Both wanted yellowcake sales safeguarded to curb the Israeli nuclear program and the spread of nuclear weapons capabilities worldwide.

According to the initial Canadian information-as well as additional details later gleaned by the U.S. State Department-in late 1963 Argentina had secretly negotiated a long-term contract with Israel to provide at least 80 tons of yellowcake. While the Americans and the British were initially somewhat skeptical about the accuracy of the Canadian report, subsequent investigations demonstrated that it was correct. Trying to ensure that uranium exports were safeguarded to prevent diversion into military programs, Washington complained to the Argentines about the unsafeguarded sale, then queried the Israelis, and applied intelligence resources to find out more about the transaction.

Washington found that the sale was irreversible and that it could learn nothing about its purpose, although it kept trying. The Argentines said they could only apply strong safeguards to future sales while the Israelis evaded all queries about the yellowcake, although as part of a high-level deal between President Kennedy and Prime Minister Eshkol from 1963 Israel had allowed U.S. government experts to visit their nuclear reactor at Dimona. The U.S. team apparently raised the Argentine yellowcake during a 1966 visit but the Israelis were not helpful in providing explanations. The CIA could not learn anything concrete about the transaction either.

As the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada had routinely acted with the utmost discretion when sharing intelligence information about the Israeli nuclear program, they kept the entire yellowcake sale secret. On this matter there were no leaks; the issue never reached the U.S. media then or later.

Israel’s interest in uranium is as old as the state itself. As early as 1949-50, Israel started with a geological survey of the Negev to determine whether and to what extent uranium could be extracted from the phosphates deposits there. Throughout the 1950s and early 1960s Israel explored the viability of the phosphates option, some pilots plants were built, but finally it was determined that it would be too costly.  Israel, therefore, had to find uranium from overseas sources.

For the Dimona project the Israelis initially had gotten uranium from France, but in the early 1960s Paris began to restrict the supply and Israel sought to diversify its sources by securing uranium from Argentina, South Africa and elsewhere.[2] Conversely, because the United States was worried about the Israeli nuclear program and its implications for stability in the region, it made efforts to monitor closely Israeli purchases of nuclear material and investigated the Argentine-Israeli deal. While Washington was then exploring ways to establish a global safeguards system to regulate nuclear supplies through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), nothing yet was available with any teeth, such as the future Nuclear Suppliers Group, to check such sales, much less restrict the Israeli nuclear program.

Early on when American, British, and Canadian intelligence tried to uncover the secrets of the Israeli nuclear program, they clearly understood that Israel needed a reprocessing facility to transform its spent reactor fuel into weapons-grade plutonium. For example, according to an October 1964 National Intelligence Estimate on nuclear proliferation a “major deficiency, in terms of a weapons program, is the lack of a plutonium separation plant.” Although the Israelis had told both the US and Canada that the Dimona facility would include a pilot plant for reprocessing, the widespread assumption was that it was probably too small to produce enough plutonium for a weapons program. That the original French design for Dimona included a large underground reprocessing facility (Machon 2) was one of Israel’s deepest nuclear secrets, which Mordecai Vanunu later revealed.[3] To this day, it is unclear exactly how much Western intelligence knew about the facility and exactly when and how it learned it.

The documents in today’s publication are from the U.S. and the British National Archives. All of the U.S. documents were declassified in the mid-1990s but have lingered in a relatively obscure folder in the State Department’s central foreign policy files at the U.S. National Archives. They may never have been displayed in public before as the file appeared to be previously untouched. A few of the British documents have been cited by other historians, including ourselves, but the fascinating story of British-Canadian-United States intelligence cooperation and coordination has also been buried in relative obscurity. The juxtaposition of U.S. and British records makes a fuller account possible, although some elements of the story remain secret, such as the identity of the Canadian intelligence source on the yellowcake purchase. Only Israeli and Argentine documents, however, can provide the full story of the yellowcake sale.

Photo: Alan C. Goodison (1906-2006), trained as an Arabist, worked on Israeli nuclear matters at the British Foreign Office’s Eastern Department in the mid-1960s. He coordinated the analysis and distribution of the sensitive Canadian intelligence report on the Argentine yellowcake sale. Goodison is shown in 1983 when he became Ambassador to Ireland (Crown copyright image from collection of Foreign and Commonwealth Office history staff; reproduced under United Kingdom Open License provisions)


THE DOCUMENTS

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office documents in this collection are Crown copyright material and are published with the cooperation of the United Kingdom’s National Archives. To meet the National Archive’s concerns about unauthorized commercial reproduction of copyright material, the British documents are published with watermarks.

A. Overviews and Perspectives

Document 1: Memorandum from Benjamin Read, Executive Secretary, Department of State, for McGeorge Bundy, The White House, “Israel’s Assurances Concerning Use of Atomic Energy,” 18 March 1964, with “Chronology of Israel Assurances of Peaceful Use of Atomic Energy and Related Events,” Secret

Source: National Archives, Record Group 59, Bureau of Near Eastern and South Asian Affairs, Records of Office of Country Director for Israeli and Arab-Israeli Affairs, Records Relating to Near Eastern Arms Initiative, box 1, Talbot in Spring 1964 & Exchange of Letters

This valuable chronology provides a record of the U.S. discovery of the nuclear reactor project at Dimona and the various pledges made by the Israelis, at various levels, in response to requests from the United States,that it was for peaceful uses only. Included in the chronology is an item about a meeting on 25 May 1963 where senior French diplomat Charles Lucet told CIA director John McCone that even though the French had helped build the Dimona reactor, “there might be a nuclear complex not known to the French.” Lucet further stated that the Israelis had tried to purchase “safeguard-free” uranium from Gabon but that the French government stopped the sale through preemptive purchases.

Documents 2 and 3:

2: Department of National Defence, Canada, Defence Research Board, Directorate of Scientific Intelligence, “Possible Israeli Nuclear Military Program,” by J. Koop, DSI Report 1/64, March 1964, Secret, enclosed with letter from A.R.H. Kellas to Allan Goodison, 8 October 1964, Secret

3: Letter from R.C. Treweeks, Defense Intelligence Staff, to Allen Goodison, 8 December 1964, Secret

Source: British National Archives, FO 371/175844

In the late winter of 1964, Jacob Koop, a career intelligence analyst at Canada’s Defence Research Board, prepared a detailed analysis of Dimona’s military potential.[4] Drawing on such intelligence sources as aerial photography, Koop’s basic conclusion was that the reactor had all of the “prerequisites for commencing a modest nuclear weapons development project.” According to Koop, once the Dimona reactor went “critical” it could produce enough plutonium for at least one implosion device by the end of 1965, and an increase in the thermal operating level would make it possible to produce one to two devices annually by 1966. A key question was how the Israelis would reprocess spent fuel into plutonium; Koop cited Israeli-Canadian discussions during Ben-Gurion’s visit in May 1961 when Israeli officials disclosed their intentions to build a “pilot-plant facility” apparently with a capability to produce around 300 grams of plutonium a year. To produce enough material for several weapons a year, however, the Israelis would need a larger reprocessing facility. They would also need a reliable supply of uranium, around 16 to 20 tons per year, to make it possible to change the reactor fuel annually or more often to ensure a steady supply of weapons-grade plutonium.

British officials found Koops’ analysis highly impressive. Arthur Kellas, a British diplomat in Israel, had acquired a copy of the study and in his forwarding letter observed that it was a “model of what these things should be.” Treweeks, with the Defence Intelligence Staff, later commended the Canadian intelligence study, declaring that “we agreed with what is said and with the conclusions.” Apparently the report had not been shared with U.S. intelligence because Treweeks asked that it be treated as “CANADIAN/UK EYES ONLY.”

B. France

Photo: Admiral Oscar A. Quihillalt (b. 1913), chief of the National Atomic Energy Commission, 1955-73, presided over the creation of Argentina’s nuclear establishment. In 1964, he bore the brunt of U.S. State Department inquiries about the yellowcake sale to Israel. This image shows him in 1967 when he was elected Chairman of the Board of Governors of the international Atomic Energy Agency (Image courtesy of Archives, International Atomic Energy Agency).

Document 4: US Embassy in France cable 3199 to Department of State, 8 January 1964, Secret

Source: National Archives Record Group 59, Department of State Records Subject-Numeric File, 1964-1966 (hereinafter SN 64-66 with file name) Inco-Uranium

This telegram, sent through the special “Roger Channel” used for intelligence subjects, refers to an earlier embassy message, number 2319, dated 12 Novembe 1963, which has yet to be found at the U.S. National Archives. That telegram may refer to French actions to halt the supply of uranium to Israel which were alluded to indirectly in this message. Much still needs to be learned about the details, but apparently in the spring of 1963, the French Foreign Ministry cut off the uranium supply to Israel in order to stop the nuclear program. [5] Jacques Martin, a French Foreign Ministry expert on nuclear matters, told U.S. embassy officials that the Israelis, who hadrefused to sign an agreement to purchase uranium exclusively from France, were looking for other sources, most likely Belgium and Argentina. Martin stated that the Dimona reactor could continue operations for only a few weeks without a supply of reactor fuel. It is worth noting that the U .S. government had recently learned that the reactor had just become critical and thus capable of producing plutonium.

Document 5: US Embassy in France cable 4529 to Department of State, 26 March 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

According to another Roger Channel message, the Israeli yellowcake supply problem was continuing, with the Israelis demanding to know why the French were holding up uranium shipments. According to Jacques Martin, the French replied that until Israel was ready to purchase only from France, allowing France “some control over the situation” [in Dimona], the restrictions would continue.

Document 6: Peter Ramsbotham, British Embassy Paris, to William “Willie” Morris, Foreign Office, 11 June 1964, Secret and Guard, with Minutes Attached

Source: FO 371/175844

On 11 June 1964, Peter Ramsbotham, chief of the chancery at the British Embassy in France, met with George Soutou, a senior official at the French Foreign Ministry. Soutou was quite frank about French concerns over Israel, acknowledging that the French believed that the Israelis were, at the least, attempting to “put themselves in a position to make a nuclear bomb, if they wanted to.” According to Soutou, the French-Israeli agreement required the latter to return spent fuel to France, which was keeping “meticulous” records of inputs and outputs. The problem was that the agreement was “loosely drafted” and it did not proscribe the Israelis from using non-French uranium for Dimona, although the French believed that such a proscription was in the agreement’s “spirit.” [6] Therefore, to enforce it, they had already “prevented the sale” of uranium from a former French colony (see Document 1). France would regard any further attempt at uranium purchases a “breach” of the agreement that would lead to the “denial” of further aid. In light of these considerations, Ramsbotham wondered whether the French should be told about the Argentine-Israeli secret deal given their view that any such sale would violate the agreement.

According to the attached minutes, Arkell at the Defense Intelligence Staff was willing to tell the French about the Argentine sale, if the Canadians gave their approval, although it was doubtful whether French denial of further assistance would have any more than a “delaying” impact on the Israeli program. Whether the French were actually told anything is still unclear.

Document 7: US Embassy in France cable 6049 to Department of State, “Franco-Israeli Nuclear Relations,” 11 June 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Apparently, Ramsbotham quickly passed to the Americans information from his talk with Soutou because that same day the U.S. Embassy in Paris provided some highlights of the meeting: the French by then did not want an Israeli weapons capability, but believed that the Israelis were seeking one. We say “by then” because it is clear that at earlier times, when Shimon Peres had negotiated and signed the original nuclear agreement with France in 1957, his French political counterparts, especially Prime Minister Maurice Bourgès-Maunoury, understood the nuclear deal as French assistance for Israel to create its own military deterrent regardless of the formal language, e.g., “peaceful use” reference, in the formal agreements aimed at providing France with political deniability. The uranium that France had supplied, under “loosely worded” safeguards, was formally agreed to be used for peaceful uses. The French had promised to terminate the agreement if they determined that Israel was circumventing it by finding a significant non-French source of supply.[7]

C. Argentina

Document 8: Letter from Alan C. Goodison, Eastern Department, Foreign Office, to A[rthur]R.H. Kellas, British Embassy, Tel Aviv, 29 April 1964, with minutes, Secret and Guard

Source: National Archives (Kew Gardens), FO 371/175843

In a highly classified (“Secret and Guard”) letter to Arthur Kellas, counselor at the British embassy in Tel Aviv, Alan Goodison of the Foreign Office’s Eastern Department disclosed the Argentina-Israel uranium deal. According to unconfirmed intelligence from Canada, Israel and Argentina had “signed an agreement for the sale of the entire Argentine production of uranium concentrate to Israel,” involving the transfer of 80-100 tons over 33 months. “This means that Israel now has virtually unlimited supplies of uranium free of safeguards.” Goodison was aware that the Dimona plant had already reached criticality and he further asserted, referring to recent intelligence (not further identified), that the Israelis already had plutonium reprocessing facilities. Given that, they would have enough plutonium for a weapon within 20 months. While Goodison had no proof that the Israelis planned to build nuclear weapons, “their anxiety to obtain such a large quantity of safe-guard free uranium suggests …sinister motives.”

The British were not aware that the Dimona initial design was based on having a reprocessing plant built underground from the very start, as Vanunu revealed in 1986, but Goodison was making an informed estimate about the trajectory of the Israeli program. He further reported that the Canadians were “reluctant” to provide the information about the Argentine-Israel deal to the Americans because Washington had “refused them information on their recent inspection of Dimona.”

The handwritten comments on the attached minutes are interesting in part because they highlight the extent to which British, like United States, intelligence did not realize how advanced and complete the Israeli commitment to a weapons capability was. According to one comment by one official (whose signature is difficult to read): “At least the Israelis wish to retain the option. At any fork in their nuclear road, when they are confronted with purely civil as against civil plus military paths, they will surely opt for the latter.” Evidently, he did not realize that Israel crossed that fork at the very beginning of its program. Career diplomat David Arthur Steuart Gladstone went further when he commented: “Also this surely throws light on recent Israeli pronouncements on the IAEA and safeguards. This only reinforces my earlier comments on that subject [and?] endorse the last sentence of Mr. Goodison’s letter,” That is, that the “circumstantial” evidence indicating a bomb project was “overwhelming.”

That Argentina had yellowcake to sell to Israel in the first place was the result of a nationalistic nuclear energy policy pursued by Admiral Oscar A. Quihillalt, the director of the National Atomic Energy Commission and an important player in the International Atomic Energy Agency. In 1956 Quihillalt signed a decree turning Argentina’s significant uranium resources into public property with the Commission controlling prospecting, production, and marketing. By the early 1960s, with the assistance of the U.S. Atoms for Peace program, Argentina had two research reactors, and plans for a power reactor.[8] In that context, a yellowcake production capability would be essential to accomplish future plans for reactors.

Document 9: Christopher Audland, British Embassy, Buenos Aires, to Alan Goodison, Eastern Department, Foreign Office, 4 June 1964, with minutes, Secret & Guard

Source: FO 371/175844

Christopher Audland, a political officer at the British embassy, learned from the Canadian chargé that the information on the Argentina-Israel uranium deal “did not originate in Buenos Aires.”[9] The Argentine National Atomic Energy Commission had also sold uranium concentrate to West Germany and made an earlier sale to Israel in 1962 (which the French learned about).[10] According to the minutes, the Canadians had asked the UK’s Defense Intelligence Service to pass the information to the CIA, but skeptical comments by the Agency were creating suspicions that the original report was “threadbare.”

Photo: Walworth Barbour (1908-82) was ambassador to Israel during 1961-73. He presided over the vain effort by U.S. diplomats and CIA officers to learn what Israel had done with the yellowcake. (Image from Still Pictures Branch, National Archives, RG 59-SO).

Document 10: RJ.T. McLaren, Eastern Department, Foreign Office, to British Embassy Bonn, 22 June 1964, Secret

Source: FO 371/175844

In this inquiry about West German purchases of unsafeguarded uranium from Argentina and a possible re-export to Israel, McLaren confirmed that the information about the Argentine-Israeli deal had been “passed to the Americans,” with Canada’s permission. Moreover, the U.S. State Department was also to be informed by Patrick Wright, with the British Embassy in Washington. The subject and the degree of Israeli-West German nuclear cooperation has been for years a matter of speculation, but firm factual knowledge about it is unavailable.

Document 11: Alan C. Goodison, Eastern Department, Foreign Office, to C. J. Audland, British Embassy, Buenos Aires, 22 June 1964, Secret

Source: FO 371/175844

Noting some inaccuracy in the Canadian report–Argentina could not have offered to sell its “entire production” of uranium if it was also selling concentrate to Germany and trying to sell it to Japan—Goodison asked Audland to “keep your ears to the ground” to find the “exact quantities” involved.

Document 12: D. Arkell, Defense Intelligence Staff, to R. J. T. McClaren, Eastern Department, Foreign Office, 1 July 1964

Source: FO 371/175844

While the British learned about 25 June that U.S. intelligence had information confirming the Canadian report, it must have been a shaky source. According to this letter from an official at the recently created Defense Intelligence Staff, [11] a skeptical reaction from Washington about the intelligence on the Argentine-Israeli sale led the Canadians-”our previous informants”-to “take a second look at the sources of the report.” Canadian intelligence was “now very doubtful about [its] reliability.” In handwriting, Arkell observed that this development “disposes” of the proposal to use the information to encourage the French to break off a supply relationship with the Israeli nuclear project.

Document 13:AR.H. Kellas, British Embassy, Tel Aiv, to Alan C. Goodison, 6 July 1964, Secret, excised copy

Source: FO 371/175844

Kellas in Tel Aviv was curious but somewhat skeptical of the claim in Goodison’s 29 April letter that the Israelis might have “facilities for plutonium separation.” The Embassy had “not seen such evidence and should be grateful to know what it is.” Whether Goodison wrote back about the evidence that he had mentioned in his 29 April letter is not clear. The existence of a plutonium separation facility was probably the crown jewel among Israel’s nuclear secrets, one that the U.S. inspectors did not uncover during all of their visits to Dimona through 1969.

Document 14: Department of State Airgram CA-528 to US Embassies in Israel and Argentina, “Israeli Purchase of Argentine Uranium,” 15 July 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

With the doubts about the Canadian report, the U.S. government decided to look into it. This joint CIA-State Department message reported “unconfirmed” intelligence of an Argentina-Israel deal struck on 3 November 1963. According to the reports, Argentina would sell the entirety of its uranium concentrate supply to Israel for three years without safeguards. The Department of State instructed the embassies to mount an intelligence collection effort to provide, by 1 September, specifics on the arrangement: the amount to be sold, cost, schedule, and any safeguards attached.

Unlike the British communications, which were signed by individual officials, the U.S. documents published here were organizational products, generally signed by ambassadors or the secretary of state. Prepared in a variety of offices at the State Department, some were drafted by officials from more than one government agency.

Document 15: Alan C. Goodison, Eastern Department, to C. J. Audland, British Embassy Buenos Aires, 21 August 1964, Secret

Source: FO 371/175844

Goodison reported that U.S. officials have had a “skeptical reaction” to the Canadian report because they had no information about an Argentine-Israeli deal and the Argentines had not reported exports to Israel in their Official Bulletin. If correctly reported, this was a surprisingly narrow and naive response.

Document 16: R.C. Treweeks, Defense Intelligence Staff, to Alan C. Goodison, Eastern Department, Foreign Office, 26 August 1964, Secret Guard

Source: FO 371/175844

The Defense Intelligence Staff had no information to support the Canadian report, although the Israelis may have had “exploratory conversations” on a uranium deal with Argentina. Moreover, “little evidence” supported the argument that the Israelis had a chemical separation plant at Dimona. As the world learned from whistle blower Mordechai Vanunu in 1986, a building near the reactor designated by the Israelis as a “laundry” masked an underground separation facility with six separate floors. This was part of the original French plan. It appears that none of the seven or so U.S. inspection teams that visited Dimona in the period 1961-69 had ever positively detected that underground facility It is still a puzzle whether and when U.S. intelligence, especially the CIA, became aware of the reprocessing facility and, if it did, whether any information was shared with the AEC-led inspection teams. John Hadden, the CIA station chief, was instructed not to have any contact with, let alone brief, the inspection teams.[12]

Document 17: US Embassy in Argentina airgram A-230 to Department of State, “Israeli Purchase of Argentine Uranium,” 2 September 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Whether the U.S. Embassy in Israel replied in time to meet the 1 September deadline assigned by the State Department in its 15 July directive is not clear (perhaps it was sent through CIA channels). Just past the deadline, however, the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires produced an “interim report” confirming the sale of Argentine uranium to Israel. The Argentines had authorized a total of 100 tons of “yellow cake,” at a minimum price of $15/kilogram, for sale to Israel. Sale contracts were permitted over a three-year period, beginning 1 January 1963 and shipments could be extended nine months from the end of that period. Proceeds of sales were to be used to purchase machinery and equipment for use in the atomic sector. According to a government decree, the uranium was to be used solely for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Document 18: D. Arkell, Defense Intelligence Staff, to Alan C. Goodison, Eastern Department, Foreign Office, 6 October 1964, Secret

Source: FO 371/175844

With the State Department receiving confirmation of the sale, U.S. intelligence was no longer skeptical about the Canadian report. According to a U.S. report which was made available to British intelligence, which in turn disseminated it to the Foreign Office, “an agreement was concluded between Argentina and Israel for the sale of at least 80 tons of U3O8.” Moreover, “recent … uranium exports had gone only to Israel.” The amount involved “is far in excess of that needed … to operate the Dimona reactor only for research purposes.” The Cordoba plant is “reported to be producing concentrate at the current rate of about 60 tons per year” and by 1966 Argentina should have no trouble “meeting contracts up to 100 tons of yellowcake.” Arkell agreed with the assessments but wanted to know how much uranium had actually been shipped.

Document 19: Department of State airgram CA-3992 to US Embassy in Argentina, “Israeli Purchase of Argentine Uranium,” 9 October 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Responding to the Embassy’s report, the State Department asked it to obtain as much information as possible on the end-use of uranium sold to Israel, and in particular on the issue of safeguards. If Argentina was not requiring safeguards on uranium exports, the Department instructed the Embassy to approach Argentine officials as soon as possible and present them with an aide-memoire discussing the importance of safeguards. The results of the approach should be reported to a Working Group to Review the IAEA Safeguards System. Working within the IAEA, the U.S. government had been trying to establish a “common front” in support of the application of safeguards on the “transfer of significant quantities of nuclear materials.” [13] Therefore, the Department asked the Embassy to convey to the Argentines that a sale made without safeguards “would represent a most serious breach in the efforts the U.S. and other western suppliers have made over the last ten years” to assure that “atomic assistance” is “appropriately safeguarded.” Also sent was an explanation of the technical basis for IAEA safeguards on natural uranium.

Document 20: US Embassy in Argentina cable 555 to Department of State, 19 October, 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Meeting with embassy officials, the chief of the National Atomic Energy Commission Admiral, Oscar A. Quihillalt, informed them that Argentine uranium sales agreements with Israel, or with any other country, had only general safeguard provisions stipulating that the uranium would be used peacefully. Argentina did not require reports, inspections, or any other independent verification that were loosely equivalent to Article XIII of the IAEA statute. Quihillalt observed that safeguards on natural uranium were impractical, and that other countries sold without safeguards. He had no definitive information on Israeli plans for use of the uranium.

Document 21: US Embassy in Argentina cable 578 to Department of State, 23 October, 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

During a meeting with Foreign Office officials, a U.S. embassy officer left a copy of the aide-memoire and the note on safeguards. Emphasizing that the U.S. did not object to the sale as such and was not suggesting that Israel intended to use uranium for non-peaceful purposes, the officer stated that the U.S. sought cooperation because of the principle that significant nuclear assistance should only be provided in accordance with appropriate safeguards. The Argentine diplomat refrained from comment because it was necessary to discuss the matter with the Argentine Atomic Energy Commission.

Document 22: US Embassy in Argentina cable 591 to Department of State, 27 October 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

During a discussion with Admiral Quihillalt and CNEA, Embassy officials provided the aide-memoire and the paper on IAEA safeguards. The Admiral was more receptive to the U.S. position than previously (he would later urge Argentina’s adherence to the NPT[14]) and was glad to know that Washington was not in touch with the Israelis about the sale.

Document 23: Department of State cable 549 to US Embassy in Argentina, 25 November 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Expressing concern over the lack of a response to U.S. questions on the reported uranium sale to Israel, the Department asked the Embassy to relay concern to the Foreign Office. The State Department, ACDA, and the AEC were considering more “representations” to Argentina and possibly to Israel if the Argentines did not respond. If possible, Embassy should indicate U.S. government “apprehension” over nuclear proliferation and sales of unsafeguarded uranium.

Document 24: US Embassy in Argentina cable 749 to Department of State, “Sale of Uranium to Israel,” 30 November 1964, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

The Embassy had delivered a note urging a quick response to the U.S. aide-memoire on safeguards; while the Argentines had not replied, the Foreign Office appeared to support safeguards, because of the proliferation risk and also domestic political interests. Moreover, requiring safeguards would establish that Argentina was a seller of nuclear materials for peaceful uses only. Even if the Foreign Office view did not reflect overall government thinking, the Embassy believed that an internal Argentina dialogue should take place before Washington made further representations. The sale was not yet public knowledge in Argentina.

Document 25: Alan Goodison to R.Treweek, Defence Intelligence Staff, 22 December 1964, Secret

Source: FO 371/175844

The Defense Intelligence Staff’s positive evaluation of the Canadian intelligence analysis (see Document 3) prompted Goodison to write to Kellas in Tel Aviv about it. Goodison further noted that the “reservations” (hesitations?) that the Foreign Office had about a possible date for an Israeli nuclear bomb were “no longer valid and that we must accept the end of 1968 [sic] as the earliest possible date.” As the Canadian report suggested an Israeli test by 1966, either 1968 was a typo or the Defence Intelligence Staff provided more detailed comments than are available in the file.

Document 26: Department of State cable 729 to US Embassy in Argentina, 2 February 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Months later, the State Department asked the Embassy to remind the Argentine government that it was awaiting a response to the U.S. aide-memoire on the uranium sale to Israel. The Department also asked the Embassy to review the “full extent” of Argentine exports of uranium so that the U.S. government had the opportunity to discuss any future transactions in advance.

Document 27: US Embassy in Argentina airgram A-691 to Department of State, “Argentine Sale of Uranium Oxide to Israel,” 3 February 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

The Embassy had gotten the Argentine reply ten days earlier so the State Department message the day before served as a reminder to translate the reply and send it on. During a meeting, Admiral Quihillalt observed that the deal with Israel had been concluded before the IAEA had finalized protocols for safeguards measures; therefore, Argentina did not feel it practicable to include reporting and inspection requirements. Nevertheless, he indicated that safeguards equivalent to those of the IAEA’s would be placed on future sales. The Admiral also observed that without a “general agreement between Western governments” on the application of safeguards to sales of fissile material, bilateral agreements between a few governments would not have much of an impact. Noting that the official Argentine response did not include an assurance about future exports, the Embassy observed that it would not follow up that problem without instructions from the Department.

Document 28: Department of State airgram A-163 to US Embassy in Argentina, “Argentine Sale of Uranium Oxide to Israel,” 27 April 27 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Responding to a request for instructions, the Department informed the Embassy that Washington had begun approaching other governments to establish a common policy on the mandatory application of IAEA safeguards to materials and equipment supplied to other countries. An approach to Argentina was to come in the future, when the IAEA was closer to an agreement. In the meantime, the Argentines should be requested to apply safeguards to future sales and if a deal with Israel was renegotiated the government should consider applying safeguards to uranium exports to that country.

Document 29: Department of State cable 7659 to U.S. Embassy in the United Kingdom, 3 June 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

This cable reports on a conversation between a British Embassy officer and one or two State Department officials. The Embassy officer reported that Israel’s purchases of uranium added up to 190 tons—more than what was needed for research. They recalled statements by Israeli Prime Minister Eshkol that Israel would not be the first country to introduce an atomic weapon to the Near East, but that it must retain the capability. The Embassy officer proposed a joint U.S.-British approach to Argentina on safeguards; the State Department official replied that such approaches had not been successful but he would be in touch with the British on this problem.

Document 30: US Embassy in Argentina airgram A-160 to Department of State, “EXCON: Argentine Exports of Uranium Oxide,” 21 August 1965, Confidential

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

A request by an Argentine Congressman gave the yellowcake sale to Israel a public airing, but the publicity did not get reported internationally. The Congressman asked the government questions, including how much uranium had been exported and whether Argentina had sold uranium to other countries. The Embassy planned to watch the results of the inquiry closely to get details on the specifics of the deal. Unlike a U.S.-Argentina controversy in 1963 over oil company contracts, which became highly public on both sides, the yellow-cake transaction was unreported abroad.[15]

Document 31: Department of State airgram CA-2198 to US Embassies in Argentina and Israel, “Israeli Purchase of Argentine Uranium,” 24 August 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Owing to discrepancies in the available data, the State Department requested, on an “alert basis,” several pieces of information: the total amount to be shipped under the 1963 contract, how much uranium had been shipped to Israel already, any information on a new agreement between the two countries, what safeguard controls did Argentina have in place, and the current status of operations at Argentine uranium processing plants. Citing a variety of diplomatic and intelligence reports from the previous year, the Department pointed out variations in the data on quantities shipped and terms of a new contract, among other issues.

Document 32: US Embassy in Israel airgram A-350 to Department of State, “Argentine Uranium,” 22 October 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

The Embassy in Israel reported that it had no information on Israeli uranium imports. Suggesting that the only way to obtain information was through a high-level inquiry to the Israeli Foreign Ministry, the Embassy requested specific instructions if the Department of State agreed. Signed by Embassy science officer Ralph Webber, the message received clearances from Ambassador Walworth Barbour, the military attachés, who reported to the Defense Intelligence Agency, and CIA station chief John L. Hadden.

Document 33: US Embassy in Argentina airgram 763 to Department of State, “Israeli Purchase of Argentine Uranium,” 10 April 1966, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Responding to questions in the Department’s August 1965 airgram, AEC representative Lester Rogers reported that the Embassy had no new information. As reported previously, language about safeguards in Argentina’s uranium sales agreements with Israel was very general. A table included data on annual production of uranium during 1958-1965, including dry tons of ore (U3O8/triuranium octoxide). Also provided was information on production capacities of the uranium processing plants at Cordoba and Malargue. A new facility planned for Cordoba would produce nuclear grade UO 2, used for reactor fuel rods, at 100 tons annually.

Document 34: Department of State cable 1250 to US Embassies in Argentina and Israel, “Israeli Purchase Argentine Uranium,” 11 May 1966, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

After making inquiries, the Department was unable to determine the location of the uranium sold to Israel by Argentina, but learned that it was in excess of Israeli requirements for peaceful use. A failure by the Israeli government to announce intended use could have an adverse effect on the political situation in region. Therefore, the Department would inquire at a high level about the location of the uranium. The Embassy in Argentina could inform the government if necessary, while the Embassy in Israel should await instructions.

Document 35: US Embassy in Argentina cable 1776 to Department of State, “Israeli Purchase of Argentine Uranium,” 26 May 1966, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

The Embassy did not believe it was advisable to inform the Argentine government of U.S. plans to ask the Israeli government about the location of the uranium.

Document 36: Department of State cable 1052 to US Embassy in Israel, 2 June 1966, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

The State Department directed Ambassador Barbour to advise the Israeli government that the Department was “generally satisfied” by the inspection of the Dimona plant. Barbour was further instructed to express concern over the lack of information supplied by technical personnel—implying these questions were posed to the Israelis during the U.S. inspection visit at Dimona—about the purchase and the location of the uranium ore from Argentina and to express hope that Israel would clarify the situation. According to the cable, in February 1966 Secretary Rusk had observed to Foreign Minister Eban that Israel apparently was following a policy aimed at creating “[nuclear] ambiguity” in the region, but in fact it created a great deal of “ambiguity” (uncertainty) in Washington about Israel’s nuclear intentions and its pledges for peaceful use. What Rusk meant was that that ambiguity undermined and eroded confidence in the pledges to the United States. Indeed, Rusk believed that Israel was playing dangerous games with its posture of nuclear ambiguity, signaling different messages to different players. Therefore as long as the Israelis were creating “apprehension” in Washington by not providing answers to questions about yellowcake, they should expect the U.S. to be “extremely clear and utterly harsh on non-proliferation.”

Document 37: US Embassy in Israel cable 1333 to Department of State, 15 June 1966, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Ambassador Barbour spoke with Foreign Minister Abba Eban along the lines of Department telegram 1052 [Document 36] and further asked about the location of the Argentine uranium concentrates. Eban remained noncommital and merely said he would inquire further among those who know (leaving the impression that as Israel’s foreign minister he knew little about atomic matters). This telegram is a bit cryptic because it refers to some unknown “attitude” issue on the part of Dimona director Yossef Tulipman and other managers ["technicians"] during the most recent Dimona visit by U.S. scientists. One may speculate that the attitude problem emerged when the Dimona managers were asked about the yellow cake and apparently refused to shed light on the matter. According to Israeli Foreign Ministry official Moshe Bitan, who served as a liaison with the American scientists, it was possible that the “technicians” were “unaware” of “such arrangements” because the information was for “higher officials” only. That Tulipman would not have full knowledge about an important supply of uranium to Israel is unlikely but Bitan had no incentive to clarify the situation to U.S. diplomats. Barbour further advised Eban that he would revisit safeguards in the future.

Document 38: US Embassy in Israel cable 7 to Department of State, 1 July 1966, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Barbour raised the Argentine uranium matter with Eban who said he would confer with Deputy Minister of Defense Zvi Dinstein “who keeps the store” [meaning: Dinstein now was Dimona' new political boss]. Eban said he would provide more information soon, but if he did so it has not yet surfaced in the archival record.

D. Gabon

Document 39: Department of State cable 131 to US Embassy in Gabon, 23 March 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

While the State Department was making inquiries about the Argentine sale, it also pursued recent intelligence that the Compagnie des Mines d’Uranium de Franceville, the French mining company operating in Gabon, had requested permission to ship uranium ore to Israel.[16] The source of the intelligence was not mentioned; it is not known, for example, whether the Israelis had approached company managers or officials in the Gabonese government. But knowing that a similar incident had occurred in 1963 (see Document 1), the Department wanted to explore the issue and asked the Embassy for comment and related information.

Document 40: US Embassy in Gabon cable 364 to Department of State, 8 June 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Belatedly responding to the Department’s query, the Embassy observed that uranium was a “most sensitive” matter in Gabon. Besides President Léon M’ba, only the Minister of the National Economy and Mines and his predecessor would know of any diversion and no information had come from those sources.Officials with the Compagnie de Franceville and French mining advisors, normally cooperative and helpful, were “evasive” and sometimes “hostile” when asked about uranium shipments to Israel. One official cited the difference in French and American nuclear policies, saying that no French official would divulge the information that the State Department sought. More information could come by formally raising the issue with the President of Gabon or the Foreign Minister.

Document 41: US Embassy in France cable 786 to Department of State, 11 August 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

Commenting on the Embassy’s report, the U.S. Embassy in France observed that the French controlled production and export of Gabonese uranium, with about 440 tons of uranium metal produced annually. Therefore, any diversions would occur under French and not Gabonese authority. The Embassy deferred to its U.S. counterparts in Gabon on Gabonese ability to secretly divert uranium ore without French permission. That, however, was “unlikely” in view of France’s success in 1963 to thwart a diversion.

Document 42: US Embassy in Gabon cable 157 to Department of State, 10 November 1965, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

During a recent visit to the Nounona uranium mines, Ambassador Bane learned that the entire production of processed ore went to France for metal extraction by the government’s Atomic Energy Agency. Given total control, if the French wished to supply uranium to Israel, it could do so without disclosure to the Gabonese government.

Document 43: US Embassy in Gabon airgram A-49 to Department of State, “Reported Diversion of Gabonese Uranium to Israel,” 11 November 1966, Secret

Source: SN 64-66 Inco Uranium

The embassy reported that the Gabonese Government had recently asserted that France was the sole procurer of its uranium and that the uranium did not cover France’s consumption needs, thereby excluding the possibility that Gabonese uranium could be resold to a third country. An Embassy comment stated that this did not exclude the possibility of diversion to Israel, but the Gabonese statement was consistent with the Embassy’s November 1965 message.


NOTES

[1] For background on Israeli nuclear history, see Avner Cohen, Israel and the Bomb (New York, 1998) andThe Worst-Kept Secret: Israel’s Bargain with the Bomb (New York, 2010). See also the documents in the “Israel and the Bomb” collection on the National Security Archive site.

[2] U.S. documents on the Israel-South African yellowcake connection have yet to surface, but Sasha Polakow-Suransky’s important book , The Unspoken Alliance: Israel’s Secret Relationship with Apartheid South Africa (New York, 2010) is invaluable on this and other matters; see 42-43.

[3] For a full account of the Vanunu revelations, see Frank Barnaby, The Invisible Bomb: The Nuclear Arms Race in the Middle East (London, 1989).

[4] Koop’s analysis, found in British records, has been previously discussed by Zachariah Kay in The Diplomacy of Impartiality: Canada and Israel, 1958-1968 (Waterloo, 2010), 41-42.

[5] Michael Bar-Zohar, Shimon Peres (New York, 2007), 252.

[6] Foreign Minister Couve de Murville had already acknowledged to President Kennedy that this was a problem. See Bar-Zohar, Shimon Peres, at 249.

[7] Bar-Zohar, Shimon Peres, 206-218; Avner Cohen, The Worst Kept Secret, 284 (note 6).

[8] Emanuel Adler, The Power of Ideology: The Quest for Technological Autonomy in Argentina and Brazil(Berkeley, 1987), 290-291. Typically, the Argentine military ran nationally-important industrial research and development organizations. See also Jacques E. C. Hymans, The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation: Identity, Emotions, and Foreign Policy (New York, 2006), 144.

[9] Audland wrote an interesting memoir, including a chapter on his diplomatic experience in Argentina, but it did not touch on the yellowcake episode. See Christopher Audland, Right Place – Right Time (Stanhope, 2004), 140-68.

[10] Bar-Zohar, Shimon Peres, 251.

[11] See Peter Davies, “Estimating Soviet Power: The Creation of Britain’s Defence Intelligence Staff, 1961-1965,” Intelligence and National Security 26 (2012): 818-841.

[12] Cohen, Israel and the Bomb, 175-94.

[13] See Astrid Forland, “Coercion or Persuasion? The Bumpy Road to Multilateralization of Nuclear Safeguards,” The Nonproliferation Review 16 (2009): 47-64, for a detailed account.

[14] Hymans, The Psychology of Nuclear Proliferation, 144-145.

[15] Dustin Walcher, “Petroleum Pitfalls: The United States, Argentine Nationalism, and the 1963 Oil Crisis,”Diplomatic History 27 (2013): 24-57.

[16] For background on French uranium mining activities in Gabon and French-Gabonese relations,see Gabrielle Hecht, Being Nuclear: Africans and the Global Nuclear Trade (Cambridge, 2012).

U.S. media is quick to blame Putin for the assassination of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov.

But Itina Khakamada –  a top ally of Nemtsov in the opposition – said the killing was “clearly not in Putin’s interest. It’s aimed at rocking the situation.”

Former Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev says the the killing is aimed at “destabilizing the situation in the country, at heightening confrontation” with the West.

Gorbachev says:

The assassination of Boris Nemtsov is an attempt to complicate the situation in the country, even to destabilize it by ratcheting up tensions between the government and the opposition.

Even the U.S. government’s Voice of America states – in an article entitled  “Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?” – that Putin loses much more than he gains by the assassination:

With the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, gunned down on a Moscow street, the fiercest critic of President Vladimir Putin has been removed from the political stage. But it remains to be seen whether, in death as in life, Nemtsov will remain a threat to Putin’s rule. 

Already, city authorities have approved a mass march for up to 50,000 people in central Moscow on Sunday. The march, expected to be far larger than the scheduled protest rally it replaces, will provide a powerful platform for Kremlin critics who suspect a government hand in Nemtsov’s death. 

Even officials in Putin’s government seem to sense the danger that the former first deputy prime minister’s martyrdom might pose, hinting darkly that Friday night’s drive-by shooting may have been an deliberate “provocation” ahead of the planned weekend rally. 

 

Además de las sanciones económicas quedan otros obstáculos que superar en el camino del restablecimiento de relaciones diplomáticas normales y apaciguadas. Primero, Estados Unidos debe quitar Cuba de la lista de países que patrocinan el terrorismo internacional. En efecto, la administración Reagan ubicó a Cuba en esta categoría por su apoyo a los movimientos revolucionarios e independentistas en América Latina y en el mundo. Hoy Washington justifica el mantenimiento de Cuba en dicha lista por la presencia de unos miembros de la organización separatista vasca ETA y de la guerrilla colombiana de las FARC en Cuba que se encuentran en la isla… a petición expresa de los gobiernos español y colombiano.Washington lo reconoce claramente en su informe: “El Gobierno de Cuba apoyó y auspició negociaciones entre las FARC y el Gobierno de Colombia con el objetivo de lograr un acuerdo de paz entre ambas partes”. Estados Unidos reconoce que “no hay información de que el Gobierno cubano haya suministrado armamento o dado entrenamiento paramilitar a grupos terroristas” y admite que “los miembros de ETA residentes en Cuba fueron reubicados con la cooperación del Gobierno español”. Washington justifica también la inclusión de Cuba en la lista de los países terroristas a causa de la presencia en la isla de refugiados políticos buscados por la justicia estadounidense desde los años 1970 y 1980. Ahora bien, ninguna de esas personas ha sido acusada jamás de terrorismo.[1]

Los 33 países de la Comunidad de Estados Latinoamericanos y Caribeños (CELAC) rechazaron unánimemente la inclusión de Cuba en la lista de países terroristas, asestando un serio revés a Washington. En una declaración publicada el 7 de mayo de 2014 la CELAC expresó “su total oposición a la elaboración de listas unilaterales que acusan a algunos estados de supuestamente apoyar y copatrocinar el terrorismo e insta al Gobierno de los Estados Unidos de América a poner fin a esta práctica” que suscita “la reprobación” de “la comunidad internacional y de la opinión pública de Estados Unidos”.[2].

En efecto, el establecimiento de tal lista se basa únicamente en consideraciones políticas. Conviene recordar que Washington mantuvo a Nelson Mandela, héroe de la lucha contra el apartheid, presidente de Sudáfrica de 1994 a 1999 y Premio Nobel de la Paz, en la lista de las personas involucradas en el terrorismo internacional hasta 2008. En cambio las monarquías petroleras del Medio Oriente aliadas de Estados Unidos e implicadas en el financiamiento del terrorismo internacional, particularmente del DAESH, no forman parte de la lista del Departamento de Estado.

Cuba exige también la abrogación de la Ley de Ajuste Cuba que adoptó el Congreso en 1966. Esta legislación, única en el mundo, estipula que todo cubano que emigre a Estados Unidos desde el 1 de enero de 1959, legal o ilegalmente, pacíficamente o por la violencia, consigue automáticamente al cabo de un año y un día el estatus de residente permanente. Por eso no hay ningún cubano en situación ilegal en el territorio estadounidense. Esta ley constituye una formidable herramienta de incitación a la emigración ilegal y permite a Estados Unidos arrebatar a Cuba su capital humano. Al mismo tiempo Washington limita el número de visas concedidos cada año a 20.000, lo que alimenta así la peligrosa y lucrativa industria criminal de la emigración ilegal.

En lo relativo a la problemática migratoria, La Habana pide también la abrogación de la ley gubernamental “Pies secos/pies mojados” que se adoptó a principios de los años 1990. Esa ley estipula que todo cubano candidato a la emigración interceptado en plena mar por las autoridades estadounidenses es automáticamente devuelto a Cuba. En cambio si llega a pisar tierra se beneficia de la Ley de Ajuste Cubano.

Guantánamo, que Estados Unidos ocupa ilegalmente desde 1902, constituye también un punto de fricción. En efecto, tras la intervención estadounidense de 1898 en la Guerra de Independencia de Cuba, Washington impuso la integración de la enmienda Platt en la nueva Constitución so pena de mantener indefinidamente la ocupación militar de la isla. Este apéndice legislativo, que hacía de Cuba un protectorado sin verdadera soberanía, estipulaba, entre otros asuntos, que Cuba tenía que arrendar a Estados Unidos un parte de su territorio por una duración de 99 años renovables indefinidamente… a partir del momento en que uno de los dos campos estuviera favorable a ello. Tras la abrogación de la enmienda Platt en 1934 se mantuvo la base naval de Guantánamo por la irrisoria suma de 4.000 dólares anuales. Desde el 1 de enero de 1959 el Gobierno cubano se niega a percibir la retribución anual y exige la devolución del territorio. Hasta hoy Washington rechaza toda idea de retirarse de Guantánamo.

El financiamiento de la oposición interna constituye también un tema de discordia entre Washington y La Habana. Ilegal según el Derecho Internacional, la legislación cubana y cualquier código penal del mundo, el apoyo a la disidencia cubana con el objetivo de derrocar el orden establecido ha sido uno de los principales pilares de la política exterior estadounidense respecto a la Isla desde 1959. Aunque esta política fue clandestina de 1959 a 1991 se volvió pública y reivindicada desde la adopción de la Ley Torricelli de 1992. En efecto, el artículo 1705 de dicha legislación estipula que se dedica un presupuesto al financiamiento de una oposición interna en Cuba. Se ratificó esta disposición en la Ley Helms-Burton de 1996 (artículo 109) y en los dos informes de la Comisión de Asistencia para una Cuba Libre de 2004 y 2006. Hoy Washington dedica como promedio 20 millones de dólares anuales a conseguir un “cambio de régimen” en Cuba, en flagrante violación del Derecho Internacional. Además los diplomáticos estadounidenses destinados en La Habana brindan regularmente apoyo material, logístico y financiero a los grupos de disidentes, mofándose de la Convención de Viena.

La Habana reclama también el fin de las transmisiones radiales y televisivas de Radio y TV Martí, respectivamente creadas en 1983 y 1990 por el gobierno federal, con el objetivo de incitar a la población a sublevarse contra el poder. Sus programas se destinan exclusivamente a Cuba y se difunden violando la legislación internacional sobre las telecomunicaciones, interfiriendo con las ondas cubanas.

Las autoridades de la isla exigen por fin que desaparezcan los grupúsculos violentos implicados en el terrorismo contra Cuba. Conviene recordar que el pueblo cubano fue víctima entre 1959 y 1997 de cerca de 7.000 atentados terroristas, organizados desde Estados Unidos, que costaron la vida a 3.478 personas e infligieron secuelas permanentes a otras 2.099, sin hablar de los innumerables daños materiales.

Luis Posada Carriles es un caso emblemático. Expolicía bajo la dictadura de Fulgencio Batista, antiguo agente de la CIA que participó en la invasión de Bahía de Cochinos, Posada Carriles es el autor intelectual de más de un centenar de asesinatos. Es particularmente responsable del primer acto de terrorismo aéreo del continente americano con el atentado contra el avión civil de Cubana de Aviación el 6 de octubre de 1976 que costó la vida a 73 personas, entre ellas todo el equipo juvenil de esgrima que acababa de ganar los Juegos Panamericanos. Posada Carriles es también responsable de la ola terrorista que golpeó la industria turística cubana en 1997, que causó decenas de víctimas y costó la vida a Fabio di Celmo, un turista italiano.[3]

No hay la menor duda en cuanto a la culpabilidad de Luis Posada Carriles. No hace falta prestar atención a las acusaciones procedentes de La Habana. En efecto, los informes del FBI y de la CIA son explícitos al respecto: “Posada y Bosch orquestaron el atentado con bomba contra el avión”.[4] Del mismo modo, en su autobiografía Los caminos del guerrero reivindica abiertamente su trayectoria terrorista. Por otra parte, el 12 de julio de 1998 Posada Carriles concedió una entrevista al New York Times en la cual se jactaba de ser la persona que había cometido el mayor número de actos terroristas contra Cuba, reivindicando la paternidad intelectual de los atentados de 1997. Según él, el turista italiano “se encontraba en el lugar equivocado en el momento equivocado”. [5] Hoy Luis Posada Carriles vive tranquilamente en Miami y Estados Unidos se niega a juzgarlo por sus crímenes.

Mientras no se resuelvan estas cuestiones, a saber, levantamiento de las sanciones económicas, retirada de Cuba de la lista de países patrocinadores del terrorismo internacional, abrogación de la Ley de Ajuste Cubano, devolución de la base naval de Guantánamo, fin del financiamiento de la oposición cubana y enjuiciamiento de Luis Posada Carriles, será difícil esperar una plena normalización de las relaciones bilaterales. Excepto el levantamiento de las sanciones económicas Washington no parece dispuesto, por ahora, a realizar cambios sustanciales en estos campos.

Por su parte Cuba ha expresado su disposición a discutir sobre las eventuales compensaciones para las propiedades estadounidenses nacionalizadas en los años 1960, de acuerdo con lo que manda el Derecho Internacional. Pero las autoridades de La Habana también han declarado que, en paralelo a esas negociaciones, deberá abrirse un diálogo sobre el costo causado por las sanciones económicas y la política de agresión contra la isla desde 1959, con las inevitables indemnizaciones.

En el diferendo histórico que opone Cuba a Estados Unidos conviene recordar una verdad poco considerada por les medios informativos. En este conflicto asimétrico hay un agresor –Washington– y una víctima –el pueblo de Cuba-. En efecto, al contrario que Estados Unidos, Cuba no ocupa ilegalmente y por la fuerza una parte del territorio estadounidense, no impone sanciones económicas a su vecino, jamás ha invadido Estados Unidos (Bahía de Cochinos) y nunca ha amenazado al pueblo estadounidense con una desintegración nuclear (crisis de los misiles). Por otra parte, La Habana no pide un cambio de régimen en Estados Unidos, no emite transmisiones ilegales y no financia a una oposición interna con el fin de derrocar el orden establecido.

Existe una condición previa indispensable para la normalización de las relaciones bilaterales entre ambas naciones: Estados Unidos debe renunciar a su objetivo estratégico de “cambio de régimen” y aceptar la realidad de una Cuba soberana e independiente. Todo intento de intromisión en los asuntos internos de la isla está condenado al fracaso pues La Habana no está dispuesta a negociar su sistema político o su modelo de sociedad, competencia exclusiva del pueblo cubano. Las únicas relaciones viables entre Cuba y Estados Unidos serán las que se cimienten en torno a tres principios fundamentales: la igualdad soberana, la reciprocidad y la no injerencia.

Salim Lamrani

Doctor en Estudios Ibéricos y Latinoamericanos de la Universidad Paris Sorbonne-Paris IV, Salim Lamrani es profesor titular de la Universidad de La Reunión y periodista, especialista de las relaciones entre Cuba y Estados Unidos. Su último libro se titula Cuba, the Media, and the Challenge of Impartiality, New York, Monthly Review Press, 2014, con un prólogo de Eduardo Galeano. http://monthlyreview.org/books/pb4710/

Contacto: [email protected] ; [email protected]

Página Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SalimLamraniOfficiel

 

[1] U.S. Department of State, «State Sponsors of Terrorism», abril de 2014. http://www.state.gov/j/ct/list/c14151.htm (sitio consultado el 9 de mayo de 2014).[2] Communauté des Etats latino-américains et caribéens, «Déclaration de la CELAC à propos de l’inclusion de Cuba dans la liste des Etats promoteurs du terrorisme», 7 de mayo de 2014. http://www.granma.cu/idiomas/frances/notre-amerique/8mayo-celac.html (sitio consultado el 9 de mayo de 2014).

[3] Salim Lamrani, Cuba, ce que les médias ne vous diront jamais, Paris, Estrella, 2009, p. 135-154.

[4] Federal Bureau of Investigation, « Suspected Bombing of Cubana Airlines DC-8 Near barbados, West Indies, October 6, 1976 », 7 octobre 1976, Luis Posada Carriles, the Declassified Record, The National Security ArchiveGeorge Washington Universityhttp://www.gwu.edu/ nsarchiv/NSAEBB/NSAEBB153/19761008.pdf (sitio consultado el 3 de junio de 2013).

[5] Ann Louise Bardach & Larry Rohter, « Key Cuba Foe Claims Exiles’ Backing », New York Times, 12 de julio de 1998.

 

Fuente: Especial y exclusivo para Al Mayadeen

Cleanup crews trying to mitigate Japan’s never-ending radiation crisis at Fukushima ran into more problems recently after sensors monitoring a drainage gutter detected a huge spike in radiation levels from wastewater pouring into the Pacific Ocean.

The Tokyo Electric Power Company says radiation levels were up to 70 times, or 7,000 percent, higher than normal, prompting an immediate shutdown of the drainage instrument. The first readings came around 10 a.m. local time on February 22, setting off alarms not once but twice as radiation levels spiked to extremely high levels.

“The levels of beta ray-emitting substances, such as strontium-90, measured 5,050 to 7,230 becquerels per liter of water between 10:20 a.m. and 10:50 a.m.,” reported The Japan Times. “TEPCO requires radioactivity levels of groundwater at the plant discharged into the sea to remain below 5 becquerels.”

TEPCO shut off leaky gutter, but radiation continued to spike throughout day

The gutter was quickly decommissioned to prevent further radiation emissions, but the leaks reportedly continued throughout the day, with radiation levels hovering between 10 and 20 times higher than normal. TEPCO says it doesn’t know what caused the sudden radiation spikes.

“With emergency surveys of the plant and monitoring of other sensors, we have no reason to believe tanks storing radioactive waste water have leaked,” stated a plant official to the media. “We have shut the gutter [from pouring water to the bay]. We are currently monitoring the sensors at the gutter and seeing the trend.”

Multiple major leaks reported as Fukushima generates 400 tons of new radioactive waste daily

Just four days prior to the leak, the International Atomic Energy Agency congratulated TEPCO for its continued cleanup efforts at the Fukushima site. This is despite numerous other radiation leaks, some of them quite major, that have occurred in recent months at the shuttered facility.

Back in October 2013, for instance, a failed transfer of radioactive wastewater from one storage tank to another resulted in more than four tons of highly contaminated sludge being dumped into the ground. Not long before this, 300 tons of radioactive waste reportedly leaked from another nearby storage tank.

As we reported earlier in the month, a worker actually died after falling into a radioactive storage tank during a routine inspection. The 33-foot container that swallowed the man is one of many at the site that holds a portion of the 400 tons of highly radioactive water generated daily at Fukushima.

Fukushima workers build one new storage tank daily, but this can’t go on forever

The Japan News reports that large storage tanks capable of holding up to 2,900 tons of contaminated water are constantly being built at the site, up to one new tank daily, in fact. At some point, though, other mitigatory measures will have to be implemented, as there’s only so much space available to build more tanks.

According to The Ecologist, the Reactor 3 fuel storage pond also still contains upwards of 89 metric tons of plutonium-based, mixed-oxide fuel that, should the pond leak or dry up, could result in another major reactor meltdown. Reactor 3, as you may recall, experienced a full meltdown back in 2011 that resulted in the reactor core falling through the floor to the bottom of the containment vessel.

The chart at the following link, which was put together just days after the tsunami and earthquake hit Fukushima, provides a visual breakdown of radiation exposures from various sources. It can be used to quantify the threat associated with each respective leak:
Blog.XKCD.com.

Sources:

http://www.abc.net.au

http://gizmodo.com

http://news.yahoo.com

http://gizmodo.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

http://the-japan-news.com

http://blog.xkcd.com

http://www.theecologist.org

Learn more:  http://www.naturalnews.com/048772_Fukushima_radiation_ocean_contamination.html#ixzz3T8nHP12o

That headline sounds crazy, right?  It must be untrue, right?  Well, read on, because you might be absolutely shocked by what you learn.  As you will read about below, the Obama administration has used al-Qaeda fighters and other radical Islamic groups in the past to topple governments.  And without a doubt, Barack Obama is absolutely determined to oust Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.  In fact, he came dangerously close to taking us to war with Syria earlier in his presidency before backing down in the face of overwhelming public pressure.  But what Obama wants to do in Syria has not changed, and he is using the same playbook that he used in Libya and elsewhere to get it done.

Of course on the surface Obama has “declared war” on ISIS.  He says that we must defeat them in Iraq and in Syria so that the group does not spread.  But when it comes to airstrikes, the Obama administration has had an “Iraq first” policy.  This has put ISIS on a defensive posture in Iraq, but this has actually encouraged expansion of ISIS in Syria.

ISIS is just following the path of least resistance.  Is Obama trying to discourage ISIS from committing troops and resources in Iraq because he actually wants them to focus on taking down the Assad regime in Syria?  Is Obama attempting to “herd” ISIS forces toward Damascus?  Those are some very important questions.  What we do know is that the size of the territory that ISIS controls in Syria has doubled since airstrikes began last summer

ISIS has almost doubled the land it controls in Syria since the US-led coalition began airstrikes against the extremist group in the summer, a new map has revealed.

The extremist group has continued to expand its ‘caliphate’, despite more than 800 airstrikes hitting targets in ISIS-controlled areas since last summer.

The map, created by the Coalition for a Democratic Syria (CDS), shows just how much land has fallen to ISIS – which now has a third of the country under its control.

Before the summer, the militants controlled just half that.

The following is the map that was created by the Coalition for a Democratic Syria.  As you can see, ISIS is now much closer to Damascus than when U.S. airstrikes first began…

image: http://endoftheamericandream.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/Coalition-For-A-Democratic-Syria.jpg

Coalition For A Democratic Syria

And it is funny how the U.S. military keeps making “mistakes” by air-dropping weapons right into the hands of ISIS.  The following is just one example of this phenomenon

An ISIS-associated YouTube account posted a new video online Tuesday entitled, “Weapons and munitions dropped by American planes and landed in the areas controlled by the Islamic State in Kobani.” The video was also posted on the Twitter account of “a3maq news,” which acts as an unofficial media arm of ISIS. The outfit has previously posted videos of ISIS fighters firing American made Howitzer cannons and seizing marijuana fields in Syria.

ISIS had broadly advertised its acquisition of a broad range of U.S.-made weapons during its rampage across Iraq. ISIS videos have showed its fighters driving U.S. tanks, MRAPs, Humvees.

We have the most sophisticated military on the entire planet and yet we drop weapons into the hands of the enemy by mistake?

Come on.

Meanwhile, Obama and many members of Congress continue to insist that we need to give lots more weapons to the “moderate rebels” in Syria.

But do these “moderate rebels” actually exist?

Ayad Jamal Al-din, a former member of the Iraqi parliament, is skeptical to say the least

The pressure on the Syrian regime, which is fighting ISIS, must be lifted. They should not try to strengthen the feeble Free Syrian Army [FSA]. There is no FSA. There is ISIS in Syria and Iraq. You cannot fight ISIS in Iraq, yet support it in Syria. There is one war and one enemy.

The U.S. should give up its hypocrisy. People are not brainless. How can it be that a State Department spokesperson talks about Iraq, and then a White House spokesman says: “We must pressure the [Syrian] regime so that it surrenders”? Surrenders to whom? To ISIS. Where is the FSA? There is no such thing. The war is one and the same.

And what the American people are not being told is that these “Free Syrian Army fighters” are continually defecting and joining forces with ISIS…

Up to 3,000 Free Syrian Army (FSA) fighters have defected from the organization and given ba’yah (religious payment; servitude) to the self-proclaimed Caliph of the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS), Sheikh Ibrahim Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, in the Qalamoun Mountains of the Rif Dimashq Governorate – these fighters belonged to multiple brigades that formed the conglomeration of the FSA.

As ISIS continues to spread their presence on the border of Lebanon and Syria, many rebel groups have found this organization more appealing than their predecessors due to their success in eastern and northern Syria. The Al-Qaeda linked Al-Nusra Front (Jabhat Al-Nusra) – who fought ISIS in Deir Ezzor – has seemingly repaired relations in eastern Lebanon and western Syria. The 2 militant groups have been spotted working together during armed engagements with loyalist forces in ‘Assal Al-Ward and Rankous.

So when we train “moderate rebels” in Syria, there is a very good chance that they will use that training and the weapons that we give to them to help ISIS take over that nation.

But Obama knows all of this.

He just wants to take down Assad.

And he has used this playbook before.  In fact, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi has released an interim report that claims that Obama “changed sides in the war on terror” in 2011 by arming al-Qaeda fighters and helping them take down Moammar Gadhafi…

The Obama White House and the State Department under the management of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton “changed sides in the war on terror” in 2011 by implementing a policy of facilitating the delivery of weapons to the al-Qaida-dominated rebel militias in Libya attempting to oust Moammar Gadhafi from power, the Citizens Commission on Benghazi concluded in its interim report.

In WND interviews, several members of the commission have disclosed their finding that the mission of Christopher Stevens, prior to the fall of Gadhafi and during Stevens’ time as U.S. ambassador, was the management of a secret gun-running program operated out of the Benghazi compound.

This is what our government does.

They are not even afraid to use al-Qaeda to achieve their twisted foreign policy goals.

So is Barack Obama actually trying to help ISIS take over Syria?

The evidence is mounting that this is indeed the case, and history tells us that he has done this kind of thing before.

Originally published three years ago in January 2012, this study confirmed what is now unfolding, a Worldwide process of nuclear radiation.

Note to Readers: Remember to bookmark this page for future reference.

Please Forward the GR I-Book far and wide. Post it on Facebook.

[scroll down for I-BOOK Table of Contents]

Originally published in January 2012

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GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE INTERACTIVE READER SERIES

Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War

The Unspoken Crisis of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)

I-Book No. 3, January 25  2012

Global Research’s Online Interactive I-Book Reader brings together, in the form of chapters, a collection of Global Research feature articles and videos, including debate and analysis, on a broad theme or subject matter. 

In this Interactive Online I-Book we bring to the attention of our readers an important collection of articles, reports and video material on the Fukushima nuclear catastrophe and its impacts (scroll down for the Table of Contents).

To consult our Online Interactive I-Book Reader Series, click here.

INTRODUCTION

The World is at a critical crossroads. The Fukushima disaster in Japan has brought to the forefront the dangers of Worldwide nuclear radiation.

The crisis in Japan has been described as “a nuclear war without a war”. In the words of renowned novelist Haruki Murakami:

“This time no one dropped a bomb on us … We set the stage, we committed the crime with our own hands, we are destroying our own lands, and we are destroying our own lives.”

Nuclear radiation –which threatens life on planet earth– is not front page news in comparison to the most insignificant issues of public concern, including the local level crime scene or the tabloid gossip reports on Hollywood celebrities.

While the long-term repercussions of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster are yet to be fully assessed, they are far more serious than those pertaining to the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in the Ukraine, which resulted in almost one million deaths (New Book Concludes – Chernobyl death toll: 985,000, mostly from cancer Global Research, September 10, 2010, See also Matthew Penney and Mark Selden  The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima, Global Research, May 25, 2011)

Moreover, while all eyes were riveted on the Fukushima Daiichi plant, news coverage both in Japan and internationally failed to fully acknowledge the impacts of a second catastrophe at TEPCO’s (Tokyo Electric Power Co  Inc) Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant.

The shaky political consensus both in Japan, the U.S. and Western Europe is that the crisis at Fukushima has been contained.

The realties, however, are otherwise. Fukushima 3 was leaking unconfirmed amounts of plutonium. According to Dr. Helen Caldicott, “one millionth of a gram of plutonium, if inhaled can cause cancer”.  

An opinion poll in May 2011 confirmed that more than 80 per cent of the Japanese population do not believe the government’s information regarding the nuclear crisis. (quoted in Sherwood Ross, Fukushima: Japan’s Second Nuclear Disaster, Global Research, November 10, 2011)

The Impacts in Japan

The Japanese government has been obliged to acknowledge that “the severity rating of its nuclear crisis … matches that of the 1986 Chernobyl disaster”. In a bitter irony, however, this tacit admission by the Japanese authorities has proven to been part of  the cover-up of a significantly larger catastrophe, resulting in a process of global nuclear radiation and contamination:

“While Chernobyl was an enormous unprecedented disaster, it only occurred at one reactor and rapidly melted down. Once cooled, it was able to be covered with a concrete sarcophagus that was constructed with 100,000 workers. There are a staggering 4400 tons of nuclear fuel rods at Fukushima, which greatly dwarfs the total size of radiation sources at Chernobyl.” ( Extremely High Radiation Levels in Japan: University Researchers Challenge Official Data, Global Research, April 11, 2011)

Fukushima in the wake of the Tsunami, March 2011

Worldwide Contamination

The dumping of highly radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean constitutes a potential trigger to a process of global radioactive contamination. Radioactive elements have not only been detected in the food chain in Japan, radioactive rain water has been recorded in California:

“Hazardous radioactive elements being released in the sea and air around Fukushima accumulate at each step of various food chains (for example, into algae, crustaceans, small fish, bigger fish, then humans; or soil, grass, cow’s meat and milk, then humans). Entering the body, these elements – called internal emitters – migrate to specific organs such as the thyroid, liver, bone, and brain, continuously irradiating small volumes of cells with high doses of alpha, beta and/or gamma radiation, and over many years often induce cancer”. (Helen Caldicott, Fukushima: Nuclear Apologists Play Shoot the Messenger on Radiation, The Age,  April 26, 2011)

While the spread of radiation to the West Coast of North America was casually acknowledged, the early press reports (AP and Reuters) “quoting diplomatic sources” stated that only “tiny amounts of radioactive particles have arrived in California but do not pose a threat to human health.”

“According to the news agencies, the unnamed sources have access to data from a network of measuring stations run by the United Nations’ Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization. …

… Greg Jaczko, chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, told White House reporters on Thursday (March 17) that his experts “don’t see any concern from radiation levels that could be harmful here in the United States or any of the U.S. territories”.

 

 

The spread of radiation. March 2011

Public Health Disaster. Economic Impacts

What prevails is a well organized camouflage. The public health disaster in Japan, the contamination of water, agricultural land and the food chain, not to mention the broader economic and social implications, have neither been fully acknowledged nor addressed in a comprehensive and meaningful fashion by the Japanese authorities.

Japan as a nation state has been destroyed. Its landmass and territorial waters are contaminated. Part of the country is uninhabitable. High levels of radiation have been recorded in the Tokyo metropolitan area, which has a population of  39 million (2010) (more than the population of Canada, circa 34 million (2010)) There are indications that the food chain is contaminated throughout Japan:

Radioactive cesium exceeding the legal limit was detected in tea made in a factory in Shizuoka City, more than 300 kilometers away from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Shizuoka Prefecture is one of the most famous tea producing areas in Japan.

A tea distributor in Tokyo reported to the prefecture that it detected high levels of radioactivity in the tea shipped from the city. The prefecture ordered the factory to refrain from shipping out the product. After the accident at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, radioactive contamination of tea leaves and processed tea has been found over a wide area around Tokyo. (See 5 More Companies Detect Radiation In Their Tea Above Legal Limits Over 300 KM From Fukushima, June 15, 2011)

Japan’s industrial and manufacturing base is prostrate. Japan is no longer a leading industrial power. The country’s exports have plummeted. The Tokyo government has announced its first trade deficit since 1980.

While the business media has narrowly centered on the impacts of power outages and energy shortages on the pace of productive activity, the broader issue pertaining to the outright radioactive contamination of the country’s infrastructure and industrial base is a “scientific taboo” (i.e the radiation of industrial plants, machinery and equipment, buildings, roads, etc). A report released in January 2012 points to the nuclear contamination of building materials used in the construction industry, in cluding roads and residential buildings throughout Japan.(See  FUKUSHIMA: Radioactive Houses and Roads in Japan. Radioactive Building Materials Sold to over 200 Construction Companies, January 2012)

A “coverup report” by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (May 2011), entitled Economic Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery  presents “Economic Recovery” as a fait accompli. It also brushes aside the issue of radiation. The impacts of nuclear radiation on the work force and the country’s industrial base are not mentioned. The report states that the distance between Tokyo -Fukushima Dai-ichi  is of the order of 230 km (about 144 miles) and that the levels of radiation in Tokyo are lower than in Hong Kong and New York City.(Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, Impact of the Great East Japan Earthquake and Current Status of Recovery, p.15). This statement is made without corroborating evidence and in overt contradiction with independent radiation readings in Tokyo (se map below). In recent developments, Sohgo Security Services Co. is launching a lucrative “radiation measurement service targeting households in Tokyo and four surrounding prefectures”.

A map of citizens’ measured radiation levels shows radioactivity is distributed in a complex pattern reflecting the mountainous terrain and the shifting winds across a broad area of Japan north of Tokyo which is in the center of the of bottom of the map.”

SOURCE: Science Magazine

“Radiation limits begin to be exceeded at just above 0.1 microsieverts/ hour blue. Red is about fifty times the civilian radiation limit at 5.0 microsieverts/hour. Because children are much more sensitive than adults, these results are a great concern for parents of young children in potentially affected areas.”

The fundamental question is whether the vast array of industrial goods and components “Made in Japan” — including hi tech components, machinery, electronics, motor vehicles, etc — and exported Worldwide are contaminated? Were this to be the case, the entire East and Southeast Asian industrial base –which depends heavily on Japanese components and industrial technology– would be affected. The potential impacts on international trade would be farreaching. In this regard, in January, Russian officials confiscated irradiated Japanese automobiles and autoparts in the port of Vladivostok for sale in the Russian Federation. Needless to say, incidents of this nature in a global competitive environment, could lead to the demise of the Japanese automobile industry which is already in crisis.

While most of the automotive industry is in central Japan, Nissan’s engine factory in Iwaki city is 42 km from the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Is the Nissan work force affected? Is the engine plant contaminated? The plant is within about 10 to 20 km of the government’s “evacuation zone” from which some 200,000 people were evacuated (see map below).

Nuclear Energy and Nuclear War

The crisis in Japan has also brought into the open the unspoken relationship between nuclear energy and nuclear war.

Nuclear energy is not a civilian economic activity. It is an appendage of the nuclear weapons industry which is controlled by the so-called defense contractors. The powerful corporate interests behind nuclear energy and nuclear weapons overlap.

In Japan at the height of the disaster, “the nuclear industry and government agencies [were] scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan’s civilian nuclear power plants”.1  (See Yoichi Shimatsu, Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant? Global Research,  April 12, 2011)

It should be noted that the complacency of both the media and the governments to the hazards of nuclear radiation pertains to the nuclear energy industry as well as to to use of nuclear weapons. In both cases, the devastating health impacts of nuclear radiation are casually denied. Tactical nuclear weapons with an explosive capacity of up to six times a Hiroshima bomb are labelled by the Pentagon as “safe for the surrounding civilian population”.

No concern has been expressed at the political level as to the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israel attack on Iran, using “safe for civilians” tactical nuclear weapons against a non-nuclear state.

Such an action would result in “the unthinkable”: a nuclear holocaust over a large part of the Middle East and Central Asia. A nuclear nightmare, however, would occur even if nuclear weapons were not used. The bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities using conventional weapons would contribute to unleashing another Fukushima type disaster with extensive radioactive fallout. (For further details See Michel Chossudovsky, Towards a World War III Scenario, The Dangers of Nuclear War, Global Research, Montreal, 2011)

The Online Interactive I-Book Reader on Fukushima: A Nuclear War without a War

In view of the official cover-up and media disinformation campaign, the contents of the articles and video reports in this Online Interactive Reader have not trickled down to to the broader public. (See Table of contents below)

This Online Interactive Reader on Fukushima contains a combination of analytical and scientific articles, video reports as well as shorter news reports and corroborating data.

Part I focusses on The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: How it Happened? Part II  pertains to The Devastating Health and Social Impacts in Japan. Part III  centers on the “Hidden Nuclear Catastrophe”, namely the cover-up by the Japanese government and the corporate media. Part IV focusses on the issue of  Worlwide Nuclear Radiation and Part V reviews the Implications of the Fukushima disaster for the Global Nuclear Energy Industry.

In the face of ceaseless media disinformation, this Global Research Online I-Book on the dangers of global nuclear radiation is intended to break the media vacuum and raise public awareness, while also pointing to the complicity of  the governments, the media and the nuclear industry.

We call upon our readers to spread the word.

We invite university, college and high school teachers to make this Interactive Reader on Fukushima available to their students.

Michel Chossudovsky, January 25, 2012

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PART I

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: How it Happened

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: What Happened on “Day One”?
– by Yoichi Shimatsu – 2011-04-16
Fukushima is the greatest nuclear and environmental disaster in human history
- by Steven C. Jones – 2011-06-20

Nuclear Apocalypse in Japan
Lifting the Veil of Nuclear Catastrophe and cover-up
- by Keith Harmon Snow – 2011-03-18

Humanity now faces a deadly serious challenge coming out of Japan — the epicenter of radiation.

VIDEO: Full Meltdown? Japan Maximum Nuclear Alert
Watch now on GRTV
-by Christopher Busby- 2011-03-30

Fukushima: Japan’s Second Nuclear Disaster

- by Sherwood Ross – 2011-11-10

Secret Weapons Program Inside Fukushima Nuclear Plant?
U.S.-Japan security treaty fatally delayed nuclear workers’ fight against meltdown
- by Yoichi Shimatsu – 2011-04-12

The specter of self-destruction can be ended only with the abrogation of the U.S.-Japan security treaty, the root cause of the secrecy that fatally delayed the nuclear workers’ fight against meltdown.

Fukushima: “China Syndrome Is Inevitable” … “Huge Steam Explosions”
“Massive Hydrovolcanic Explosion” or a “Nuclear Bomb-Type Explosion” May Occur
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-11-22

Accident at Second Japanese Nuclear Complex: The Nuclear Accident You Never Heard About

- by Washington’s Blog – 2012-01-12

VIDEO: New TEPCO Photographs Substantiate Significant Damage to Fukushima Unit 3
Latest report now on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-10-20

PART II

The Devastating Health and Social Impacts in Japan

VIDEO: Surviving Japan: A Critical Look at the Nuclear Crisis
Learn more about this important new documentary on GRTV
- by Chris Noland – 2012-01-23

Fukushima and the Battle for Truth
Large sectors of the Japanese population are accumulating significant levels of internal contamination
- by Paul Zimmerman – 2011-09-27

FUKUSHIMA: Public health Fallout from Japanese Quake
“Culture of cover-up” and inadequate cleanup. Japanese people exposed to “unconscionable” health risks
- by Canadian Medical Association Journal – 2011-12-30

FUKUSHIMA: Radioactive Houses and Roads in Japan. Radioactive Building Materials Sold to over 200 Construction Companies

- 2012-01-16

VIDEO: Cancer Risk To Young Children Near Fukushima Daiichi Underestimated
Watch this important new report on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen – 2012-01-19

VIDEO: The Results Are In: Japan Received Enormous Exposures of Radiation from Fukushima
Important new video now on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen, Marco Kaltofen – 2011-11-07

The Tears of Sanriku (三陸の涙). The Death Toll for the Great East Japan Earthquake Nuclear Disaster

- by Jim Bartel – 2011-10-31

The Severity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Disaster: Comparing Chernobyl and Fukushima

- by Prof. Matthew Penney, Prof. Mark Selden – 2011-05-24

Uncertainty about the long-term health effects of radiation

Radioactivity in Food: “There is no safe level of radionuclide exposure, whether from food, water or other sources. Period,” – by Physicians For Social Responsibility – 2011-03-23

71,000 people in the city next to the Fukushima nuclear plant “We’ve Been Left to Die” - 2011-03-19

Tokyo Water Unsafe For Babies, Food Bans Imposed – by Karyn Poupee – 2011-03-23

 

PART III

Hidden Nuclear Catastrophe: Cover-up by the Japanese Government and the Corporate Media

VIDEO: Japanese Government Insiders Reveal Fukushima Secrets
GRTV Behind the Headlines now online
- by James Corbett – 2011-10-06

Fukushima and the Mass Media Meltdown
The Repercussions of a Pro-Nuclear Corporate Press
- by Keith Harmon Snow – 2011-06-20

Scandal: Japan Forces Top Official To Retract Prime Minister’s Revelation Fukushima Permanently Uninhabitable

- by Alexander Higgins – 2011-04-18

Emergency Special Report: Japan’s Earthquake, Hidden Nuclear Catastrophe
- by Yoichi Shimatsu – 2011-03-13

The tendency to deny systemic errors – “in order to avoid public panic” – is rooted in the determination of an entrenched Japanese bureaucracy to protect itself…

VIDEO: Fukushima: TEPCO Believes Mission Accomplished & Regulators Allow Radioactive Dumping in Tokyo Bay
Learn more on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen – 2012-01-11

The Dangers of Radiation: Deconstructing Nuclear Experts
- by Chris Busby – 2011-03-31

“The nuclear industry is waging a war against humanity.” This war has now entered an endgame which will decide the survival of the human race.

Engineers Knew Fukushima Might Be Unsafe, But Covered It Up …
And Now the Extreme Vulnerabilty of NEW U.S. Plants Is Being Covered Up
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-11-12

COVERUP: Are Fukushima Reactors 5 and 6 In Trouble Also?
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-11-14

Fukushima’s Owner Adds Insult to Injury – Claims Radioactive Fallout Isn’t Theirs

- by John LaForge – 2012-01-17

PART IV

The Process of Worldwide Nuclear Radiation

VIDEO: Japan’s Nuclear Crisis: The Dangers of Worldwide Radiation

- by Dr. Helen Caldicott – 2012-01-25

An Unexpected Mortality Increase in the US Follows Arrival of Radioactive Plume from Fukushima, Is there a Correlation?
- by Dr. Joseph J. Mangano, Dr. Janette Sherman – 2011-12-20

In the US, Following the Fukushima fallout, samples of radioactivity in precipitation, air, water, and milk, taken by the U.S. government, showed levels hundreds of times above normal…

Radioactive Dust From Japan Hit North America 3 Days After Meltdown
But Governments “Lied” About Meltdowns and Radiation
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-06-24

VIDEO: Fukushima Will Be Radiating Everyone for Centuries
New report now on GRTV
- by Michio Kaku, Liz Hayes – 2011-08-23

Fukushima: Diseased Seals in Alaska tested for Radiation

- 2011-12-29

Radiation Spreads to France

- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-11-15

Radioactive rain causes 130 schools in Korea to close — Yet rain in California had 10 TIMES more radioactivity

PART V

Implications for the Global Nuclear Energy Industry

 

Science with a Skew: The Nuclear Power Industry After Chernobyl and Fukushima
- by Gayle Greene – 2012-01-26

After Fukushima: Enough Is Enough

- by Helen Caldicott – 2011-12-05

VIDEO: Radiation Coverups Confirmed: Los Alamos, Fort Calhoun, Fukushima, TSA
New Sunday Report now on GRTV
- by James Corbett – 2011-07-04

VIDEO: Why Fukushima Can Happen Here: What the NRC and Nuclear Industry Don’t Want You to Know
Watch now on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen, David Lochbaum – 2011-07-12

VIDEO: Safety Problems in all Reactors Designed Like Fukushima
Learn more on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-09-26

VIDEO: Proper Regulation of Nuclear Power has been Coopted Worldwide
Explore the issues on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-10-05

VIDEO: New Nuclear Reactors Do Not Consider Fukushima Design Flaws
Find out more on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-11-24

Nuclear Energy: Profit Driven Industry
“Nuclear Can Be Safe Or It Can Be Cheap … But It Can’t Be Both”
- by Washington’s Blog – 2011-12-23

VIDEO: Fukushima and the Fall of the Nuclear Priesthood
Watch the new GRTV Feature Interview
- by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-10-22

Why is there a Media Blackout on Nuclear Incident at Fort Calhoun in Nebraska?

- by Patrick Henningsen – 2011-06-23

Startling Revelations about Three Mile Island Disaster Raise Doubts Over Nuke Safety

- by Sue Sturgis – 2011-07-24

Radioactive Leak at Fort Calhoun Nuclear Power Station

- by Rady Ananda – 2011-07-01

VIDEO: US vs Japan: The Threat of Radiation Speculation
Dangerous double standards examined on GRTV
- by Arnie Gundersen – 2011-06-25

Additional articles and videos on Fukushima and Nuclear Radiation are available at Global Research’s Dossier on The Environment


TEXT BOX

 Nuclear Radiation: Categorization

At Fukushima, reports confirm that alpha, beta, gamma particles and neutrons have been released:

“While non-ionizing radiation and x-rays are a result of electron transitions in atoms or molecules, there are three forms of ionizing radiation that are a result of activity within the nucleus of an atom.  These forms of nuclear radiation are alpha particles (α-particles), beta particles (β-particles) and gamma rays (γ-rays).

Alpha particles are heavy positively charged particles made up of two protons and two neutrons.  They are essentially a helium nucleus and are thus represented in a nuclear equation by either α or .  See the Alpha Decay page for more information on alpha particles.

Beta particles come in two forms:  and  particles are just electrons that have been ejected from the nucleus.  This is a result of sub-nuclear reactions that result in a neutron decaying to a proton.  The electron is needed to conserve charge and comes from the nucleus.  It is not an orbital electron.  particles are positrons ejected from the nucleus when a proton decays to a neutron.  A positron is an anti-particle that is similar in nearly all respects to an electron, but has a positive charge.  See the Beta Decay page for more information on beta particles.

Gamma rays are photons of high energy electromagnetic radiation (light).  Gamma rays generally have the highest frequency and shortest wavelengths in the electromagnetic spectrum.  There is some overlap in the frequencies of gamma rays and x-rays; however, x-rays are formed from electron transitions while gamma rays are formed from nuclear transitions. See the Gamma Rays  for more” (SOURCE: Canadian Nuclear Association)

A neutron is a particle that is found in the nucleus, or center, of atoms. It has a mass very close to protons, which also reside in the nucleus of atoms. Together, they make up almost all of the mass of individual atoms. Each has a mass of about 1 amu, which is roughly 1.6×10-27kg. Protons have a positive charge and neutrons have no charge, which is why they were more difficult to discover.” (SOURCE: Neutron Radiation)


“Many different radioactive isotopes are used in or are produced by nuclear reactors. The most important of these are described below:

1. Uranium 235 (U-235) is the active component of most nuclear reactor fuel.

2. Plutonium (Pu-239) is a key nuclear material used in modern nuclear weapons and is also present as a by-product in certain reprocessed fuels used in some nuclear reactors. Pu-239 is also produced in uranium reactors as a byproduct of fission of U-235.

3. Cesium (Cs-137 ) is a fission product of U-235. It emits beta and gamma radiation and can cause radiation sickness and death if exposures are high enough. …

4. Iodine 131 (I-131), also a fission product of U-235, emits beta and gamma radiation. After inhalation or ingestion, it is absorbed by and concentrated in the thyroid gland, where its beta radiation damages nearby thyroid tissue  (SOURCE: Amesh A. Adalja, MD, Eric S. Toner, MD, Anita Cicero, JD, Joseph Fitzgerald, MS, MPH, and Thomas V. Inglesby MD, Radiation at Fukushima: Basic Issues and Concepts, March 31, 2011)


Michel Chossudovsky is an award-winning author, Professor of Economics (Emeritus) at the University of Ottawa. He is the Founder and Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Montreal and Editor of the globalresearch.ca website. He is the author of The Globalization of Poverty and The New World Order (2003) and America’s “War on Terrorism”(2005). His most recent book is entitled Towards a World War III Scenario: The Dangers of Nuclear War (2011). He has taught as Visiting Professor at universities in Western Europe, South East Asia, Latin America and The Pacific, acted as adviser to governments of developing countries and as a consultant to several international organizations. Prof. Chossudovsky is a signatory of the Kuala Lumpur declaration to criminalize war and recipient of the Human Rights Prize of the Society for the Protection of Civil Rights and Human Dignity (GBM), Berlin, Germany. He is also a contributor to the Encyclopaedia Britannica. His writings have been published in more than twenty languages.

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Every day signs are looming larger than life as we know it in the wealthiest nation on earth that it’s about to crash and burn, forever changing not for the better. The latest wake-up call arrived in a Guardian article earlier this week. The story features a secret prison not unlike the CIA torture detention centers all over the world whereby the Chicago police hold rounded up US citizens for hours or days at a time for interrogation. The same internationally illegal roundups of suspected “potential terrorists” (which by latest Gestapo America standards can easily be you or me) that the CIA and military black ops deploy globally, are being covertly conducted not only in Obama’s hometown where his thug buddy Rahm rules, but likely every US city and soon coming to a neighborhood near you.

The complete loss of constitutional civil liberties where we can be taken in without warrant, locked up and shackled for indefinite periods of time, where to all our friends and family we simply disappear, those totalitarian Orwellian tactics are here today in secret CIA-like “black site” locations throughout the nation. Lawyers are summarily turned away. Those imprisoned are not booked nor entered in any record-keeping system, only to typically be beaten and shackled. It was determined that one man at the Chicago site already died while in custody. If this inhumane brutality hidden from public view is operating in one major US metropolis, it means that these secret police detention centers are no doubt also up and running in secret locations throughout America. This worst case scenario of police state USA is just one more nightmare come true. And this comes after it’s been determined that Americans are at least 100 times more likely to die at the hands of murdering police than in all other industrialized nations.

For numerous decades the United States has engaged in both high intensive and low intensive counterinsurgency and counterterrorism wars around the globe. But now in the twenty-first century all those same black ops wars have come home to roost right here in the land of the not-so-free. To police state USA all American citizens are the potential enemy. It’s also fair to say that the police in countless jails and prisons have unlawfully beaten and killed thousands of US citizens while in police custody over the years. Sadly, this form of murder in covert black sites where inmates are literally tortured to death takes police state brutality and slaughter to a whole new unprecedented level. And of course those of color and poor are most often the victims. Two years ago it was reported that a black man is killed by police every 28 hours. And with the deaths spiking last year, it’s more apt to be closer to every 24 hours now.

On a far less shocking and dramatic note, the latest FCC 3 to 2 vote on Thursday to “maintain net neutrality” has been treated in the press as a triumph for the people. Yet before we internet users celebrate, several keys factors still need to be pondered. We already know the overriding history in North America where giant transnational corporations enjoy more individual rights than us individuals in this age of globalism. The people may have averted a disastrous lost battle but the war of corporate greed winning out over the rights of people goes on. The FCC’s ruling declared that the internet falls under the rules and regulations of the telecommunications industry and we know what’s been happening there. Six corporate entities virtually control all the world’s major media outlets.

Secondly, the 300-page details of the FCC decision has yet to be released. Literally armies of telecom lawyers will be analyzing every line of 300 pages with a fine-tooth comb just searching for the myriad of potential loopholes by which the large corporate internet providers can find ways to squeeze additional money for the giants at our expense. Finally, the FCC has a special new rule called the “general conduct rule” whereby as in FCC Chairman Wheeler’s words, “it wants to referee” in getting to decide what it deems unfair or “hurts consumers, competition or innovation.” With such a vague and wide open birth, the FCC wields enormous power to interpret its 300 pages of new rules in what it considers running afoul of “proper conduct” and it may not be in favor of us internet consumers. Meanwhile, the telecom lawyers have unlimited time and money to finagle, lobby and court FCC’s favor, not unlike Big Business rules over the EPA in getting away with all kinds of unregulated pollution and Big Pharma literally owns the FDA.

Big Gov operates in deviously sneaky ways. It knows ruling against net neutrality now would cause a storm of fury in America that temporarily Washington is choosing at this moment to avoid. But as mentioned, the mountains of fine print perfectly suited for loopholes contained in 300 pages of rules can easily turn this ephemeral victory into another staggering long term defeat for the people. It’s simply akin to the hard kill being deferred to the soft kill strategy, quietly sneaking through little changes that in their totality will eventually peck away at net neutrality and ultimately kill it. We need to always remember that in recent years gov.corps is one entity that historically favors corporate greed and profit over the well-being of a bunch of humans. The power elite’s agenda remains to offer less internet services, less access to not only the internet but to particular websites that will come at higher prices to access in the future.

Indeed the growing threat of our tyrannical fascist government cutting off access to independent alternative news sites falling victim to state censorship is still very real and extremely foreboding. Increasingly the elite’s agenda is to disempower the global masses by keeping them ignorant, dumbed down and in the dark without any access to the truth. Taking away much of the World Wide Web is their sinister strategy that’s still operating at all times despite this recent decision.

The totalitarian government in Washington has realized that their propagandizing mainstream media machine has been rapidly losing its credibility and audience. Upwards of 4 out of 5 Americans today aren’t even tuning in to the likes of NBC’s Brian Williams’ fake show for MSM’s inaccurate reporting of the latest unfolding events in the globalized censored world. And that trend arrived long before we learned Williams turned out to be another mainstream liar.

The totalitarian government’s fusion into corporate fascism has long recognized that supplying the world with free internet allows the masses access to alternative independent news sites for far more accurate reporting of world news and developments. At increasing risk of censorship black outs and persecution, independent news strives to tell the truth to the rest of the world, exposing the official narrative of pure lies and evildoing perpetrated by the criminal syndicate acting as the rogue government. A continued free and independent internet news outlet making suppression of the truth difficult poses a real threat to fascism. That’s why free internet is still under attack.

The other reason the internet poses a threat to New World Order is its enormous capacity to provide instant global communication between billions of humans around the globe that together possess a potentially powerful resistance movement opposing the oppressive tactics being implemented by globalized multinational governments. Ultimately an awakened, informed and empowered citizenry of the world united in solidarity poses the biggest threat to global fascism and its New World Order. That’s why through Executive Order Obama has given himself supreme dictatorial authority to shut  down the internet in America under the pretense of a national emergency.

As another in-our face, over-the-top, draconian measure that reveals how today’s totalitarian police state is fast closing in on us is the feds’ agenda to impose its latest sinister plan to impose mandatory vaccine immunizations on every American adult as well as child. Since 9/11 the feds have been systematically stripping away all our liberties. But when forcing potentially lethal injections on us citizens against our will, the tyrants in Washington will likely have a real fight on their hands. With overwhelming evidence piling up indicating vaccines pose a deadly danger to millions of humans, the feds forcing injections on all US adults may be the catalyst that sparks a genuine grassroots revolt not unlike what the Boston Tea Party was to the American Revolution. With an increasing segment of the US population becoming sick and tired of their government’s rampant oppression, their battle cry may be “enough is enough with your abusive totalitarian bullshit.” The US government has long overstepped both its legal and ethical boundaries that the people may now be reaching the tipping point toward active rebellion.

Of course everything gov.corps does has an intended purpose. With this latest Big Brother violation – the National Adult Immunization Plan (NAIC), it appears the feds are actually intending to create a national confrontational backlash. Ever since 9/11 they’ve been preparing for the civil unrest that they’ve been insidiously provoking and escalating. With the US police state fully militarized, mechanized and mobilized, apparently Washington’s nearing ready to unleash its absolute brutality full force against its own people.

In the same way the US lies and propaganda are attempting to demonize Putin as the bad guy excuse to start WWIII, baiting him to react to relentless over-the-top Empire transgressions, the feds are using the same demented strategy now on us too. They want Americans to react and oppose them so they can bring out their big guns and initiate those long awaited FEMA camp roundups we’ve been hearing about for years – all for the sake of quelling the unrest they themselves incite as their excuse to “restore civil order”. It’s downright demonic but unfortunately that’s where our nation and world appear to be heading, led by an elitist handful of sub-human psychopaths that within a short period of time are bent on killing off at least 90% of us currently inhabiting this planet.

The neocon 9/11 inside job shows more about the treasonous, demonic elements controlling the US government (along with Saudi-Israeli assistance) that executed nearly 3000 innocent Americans to justify waging permanent war around the world than it does 19 box-cutting Moslem terrorist-stooges borrowed from the Saudi government accomplice. Yet the evildoers responsible for 9/11 have targeted Islamic religion as their scapegoat and polarized the entire world with dozens of false flags purposely designed to demonize Moslems worldwide. By waging false flag terrorism events like January’s Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris, between Bush and the Obama regime they have maintained the US and the world in a constant state of emergency, using that designated status as their carte blanche false flag policy to get away with anything and everything evil.

As an example, with the total dismantling of the US Constitution since 9/11 that for more than two centuries guaranteed Americans their civil liberties, now the criminal syndicate of our shadow rogue de facto government currently in power is waging undeclared war against the American people. Meanwhile, increasing numbers of Americans at grave risk to themselves are growing boldly courageous enough to vocally object to the tyranny and criminality of the treasonous feds who’ve systematically violated both their oath to uphold and protect the Constitution and the Constitution itself as our nation’s no longer recognized rule of law. This criminal element inside our own government is not only killing innocent people around the world but is now beginning to brazenly murder innocent American citizens on US soil with increasing regularity. Recall Obama a couple years ago envisioning out loud his use of drones to kill citizens here in the US in the not too distant future. And now he’s selling killer drones to US allies that inevitably will fall into ISIS/al Qaeda hands as the rogue government’s fake enemy and true ally that will join the Empire in the slaughter of Americans.

For years the federal government has been arming and militarizing its robotic henchmen in preparation for waging all-out war against the mounting anger and civil unrest coming from the American people. The exponential growth of the Homeland Security Department and FEMA, the pathological surveillance state, the militarization of US police state, the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act that authorizes military force to break into our homes and arrest law-abiding US citizens without warrant, without charges and imprison Americans without due process or legal representation for an indefinite period of time, all of these highly disturbing developments act as hardcore evidence of the government’s not-so-hidden war against the American people.

For some time now Obama has been both secretly and not so secretively negotiating a full frontal assault on America with implementation of the nightmarish UN Agenda 21whereby under the rationale of sustainability the UN will work in conspired unison with DHS to relocate much of the US population away from rural and suburban areas into denser populated urban zones. According to their plan, the US has already been broken down into various regional sections most of which will end up unpopulated. Similar to the method of how “national security” has been used to cram down our throats in order to justify stripping us of all our rights and freedom, Agenda 21 uses the transparent façade of “sustainability” as its oppressive criminal excuse to confiscate and steal our homes and force people into federal urban housing. Counties throughout the States and beyond have been busily enacting Agenda 21 laws using eminent domain to illegally force people off their own land and property.

Those who object are labeled noncompliant dissidents joining the activists and journalists who’ve been protesting and exposing the federal crimes against humanity. They are the designated enemy to be rounded up and placed in the more than 1000 FEMA concentration camps that have been waiting to be filled. In the last decade Halliburton has contracted with gov.corps to refurbish and build hundreds of prisons throughout America. To justify mass murder and imprisonment, the feds are now openly calling those of us who object to their lethal madness homegrown terrorists. Yet it is they who are the true terrorist-traitors reigning terror, theft and destruction down on this entire planet. We law abiding citizens are determined patriots willing to stand up for our rights, indeed standing up for humanity and the very survival of our human species. Members of the ruling elite are the perverse, insane psychopathic criminal mass murderers.

The US government since 9/11 has turned the United States of America into a military-security-prison complex with multiple state and city information analysis fusion centersworking 24/7 around the clock in cahoots with militarized law enforcement and NSA surveillance creating dossiers on every single person in America. Those of us who object, resist and/or oppose the insanity of what’s happening will either be imprisoned or killed.

Obama has been secretly signing a host of Executive Orders (EO’s) without Congressional approval, many of which violate existing laws rendering his orders illegal. But the crime syndicate behind the current de facto government operates above all law. The criminals in power do not answer to anyone but the ruling elite. And though they’re all bona fide, soulless psychopaths, they’re utilizing their brute force to subjugate innocent, good people in bondage or worse yet, simply murdering them.

Perhaps the most graphically telling EO of all illustrating their sinister nature is Executive Order 13603, which grants Obama authorization to seize possession of every possible resource, from our property to “all food storage facilities” (meaning all food and water belonging to every person inside our homes). This extremist, maniacal edict is designed to enforce our submission, rendering us totally dependent on Big Brother government or face the obvious – starvation and extermination.

President Obama has quietly transferred his intelligence gathering apparatus from the superseded NSA now under the authority of the Department of Homeland Security. The reason is simple, NSA can only collect data but is not authorized to act on it. Now DHS does have federal authorization to act against all the dissident voices who’ve become outraged over how our government has betrayed the United States and our people. If not already, very soon DHS will be moving to lock up those observed and classified by NSA as targeted security threats who’ve been placed on growing watch lists. Among this list, a dissident’s gradient status as a security threat target is measured on how large a conduit disseminating the lowdown truth to the public that automatically places him or her at the top of the list to be silenced.

Neocon puppet Bush summed it up when he smugly pronounced, “You’re either with us or against us.” Ever since he uttered those words, the US population has become polarized into two growing divided camps. The one camp consists of the totalitarian enforcers that are members of the criminal government agencies having drawn the line in the sand with their massive bulk data collection separating themselves from their opposing camp – those of us citizens who disagree with their Orwellian nightmare-come-true. A third group of Americans are sitting on the fence, though leaning toward the oppressors as in the Stockholm syndrome, either employed in the Fortune 500 transnational corporations unwilling to bite the immoral hand that feeds them or part of the larger flock of sheeple representing Americans either too ignorant, weak or fearful who remain in denial or have stuck their head in the sand pretending or hoping that what’s happening above ground really isn’t happening at all. They are in for very a rude awakening.

Everyone part of this demonic system simply plays their part in doing what they’re told, not unlike the Nazi guards at the Jewish concentration camps during WWII. So now you can see why the psychiatric field has been co-opted and taken over by our Gestapo totalitarian government that represents the oppressive crime syndicate. Mental health clinicians are being mandated to brand anyone with a label in order to declare them certifiably ill with a mental disorder diagnosis that can be applied conveniently to anyone regardless of how stable, well-adjusted or strong their mental and emotional health may actually be. This labeling for control purposes will come in handy as to deciding who goes where under martial law.

Now you know why oppressive draconian laws have been springing up all over the country as well as globally usurping homeowners’ rights to even grow their own vegetable gardens in their own backyard. Harassing and shutting down community food co-ops that undermine local citizens’ resources and independence has been part of the feds’ agenda. In fact, anyone who is preparing to live off grid as a resourceful survivalist/prepper is also in their crosshairs. It’s even become unlawful in many municipalities to be a caring humanitarian these days. Serving food to the homeless in parks is now considered a crime across America.

For a long time Obama and the feds have been attempting to confiscate citizens’ Second Amendment rights to bear arms with the passing of stricter gun control legislation to such an extreme of using Sandy Hook as yet one more horrendous false flag. For that singular purpose, Obama has signed twenty-three Executive Orders on gun safety alone. Already early in 2015 Obama is at it again with his plan to take guns away from gun owners. His latest unilateral move is to ban a bullet commonly sold in local sporting goods stores that’s been among the most popular ammunition in America for generations, used in multiple rifles as well as a new kind of revolver. The catch here is the .223 caliber “green tipped” bullet is known to pierce bullet proof vests typically worn by police state nation. By outlawing and collecting all the most popular ammo and making it strictly for the feds’ use, when his government goes to war against Americans, it’ll obviously give his murdering death squads a distinct, unparalleled advantage.

During the global spread of the Ebola virus last August, Obama signed executive orders authorizing authorities to begin involuntarily rounding up and housing against their will the homeless and mentally ill to even include persons with known respiratory ailments (EO13295). All of these draconian measures demand total dependence and docility from its citizenry – or else. While Americans are now trapped in a domestic police state, cops are killing innocent people in the US every single day at an unprecedented, alarming rate. If you resist, you risk dying. And even if you don’t resist, you still risk dying.

The constant attack on citizens struggling to maintain their modest yet eroding standard of living desperately trying to stretch less money to cover the steadily rising costs of survival spells a very uncertain and even doubtful future for both Americans and people throughout the world. The ever-shrinking middle class in both North America and Europe is the inevitable, by designed outcome of globalization, privatization, destabilization, rising war and massive human impoverishment. The unstable future of the world feeds the emerging New World Order along with its demonically Orwellian control of the entire global population.

Ever since the breakup of the Soviet Union nearly a quarter century ago, the US as the sole global superpower has aggressively been surrounding the entire Russian border placing missiles on its doorstep aimed directly into Russia while the US Empire-NATO-European Union has co-opted as geopolitical puppets the entire former Soviet bloc nations of Eastern Europe including a number of Central Asian countries on the globalized chessboard hemming in Russia and China into checkmate position.

Despite this prodding, walled in aggression used as bait to manipulate Putin into reacting and fighting back, he has repeatedly outsmarted the US and its puppets by showing remarkable restraint. But the US has pushed him to the very limit. Understandably he has strengthened ties with neighboring China and formed an economic union with other emerging powers Brazil, India and South Africa (BRICS) in formidable economic self-defense. Just this week India’s cabinet approved of a BRICS development bank. Meanwhile, increasing financial reports have predicted that the US dollar and petrodollar as the standard international currency will be dropped. And that may spell economic disaster for the United States.

In response to the threat that the West poses, a coalition of nations in the East – Russia, China and India – have all been forced to prepare for the impending war the US Empire has been instigating. Clearly it is America and Europe that are the wrongful aggressors that have been deliberately setting the stage for World War III against nuclear-powered Russia and China. Also clearly in the court of world opinion, Putin is winning and once again Obama and his neocon aggressors are losing. The real problem though is all of us on earth might lose because of Obama and his puppet masters’ deadly games.

Everything in this world now is reversed from the way it once was and should be. It is painful to realize that we Americans were always brainwashed and taught that we were the good guys and the Russian and Chinese Communists were always the bad guy oppressors. However, now roles seem very much reversed whereas the relentless, instigating aggressor pushing for what could easily become nuclear war and the end of the world, American Empire has become the most dangerous rogue state on earth flailing in its final destructive acts before it collapses. The tragic irony and pathetic hypocrisy is that the United States always in its holier than thou self-righteousness criticized the totalitarianism of the Soviet Union and China. Yet it now appears that the darkest shadows of the gulag are operating as “black holes” right here in America, the land of the no longer free but the enslaved and the walking dead who haven’t awakened from their slumber of what used to be to find the once greatest nation on earth the most destructive predator spiraling into oblivion but seemingly determined to take the entire planet down with it.

In reality the US government is simply acting on orders from the ruling Western elite that has ordered destruction of the United States. The ruling elite has taken the entire human species hostage and like their Islamic State stooges, the psychopathic oligarchs are busily beheading the entire human civilization in a relentless combination of both soft and hard kill tactics designed to exterminate 90% of the global population. This is the first known human genocide – the earth’s sixth mass extinction and first caused by a handful of demonically possessed sub-human species that has been in control of planet earth for many centuries. We owe it to all life on planet earth to fight back.

 Joachim Hagopian is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled “Don’t Let The Bastards Getcha Down.” It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master’s degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. He now concentrates on his writing and has a blog site at http://empireexposed. blogspot. com/.

Euro Banks versus Greek Labor

March 1st, 2015 by Michael Hudson

Transcript of Interview by Real News Network

SHARMINI PERIES: The four-month extension secured by the Greek finance minister, Yanis Varoufakis, on Friday came with the condition that Greece provide a list of measures to quell the concerns of its international lenders, especially the German banks represented by the finance ministers in Brussels, who feared that Athens might bail on the promises to cut spending and implement austerity measures. So, on Sunday, Athens provided that list. Now joining us to discuss the tabled plan is Michael Hudson. He is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His upcoming book is titled Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroyed the Global Economy. 

MICHAEL HUDSON, ECONOMICS PROF., UNIV. MISSOURI, KANSAS CITY: Thank you.

PERIES: So, Michael, these international banks represented by the finance ministers now in Brussels, when they were in crisis and we the public treasury bailed them out, they had no problem with that. Why are they now refusing to assist Greece at a time of need when in fact some politicians and even the troika is being more receptive to what Greece is saying?

HUDSON: Because what’s at issue really is a class war. It’s not so much Germany versus Greece, as the papers say. It’s really the war of the banks against labor. And it’s a continuation of Thatcherism and neoliberalism. The problem isn’’ simply that the troika wants Greece to balance the budget; it wants Greece to balance the budget by lowering wages and by imposing austerity on the labor force. Instead, the terms in which Varoufakis has suggested balancing the budget are to impose austerity on the financial class, on the tycoons and tax dodgers. He proposes that instead of lowering pensions for workers and retirees, instead of shrinking the domestic market, instead of pursuing a self-defeating austerity, we’re going to raise two and a half billion euros from the powerful Greek tycoons. We’re going to collect the back taxes they owe. We’re going to crack down on illegal smuggling of oil and the other networks and on the real estate owners that have been avoiding taxes, because the Greek upper classes have become notorious for tax dodging.

Tis has infuriated the banks. It turns out the finance ministers of Europe are not all in favor of balancing the budget if it has to be balanced by taxing the rich, because the banks know that whatever taxes the rich are able to avoid ends up being paid to themselves. So now the gloves are off and the class war is back.

Originally, Varoufakis thought he was negotiating with the troika, that is, with the IMF, the European Central Bank and the Euro Council. But instead they said, no, no, you’re negotiating with the finance ministers. And the finance ministers in Europe are very much like Tim Geithner in the United States. They’re lobbyists for the big banks. And the finance ministers said, how can we screw this up and make sure that we treat Greece as an object lesson, pretty much like America treated Cuba in 1960?

PERIES: Hold on for one second, Michael. Let’s explain that, because Yanis Varoufakis, the finance minister of Greece, is very well-briefed and very well-positioned to negotiate all of this. Now, why did he think he was negotiating with the troika when in fact he was negotiating with the finance ministers.

HUDSON: Because officially that’s who he’s negotiating with. He took them at their word. And then he found out–and yesterday, James Galbraith, who went with him to Europe, published in Fortune a description saying, wait a minute, the finance ministers are fighting with the troika. The troika and the finance ministers are fighting among themselves over what exactly is to be done. And to really throw a monkey wrench in, the German finance minister, Schäuble, said, wait a minute, we’ve got to bring in the Spanish government and the Portuguese government and the Finnish government, and they’ve got to agree.

Well, the position of Spain is to keep its Thatcherite neoliberal party in power. If Greece ends up not going along with austerity and saving its workers, then Spain’s Podemos Party is likely to win the next election and the ruling elite will be out of power. So Spain’s leaders are trying to make sure that Varoufakis and the SYRIZA Party is a failure, so that it can tell the working class, ”You see what happened to Greece? It got smashed, and so will you if you try to do what they do. If you try to tax the rich, if you try to take over the banks and prevent the kleptocracy, there’s going to be a disaster.”

So Spain and Portugal want to impose austerity on Greece. Even Ireland has chimed in and said, my God, what have we done? We have imposed austerity for a decade in order to bail out the banks. Even the IMF has criticized us for going along with Europe and bailing out the banks and imposing austerity. If SYRIZA wins in avoiding austerity in Greece, then all of our sacrifice of our population, all of the poverty that we’ve imposed, all of the Thatcherism that we’ve imposed has been needless and we didn’t have to do it.

So there’s a whole demonstration effect, which is why they’re treating Greece almost as a symbol for labor saying, wait a minute, we don’t have to impose austerity, we can collect taxes from the tax dodgers.

Remember a few years ago when Europe said, Greece owes 50 billion euros in foreign debt? Well, it turned out that the central bank had given to the Greek parties a list of tax dodger. It was called the Lagarde list (for Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF), featuring Greek tax dodgers who had Swiss bank accounts. These Swiss bank accounts added up to about 50 billion euros. So in a sense, Greece could pay off the debt that it’s borrowed simply by moving against the tax dodgers.

But this would be at the expense of the Swiss banks and the other banks. So in effect the banks would be paying themselves. And they don’t want to pay themselves. They want to squeeze income out of labor and let the tax dodgers and the Greek tycoons succeed in stealing from the government. So, in effect, the troika – not the troika really, as much as the finance ministers – are backing the tax dodgers and tycoons in Greece that SYRIZA is trying to move against. And the IMF is for once taking a softer position. Even President Obama has chimed in by apparently calling German Chancellor Merkel and saying, look, you can’t just push austerity beyond a point, because you’re going to push them out of the euro, and you’ll push them out of the euro on SYRIZA’s terms, where SYRIZA can then turn to the Greek population and say, we did what we promised here. We stopped the austerity. We didn’t withdraw from the euro; we were driven out as part of the class war.

PERIES: Michael, earlier you were also making an analogy between what’s going on in Greece and what happened to Cuba.

HUDSON: Cuba under Castro created an alternative social system. He wanted to spread the wealth around (it was a Marxist system in his way). He wanted to get rid of the crooks around Batista who were running the country, the rich who didn’t pay taxes, and he wanted a social revolution. So the American government worried that if Cuba succeeded, there was going to be a revolution all throughout Latin America. Latin Americans could realize that they can take over the American sugar companies, the American banana companies and make the rich pay the taxes and the corporations pay the taxes and the exporters pay the taxes, not simply labor. We can unionize labor, we can educate it – and if Cuba can educate labor, that would be a disaster for the neoliberal plan, because if labor’s educated and has a program, it will realize that there is an alternative to Thatcherism.

This is the problem that Varoufakis wrote about in an article earlier this month in The Guardian on how he came out of the Marxist movement. He said, the problem that we’re facing in Greece is that if we withdraw from the euro, if we’re forced out, there’s going to be an economic trauma. The left wing throughout Europe, as in America, doesn’t really have an economic program. It has a political program, but not really an economic program. So the only alternative to SYRIZA with an economic program are the New Dawn movement and the neo-Nazis. And what Varoufakis is worried about is that he’s not only contending with the European finance ministers on one front; he’s also contending on the Greek front with the right-wing parties that are the nationalist parties, like Marie Le Pen in France – the parties that are saying, yes, we have an alternative: withdraw from the euro.

But it’s not the kind of withdrawal and alternative that the left wing would have, because there really isn’t much of a left wing in Greece, apart from the small SYRIZA party, certainly not Papandreou’s socialist party, and certainly not the nominally socialist party in Spain, which is a Thatcherite party, and it’s certainly not the British Labour Party, which has gone the way of Tony Blair.

So the problem is that Varoufakis has about four months to educate the Greek public in the fact that, yes, there is alternative, here’s what it is. The alternative to neoliberalism doesn’t have to be right-wing nationalism. There is a socialist alternative, and we’re trying to work out as many arrangements we can, so if we’re driven out of the euro and if the banks go under, we have a fallback plan. He can’t come right out and say this is the plan right now, because it has to be made very clear that it’s the finance ministers of Germany, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, and Finland that are driving Greece out, not the IMF, not the European Central Bank, and not even centrist governments.

This is a transcript of Michael Hudson’s interview with Sharmini Peries on the Real News Network.  Thanks to counterpunch

Varoufakis vs. the Troika. Showdown in Athens

March 1st, 2015 by Mike Whitney

“Will the United States, Germany, the rest of the European Union, the European Central Bank, and the International Monetary Fund – collectively constituting the International Mafia – allow the new Greek leaders of the Syriza party to dictate the conditions of Greece’s rescue and salvation? The answer at the moment is a decided “No”. — William Blum, The Greek Tragedy, CounterPunch

“The Greek economy is finished…. There is no power, no force within the Greek economy, within Greek society that can avert – it’s like – imagine if we were in Ohio in 1931 and we were to ask: What can Ohio politicians do to get Ohio out of the Great Depression? The answer is nothing.” — Yanis Varoufakis, Greek Finance Minister

A disagreement over the terms of a deal to provide a bailout extension for Greece, has set the stage for a final clash between the Eurogroup and members of the Greek ruling party, Syriza.  Although the agreement was approved on Tuesday when a list of reforms were submitted by Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis to the Eurogroup, Varoufakis believes that changes to the original program give him greater flexibility to implement policies that will end austerity, reduce the ailing country’s primary budget surplus, and ease the humanitarian crisis that has persisted for 6 years.  Regrettably,  no one at the ECB, the European Commission or the IMF shares Varoufakis’s views on the subject. The so called “troika” thinks that Greece has signed on to essentially the same program that was in place before the negotiations, give or take a few cosmetic changes in the language. And because the program is the same, they think Varoufakis should stick with the same policies as his predecessor and ignore mounting public opposition to austerity. Given the irreconcilable differences between the two parties, there’s bound to be a violent confrontation in the near future that will lead to heated recriminations and, eventually, a Grexit.

To illustrate the widening chasm between Varoufakis and the members of the Eurogroup, consider the fact that, going into the negotiations, Varoufakis was determined to end the bailouts and secure a “bridge” loan that would shield Greece from default for a six month period of adjustment after which basic changes to the current austerity regime would be re-negotiated. While the Eurogroup agreed to change the term “program” to “agreement” and “troika” to “institutions”, in the minds of the EU finance minsters, the substance of the original deal, which was laid out in the hated Memorandum of Understanding, remained the same. Take a look at this excerpt from a letter from ECB president Mario Draghi and Eurogroup president Jeroen Dijsselbloem and you’ll see how this is playing out:

“I assume that it is clear, that the basis of concluding the current review, and also any future arrangements, will be the existing commitments in the current Memorandum of Understanding and The Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies  (MEFP). In this context we note that the commitments outlined by the authorities differ from existing programme commitments in a number of areas. In such cases, we will have to assess during the review whether measures which are not accepted by the authorities are replaced with measures of equal or better quality in terms of achieving the objectives of the programme.” (Naked Capitalism)

What Draghi is saying is that Varoufakis’s changes will be put under a microscope to see if they conform with the memorandum which Varoufakis believes no longer applies. The way this will work on a practical basis, is that additional money will only be meted out incrementally depending on compliance with, you guessed it, the old agreement. In other words, Varoufakis will not have a 4 month grace period to experiment with his pro-growth, anti-austerity economic policies. He’ll be expected to toe the line from Day 1.

Varoufakis either doesn’t understand what he signed or thinks he can implement his own plan without too much interference from the Eurogroup. Either way, there’s probably going to be a confrontation given the vast disparity in the way the agreement is being interpreted. In a Tuesday interview with CNBC, Varoufakis said that the new deal is fundamentally different than the previous agreement. He said:

“Some people have been insisting that the program that we’ve been under must surely be the program that we shall remain under simply refuse to understand that this has changed. So they keep insisting that that program is still on-going. Let me give you a very simple number. The program that we challenged compelled to the Greek government to extract 4.5% of the primary surplus every year in a depressed economy. We’ve changed that. Now surely that is not dismissed as simply a non-event and it’s business as usual, so it’s not business as usual we have a fresh start and now what matters is to use the opportunity of that fresh start in order to build something good on top of it. And we will endeavor to do this.” (“CNBC Exclusive Interview: Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, CNBC)

See? He sincerely believes that the old deal is history. But the troika, the Eurogroup, and the majority of people who have analyzed the new arrangement, disagree. They think everything is the same (which explains why critics on the right and left have repudiated the deal as a “climb-down, a capitulation and a sellout.)

In an interview with Nikos Hatzinikolaou on REAL FM, Greece, Varoufakis rejected the Memorandum while claiming that the new agreement represents “a huge success’ in ending the “recessionary measures” that are needlessly prolonging Greece’s Great Depression. Here’s what he said:

Varoufakis: “The current  government (Syriza) wants to say things with their name. I will explain it to you in very simple terms, Mr. Hatzinikolaou. As long as our debt is what it is, as long as Greece was bounded within this iron cage of primary surpluses that were impossible to achieve without killing whatever is left in the private sector, and as long we have a negative sign in investments (essentially, real investments), it was impossible to achieve this exit.

What we are trying to do – and have succeeded in doing so; it was a huge success, I’d say – is to create a four-month bridge during which we achieve the following:

First, the cancelation of the recessionary measures and the implementation of a transitional program we ourselves have made, one the Greek society will be able to withstand. This will help us negotiate during this four-month period a new contract between us and our partners with the goal of solving this system of three equations with three unknowns.

Hatzinikolaou: Thus, we are talking about a new Memorandum? ….

Varoufakis: OK. Let us be careful with the words. What does the Memorandum mean? … Let me remind you of what it comprises. It comprises the logic of continuous domestic [or internal] devaluation, of  huge primary surpluses in an economy that does not have a real credit system, where investments are negative, and at the same time where we have a series of measures that empower this recession.  This is the MoU. It is the automation, the a-politicization, and the subjection to the crisis.” (“The juicy interview of Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, Greek Analyst)

Varoufakis  appears to be saying that, in his view, the new agreement constitutes a rejection of the memorandum and, thus, is a de facto repudiation of austerity.  The question is whether Varoufakis is stretching the facts to give himself greater latitude to relieve Greece’s humanitarian crisis and to put Greece back on a sound path to growth.  While those are worthy goals, they are not likely to win the Eurogroup’s support. Check out this excerpt from a letter from the IMF to Dijsselbloem concerning the vagueness of Varoufakis’s reform package:

“In quite a few areas, however, including perhaps the most important ones, the letter is not conveying clear assurances that the Government intends to undertake the reforms envisaged in the Memorandum on Economic and Financial Policies. We note in particular that there are neither clear commitments to design the envisaged comprehensive pension and VAT policy reforms, nor unequivocal undertakings to continue already-agreed policies for opening up closed sectors, for administrative reforms, for privatization, and for labor market reforms. As you know, we consider such commitments and undertakings to be critical for Greece’s ability to meet the basic objectives of its Fund-supported program, which is why these are the areas subject to most of the structural benchmarks agreed with the Fund.” (Excerpt IMF letter posted at Naked capitalism)

Repeat: “We consider such commitments and undertakings to be critical for Greece’s ability to meet the basic objectives of its Fund-supported program.”  In other words, Greece should not expect to get its loan extension unless it follows the troika’s explicit orders on pensions, VAT (sales taxes), government cutbacks, privatization and labor market reforms.

So, what is Varoufakis’s approach to these benchmarks?

Let’s take a look at pension reform. In an interview with CNBC’s Julia Chatterley on Tuesday, Chatterley asked Varoufakis point blank, “So you’re ruling out pension cuts?”

Varoufakis: “Of course over the next four months there will be no such thing.” (CNBC)

How about raising the VAT tax?

Same thing. And in the interview on REAL FM Varoufakis covered the other policies that the troika sees as “critical”. Listen to this exchange:

Hatzinikolaou: My fundamental question about the e-mail is whether or not it entails layoffs in the public sector …, if it entails pension reductions … if it entails wage reductions?

Varoufakis: I will answer to all these questions, since these are very specific questions, and it is best that we speak forthrightly. My answer to all of these questions is NO, in NO WAY.”

Let’s summarize: No pension cuts, no higher VAT taxes, no lower wages for public workers, and no layoffs. While I admire what Varoufakis is suggesting, I can’t figure out how he’s going to convince the troika to give him more money.  Apparently, he thinks that streamlining the government and aggressively pursuing tax cheats will do the trick. Or maybe he has something else up his sleeve, like ignoring the terms of the agreement long enough to generate growth in the economy, lower unemployment, and create an improved environment for foreign investment. He might think that that will force the troika to acknowledge that austerity has failed and that pro-growth Keynesian strategies actually produce positive results. Of course, that’s just a guess on my part. It’s impossible to know for sure.

Here’s more of the interview with CNBC:

Varoufakis:   “The reason why we have this 4 month period is to re-establish bonds of trust between us and our European partners as well as the IMF in order to build a new, we call it, contract between us and our partners so as to put an end to this spiral, the debt inflationary spiral; reform Greece; and make sure that CNBC doesn’t care about Greece anymore, because we don’t want to be in the headlines for all the wrong reasons.” (“CNBC Exclusive Interview: Greek Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis“, CNBC)

The “bonds of trust” are going to  put to the test if Varoufakis doesn’t comply with the troika’s diktats, that’s for sure.

Varoufakis assumes that the troika doesn’t understand the impact of its belt-tightening policies. He seems to think that the punishment that’s being inflicted on Greece is just the unfortunate byproduct of debt reduction policy and not a deliberate attempt to crush the unions, roll back progressive reforms, decimate the welfare state, and reduce the country to a condition of “permanent colonial dependency.”    But that viewpoint is shockingly naïve, after all, the IMF has been in the looting biz for a long time and has a pretty good grasp of the effects its toxic policies.  They know what they’re doing, just like know that austerity is just a refinement of the “shock doctrine” which is the traditional way the elites exploit crises by imposing harsh, economy-demolishing reforms that only benefit themselves and their class. The men who conjure up these thieving schemes aren’t likely to be hoodwinked by Varoufakis’s vague reforms. They’re going to force Varoufakis to jump through all their respective hoops before he gets one dime of their precious money. Here’s Varoufakis again:

“There is going to be a great deal of toing and froing between us and the institutions and our partners but what we have established through stubborn refusal to succumb to the notion that elections change nothing over the past couple of months or weeks I should say is the notion that this government deserves to have a degree of room for policy-making that allows us to reform Greece and to carry the great multitude out there with us. This is the government for the first time in Greece that has the people behind it and it would be a terrible waste not just for us but for our partners to allow this wave of support to dissipate through non-action.” (CNBC)

Does Varoufakis really think he can pull this off?  Does he really think he can out-fox the slimy, authoritarian brigands and leg-breakers who run these extortionist institutions and who will use every means possible to extract the last drop of blood from their victim be he an aspiring, but penniless student at the university or a destitute pensioner huddling homeless and frozen in an abandoned doorway in downtown Athens?

This isn’t going to end well. Varoufakis had one card to play–the threat of leaving the Euro–and he failed to play it. Now his leverage is gone and the roof is about to cave in. Just wait and see.

The troika isn’t going to convene another dreary round of negotiations to rehash the same old nonsense. Those days are over.  They’re simply going to withhold the money, curtail liquidity assistance, and torpedo the Greek banking system. Kaboom! That’s the way this thing is going to go down. The mood among the EZ finance ministers has soured considerably since the last meeting. They want to put this whole thing behind them. They’re sick of it.  They want closure. They’re not going to quibble over issues they’ve already gone over and clarified a million times.  Varoufakis will either have to get with the program or face the consequences. That’s the way it works in Mafia-land; you either pay the piper or you find yourself in the East River in cement booties.

Who knows: maybe this is what Varoufakis wanted from the beginning, a ferocious clash ending in banishment, a Grexit.  Well, he won’t have to wait long now.

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].

The Iraqi popular forces who shot down a US helicopter carrying weapons for the ISIL forces in Al-Baqdadi region released the photos of the shot down chopper through the Internet.

A group of Iraqi popular forces known as Al-Hashad Al-Shabi shot down the US Army helicopter that was carrying weapons for the ISIL in the western parts of Al-Baqdadi region in Al-Anbar province on Thursday.

Last week, Head of the Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee Hakem al-Zameli announced that the helicopters of the US-led anti-ISIL coalition were dropping weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL terrorists in the Southern parts of Tikrit.

He underscored that he had documents and photos showing that the US Apache helicopters airdropped foodstuff and weapons for the ISIL.

On Friday the Iraqi security forces regained control of al-Baghdadi district from the ISIL terrorists.

“Iraqi security forces seized control of al-Shohadaa neighborhood and 13 Daesh (ISIL) militants were killed in the clashes,” Lt. Saoud al-Ibeidi said.

Iraqi forces on February 18 managed to end ISIL’s 10-day siege of al-Baghdadi district’s residential area and killed about 150 terrorists, according to police sources.

Last Monday, a senior lawmaker disclosed that Iraq’s army had shot down two British planes as they were carrying weapons for the ISIL terrorists in Al-Anbar province.

“The Iraqi Parliament’s National Security and Defense Committee has access to the photos of both planes that are British and have crashed while they were carrying weapons for the ISIL,” al-Zameli said, according to a Monday report of the Arabic-language information center of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq.

He said the Iraqi parliament has asked London for explanations in this regard.

The senior Iraqi legislator further unveiled that the government in Baghdad is receiving daily reports from people and security forces in al-Anbar province on numerous flights by the US-led coalition planes that airdrop weapons and supplies for ISIL in terrorist-held areas.

The Iraqi lawmaker further noted the cause of such western aids to the terrorist group, and explained that the US prefers a chaotic situation in Anbar Province which is near the cities of Karbala and Baghdad as it does not want the ISIL crisis to come to an end.

Earlier today, a senior Iraqi provincial official lashed out at the western countries and their regional allies for supporting Takfiri terrorists in Iraq, revealing that US and Israeli-made weapons have been discovered from the areas purged of ISIL terrorists.

“We have discovered weapons made in the US, European countries and Israel from the areas liberated from ISIL’s control in Al-Baqdadi region,” the Al-Ahad news website quoted Head of Al-Anbar Provincial Council Khalaf Tarmouz as saying.

He noted that the weapons made by the European countries and Israel were discovered from the terrorists in the Eastern parts of the city of Ramadi.

Al-Zameli had also disclosed in January that the anti-ISIL coalition’s planes have dropped weapons and foodstuff for the ISIL in Salahuddin, Al-Anbar and Diyala provinces.

Al-Zameli underlined that the coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“There are proofs and evidence for the US-led coalition’s military aid to ISIL terrorists through air(dropped cargoes),” he told FNA in January.

He noted that the members of his committee have already proved that the US planes have dropped advanced weaponry, including anti-aircraft weapons, for the ISIL, and that it has set up an investigation committee to probe into the matter.

“The US drops weapons for the ISIL on the excuse of not knowing about the whereabouts of the ISIL positions and it is trying to distort the reality with its allegations.

He noted that the committee had collected the data and the evidence provided by eyewitnesses, including Iraqi army officers and the popular forces, and said, “These documents are given to the investigation committee … and the necessary measures will be taken to protect the Iraqi airspace.”

Also in January, another senior Iraqi legislator reiterated that the US-led coalition is the main cause of ISIL’s survival in Iraq.

“The international coalition is only an excuse for protecting the ISIL and helping the terrorist group with equipment and weapons,” Jome Divan, who is member of the al-Sadr bloc in the Iraqi parliament, said.

He said the coalition’s support for the ISIL is now evident to everyone, and continued, “The coalition has not targeted ISIL’s main positions in Iraq.”

In late December, Iraqi Parliamentary Security and Defense Commission MP disclosed that a US plane supplied the ISIL terrorist organization with arms and ammunition in Salahuddin province.

MP Majid al-Gharawi stated that the available information pointed out that US planes are supplying ISIL organization, not only in Salahuddin province, but also other provinces, Iraq TradeLink reported.

He added that the US and the international coalition are “not serious in fighting against the ISIL organization, because they have the technological power to determine the presence of ISIL gunmen and destroy them in one month”.

Gharawi added that “the US is trying to expand the time of the war against the ISIL to get guarantees from the Iraqi government to have its bases in Mosul and Anbar provinces.”

Salahuddin security commission also disclosed that “unknown planes threw arms and ammunition to the ISIL gunmen Southeast of Tikrit city”.

Also in Late December, a senior Iraqi lawmaker raised doubts about the seriousness of the anti-ISIL coalition led by the US, and said that the terrorist group still received aids dropped by unidentified aircraft.

“The international coalition is not serious about air strikes on ISIL terrorists and is even seeking to take out the popular (voluntary) forces from the battlefield against the Takfiris so that the problem with ISIL remains unsolved in the near future,” Nahlah al-Hababi told FNA.

“The ISIL terrorists are still receiving aids from unidentified fighter jets in Iraq and Syria,” she added.

Hababi said that the coalition’s precise airstrikes are launched only in those areas where the Kurdish Pishmarga forces are present, while military strikes in other regions are not so much precise.

In late December, the US-led coalition dropped aids to the Takfiri militants in an area North of Baghdad.

Field sources in Iraq told al-Manar that the international coalition airplanes dropped aids to the terrorist militants in Balad, an area which lies in Salahuddin province North of Baghdad.

In October, a high-ranking Iranian commander also slammed the US for providing aid supplies to ISIL, adding that the US claims that the weapons were mistakenly airdropped to ISIL were untrue.

“The US and the so-called anti-ISIL coalition claim that they have launched a campaign against this terrorist and criminal group – while supplying them with weapons, food and medicine in Jalawla region (a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq). This explicitly displays the falsity of the coalition’s and the US’ claims,” Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri said.

The US claimed that it had airdropped weapons and medical aid to Kurdish fighters confronting the ISIL in Kobani, near the Turkish border in Northern Syria.

The US Defense Department said that it had airdropped 28 bundles of weapons and supplies, but one of them did not make it into the hands of the Kurdish fighters.

Video footage later showed that some of the weapons that the US airdropped were taken by ISIL militants.

The Iranian commander insisted that the US had the necessary intelligence about ISIL’s deployment in the region and that their claims to have mistakenly airdropped weapons to them are as unlikely as they are untrue.


Related:

Iraqi Army Downs 2 UK Planes Carrying Weapons for ISIL

Fars News Agency, 23 February 2015

 Source: ISIS executes a person who videotaped unidentified aircraft landing brought aid to terrorists 

Shafaq News, 22 February 2015

The following text was presented to the Public Forum on:  

America’s War on Terror and the Urgency of World Peace: Its Ramification in the Philippines.

Social Sciences, University of the Philippines (UP-Cebu),  March 2, 2015

March 2, 2015 

Introduction

The United States and its allies have launched a military adventure which threatens the future of humanity. U.S. and NATO forces are deployed in Eastern Europe including Ukraine. U.S. military intervention under a humanitarian mandate is proceeding in sub-Saharan Africa. The U.S. and its allies are threatening China under President Obama’s “Pivot to Asia”.

America’s “war on terrorism” is a hegemonic project, under a fake counter-terrrorism agenda which consists in going after al Qaeda entities which “threaten Western civilization”.

Major military and covert intelligence operations are being undertaken simultaneously in the Middle East, Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia and the Far East. The U.S. military agenda combines both major theater operations as well as covert actions geared towards destabilizing sovereign states.

Under a global military agenda, the actions undertaken by the Western military alliance (U.S.-NATO-Israel) in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Ukraine, Syria and Iraq are coordinated at the highest levels of the military hierarchy.  

We are not dealing with piecemeal military and intelligence operations. The July-August 2014 attack on Gaza by Israeli forces was undertaken in close consultation with the United States and NATO. The actions in Ukraine and their timing coincided with the onslaught of the attack on Gaza, Syria and Iraq.

In turn, military undertakings are closely coordinated with a process of economic warfare which consists not only in imposing sanctions on sovereign countries but also in deliberate acts of destabilization of financial and currencies markets, with a view to undermining the enemies’ national economies.

Our analysis in this article will largely be geared towards refuting the myth that the United States is waging “a Global War on Terrorism”.  originalThe evidence amply confirms that the the United States of America is a “State Sponsor of Terrorism” and that the campaign against the Islamic State is a smokescreen used by the US and its allies to justify in the eyes of public opinion its global war of conquest.  

The Global War on Terrorism has become a consensus. It is part of war propaganda. It is also used by Western governments to justify and implement “anti-terrorist” legislation. It is the cornerstone of the West’s demonization campaign directed against Muslims. 

It should also be understood that the “Global War on Terrorism”  supports a process of “economic conquest”, whereby countries forego their sovereignty.

Their national economies are “taken over by foreign investors”.

Their assets are confiscated, austerity measures are imposed and a process of macro-economic restructuring under the helm of Wall Street and the Bretton Woods institutions are implemented.  

US sponsored terrorism creates factional divisions within national societies. 

Countries are impoverished and destabilized. National institutions are undermined as part of  a US led war of conquest.

The evidence presented in this article, including the historical review, is intended to fully reveal the “Big Lie”.

Beyond doubt, the “Global War on Terrorism” is a fabrication. The United States of America is the “Number One” State Sponsor of Terrorism.

Michel Chossudovsky, University of the Philippines, UP-Cebu, March 1st 2015

The Global War on Terrorism: Obama’s Crusade against the Islamic State (ISIS)

The U.S. airstrikes initiated in September 2014 directed against Iraq and Syria under the pretext of going after the Islamic State are part of a scenario of military escalation extending from North Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean to Central and South Asia.

Since August 2014, the US Air Force with the support of a coalition of more than twenty countries has relentlessly waged an intensified air campaign against Syria and Iraq allegedly targeting  the Islamic State brigades.

According to Defense News, over 16,000 airstrikes were carried out from August 2014 to mid January 2015.  Sixty percent of the air strikes were conducted by the US Air Force using advanced jet fighter and bombing capabilities  (Aaron Mehta, “A-10 Performing 11 Percent of Anti-ISIS Sorties”. Defense News, January 19, 2015.)

The airstrikes have been casually described by the media as part of  a “soft” counter-terrorism operation, rather than an act of all out war directed against Syria and Iraq.

Aerial view of jet aircraft, carrying cylindrical fuel tanks and ordnance, overflying desert

This large scale air campaign which has resulted in countless civilian casualties has been routinely misreported by the mainstream media. According to  Max Boot, senior fellow in national security at the Council on Foreign Relations. ”Obama’s strategy in Syria and Iraq is not working… [ because] the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS has been remarkably restrained”.  (Newsweek, February 17, 2015, emphasis added).

Americans are led to believe that the Islamic State constitutes a formidable force confronting the US military and threatening Western Civilization. The thrust of media reporting is that the US Air Force has failed and that “Obama should get his act together” in effectively confronting this  ”Outside Enemy” of America.

According to CFR Max Boot, military escalation is the answer: what is required is for the president “to dispatch more aircraft, military advisers, and special operations forces, while loosening the restrictions under which they operate.” (Ibid)

What kind of aircraft are involved in the air campaign? The F-16 Fighting Falcon,(above right),  The F-15E Strike Eagle (image below) , The A-10 Warthog, not to mention Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor stealth tactical fighter aircraft.

Why has the US Air Force not been able to wipe out the Islamic State which at the outset was largely equipped with conventional small arms not to mention state of the art Toyota pickup trucks?

F-15E Strike Eagle.jpgFrom the very outset, this air campaign has NOT been directed against ISIS.  The evidence confirms that the Islamic State is not the target. Quite the opposite.

The air raids are intended to destroy the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria.

The USAF-15E Strike Eagle

We call on our readers to carefully reflect on the following image, which describes the Islamic State convoy of pickup trucks entering Iraq and crossing a 200 km span of open desert which separates the two countries.

This convoy entered Iraq in June 2014.

What would have been required from a military standpoint to wipe out a ISIS convoy with no effective anti-aircraft capabilities?

Without an understanding of military issues, common sense prevails.

If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June. 

The answer is pretty obvious, yet not a single mainstream media has acknowledged it.

The  Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory (see map right). With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, F16) it would have been  –from a military standpoint–  ”a piece of cake”, a rapid and expedient surgical operation, which would have decimated the Islamic State convoys in a matter of hours.

Instead what we have witnessed is an ongoing drawn out six months of relentless  air raids and bombings, and the terrorist enemy is apparently still intact.

(In comparison, the NATO bombing raids of Yugoslavia in 1999 lasted about three months (March 24-June 10, 1999).

And we are led to believe that the Islamic State cannot be defeated by a powerful US led military coalition of more than 20 countries.

The air campaign was not intended to decimate the Islamic State.

The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism”.   

The Islamic State is not only protected by the US and its allies, it is trained and financed by US-NATO, with the support of Israel and Washington’s Persian Gulf allies. 

Al Qaeda Afiliated Entities are “Intelligence Assets. Instruments of US Intelligence

The Global War on Terrorism is a Fabrication used to justify a war of conquest. The Jihadist terrorists are “Made in America”. They are instruments of US intelligence, yet they are presented to public opinion as “enemies of America”.

The Islamic State (IS) militia, which is currently the alleged target of  a US-NATO bombing campaign under a “counter-terrorism” mandate, continues to be supported covertly by the US.  Washington and its allies continue to provide military aid to the Islamic State.

US and allied bombings are not targeting the ISIL, they are bombing the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria including factories and oil refineries.

The IS caliphate project is part of a longstanding US foreign policy agenda to carve up Iraq and Syria into separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, a Republic of Kurdistan.

These various affiliated Al Qaeda entities in the Middle East, sub-Saharan Africa  and Asia are CIA sponsored “intelligence assets”. They are used by Washington to wreck havoc,  create internal conflicts and destabilize sovereign countries.

Boko Haram in Nigeria, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) (supported by NATO in 2011),  Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM),  Jemaah Islamiah (JI) in Indonesia,  among other Al Qaeda affiliated groups are supported covertly by Western intelligence.

The US is also supporting Al Qaeda affiliated terrorist organizations in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region of China. The underlying objective is to trigger political instability in Western China.

Chinese jihadists are reported to have received “terrorist training” from the Islamic State “in order to conduct attacks in China”. The declared objective of these Chinese-based jihadist entities (which serves the interests of the US)  is to establish a Islamic caliphate extending into Western China.  (Michel Chossudovsky, America’s War on Terrorism, Global Research, Montreal, 2005, Chapter 2).

Flashback to 1979: The History of Al Qaeda

 The US has supported Al Qaeda and its affiliated organizations for more than thirty years: since the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war.

CIA training camps were set up in Pakistan,  in liaison with Pakistan’s Inter-Services-Intelligence (ISI). In the ten year period from 1982 to 1992, some 35,000 jihadists from 43 Islamic countries were recruited by the CIA to fight in the Afghan jihad.

“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the Jihad.”

Lest we forget, Osama bin Laden, America’s bogyman and founder of Al Qaeda was recruited by the CIA in 1979 at the very outset of the US sponsored jihadist war against Afghanistan . He was 22 years old and was indoctrinated in a CIA sponsored guerilla training camp. Al Qaeda was a creation of US intelligence, which was put together with the support of Pakistani and Saudi intelligence:

“[I]t was the government of the United States which supported Pakistani dictator General Zia-ul Haq in creating thousands of religious schools from which the germs of Taliban emerged.” (Revolutionary Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), RAWA Statement on the Terrorist Attacks In the US, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), http://globalresearch.ca/articles/RAW109A.html , 16 September 2001)

Since the Carter Administration, Washington has supported the Islamic terror network 

Ronald Reagan called the terrorists “freedom fighters”. The US supplied weapons to the Islamic brigades.  It was all for “a good cause”: fighting the Soviet Union and regime change, leading to the demise of a secular government in Afghanistan.

Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)

isi and cia directors in mujahideen camp1987 Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of Al Qaeda Led to 9/11
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 WebsterDeputy 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)

“We Created Al Qaeda to Fight the Soviets in Afghanistan”

In 1979, President Carter’s National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski confirmed on CNN that the U.S. organized and supported Bin Laden and the other originators of “Al Qaeda” in the 1970s to fight the Soviets:

“We know of their deep belief in god – that they’re confident that their struggle will succeed. – That land over-there is yours – and you’ll go back to it some day, because your fight will prevail, and you’ll have your homes, your mosques, back again, because your cause is right, and god is on your side.”

“CIA director and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates confirmed in his memoir that the U.S. backed the Mujahideen in the 1970s.” (See Washington Blog, Sleeping With the Devil: How U.S. and Saudi Backing of Al Qaeda Led to 9/11, September 5, 2012).

Under Reagan’s NSDD 166, US assistance to the Islamic brigades channelled through Pakistan was not limited to bona fide military aid. Washington also contributed –through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)– to financing the process of religious indoctrination, largely to secure the demise of secular institutions. (Michel Chossudovsky, 9/11 ANALYSIS: From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001, Global Research, September 09, 2010)

Religious schools were generously funded by the US. Jihadist textbooks  were  published by the University of Nebraska. According to the The Washington Post (2002 reported):

… the United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation.

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…

The White House defends the religious content, saying that Islamic principles permeate Afghan culture and that the books “are fully in compliance with US law and policy.” Legal experts, however, question whether the books violate a constitutional ban on using tax dollars to promote religion.

… AID officials said in interviews that they left the Islamic materials intact because they feared Afghan educators would reject books lacking a strong dose of Muslim thought. The agency removed its logo and any mention of the U.S. government from the religious texts, AID spokeswoman Kathryn Stratos said.

“It’s not AID’s policy to support religious instruction,” Stratos said. “But we went ahead with this project because the primary purpose . . . is to educate children, which is predominantly a secular activity.”

… Published in the dominant Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtun, the textbooks were developed in the early 1980s under an AID grant to the University of Nebraska -Omaha and its Center for Afghanistan Studies. The agency spent $ 51 million on the university’s education programs in Afghanistan from 1984 to 1994.” (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)

afgh-Textbook jihad

Picture above is translated as follows: “Jihad – Often many different wars and conflicts arise among people, which cause material damages and loss of human life. If these wars and disputes occur among people for the sake of community, nation, territory, or even because of verbal differences, and for the sake of progress…”

This page is from a third-grade language arts textbook dating from the mujahidin period. A copy of the book was purchased new in Kabul in May 2000.

According to the  Council on Foreign Relations  in the wake of the US 2001 invasion,”New madrassas sprouted, funded and supported by Saudi Arabia and U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, where students were encouraged to join the Afghan resistance.

Washington’s Agenda: Destabilize Secular Institutions. Install an Islamic State in Afghanistan. The Role of the Wahhabi Missions

US military intervention in Afghanistan in the 1980s was supported by the Wahhabi missionaries out of Saudi Arabia, which trained the Taliban (‘graduates”) in the US sponsored madrassas in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The Wahhabi doctrine would not have spread in the way it did without the support of US intelligence.

Saudi Arabia worked closely with Washington in recruiting the Mujahideen (holy warriors) to fight against the Soviet Union. The Saudi monarchy enlisted the support of the religious authorities. Fatwas were issued;

 ”urging Saudi and non-Saudi youths to go to Afghanistan and carry out jihad there. And it praised those who sacrificed their lives for the sake of Islamic nation’s causes.” (Al-Quds al-Arabi, op cit)

Confirmed by the Afghan Project (http://nsarchive.chadwyck.com/afintro.htm ), which has collected hundreds of CIA and State Department documents, cables and memoranda, the CIA developed from the late 1970s, ties with a number of Islamic organizations. The objective was to use “Islamic fundamentalist” doctrine to unseat the secular pro-Soviet People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) government as well as unleash a war with the Soviet Union. The same strategy of supporting Islamic political movements was used by Washington in the post-Cold War era in the Muslim republics of the former Soviet Union as well in Bosnia and Kosovo.

The CIA led war on Afghanistan largely contributed to destroying secular education. The number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrassas) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000 [in 2001].  (Michel Chossudovsky, 9/11 ANALYSIS: From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001, Global Research, September 09, 2010)

Women’s Rights in Afghanistan

The CIA-led war on Afghanistan was largely conducive to the derogation of Women’s Rights.

Before the Taliban came to power, Afghan women lived a life in many ways similar to that of Western women (see pictures below):

In the 1980s, Kabul was “a cosmopolitan city. Artists and hippies flocked to the capital. Women studied agriculture, engineering and business at the city’s university. Afghan women held government jobs.”  There were female members of parliament, and women drove cars, and travelled and went on dates, without needing to ask a male guardian for permission. (Julie Levesque,   Women Rights: From Afghanistan to Syria: Women’s Rights, War Propaganda and the CIA,  Global Research, April 2014)

Kabul University 1980s

Kabul University 1980s

Kabul University 1980s

 Afghan women.(AFP Photo / Shah Marai)

Women in Kabul today

Al Qaeda and The Islamic State 

“The Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) is presented as a “Clash of Civilizations”, a war between competing values and religions, when in reality it is an outright war of conquest, guided by strategic and economic objectives.

U.S. sponsored Al Qaeda terror brigades (covertly supported by Western intelligence since the 1980s) have been deployed in Mali, Niger, Nigeria, the Central African Republic, Somalia and Yemen. Al Qaeda affiliated organizations have also been deployed in several Asian countries including China and Indonesia.

The Islamic State (ISIS) was originally an Al Qaeda affiliated entity created by US intelligence with the support of Britain’s MI6, Israel’s Mossad, Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) and Saudi Arabia’s General Intelligence Presidency (GIP), Ri’āsat Al-Istikhbārāt Al-’Āmah ( رئاسة الاستخبارات العامة‎).

In relation to the Syrian insurgency, the Islamic State  fighters together with the Al Qaeda affiliated jihadist forces of the Al Nusrah Front are the foot soldiers of the Western military alliance. They are covertly supported by US-NATO-Israel. Their  mandate is to wage a terrorist insurgency against the government of Bashar al-Assad. The atrocities committed by Islamic State fighters in Iraq are similar to those committed in Syria. Their unspoken mandate is to wreck havoc and destruction in Syria and Iraq, acting on behalf of their US sponsors.

 

China unlikely to join Obama's anti-ISIS coalition: Report

The ISIS brigades were involved in the US-NATO supported insurgency in Syria directed against the government of  Bashar al Assad.  NATO and the Turkish High Command were responsible for the recruitment of ISIL and Al Nusrah mercenaries from the outset of the Syrian insurgency in March 2011.

According to Israeli intelligence sources, this initiative consisted in:

“a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels. The Turkish army would house these volunteers, train them and secure their passage into Syria. (DEBKAfile, NATO to give rebels anti-tank weapons, August 14, 2011.)

There are Western Special Forces and Western intelligence operatives within the ranks of the ISIL. British Special Forces and MI6 have been involved in training jihadist rebels in Syria.

Western military specialists on contract to the Pentagon have trained the ISIS and Al Nusrah terrorists in the use of chemical weapons.

“The United States and some European allies are using defense contractors to train Syrian rebels on how to secure chemical weapons stockpiles in Syria, a senior U.S. official and several senior diplomats told CNN Sunday. ( CNN Report, December 9, 2012)

The ISIS’s practice of beheadings is part of the US sponsored terrorist training programs implemented in Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

Recruited by America’s ally, a large number of ISIS mercenaries are convicted criminals released from Saudi prisons on condition they join the ISILSaudi death row inmates were recruited to join the terror brigades. 

The Islamic State is routinely funded by the US, invariably through indirect sources. According to a recent (January 28, 2015) report by Pakistan’s Express Tribune (affiliated to the international Herald Tribune)

Yousaf al Salafi – allegedly the Pakistan commander of Islamic State (IS) or Daish – has confessed during investigations that he has been receiving funds through the United States.

Law enforcing agencies on January 22 claimed that they arrested al Salafi, along with his two companions, during a joint raid in Lahore. However, sources revealed that al Salafi was actually arrested sometimes in December last year and it was only disclosed on January 22.

“During the investigations, Yousaf al Salafi revealed that he was getting funding – routed through America – to run the organisation in Pakistan and recruit young people to fight in Syria,” a source privy to the investigations revealed to Daily Express on the condition of anonymity.

According to Tony Cartalucci;

…[F]rom 2007 where the US, Saudi Arabia, and Israel openly conspired to stand up, fund, and arm a terrorist army to fight a proxy war against Syria and Iran, to 2015 where this army has finally manifested itself as the “Islamic State” complete with funding, arms, and fighters streaming in from NATO members, the source cited by the Tribune claiming that “the US had to dispel the impression that it is financing the group for its own interests,” and thus must now feign to be interested in stopping the organization in Syria, is the most compelling and logical explanation available.

The State Sponsors of Terrorism: Who’s Who

George W. Bush and the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia

The late Saudi King Abdullah was known to have supported and financed Al Qaeda in liaison with the Washington. Saudi intelligence played a key role in this regard.

The House of Saud provides financial aid to the terrorists. And so does the bin Laden family. According to The Washington based CATO Institute (November 2001) Saudi Arabia is a “prime sponsor of terrorism”

The U.S. government has warned that it will treat regimes that harbor or assist terrorist organizations the same way that it treats the organizations themselves. Yet if Washington is serious about that policy, it ought to regard Saudi Arabia as a State sponsor of international terrorism. Indeed, that country should have been included for years on the U.S. State Department’s annual list of governments guilty of sponsoring terrorism.

We recall that in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks, George W. Bush stated in no uncertain terms that  “State sponsors of terrorism” would be considered as “terrorists”.

“We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”. 

But there is always an “Exception that the Proves the Rule”  and that is George W. Bush himself.

When George W. Bush respectfully kisses King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, does this mean that Dubya could –by some stretch of the imagination– be considered a “suspected terrorist”, who should never have been elected president of the United States of America?

The answer is negative: Kissing  “State sponsors of terrorism” on the mouth is not defined by the FBI as “suspicious behavior”.

 The Insidious Relationship between the Bush and bin Laden Families

Now let us turn our attention to the relationship between the Bush and bin Laden families.

The Bushes and bin Ladens are long-time friends. This relationship goes back to George H. W. Bush, who served as head of the CIA in the Ford administration, before becoming Vice President under the Reagan administration and President of the United States (1989-1993).

George W. Bush Junior had business dealings in the oil industry dating back to the late 1970s, at the time when his father Bush Senior was head of the CIA:

The wider bin Laden clan [was] closely tied to the Saudi royal family. According to Seymour Hersh … it is far from clear that the royal family, … has forsaken Muslim extremists. Indeed, some members of the royal family itself are said to bankroll Osama bin Laden. … The Saudi monarchy, Hersh reports, has also quietly resisted U.S. efforts to conduct background checks of Saudi suspects in the wake of September 11. While much remains to be learned about these shadowy connections, it is clear that any investigation of the bin Laden’s family’s U.S. investments will lead to some well-placed Texans.

Like George W. Bush, the fortune of Osama bin Laden is rooted in oil and his family’s government connections. Before his death in a 1968 plane crash, Osama’s father, Mohammed bin Laden, made a fortune off construction contracts awarded by the Saudi royal family. The $5 billion per year construction conglomerate, known as the Binladin Group (the company uses another spelling of the name) remains closely tied to the Saudi royal family.

After the death of Mohammed bin Laden, control of the company passed to Salem bin Laden, Osama’s half brother. The roots of the first known Bush-bin Laden convergence date back to the mid-1970s, when the two clans were linked by a Houston businessman named James R. Bath. … By 1976, when Gerald Ford appointed the elder George Bush as CIA director, Bath was acting as a business agent for Salem bin Laden’s interests in Texas. …

After W. lost a bid for Congress, he decided to launch an oil company in Midland in 1979. For $50,000, Bath bought a 5 percent stake in W.’s Arbusto (Spanish for “Bush”) partnerships. At the time, Bath also served as business agent for several prominent Saudis, including Salem bin Laden. In exchange for a percentage of the deals, Bath made U.S. investments for these clients in his own name, according to Time. Although Bath has said that he invested his own money in Arbusto, not Saudi money, the fact that he was Salem’s agent at the time has fueled speculation that Osama bin Laden’s eldest brother was an early investor in W.’s first oil venture. It was around the time of this investment, incidentally, that Osama bin Laden made his first trip to the Khyber Pass, where he would soon join the Mujaheddin and the CIA in the holy war that expelled the Soviets from Afghanistan. (Salem, for his part, owned a house in Marble Falls, and died in a 1988 plane crash near San Antonio.) Andrew Wheat, The Bush-bin Laden Connection, Texas Observer, November 9, 2001)

The Bush-bin Laden Relationship: Flash Forward to September 10, 2001

Despite his family ties and links to the Royal Saudi household, Osama bin Laden was officially considered  ”a disgrace” to members of the bin Laden family, who reluctantly provided him with “pocket money”, which was used to develop Al Qaeda (The Base).  He was referred to as a “Black Sheep”.

Its all part of a “good guys project” of going after Osama,  the “Black Sheep”,  and waging the “Global War on Terrorism”.

There is nothing wrong, therefore, in socializing and doing business with family members of terror mastermind Osama bin Laden, including the late Salem bin Laden and Shafiq bin Laden of the Carlyle Group.

Flash Forward to September 10, 2001. The Bush-bin Laden Relationship prevails. Confirmed by the Washington Post, “fellow investors” of the Carlyle Group Osama’s brother Shafiq bin Laden and former President H.G.W. Bush met at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel on September 10, 2001, one day before 9/11, (see image below):

It didn’t help that as the World Trade Center burned on Sept. 11, 2001, the news interrupted a Carlyle business conference at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel here attended by a brother of Osama bin Laden [Shafiq bin Laden]. Former president Bush [senior, see image below], a fellow investor, had been with him at the conference the previous day. (Greg Schneider, Pairing the Powerful With the Rich, Washington Post, March 16, 2003)

 

Shafiq bin Laden, Osama’s  brother and member of the Carlyle Group meets George H. W. Bush at Ritz Carlton on September 10, 2001  (Source: Michael Moore, Fahrenheit 911)

Lest we forget, Osama bin Laden was the alleged architect of the 9/11 attacks, yet his brother Shafiq bin Laden was meeting up with the presidents’s dad, former president George H. W. Bush on September 10, 2001.

A day later, on the evening of September 11, 2001, president George W. Bush pronounced a historic speech in which he defined the relationship between “terrorists’ and “state sponsors of terrorism”:

The search is underway for those who are behind these evil acts. I’ve directed the full resources of our intelligence and law enforcement communities to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them. 

Needless to say Osama’s brother Shafiq and members of the bin Laden family were flown out of Washington in government planes in the immediate wake of 9/11.

Where was Osama bin Laden on September 10, 2001

Ironically, on September 10th while brother Shafiq bin Laden and George Bush Senior were meeting at the Ritz Carleton, the alleged 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden was undergoing treatment for his kidney condition at the Urology War of Pakistan’s military hospital in Rawalpindi. (according to Dan Rather, CBS News Report).

 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.

Pakistan intelligence sources tell CBS News that bin Laden was spirited into this military hospital in Rawalpindi for kidney dialysis treatment. On that night, says this medical worker who wanted her identity protected, they moved out all the regular staff in the urology department and sent in a secret team to replace them. She says it was treatment for a very special person. The special team was obviously up to no good.

“The military had him surrounded,” says this hospital employee who also wanted his identity masked, “and I saw the mysterious patient helped out of a car. Since that time,” he says, “I have seen many pictures of the man. He is the man we know as Osama bin Laden. I also heard two army officers talking to each other. They were saying that Osama bin Laden had to be watched carefully and looked after.” Those who know bin Laden say he suffers from numerous ailments, back and stomach problems. Ahmed Rashid, who has written extensively on the Taliban, says the military was often there to help before 9/11.

AHMED RASHID, TALIBAN EXPERT: There were reports that Pakistani intelligence had helped the Taliban buy dialysis machines. And the rumor was that these were wanted for Osama bin Laden.

PETERSEN (on camera): Doctors at the hospital told CBS News there was nothing special about that night, but they refused our request to see any records. Government officials tonight denied that bin Laden had any medical treatment on that night.

PETERSEN: The United States has no way of knowing who in Pakistan`s military or intelligence supported the Taliban or Osama bin Laden maybe up to the night before 9/11 by arranging dialysis to keep him alive. So the United States may not know if those same people might help him again perhaps to freedom.

Barry Petersen, CBS News, Islamabad.  (CBS News quoted in Michel Chossudovsky,  Where was bin Laden on 9/11, Global Research, November 16, 2003)

What this CBS report, which has largely been overlooked by analysts, suggests is that:

1) Pakistan’s Military Intelligence (ISI), which is in permanent liaison with the CIA,  was complicit in protecting Osama bin Laden.

2)  If the CBS report by Dan Rather is accurate and Osama had indeed been admitted to the Pakistani military hospital on September 10, 2001,  courtesy of America’s ally, in all probability, his whereabouts were known to US officials.

3) The hospital was  directly under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Military, which has close links to the Pentagon. U.S. military advisers based in Rawalpindi. work closely with the Pakistani Armed Forces. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive, but then maybe bin Laden was serving another “better purpose”. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld claimed at the time that Osama’s whereabout were unknown: “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.

Needless to say, the CBS report was a crucial piece of information in the 9/11 jigsaw. It refuted the administration’s claim that the whereabouts of bin Laden were unknown. It pointed to a Pakistan connection, it also suggested a cover-up at the highest levels of the Bush administration.

Bush and the “State Sponsors of Terrorism”

Ironically, in a subsequent address to the joint session of the House of Representatives and the Senate on September 20, 2001, president George W. Bush stated unequivocally his administration’s intent to “pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism”, with no exceptions (e.g. Saudi Arabia and Pakistan)

Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make.

“We will starve terrorists of funding, turn them one against another, drive them from place to place, until there is no refuge or no rest. And we will pursue nations that provide aid or safe haven to terrorism. Every nation, in every region, now has a decision to make.

Either you are with us, or you are with the terrorists. (Applause.)

From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime [state sponsor of terrorism].  President George W. Bush, 20 September 2001 (emphasis added)

What both presidents Bush and Obama have failed to acknowledge is that America’s staunched ally Saudi Arabia, not to mention Turkey and Israel are financing and supporting the terrorists, in liaison with Washington.

Both Bush and Obama seem to be caught up in the contradictions of their own political rhetoric, the  “either you are with us or you are with the terrorists” conundrum:

“I am with myself and I am also with the terrorists”

Flash Forward to March 2011: “New Normal” and the War on Syria: Supporting “Moderate Terrorists”

With the war on Syria (2011- ), establishing political ties with “State sponsors of terrorism”  is considered to be part of a “New Normal”, a humanitarian endeavor intent upon unseating the secular government of Bashar al Assad and spreading  American democracy throughout the Middle East.

John Kerry concurs:  financial aid to Syria’s Al Nusrah, an affiliate of Al Qaeda is part of an R2P mandate.

There are now “‘good guy terrorists” and “bad guy terrorists”.  Financial aid is channeled to Al Qaeda “good guy terrorists” to protect Syrians against the terrorists  (New York Times,  April 20, 2013)

Barack Obama, John Kerry, John McCain: Are They “Terror Suspects”?

Now let us examine in more detail the Al Nusrah Front, which constitutes the main rebel fighting force in Syria. Al Nusrah is affiliated to Al Qaeda. The leader of Al Nusrah, Abu Mohammad al-Golani, has pledged his allegiance to Al-Qaeda leader Ayman al-Zawahiri, who replaced Osama bin Laden after his death.

According to the State Department Bureau of Counter-terrorism, Jabhat al Nusrah, the main rebel force in Syria is a terrorist organization, an affiliate of Al Qaeda in Iraq (AQI).

The State Department has issued a “prohibition against knowingly providing, or attempting or conspiring to provide, material support or resources to, or engaging in transactions with, al-Nusrah Front, and
the freezing of all property and interests in property of the organization that are in the United States, or come within the United States or the control of U.S. persons.” (emphasis added). It is understood  that US State Department Counter-terrorism policy also applies to “state sponsors of terrorism”.

Al Nusrah is financed by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Israel in close consultation with NATO and the Pentagon.

The Obama administration has openly confirmed its support for the Syrian rebels with most of this aid channeled to Al Nusrah.

US Senator John McCain is reported to have met up with jihadist terrorist leaders in Syria. (see picture right)

The Role of Israel: State Sponsor of  Al Nusrah and the Islamic State (ISIS)

While theoretically committed to the US-led war on terrorism, the Israeli government of Benjamin Netanyahu quite openly supports al Qaeda.  The Al Nusrah and ISIS  terror brigades operate out of the occupied Golan Heights. 

Inline images 1

Jihadist fighters have met Israeli IDF officers as well as Prime Minister Netanyahu. The IDF top brass acknowledges that “global jihad elements inside Syria” [ISIL and Al Nusrah] are supported by State of Israel. See  image below:

image. “Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon next to a wounded mercenary, Israeli 

military field hospital at the occupied Golan Heights’ border with Syria, 18 February 2014″.

Xenophobia: The Demonization of Muslims

The US president and his NATO allies, not to mention Bejamin Netanyahu, “R the Terrorists”, they are the “state sponsors of terrorism.”.

Obama’s “counter-terrorism” campaign against the Islamic State has contributed to the demonization of Muslims, who in the eyes of Western public opinion are increasingly  associated with the jihadists.

Anybody who dares to question the validity of the “Global War on Terrorism” is branded a terrorist and subjected to the anti-terrorist laws.

The ultimate objective of the “Global War on Terrorism” is to subdue the citizens, totally depoliticize social life in America, prevent people from thinking and conceptualizing, from analyzing facts and challenging the legitimacy of the inquisitorial social order which rules America.

The Obama Administration has imposed a diabolical consensus with the support of its allies, not to mention the complicit role of the United Nations Security Council.  The Western media has embraced the consensus; it has described the Islamic State as an independent entity, an outside enemy which threatens the Western World.

France has initiated a hate campaign against French Muslims, who represent approximately ten percent of France’s population.

While  France mourns the victims of the Charlie Hebdo January 2015 attacks, the French government under the helm of president Francois Hollande is supporting as well as funding Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in the Middle East and North Africa in liaison with the US, NATO and Israel:

France, as part of a NATO-led coalition, has been arming, funding, aiding, and otherwise perpetuating Al Qaeda terrorists for years, beginning, on record in Libya with the overthrow of Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and continuing until today with NATO’s arming, harboring, and backing of Al Qaeda terrorists including the so-called “Islamic State” (ISIS) within and along Syria’s borders.

With the recent attack in Paris likely the work of the very terrorists France has been arming and backing across North Africa and the Middle East, the French government itself stands responsible, guilty of the continued material support of a terrorist organization that has now killed French citizens, including two police officers, not only on French soil, but within the French capital itself. (Tony Cartalucci, Global Research, January 8, 2015)

Ironically, while the French media in chorus point to “Freedom of Expression” in journalism, not a single French media has had the courage of pointing to the issue of State sponsorship of terrorism by the French Republic.  

The Urgency of World Peace

The antiwar movement in several Western countries is in crisis. Some of America’s wars are condemned outright, while others are heralded as “humanitarian interventions”. A significant segment of the US antiwar movement condemns the war but endorses the campaign against international terrorism, which constitutes the backbone of US military doctrine.

Historically, progressive social movements in Western countries (including the World  Social Forum) have been infiltrated, their leaders co-opted and manipulated, through the corporate funding of non-governmental organizations, trade unions and political parties. The ultimate purpose of “funding dissent” is to prevent the protest movement from challenging the legitimacy of the capitalist elites.

The “Just War” theory (Jus Ad Bellum) has served to camouflage the nature of US foreign policy, while providing a human face to the invaders. The logic behind the “Global War on Terrorism” is that of a Just War. It is portrayed as a counter-terrorism initiative rather than outright military operation.

A large segment of “progressive” opinion in the US and Western Europe is supportive of NATO’s R2P “humanitarian” mandate (Responsibility to Protect) to the extent that these war plans are being carried out with the “rubber stamp” of civil society.

Prominent “progressive” authors as well independent media outlets have supported regime change and NATO sponsored humanitarian intervention in Libya. Similarly, many “progressive voices” rallied in support of the US-NATO sponsored opposition in Syria.

Let us be under no illusions:  This pseudo-progressive  discourse is an instrument of propaganda. Several prominent “left” intellectuals –who claim to be opposed to US imperialism– have supported the imposition of “no fly zones” and “humanitarian interventions” against sovereign countries.

“Progressives” are funded and co-opted by elite foundations including Ford, Rockefeller, et al. The corporate elites have sought to fragment the people’s movement into a vast “do it yourself” mosaic. War and globalization are no longer in the forefront of civil society activism. Activism tends to be piecemeal. There is no integrated anti-globalization anti-war movement. The economic crisis is not seen as having a relationship to the US led war.

Dissent has been compartmentalized. Separate “issue oriented” protest movements (e.g. environment, anti-globalization, peace, women’s rights, climate change) are encouraged and generously funded as opposed to a cohesive mass movement. This mosaic was already prevalent in the counter G7 summits and People’s Summits of the 1990s.

In numerous organizations including the trade union movement, the grassroots is betrayed by their leaders who are co-opted. The money trickles down from the corporate foundations, setting constraints on grassroots actions. Its called “manufacturing dissent”. Many of these NGO leaders are committed and well meaning individuals acting within a framework which sets the boundaries of dissent. The leaders of these movements are often co-opted, without even realizing that as a result of corporate funding their hands are tied.

In recent history, with the exception of Iraq, the so-called Western left namely “Progressives” have paid lip service to US-NATO military interventions in Yugoslavia, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.  “Progressives” also support the official  9/11 version of events. They deny 9/11 Truth.

“Progressives” acknowledge that the US was under attack on 9/11 and that the war on Afghanistan  was a “Just War”. In the case of Afghanistan, the “self-defense” argument was accepted at face value as a legitimate response to the 9/11 attacks, without examining the fact that the US administration had not only supported the “Islamic terror network”, it was also instrumental in the installation of the Taliban government in 1995-96. It was tacitly implied that by supporting al Qaeda, Afghanistan had attacked America on September 11, 2001.

In 2001, when Afghanistan was bombed and later invaded, “progressive” organizations largely upheld the administration’s “just cause” military doctrine. In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement against the illegal invasion of Afghanistan was isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Media disinformation prevailed. People were misled as to the nature and objectives underlying the invasion of Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were identified as the prime suspects of the 9/11 attacks, without a shred of evidence and without addressing  the historical relationship between Al Qaeda and the US intelligence apparatus (as outlined above). In this regard, understanding 9/11 is crucial in formulating a consistent antiwar position. 9/11 is the pillar of US war propaganda; it sustains the illusion of an outside enemy, it justifies pre-emptive military intervention, it is the cornerstone of xenophobia and the hate campaign directed against Muslims.

With regard to Syria, from the outset in 2011, “progressives” and mainstream “antiwar” organizations have supported so-called opposition forces without acknowledging that the mainstay of these forces is composed of Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists, recruited, trained and financed by US-NATO and their allies including Israel, Turkey, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

These antiwar groups, which previously supported NATO intervention in Libya, blame the Syrian government for the atrocities committed by the US sponsored Al Qaeda rebels.

Rebuilding the Antiwar Movement

What is required is to rebuild a mass movement. And this cannot be undertaken by organizations which are supported of  corporate foundations and charities.

The social base as well as the organizational structure of the antiwar movement must be transformed. America’s “Long War” is an imperialist project which sustains the financial structures and institutional foundations of the capitalist World Order. Behind this military agenda are powerful corporate interests including an extensive propaganda apparatus.

War and the Economic Crisis are intimately related. The Worldwide imposition of neoliberal macro-economic policy measures is part of the broader imperial agenda. And consequently, the broader movement against neoliberalism must be integrated into the anti-war movement.

Breaking the “Big Lie” which presents war as a humanitarian undertaking, means breaking a criminal project of global destruction, in which the quest for profit is the overriding force. This profit-driven military agenda destroys human values and transforms people into unconscious zombies.

The holding of mass demonstrations and antiwar protests is not enough. What is required is the development of a broad and well-organized grassroots antiwar network, across the land, nationally and internationally, which challenges the structures of power and authority as well as the nature of the capitalist World order. People must mobilize not only against the military agenda – the authority of the state and its officials must also be challenged.

A meaningful anti-war movement requires breaking the “war on terrorism” consensus and upholding 9/11 Truth. To reverse the tide of war and globalization requires a massive campaign of networking and outreach to inform people across the land, nationally and internationally, in neighborhoods, workplaces, parishes, schools, universities and municipalities, on the nature of the imperial project, its military and economic dimensions, not to mention the dangers of a US sponsored nuclear war. This movement must also occur within the Armed Forces (including NATO) with a view to challenging the legitimacy of the military agenda.

The message should be loud and clear:

The US and its allies are behind the Al Qaeda and Islamic State terrorists who have committed countless atrocities against civilians on the specific instructions of the Western military alliance,

China and Russia are not a threat to Global Security. Neither are Syria, Iran or North Korea a threat to World Peace. Quite the opposite. The threat to Global Security emanates from the Pentagon and the US State Department.

What has to be achieved:

Reveal the criminal nature of this military project. War is a criminal undertaking under Nuremberg. It is the ultimate “Crime against the Peace”.

Undermine war propaganda, reveal the media lies, reverse the tide of disinformation, wage a consistent campaign against the corporate media. Bear in mind war propaganda is also considered a criminal act under the Nuremberg protocol

Break the legitimacy of the warmongers in high office. Indict political leaders for war crimes.

Dismantle the multibillion dollar national intelligence apparatus.

Dismantle the US-sponsored military adventure and its corporate sponsors. Bring home the troops.

Repeal the illusion that the state is committed to protecting its citizens.

Uphold 9/11 Truth. Reveal the falsehoods behind 9/11 which are used to justify the Middle East/Central Asian war under the banner of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT).

Expose how a profit-driven war serves the vested interests of the banks, the defense contractors, the oil giants, the media giants and the biotech conglomerates.

Challenge the corporate media which deliberately obfuscates the causes and consequences of this war.

Reveal and take cognizance of the unspoken and tragic outcome of a war waged with nuclear weapons.

Call for the Dismantling of NATO.

Reorganize the system of international justice which protects the war criminals. Implement the prosecution of war criminals in high office.

Close down the weapons assembly plants and implement the foreclosure of major weapons producers.

Close down all US military bases in the US and around the world.

Develop an antiwar movement within the armed forces and establish bridges between the armed forces and the civilian antiwar movement.

Forcefully pressure governments of both NATO and non-NATO countries to withdraw from the US-led global military agenda.

Develop a consistent antiwar movement in Israel. Inform the citizens of Israel of the likely consequences of a US-NATO-Israeli attack on Iran.

Target the pro-war lobby groups including the pro-Israeli groups in the US.

Dismantle the homeland security state. Repeal the legitimacy of Obama’s extrajudicial assassinations. Repeal the drone wars directed against civilians.

Undermine the “militarization of law enforcement”.

Reverse the gamut of anti-terrorist legislation in Western countries which is intended to repeal fundamental civil rights.

These are no easy tasks. They require an understanding of the power structure, of hegemonic relations between the military, intelligence, the state structures and corporate powers which are promoting this destructive agenda.

Ultimately these power relations must be undermined with a view to changing the course of World history.

Without war propaganda and media disinformation, war criminals in high office do not have leg to stand on. Without the mainstream media’s lies and fabrications, the legitimacy of the “Global War on Terrorism” would collapse like a deck of cards.

 

This text was presented to the Forum on America’s War on Terror and the Urgency of World Peace: Its Ramification in the Philippines.

Social Sciences, University of the Philippines (UP-Cebu), in cooperation with Cebu Educators Forum (CEF), National Union of Students of the Philippines, (NUSP), National Commission on Muslim Filipinos, Visayas (NUSP), NUJP, Cebu Archdiocese, Peace Solidarity Movement,  Cebu. 

March 2, 2015 

 

Honestly, I never thought the day would come where I would have anything good to say about the Russian “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition but apparently this day has come today. To my surprise, all the leaders of this opposition have so far made very moderate and reasonable statement and all those which I have heard have apparently dismissed the notion that the Kremlin was behind the murder. Now this might be self-evident for most of us, but for the Russian “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition this is quite a change of tone.  Many have even said that this murder was a “provocation” (which in this context means “false flag”!) to destabilize Russia and create a crisis.  Even Irina Khakamada, normally a real crackpot, has said that this was either a “provocation” or the action of a small group of extremists.

Maybe they are aware that the Russian public will not “buy” it, maybe MH17 was too clearly a false flag, or maybe they simply had a momentary moment of decency, but as far as I know nobody pointed the finger at Putin (okay, somebody somewhere probably did, I am just not aware of it).  Again, this is quite remarkable.

Everybody, pro and anti Kremlin, agree that it is absolutely essential that this crime be solved.  Since I personally believe that this was a US/UK organized false flag, I fully expect that somebody will be found and, as we say in Russian, that the “(trail) end will end in the water” meaning that there will be no proof of western involvement.  If fact, even if the FSB *does* come across such proof, the Russians will most likely not make it public but use it behind the scenes.  As for those who organized it, they also need somebody to get caught because if nobody ever gets caught, then this looks way too professional, but if a small cell of, say,  rabid anti-Semitic nationalists, does get caught, then that exculpates all other possible suspects.  Considering that the crime happened 200m away from the Kremlin, and that the city center is laced with cameras, I fully expect an arrest in the next 48 hours, a week max.

The bottom line is that in Russia this false flag is already a clear failure, not even the notorious Russian “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition wants to touch this thing.  This is very good news indeed.  In the West, of course, this is a different story, the AngloZionist will use that to a max, no doubt here at all.

The Saker

Boris Nemtsov has been shot dead in Moscow.  He was one of the most charismatic leaders of the “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition in Russia (please understand that in the Russian context “liberal” and “democratic” means pro-US or even CIA-run, while “non-system” means too small to even get a single deputy in the Duma).  He was shot just a few days before the announced demonstration of the very same “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition scheduled for March 1st.

As I have already explained many times on this blog, the “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” opposition in Russia has a popular support somewhere in the range of 5% (max). In other words, it is politically *dead* (for a detailed explanation, please read “From Napoleon to Adolf Hitler to Conchita Wurst“).  In the hopes of getting a higher number of people to the streets the “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system”opposition allied itself with the ultra-nationalists (usually useful idiots for the CIA) and the homosexual activists (also useful idiots for the CIA).  Apparently, this was not enough.

And now, in *perfect* timing, Nemtsov is murdered.

We all know the reaction of the AngloZionists and their propaganda machine.  It will be exactly the same as for MH-17: Putin the Murderer!!! Democracy Shot!! Freedom Killed!! etc. etc. etc. etc.

There is no doubt in my mind at all that either this is a fantastically unlikely but always possible case of really bad luck for Putin and Nemtsov was shot by some nutcase or mugged, or this was an absolutely prototypical western false flag: you take a spent politician who has no credibility left with anyone with an IQ over 70, and you turn him into an instant “martyr for freedom, democracy, human rights and civilization”.

Already in 2012 Putin warned that the opposition might look to kill someone to turn him into a “martyr” against the government.

 

By the way if, as I believe, this is a false flag, I expect it to be a stunning success in the West and a total flop in Russia: by now, Russians already can smell that kind of setup a mile away and after MH-17 everybody was expecting a false flag.  So, if anything, it will only increase the hostility of Russians towards the West and rally them around Putin.  In the Empire, however, this will be huge, better than Politkovskaya or Litvinenko combined.  A “Nemtsov” prize will be created, a Nemtov statue will be placed somewhere (in Warsaw?), the US Congress will pass a “Nemtsov law” and the usual combo package of “democratic hagiography” will be whipped-up.

What worries me most is that the Russian security services did not see this one coming and let it happen.  This is a major failure for the FSB which will now have a lot at stake to find out who did it.  I expect them to find a fall-guy, a patsy, who will have no provable contacts with any western services and who, ideally, might even have some contacts with the Russian services (like Andrei Lugovoi).

As for the “liberal” or “democratic” “non-system” – it will probably re-brand the upcoming protests as a “tribute to Nemtsov” thereby getting more people into the streets.

There are folks in Langley tonight who got a promotion.

—The Saker

 

 

Netanyahu’s March 3rd planned speech at U.S. Congress Joint Session is a move by the Israeli state to legitimize its latest round of genocide in Gaza and continuation of its expansionist policies in the entire land of Palestine.  Meanwhile, such a move is meant to serve a more concrete and urgent objective of KEEPING PRESSURE ON IRAN.  Why Iran?  Certainly not for Iran’s alleged plan to develop nuclear weapons – which all facts, including several reports by the International Atomic Energy Agency, prove is a falsehood  – but because of the fact that Iran has openly and strongly supported the Palestinian people against Israeli aggression, ever since the triumph of its revolution back in Feb. 1979.

Although there is a real dispute among different sections of the American ruling class on the legitimacy of Netanyahu’s upcoming presence at the US Congress, to an extent that US National Security Adviser Susan Rice calls it “destructive”, by advocating his tough stand, the Israeli Prime Minister is in fact providing leverage to the US government – and its negotiating team in the 5+1 countries  – to put more pressure on Iran.   The pressure, evident by sanctions and threats of war is aimed to force Iran to give up its legitimate rights to develop nuclear energy for peaceful purposes, if not totally, at least partially.  In this context, the US and Israeli administrations are jointly playing the old game of “GOOD” and “BAD” cops, looking for the same objective: gaining more concessions from Iran in the course of ongoing nuclear negotiations.

Considering that the US and Israeli governments are aware of the possibility that Iran not accept their illegitimate conditions, which would result in failure of the negotiations, they wish to put the blame of such a failure exclusively on Iran. That would in turn serve their purpose to justify their sanctions and war agenda on Iran.

While Israel, the Zionist state, is pushing its war drive against resistance movements in the Middle East, the plan of the Obama administration to get the Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) from the US Congress indicates that the same perspective is also shared by the US government.  The fake slogan of “war on terror” is going to be used once again to deceive the American people to support the plan of 1% military industrialists and big corporate owners; this time, to topple Bashar Al-Assad in Syria, to crush resistance in Palestine, Lebanon and Iraq and to destabilize and eventually suppress Iran.  Such a vicious plan should be counteracted by relentless mass mobilization everywhere, especially in the US and Europe.

In view of the above, SI – Solidarity Iran Campaign fully supports the initiative of a number of antiwar organizations in US, including International Action Center (IAC), the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) and Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition to organize protests against Netanyahu’s presence in the US Congress.

We demand: Lift All Sanctions on Iran Unconditionally, NOW!

Making Sense of Obama’s Foreign Policy

March 1st, 2015 by Eric Zuesse

 On February 22nd, NBC’s “Meet the Press” presented reporter Richard Engel in a terrific four-minute documentary on Barack Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s catastrophic policy-results in Libya. (You can watch it by clicking on that link.) The segment concluded that Obama and his Administration (including Hillary Clinton) didn’t know where they were going in this operation. That was a ‘kindly’ interpretation, but Obama isn’t really so stupid. He’s a leader, with a clear vision of what he wants, and he subordinates everything to it.

Whereas Obama did indeed destroy Libya and (like G.W. Bush’s venture in Iraq) enormously boost Islamic extremism and terrorism (and the main expert that Engel interviewed in that segment has written extensively on this regarding specifically the Libyan case, here and here), Obama knew what his goal was, and he achieved it there, even though it wasn’t to boost Islamic extremism, nor was it to destroy Libya; he actually had his eye on a different ball altogether. Something is an even bigger concern to him than fighting terrorism, or than the welfare of people in Libya or any other foreign country; and this is consistently what guides his decisions in international affairs.

Muammar Gaddafi, Libya’s leader, was famously “anti-Western,” and he never joined the U.S-Saudi alliance, the so-called “Western alliance” (which includes Europe, but only as a junior partner, because Europe is dependent upon the U.S. and upon America’s NATO alliance — the military club of anti-Russian nations). (And, yes, the U.S. Government is allied with the princes who finance Al Qaeda, ISIS and other Islamic terrorism; and the standard ‘history’ of 9/11 is — and is intended to be — largely false.)

 Obama was, in fact, knocking out a Russian ally by means of this Libyan operation. He succeeded at his objective there. He knew where he was going, and he achieved that goal.

 I have elsewhere documented the case that Obama’s operation in Syria is directed against Russia — that the goal there is anti-Russian regime-change for Syria, like the Libyan operation was anti-Russian regime-change for Libya, and like the Ukrainian operation (the coup there in February 2014) was anti-Russian regime-change for Ukraine.

 All of this follows on George W. Bush’s success at anti-Russian regime-change in Iraq in 2003. He killed Saddam Hussein there, who had been another Russian ally.

 Similarly, Bill Clinton succeeded at anti-Russian regime-change in Yugoslavia, via the Bosnian War, by bombing Serbs there, who had always been the core of Yugoslavia’s pro-Russian tilt. Croatia and Slovenia are now full NATO members.

 All of these operations pretended to be “humanitarian,” and Barack Obama is so skilled at the rhetoric of humanitarianism and peacemaking, that he actually won the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize for that rhetoric; it’s definitely world-class deception. Bill Clinton too was highly skilled at that (though perhaps not to the extent Obama is). George W. Bush wasn’t, at all; he was so dumb that he needed to contract-out to his V.P. the actual running of this country.

Each of these three Presidents, and also certainly George H.W. Bush, and Ronald Reagan, weren’t merely anti-communists; they were and are anti-Russians: they are deeply committed to the U.S. aristocracy’s central foreign-policy objective, of subordinating Russia’s aristocracy to America’s, in order for America’s aristocracy to achieve unchallengeable dominance over the whole world.

 This theme was developed and documented in detail in my lengthiest online article “Obama’s War Policies Show a Pattern.” Virtually all of my recent articles have dealt with, and documented, that very same pattern, by explaining current international relations, current events, on the basis of this consistent pattern in Obama’s actual decisions, not relying upon his mere words. What is remarkable in Obama’s Presidency, in all of its facets, including domestic policy (e.g., this), is his successful operation of the United States Government for the benefit of this nation’s aristocracy.

 The United States is now ruled by its aristocracy in both political Parties, not just one. Previously, only the Republican Party was totally in the aristocracy’s grip; but, ever since 1980, both Parties are.

 The United States is no longer a democracy. Throw out all those civics textbooks; their connection to reality now (especially at the national level) is virtually nil; and the pressures are in the direction of their becoming more archaic and deceptive, rather than becoming less so. The aristocracy have won. Obama is merely the latest example of that; and this fact shows at least as much in his foreign as in his domestic policies.

 But it’s not just him; it’s throughout the national government, including the courts and congress. For example: how else does one explain “U.S. Congress Now Virtually 100% All-In on Ukraine’s War Against Russia; Americans Are at Least 67% Opposed”? When there is a policy that most of America’s aristocrats strongly want and are heavily investing in, and that virtually none of them is strongly opposed to, then what the public wants regarding that particular matter is next to irrelevant in determining the Government’s policy. If what the public then sees on Election-Day turns out to be a choice between Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush, is that democracy, or is it actually something else? But is that the way the press would report it?

If the public are deceived, then democracy is impossible.

 Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010,  and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

Binyamin Netanyahu – AIPAC’s putative US President – will, next Tuesday, threaten both Houses of Congress that he is prepared to deploy his 400 nuclear warheads to ensure Israeli dominance of the Middle East unless Washington and the world accede to his demands against Iran (and Gaza and Lebanon and Turkey). A status quo that recalls the demands of the German National Socialists, in 1936, prior to their occupation and domination of Europe that instigated World War 2. 

 Israel, which is the only undeclared nuclear weapons state in the world, is fast becoming a global threat as its vast, secret nuclear arsenal, including its second-strike, nuclear-armed submarine fleet, remains outside the inspection of the IAEA or any other international regulation. It is also one of the only states in the world that refuses to be a party to the Chemical Weapons Convention (CWC) or the Biological Weapons Convention (BWC).

Meanwhile, its 7 year illegitimate and inhumane blockade of Gaza that is intended to force 1.8 million men, women and children to leave their homes and businesses by prohibiting essential building (and medical) supplies that would rebuild the infrastructure previously destroyed by the IDF – in order that Israel can continue its oppression as well as its illegal expansion into the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

The current situation of the state of Israel vis-a-vis the U.S. Congress is fast becoming surreal as a politician of a foreign coalition with less than 25% of the votes of his own electorate (whilst being dependent on American aid) – seeks to usurp the democratically elected President of the United States who represents 308 million American voters.

Netanyahu’s temerity in seeking to unduly influence world affairs whilst directly representing little more than just one million people, is cynical political irony, without parallel, which indicates a deep malaise in democratic governance and represents a direct threat to European (and global) stability.


 Which leaves exactly who as a possible suspect? Cui bono? 

Perhaps believing by virtue of having admitted the murder of Russian opposition member Boris Nemtsov in Russia’s capital of Moscow Friday evening in no way served the Russian government’s best interests, the US State Department believes it can deflect guilt from being shifted towards its direction.Indeed, the US State Department through its Voice of America media network - chaired by the US Secretary of State himself - would state in an online article titled, “Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?,” that (emphasis added):

With the murder of Russian opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, gunned down on a Moscow street, the fiercest critic of President Vladimir Putin has been removed from the political stage. But it remains to be seen whether, in death as in life, Nemtsov will remain a threat to Putin’s rule. 

Already, city authorities have approved a mass march for up to 50,000 people in central Moscow on Sunday. The march, expected to be far larger than the scheduled protest rally it replaces, will provide a powerful platform for Kremlin critics who suspect a government hand in Nemtsov’s death. 

Even officials in Putin’s government seem to sense the danger that the former first deputy prime minister’s martyrdom might pose, hinting darkly that Friday night’s drive-by shooting may have been an deliberate “provocation” ahead of the planned weekend rally. 

While this logic has clearly not escaped the US State Department’s media network, it stops short of clearly implicating the Russian opposition and its foreign backers (the US State Department itself) as the chief suspects in Nemtsov’s murder – though the article clearly states only the opposition (and in turn, their foreign sponsors) stood to benefit from his death.

The diminutive and previously ineffective protests carried out by the opposition will now be “far larger” and serve as a “powerful platform for Kremlin critics,” a reality that simply would not have existed had Nemtsov not been murdered.

One must also factor in the United States’ various proxy conflicts it is waging against Russia, and seemingly losing – including in Syria and Ukraine. The opportunity to spread chaos in the streets of Moscow would not only benefit the US and its agenda beyond its borders, but is in fact America’s stated foreign policy.

Despite attempts to frame it otherwise, even the US State Department cannot escape the fact that Russia lacked any motivation at all to murder a fading opposition leader, let alone incriminatingly murder him practically on the doorstep of the Kremlin itself.  Whoever killed Nemtsov meant for the uninformed general public to think it was the Kremlin, however.

Ironically, the US State Department’s media article in Voice of America, echos facts pointed out in the direct aftermath of the murder by many independent analysts. In the previously published article, “Russia: US-Backed Opposition Leader Gunned Down in Moscow: Martyrdom on demand: if not of use alive, perhaps of use dead?,”for example, it was stated explicitly that:

Regarding Nemtsov’s murder, any good investigator would be tasked with the question, “to whose benefit?” Surely it would benefit the Kremlin to rid themselves of an opponents, but not in this manner. In fact, the only party that stood to benefit from his high-profile execution in the streets of Moscow were his own compatriots and his foreign backers who faced the prospect of yet another failed protest. Sympathy, they hope, will spur Russians who are on the fence politically to take to the streets, joining others who may have previously avoided protests because of Russia’s economic strength before US sanctions sank in.

The US State Department’s concession not only raises considerable doubt over the involvement of the Kremlin in Nemtsov’s death, but also shifts suspicion primarily onto his own opposition movement and the extensive foreign interests backing it. Of course, the US State Department will never publish an article pointing out the obvious fact that it itself stood the most to gain from Nemtsov’s murder, but this recent concession all but states this obvious reality, nonetheless.

Sniper Attacks As False Flag Terror

Random shootings are a type of false flag terror …

For example, in 1985 – as part of the “Gladio” (11-21) false flag operations –  snipers attacked and shot shoppers in supermarkets randomly in Brabant county, Belgium killing twenty-eight and leaving many wounded.

Both Sides?

Additionally, shooting both sides is a tip off that it may be a false flag.

Specifically, when authoritarian regimes want to break up protests, they might shoot protesters.

Likewise, when violent protesters shoot government employees, they might be trying to overthrow the government.

But when secretive snipers kill both protesters and the police, it is an indication of a “false flag” attacks meant to sow chaos, anger, disgust and a lack of legitimacy.

This has happened many times over the years. For example:

  • Unknown snipers reportedly killed both Venezuelan government and opposition protesters in the attempted 2002 coup

Snipers Fired At BOTH Police and Protesters In Ukraine

This happened during the Maidan protests which resulted in the overthrow of the Ukrainian government, as well.  Indeed, the ruthless slaughter of people by snipers was the event which turned world opinion against the then-current Ukrainian Prime Minister, and  resulted in him having to flee the country.

BBC recently interviewed the head of the opposition’s security forces at the time, who confirms that snipers were killing both protesters and police:

 

The former Ukranian government security boss said the same thing.  Specifically, he said:

Former chief of Ukraine’s Security Service has confirmed allegations that snipers who killed dozens of people during the violent unrest in Kiev operated from a building controlled by the opposition on Maidan square.

Shots that killed both civilians and police officers were fired from the Philharmonic Hall building in Ukraine’s capital, former head of the Security Service of Ukraine Aleksandr Yakimenko told Russia 1 channel. The building was under full control of the opposition and particularly the so-called Commandant of Maidan self-defense Andrey Parubiy who after the coup was appointed as the Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine, Yakimenko added.

So both the chief of the government’s security forces and the head of the opposition’s security forces said that the same snipers were killing both protesters and police.  While they disagree about who the snipers were, they both agree that the snipers were attempting to sow chaos.

Similarly:

[Current Ukrainian Health Minister Oleh] Musiy, who spent more than two months organizing medical units on Maidan, said that on Feb. 20 roughly 40 civilians and protesters were brought with fatal bullet wounds to the makeshift hospital set up near the square. But he said medics also treated three police officers whose wounds were identical.

Forensic evidence, in particular the similarity of the bullet wounds, led him and others to conclude that snipers were targeting both sides of the standoff at Maidan — and that the shootings were intended to generate a wave of revulsion so strong that it would topple Yanukovych and also justify a Russian invasion.

And the Estonian foreign minister – after visiting Ukraine – told the EU foreign affairs minister that the Maidan opposition deployed the snipers – and fired on both the protesters and the police – to discredit the former government of Ukraine.

Was It Maidan Who Fired?

While the American media has proclaimed that the sniper fire was definitely from government forces, some of the above-cited sources dispute that claim.

Additionally, BBC reported at the time:

Reporting for Newsnight, Gabriel Gatehouse said he saw what looked like a protestershooting out of a window at the BBC’s Kiev base, the Ukraine Hotel.

And BBC recently interviewed a Maidan protester who admitted that he fired a sniper rifle at police from the Conservatory, and that he was guided by a military veteran within the Maidan resistance. Here are actual pictures a reporter took of Maidan snipers, recently published by BBC:

gunmen at Kiev Conservatory 20 February

(There were reportedly at least 10 Maidan snipers firing from the Conservatory.)

The Frankfurther Allgemein reported last year that Maidan commander Volodymyr Parasjuk controlled the Conservatory at the time:

Volodymyr Parasjuk – the leader in “self-defense units” of the revolution who had called the night of Yanukovich’s escape, on the stage of Maidan to storm the presidential residence one year ago.

On the day of the massacre Parasjuk was staying with his unit in the colonnaded building of the Kiev Conservatory right at the Maidan. In the days before the death toll had risen, and the fighters grew the conviction alone with limited power as before will not be able to overthrow Yanukovych. “There were at that time many guys who said you have to take the weapon and attack,” said Parasjuk recalls. “Many,” he himself had since long ago it had firearms, often their officially registered hunting rifles.

Tagesschau – a German national and international television news service produced by state-run Norddeutscher Rundfunk on behalf of the German public-service television network ARD – also reported in 2014 that at least some of the sniper fire came from protesters.

And there are other photographs of protesters with rifles, such as this one from Reuters:

Independence Square in Kiev February 20, 2014. (Reuters/Maks Levin)

Reuters/Maks Levin

So the snipers might have been Maidan opposition forces shooting their own.

But – whoever the snipers were – the one thing that is clear is that they were shooting people from both sides as part of a “strategy of tension” to create maximum chaos. This hints that it may have been a highly-organized campaign of terror.

Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, speaking Thursday at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an ultra-right political conference held in suburban Washington DC, compared the working class and student protesters who thronged the streets of Madison in 2011 to ISIS terrorists. “If I could take on 100,000 protestors, I could do the same across the world,” he said, boasting that his defeat of the unions in Wisconsin qualified him to wage war in the Middle East.

Following his remarks, Walker was criticized by at least one other potential candidate, former Texas governor Rick Perry, who said on MSNBC, “You are talking about, in the case of ISIS, people who are beheading individuals and committing heinous crimes, who are the face of evil. To try to make the relationship between them and the unions is inappropriate.”

In a brief interchange with reporters, Walker backtracked, saying, “There’s no comparison between the two, let me be perfectly clear. I’m just pointing out the closest thing I have to handling a difficult situation was the 100,000 protesters I had to deal with.”

He continued, attacking the media questioners, saying, “You all will misconstrue things the way you see fit. That’s the closest thing I have in terms of handling a difficult situation, not that there’s any parallel between the two.” Walker’s campaign later issued a statement declaring, “He was in no way comparing any American citizen to ISIS.”

No one at CPAC was fooled by the subsequent disclaimers. On the contrary, Walker’s remarks, including his comparison of protesters to ISIS, were greeted with noisy cheering, and his speech was the most well-attended of the day’s events. Walker is a top-tier candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, leading in party polls in Iowa, the first state primary contest, and well financed by billionaire supporters like the Koch brothers.

The clear favorite among the half dozen potential presidential candidates who addressed CPAC, Walker repeatedly cited his success in pushing through a battery of anti-worker laws in Wisconsin as his political calling card.

When a heckler shouted something about his attacks on workers, Walker received a standing ovation from the crowd as he claimed to represent “the hard-working taxpayers of this country.” He provoked another ovation by announcing he would sign a right-to-work law next week, making Wisconsin the 25th state to outlaw the union shop.

Walker’s “gaffe,” if it was one, was the blurting out of a usually unspoken truth: in the eyes of the American ruling elite, the working class at home is an enemy just as dangerous—and in reality, far more dangerous—than Islamic fundamentalist terrorists in Iraq and Syria.

The Wisconsin governor is not the first prominent figure in the US ruling elite to make such a comparison. Only a month ago, New York City Police Commissioner William Bratton—appointed by liberal Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio—announced plans for a Special Response Unit of 350 highly trained paramilitary police.

This new unit was “designed for dealing with events like our recent protests or incidents like Mumbai or what just happened in Paris,” Bratton said, equating peaceful marches against the official whitewash of police murders in New York City to the terrorist attack on Charlie Hebdo magazine that killed 10 people and the massacre of nearly 200 people in Mumbai. (See: New police unit in New York: The ruling elite prepares for class struggle).

Like Walker, Bratton sought to defuse outrage, saying he had misspoken and that there would be two separate elite police units, one to kill terrorists, the other to beat and arrest demonstrators.

In making an amalgam of peaceful protest and terrorism, to justify murderous mass repression, American politicians are following in the footsteps of military juntas and right-wing dictators around the world.

Only two days before Walker’s speech, the Egyptian military dictator, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi issued a decree that broadens the official definition of terrorism to include any group that uses “any means” to disturb public order, endanger state interests, or “disrupt the constitution or law, or harm national unity.”

Japan Times, Feb 25, 2015 (emphasis added): Radioactive isotopes [have] been draining into the Pacific from the roof of the No. 2 reactor building, which is highly contaminated…. Meanwhile on Sunday, Tepco reported water contaminated with high levels of radiation was flowing into the ocean at the plant’s port.

Kyodo News, Feb 25, 2015: Highly toxic water leaks into ocean from Fukushima plant —Highly radioactive rainwater [is] accumulating on the rooftop of the No. 2 reactor building… In a separate incident… highly contaminated water leaked into the nearby bay through a different gutter… The cause and the amount of water leakage remain unknown.

Reuters, Feb 25, 2015: [TEPCO believes] a pool of highly contaminated water on the roof [is coming from] gravel and blocks laid on the roof of the building… it plans to remove them by the end of March.

Fairewinds Chief Engineer Arnie Gundersen on WDEV, Feb 24, 2015 (at 30:15 in): “The pressures got so high in the containment, it blew the top off the containment.”

IANS, Feb 25, 2015: [Tepco] announced having detected deposits of highly radioactive water on the roof of the plant’s reactor number 2. The liquid contained 29,400 becquerel per litre of radioactive caesium and 52,000 of strontium and other beta-ray emitting substances… [Tepco] decided against making the findings public until now as it did not have results of the analysis on the accumulated liquid’s radioactivity levels.

Newsweek, Feb 25, 2015: The fallout from the Fukushima disaster is far from over… Local commercial fishermen are reportedly outraged… “I don’t understand why [Tepco] kept silent… Fishery operators are absolutely shocked,” [said] Masakazu Yabuki, chief of the Iwaki fisheries cooperative… [The] plant has been plagued by a staggering number of accidents.

Xinhua, Feb 25, 2015: TEPCO blasted for concealing latest radioactive leak for nearly a year — [Fishermen blamed TEPCO] for knowingly allowing radioactive substances… to flow freely into the sea since April last year… this year [Prime Minister] Abe’s government announced that TEPCO would be the Main Sponsor for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics… local, national andinternational fury once again rises at [TEPCO]… [It's] the latest indication that the crisisat the plant is far from under control… Japan’s top government spokesperson reiterated the government’s long-standing mantra… “The situation is completely under control… Any negative impact of radioactive water on the environment is completely blocked.”

NHK, Feb. 24, 2015: [TEPCO] did not take any measures to prevent radioactive water…flowing into the Pacific… TEPCO was aware… April last year [yet] has not installed floodgates [and] does not plan to install any devices in the channel.

NHK, Feb. 25, 2015: [R]adioactive substances spilled into the Pacific beyond the plant’s port… TEPCO knew last April [and] did nothing to prevent contaminated water fromleaking directly out to sea, nor did it make the finding public.

NHK, Feb. 25, 2015: Fishermen accuse TEPCO of betrayal… A TEPCO official… apologized.

Watch NHK’s broadcast here | Full Gundersen interview here

Several press reports last week highlight details of the major donors to the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, including right-wing Persian Gulf monarchies, big defense contractors, and an array of corporations and governments seeking influence with the US political establishment—and potentially in the next White House.

Founded in 2001 after the end of Bill Clinton’s second term as president, the Foundation has raised and distributed huge amounts of money, reaching nearly $2 billion. After a brief drop in fundraising coinciding with Hillary Clinton’s term as secretary of state from 2009 to 2013, when most foreign donations were discouraged because of conflict-of-interest concerns, donations jumped $100 million in 2013, reaching $262 million.

The list of the Foundation’s largest donors, available on the Foundation’swebsite, is a virtual who’s who of the super-rich and major corporations. The largest donors, having given over $25 million since 2001, include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, well known for its leading role in the dismantling of public education, Chicago multimillionaire and top Democratic Party donor Fred Eychaner, and, strangely, the Dutch national lottery.

Major corporations appear in spades in the list of 168 individuals and organizations that have given more than $1 million. Defense contractors such as Boeing and Booz Allen Hamilton, both gave between $1 and $5 million, joined by Barclays, Goldman Sachs, and the American Federation of Teachers.

The reactionary Persian Gulf monarchies have poured tens of millions into the Clinton Foundation, including Saudi Arabia ($10 to $25 million), Kuwait, ($5 to $10 million), Qatar, Oman and the United Arab Emirates ($1 to $5 million). In addition, several groups and individuals close to the Saudi government have also made tens of millions in contributions.

The Clinton Foundation made an agreement with the Obama administration not to accept new donations from foreign sources during Hillary Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, a policy which has now expired. However, tens of millions of overseas dollars continued to flow into the Foundation through an exemption which allowed existing donors to continue making contributions at a similar level.

Claims by Clinton Foundation donors that they were genuinely interested in charity are belied by the circumstances of many of the donations. For example, the Wall Street Journal cited an incident in 2009 in which Hillary Clinton convinced Russia to purchase 50 Boeing 737s; seven months later, Boeing made its first-ever donation to the Clinton Foundation, $900,000 to help “rebuild” Haiti’s school system. Perhaps admitting more than she intended, a Boeing spokeswoman said in a written statement, “Secretary Clinton did nothing for Boeing that former US presidents and cabinet secretaries haven’t done for decades.”

In another case, the Foundation received a $500,000 donation from the government of Algeria for its pro-market “relief” effort in Haiti. TheWashington Post notes that the donation, which violated the Foundation’s earlier agreement with the Obama administration, came in the midst of a particularly heavy lobbying push from Algeria in Washington in the aftermath of a report by Clinton’s State Department condemning Algeria’s human rights record. The donation was more than the Algerian government spent on lobbying for the entire year.

Two years later, Secretary of State Clinton lobbied successfully on behalf of GE in its bids to construct power plants in Algeria, described by the company as “some of its largest power agreements in company history.” A month later, GE donated from $500,000 to $1 million to the Clinton Foundation.

The focus in the media, especially from Journal and other ultra-right outlets, has been on the fact that foreign countries, companies and individuals comprise a third of the foundation’s major donors, implying that they are purchasing political influence through the Clintons. While there is a degree of truth to this, this is also a two-way street, as the Clinton Foundation is fully integrated into the political apparatus as an instrument of American imperialist foreign policy.

Instructive in this regard is their role in the “rebuilding” of Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, in which some 300,000 died. The Clinton Foundation played a major role, with Bill Clinton himself co-chairing the panel that distributed all international aid to Haiti. The entire aid effort was used to ram through pro-market restructuring, while American and then UN “peacekeepers” patrolled the country to prevent any opposition from the population. The Obama administration made no objection to the Algerian donation to the Clinton Foundation for the simple reason that it was entirely in line with American foreign policy in Haiti.

The Clinton Foundation’s version of “charity” also involves imperialist intrigue. This included secret maneuvers last year against Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapakse, which ultimately led to his electoral defeat last month. The country’s former president Chandrika Kumaratunga, who joined the Clinton Foundation in 2005, played the major role in backroom deals that led to Maithripala Sirisena’s sudden departure from the government and announcement that he would be the “common opposition candidate.” Earlier this month Kumaratunga admitted that unnamed “foreign governments” had urged her to maneuver against Rajapakse.

During her time as secretary of state, Hillary Clinton took the lead in denouncing the Sri Lankan government’s “human rights record” in order to pressure it to move away from its ties with China as part of the Obama administration’s “Pivot to Asia.” She presented resolutions in 2011 and 2012 in her capacity as secretary of state demanding that the UN take action against Sri Lanka for human rights violations during the civil war against Tamil separatist guerrillas.

Human Rights Watch has been part of a sectarian, anti-Syrian propaganda campaign. It is hyping the “barrel bombs”, allegedly used by the Syrian government, as inhumane weapons. I have yet to see Human Rights Watch equally damning the indiscriminate use against civilians of improvised rockets by the Jihadist “moderate rebels.”

Yesterday Human Rights Watch send out this tweet:

 


bigger

According to HRW the picture of the destroyed town is somehow related to Syrian “barrel bombs.” That is not the case.

The picture was published in the New York Times on February 13, 2015.¸

 

Caption states: “The predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani is devastated after months under siege by Islamist forces and airstrikes by a United States-led coalition” | Bulent Kilic/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images (Click to enlarge)

The New York Times caption says:

The predominantly Kurdish town of Kobani is devastated after months under siege by Islamist forces and airstrikes by a United States-led coalition

The picture’s credentials are “Bulent Kilic/Agence France-Presse – Getty Images.”

Massive U.S. bomb attacks obviously destroyed the city of Kobane. The U.S. no longer uses improvised “barrel bombs” dropped from planes and helicopters. It did use “barrel bombs” extensively in Vietnam.

Syrian “barrel bombs” did not destroy the city of Kobane. It was destroyed by regular U.S. air force bombs. Damage by “barrel bombs” could hardly be worse. Indeed “barrel bombs” thrown out of hovering helicopters are likely much better targeted and more precise than unguided bombs dropped from fast moving jets.

The Human Rights Watch tweet includes another deception. It links to a February 24 piece by the New York Times as if that piece would somehow confirm HRW`s claim. But that New York Times piece is not a neutral report. The piece, headlined “Syria Dropped ‘Barrel Bombs’ Despite Ban, Report Says”, is solely about a HRW report about “barrel bombs” in Syria. The HRW tweet is in effect linking to its own claims disguised as a link to a reputable source.

It is interesting, and noncredible, that Human Rights Watch feels the need to use a picture of “good” U.S. created destruction to demonstrate destruction created by the “bad” Syrian army in its fight against U.S. supported Jihadis. The picture is obviously not the only thing HRW gets wrong.

Update:

This is not the first time HRW is using pictures of the “wrong” side. In October 2014 it used a picture of a woman crying over Ukrainian federalist, who were burned to death by Nazi-hordes in Odessa. to call for a “stand against Putin’s repressive policies”.

 Chicago, IL — Four more victims of incarceration at Chicago’s Guantanamo Bay style secret detention/torture center, known as Homan Square, have come out and spoken to The Guardian about their experience being essentially treated like cattle. They are four black males, Brock Terry, Kory Wright, Deandre Hutcherson and David Smith.

Three of them were held in 2006, and one in 2011.

They were kicked in the genitals while helpless and bound, put in ‘kennels for humans’, and they heard the bloodcurdling screams of other helpless victims while they thought they would never see the light of day again.

One man named Brock Terry was caught with five pounds of cannabis, and ended up being shackled to the “little circular thing behind the bench”, arms spread open, being fed only twice in 3 days. The Chicago police are known for turning up the temperature in the facility to extremely high temperatures, and then depriving victims of water while they are tied up, arms extended.

“I sat in that place for three days, man – with no talking, no calls to nobody,” Terry said. “They call police stations, I’m not there, I’m not there.”

“I was kept there. I didn’t speak to a lawyer or anything,” he continued. “I didn’t interact with nobody for three days. And then when I do see the light of day, I go straight to another police station, go straight there to county and be processed.”

He also said he didn’t see any other victims there, but he heard cries from people being seemingly tortured, and they screamed “no, no, no” and “stop”.

Another black man named Deandre Hutcherson was shackled in the same vulnerable position, and he said he was punched in the face, and stomped in the genitals “like he [the cop] was putting a cigarette out”

“They got kennels – like, for people,” Terry also told the Guardian. “I didn’t really want to believe that, but it is the truth.”

“I never saw anyone, but I know something else is going on. You don’t want to be in that kind of situation, so you gotta be quiet about it, so you don’t go down that route.” Terry continued.

More details will be released as the situation unfolds.

There is a movement to #Shut Down Homan Square tomorrow, and a Twitter storm today.

Please share this with beyond as many people as possible. This is a step too far, and we simply can’t stand for it.

In a last minute strategic move by counsel, Dr. Wouter Basson’s sentencing by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) has again been delayed.

Basson, who was found guilty by the HPCSA in 2013 of acting unprofessionally as the director of the apartheid government’s biological and chemical warfare unit, Project Coast, may have had one of the longest running trials in history. The initial complaints against him were filed with the medical board in 2000, only to be delayed until the conclusion of his criminal trial in Pretoria High Court.

As director of Project Coast in the eighties and early nineties, Basson allegedly provided assassination chemicals to members of the South African Defence Force, and, according to testimony heard in the criminal case, was involved in 229 murders. In addition, he was charged with embezzlement, drug trafficking and possession of illegal drugs. When he was arrested in 1997, he had more than 1000 Ecstasy tablets in his possession.

The judge in the criminal matter, Willie Hartzenberg, acquitted Basson of all charges against him in 2002. There were over 150 witnesses who testified against Dr. Basson. Basson was the sole witness in his defense.

Basson was known to be working on developing a blacks-only bioweapon, work which may have come to fruition. Much of his activities with Project Coast remain secret and undisclosed. He had also developed high ranking contacts with British and American intelligence and their governments’ biological and chemical weapons programs.

Basson is currently a successful cardiologist in Capetown.

In 2007, the HPCSA began its inquiry into Basson’s activities under the apartheid regime.

In 2013, the HPCSA determined that he had acted unethically as a medical doctor in the following charges:

  1. Dr Basson coordinated the production of large quantities of illegal psychoactive substances;
  2. Dr Basson was involved in equipping mortars with teargas for use against Angolan government soldiers;
  3. Dr Basson provided SADF operatives with disorienting substances to facilitate illegal kidnapping;
  4. Dr Basson made available cyanide capsules to SADF soldiers so that they could decide to commit suicide to avoid revealing information under torture.

His sentencing has been repeatedly delayed since that time, as his legal counsel, Jaap Cilliers, has failed to come to court for Basson’s sentencing on multiple occasions, necessitating continuances.

In January, Cilliers filed an emergency petition with the court in Pretoria, stating that two of the HPCSA professional conduct committee members were biased against Basson, due to their membership in organizations which had signed a petition asking for Basson to be stripped of his medical license. This petition was signed by a number of South African medical professionals and groups, including the South African Medical Association and the Rural Doctors Association of South Africa.

In his answering petition, HPCSA committee chairperson Jannie Hugo admitted his membership in the two organizations and wrote:

I did not participate in the process of the compilation of the petitions. I also did not sign any of them….the reason thereof is simple-I could not allow myself to be influenced by and participate in the process relevant to the issues to be determined in the proceedings, which were occurring outside the hearing.

In addition, Cilliers has alleged that committee member Professor Roland Edgar Mhlanga was also a member of the SAMA and thus should also be recused.

Mhlanga stated in his affidavit that he was not a member of either organization and that he did not sign any petitions.

Judge Bert Bam of the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria has ruled that Basson may apply for the two committee members’ recusal.

Bam wrote, “Not only will an order in this regard materially affect the proceedings, but it will surely have a devastating effect on the officer in question.”

The HPCSA will convene again on the Basson matter on March 12. If the past is any indicator, Basson will continue to evade sentencing. According to some “Basson watchers,” should the matter end up in Pretoria court rather than in the administrative proceedings launched by the HPCSA, the doctor may prevail. Many of the sitting judges are hold-overs from the apartheid era legal system and appear to be amenable to Basson’s issues.

Janet C. Phelan, investigative journalist and human rights defender that has traveled pretty extensively over the Asian region, an author of a tell-all book EXILE, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

Crimes of Empire: The Invasion of Benin Kingdom

March 1st, 2015 by Dr Michelle Yaa Asantewa

British colonial soldiers committed genocide in the Kingdom of Benin in 1897. They then looted some 4,000 pieces of art which have never been returned. A Nigerian film recreates the invasion, exposing the bestial brutality of Empire.

On Saturday 7 February, a packed British Film Institute (BFI) audience attended African Odyssey’s hosting of ‘Grand Theft Africa: History of the Benin Bronzes.’ It opened with a one-hour presentation by historian and Pan-Africanist Dr Ama Biney on the historic and continuing ‘scramble for Africa.’ The focus of her presentation and theme for the film that followed was the 1897 invasion of Benin, which contributed to the greater African holocaust enshrined in our experience of enslavement, colonialism and neo-colonialism. The brutal desecration of Benin lives and culture through the theft of over 4,000 of its artefacts by Western Europeans seems to be a known but yet untold story. It led to the demise of the Great Benin Kingdom, marking a most significant period in the continuing scramble for African resources. During the invasion the Oba (King) was deposed and deported to Calabar on 13 September 1897 where he died 16 years later. The Nollywood director, Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s film captures the horrific invasion in which Benin’s well organised governmental system, cultural and spiritual traditions, kept in place for thousands of years, were callously disrespected by the British invaders. The event at the BFI was well timed to correspond with the anniversary on 10 February of the invasion. What follows is a reflection of the event as I attempt to capture the impression it left on me.

The past is present

One of the lasting messages of Dr Biney’s presentation was that the ‘past is not dead – that it lives on in the present.’ This is how she perceives the impact of history. The infamous ‘Scramble for Africa’ in which 14 European powers voraciously supped around the 1884-1885 Berlin Conference table is a haunting and living legacy impeding the struggle for sovereignty and self-determination for many African states. Yet their lack of self-determination is linked to the unnaturalness of their construction, as these states represent the demographically modified appendages of the European imperialist project. Since the Conference preceded the invasion of Benin by over a decade it might appear accidental – or fortuitous. Likewise since the conference was held 130 years ago the social, economic and political instabilities associated with these states might suggest some natural inability to self-govern. Clearly this would be an ill-conceived perspective ignoring the deliberate and lasting impact of the Scramble.

This historical appendage made it possible for the Malian president to request help from France, its former colonial ruler, to intervene in the political crisis a couple years ago. Such interventions, whether sanctioned by African leaders or not, do not necessarily improve the conditions of the people they are supposedly called to assist; nor do they help to advance the sovereignty of African states. Historically, the image of ‘anarchy’ and destabilisation through the creation of proxy wars has been used by Western governments to justify interference in the affairs of other sovereign states. Similarly, parallels can be made of the moral arguments about fighting Boko Haram terrorists in Nigeria and the 1897 invasion by the UK government. Some chaos or anarchy has to be created/detected for which the burden to solve becomes that of the all-saving Europeans. Their military power would give them unfair advantage and means to occupy. The ‘humanitarian’ guise of rescuing 300 school girls provided a perfect opportunity for the US-European military expansion to West Africa. Excessive foreign troops stretched across large areas of Africa means a military occupation that has little to do with ‘saving girls.’ The question is whether Western intervention is necessary or is this interference part of their imperialist strategy? In other words: Are matters made worse or better by their intervention?

In her talk, Dr Biney reminded us which European countries were among those 14 powers at the conference: France, Britain, Germany and Portugal. The map she used to more visibly imprint the dissection of the continent showed the dominance of the French and British. She allowed a resonant beat to sink into our hearts the poignant fact that around this inglorious table no African leader was present. Therefore it remains to be said that Africans should be left to resolve their own internal affairs. Their self-determination will always be blighted by the interventionist strategies of Western governments whose interests lie in the control of our resources.

Circumstances of the invasion

What was striking from Dr Biney’s account was that prior to the 1897 invasion, between 1850-1880 there was a small European presence in Africa. They had coastal outposts from which they were exercising legitimate trade, particularly in palm oil and groundnuts. This trade had replaced the Trans-Atlantic Trade in human beings as slaves. The wanderlust of explorers, the crusading of missionaries and the avaricious traders combined to reshape the course of Africa’s history. The European countries involved in the trade sought to advance and protect their own interests, establishing military outposts that would later double as holding forts for enslaved Africans literally bound for the Atlantic. These outposts (forts) remain, as I observed during a trip to Cape Coast and Elmina Castles in Ghana. But those erected on the other side of the Atlantic also remain in the Caribbean islands. During a visit to some of these at the end of 2013 there was a sense that Africans (in the diaspora) had little claim to the land/islands but were forced to import everything and instead focus their economic interest on tourism – another way of saying exploration. At every corner of these islands there are churches – since the missionary project was supported by the respective European states.

Whilst they protected their claim along the coast, the real loot and ventures lay in the interior, which for many were yet unexplored. The increasing competition to discover and exploit Africa’s wealth naturally led explorers deeper into the interior. The Berlin Act, furthermore made it necessary for each European power to ‘inform each other of its claim’ to a portion of territory and establish the claim legitimately by ‘occupation.’ As we see today the interventionist strategy has its base in history whereby European governments used the internal disputes of African micro-states to push moral arguments about why they needed to be governed by external intermediaries. Some of the moral arguments were founded on the alleged principle of civilising Africans from their fetishisms and traditional practices, including human sacrifice. As Dr Biney noted, Europeans exaggerated these customs and practices in order to serve their own interests. Although the Europeans claimed to be concerned about internal slave trade and general conflicts in Africa, with the exception of the Yorubas no mention was made of internal slavery in the Berlin Act. Dr Biney argued that contrary to the supposed anarchy in Africa, most of West Africa was peaceful with well-organised states and strong rulers.

A sinister agreement

By the time of the invasion, Benin was expanding, having subsumed smaller states into its Kingdom through military force. The Edo region, in which the City of Benin was situated, was discovered by British explorers venturing deeper into the hinterland. The impressive cultural artefacts, along with the discovery of vast amounts of rubber leant fervour to the mission to totally colonise the region.

Oba Ovonramwen, who had inherited a kingdom at war not only with other states but with its own internal struggles, had to establish firm leadership but was loved and respected by his people. The British knew this. In 1891 the British Vice Consul H.L. Gallwey took a spurious treaty to Oba Ovonramwen. He didn’t sign the treaty but instead authorised one of his chiefs, who clearly couldn’t read English, to do so. According to Dr Biney the terms afforded protection for the Oba by Queen Victoria in return for loyalty to Britain; he could not entertain any other foreign power. There also had to be free trade with Britain and the kingdom had to receive missionaries. When the Oba flouted these terms a new treaty was devised aimed at forcing the Oba to submit to the British Empire.

Genocide: calling it by its name

Following his own orders, and perhaps owing to some despotic trait and loyalty to the British Crown, the Acting Vice Consul James Phillips ignored warnings not to enter Benin, when at this time a sacred ceremony was in swing. But he persisted to enter the City. This was regarded by the Benin chiefs as a challenge to the sovereignty of the kingdom for which they retaliated by killing Phillips and six other British men. This presented Britain with the opportunity of war against the kingdom and 1,500 soldiers primarily made up of Africans from other colonised territories were dispatched to avenge the killing of the seven Britons; two of them had escaped. The defeat of Benin, as Dr Biney explained, was due to the ‘superior technology’ of British weaponry. The Africans were admirable adversaries but their machetes, bows and arrows couldn’t compare. Though available on the continent, there was limited access to machine guns which would have aided their combat. Even if they could obtain the machine guns, there weren’t enough soldiers trained to use them. The outcome of this unfair advantage was genocide in which thousands Africans lost their lives. Shamefully this wholesale sacking of the Benin Empire also culminated in the grand theft of cultural artefacts bestowing the history and heritage of the Benin people.

‘The totality of the plan’

Another striking observation in Dr Biney’s presentation was the citation by fellow historian, Toyin Falola, who attributed the defeat of Nigeria (Benin) to the series of ‘so-called little wars’ waged by Britain as a decided method that ‘boosted the idea of imperialism.’ In other words, these little wars were by design part of a bigger plan for total domination. Former African leaders, like Ghana’s Kwame Nkrumah and Ahmed Sékou Touré of Guinea Republic, posited pan-African unity, calling for a level of consciousness that would recognise the ‘totality of the European plan’ – a systematic, well-practiced strategy of divide and rule. Colonialism was replaced by neo-colonialism after extending pretentious arms of independence.

When Ghana gained its independence in 1957 as the first country in sub-saharan Africa to do so, Nkrumah made it clear that unless all African territories were liberated, none were. The vision of total liberation of its people and of all the macro and micro African states would be the appropriate response to this ‘totality of the plan’ by Britain, US and other Western European nations still intervening in African affairs.

Invasion 1897, the film

It fulfilled a lifetime ambition of the Nollywood director Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen to produce a film about the invasion of Benin but also to screen it in the City of London. His diminutive figure was overshadowed by lofty aspirations and confidence as he beamed from the BFI podium. That the film, a Nollywood production, was even being screened at the BFI was another achievement he credited. In September last year filmmaker Nadia Denton curated a weekend centred on the rise of Nollywood. This was held in conjunction with the launch of her book, ‘The Nigerian Filmmaker’s Guide to Success: Beyond Nollywood’. This film builds on the commitment by the African Odyssey’s programme of ‘inspirational films by and about the people of Africa.’

The film opened with harrowing scenes of violence, with heads cleanly swiped by machetes and lobbed across my unsuspecting imagination early on. We were forewarned about the violence but I wasn’t prepared for the immediacy of it. These scenes of violence were interspersed in the film, building particularly during the invasion itself where graphic depictions of cannon explosions, bodies burning, machine gun killings, machete executions that exposed the impact of the devastation to African lives. Though the ‘white men’, as they were called in the film, lost their lives, this was disproportionate because Africans were fighting both for and against the British.

Dubious cast

Apart from the recognisable Rudolph Walker and Charles (Chucky) Venn (both from Eastenders) most of the cast were unknown to UK audiences or were acting for the first time. This might explain the awkward staccato diction of some of the actors, especially those playing English soldiers who hardly seemed committed to the process. I wondered if this was to do with cultural allegiance – the difficulty or pressure to show one’s culture in its true (in this case negative) light. For me the most remarkable acting was by Mike Omoregbe who played Oba Ovonramwen. He was committed to portraying the strength, complexity and anxieties of the Benin leader. He brought to life the image of this proud, powerful warrior king that Dr Biney barely had time to show us during her talk. He was convincing in embodying the spirituality and beliefs in ancestral traditions that underscored the King’s life and that of his people. Surprisingly, we were later told it was Omoregbe’s first acting role and that he was a priest whose faith wouldn’t approve of the traditional spiritual practices the film promoted so well. This shows the open-mindedness of Omoregbe and further reveals the daringness of Imasuen who cast him.

The role of the British museum

After the brutal opening scene, the film moved into present day to encapsulate the umbilical link with the past. A Nigerian descendant attempts to retrieve one of the Benin Bronzes from the British Museum. During the court hearing he refuses to plead guilty of theft, because he claims that he was restoring the items, stolen by the British, on behalf of his family. It wasn’t intended to be but this was somewhat comical. Yet, I imagine many Africans who visit the British Museum feel the same compulsion. I do. To mark the centenary of the invasion in 2014, the film was screened at the museum, amidst some security anxieties about protests and demonstrations. This is another of Imasuen’s accomplishments and speaks of the unabashedness of the British authorities about their grand theft of African resources. Perhaps they consider this screening some kind of concession. I see it the way Dr Biney regards the presentness of the past which will continue to speak until justice is done. Indeed, the penultimate scene in the film in which Oba Ovonramwen is captured was ominous. Throughout the film his speeches were deliberately elevated by the use of proverbs and allegories in contrast to the bland exchanges between the British soldiers. In his last speech he expressed prophetic sentiments of exacting justice.

The African perspective 

From the BFI podium and to welcome audience response Imasuen said he wanted to make a film that was unapologetically from the African perspective. He achieved this by privileging the views and motivations of the Africans, showing particularly that they were concerned with preserving their cultural heritage and protecting their sovereignty. The invaders on the other hand were ignorant, blood thirsty and greedy; ready to wage an unjust war to strengthen their own empire thousands of miles away. The visualisation of African courage during the invasion reinforced Dr Biney’s account about their bravery during combat; that they were not passive bystanders but ready warriors to defend their kingdom. Although many of the soldiers in the British army were Africans, I think the film was making a point in depicting this. The stark blue uniforms worn by the soldiers vividly conveyed a problem. As long as Africans see themselves as separate and divided, each state can be manipulated by the colonisers to commit soldiers to fight against the other. I’m trying to imagine a day I’d see a film whereby European soldiers (white) are en mass fighting on the side of Africans against another European aggressor. Africans need to be committed to identifying a unity of interest. When it comes to advancing their interests European leaders, as the film depicts, are two-faced and two-tongued. They conspire together, though they don’t always agree, to protective their collective and nationalistic aims. Somehow they’ve convinced African leaders they need to act differently.

Though he said the film was unapologetically from the African perspective there was a massive oversight by the director. In the last scene, in which the African descendent achieves victory in court for his alleged attempted larceny of the Benin Bronzes he is embraced by his European partner fully clad (in the court) in the cultural orange beading, including a crown, found in Nigeria. They hugged, once, twice and then they kissed long. I was disappointed by this seemingly out of place addition – gutted that after all the pronouncements against the ‘white men’ and the blatant caricaturing of Queen Victoria that Imasuen felt he needed to close the film with this lasting image. Throughout the film and in keeping with social history of the day there was lack of agency in the depiction of the African women. However, I wonder at the insensitivity to African women by reinforcing a tired stereotype of a successful African man (symbolised by the raised hand of victory, mirroring Nelson and Winnie after the former’s release from prison) and his European (white) woman. Imasuen tried to pass it off as a ‘cultural marriage’ claiming that he didn’t want to be seen to be preaching hate. But for me this scene was a wasted effort, no love angle of this kind was necessary. It seemed as though it was about compromise and a lack of total conviction.

The same could be said of the decision not to use a Nigerian language and maintain the subtitles (which were in English despite all the actors speaking in English). His rationale for this was about trying to ‘reach’ a wider audience. One wonders how far that reach needed to be given the 170 million population of Nigeria. The ‘reach’ ought to be seen as coming from those who are interested in evolving cultural representations, not our complicit perpetuation of cultural imperialism through the predominance of the English language. Still respect is due to him for producing a film that tells this true story intrinsically from the worldview of Africans.

The artefacts and the grand theft 

We saw clipped scenes of not only British but other European soldiers grabbing the loot from the decimated City of Benin. As well as Britain Dr Biney mentioned Sweden, Holland, Germany and the US as being beneficiaries of this looting. Imasuen related a story about seeing one of the Benin pieces on sale in the US for $54,000 and tried to compute how this sum would transform the lives of contemporary Edo artisans. With regard to the artistic feel of the film, there was a moderate attempt at this. There were some shots of the landscape; the red earth beautifully contrasting the tropically green trees gave a sense of the place. This was complimented by simple yet striking cultural costumes like the white puffy bottom half robes of the chiefs, the elaborate warrior vestments, including the visible crafting of their machetes and the impressive garments worn by the Oba. The achievement of this is commendable especially because the project was self-funded.

Imasuen commented during the Q&A that the craft and skill of creating those stolen artefacts has not been lost. There were shots of the bronze smelting, as homage to the skill and craft involved in producing the looted Benin bronzes.

Reparations

In her final remarks Dr Biney emphasised a call for reparations and restitution to account for the devastating loss of African life and the grand theft of thousands of Benin artefacts residing in the European museums and private collections Chicago. Despite attempts by the Edo people to secure the return of these treasures there has been no recognition of their claim. Imasuen recounted that during the build up to screening the film at the British Museum items were returned to the Benin Royal family by a descendant of one of the British men who looted the wares during the invasion. The emphasis on reparations highlighted the necessary and humane response in the 21st century to ameliorating the devastation of African cultural heritage under colonialism. This is part of a wider movement for reparations with which Dr Biney recommended young people to become involved.

Conclusion

The past does not only intrude but makes certain demands on the present. As I contemplate the stern face of Oba Ovonramwen, the confidence in his stature, I perceive an irrepressible spirit that will not rest until justice in some form is achieved for his people. In this way he can be said to embody the ancestral spirit of millions of Africans who perished during the holocaust or maafa (genocide). The combination of historical documentation from Dr Biney’s presentation and the artistic and cultural representation by Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen’s film provided excellent insight about the circumstances of the invasion. This was followed by lively debate during the Q&A which included on the panel along with Dr Biney and Lancelot Oduwa Imasuen, Nadia Denton, Mike Omoregbe (the Oba) and BFI’s David Somerset, Chairing.

I agreed with two memorable remarks. One stressed that the director didn’t have to pander to any suggestion he might be preaching hate in his film; that after all Africans were treated inhumanely in our brutal encounters with Europeans and we had nothing to apologise to them for; that in fact we’re still awaiting apology from them. The second asked that Imasuen took more care in the way he spoke about the value of African art. There was some miscommunication that suggested he would rather have compensation for the total value accumulated over one hundred years of theft, rather than having the artefacts themselves returned. The point was that we must appreciate both the artefact and their monetary worth, because if we didn’t and any slackness in our expressions about this would potentially send the wrong message and further hamper the campaign for reparations. I commend the effort of the African Odyssey team who brought the event to us in collaboration with Tony Warner of Black History Walks. Sponsors of the film, including Sapetra and Greenwich TV, and promoters j2 knosults were represented and to them too I express gratitude. Overall it was good to be there, the pre-screening presentation was great and despite some of its contradictions the film, as Nadia Denton summed up contributed to a necessary debate about the importance of history to the question of sovereignty and self-determination.

Click on the link to the official website for Invasion 1897.

Dr Michelle Yaa Asantewa formerly taught English Literature, Editing and Creative Writing at London Metropolitan University and currently facilitates writing workshops as an Independent Scholar. Her first novel Elijah and poetry collection The Awakening and Other Poems were self-published and are the launch publications for Way Wive Wordz Publishing. A Pan-Africanist and writer activist her blog waywivewordzspiritualcreative fuses social, spiritual and cultural experiences with artistic expression.