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

Read about Osama Bin Laden in Michel Chossudovsky’s international best-seller

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

September 11th, 2015 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

 

Note to Readers: Remember to bookmark this page for future reference.
Please Forward the GR I-Book far and wide. Post it on Facebook.

This text first published in August 2012 has been reposted in the context of the 14 years commemoration of  the tragic events of 9/11, September 11, 2015

[scroll down for I-BOOK Table of Contents]

*

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

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)

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 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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Featured image: Finland’s army soldiers attend the multinational NATO exercise Saber Strike in Adazi, Latvia © Ints Kalnins / Reuters / Reuters

It seems that Putin is about to invade the Baltics. Again.

With journalists and commentators distracted by Syria and Europe’s refugee crisis, Putin’s enduring desire to dash Westwards across the continent “recreating the Soviet Union” was seemingly put on the media’s back burner for a while. In fact, journalists had been oddly quiet on the subject of the Baltic states and a potential Russian invasion for months.

A piece published by the Financial Times last July admitted that the “consensus” among diplomats and analysts was that Putin had “not embarked on a rampage” to recreate an empire “as some feared last year”.

Given that new-found consensus, one might have suspected that the lull in stories about a forthcoming invasion could be chalked up to journalists deciding to put the subject to rest — but one would have been wrong. For they were back last week with a vengeance.

Interesting timing

On February 2, the Pentagon announced it would seek to quadruple its budget for Europe in 2017 to deter “Russian aggression”. On February 3, the UK’s BBC aired a fictitious ‘war gaming’ account of a Russian invasion of Latvia, complete with a nuclear strike on a Royal Navy warship and a planned strike on London — an exercise which one expert termed“psychological warfare”. On the same day, an American think tank, the RAND Corporation — which is partly funded by the US Department of Defense — claimed that Russia would be able to “overrun” the Baltics in 60 hours.

In the weeks leading up to the new media blitz, the Atlantic Council — whose primary founding aim is to defend NATO interests — had gotten the ball rolling again with a piece about Putin’s “next potential target” — which, you guessed it, was the Baltics. The piece was then re-published by Newsweek with the headline: “Counting down to a Russian invasion of the Baltics”.

This happens every time the Pentagon wants more money to play with. Various ‘studies’ about the danger posed by whichever bad guy is in fashion start appearing. Experts suddenly realize that the US military is drastically underfunded in said area of immediate strategic importance. Officials begin making even more outlandish statements than usual. And the media eat it up, apparently completely unaware of the fact that they are being taken for a ride.

Helping hands

Once a theme has been set in motion like this, the venom spreads fast. And the accusations become more and more absurd. The Pentagon had a helping hand from op-ed writers near and far last week. Paul Goble was back with his trusty Hitler comparison in a piece which inexplicably tried to compare the support Hitler received from Germans during World War II to the support Putin enjoys among the Russian public today. The implication again is that it’s only a matter of time before the Russian president begins his Westward march.

Not wanting to neglect Russia’s wrongdoings in Syria, one op-ed in the Guardian did its utmost to place blame for all escalations in the crisis at Putin’s doorstep, contending that his policies have brought “chaos” and will force Europe to pay an “increasing price”. Readers were left with the impression that Russia had attempted a “strategic weakening” of Europe (presumably to allow the “revisionist” power to sneakishly invade the Baltics?) and that Syria would be a picture of democratic peace had Moscow not intervened in the crisis last September.

Nowhere was there any mention of the strategic interests of the US, UK or Saudi Arabia. Nor was there any acknowledgement that perhaps the chaos Europe finds itself facing was the result of more than Russian involvement in Syria. Although, we ought not to have expected much else from the same author that brought us: “Europe is in crisis, once more America will have to step in to save us”.

Stockholm syndrome, anyone?

Another Guardian op-ed argued that the BBC must “do more” to “counter” Russian propaganda — as if the BBC isn’t already currently engaged in its most vicious anti-Russia campaign in years. “Putin must be stopped,” the op-ed writer wrote, calling for a ratcheting up of economic sanctions and arming Ukraine. But the best moment came when he wrote that the British government could even “chip in” some extra funding for the BBC “without compromising” the channel’s independence. He never explains how this would not compromise its independence, he just states it. I wonder how he feels about Russian state-funded TV?

Then, he ends in the most patronizing way of all; in the style of the do-gooder who selflessly wants to help those poor Russians in need of some Western truth. “If ever there were people in need of accurate, fair, balanced information,” he writes, it is Russians and Ukrainians. Remember, this is the same writer that a few paragraphs earlier suggested escalating economic warfare on the poor Russians he apparently cares about so deeply.

Anyway, one wonders exactly what more the BBC could be doing to help “stop” Russia that it is not doing already. Bar running a documentary about how Putin probably/may have/definitely kidnapped Madeleine McCann, complete with reenactments and interviews with Pussy Riot, I’d say they’re doing pretty well on that front.

Baltic Invasion, coming to a theater near you

All of the above dramatizations and over-the-top statements make you wonder a little bit about the human condition. Two things we know about people are 1: They like to be outraged about something, and 2: They don’t like to be bored. This is a recipe for op-ed disaster.

Just think about it. A Baltic invasion would keep the moral police on the editorial boards of the New York Times and Washington Post going for months, if not years. It would be exciting, wouldn’t it?

Another war they egged on, but could now pretend they were devastated over. Some more bloody color for their front pages. Another information war to tweet about all day; maps with red circles and ‘proof’ of Russia’s military misdeeds from some ‘expert’ on his couch thousands of miles away.

With absolutely zero evidence to back up the idea that Putin would be stupid enough to wake up one day and randomly invade the European Union, it’s almost like they’re trying to will it to happen just for a bit of entertainment.

Rational, balanced voices sidelined

Meanwhile, saner, expert voices calling for rational thinking rarely get heard, and when they do, they appear as a mere footnote to the drama. Take Kent University Professor Richard Sakwa’s letter to the Guardian last week, in which he called for a calmer assessment of Russia and argued that its constant ‘demonisation’ would serve to make no one safer.

“We need to understand more and condemn less,” he wrote, arguing that the country’s portrayal as an aggressive power only increases its own perception of threat from outside. He warned that such portrayals “fail to take into account its defensive posture”.

Understand more and condemn less. That’s not really very catchy, is it? It doesn’t involve the phrase “dangerous psychopath” so it’s a bit bland, really. No one’s going to click on that. We’ll just stick it over here in the ‘Letters’ section that no one reads and forget about it.

Danielle Ryan is an Irish freelance journalist and media analyst. She has lived in the US and Germany and is currently based in Moscow. She previously worked as a digital desk reporter for the Sunday Business Post in Dublin. She studied political reporting at the Washington Center for Politics & Journalism in Washington, DC and also has a degree in business and German. She focuses on US foreign policy, US-Russia relations and media bias.

“There was no battle and no resistance (and no Egyptians). The first conquerors killed from eighty to a hundred Arabs [including] women and children. The children were killed by smashing of their skulls with sticks. Is it possible to shout about Deir Yassin and be silent about something much worse?” For the first time ever, a letter quoting one of the Israeli soldiers who were part of the Al-Dawayima massacre in October 1948 is published in full.

On Friday, February 5th 2016, Haaretz published an article in Hebrew by Israeli historian Yair Auron [pictured left], which covers one of the biggest massacres of 1948. The massacre is of Al Dawayima, west of Al-Khalil (which is often referred to as Hebron). In a 2004 interview with Haaretz, Israeli historian Benny Morris refers to this as a massacre of “hundreds”.

After the massacre, a letter was sent to the editor of the leftist affiliated newspaper Al-Hamishmar, but never published. As Auron notes, there are still many archives of the time which are classified. Auron also states that there was an investigation that was never concluded and “died out” as a massive amnesty was provided to military personnel in February 1949.

This is a very exhaustive article, but I found it useful enough to translate this letter in full on its own. The letter, which first “disappeared,’ was provided to Auron by historian Benny Morris. Although these matters have been referred to in passing in historical summaries, the letter has never been published before in full.

Historian/sleuth Benny Morris

To comrade Eliezer Peri, good day,

Today I have read the editorial of “Al Hamishmar” where the question of our army’s conduct was aired, the army which conquers all but its own desires.

      Historian/sleuth Benny Morris

A testimony provided to me by an officer which was in [Al] Dawayima the day after its conquering: The soldier is one of ours, intellectual, reliable, in all 100%. He had confided in me out of a need to unload the heaviness of his soul from the horror of the recognition that such level of barbarism can be reached by our educated and cultured people. He confided in me because not many are the hearts today who are able to listen.

There was no battle and no resistance (and no Egyptians). The first conquerors killed from eighty to a hundred Arabs [including] women and children. The children were killed by smashing of their skulls with sticks. There was not a house without dead. The second wave of the [Israeli] army was a platoon that the soldier giving testimony belongs to.

In the town were left male and female Arabs, who were put into houses and were then locked in without receiving food or drink. Later explosive engineers came to blow up houses. One commander ordered an engineer to put two elderly women into the house that was to be blown up. The engineered refused and said he is willing to receive orders only from his [own] commander. So then [his] commander ordered the soldiers to put the women in and the evil deed was performed.

One soldier boasted that he raped an Arab woman and afterwards shot her. An Arab woman with a days-old infant was used for cleaning the back yard where the soldiers eat. She serviced them for a day or two, after which they shot her and the infant. The soldier tells that the commanders who are cultured and polite, considered good guys in society, have become vile murderers, and this occurs not in the storm of battle and heated response, but rather from a system of expulsion and destruction. The fewer Arabs remain – the better. This principle is the main political motive of [the] expulsions and acts of horror which no-one objects to, not in the field command nor amongst the highest military command. I myself was at the front for two weeks and heard boasting stories of soldiers and commanders, of how they excelled in the acts of hunting and “fucking” [sic]. To fuck an Arab, just like that, and in any circumstance, is considered an impressive mission and there is competition on winning this [trophy].

We find ourselves in a conundrum. To shout this out in the press will mean to assist the Arab League, which our representatives deny all complaints of. To not react would mean solidarity with moral corruption. The soldier told me that Deir Yassin [another massacre, by Irgun militants, April 1948] is not the peak of hooliganism. Is it possible to shout about Deir Yassin and be silent about something much worse?

It is necessary to initiate a scandal in the internal channels, to insist upon an internal investigation and punish the culprits. And first of all it is necessary to create in the military a special unit for the restraint of the army. I myself accuse first of all the government, which doesn’t seem to have any interest to fight the phenomena and perhaps even encourages them indirectly. The fact of not-acting is in itself encouragement. My commander told me that there is an unwritten order to not take prisoners of war, and the interpretation of “prisoner” is individually given by each soldier and commander. A prisoner can be an Arab man, woman or child. This was not only done at the exhibition windows [major Palestinian towns] such as Majdal and Nazareth.

I write this to you so that in the editorial and in the party the truth will be known and something effective would be done. At least let them not indulge in phony diplomacy which covers up for blood and murder, and to the extent possible, also the paper must not let this pass in silence.

Kaplan

Netanyahu Wants an Arab-Free Knesset

February 9th, 2016 by Stephen Lendman

An organization representing Palestinian victims of Israeli state-terror invited Joint (Arab) List Members of the Knesset (MKs) to meet with surviving family members – a responsible thing to do, deserving praise.

Hanin Zoabi, Jamal Zahalka and Basel Ghattas paid their respects to fallen martyrs. The meeting focused on pressuring Israel to return bodies of victims they murdered in cold blood. 

Netanyahu and Knesset speaker Yuli Edelstein lodged an unprecedented complaint to the body’s ethics committee, saying Arab MKs fostered “incitement (and) encourag(ed) murder,” the usual Israeli Big Lie, blaming victims for its high crimes.

According to Edelstein:

“(i)t is inconceivable that at a time when innocent citizens are being slaughtered (polar opposite what’s happening), these MKs go to console the families of the murderers and with unbelievable insolence dare to bring the families’ demands to the government.”

“I see this as a severe injury to the Israeli legislature and the State of Israel and hope that these actions will finally be noted by the judges of the High Court of Justice the next time they discuss an appeal against disqualifying unworthy candidates from running for office as lawmakers.”

State-sponsored misinformation and Big Lies repeated enough gets most people to believe them. Israel wants an Arab-free Knesset, reserved exclusively for Jews, showing its self-declared democracy is phony, pure fantasy, proving it in numerous other ways.

Netanyahu is a notorious Arab-hating racist. MKs who…comfort the families of terrorists (freedom fighters vilified for opposing lawless occupation harshness)…do not deserve to be in the Israeli Knesset,” he ranted – asking Edelstein to examine ways to remove them.

Arab MKs defended their honorable action, Hanin Zoabi blasting Israel’s refusal to return bodies of fallen martyrs. “It is our duty to do our utmost to” oppose this outrage, she stressed.

Basel Ghattas slammed Israeli viciousness, saying “(w)hen the trumpets of fascism incite against us, it means that we are protecting human values.”

“We condemn the incitement against party members perform(ing) their duty to help families to return the bodies of their children, which the Israeli authorities hold contrary to international laws and values.”

Israel is a fascist police state, institutionalized racism official policy, democracy for Jews alone. Arabs are unwanted, persecuted and murdered in cold blood, defenseless against its killing machine.

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.

Try this at home. Dress up corporate. Stand on a corner with a clipboard. Hover a drone with a video camera nearby. Ask passersby:

1. Who’s in the Super Bowl?

2. Who should be president next year?

3. What was just signed in New Zealand that, if ratified, will let corporations overturn U.S. laws, speed up the destruction of the environment, outsource jobs, encourage slavery, eliminate food safety standards, make medicine cost even more, censor and restrict the internet, impede reform of Wall Street, and make those 20 people who own as much as half the country even richer at your expense?

This is a clear-cut case where Meatloaf is just wrong. Two out of three really is bad.

Former U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, and others who had seen all or part of the text of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, used to say that just making it public would stop it dead. But that depends on a number of factors, I think. The TPP has now been made public. Twelve nations have just gone ahead and signed it. And their hope is to see their governments ratify it during the next two years.

The destruction wreaked by NAFTA can be seen in thousands of hollowed out towns across the United States, if you trust the bridges to get you there and are willing to risk drinking the water. But public discussion of NAFTA’s impact is not a popular topic in the corporate media, consolidated post-NAFTA and worsened ever since.

The 1993 corporate media debate over whether or not to create NAFTA looks bizarre to us today. You can go back and watch Vice President Al Gore (pro-NAFTA) debate wealthy crank Ross Perot (anti-NAFTA) on television. That such a thing existed is crazy enough to contemplate in this anti-democratic day and age. But then watch Perot make the debate about the damage NAFTA was going to do to the people of Mexico. You know as well as I do what the universal response to that line of reasoning would be today across the political spectrum of media-approved voices. Say it aloud with me: Who the hell cares what happens to Mexicans!

In fact, the TPP is almost entirely ignored and avoided. When it’s mentioned it’s as something our authoritarian government knows better how to handle than we do. Its defenders, including President Barack Obama, present it as a way to jab a finger in China’s eye. Its opponents argue that it attacks U.S. sovereignty and benefits foreign nations. What, if anything, it does to Vietnamese workers, for example, is just not registering, and the idea of a U.S. billionaire in 2016 bringing that to public attention as a moral concern would get you mocked as a dreamer faster than Hillary Clinton changes positions when a check book is opened.

The Free Trade Area of the Americas and other post-NAFTA corporate deals have been stopped by public pressure, and the TPP can be as well. What is it up against?

First, the text of the thing reads like a stack of phone books filled with this sort of gripping drama:

“Article 14.1: Definitions — For the purposes of this Chapter: computing facilities means computer servers and storage devices for processing or storing information for commercial use; covered person 1 means: (a) a covered investment as defined in Article 9.1 … “

I know you can’t wait to find out what happens next, but I suspect there’s a section somewhere criminalizing quoting too much of the document. The problem is not just dryness, but also vacuity. We sometimes imagine that politicians save their vague platitudes for speeches and then pack concise substantive and enforceable policies into actual legislation. Not true. The TPP is a pile of substantive policies scattered into an enormous pile of meaningless blather, with no color coding to tell you which is which.

There are people with expertise who will decode it for you, but there is not room for them in corporate news reporting, given the possibility that Ben Carson might say something stupid soon. Even the massive , nonviolent resistance in New Zealand in the face of preemptive arrests and intimidation, and demonstrations all over the United States, doesn’t seem to make good news copy when a lineup of monsters want to announce their support for torturing people.

How dare I call them monsters? Well, exactly. Election distraction doesn’t just distract. It also divides and conquers. Donald Trump actually opposes the TPP, but his fans will consider me evil for objecting to his racism. Bernie Sanders credibly opposes the TPP, unlike Hillary Clinton, but to mention that is to bring down thunder on your head from both Clinton and Jill Stein backers.

Margaret Flowers explained some TPP facts recently on the aptly named Real News Network. The entire document fails to mention climate change, she said. “This is a binding agreement,” she points out, “whereas the agreement that was made in Paris, the climate treaty, is a voluntary agreement. So this actually supersedes that voluntary agreement.” Corporations, she said, “under TPP, can sue governments if our laws interfere with their expected profits. So if we pass a law that basically provides protection of the environment in some way, maybe we ban fracking. That would be great. Or stop offshore drilling. A foreign company can then sue our government and say that that law interfered with their profits and sue us for loss of expected profits. Now, what this typically does and has done in the past is that it actually changes the country’s law, because rather than facing billions of dollars in fines, countries would just rather repeal those laws and not have to deal with that.”

Flowers had this advice on what to do:

“People will be particularly focused on their members of Congress during the break, February 14-21. So we really encourage people to get involved, to learn more about this. We need to stop this. And they can do that at FlushTheTPP.org.”

We should notice that she said to pressure Congress. Here are the senators who voted for Fast Track, which means no debate or amendments on the TPP, and the House members who voted for Fast Track, as well as the four horses’ asses of the TPP apocalypse.

Other good targets are President Obama and media executives. The wrong targets are presidential candidates. Organizations that have steadfastly resisted putting any resistance up to Obama for seven years have been heavily involved in pressuring people like Hillary Clinton who hold no public office and whose every campaign promise should be carefully ignored as not worth the breath that articulates it. Hillary Clinton’s State Department helped create the TPP, and she consistently praised it, calling it the “gold standard,” right up until she began claiming to “oppose” it without committing to stop it.

Some of us recall eight years ago when Clinton and Obama and all the Democratic primary candidates promised to fix NAFTA, except for Congressman Dennis Kucinich who promised to undo it entirely on his first day as president. Obama never lifted a finger to fulfill that promise, and neither has Clinton had a word to say about it. Bernie Sanders, like Dennis Kucinich, is actually credible, so electing him might actually make a difference on this issue. But spending the next 12 months as spectators to an election will be fatal.

We need principled, issue-based activism. You can start by signing this petition, and finish by shaming out of TPP support any office holder who doesn’t want to be voted out of office.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director of WorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He blogs at DavidSwanson.org and WarIsACrime.org. He hosts Talk Nation Radio. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

Follow him on Twitter: @davidcnswanson and FaceBook.

War Is A Lie: Second Edition, published by Just World Books on April 5, 2016. Please buy it online that day. I’ll come anywhere in the world to speak about it. Invite me!

Selected Articles: What Future for the Global Economy?

February 8th, 2016 by Global Research News

economy-crisisThe West Is Traveling the Road to Economic Ruin

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, February 08 2016

Michael Hudson is the best economist in the world. Indeed, I could almost say that he is the only economist in the world. Almost all of the rest are neoliberals, who are not economists but shills for financial interests.

US-dollar-300x188-federal-noteCurrency War Escalation: Iran Wants Euros Instead of US Dollars for Oil Payments

By Timothy Alexander Guzman, February 07 2016

Washington must be getting nervous with the latest announcement from Iran’s state-owned oil company, the National Iranian Oil CO (NIOC) which declared that Iran will replace US dollars with Euros for its oil trades according to a Reuter’s news article…

eu-us-russia-ukrainePrivatization Is the Atlanticist Strategy to Attack Russia

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts and Michael Hudson, February 08 2016

Two years ago, Russian officials discussed plans to privatize a group of national enterprises headed by the oil producer Rosneft, the VTB Bank, Aeroflot, and Russian Railways. The stated objective was to streamline management of these companies, and also to…

How Will A Downgrade of U.S. Debt Impact Stock and Bond Prices?Britain’s House Price Crash – 2016 Predictions Mount

By Graham Vanbergen, February 08 2016

Housing in many countries, especially Britain is no longer an investment, it’s now made up of three fundamentals; consumption, crime and concern. The general public getting on the bandwagon with cheap loans is consumption. The crime slot is taken now…

More Layoffs in America: No Letup in Attack on JobsAre The US Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?

By Dr. Paul Craig Roberts, February 07 2016

Are The Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements? US economics statistics are so screwed up that they do not provide an accurate picture. Consider the latest monthly payroll jobs report.

gmfoodOrganic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel Reality of the Pro-GMO Evangelist

By Colin Todhunter, February 08 2016

Consider that India had for generations sustained one of the highest densities of population on earth, without any chemical fertilisers, pesticides, exotic dwarf strains of grain or ‘bio-tech’ inputs. And it did it without degrading the soil.

Britain’s House Price Crash – 2016 Predictions Mount

February 8th, 2016 by Graham Vanbergen

Housing in many countries, especially Britain is no longer an investment, it’s now made up of three fundamentals; consumption, crime and concern. The general public getting on the bandwagon with cheap loans is consumption. The crime slot is taken now that over 40% of Britain’s housing stock is bought in cash with property used as an international laundrette to wash hundreds of billions and concern comes from savers who quite rightly think that the banks and government will steal their hard earned (low or negative savings rates), tax paid money that drives a reluctant middle class into becoming landlords.

Cheap loans will prevail but credit is drying up the world over. The criminals have stopped buying in over-heated Britain and even George Osborne, who has fuelled the bubble, is taking action against amateur landlords that make up the vast majority of property investors in Britain.

But don’t take my word for it. Predictions of a house price crash in 2016 are now mounting thick and fast, something unheard of in previous property recessions and particularly back in 2007 just before the last epic fall.

We kick off with consumption. The Week has a piece from Pete Redfern, the chief executive of Taylor Wimpey, Britain’s biggest house builder who says that “The UK is in a “borderline place” on home ownership as a result of rampant price rises and more needs to be done to rein in the pace of (property) inflation”. It also makes the observation that “London, where the housing market is becoming so detached from the wider UK that it has been called “another country”.

Then we have dodgy dosh from overseas; As RT reports:

“Asian and Russian luxury homebuyers are deserting London’s property market amid economic uncertainty. Property buyers from Asia made up 26 percent of those buying homes in wealthy areas of London such as Kensington, Chelsea, and Belgravia in the first three quarters of last year. That figure has dropped to 6 percent according to figures compiled by estate agent Hamptons for the Financial Times”.

And not forgetting those poor fearful middle class reluctant landlords about to lose their shirts. From Industry expert Letting Agent Today – “Osborne has slashed rental sector confidence ‘to below crisis levels’. Landlords’ confidence in the buy to let sector has collapsed to an all-time low and is now “worse than levels witnessed during the financial crash” according to a trade body. Richard Lambert, chief executive of the National Landlords Association, says confidence in landlords’ business expectations has tumbled by more than a third over the past year – down from 67 per cent to an all-time low of 43 per cent. The current level of confidence in the BTL sector is now five per cent lower than levels witnessed after the financial crash in 2007”.

The property bubble will burst and London will be its epicentre. But it’s not just London that is causing it. Back in the early 1990’s I was already a few years into my 25 year career in residential property. Chancellor Nigel Lawson decided to abolish MIRAS in 1988 – a mortgage relief scheme which saved homeowners thousands on their payments. Stupidly, Lawson gave about six months notice. This pushed up prices as buyers rushed to snatch up a property before the tax break disappeared, much the same as Osborne’s increase in tax and subsequent epic run by property investors to beat the deadline this April.

On that day in April 1988 I saw the entire property industry implode. Property prices fell by around a third, 1.5 million homeowners declined into negative equity, annual repossessions doubled, tripled and then quadrupled in a matter of months. At one point repossessions represented 1 in every 130 households of Britain.

A few years later I switched from selling property to renting and ended up managing one of the biggest residential rental portfolio’s in the UK. I had 11,000 repossessions to manage because the government had offered tax breaks to banks and building societies to stop these units reaching the market via auctions (called Business Expansion Scheme Companies or BESCo’s) and utterly destroying what little remained of the housing market. I also had another 2,000 high-end units where building companies had gone bust with no-one to buy them. We filled them with all those that had lost their homes or where the government were paying housing benefit – obviously.

Over 40% of Thatcher’s right-to-buy disaster ended up being repossessed. Cameron has just made the same mistake, except he’s a bit late in the game announcing it this time around.

Like last time, the bubble will burst where the price is most inflated – London. Unlike previous deflations, this one is predicted, and the writing is large and loud.

From Market Oracle:

“So it is not just the world’s dubious billionaires / oligarchs who have been flooding London with their wealth for safety from corrupt regimes. Average UK house prices have now risen by 30% from the 2009 bear market low with London soaring 70% as it looks like we are witnessing the peak of the London property bubble mania. London over the next 3 years will probably turn out to be Britain’s worst performing region”.

The FT – “Collapsing confidence in the buy-to-let market will lead to half a million properties coming on to the housing market in the next year”.

International Business Times – “London house prices: Sales of prime property crash”, with agents complaining of a dramatic 64% drop in transactions

UBS Global Real Estate Bubble Index – highlights that London and Hong Kong the two worst, opining that “London (property) is by far the most overvalued market in Europe, at risk of a bubble as a result of explosive price behaviour” and “It risks a substantial price correction“.

Business Insider:

“The worry is that as interest rates finally begin to rise off record lows, buy-to-let landlords will struggle to meet mortgage repayments and all sell-up at the same time. The flood of housing stock on the market could lead to a price crash.”

Just at the point you decided all this was nothing more than speculation, Lancaster University’s UK Housing Market Observatory report scientifically says:

“If London house prices keep growing at the current pace of 2.75% every quarter year, there will be a full-blown bubble in early 2017 – This will be followed by a sudden crash in prices.”

And, if you just weren’t absolutely sure that the whole pack of cards is precariously shivering in a cold and blustery breeze, here is some research from Aviva about how we’re all doing:

“All-time low interest rates have fuelled a borrowing spree that has seen Britons rack up a mind-boggling debt of £40billion. The latest figures show family that household debt rose by 42 per cent in the last six months alone, according to research from Aviva. The average family now owes £13,520 on credit cards, personal loans and overdrafts, up from £9,520 last summer. Throw in a 20 per cent increase in average mortgage debt over five years and households are more vulnerable than ever. Worse, family incomes are falling and many have lost the savings habit as their finances are stretched.”

Finally, some comforting words from the 12th largest bank in the world. As the Telegraph reports: “RBS has advised clients to brace for a “cataclysmic year” and a global deflationary crisis, warning that major stock markets could fall by a fifth and oil may plummet to $16 a barrel. The bank’s credit team said markets are flashing stress alerts akin to the turbulent months before the Lehman crisis in 2008. “Sell everything except high quality bonds. This is about return of capital, not return on capital. In a crowded hall, exit doors are small,” it said in a client note“. To be fair, RBS should know, they have a lot of experience of completely screwing up investments having lost £46billion in a tax payer bail-out and £45billion of their own since then.

The word deflationary is key as it relates to all asset classes – property included. All the signs are there for a classic house price crash, inflated property prices, unsustainable household debt, low savings and banks up to their necks in it – again. The difference is that property prices are much higher than 2007, so is personal debt but your wages aren’t.

Batten down the hatches – the perfect storm is bearing down upon us all.

Graham Vanbergen – truepublica.org.uk

US Presidential Race: Giving Peace Very Little Chance

February 8th, 2016 by Robert Parry

After nearly 15 years of Mideast war – with those conflicts growing ever grimmer – you might expect that peace would be a major topic of the 2016 presidential race. Instead, there has been a mix of warmongering bluster from most candidates and some confused mutterings against endless war from a few.

No one, it seems, wants to risk offending Official Washington’s neocon-dominated foreign policy establishment that is ready to castigate any candidate who suggests that there are other strategies – besides more and more “regime changes” – that might extricate the United States from the Middle East quicksand.

Late in Thursday’s Democratic debate – when the topic of war finally came up – former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton continued toeing the neocon line, calling Iran the chief sponsor of terrorism in the world, when that title might objectively go to U.S. “allies,” such as Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, all of whom have been aiding Sunni jihadists fighting to overthrow Syria’s secular regime.

Israel also has provided help to Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front, which has been battling Syrian troops and Lebanese Hezbollah fighters near the Golan Heights – and Israel’s mistreatment of Palestinians has played a key role in stirring up hatred and violence in the Middle East.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (NBC photo)

Image: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders. (NBC photo)

But Clinton has fully bought into the neocon narrative, not especially a surprise since she voted for the Iraq War, pushed the disastrous Libyan “regime change” and has sought a limited U.S. military invasion of Syria (to prevent the Syrian army from securing its border with Turkey and reclaiming territory from jihadists and other rebels).

Blasting Iran

In Thursday’s debate – coming off her razor-thin victory in the Iowa caucuses – Clinton painted Iran as the big regional threat, putting herself fully in line with the neocon position.

“We have to figure out how to deal with Iran as the principal state sponsor of terrorism in the world,” Clinton said.

“They are destabilizing governments in the region. They continue to support Hezbollah and Hamas in Lebanon against Israel. …

“If we were to normalize relations right now [with Iran], we would remove one of the biggest pieces of leverage we have to try to influence and change Iranian behavior. … I believe we have to take this step by step to try to rein in Iranian aggression, their support for terrorism and the other bad behavior that can come back and haunt us.”

Iran, of course, has been a longtime neocon target for “regime change” along with Syria (and before that Iraq). Many neocons were disappointed when President Barack Obama negotiated an agreement to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program remained peaceful (an accord reached after John Kerry replaced Clinton as Secretary of State). The neocons had been hoping that the U.S. military would join Israel in an air war to “bomb-bomb-bomb Iran” — as Sen. John McCain once famously declared.

Yet, there were other distortions in Clinton’s statement. While it’s true that Iran has aided Hezbollah and Hamas in their resistance to Israel, Clinton ignored other factors, such as Israeli acts of aggression against both Lebanon, where Hezbollah emerged as resistance to an Israeli invasion and occupation in the 1980s, and the Palestinians who have faced Israeli oppression for generations.

Silence on the ‘Allies’

In the debate, Clinton also avoided criticism of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey for their military and financial assistance to radical jihadists, including Al Qaeda’s Nusra Front and Al Qaeda’s spinoff, the Islamic State. At the urging of Clinton, the Obama administration also approved military shipments to Syrian rebels who then either turned over or sold U.S. weapons to the extremists.

Iran’s role in Syria has been to help support the internationally recognized government of Bashar al-Assad, whose military remains the principal bulwark protecting Syria’s Christian, Alawite, Shiite and other minorities from possible genocide if Al Qaeda-connected jihadists prevailed.

Clinton also ignored her own role in creating a haven for these terror groups across the Middle East because of her support for the Iraq War and her instigation of the 2011 “regime change” in Libya which created another failed state where Islamic State and various extremists have found a home and started chopping of the heads of “infidels.”

Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who battled Clinton to a virtual tie in Iowa, took a somewhat less belligerent position at Thursday’s debate, repeating his rather naïve idea of having Sunni states lead the fight against Sunni jihadists. On the more reasonable side, he indicated a willingness to work with Russia and other world powers in support of an anti-jihadist coalition.

“It must be Muslim troops on the ground that will destroy ISIS, with the support of a coalition of major powers — U.S., U.K., France, Germany and Russia,” Sanders said.

“So our job is to provide them the military equipment that they need; the air support they need; special forces when appropriate. But at the end of the day for a dozen different reasons … the combat on the ground must be done by Muslim troops with our support. We must not get involved in perpetual warfare in the Middle East.”

Sanders continued,

“We cannot be the policeman of the world. We are now spending more I believe than the next eight countries on defense. We have got to work in strong coalition with the major powers of the world and with those Muslim countries that are prepared to stand up and take on terrorism. So I would say that the key doctrine of the Sanders administration would be no, we cannot continue to do it alone; we need to work in coalition.”

Sounding Less Hawkish

While Sanders clearly sought to sound less hawkish than Clinton – and did not repeat his earlier talking point about the Saudis and others “getting their hands dirty” – he did not address the reality that many of the Sunni countries that he hopes to enlist in the fight against the jihadists are already engaged – on the side of the jihadists.

Clinton, as she seeks to cut into Sanders’s lead in New Hampshire polls, has been stressing her “progressive” credentials, but many progressive Democrats suspect that Clinton could become a neocon Trojan Horse.

Arch-neocon Robert Kagan, a co-founder of the Project for the New American Century, has praised Clinton’s aggressive foreign policy.

Kagan, who was made an adviser to Clinton’s State Department (while his wife Victoria Nuland received big promotions under Clinton), said in 2014: “If she pursues a policy which we think she will pursue … it’s something that might have been called neocon, but clearly her supporters are not going to call it that; they are going to call it something else.” [For more, see Consortiumnews.com’s “Is Hillary Clinton a Neocon-Lite?”]

Not only did Clinton vote for the Iraq War – and support it until it became a political liability during Campaign 2008 – but she rejoined the neocon/liberal-hawk ranks as President Barack Obama’s Secretary of State. She routinely sided with neocon holdovers, such as Gen. David Petraeus, regarding Mideast wars and Israel’s hardline regime in its hostilities toward the Palestinians and Iran.

In 2011, Clinton pushed for “regime change” in Libya, chortling over Muammar Gaddafi’s torture-murder in October 2011, “We came. We saw. He died.” Since then, Libya has descended into a failed state with the Islamic State and other jihadists claiming more and more territory.

Clinton also favored an outright (though limited) U.S. military invasion of Syria, setting up a “safe zone” or “no-fly zone” that would protect militants fighting to overthrow the secular Assad government. Over and over again, she has adopted positions virtually identical to what the neocons prescribe.

But Sanders, although he opposed the Iraq War, has hesitated to challenge Clinton too directly on foreign policy, apparently fearing to distract from his focus on income inequality and domestic concerns. He apparently has chosen fuzziness on foreign policy as the better part of political valor.

GOP Neocons Score

On the Republican side, the first week of the presidential delegate-selection process saw two candidates who mildly questioned the neocon conventional wisdom face reversals. Billionaire Donald Trump was upset in the Iowa caucuses and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul shut down his flailing campaign.

Trump has noted his opposition to the Iraq War and his willingness to cooperate with Russia in the fight against jihadist terror, while Paul pushed a libertarian-style approach that questioned neocon interventionism but not as aggressively as his father did, apparently hoping to avoid Ron Paul’s marginalization as “an isolationist.”

While Trump and Paul stumbled this week, neocon favorite Marco Rubio surged to a strong third-place finish, catapulting past other establishment candidates who – while largely me-too-ing the neocon orthodoxy on foreign policy – are not as identified with pure neoconservatism as the youthful Florida senator is.

However, even the non-neocons have opted for visceral warmongering. Tea Party favorite and winner of the Republican Iowa caucuses, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, has vowed to “carpet bomb” Islamic State strongholds and promised to see “if sand can glow in the dark,” as he told a Tea Party rally in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The phrase “glow in the dark” popularly refers to the aftermath of a nuclear bomb detonation.

However, as hardline as Cruz is, he still received a tongue-lashing from the neocon-flagship Washington Post for not doing a “full-neocon” when he suggested that the United States should not focus on “regime change” in Syria. Cruz has worried that overthrowing Assad’s government might pave the way for a victory by the Islamic State and other Sunni jihadist terrorists.

In a Dec. 31, 2015 editorial, the Post’s editors instead hailed neocon favorite Rubio for arguing “forcefully” for Assad’s removal and castigated Cruz for saying Assad’s ouster was “a distraction at best – and might even empower the jihadist.”

A Beloved ‘Group Think’

It is one of Official Washington’s most beloved “group thinks” that Syrian “regime change” – a neocon goal dating back to the 1990s – must take precedence over the possible creation of a military vacuum that could bring the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda to power.

After all, it won’t be the sons and daughters of well-connected neocons who are sent to invade and occupy Syria to reverse the capture of Damascus by the Islamic State and/or Al Qaeda. So, the Post’s editors, who in 2002-03 told the American people as flat fact that Iraq’s Saddam Hussein was hiding WMD, engaged in similar exaggerations and lies about Assad in demonizing Cruz for his apostasy.

“Mr. Cruz is arguing for a stridently anti-American and nakedly genocidal dictator who sponsored terrorism against U.S. troops in Iraq and serves as a willing puppet of Iran,” the Post wrote.

That is typical of what a politician can expect if he or she deviates from the neocon line, even if you’re someone as belligerent as Cruz. Any apostasy from neocon orthodoxy is treated most harshly.

There is, by the way, no evidence that Assad is “nakedly genocidal” – his largely secular regime has never targeted any specific ethnic or religious group, indeed his government is the principal protector of Christians, Alawites, Shiites and other minorities that have been targeted by Sunni extremists for death.

Nor did Assad sponsor “terrorism against U.S. troops in Iraq.” By definition, terrorism is political violence against civilians, not against a military occupation force. Assad also sought to collaborate with the Bush-43 administration in its “war on terror,” to the point of handling torture assignments from Washington.

But distortions and falsehoods are now the way of the modern Washington Post. The newspaper will say anything, no matter how dishonest or unfair, to advance the neocon cause.

But the most dangerous outcome from these pressures is that they prevent a serious debate about a most serious topic: what the next president must do to bring the costly, bloody and endless wars to an end.

Investigative reporter Robert Parry broke many of the Iran-Contra stories for The Associated Press and Newsweek in the 1980s. You can buy his latest book, America’s Stolen Narrative, either in print here or as an e-book (from Amazon andbarnesandnoble.com).

War Crimes Tribunal Finds Bush and Blair Guilty

February 8th, 2016 by Mahi Ramakrishnan

Originally published by GR in November 2011,  this report outlines the 2011 judgment of the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal. It is of particular relevance to the role of Tony Blair in the Iraq war, which is currently the object of controversy and debate in the UK.

*       *       *

A Malaysian tribunal has found former US President George W Bush and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair guilty of committing crimes against humanity during the Iraq war, Press TV reported.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal found the former heads of state guilty after a four-day hearing. A seven-member panel chaired by former Malaysian Federal Court judge Abdul Kadir Sulaiman presided over the trial.

The five panel tribunal unanimously decided that the former US and British leaders had committed crimes against peace and humanity, and also violated international law when they ordered the invasion of Iraq in March 2003.

The prosecutors at the hearing ruled that the invasion of Iraq was a flagrant abuse of law, and act of aggression which amounted to a mass murder of the Iraqi people.

“Bush and Blair are found guilty under the same law that applied to the Nazis after the end of the World War II. So, they are international (war) criminals guilty of Nuremberg crimes against peace; and they should be prosecuted by any state in the world that gets a hold of them. We will continue our efforts to bring Bush and Blair to justice and put them in jail,” Francis Boyle, an international law expert and prosecutor, told Press TV.

The judges in the verdict said that that the United States, under the leadership of Bush, forged documents to claim that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

Bush and Blair were tried in absentia by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal at the end of the hearing. The participants also demanded that the findings of the tribunal be made available to members of the Rome Statute and that the names of the two former officials be entered in the register of war criminals.

“There is also a recommendation that this (the findings) be circulated to the states because all states have universal jurisdiction. Therefore, whenever Bush or Blair appear within their shores there is an obligation on the international law to commit these international war criminals through the justice system,” Gurdial Singh Nijar, a prosecutor, told Press TV.

Lawyers and human rights activists in Malaysia have described the verdict issued by the Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal against Bush and Blair as “a landmark decision.”

They say that they would lobby the International Criminal Court to charge the pair for war crimes.

The Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is scheduled to hold a separate hearing next year on charges of torture linked to the Iraq war against former US officials including ex-Vice President Dick Cheney, former Secretary of State Donald Rumsfeld and ex-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

Press TV’s Mahi Ramakrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur.

Image: Photo relating to prisoner abuse released by DoD on February 5, 2015 in long-running ACLU lawsuit.

The Pentagon on Friday was forced to release nearly 200 photographs of bruises, lacerations, and other injuries inflicted on prisoners presumably by U.S. military personnel in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The record-dump was the result of a Freedom of Information Act request and nearly 12 years of litigation by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), which fought to expose the Bush-era torture.

The images, the group says, prove that there was “systemic abuse of detainees.” And while troubling, attorneys say that even more problematic is the roughly 1,800 photographs that the government refused to disclose.

“The disclosure of these photos is long overdue, but more important than the disclosure is the fact that hundreds of photographs are still being withheld,” said ACLU deputy legal director Jameel Jaffer, one of the attorneys in the case.

“The still-secret pictures are the best evidence of the serious abuses that took place in military detention centers,” Jaffer continued. “The government’s selective disclosure risks misleading the public about the true extent of the abuse.”

Eliza Relman, a paralegal with the ACLU’s National Security Project, said that documents and emails that the government has been forced to release over the course of the litigation give an idea of what the remaining images may contain.

“We have found more than 100 documents that either reference photos related to cases of abuse or actually contain photos that were redacted before they got to us,” Relman said.

She continued:

The photos still being withheld include those related to the case of a 73-year-old Iraqi woman detained and allegedly sexually abused and assaulted by U.S. soldiers. According to the Army report detailing the incident, the soldiers forced her to “crawl around on all-fours as a ‘large man rode’ on her,” striking her with a stick and calling her an animal. Other pictures depict an Iraqi teenager bound and standing in the headlights of a truck immediately after his mock execution staged by U.S. soldiers. Another shows the body of Muhamad Husain Kadir, an Iraqi farmer, shot dead at point-blank range by an American soldier while handcuffed.

The Department of Defense argues that the release of the remaining images would jeopardize national security and “may incite others to violence against Americans and US interests,” the ACLU explains.

“What the photos that the government has suppressed would show is that abuse was so widespread that it could only have resulted from policy or a climate calculated to foster abuse,” said ACLU staff attorney Alex Abdo, who noted that no senior official has been held accountable “or even investigated” for these abuses.

“That is why the government must release all of the photos and why today’s selective disclosure is so troubling,” Abdo added.

The ACLU first filed its request six months before the notorious Abu Ghraib images wereleaked by the press in March 2006.

In 2009, then-defense secretary Robert Gates issued a blanket certification preventing hundreds of photographs from being made public. An identical certification was issued in 2012 by Gates’ successor, Leon Panetta.

In March 2015, a U.S. district court judged ruled in favor of the ACLU, which argued that the certifications are “unsupported and overbroad.” Defense Secreatry Ashton Carter certified the photographs again last November, with the exception of the 198 now made public.

Hillary Clinton: Changing Positions At Every Election

February 8th, 2016 by Brandon Turbeville

As the tide of public opinion goes, so goes Hillary Clinton’s campaign rhetoric. 

Note the term “campaign rhetoric” here since it is not Clinton’s true positions that change, it is only her words that ride the political wind. 

If America is sick of war, Hillary is sick of war (except for the new one). If America is angry at banks, Hillary is angry at banks (except when she votes to bail them out). If Americans are beginning to question vaccine safety, Hillary questions their safety. If trendies are afraid of getting sick and there is a temporary false consensus that vaccines work, Hillary is pro vaccine. The list goes on and on. 

Below are only a few points on which Hillary Clinton has made an about-face in regards to her alleged positions on the campaign trail.

Vaccines - In stark contrast to candidate Clinton in 2008 when questions over the safety and effectiveness of vaccines were coming to the political consciousness of the American people, Hillary has now become a vocal cheerleader of Big Pharma and vaccinations.

While her opinion is odious enough on its face, it is quite the change from the opinion she held as acandidate in 2008 when she stated that there was the possibility that vaccines were linked to autism.[1] In fact, she wrote in a campaign questionnaire that she was committed to finding out the causes of autism, including “possible environmental causes like vaccines.”[2]

In 2015, however, when it became clear that questions surrounding vaccines was not going to remain a part of the “fringe” of society among both the right and the left and the propaganda campaign began full-steam ahead to cut off any mass movement against vaccination, Clinton began showing her true colors, coming out in favor of the pro-vaccine crowd and suggesting that anyone who question the safety or effectiveness of vaccines was a luddite and an anti-science crackpot.[3]Clinton was one in a long line of presidential hopefuls who made sure to take part in the propaganda campaign against concerned parents, affected individuals, and informed citizens.

Clinton then took to social media to make a jab at those who consider toxic chemicals like mercury, aluminum, polysorbate-80, or even live viruses to be cause for concern when faced with the question of whether or not to inject them into their children.[4] [5]

Her actual position? In favor of the pharmaceutical companies and banks that make up such a sizeable portion of her campaign donations.

Iran Nuclear Deal – While Hillary has come out publicly and endorsed the Iran nuclear deal clenched by Barack Obama, Republicans were probably too busy calling for nuclear World War Three to have noticed. Likewise, Democrats were too busy kneeling at the feet of Obama to pay too much attention to Clinton’s statement. However, for a few observers who were of the mistaken belief that Clinton’s rhetoric is to be believed more than her behavior and track record, her statements came as a bit of a shock.

This is because Hillary’s past statements were much more pro-war and hawkish than her tepid endorsement of the Obama deal, itself nothing more than theatre to set the Iranians up for an eventual US invasion once NATO is done with Syria.

Michael Crowley of TIME writes,

Clinton brought a hard-line background to the topic of Iran. In April 2008 she warned that the U.S. could “totally obliterate” Iran in retaliation for a nuclear attack on Israel—prompting Obama to chastise her for using “language that’s reflective of George Bush.”[6]

In Obama administration debates about Tehran’s nuclear program, Clinton opposed talk of ‘containment,’ a policy option that plans for a world in which Iran possesses a nuclear weapon. Preparing for containment implies a decision not to use military force to prevent an Iranian bomb in the event that diplomacy fails.[7]

Indeed, Clinton’s statements would (and probably did) make war-obsessed psychopaths like Lindsey Graham gleam with pride. In 2008, she stated to Good Morning America,

I want the Iranians to know that if I’m the president, we will attack Iran (if it attacks Israel).

In the next 10 years, during which they might foolishly consider launching an attack on Israel, we would be able to totally obliterate them.

That’s a terrible thing to say but those people who run Iran need to understand that because that perhaps will deter them from doing something that would be reckless, foolish and tragic.[8]

In an interview with Jeffrey Goldberg of The Atlantic, she stated brashly,

I’ve always been in the camp that held that they did not have a right to enrichment. Contrary to their claim, there is no such thing as a right to enrich. This is absolutely unfounded. There is no such right. I am well aware that I am not at the negotiating table anymore, but I think it’s important to send a signal to everybody who is there that there cannot be a deal unless there is a clear set of restrictions on Iran. The preference would be no enrichment. The potential fallback position would be such little enrichment that they could not break out.”[9]

Of course, there is a right to enrich.[10] There is a right to enrich up to the levels that would indeed allow for the capability to create a nuclear weapon but stopping short of actually doing so. In other words, since Iran is a signatory to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty, it is entitled all avenues of nuclear technology for peaceful purposes, including uranium enrichment.

Obviously, judging by her track record, Clinton is anything but anti-war. Going from “totally obliterate” to “willing to work with” is quite the turnaround. Indeed, only last year, Clinton was boasting that “I voted for every sanction that came down the pike against Iran.”

As a Senator in 2007, she backed a resolution to designate the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps as a terrorist organization.[11]

In February, 2007 Clinton had proclaimed, that “You don’t refuse to talk to bad people. I think life is filled with uncomfortable situations where you have to deal with people you might not like. I’m sort of an expert on that. I have consistently urged the president to talk to Iran and talk to Syria. I think it’s a sign of strength, not weakness.”

However, after Obama proclaimed that he would do just that if elected President, Clinton responded “I thought that was irresponsible and frankly naïve.”

When asked in a later debate if she would do the same, Clinton responded negatively stating that “I don’t want to be used for propaganda purposes.” [12]

Clinton has shifted back and forth on the Iranian issue but only in the directions in which the winds tend to be blowing. Overall, considering her track record with Syria, Iraq, Libya, and any other possible war she can support, it’s doubtful that her endorsement of the recent deal is genuine in any way.

Her real position? Undoubtedly Pro war.

Gay Marriage – Hillary Clinton has always supported equal rights for same-sex couples, except when she hasn’t. In 2016, Clinton is known as someone who supports gay marriage on practical and conceptual basis. However, that hasn’t always been the case.

To get a brief overview of Clinton 2016, read the beginning of the piece by Sam Frizell of TIME magazine on June 27, 2015, where he writes,

Hillary Clinton praised the Supreme Court decision to guarantee same-sex marriages on Friday night and forcefully condemned the Republicans’ response to the ruling, warning the GOP presidential field not to turn LGBT issues into a “political football for this 2016 campaign.”

“It was an emotional roller coaster of a day, Clinton said. “This morning, love triumphed in the highest court in our land. Equality triumphed, and America triumphed.”

“Instead of trying to turn back the clock,” Clinton continued, Republicans “should be joining us in saying no to discrimination once and for all.”

Clinton’s comments on Friday evening were her first public remarks in the wake of Friday’s Supreme Court ruling that the Constitution guarantees the right for same-sex couples to marry. Her campaign issued a statement Friday in support of the decision and touted it on social media.[13]

Clinton’s comments were indeed her first since the Supreme Court decision but they were not her first regarding the issue.

In 1996, when Bill Clinton signed the Defense of Marriage Act, Hillary was right there at his side. Indeed, his position and hers were the same.

In 2000, when she was running for NY Senate, Clinton stated that “Marriage has got historic, religious and moral content that goes back to the beginning of time, and I think a marriage is as a marriage has always been, between a man and a woman.”

In 2004, after winning her Senate campaign, Hillary took to the Senate floor and stated clearly that she believed marriage was only between a man and a woman.[14] She stated “I believe marriage is not just a bond but a sacred bond between a man and a woman.” She continued by stating “..the fundamental bedrock principle that [marriage] exists between a man and a woman, going back into the midst of history as one of the founding, foundational institutions of history and humanity and civilization, and that its primary, principal role during those millennia has been the raising and socializing of children for the society into which they are to become adults.”

Clinton continued her opposition to gay marriage through her 2008 Presidential campaign and even all the way up until 2013, when the tide of public opinion had shifted enough that such a stance was politically safe to do so.

Her real position? Most likely that Gay marriage is a political football. It is only as important as the gay population’s value on the political chessboard.

Iraq – Hillary Clinton was one of the most vociferous Democatic supporters of the illegal and immoral invasion of the sovereign nation of Iraq. Hillary Clinton not only supported the push for war in Iraq, she voted for invasion. In fact, she was fervent in her support for the war, delivering impassioned speeches on the Senate floor in order to convince members of Congress who might have been on the fence, as well as the general American population and a handful of Democrats and liberals who valued her opinion on the topic. Indeed, Hillary’s speech promoting war in Iraq rivaled in George W. Bush who was campaigning night and day on American television.

Hillary stated on the floor of the Senate:

“I believe the facts that have brought us to this fateful vote are not in doubt. Saddam Hussein is a tyrant who has tortured and killed his own people, even his own family members, to maintain his iron grip on power. He used chemical weapons on Iraqi Kurds and on Iranians, killing over 20,000 people.”[15]

Clinton then began to detail not only why she believed the United States should begin their invasion, but also insinuated that the operation, if the first Gulf war was anything to go by, would not result in a long drawn out conflict but one more like the first. Although Clinton did not state this directly, the implication was that it was time go in and finish the job but also that much of the work was already done.

She also rushed to point out that international community (“everyone”) knew that Saddam did have weapons of mass destruction. She stated that

“The [U.N.] inspectors found and destroyed far more weapons of mass destruction capability than were destroyed in the Gulf War, including thousands of chemical weapons, large volumes of chemical and biological stocks, a number of missiles and warheads, a major lab equipped to produce anthrax and other bioweapons, as well as substantial nuclear facilities.”

Although Clinton now attempts to brush off her treasonous assistance to drum up an illegal and immoral war in Iraq as a mistake, the truth is that anyone with any political judgement knew that the war itself was based on lies and would be a tragic adventure. They knew all of this at the time. Although she also attempts to blame the “faulty intelligence” of the Bush administration, it was Hillary Clinton herself who once referred to the intelligence as “undisputed.”

Her real position? As always, pro-war.

The above issues are merely three examples of Hillary Clinton’s epic flip-flopping. Any examination of her prior positions – particularly when they are stated just before an election – reveal that, like the weather, Hillary is constantly changing and, like the wind, she is always shifting from one direction to the other. That is, she is always shifting her position in terms of her public stances. For her genuine positions, however, one need only look to the bankscorporations, foundations, and related organizations that fund and support her.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is the author of seven books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 andv olume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria,and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST atUCYTV. His website isBrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

Notes:

[1] Cohen, Rebecca. “Hillary Clinton Says All Kids Should Get Vaccinated – But She Wasn’t Always So Certain.” Mother Jones. February 3, 2015.http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/02/hillary-clinton-vaccine-tweet Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[2] Ross, Chuck. “Hillary Clinton Wanted To Investigate Link Between Autism and Vaccinations.” Daily Caller. February 2, 2015. http://dailycaller.com/2015/02/02/hillary-clinton-wanted-to-investigate-link-between-autism-and-vaccinations/ Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[3] Merica, Dan. “Hillary Clinton Hits GOP With Pro-Vaccine Tweet.” CNN. February 3, 2015.http://www.cnn.com/2015/02/02/politics/hillary-clinton-vaccines/ Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[4] Turbeville, Brandon. “Left-Right Paradigm Warps Vaccine Debate: Yes, Parents DO Have The Right To Opt-Out.” Activist Post. February 4, 2015. http://www.activistpost.com/2015/02/left-right-paradigm-warps-va Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[5] Camia, Catalina. “Hillary Clinton: The Earth Is Round And Vaccines Work.” USA Today. February 3, 2015. http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2015/02/03/hillary-clinton-vaccines-work-tweet-christie/22783761/ Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[6] Morgan, David. “Clinton Says U.S. Could ‘Totally Obliterate’ Iran.” Reuters. April 22, 2008.http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/04/22/us-usa-politics-iran-idUSN2224332720080422 Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[7] Crowley, Michael. “Hillary Clinton’s Unapologetically Hawkish Record Faces 2016 Test.” TIME. January 14, 2014. http://swampland.time.com/2014/01/14/hillary-clintons-unapologetically-hawkish-record-faces-2016-test/ Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[8] Morgan, David. “Clinton Says U.S. Could ‘Totally Obliterate’ Iran.” Reuters. April 22, 2008.http://www.reuters.com/article/2008/04/22/us-usa-politics-iran-idUSN2224332720080422 Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[9] Goldberg, Jeffrey. “Hillary Clinton: ‘Failure’ To Help Syrian Rebels Led To The Rise Of ISIS.” The Atlantic. August 10, 2014. http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2014/08/hillary-clinton-failure-to-help-syrian-rebels-led-to-the-rise-of-isis/375832/ Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[10] Sahimi, Muhammad. “Iran Has A Right To Enrich – And America Already Recognized It.” The National Interest. November 19, 2013. http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/iran-has-right-enrich%E2%80%94-america-already-recognized-it-9425 Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[11] Crowley, Michael. “Hillary Endorses Nuclear Deal.” Politico. July 14, 2015.http://www.politico.com/story/2015/07/hillary-clinton-iran-nuclear-deal-120078 Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[12] “Clinton: Obama Is ‘Naïve’ On Foreign Policy.” NBC. July 24, 2007.http://www.nbcnews.com/id/19933710/ns/politics-the_debates/t/clinton-obama-naive-foreign-policy/#.VeneQBFVikp Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[13] Frizell, Sam. “Hillary Clinton Praises Gay Marriage Decision And Hounds GOP.” TIME. June 27, 2015. http://time.com/3938898/hillary-clinton-gay-marriage/ Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[14] Biddle, Sam. “Remember When Hillary Clinton Was Against Gay Marriage?” Gawker. June 26, 2015. http://gawker.com/remember-when-hillary-clinton-was-against-gay-marriage-1714147439Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

[15] Curl, Joseph. “Hillary Clinton Supported Iraq War – Before She Opposed It.” Washington Times. May 17, 2015. http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/may/17/joseph-curl-hillary-clinton-supported-iraq-war-bef/?page=all Accessed on September 4, 2015. 

Much has been made of the $10 billion in aid pledged by world leaders for Syria’s refugees at a donor’s conference held in London last Thursday. United Nations (UN) Secretary General Ban Ki-moon hailed the conference a “great success,” saying, “Never has the international community raised so much money on a single day for a single crisis.”

It would be more accurate to say, never have the imperialist powers offered so much cash to keep a crisis they created away from their doors. Syria has been devastated by a civil war instigated by the United States and its allies, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey, producing a flood of refugees of historic dimensions.

At least half the Syrian population, 11 million people, are internally displaced, and a further 4.6 million people have fled to neighbouring countries, where they are surviving under the most desperate conditions. The vast majority of these refugees are in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. The purpose of the London meeting was to ensure that the refugees stay there, and do not attempt to travel further west and north, into Europe.

The European Union (EU) pledged $3.3 billion for this year and intends to “maintain this level of financing” for 2017 and beyond. Britain pledged an extra $1.7 billion until 2020, Germany committed $1 billion this year and a further $1.3 billion by 2018, France said it would give $1 billion, while the US pledged an extra $925 million for 2016.

Their motivation was clear, with German Chancellor Angela Merkel telling the conference that the shortfall in food aid in 2015 had prompted the increase in the number of Syrians seeking refuge in Europe.

This money, from the richest countries in the world, is a drop in the ocean. Only $6 billion of this is for 2016—much less than the $8.5 billion the UN had sought—with the remainder for 2017 to 2020. This amounts to less than $400-500 per person per year, assuming the donors honour their pledges. Previous conferences have failed to deliver, leading the World Food programme and other aid agencies to cut back on their already meagre support for Syrian refugees last year, plunging millions into even greater misery and hardship.

Such parsimony contrasts sharply with the amount being spent by Washington and its allies on the war to unseat Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. The US Department of Defense alone is spending about $14 million a day on its operations in Syria and Iraq supposedly combating Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), in addition to the $187 million it is spending on the Iraq war every day.

Conditions for the refugees in the countries bordering Syria, where they are not legally entitled to work, are dire. Many Syrian refugees in Jordan and Lebanon work as casual labour in informal day jobs for low wages.

Shanta Devarajan, World Bank chief economist for the Middle East and North Africa, said, “Unemployment is high among refugees, especially women, and those who do work often work in the informal sector with no protection.”

She added, “About 92 percent of Syrian refugees in Lebanon have no work contract and more than half of them work on a seasonal, weekly or daily basis at low wages.”

Many children are forced to work because their parents cannot or because they cannot earn enough if they do work.

Turkey, by far the largest and most prosperous of the three countries, has taken in the largest number of Syrian refugees, around 2 million. This along with the economic recession in Europe, its largest export market, has led to unemployment rising to 10 percent, food prices soaring by 12 percent and inflation rising to 9.5 percent.

Lebanon and Jordan, far smaller and more impoverished countries, have taken proportionately more refugees per capita.

Lebanon, with a population of around 3.5 million before the Syrian conflict and youth unemployment of around 35 percent, is hosting around 1.8 million Syrians. This has served to push up rents and decrease wages, leading to an 11 percent decline in per capita income.

Prime Minister Tammam Salam, who came to London at the head of the Lebanese delegation, said that the refugee crisis had cost his country more than $20 billion. He needed at least $11 billion—more than the entire $10 billion pledged over several years at the London conference—to cope with the crisis.

Jordan’s population is now around 8 million, following an influx of about 1.6 million Syrians, of whom only about 680,000 are registered with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). The World Bank estimates that this is costing Jordan over $2.5 billion a year.

All three countries are now closing their borders to refugees, leaving desperate Syrians stranded. Jordanian officials have said that they will not admit any more refugees without additional aid.

The donors are also making the aid dependent upon the three countries opening up their job markets to refugees to provide a million new jobs.

While Lebanon reluctantly agreed to do so, it refused to grant citizenship, residency rights or legalise their status in Lebanon. Jordan was similarly reluctant, citing the lack of opportunities for its own citizens. In the event, it agreed to measures aimed at creating 200,000 jobs, a further five development zones to be set up around the country, the formalisation of Syrian-owned businesses and the lifting of restrictions on commercial activities within the refugee camps.

It is far from clear that formal employment, should it be available, will provide the refugees with higher wages, while in Turkey, which has agreed to increase the number of work permits, employers have said that the additional cost of national insurance contributions will lead to workers being fired.

British Prime Minister David Cameron, who chaired the conference along with leaders of Germany, Kuwait, Norway and the UN, said that the neighbouring countries had made a “courageous commitment” to open their economies to provide more jobs, “helped” by $40 billion of loans and the opening of European markets that would create one million new jobs in the region.

This was a reference to visits by the World Bank, the Islamic Development Bank and the UN to Jordan and Lebanon last week to broach the possibility of “development loans” to shore up their debt-laden economies, something that Jordan rejected.

Imad Fakhoury, the Jordanian planning minister, said that while Jordan welcomed potential offers of concessionary financing, including for development programs that the country had to postpone after the Syria crisis began in 2011, Jordan expects grants—not loans—to address the needs of refugees and of host communities in Jordan that had to absorb large numbers of displaced Syrians.

The London conference, attended by politicians and the aid industry, was a cheap and cynical attempt to ensure that the refugees stay where they are and do not attempt to reach Europe, and is recognised as such.

Doctors Without Borders refused to attend the conference. Vickie Hawkins, the NGO’s UK executive director, said, “We object to the policy of containment that is an undercurrent to this conference.” She continued, “The conference is sending a clear message: don’t come to Europe.”

US military commanders are preparing to expand US operations in Afghanistan, including through the deployment of more US troops in a front-line combat role and stepped up air strikes, General John Campbell, the outgoing US commander in Afghanistan, told the Washington Post in an interview Friday.

“We shouldn’t sugarcoat it,” Campbell said. “I’m not going to leave without making sure my leadership understands there are things we need to do.

“In the last few months of 2015 it became so obvious that we had to make a decision to go back to what we should have done in the first place.” Campbell added, “We need to stay for years.”

Campbell’s statements are the latest in a series of announcements by the White House and Pentagon that amount to a public acknowledgment that the American military is planning a permanent military occupation of Afghanistan.

Senior unnamed US officers recently told the Post that the Pentagon is basing itself on assumptions that US forces will remain there for “decades.” US forces must stay in Afghanistan for “a very long time” in order to support the Afghan security apparatus with a combination of air strikes, intelligence gathering, logistical assistance and direct participation in ground combat.

General Campbell met with Obama personally on Thursday to discuss his proposed revisions to the administration’s “drawdown” schedule.

The White House visit followed Campbell’s Congressional testimony, during which the general said that “Afghanistan has not achieved an enduring level of security and stability that justifies a reduction of our support.” He demanded Congressional support for daily US air raids.

Referring to the Obama administration’s Afghanistan policy, Campbell criticized the White House for earlier plans to “drawdown” US forces in the country. “They banked on hope instead of reality, and now they’re paying the piper,” he said.

Campbell’s comments, which flout the basic principle of civilian control of the military, are part of growing pressure from sections of the political and military establishment for expanded war in Afghanistan and throughout Central Asia and the Middle East. For its part, the Obama administration, which has sought to focus military resources in East Asia, has responded by pledging to intensify operations in Afghanistan.

Last October, the Obama administration reversed its earlier proposal to reduce US troop presence, announcing that 10,000 troops will remain in Afghanistan at least through the end of his presidency. Behind the scenes, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter has been active in planning the expansion of the “secret war” in the country.

In January, the Obama administration authorized the de facto expansion of the war nominally targeting the Islamic State, waged since 2014 across Syria and Iraq, into portions of northeastern Afghanistan.

These moves are also a repines to the intensifying crisis of Washington’s puppet regime in Kabul, which has undercut the administration’s efforts to maintain the US grip over Afghanistan through a minimal exertion of US ground strength.

The Kabul regime has been incapable of securing key cities throughout the country, including Kunduz, where new Taliban assaults are anticipated, central areas of Helmand province and even its own capital. US imperialism has responded by bolstering its presence in the country.

Also of concern to Washington are the efforts of China to secure more of a strategic foothold in Afghanistan, which the US considers a stronghold of its military-political agenda in Central Asia. Reports Sunday that Kabul has accepted Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing’s proposals for projects to enhance railway and other infrastructure linking the two countries have underscored the growing tensions within Afghanistan produced by the growing US-China struggle.

In this video Luke Rudkowski covers the important geopolitical meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and globalist henchman Henry Kissinger.

We go into who Henry Kissinger is, the strings that he pulls geopolitically and the current escalating situation between the U.S and Russia.

This news is only provided to you because of you, check out our store and t-shirts to grow our operation http://store.wearechange.org/

Notes:

http://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/sports…

http://sputniknews.com/russia/2016020…

http://www.newsweek.com/russias-vladi…

http://tass.ru/en/politics/854465

https://www.rt.com/news/331194-putin-…

http://www.cfr.org/world/remarks-nati…

http://www.salon.com/2016/01/12/email…

http://www.globalresearch.ca/neo-cons…

http://www.salon.com/2015/04/17/the_i…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PTFwh…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lOgiZ…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_d2bC…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4xgf…

http://nationalinterest.org/feature/u…

https://www.rt.com/usa/312964-kissing…

http://www.nationalinterest.org/featu…

http://tass.ru/en/politics/852635

http://sputniknews.com/europe/2016012…

https://www.rt.com/news/330511-nato-e…

http://tass.ru/en/defense/853149

http://ahtribune.com/world/europe/451…

http://sputniknews.com/world/20160126…

http://sputniknews.com/us/20160201/10…

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After years of denial, Israel’s Minister for Energy, Yuval Steinitz [pictured left], revealed last week that the flooding of the tunnels into Gaza that facilitate the movement of essential supplies for the besieged civilian population, had been at Israel’s specific request and with the full co-operation of the Egyptian government of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. This has taken Israel’s increased co-operation along the border with Egypt to unprecedented levels.

This extraordinarily sensitive situation of co-operation between Israel and Egypt, in the denial of human rights of nearly two million, is a matter of great concern, not least in Egypt itself where the Arab world’s condemnation of Israel’s illegal settlement on Palestinian land is widespread.

Egypt’s clandestine co-operation with Israel follows the many years that Israel’s Netanyahu was ‘in bed’ with former Egyptian President Mubarak who allegedly received huge sums of money for his covert assistance to the Israeli state.  What the specific advantage is to the current Egyptian government in maintaining Israel’s 7 year, illegal blockade of Gaza, is unknown.

One can only conclude that there is essentially little difference between the two adjoining Middle East states of Israel and Egypt.  They share many characteristics none of which, however, could be termed democratic.  Democracy has yet to reach that part of the Middle East where military repression and control, either overt or covert, is sadly the norm.

[email protected]

London  8 February 2016

Why the Assange Ruling is not ‘Ridiculous’

February 8th, 2016 by Jonathan Cook

Mads Adenaes, until recently the Norwegian chair of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, agrees with my post that a Guardian editorial on Friday seriously misrepresented the group’s legal ruling that Assange had been arbitrarily detained.

Adenaes also explains in simple terms why the ruling is not a “publicity stunt” (the Guardian), “ridiculous” (British foreign secretary Phillip Hammond) or “crazy” (too many people commenting on my social media pages). It is grounded in a very reasonable interpretation of international law – and very unreasonable legal behaviour by both Sweden and the UK.

Adanaes’ comments were made during an interview on Democracy Now. The whole interview can be found here. But this is the relevant section:

adenas

What Adenaes points out is that the detention is considered arbitrary in part because Sweden has not pursued it in the way a similar “normal” case would have been. Sweden, remember, let Assange leave the country after he had been interviewed by the first prosecutor and it had been decided to drop the case.

In normal circumstances, it would be entirely routine for the second Swedish prosecutor, who revived the case, to come to the UK to conduct a further interview, as has happened numerous times before. In this case, where there are serious grounds for believing Assange is in danger of political persecution (that secret grand jury awaiting him in the US for the embarrassing revelations put out by Wikileaks), the failure of Swedish prosecutors to make possible such an interview in the UK over several years is treated as a sign of bad faith. It provides further grounds for suspecting that Assange is in real danger of onwards extradition to the US, assisted by Sweden.

Note what else Adanaes says of the behaviour of the second prosecutor, Marianne Ny, who revived the case after it had been dropped:

Swedish courts have been very critical of the prosecutor, of the Swedish prosecutor, for this. And if you read those judgments closely – they’re in Swedish, of course – you will see that it is as strong a criticism as you can expect possible from a Swedish court against the way that the prosecutors have proceeded here.

In other words, Swedish judges think the prosecutor is behaving unreasonably too.

The UK is actively participating in this legal charade by spending millions of pounds to keep Assange confined to a tiny room in the Ecuadorean embassy, apparently more interested in turning him into a reviled figure than in expediting an interview by Swedish prosecutors that could resolve the case and get him dedicating his energies to the important work he does for Wikileaks.

That is essentially why the UN panel calls it “arbitrary detention”. Not a “publicity stunt” or “ridiculous”. A very reasonable interpretation of the rights Assange should enjoy to fair treatment under international law. (It should be noted that his continuing detention, after this ruling, amounts to torture.)

As Assange’s lawyer, notes:

He has been detained now for five years, one month and 29 days. And to put it bluntly, that’s a hell of a long time to detain someone, someone who has never been charged and has never even been questioned by the Swedish authorities.

That so many people have concluded that a panel of leading international law experts has arrived at a preposterous decision in the Assange case says far more about those reaching such a conclusion than the panel.

Too many people are apparently willing to believe what the British government and the corporate media tell them must be true. They do so, it seems, because they mistakenly believe that the corporate media – one made possible only through massive subsidies provided by the advertising of large corporations, or the BBC, a state broadcaster dependent on government funding – represent them rather than the vested interests of the powerful.

The universal derision in the British media of a UN panel of legal experts, transforming them into a bunch of buffoons on a matter of international law, should serve as a springboard to questioning what passes in Britain (and the US) for news and analysis. Instead it has set many marching in lock-step with the British government.

How the Broad Climate Movement Has Failed Us

February 8th, 2016 by James Jordan

It has been two months since the UN climate summit in Paris, aka COP 21. One might expect the kind of ebb and flow we often see in popular movements. Interest in climate issues, the cause of the day during the summit, might be expected to wane and move to the back burner of public discourse until another development pushes it forward again.

However, climate change is fundamentally different. It is going to get worse – we will be getting slapped in the face with this one for a long, long time, even under the best scenarios. Only a few weeks after COP 21, the world experienced a wave of floods and extreme weather exacerbated by global warming. In the U.S., there were record-setting floods along the Mississippi River. In South America, floods caused the evacuation of 180,000 persons. In Scotland, floods cut across class lines to threaten a historic castle neighboring the Queen’s Balmoral residence, the swollen Dee river eating away at its foundation. Meanwhile, oil wars and drought continue to drive an immigration crisis in Syria and throughout the Middle East and Northern Africa. The issue of climate is not the “struggle du jour”; it is going to be the main course for quite a while.

Greenpeace activists during a protest in Paris at the COP21 United Nations climate change conference in November.

Greenpeace activists during a protest in Paris at the COP21 United Nations climate change conference in November.

Shamefully, the broad, “mainstream” climate movement in the so-called “developed” world is woefully inadequate to address this concern. Current conditions call for the kind of real life strategies, analysis and resistance that the movement is not producing. Right now, the dominant character of the movement is actually holding us back, not pushing us forward. It trumpets ambiguous desires for sustainability, but is all too silent when it comes to meaningful demands.

A Pyrrhic Victory

What we got from COP 21 was an accord that set inadequate and unenforceable carbon emissions limits; failed to guarantee reparations or support for the poorest, most exploited nations to develop alternative technologies; adopted market-based schemes that entrench international inequality; ignored the demands of indigenous peoples; and refused to address the huge and negative climate impact of U.S. militarism and resource wars. Of course, no one expected such measures to be passed, so it might be justly claimed as a victory that any kind of agreement or protocol was passed at all. As has been noted, had the agreement been enforceable, the Republican-dominated U.S. Congress would have quashed that government’s participation. But what victory there has been is a Pyrrhic one.

The good news from Paris was those groups that defied the ban on public marches and protests instated following the November 13 terrorist attacks. There were some 200 protesters arrested on November 29, the opening day of the summit, when they broke ranks with officially-tolerated activities and took to the streets, despite authorities “preventatively” detaining a number of activists before the summit began. There was also the December 6 flotilla of indigenous peoples protesting the exclusion of indigenous rights from the accord minus a brief mention in the preamble. The flotilla exposed the machinations of the U.S., European Union, Australia and others to exempt indigenous rights from the body of the agreement. It was refreshing to hear refusals to cooperate with this gag rule.

Around the world people are getting radicalized and making bold efforts to save this biosphere we know and love. In the U.S., Flood the System called for and carried out multiple climate justice actions. The Global Climate Convergence is continuing to build a Peoples Climate Strike. Groups like the Indigenous Environmental Network and Climate Justice Alliance are confronting the legacy of colonialism and its damage to land and water. Fossil Fuel Student Divestment Network is organizing divestment from oil and coal companies in universities. Still, the reality is that the broad climate movement in the “developed” world has mostly been a failure and an obstacle to building an effective and truly relevant movement.

Scaling up Resistance

I travel regularly in Latin America and the Caribbean and see examples of struggles that are far more astute, advanced and relevant than what I see when I return home. I see Colombian farmers fighting corporate land grabs; anti-mining activists defending their communities in Peru; Venezuelan youth confronting the U.S. interference that threatens the gains they have made. These are movements that emphasize the fact that the struggle for planet and people is fundamentally a struggle against Empire.

Unfortunately, political and corporate interests in industrialized nations have done all they can to influence, infiltrate, buy off and otherwise derail movements even in “developing” nations. Such movements are easily infiltrated and manipulated to serve the purposes of Empire. There is little to be gained other than tainted funding for those who would sit at the table and curry favor with mostly White, liberal environmental organizations and government agencies of the industrialized nations.

Rather than being threatened by wolves in sheep’s clothing, our problems are the sheep in wolves’ clothing. We find a leadership that talks big about struggle and taking on climate change, that gives the appearance of strength and cunning, when on the inside, one finds a passive, ruminating herd animal lacking a real bite.

United Front Politics Without Demands

It is easy to focus our ire and ridicule on those we call “climate deniers.” But the worst climate change deniers are not the ones who say it is not happening, but the ones who recognize the problem but refuse to confront its most basic sources and causes. They are the ones who marginalize and ultimately suppress the voices of those proffering radical solutions and expressing urgency commensurate with the times … or lack thereof. They reject the demands of the Global South saying there is no unity. They put their faith in a quest for new technologies rather than fighting for a new system. They reject calling out the destructive nature of capitalism, saying we need a movement that cuts across class lines. And they treat those who speak about Empire as anachronistic visitors from another age. These climate deniers fail to grasp that it is these radicals and anti-imperialists who best understand both the problem and the solution to climate injustice and ecological collapse. They self-censor and censor us in exchange for a dubious “seat at the table.”

There is an all too large contingent of environmentalists who prioritize and even fetishize their desire to build the broad movement. Certainly, we must always work to bring masses of people in and to be as large and inclusive as possible. But without clear demands and goals, such a movement utterly lacks direction. Broad movements for civil rights; to stop wars in Vietnam, Iraq, elsewhere; to demand an end to police brutality and racism; to end mass incarceration in prisons; to demand immigrant rights – these all had identifiable, concrete demands that united contingencies to achieve fundamental victories. But in the climate movement, we have a broad coalition “united” around not a demand but a sentiment – of being “against global warming” and “for Mother Earth,” that sort of thing. This movement can not even agree to call itself a movement for “climate justice”; it is just a “climate movement,” whatever that means. I mean, if I want to see “climate movement,” all I have to do is step outside and look at the sky …. or the dust getting blown up in the dead and dry riverbed a block from my back yard.

Co-opting the Grassroots

To its detriment, the broad climate movement is dominated by a few well-funded and well-connected organizations. These institutions often get their grants from the very corporations most responsible for greenhouse emissions. Or their connections are to the political leaders who constantly seek to obscure the links between climate injustice and global capitalism.

One particularly pernicious example is the organization Avaaz. The internet-based effort brags about a list of more than 40 million followers. It was a major partner in the Climat21 coalition – the more or less “official alternative” organizers for climate events coinciding with COP 21. Avaaz has advocated for U.S./NATO interventions in both Libya and Syria.

One of its last action alerts before the adoption of the Paris climate accord was a call to pressure the sizeable but less “developed” countries of India, Brazil, South Africa and China to stop being “obstacles” and sign on to the accord (which they eventually did). Among the objections these countries raised were the lack of support for “developing” countries and the focus on “solutions” that entrench inequality, such as carbon trading schemes that allow polluting countries to keep polluting by paying off “developing” countries to not develop. At a juncture like that, the correct position to take was to put pressure on the U.S. and Europe – the countries most responsible for increases in greenhouse gases over the last 200 years – to adopt measures that shift the burden of cleaning up their mess on to the world’s poorest countries.

In an interview with Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!, Nicaragua’s chief climate negotiator Paul Oquist explained:

“Nicaragua has 4.8 million tons of emissions a year. And that’s 0.03% of emissions. Do we feel responsible for having caused climate change? No, not at all. Have we done something about it? Yes, we have gone from 25 per cent renewable to 52 per cent renewable since 2007, and in 2020 we’ll be 90 per cent renewable …. Ten countries, Amy, have 72 per cent of the emissions. Ten countries …. In the world …. The 20 largest have 78 per cent of the CO2 emissions. Are we going to try to cut out of the 100 countries with 0.3 per cent or out of the 20 countries with 78 per cent, or even maybe just the 10 countries with 72%?”

But when organizations such as Avaaz have such undue influence on the “climate movement,” it is no wonder the movement lacks real solutions. Independent journalist Cory Morningstar writes:

“Avaaz was founded by Res Publica, described as a global civic advocacy group, and Moveon.org, ‘an online community that has pioneered internet advocacy in the United States.’ Launched in 2007, Avaaz is the fastest-growing online movement in history …. The silent voice behind Avaaz, that of Res Publica, is, in the public realm, essentially comprised of three key individuals: Tom Perriello, a pro-war (former) U.S. Representative who describes himself as a social entrepreneur, Ricken Patel, consultant to many of the most powerful entities on Earth [for instance, the International Crisis Group, which receives its funding from a host of Western governments and private entities such as British Petroleum, with both Chevron and Shell on its advisory board] and the long-time associate of Perriello, and Tom Pravda, a member of the UK Diplomatic Service who serves as a consultant to the U.S. State Department.”

So Avaaz is not an activist organization that found a seat at the table with those in power: they were already seated at the table when they set themselves up and decided to go out and get active in – and divert and derail – the grassroots movement. They are just one example of the kinds of organizations that have infiltrated and co-opted the grassroots “climate movement.” The result is a movement that can turn out hundreds of thousands of people into the streets to demand nothing and feel like they have done something when in fact their impact is, at best, questionable and has not translated into a sustainable and enduring movement.

The Necessity of Radical Analysis and Solutions

Journalist Chris Hedges explained how the same thing happened back in September 2014, for the People’s Climate March in New York:

“The march, because its demands are amorphous, can be joined by anyone. This is intentional. But as activist Anne Petermann has pointed out, this also means some of the groups backing the march are little more than corporate fronts. The Climate Group, for example, which endorses the march, includes among its members and sponsors BP, China Mobile, Dow Chemical Co., Duke Energy, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase and Greenstone. The Environmental Defense Fund, which says it ‘work[s] with companies rather than against them’ and which is calling on its members to join the march, has funding from the oil and gas industry and supports fracking as a form of alternative energy. These faux environmental organizations are designed to neutralize resistance. And their presence exposes the march’s failure to adopt a meaningful agenda or pose a genuine threat to power.”

My organization, Alliance for Global Justice, participated in the Peoples Climate March and its preparations, especially in the march’s “Peace Hub.” We also brought the largest U.S. delegation to the Peoples Climate Summit in Lima during the COP 20 meeting in December 2014. (And I will say that in Lima, the criticisms of capitalism and imperialism were, to the praise of the organizers, not muted.) We subsequently followed and to some smaller extent participated in the preparations for the “alternative” events in Paris. But we lost all enthusiasm when we observed case after case where the demands of the developing world – against carbon trading schemes and REDD, in favor of reparations and support for alternative technology development, against resource wars, against free trade agreements, and so on, were one by one dismissed – by organizers who may not deny the reality of climate change, but do deny radical analysis and solutions. They see the disease, but the cures they offer are snake oil. Worst of all, these deniers loathe to talk about imperialism due to an infantile sentiment that the very term is antiquated when every day world events reinforce the word’s lamentable relevance.

Linking Climate Injustice with Imperialism

The attacks in Paris on November 13 ripped the scab from the open wound of the climate movement’s lack of foresight or clear vision. A climate movement that understood the threat of imperialism would have made an end to oil wars in Syria and elsewhere one of its key demands. But this movement could not or would not connect the dots. Rather they accepted or worked within a gag rule denying public protest. When they did have sanctioned or tolerated public events they made no mention of Syria or the “global war on terrorism,” even though this so-called war is but a justification for robbing oil and other resources for the furthering of private development and wealthy nation consumerism. The correct response to the Paris attacks and the Paris summit would have been to show how the events are linked. But the broad, “mainstream” climate movement could not even get it together to make a weak demand. Empire’s resource wars and exploitations have been most responsible for sowing the seeds of terrorism, just like they have been responsible for the conditions creating global warming. A movement that fails to get this devolves into a sideshow of false hopes while the planet careens toward destruction.

War on Climate Change

U.S./Nato interventions in Libya and Syria, supported by the likes of Avaaz, are, like the war in Iraq, oil wars. While a lust for oil is not the only issue at stake in these cases, its motivating role should not be dismissed or understated – and in truth, it has hardly even been mentioned in most corporate media. Syria has large oil resources and is home to an oil pipeline connecting northern Iraq and the coast of Syria. That pipeline has been shut down since the 2003 invasion of Iraq, and the companies most effected are ExxonMobil, Occidental Petroleum and Haliburton. This is a major reason why U.S./NATO have insisted on regime change and have allied themselves with reprehensible partners, including Al-Qaeda. U.S./NATO policies have never been focused on getting rid of ISIS so much as winning concessions for Big Oil and consolidating and furthering U.S./NATO geopolitical goals throughout the region. That the broad climate movement can be silent on this is all the proof one needs to see that it has gotten lost on a road to irrelevancy.

Instead, the “official alternative” organizers in Paris, with nary a word about oil war in Syria, organized alternatives to their own alternatives to comply with France’s gag orders. Rather than march in the streets, they formed chains of people holding hands on the sidewalks. Rather than gather in protest, they laid out empty shoes in rows to symbolize those that might have come had they held an actual demonstration. In fact, at one point the organizers sent out an internal email encouraging participating organizations not to get the word out too far and wide about their events because having too many people might lose them the tolerance being shown by the police. These organizers not only refrained from criticisms of Empire and its resource wars, they ignored, marginalized and dampened those within the coalition who tried to raise these concerns.

Reproducing Imperialism, Racism, and Inequality

One demand that did emerge was a broad call to “leave oil in the ground.” But this is really an idealistic, unrealistic and even racist and imperialist demand outside certain contexts. First of all, it is a juvenile demand to make – one that destroys communities and puts workers out of jobs – if it is not accompanied by aggressive mobilizations for actual, existing alternatives. Without a plan for economic conversion, it is unjust to ask workers in extractive industries to give up their jobs while the CEOs at the top lose nothing.

What’s more, it is imperialist and racist for activists to call for leaving oil in the ground if they are not at the same time demanding reparations and support for alternative technologies and sustainable agriculture for “developing” nations – something the broad movement in the Global North has had an all too difficult time understanding. If the broad movement does not put these demands center stage, it has no business calling for oil to stay in the ground. It is simply unjust to confront “developing” nations’ oil and mining projects in the same way one does “developed” nations, especially projects in popular democracies that are publicly owned and at least trying to mitigate damage by giving seats at the table for indigenous and community representatives and using profits to invest in social programs. Unfortunately, much of even the more radical climate movement makes the rather arrogant mistake of treating all nations the same, regardless of the context, in their simplistic, blanket opposition to all extraction. Those of us who oppose carbon trading, REDD and other market schemes that entrench inequality must recognise that out of context anti-development demands by “first world radicals” against poorer nations also entrenches inequality.

Making Real Demands

It is past the time for us to get serious about climate justice. If our linking of climate injustice with imperialism drives some people away, perhaps it is time we let them go. Better to have a smaller movement that can grow into something more significant than to have a large one that has nothing to do, nowhere to go, nothing to say.

We must raise a movement that recognizes the reality and gravity of the task at hand, no matter how difficult. Recently, an international network of 37 organizations from the Americas, Euskal Herria (the occupied Basque Country) and Spain released a document titled “If We Want to Save the World – An Internationalist Declaration.” It is a modest beginning that encapsulates the kind of analysis and response we must develop if we really want to advocate for climate justice. But we need more than declarations. We need solidarity with those nations and movements that are challenging Empire in ways that give real support to the needs of Earth and her people.

We must have real demands that, at a minimum, include:

  • an end to all oil and other resource wars;
  • the repeal of environmentally-damaging free trade agreements;
  • that the industrialized countries historically most responsible for global warming produce the lion’s share of cuts to greenhouse emissions;
  • that these countries be required to pay reparations to the countries that, due to colonialism and Empire, are suffering the worst effects of global warming;
  • that carbon trading, REDD and other market based schemes that entrench international inequality be rejected;
  • that the richest countries be required to invest heavily in the development of alternative energy technologies in the 100 poorest countries;
  • that attention be given to the poor in the rich countries who have lost jobs due to globalization and the resultant transfer of wealth to the one per cent in their countries.

We must take to the streets again and again with demands that get to the heart of the problem. There are those of us who still hope that a “better world’s in birth.” We must be its midwives. Otherwise, the new world we so eagerly await will be still born.

James Jordan is a National Co-Coordinator of Alliance for Global Justice in the USA. He can be reached at James[at]afgj.org

Privatization Is the Atlanticist Strategy to Attack Russia

February 8th, 2016 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Two years ago, Russian officials discussed plans to privatize a group of national enterprises headed by the oil producer Rosneft, the VTB Bank, Aeroflot, and Russian Railways. The stated objective was to streamline management of these companies, and also to induce oligarchs to begin bringing their two decades of capital flight back to invest in the Russia economy. Foreign participation was sought in cases where Western technology transfer and management techniques would be likely to help the economy.

However, the Russian economic outlook deteriorated as the United States pushed Western governments to impose economic sanctions against Russia and oil prices declined. This has made the Russian economy less attractive to foreign investors. So sale of these companies will bring much lower prices today than would have been likely in 2014.

Meanwhile, the combination of a rising domestic budget deficit and balance-of-payments deficit has given Russian advocates of privatization an argument to press ahead with the sell-offs. The flaw in their logic is their neoliberal assumption that Russia cannot simply monetize its deficit, but needs to survive by selling off more major assets. We warn against Russia being so gullible as to accept this dangerous neoliberal argument. Privatization will not help re-industrialize Russia’s economy, but will aggravate its turn into a rentier economy from which profits are extracted for the benefit of foreign owners.

To be sure, President Putin set a number of conditions on February 1 to prevent new privatizations from being like the Yeltsin era’s disastrous selloffs. This time the assets would not be sold at knockdown prices, but would have to reflect prospective real value. The firms being sold off would remain under Russian jurisdiction, not operated by offshore owners. Foreigners were invited to participate, but the companies would remain subject to Russian laws and regulations, including restrictions to keep their capital within Russia.

Also, the firms to be privatized cannot be bought with domestic state bank credit. The aim is to draw “hard cash” into the buyouts – ideally from the foreign currency holdings by oligarchs in London and elsewhere.

Putin wisely ruled out selling Russia’s largest bank, Sperbank, which holds much of the nation’s retail savings accounts. Banking evidently is to remain largely a public utility, which it should because the ability to create credit as money is a natural monopoly and inherently public in character.

Despite these protections that President Putin added, there are serious reasons not to go ahead with the newly-announced privatizations. These reasons go beyond the fact that they would be sold under conditions of economic recession as a result of the Western economic sanctions and falling oil prices.

The excuse being cited by Russian officials for selling these companies at the present time is to finance the domestic budget deficit. This excuse shows that Russia has still not recovered from the disastrous Western Atlanticist myth that Russia must depend on foreign banks and bondholders to create money, as if the Russian central bank cannot do this itself by monetizing the budget deficit.

Monetization of budget deficits is precisely what the United States government has done, and what Western central banks have been doing in the post World War II era. Debt monetization is common practice in the West. Governments can help revive the economy by printing money instead of indebting the country to private creditors which drains the public sector of funds via interest payments to private creditors.

There is no valid reason to raise money from private banks to provide the government with money when a central bank can create the same money without having to pay interest on loans. However, Russian economists have been inculcated with the Western belief that only commercial banks should create money and that governments should sell interest-bearing bonds in order to raise funds. The incorrect belief that only private banks should create money by making loans is leading the Russian government down the same path that has led the eurozone into a dead end economy.  By privatizing credit creation, Europe has shifted economic planning from democratically elected governments to the banking sector.

There is no need for Russia to accept this pro-rentier economic philosophy that bleeds a country of public revenues. Neoliberals are promoting it not to help Russia, but to bring Russia to its knees.

Essentially, those Russians allied with the West—“Atlanticist Integrationists”— who want Russia to sacrifice its sovereignty to integration with the Western empire are using neoliberal economics to entrap Putin and breach Russia’s control over its own economy that Putin reestablished after the Yeltsin years when Russia was looted by foreign interests.

Despite some success in reducing the power of the oligarchs who arose from the Yeltsin privatizations, the Russian government needs to retain national enterprises as a countervailing economic power. The reason governments operate railways and other basic infrastructure is to lower the cost of living and doing business. The aim of private owners, by contrast, is to raise the prices as high as they can. This is called “rent extraction.” Private owners put up tollbooths to raise the cost of infrastructure services that are being privatized. This is the opposite of what the classical economists meant by “free market.”

There is talk of a deal being made with the oligarchs. The oligarchs  will buy ownership in the Russian state companies with money they have stashed abroad from previous privatizations, and get another “deal of the century” when Russia’s economy recovers by enough to enable more excessive gains to be made.

The problem is that the more economic power moves from government to private control, the less countervailing power the government has against private interests.  From this standpoint, no privatizations should be permitted at this time.

Much less should foreigners be permitted to acquire ownership of Russian national assets. In order to collect a one-time payment of foreign currency, the Russian government will be turning over to foreigners future income streams that can, and will be, extracted from Russia and sent abroad. This “repatriation” of dividends would occur even if management and control remains geographically in Russia.

Selling public assets in exchange for a one-time payment is what the city of Chicago government did when it sold the 75 year revenue stream of its parking meters for a one-time payment. The Chicago government got money for one year by giving up 75 years of revenues. By sacrificing public revenues, the Chicago government saved real estate and private wealth from being taxed and also allowed Wall Street investment banks to make a fortune.

It also created a public outcry against the giveaway. The new buyers sharply raised street parking fees, and sued Chicago’s government for damages when the city closed the street for public parades or holidays, thereby  “interfering” with the rentiers’ parking-meter business. Instead of helping Chicago, it helped push the city toward bankruptcy. No wonder Atlanticists would like to see Russia suffer the same fate.

Using privatization to cover a short-term budget problem creates a larger long-term problem. The profits of Russian companies would flow out of the country, reducing the ruble’s exchange rate. If the profits are paid in rubles, the rubles can be dumped in the foreign exchange market and exchanged for dollars. This will depress the ruble’s exchange rate and raise the dollar’s exchange value. In effect, allowing foreigners to acquire Russia’s national assets helps foreigners to speculate against the Russian ruble.

Of course, the new Russian owners of the privatized assets also could send their profits abroad. But at least the Russian government realizes that owners subject to Russian jurisdiction are more easily regulated than are owners who are able to control companies from abroad and keep their working capital in London or other foreign banking centers (all subject to U.S. diplomatic leverage and New Cold War sanctions).

At the root of the privatization discussion should be the question of what is money and why should it be created by private banks instead of central banks. The Russian government should finance its budget deficit by having the central bank create the necessary money, just as the US and UK do.  It is not necessary for the Russian government to give away future revenue streams in perpetuity merely in order to cover one year’s deficit. That is a path to impoverishment and to loss of economic and political independence.

Globalization was invented as a tool of American Empire. Russia should be shielding itself from globalization, not opening itself to it. Privatization is the vehicle to undercut economic sovereignty and increase profits by raising prices.

Just as Western-financed NGOs operating in Russia are a fifth column operating against Russian national interests, so are Russia’s neoliberal economists, whether or not they realize it.  Russia will not be safe from Western manipulation until its economy is closed to Western attempts to reshape Russia’s economy in the interest of Washington and not in the interest of Russia.

The Threat of Nuclear War, North Korea or the United States?

February 8th, 2016 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

This article was first published in July 2013. North Korea is not a threat to global security. The threat of nuclear war largely emanates from the US under the doctrine of pre-emptive nuclear (self-defense) against both nuclear and non-nuclear states.

While the Western media portrays North Korea’s nuclear weapons program as a threat to Global Security, it fails to acknowledge that the US has being threatening North Korea with a nuclear attack for more than half a century.

On July 27, 2013, Armistice Day, Koreans in the North and the South will be commemorating the end of the Korean war (1950-53). Unknown to the broader public, the US had envisaged the use of nuclear weapons against North Korea at the very outset of the Korean War in 1950. In the immediate wake of the war, the US deployed nuclear weapons in South Korea for use on a pre-emptive basis against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) in violation of the July 1953 Armistice Agreement. 


  Michel Chossudovsky’s keynote address at the 60th anniversary commemoration of the end of the Korean war, Seoul, South Korea, July 26, 2013 

“The Hiroshima Doctrine” applied to North Korea

US nuclear doctrine pertaining to Korea was established following the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945, which were largely directed against civilians.

The strategic objective of a nuclear attack under the “Hiroshima doctrine” was to trigger a “massive casualty producing event” resulting in tens of thousands of deaths. The objective was to terrorize an entire nation, as a means of military conquest. Military targets were not the main objective: the notion of “collateral damage” was used as a justification for the mass killing of civilians, under the official pretence that Hiroshima was “a military base” and that civilians were not the target.

In the words of President Harry Truman:

“We have discovered the most terrible bomb in the history of the world. … This weapon is to be used against Japan … [We] will use it so that military objectives and soldiers and sailors are the target and not women and children. Even if the Japs are savages, ruthless, merciless and fanatic, we as the leader of the world for the common welfare cannot drop that terrible bomb on the old capital or the new. …  The target will be a purely military one… It seems to be the most terrible thing ever discovered, but it can be made the most useful.” (President Harry S. Truman, Diary, July 25, 1945)

“The World will note that the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima a military base. That was because we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians..” (President Harry S. Truman in a radio speech to the Nation, August 9, 1945). 

[Note: the first atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on August 6, 1945; the Second on Nagasaki, on August 9, on the same day as Truman's radio speech to the Nation]

Nobody within the upper echelons of the US government and military believed that Hiroshima was a military base, Truman was lying to himself and to the American public. To this day the use of nuclear weapons against Japan is justified as a necessary cost for bringing the war to an end and ultimately “saving lives”. 

US Nuclear Weapons Stockpiled and Deployed in South Korea

Barely a few years after the end of the Korean War, the US initiated its deployment of nuclear warheads in South Korea. This deployment in Uijongbu and Anyang-Ni had been envisaged as early as 1956.

It is worth noting that the US decision to bring nuclear warheads to South Korea was in blatant violation of  Paragraph 13(d) of the Armistice Agreement which prohibited the warring factions from introducing new weapons into Korea.

The actual deployment of nuclear warheads started in January 1958, four and a half years after the end of the Korean War, “with the introduction of five nuclear weapon systems: the Honest John surface-to-surface missile, the Matador cruise missile, the Atomic-Demolition Munition (ADM) nuclear landmine, and the 280-mm gun and 8-inch (203mm) howitzer.” (See The nuclear information project: US Nuclear Weapons in Korea)

The Davy Crockett projectile was deployed in South Korea between July 1962 and June 1968. The warhead had selective yields up to 0.25 kilotons. The projectile weighed only 34.5 kg (76 lbs). Nuclear bombs for fighter bombers arrived in March 1958, followed by three surface-to-surface missile systems (Lacrosse, Davy Crockett, and Sergeant) between July 1960 and September 1963. The dual-mission Nike Hercules anti-air and surface-to-surface missile arrived in January 1961, and finally the 155-mm Howitzer arrived in October 1964. At the peak of this build-up, nearly 950 warheads were deployed in South Korea.

Four of the weapon types only remained deployed for a few years, while the others stayed for decades. The 8-inch Howitzer stayed until late 1991, the only weapon to be deployed throughout the entire 33-year period of U.S. nuclear weapons deployment to South Korea. The other weapons that stayed till the end were the air delivered bombs (several different bomb types were deployed over the years, ending with the B61) and the 155-mm Howitzer nuclear artillery. (Ibid)

Officially the US deployment of nuclear weapons in South Korea lasted for 33 years. The deployment was targeted against North Korea as well as China and the Soviet Union.

This composite image shows the LGM-30G Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) (L) and the LG-118A Peacekeeper missile(R). (AFP Photo/US DoD)

This composite image shows the LGM-30G Minuteman intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) (L) and the LG-118A Peacekeeper missile(R). (AFP Photo/US DoD)

South Korea’s Nuclear Weapons Program

Concurrent and in coordination with the US deployment of nuclear warheads in South Korea, the ROK had initiated its own nuclear weapons program in the early 1970s. The official story is that the US exerted pressure on Seoul to abandon their nuclear weapons program and “sign the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) in April 1975 before it had produced any fissile material.” (Daniel A. Pinkston, “South Korea’s Nuclear Experiments,” CNS Research Story, 9 November 2004, http://cns.miis.edu.]

The ROK’s nuclear initiative was from the outset in the early 1970s under the supervision of the US and was developed as a component part of the US deployment of nuclear weapons, with a view to threatening North Korea.

Moreover, while this program was officially ended in 1978, the US promoted scientific expertise as well as training of the ROK military in the use of nuclear weapons. And bear in mind: under the ROK-US CFC agreement, all operational units of the ROK are under joint command headed by a US General. This means that all the military facilities and bases established by the Korean military are de facto joint facilities. There are a total of 27 US military facilities in the ROK (See List of United States Army installations in South Korea – Wikipedia)

The Planning of Nuclear Attacks against North Korea from the Continental US and from Strategic US Submarines

According to military sources, the removal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea was initiated in the mid 1970s. It was completed in 1991: 

The nuclear weapons storage site at Osan Air base was deactivated in late 1977. This reduction continued over the following years and resulted in the number of nuclear weapons in South Korea dropping from some 540 in 1976 to approximately 150 artillery shells and bombs in 1985. By the time of the Presidential Nuclear Initiative in 1991, roughly 100 warheads remained, all of which had been withdrawn by December 1991. (The nuclear information project: withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea)

According to official statements, the US withdrew its nuclear weapons from South Korea in December 1991.

This withdrawal from Korea did not in any way modify the US threat of nuclear war directed against the DPRK. On the contrary: it was tied to changes in US military strategy with regard to the deployment of nuclear warheads. Major North Korean cities were to be targeted with nuclear warheads from US continental locations and from US strategic submarines (SSBN)  rather than military facilities in South Korea:

After the withdrawal of [US] nuclear weapons from South Korea in December 1991, the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base has been tasked with nuclear strike planning against North Korea. Since then, strike planning against North Korea with non-strategic nuclear weapons has been the responsibility of fighter wings based in the continental United States. One of these is the 4th Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in North Carolina. …

“We simulated fighting a war in Korea, using a Korean scenario. … The scenario…simulated a decision by the National Command Authority about considering using nuclear weapons….We identified aircraft, crews, and [weapon] loaders to load up tactical nuclear weapons onto our aircraft….

With a capability to strike targets in less than 15 minutes, the Trident D5 sea-launched ballistic missile is a “mission critical system” for U.S. Forces Korea. Ballistic Missile Submarines and Long-Range Bombers

In addition to non-strategic air delivered bombs, sea-launched ballistic missiles onboard strategic Ohio-class submarines (SSBNs) patrolling in the Pacific appear also to have a mission against North Korea. A DOD General Inspector report from 1998 listed the Trident system as a “mission critical system” identified by U.S. Pacific Command and U.S. Forces Korea as “being of particular importance to them.”

Although the primary mission of the Trident system is directed against targets in Russia and China, a D5 missile launched in a low-trajectory flight provides a unique very short notice (12-13 minutes) strike capability against time-critical targets in North Korea. No other U.S. nuclear weapon system can get a warhead on target that fast. Two-three SSBNs are on “hard alert” in the Pacific at any given time, holding Russian, Chinese and North Korean targets at risk from designated patrol areas.

Long-range strategic bombers may also be assigned a nuclear strike role against North Korea although little specific is known. An Air Force map (see below) suggests a B-2 strike role against North Korea. As the designated carrier of the B61-11 earth penetrating nuclear bomb, the B-2 is a strong candidate for potential nuclear strike missions against North Korean deeply buried underground facilities.

As the designated carrier of the B61-11 earth penetrating nuclear bomb [with an explosive capacity between one third and six times a Hiroshima bomb] and a possible future Robust Nuclear Earth Penetrator, the B-2 stealth bomber could have an important role against targets in North Korea. Recent upgrades enable planning of a new B-2 nuclear strike mission in less than 8 hours. (Ibid)

“Although the South Korean government at the time confirmed the withdrawal, U.S. affirmations were not as clear. As a result, rumors persisted for a long time — particularly in North and South Korea — that nuclear weapons remained in South Korea. Yet the withdrawal was confirmed by Pacific Command in 1998 in a declassified portion of the CINCPAC Command History for 1991.” (The nuclear information project: withdrawal of US nuclear weapons from South Korea, emphasis added))

The Bush Administration’s 2001 Nuclear Posture Review: Pre-emptive Nuclear War

The Bush administration in its 2001 Nuclear Posture Review established the contours of a new post 9/11 “pre-emptive” nuclear war doctrine, namely that nuclear weapons could be used as an instrument of “self-defense” against non-nuclear states

“Requirements for U.S. nuclear strike capabilities” directed against North Korea were established as part of  a Global Strike mission under the helm of  US Strategic Command Headquarters in Omaha Nebraska, the so-called CONPLAN 8022, which was directed against a number of “rogue states” including North Korea as well as China and Russia.

On November 18, 2005, the new Space and Global Strike command became operational at STRATCOM after passing testing in a nuclear war exercise involving North Korea.

Current U.S. Nuclear strike planning against North Korea appears to serve three roles: The first is a vaguely defined traditional deterrence role intended to influence North Korean behavior prior to hostilities.

This role was broadened somewhat by the 2001 Nuclear Posture Review to not only deter but also dissuade North Korea from pursuing weapons of mass destruction.

Why, after five decades of confronting North Korea with nuclear weapons, the Bush administration believes that additional nuclear capabilities will somehow dissuade North Korea from pursuing weapons of mass destruction [nuclear weapons program] is a mystery. (Ibid, emphasis added)

Who is the Threat? North Korea or the United States?

The asymmetry of nuclear weapons capabilities between the US and the DPRK must be emphasised. According to ArmsControl.org (April 2013) the United States: 

“possesses 5,113 nuclear warheads, including tactical, strategic, and non-deployed weapons.”

According to the latest official New START declaration, out of more than 5113 nuclear weapons,

“the US deploys 1,654 strategic nuclear warheads on 792 deployed ICBMs, SLBMs, and strategic bombers…” ArmsControl.org (April 2013). 

Moreover, according to The Federation of American Scientists the U.S. possesses 500 tactical nuclear warheads. (ArmsControl.org April 2013)

In contrast  the DPRK, according to the same source: 

 “has separated enough plutonium for roughly 4-8 nuclear warheads. North Korea unveiled a centrifuge facility in 2010, buts ability to produce highly-enriched uranium for weapons remains unclear.”

According to expert opinion:

“there is no evidence that North Korea has the means to lob a nuclear-armed missile at the United States or anyone else. So far, it has produced several atomic bombs and tested them, but it lacks the fuel and the technology to miniaturize a nuke and place it on a missile” ( North Korea: What’s really happening – Salon.com April 5, 2013) 

According to Siegfried Hecker, one of America’s pre-eminent nuclear scientists:

“Despite its recent threats, North Korea does not yet have much of a nuclear arsenal because it lacks fissile materials and has limited nuclear testing experience,” (Ibid)

The threat of nuclear war does not emanate from the DPRK but from the US and its allies.

The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the unspoken victim of US military aggression, has been incessantly portrayed as a war mongering nation, a menace to the American Homeland and a  “threat to World peace”. These stylized accusations have become part of a media consensus.

Meanwhile, Washington is now implementing a $32 billion refurbishing of strategic nuclear weapons as well as a revamping of its tactical nuclear weapons, which according to a 2002 Senate decision “are harmless to the surrounding civilian population.”

These continuous threats and actions of latent aggression directed against the DPRK should also be understood as part of the broader US military agenda in East Asia, directed against China and Russia.

It is important that people across the land, in the US, Western countries, come to realize that the United States rather than North Korea or Iran is a threat to global security.

“Capitalism and Slavery”

February 8th, 2016 by Hugo Turner

In his classic work “Capitalism and Slavery” Eric Williams exposed in vivid detail a fact that the west would like to forget. The west owes it’s wealth in large part to slavery (and genocide of course). It was slavery that funded the industrial revolution. Not in some abstract way but quite literally the famous Watt engine (The first steam engine) was funded with money from the West Indian sugar plantations.

Many of Europe’s great fortunes owe themselves to slavery. Williams wrote his book long ago in 1942 but the facts he revealed have been intentionally ignored ever since. Thus only recently historians have rediscovered what Williams wrote about back then.

Williams work is a classic of both Marxist analysis and black history. Actually Marx himself had noted the role of Slavery in fueling the rise of Capitalism. Williams focuses his work on the relationship between British capitalism and slavery, but he also deals with the role slavery played in funding the rise of France and the US. Those interested in the role of slavery in fueling France should read C. L. R. James classic “Black Jacobins” which I discussed in my August 2015 article “Revolution in Haiti”.

Williams charts the economic history of slavery fueling the expansion of commercial capitalism, leading to the rise of Industrial Capitalism. Lavery Williams argues was abolished in England not purely for the moral reasons cited at the time but simply as part of the triumph of free trade over mercantilism. Slavery was abolished in the British empire but ended up being “outsourced” to Latin America and the United States. Slave grown cotton would fuel the industrial revolution of the 19th century just as the profits from slave grown sugar had fueled the 18th century.

Anti-Slavery would become a cover for British Imperialism as it expanded in India, and would serve as the excuse for the conquest of Africa later in the century. Actually I’m currently reading Gerald Horne’s “Negro Comrades of The Crown” which deals with the great use England made of the slavery issue against it’s american rivals mobilizing slaves to rise up against their masters during the war of 1812 or using black troops (former slaves) to defend Canada. It’s another masterpiece but lets return to Eric Williams Classic work which has inspired (and doubtless been plagiarized by) so many recent historians.

I should mention that Eric Williams later became the Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago an important biographical detail.

“Capitalism and Slavery” begins by examining the origins of slavery. Slavery arose out of the economic necessity for labor. First to be enslaved were the Natives but they died quickly, or knowing the local territory often escaped. Ironically next it would be the turn of the whites who were forced into servitude. In a detail especially relevant today with the rise of mass incarceration state as Glen Ford calls it was the way the legal system was used to force the whites into servitude for a variety of petty crimes.

They were given the choice of deportation and servitude or a hanging. However servitude was temporary not permanent. In addition the english poor mounted violent resistance against the “spirits” as they called those who kidnapped people into servitude anyone they suspected could easily be killed by an angry mob. In the colonies it was much easier for a white in servitude to run away and pass for free. Williams offers a vivid picture of the terrible conditions faced by those in servitude who were also packed into ships in only slightly better conditions then the slaves, and reminds his readers that it was perfectly legal for masters to beat their white servants both in England and it’s colonies. Africa became the new source for forced labor and their slavery was usually permanent.

I should explain There were two types of colonies. First Those with poor soils and little resources like the northern US or Canada. Ironically this would later be to their advantage as they were forced to become diversified self sufficient economies. However the second type colonies with rich soils or natural resources could be used for quick and easy profits by producing a single crop. In the 17th and 18th centuries one extremely valuable cash crop was sugar cane. Sugar was the Oil of it’s day with the introduction of tea and coffee back in Europe there was ever growing demand for sugar.

The most efficient way to cultivate it was on large plantations. Since it was so valuable it was cheaper to just import food with the profits so as much land as possible could be dedicated to sugar cultivation. It was the islands of the west indies like Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and Barbados that were ideal for growing it. Sugar Cane exhausted the soil which would be an important factor in the future. The British West Indies were far more valuable then the mainland in the amount of profits it generated. The British West Indies were at one point 4 times as valuable as all the other British colonies combined. The Growth of the still colonial future northern united states was fueled by providing the food and supplies for these islands which generated enormous fortunes. Those plantation owners who got rich in the sugar returned to England where they formed the powerful “West Indian Interest” as Williams called it which bought a number of famous english politicians like Gladstone and the famous conservative Burke. They used their political muscle to enforce a sugar monopoly forcing England to buy it’s more expensive west indian sugar instead of the cheaper sugar from France’s newer and hence more fertile Caribbean colonies. This would later be their downfall but for a time they would rule England and their enormous fortunes would fund the industrialization of England.

But it was not merely the wealthy plantation owners of the colonies that made their fortunes off of slavery. The economic growth of the English cities was closely tied to slavery as Williams documents in extensive detail. Liverpool owed it’s fortune in the slave trade.

They supplied not just english colonies with slaves but their Spanish and French competitors. It was well known at the time and once when a visiting (and intoxicated) actor was being heckled he shouted back that he refused to be insulted in a town built entirely on the blood of slaves. From it’s humble beginnings with a single slave ship stetting sail in 1709 by 1795 Liverpool controlled 5/8 of the British Slave Trade and 3/7 of the whole european slave trade. Bristol had begun as the dominant slave trading city but was forced by Liverpool’s competition into the equally slavery related sugar refining interest.

The Growth of Manchester was driven by the cotton manufacturing Cotton supplied by slave labor in America’s south. Birmingham sold Guns that were traded for African slaves (1 gun for 1 slave) fueling the massive but forgotten slave catching wars that would destabilize much of the continent spreading chaos, horror and murder across Africa. Incidentally as Gerald Horne points out once Britain abolished the slave trade in 1807 the United States would take over, Brazil for example owes it’s massive black population to the energetic efforts of the american slave traders.

In addition to fueling the growth of some of Britain’s most important cities. Williams points out the many sectors of the english economy whose growth was fueled by the profits of slavery and slave trade. The growth of Iron industry was fueled by the demands for chains, swords, guns used in the slave trade. Slavery Financed the growth of the commercial Insurance industry a vital element in the growth of capitalism allowing for the “management of risk” the slave Trade was a risky business with the constant threat of shipwreck, disease, and of course uprisings among the captured slaves. Each slave, a valuable piece of merchandise was insured for the voyage.

The Banking industry also owed it’s growth to the massive profits generated by slavery. In fact many bankers began as slave traders. Captain on a slave ship was the first step on the ladder that lead ultimately to the Merchant-Banker as Williams points out. One famous bank that made it’s fortune off slavery is Barclays for example. The rich West Indies Planters often became bankers on their return to England. Actually they were so rich that even the King was annoyed and envious of their opulence and they quickly married into the highest ranks of the nobility. Of course even the monarchs of Europe got rich off the slave trade. In fact one major reason for the “Glorious Revolution” as Williams points out was to destroy the lucrative royal monopoly on the slave trade opening the doors to the “Free Trade in Slaves” which would fuel England’s economic growth during the 18th century. England and France fought wars over the “Asiento” the right to sell slaves to Spain’s colonies.

To return to the industries fueled by slavery and the slave trade, there was shipping. Slavery contributed to a huge growth in shipbuilding and paid for the construction of the ports and docks in Liverpool Bristol, and other cities. Textile manufacturing was fueled by the need to provide clothes for the millions of slaves. Wool for example was used to clothe the slaves even though it was completely inappropriate for the tropics. The raw materials for cotton came from slavery and the finished goods were traded in Africa for more slaves. The dye industry developed to provide colorful patterns to trade for slaves. There was a whole industry that produced useless trinkets to trade for slaves. The Iron industry itself produced bars of iron which were used as currency on the coast to pay for slaves. The wealthy west indian interests funded the invention of the steam engine as Williams describes in detail. They also invested heavily in building England’s railroads the Industrial revolution was thus fueled by slavery. Cotton would drive the massive growth of industry in 19th century England. Cotton mills were the biggest factories in England and their raw material was grown by slaves in the US south, Latin America, and the supposedly “free” semi-slave labour of their Indian empire.

Even England’s great philanthropists had been enriched by the slave trade. The various Churches were also involved. In America slave traders would found famous universities like Brown. Some of the most powerful politicians in England were in the west indian interests pockets. Slavery was perfectly respectable. As Williams points out it was only changing economic circumstances that forced a change in attitude although there were important geopolitical reasons as well. For example the victory of the Haitian revolution and the inability of the British to conquer the island where they suffered disastrous defeat at the hands of the former slaves who were masters of guerrilla and conventional war and beat the British, the Spanish and the French.

Williams devotes the last two chapters of his book to examining the abolition of slavery. First he deals with the efforts of reformers who were backed by powerful new economic interests intent on destroying the west indian sugar monopoly. They wanted cheaper food so they could pay their workers less and so wanted to institute free trade in food. England had become the most powerful economy in the world and it was cheaper to rely on the slave labor of the United States and Latin America, as well as the cheap labor of feudal India. Free markets became the key to english economic dominance and the West Indian interest were standing in their way. The abolitionists were the tools of a new East India interest.

These were the economic motives behind the abolition movement. Of course as the system of slavery was a nightmare of barbarous cruelty (again I recommend C. L. R. James who provides a full account of the horrors of slavery where a hundred different forms of torture and grisly murder became part of everyday slang) Thus it was easy to whip up a massive public relations campaign simply by describing the everyday conditions of slavery.

A powerful mass movement against slavery was built up. To break the power of the west indian lobby democratic reforms were carried out to redistrict parliament. Politicians debated endlessly in parliament. However as Williams points out there was a certain unavoidable hypocrisy in all this as it was still to profitable to trade with the slave societies like the US and Latin America for Capitalism to actually break it’s ties with slavery. In fact until 1823 the english abolitionists didn’t seek to end slavery which they claimed would die out naturally. They were only trying to end the slave trade.

Williams attributes the real cause of the abolition of Slavery to the resistance of the Slaves themselves. In the wake of the Haitian revolution the West Indies was rocked by waves of slave insurrections. British Guyana, Jamaica and Barbados all had nearly successful slave revolts. Upon learning of the outlawing of the slave trade in 1807 they misinterpreted it as being a Royal decree ending Slavery itself and began to refuse to work and to constantly petition the authorities. While the politicians debated back in London the Caribbean had become a powder keg and Britain was faced with the choice of either ending slavery or loosing control of their colonies altogether as France had lost control of Haiti.

Finally in 1833 Slavery was abolished in the English empire although it secretly continued in India. Of course as Williams pointed out in 1942 this history of slave rebellion is constantly being suppressed just as more then 70 years later the same is equally true. This is of course no accident our present day masters want us to forget that we have the power not only to resist but to overturn their entire fragile system based on the exploitation of the many by the few. A friend in Academia tells me that research along these lines is actively discouraged. Thus we are continually forced to discover anew our history. Brilliant works like “Black Jacobins” and “Capitalism & Slavery” are suppressed forgotten and then rediscovered again and again.

To conclude the wealth of the western powers like France, America, and Great Britain was based on slavery and genocide. Today this same process continues and Ironically as the UN revealed recently slavery is on the rise worldwide. Meanwhile with the end of the civil war in the United States they put an important loophole in the abolition of slavery allowing it for prisoners. Prison Labor is a massively growing sector of the american economy and just as the great fortunes of the 18th and 19th century were tied to slavery todays multinational corporations are deeply invested in the growth of the mass incarceration state. Of course it would take a whole new article to describe the companies involved big names like McDonalds and Goldman Sachs. Slavery didn’t end like they told us in school. Slavery is on the rise! Latin American workers in the US have become major new victims. There is no crime that capitalism will not commit if it creates a few percentage points of profit. Until Capitalism is abolished the world will never know an end to war, slavery, genocide, imperialism, exploitation and poverty.

Sources

A Special Thank You to @Zaganashikwe for suggesting I read this book.

You should definitely read Eric Williams “Capitalism and Slavery” for yourself as I’ve only offered a brief outline. It is written with a delightful irony. I also recommend C. L. R. James “Black Jacobins” which does a great job of showing how slavery fueled french economic growth and unlike Williams who deliberately avoids the topic, gives a nightmarish picture of what life was like for the slaves on the sugar plantations. I’ve just begun reading Gerald Horne’s “Negro Comrades of the Crown” and I highly recommend it as well. Horne is a master at bringing suppressed history vividly to life and I’ll smile whenever I hear the year 1812 I’ll imagine angry slaves burning the white house and stealing president Madison’s silver ware.

Since it is Black History Month I direct you to Abayomi Azikwe’s podcast where I have learned a great deal of black history from listening too. It was from Azikwe that I learned about Williams, James and Horne.

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/panafricanjournal

And Check out The Black Agenda Report which created the term “mass incarceration state” and does a great job of exposing the crimes of capitalism.

http://blackagendareport.com

And Check out my friend @arghshell who has a blog and a podcast that did a great expose of the US military role in Sex Trafficking another continuation of slavery

http://n0p3.net

Here is the third episode which describes the lives of enslaved women in the US

http://n0p3.net/2015/10/01/us-military-trade-in-trafficked-persons-and-sexual-servitude-part-3/

 

Consider that India had for generations sustained one of the highest densities of population on earth, without any chemical fertilisers, pesticides, exotic dwarf strains of grain or ‘bio-tech’ inputs. And it did it without degrading the soil. That is according to the evidence provided by Arun Shrivastava. What is truly impressive, however, is he then goes on to demonstrate that in the 18th and 19th centuries India achieved better productivity levels with organic methods than those of the ‘green revolution’.

Now consider that, in 2011, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food (Olivier de Schutter) called on countries to reorient their agriculture policies to promote sustainable systems, not least agro-ecology, that realise the right to food. And Consider that The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was the work of over 400 scientists and took four years to complete. It was twice peer reviewed and states we must look to smallholder, traditional farming to deliver food security in third world countries through agro-ecological systems which are sustainable.

Yet, for all these considerations, what we witness from powerful interest groups is an on-going campaign to denigrate and marginalise organic-based farming and systems based on it. For example, here is a quote from a recent article by Shanthu Shantharam:

Almost all anti-GM folks believe in organic agriculture and they have been active at the state level in India to convince gullible politicians that organic agriculture can feed the world and give food security. This is not accepted by most established agricultural scientists. Most farmers’ organizations in India, including BKS and SJM, are champions of organic farming, and organic farming completely prohibits the use of GM seeds. So, if the country accepts organic farming, there is no place for GM technology, and therefore they want it to be banned. India will pay a heavy price if they heed the anti-GM lobby on organic farming, a niche mode of cultivating crops on a small scale or in kitchen gardens.

If you read the entire article from which that extracts comes, it is clear that pro-GMO lobbyist Shantharam thinks the best way to push for GM is to attack and smear scientists and campaigners (with unsubstantiated claims) who disagree with him and degrade credible approaches to agriculture that do not involve GM.

The case for GM cannot be made in terms of better yields, less chemical inputs, safety, impact on the environment, nutritional value or improved farmers’ incomes, so the tactic is to denigrate alternative solutions. And Shatharam’s favourite target is organic agriculture and anyone who advocates for its widespread use.

Using less bombast than Shantharam to make his point, pro-GM microbiologist Tony Trewavas of Edinburgh University believes organic approaches like agro-ecology are not sufficient to feed the world:

If agro-ecological approaches can currently match yield that can be attained by using modern farming methods then by all means use it. But if not and my understanding is that currently it cannot, then they should not be the farming method of recommended choice at present… No-one with any concern for humanity or the welfare of its population should currently consider any other alternative [to GM]. The groups that campaign for this kind or that kind of farming method and destroy crops to try and bounce others into their point of view have lost that fundamental concern for their own species.

In an attempt to drive his belief home, Trewavas does his cause no help by using GM industry-inspired PR rhetoric masquerading as ‘expert opinion’ in an attempt to smear and marginalise proponents of agro-ecology by implying they are ‘enemies of humanity’. And he is not alone in going down this route.

Whether in academia or elsewhere, mouthpieces for their transnational agribusiness masters have no shame in churning out misinformation and cheap slurs to forward a pro-GM agenda that is based on fraud and a subversion of science, as documented in Steven Druker’s book ‘Altered Genes, Twisted Truths’. And this agenda does not possess overwhelming support within science, despite the claims of GM supporters. This much has been made clear by Food & Water Watch and by Druker himself in a recent TV debate and his follow up points here.

But PR, slurs and smears aside, the pro-GM lobby’s specific attack on organic agriculture (and more generally agro-ecology) merely being a ‘kitchen table niche’ mode of farming flies in the face of reality.

According to new research carried out by a team of US scientists, organic farming could provide ample food for the whole human population, while causing less pollution and fewer health problems than conventional agriculture.

Their review of hundreds of published studies provides evidence that organic farming can produce sufficient yields, be profitable for farmers, protect and improve the environment and be safer for farm workers, even though organic production currently accounts for only one percent of global agricultural land. It is the first such study to analyse 40 years of science comparing organic and conventional agriculture across the four goals of sustainability identified by the National Academy of Sciences: productivity, economics, environment, and community well-being.

In their paper published on 3 February in the journal Nature, John Reganold and Jonathan Wachter, agronomists at Washington State University, argued that that yields from organic farms were indeed between 8% and 25% lower than those of conventional farms, depending on the crop. With effective use of organic polyculture, however, this gap narrowed to 9%, and with increased crop rotation it shrank to just 8%.

But one area where organic farming trumped conventional methods is in periods of severe drought; a phenomenon set to become increasingly common as the global climate is disrupted. The authors argue that the weight of evidence argues that yields from organic farms are more reliable in periods of drought because their healthier soil retains more moisture (as perfectly described previously by Bhaskar Save, based on his many decades of organic farming in India).

It is also noted that organic farmers often make a better living than their pesticide-spraying colleagues, with revenues between 22% and 35% higher. The two agronomists state that humanity’s conversion to organic farming should not rest solely on the question of yields by noting that wider issues must be addressed as well:

We should also reduce food waste, improve access to food distribution, stabilise the global population, eliminate the conversion of crops into biofuels and adopt a more plant-based diet.

The authors also say that the downsides of conventional farming are clear: it uses costly pesticides, pollutes water with nitrates and phosphates, causes high greenhouse gas emissions and reduces biodiversity on cultivated land. As well as contributing to a variety of chronic diseases, conventional farming methods also produce food with lower nutritional values than organic methods; a finding supported by 12 of the 15 studies identified by the researchers on this subject.

Numerous studies in the review indicated that organic farms tend to store more soil carbon, have better soil quality, and reduce soil erosion. Organic agriculture also creates less soil and water pollution and lower greenhouse gas emissions. And it is more energy efficient because it doesn’t rely on synthetic fertilizers or pesticides. It is also associated with greater biodiversity of plants, animals, insects and microbes as well as genetic diversity. Biodiversity increases the services that nature provides like pollination and improves the ability of farming systems to adapt to changing conditions.

In terms of the social impact of the two farming methods, organic farming also came out on top: organic farms create more jobs, are less damaging to their employees’ health and actually improve their diet, promote interaction between producers and consumers and provide better conditions for animals.

Reganold concludes.

Hundreds of scientific studies now demonstrate that organic farming should play a greater role in feeding our planet. 30 years ago, there were only a handful of studies comparing organic and conventional agriculture. In the last 15 years their number has massively increased.

Of course, it is conceivable that, given breakthroughs in non-GM biotechnology, not least marker assisted selection, systems of agriculture based on organic techniques will in future narrow the gap further or even outperform petro-chemical intensive farming.

This latest research follows on from other recent studies that puts paid to the claim that organic-based farming is a kitchen table niche incapable of playing a major, dominant role in feeding the world. For example, we now have:

  1. The Rodale Institute’s 30-year research trial into organic farming, which concludes that organic yields match conventional yields, outperform conventional in years of drought and actually build soil fertility rather than deplete it. In addition, there is also this study from 2014, that indicated the gap between organic and chemical-intensive models is not so great (even absent in many cases) and that organic could produce enough to feed the world.
  2. Last year’s Oakland Institute findings that demonstrated the “tremendous success” of agro-ecology across Africa. The Oakland Institute presented 33 case studies that were successful in combining sound ecological management, including minimising the use of toxic inputs by using on-farm renewable resources and privileging endogenous solutions to manage pests and disease, with an approach that upholds and secures farmers’ livelihoods. The research provides irrefutable data and information how agricultural transformation can yield immense economic, social, and food security benefits, while ensuring climate justice and restoring soils and the environment. Frederic Mousseau, Policy Director of the Oakland Institute, coordinated the research and argued that the research debunks the myths about the inability of agro-ecology to deliver and highlights the multiple benefits of agro-ecology, including affordable and sustainable ways to boost agricultural yields while increasing farmers’ incomes, food security and resilience.
  3. Reports from Tamil Nadu (South India) on women’s collectives organising to restore traditional foods and farming methods, resulting in lower costs, higher yields and improved nutrition. By practising agro-ecology, an increasing number of women farmers are now free from chemical fertilisers and pesticides and grow many crops together – grains, lentils, beans, oilseeds – to create biodiversity, using maximum input from the land within the farm to produce food.
  4. peer-reviewed study in the British Journal of Nutrition showing that organic crops and crop-based foods are between 18 to 69% higher in a number of key antioxidants such as polyphenolics than conventionally-grown crops. Moreover, significantly lower levels of a range of toxic heavy metals were found in organic crops. For instance, cadmium is one of only three metal contaminants, along with lead and mercury, for which the European Commission has set maximum permitted contamination levels in food. It was found to be almost 50% lower in organic crops. Nitrogen concentrations were also found to be significantly lower in organic crops. Concentrations of total nitrogen were 10%, nitrate 30% and nitrite 87% lower in organic compared to conventional crops.  The study also found that pesticide residues were four times more likely to be found in conventional crops than organic ones. The study is the biggest of its kind ever undertaken. The international team of experts led by Newcastle University in the UK analysed 343 studies into the compositional differences between organic and conventional crops.
  5. Various studies indicating the superior nutritional value of organic food, while pesticide-dependent chemical-intensive agriculture has led to soil degradationmineral-deficient soilsde-nutified foodpoisoned water and a range of health problems and diseases.

From Cuba to Uganda, there are of course many more examples that could be added to the above list to highlight the successes of agricultural systems based on organic. The point is that organic agriculture could feed the world, certainly if it were to be prioritised and invested in to the extent green revolution technology has been over the decades.

The ability to feed the world, however, involves a lot more than focussing on organic vs chemical or a bogus technical quick-fix GM solution that rides on the back of successes in conventional breeding.

The geopolitics of food and agriculture has played a significant role in creating food-rich and food-deficit regions and populations. Any serious commitment to feeding the world must therefore address various issues, not least international trade policies and the globalised system of ‘capitalism’ that has led to, for example: structural inequality and poverty; the privatisation of seed, knowledge, land and water; the marginalisation of smallholders, the backbone of global food production; commodity speculation, resulting in food shortages; and debt and export-oriented agriculture, which undermine local, rural economies.

The corporate-controlled green revolution ushered in by the oil-rich Rockefeller clan and its associates was aimed at uprooting indigenous agriculture. The ultimate beneficiaries have been powerful oil, financial and agribusiness players. All of this to fuel a ‘nine-day wonder’ (Gandhi’s term) unsustainable model of economic and social ‘development’ and an urban-centic model of agriculture based on destroying livelihoods in the Global South, as is currently happening in India.

The solution must be for policy-makers to prioritise a shift towards organic-based systems of agriculture and, importantly, to restore soils back to a healthy level. This would involve providing support to an agro-ecology movement that is empowering to people politically, socially and economically, and implementing an economic system that is based on local self-reliance and a commitment to rejecting meaningless over-consumption that strips the environment bare.

When Raj Patel discusses the perceived successes of the green revolution, he urges us to consider what could have happened if we had invested in and prioritised alternative approaches to agriculture – if we had pursued a different route than that of the green revolution. It is only then that we could genuinely measure its efficacy.

However, such a consideration is to be side-lined by pro-GM lobbyists like Shanthu Shantharam or former UK environment minister Owen Paterson, who claims “billions” will be condemned to hunger and poverty if we do not keep with green revolution technology and extend it by adopting GM. For like all good neo-liberal GMO corporate evangellists, Paterson’s mantra of TINA (there is no alternative) is the kind of rhetoric that is designed to stop thinking and informed analysis dead in its tracks.

But ultimately, as alluded to in this piece and something that the likes of Shantharam, Trewvavas or Paterson do not want to hear, the real issue isn’t about whether or not organic can feed the world, it is that global capitalism is preventing us from doing so and will continue to do so if its structures and impacts remain unchallenged.

 

 

 

Dubious Pledged Aid for Beleaguered Syrians

February 8th, 2016 by Stephen Lendman

Pledging aid is one thing, delivering it another. Past experience shows suffering people in conflict theaters and natural disaster areas treated dismissively, given short shrift – most or all so-called aid diverted for profit-making purposes.

Months after Haiti’s devastating January 2010 earthquake, a donor’s conference pledged over $5 billion to help victims rebuild and recover – virtually all funds earmarked exclusively for profit-making ventures, US companies getting the lion’s share, desperate people entirely ignored, still on their own six years later.

Post-Katrina New Orleans became a metaphor for disaster capitalism, exploiting natural disasters for profit, people needs treated dismissively.

Sri Lankan survivors following the devastating December 2004 tsunami were left homeless, forbidden to rebuild homes in destroyed coastal areas, earmarked for corporate development – benefitting state tourism and business interests at the expense of vital people needs.

A post-2014 Gaza war Cairo conference pledged $5.4 billion for reconstruction. Israel was the main beneficiary.

Corrupt PA officials got their share (for so-called unspecified budget purposes), none delivered to needy people – still on their own, rebuilding largely blocked under siege, UN officials complicit with Israel preventing it.

Expect most aid pledged for desperate Syrians to be diverted like earlier thinly veiled profit-making schemes.

Last Thursday, donor countries meeting in London pledged $10.7 billion in aid for Syrians over the next four years. Will any or enough arrive to make a difference – about as likely as the above examples.

Obama’s war left half the population internally or externally displaced, struggling to survive, getting little help.

Refugees arriving in neighboring countries and European ones are mistreated, exploited, their rights and needs ignored, confined under deplorable slum conditions, in some cases like the notorious Calais, France “jungle,” unfit to live in.

John Kerry addressed donor country representatives, saying Syrians struggling to survive “should tear at the conscience of all civilized people, and we have a responsibility to respond to it.”

He entirely ignored Obama’s war, his complicity as a US senator and secretary of state. Washington bears full responsibility for raping Syria.

Complicit NATO and regional regimes share blame, responsible for murdering hundreds of thousands, transforming the country into dystopian hell.

Imperial objectives alone matter, millions killed, injured or uprooted, along with vast destruction, are a small price to pay by US standards.

Aggressors pledging aid for victims show appalling hypocrisy – especially when most funds raised are earmarked for disaster capitalism purposes, profiting from human misery like earlier, people needs at best given short shrift.

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 1PMCentral time plus two prerecorded archived programs.

 

UK Column News Special:

Mike Robinson speaks to Mother Agnes Mariam about the situation in Syria, the media coverage of it and both the political peace process and her own Reconciliation Initiative.

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American Aggression against China

February 8th, 2016 by Christopher Black

On January 30th the United States committed a deliberate act of aggression against China when it sent the guided missile destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur within the 12 nautical mile territorial limit of one of the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea. The islands are claimed historically by China, though Vietnam also has filed claims to the islands under the Law of the Sea Convention. The Americans state that Taiwan also claims the islands but since Taiwan is just a province of China I will ignore that claim here.

The Chinese have the superior historical and present claim and the islands have long been administered by China. Chinese forces, either Kuomintang or communist, have occupied them since 1946. The Chinese have both civilian and military facilities located on the largest of them, Woody Island, including a hospital, a bank schools, an airport, a seaport and a town hall and have built a large sea port on Duncan Island. The islands are also popular with Chinese tourists.

The territorial disputes were settled long ago when the French tried to incorporate the islands into their Vietnamese territories but after the Sino-French War of 1884-85 France recognised the islands, as well as the Spratly Islands, as Chinese territories. In 1933 the French stabbed China in the back and seized the islands but were then displaced by the Japanese in 1938.

The islands reverted to Chinese control at the end of the Second World War. There was a brief war between Vietnam and China over the islands in 1974 but the Chinese succeeded in maintaining their control of the islands. The Vietnamese still contest this but the fact is that China’s historical claim and influence on the islands dates as far back as the 7th century A.D. and has been continuous since that time.

The law that applies in this situation is the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) which was negotiated between 1973 and 1982 and came into full force in 1994. Almost every country in the world has become a party to the Convention except for the United States which has refused to sign due to concerns it has about certain sections dealing with deep sea mineral mining. However, the United States has always recognised the Convention as a codification of customary international law and therefore has accepted the 12 nautical mile territorial limit, allowed all nations, including itself, as the law.

It is well to keep in mind that in 1988, President Reagan issued a proclamation extending American territorial waters to 12 nautical miles for national security purposes. Further, the United States was a party to the negotiations regarding modifications to the treaty that were made in 1994 and once again affirmed, at that time, that it recognised the Convention as general international law.

In May 2007, President Bush recommended that the US Senate ratify the Convention. In January 2009 at her senate confirmation hearing, Hillary Clinton argued, before the Senate, that the Convention be ratified. She argued for it again before the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in 2012 and both the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Martin Dempsey and the Secretary of Defence, Leon Panetta, joined her in urging a quick ratification of the Convention, as did several senior generals and admirals. However, the Republicans succeeded in blocking ratification until today, on the grounds that any law that limits the ability of the United States to do what it wants in the world is against American “interests.”

Nonetheless, the point is that the United States recognises that all nations are entitled to claim a 12 nautical mile territorial limit as China claims over the Paracel Islands. Even if the competing claim by Vietnam was valid the limit still applies. Yet the Americans now arrogantly claim that they can go where they please and do as they like and that these limits do not apply with respect to these islands, or, in fact, to any Chinese borders.

The American government, as reported by CNN, stated that it sent its war ship into the 12-mile limit to challenge “excessive maritime claims that restrict the rights and freedoms of the US and others.” Who the others are was not stated. The statement was absurd on its face since no nation can send its war ships into another nations 12-mile limit without permission of that nation. To do so is considered a hostile act, an act of war.

An American military spokesman for the US government, Commander Bill Urban, told CNN, “This operation demonstrates, as President Obama and Secretary Carter have stated, the United States will fly, sail and operate anywhere international law allows. That is true in the South China Sea, as in other places around the globe.” The absurdity of his statement and the American position lies in the fact that international law does not permit them to send their warships inside any other nations 12 mile limit without permission of that nation and they know it. Once again, the Americans display a contempt for international law, and an arrogance towards the rest of the world, that seem to be without limit.

The American government and media bragged about the fact that “neither China, nor Vietnam was notified of their (US) intention to send their war ship inside the 12 mile limit.” The only right foreign ships, and in particular foreign military vessels, have to pass inside the 12 mile limit is in a case of “innocent passage” that is when a ship is merely transiting the area and it must be with the permission of that nation. But no war ship can pass inside territorial waters in a show of power or for any hostile reason whatsoever. But this is exactly what the American ship did, crossed into Chinese territory with hostile intent.

So, while the Americans blow hard about complying with international law it is they who, once again, vigorously violate it. The Chinese government has rightly and strongly protested this hostile act. Foreign Ministry spokesman, Lu Kang, stated the next day that the “United States is …pursuing maritime hegemony in the name of “freedom,” which was opposed by all developing countries and added that the American action was “both dangerous and irresponsible.”

The United States is pushing China to respond to its aggression but the Chinese have exercised a great deal of restraint over the years in the face of a series of American provocations from spy planes over-flying its air space to a series of naval exercises in the Pacific and South China Sea that are clearly aimed at China and are all part of America’s “pivot to the Pacific,” a shifting of the concentration of its military forces to confront China, in fact a preparation for war on China. The question is how far the Americans are willing to push.

But they are pushing everywhere, like bullies on a drunk, roaming down a street beating and shoving aside anyone they meet. Recently the Iranians detained two small American patrol craft attached to the American fleet in the Persian Gulf that entered Iranian waters. The presence of those boats in those waters at that time has given rise to a lot of speculation about their purpose but no answers, except the obvious one of preparing for hostilities of one type or another. The Americans continue to press Russia in the Black Sea using both naval and air forces and are openly committing aggression against Syria by sending their military units into Syria, allegedly to fight ISIS, without the permission of the Syrian government. And, at the same time as their ship violated Chinese territorial waters, the Americans blasted Russia by claiming Russian planes had violated Turkish airspace, a claim the Russians vehemently denied and labelled the claim what it was, a provocation.

The double standards, the hypocrisy, the constant barrage of absurd statements by American officials about international law as they ravage it, are enough to make anyone doubt their sanity. But unless we can talk about a national psychopathy with respect to the United States and the elite that governs it, and there is a lot of evidence that we can, we are forced to realise that the world is faced by the threat of a gangster nation, a nation that lives for one purpose only, conquest and domination of the planet.

Once again the United Nations proves itself either a useful tool of the United States and its dependencies or completely irrelevant to what is going on. Once again democracy is shown to be an illusion as the desire of all the peoples of the world for peace and cooperation among nations is ignored and worse, the desire for peace is called unpatriotic or treasonous; and the puppets in the mass media are as guilty as their puppet masters as they manipulate the minds of the citizens they claim to inform and stir up the hot blood of war.

And so we wait, sweat dripping off our brows, our faces grim, our muscles tensed wondering where the next blow will fall, when the next provocation will take place, when the fuse will finally blow and annihilate us all.

Christopher Black is an international criminal lawyer based in Toronto, he is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada and he is known for a number of high-profile cases involving human rights and war crimes, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

The West Is Traveling the Road to Economic Ruin

February 8th, 2016 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Michael Hudson is the best economist in the world. Indeed, I could almost say that he is the only economist in the world. Almost all of the rest are neoliberals, who are not economists but shills for financial interests.

If you have not heard of Michael Hudson it merely shows the power of the Matrix. Hudson should have won several Nobel prizes in economics, but he will never get one.

Hudson did not intend to be an economist. At the University of Chicago, which had a leading economics faculty, Hudson studied music and cultural history. He went to New York City to work in publishing. He thought he could set out on his own when he was assigned rights to the writings and archives of George Lukacs and Leon Trotsky, but publishing houses were not interested in the work of two Jewish Marxists who had a significant impact on the 20th century.

Michael Hudson

Michael Hudson

Friendships connected Hudson to a former economist for General Electric who taught him the flow of funds through the economic system and explained how crises develop when debt outgrows the economy. Hooked, Hudson enrolled in the economics graduate program at NYU and took a job in the financial sector calculating how savings were recycled into new mortgage loans.

Hudson learned more economics from his work experience than from his Ph.D. courses. On Wall Street he learned how bank lending inflates land prices and, thereby, interest payments to the financial sector. The more banks lend, the higher real estate prices rise, thus encouraging more bank lending. As mortgage debt service rises, more of household income and more of the rental value of real estate are paid to the financial sector. When the imbalance becomes too large, the bubble bursts. Despite its importance, the analysis of land rent and property valuation was not part of his Ph.D. studies in economics.

Hudson’s next job was with Chase Manhattan, where he used the export earnings of South American countries to calculate how much debt service the countries could afford to pay to US banks. Hudson learned that just as mortgage lenders regard the rental income from property as a flow of money that can be diverted to interest payments, international banks regard the export earnings of foreign countries as revenues that can be used to pay interest on foreign loans. Hudson learned that the goal of creditors is to capture the entire economic surplus of a country into payments of debt service.

Soon the American creditors and the IMF were lending indebted countries money with which to pay interest. This caused the countries’ foreign debts to rise at compound interest. Hudson predicted that the indebted countries would not be able to pay their debts, an unwelcome prediction that was confirmed when Mexico announced it could not pay. This crisis was resolved with “Brady bonds” named after the US Treasury Secretary, but when the 2008 US mortgage crisis hit, just as Hudson predicted, nothing was done for the American homeowners. If you are not a mega-bank, your problems are not a focus of US economic policy.

Chase Manhattan next had Hudson develop an accounting format to analyze the US oil industry balance of payments. Here Hudson learned another lesson about the difference between official statistics and reality. Using “transfer pricing,” oil companies managed to avoid paying taxes by creating the illusion of zero profits. Oil company affiliates in tax avoidance locations buy oil at low prices from producers. From these flags of convenience locations, which have no tax on profits, the oil was then sold to Western refineries at prices marked up to eliminate profits. The profits were recorded by the oil companies’ affiliates in non-tax jurisdictions. (Tax authorities have cracked down to some extent on the use of transfer pricing to escape taxation.)

Hudson’s next task was to estimate the amount of money from crime going into Switzerland’s secret banking system. In this investigation, his last for Chase, Hudson discovered that under US State Department direction Chase and other large banks had established banks in the Caribbean for the purpose of attracting money into dollar holdings from drug dealers in order to support the dollar (by raising the demand for dollars by criminals) in order to balance or offset Washington’s foreign military outflows of dollars. If dollars flowed out of the US, but demand did not rise to absorb the larger supply of dollars, the dollar’s exchange rate would fall, thus threatenting the basis of US power. By providing offshore banks in which criminals could deposit illicit dollars, the US government supported the dollar’s exchange value.

Hudson discovered that the US balance of payments deficit, a source of pressure on the value of the US dollar, was entirely military in character. The US Treasury and State Department supported the Caribbean safe haven for illegal profits in order to offset the negative impact on the US balance of payments of US military operations abroad. In other words, if criminality can be used in support of the US dollar, the US government is all for criminality.

When it came to the economics of the situation, economic theory had not a clue. Neither trade flows nor direct investments were important in determining exchange rates. What was important was “errors and omissions,” which Hudson discovered was an euphemism for the hot, liquid money of drug dealers and government officials embezzling the export earnings of their countries.

The problem for Americans is that both political parties regard the needs of the American people as a liability and as an obstacle to the profits of the military/security complex, Wall Street and the mega-banks, and Washington’s world hegemony. The government in Washington represents powerful interest groups, not American citizens. This is why the 21st century consists of an attack on the constitutional protections of citizens so that citizens can be moved out of the way of the needs of the Empire and its beneficiaries.

Hudson learned that economic theory is really a device for ripping off the untermenschen. International trade theory concludes that countries can service huge debts simply by lowering domestic wages in order to pay creditors. This is the policy currently being applied to Greece today, and it has been the basis of the IMF’s structural adjustment or austerity programs imposed on debtor countries, essentially a form of looting that turns over national resources to foreign lenders.

Hudson learned that monetary theory concerns itself only with wages and consumer prices, not with the inflation of asset prices such as real estate and stocks. He saw that economic theory serves as a cover for the polarization of the world economy between rich and poor. The promises of globalism are a myth. Even left-wing and Marxist economists think of exploitation in terms of wages and are unaware that the main instrument of exploitation is the financial system’s extraction of value into interest payments.

Economic theory’s neglect of debt as an instrument of exploitation caused Hudson to look into the history of how earlier civilizations handled the build up of debt. His research was so ground-breaking that Harvard University appointed him Research Fellow in Babylonian economic history in the Peabody Museum.

Meanwhile he continued to be sought after by financial firms. He was hired to calculate the number of years that Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico would be able to pay the extremely high interest rates on their bonds. On the basis of Hudson’s work, the Scudder Fund achieved the second highest rate of return in the world in 1990.

Hudson’s investigations into the problems of our time took him through the history of economic thought. He discovered that 18th and 19th century economists understood the disabling power of debt far better than today’s neoliberal economists who essentially neglect it in order to better cater to the interest of the financial sector.

Hudson shows that Western economies have been financialized in a predatory way that sacrifices the public interest to the interests of the financial sector. That is why the economy no longer works for ordinary people. Finance is no longer productive. It has become a parasite on the economy. Hudson tells this story in his recent book, Killing the Host (2015).

Readers often ask me how they can learn economics. My answer is to spend many hours with Hudson’s book. First, read the book through once or twice in order to get an idea of what is covered. Then study it closely section by section. When you understand the book, you will understand economics better than any Nobel prize-winning economist.

Treat this column as an introduction to the book. I will be writing more about it as current events and time permit. As far as I am concerned, many current events cannot be understood independently of Hudson’s explanation of the financialized Western economy. Indeed, as most Russian and Chinese economists are themselves trained in neoliberal economics, these two countries might follow the same downward path as the West.

If you put Hudson’s analysis of financialization together with my analysis of the adverse impact of jobs offshoring, you will understand that the present economic path of the Western world is the road to destruction.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West,How America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Washington must be getting nervous with the latest announcement from Iran’s state-owned oil company, the National Iranian Oil CO (NIOC) which declared that Iran will replace US dollars with Euros for its oil trades according to a Reuter’s news article titled ‘Exclusive: Iran wants euro payment for new and outstanding oil sales – source’. Iran wants something (well almost anything) to bypass the US dollar with other currencies because of Washington’s willingness to impose sanctions whenever it wants on the Iranian republic.

“Iran wants to recover tens of billions of dollars it is owed by India and other buyers of its oil in euros and is billing new crude sales in euros, too, looking to reduce its dependence on the U.S. dollar following last month’s sanctions relief” the report said. Watch for AIPAC’s “bought and paid for” politicians in Washington call for more sanctions on Iran because they will find something to blame the Iranian government even global warming if they can get away with it. Reuters said:

A source at state-owned National Iranian Oil Co (NIOC) told Reuters that Iran will charge in euros for its recently signed oil contracts with firms including French oil and gas major Total, Spanish refiner Cepsa and Litasco, the trading arm of Russia’s Lukoil

Iran has close ties to Russia and China political and economically and can now strategically pivot to other currencies without the threat of war by the US and of course, Israel. “In our invoices we mention a clause that buyers of our oil will have to pay in euros, considering the exchange rate versus the dollar around the time of delivery,” the NIOC source said.   It is important to note that Reuters also said that “Switching oil sales to euros makes sense as Europe is now one of Iran’s biggest trading partners”.  This brings us back to the Iraq War when the main-stream media (Judith Miller and the New York Times in particular) lied to the world about Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD). One of the main reasons that Washington decided to declare war on Iraq was Saddam Hussein’s decision to accept Euros in November 2000 for oil trades instead of US dollars. Remember, the Bush regime and his “Neocon” gang members also blamed the Iraqi government for the September 11th attacks, so what does Washington have up its sleeves regarding Iran’s latest announcement?

Can a new call for sanctions against Iran take center stage in congress if Iran were to test new missiles or conduct Naval exercises within their territory in the future? Many in congress including Senators John McCain and Charles Schumer would vote for new sanctions so that the Obama administration can slap on additional sanctions on top of the sanctions already in place for Iran’s recent missile tests. The latest sanctions prevent several entities and individuals linked to the Iranian missile program from using any US banking system for their transactions. So which currency does the U.S. banking system use for its transactions? US dollars and that’s exactly the point and that is why Iran wants all of its past and future payments in Euros to avoid sanctions which has caused economic hardships for the Iranian people for decades.

US hegemony in the Middle East is fueled by the power of the petrodollar. The US dollar still represents at least 60% of the world’s reserve currencies. So do the recent moves to replace the US dollar by Iran, Russia and China dethrone the world’s most used currency anytime soon? No. But the world is gradually making moves to transition away from the US dollar without causing any major disruptions in the world economy and that is what makes Washington very nervous.

War can sneak up on you. And now unions are scrambling desperately for shelter, realizing they were in the crosshairs just as the Supreme Court was about to pull the trigger. After dreamily sleepwalking in denial, unions were shocked and awed awake by the Supreme Court’s hearing of “Friedrichs vs. California Teachers Association.”

If unions lose Friedrichs, the nuclear fallout might ruin unions for a generation, or more. Some unions seem shell shocked by the existential threat posed by Friedrichs, paralyzed by the Court’s intention to declare total class war. But war demands either surrender or a fight.

A red alert should be broadcasted across every union hall in the country and to the broader public, since Friedrichs is an attack on all working people. Union memberships must be educated about the dire urgency of Friedrichs, and be engaged in creating and implementing the strategy to defeat the enemy. By directly engaging members and publicly mobilizing BEFORE the decision in June, Friedrichs can be defeated.

Staying quiet about Friedrichs is a form of surrender. Some union leaders have already publicly surrendered, such as SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, who told David Axelrod in an interview that “by next summer, we’re [the labor movement ] going to lose another 2 million [members] because of a Supreme Court case…that means another chunk of the movement will be gone.”

Ms. Henry surely knows the Supreme Court is a political institution that is affected by political pressure. And SEIU members deserve a leadership willing to apply massive pressure, by any means necessary. An anti union Friedrichs decision is not inevitable.

The AFL-CIO leadership seems equally frozen by inaction. The AFL-CIO President, Richard Trumka, also went AWOL in the Friedrichs fight. Trumka released a short video of him denouncing Friedrichs and telling people that they could learn how to “fight back” by visiting the website “America Works Together” (apparently he didn’t have the time to explain the strategy in the video).

The America Works Together website is bare bones, and uninspiring. The only thing resembling “fighting back” is a petition, directed against the anti-union group The Center For Individual Rights, which is providing the legal support for the Friedrichs case against the unions.

Of course, petitioning your enemy to stop attacking you isn’t very effective. And If the AFL-CIO is only using this tactic in the face of an advancing Friedrichs, their petition will be as useful a weapon as a white flag.

On the other side of the fight is the plaintiff, Rebecca Friedrichs, who has been 100 times more vocal in publicly opposing unions than the unions have been in publicly defending themselves. Ms. Friedrichs is all over the TV blasting away at unions, who steadfastly refuse to return fire.

Sure, Ms. Friedrichs uses half truths and lies in her attacks on unions, and yes she is backed by large corporate groups, but her tenacity is exactly what the union leaders are missing. While Ms. Friedrichs boldly denounces unions the union leaders seem ashamed to show their face in public to defend themselves, let alone lead a counter-attack.

Luckily, there is more to the union movement than its semi-celebrity leadership. The de-facto leaders of the national union movement are now the Chicago Teachers Union, and the various teacher unions who’ve copied the CTU model of engaging rank and file members and fighting back publicly against the attacks on teachers and public services.

This is the way forward. The example of the Chicago Teachers Union (CTU) should be mimicked by every union, and the book, “How to Jump Start Your Union,” about their organizing tactics should be required reading for every union officer, activist, and staff member.

The Chicago teachers rebuilt the union with member engagement and participation, while successfully appealing to the broader public for support. Because of their successes, the CTU is less vulnerable to Friedrichs than other unions.

After a very public teachers’ strike in 2012 that shut down the Mayor’s anti-union proposals, the union is mobilizing again for another strike, expressing the latent strength of all unions, as the Supreme Court is testing this strength with Friedrichs.

The twin strategy of building a fighting membership by defending their interests and rallying the public by defending their interests as well is the recipe for a strong union movement, while the top down, business as usual unionism is dead, since the disengaged membership it creates weakens unions, making them vulnerable to the Friedrichs assault.

Strong unions demand an active and engaged membership, where members play a significant role, have a strong voice, and are meaningfully engaged in other ways. This also requires a return to participatory democracy, where members actually feel that they are the union, instead of a small clique making all the decisions.

Long time labor organizer Jane McAlevey has been reinforcing the “member first” approach to union rejuvenation:

“The key strategic pivot we have to make is having a ton of faith in the capacities of ordinary rank-and-file workers and in the ordinary intelligence of workers. We have to prioritize our strategy on teaching, skilling up, and training tens of thousands of workers how to fight.”

This is what the Chicago teachers did; they engaged their members as part of a fight back; they put the important decision-making in the hands of the membership, while re-educating the labor movement about a critical lesson in power: “no justice, no peace.”

The teachers responded to injustice by shutting down the school system; the threats of the Chicago Mayor were trumped by the actions of the teachers. People thought the mayor’s attacks were “inevitable,” until the CTU mobilized and rallied the public. Friedrichs must be fought in the same manner.

Every historic victory of organized labor was won with “no justice, no peace” at its foundation, and every other organized group of oppressed people used the same approach to win power; women’s rights, civil rights, and LGBTQ rights required militant organizing that threatened “social peace” if justice wasn’t delivered.

This is the only way to fight Friedrich’s, since it was how unions won the decision that Friedrichs seeks to destroy. When unions won “Abood vs Detroit” in 1977, it was the culmination of years of mass strikes in the public sector, where public transportation grinded to a halt and teachers shut down school districts, demanding the dignity that comes with strong unions.

The pro-union Abood decision wasn’t a gift from the Court, but a recognition of the existing power that unions were actively expressing. The 1977 Supreme Court said publicly that the Abood decision was, in large part, motivated in order to deliver “social peace.” And after the Court gave the unions justice, the unions gave the government peace.

Unions are under attack now precisely because they aren’t viewed as a potential threat. But there is still time to show that the Court has misjudged union power. The Court will not decide Friedrichs till June, and until then labor remains on the battlefield; if unions engage and mobilize their memberships to strike preemptively, it may lessen the blow of Friedrichs, while a powerful strike could avoid the blow completely.

Such a preemptive strike was called for by The San Francisco Labor Council, which called on the AFL-CIO to organize “massive marches in Washington D.C. and on the west coast to defend public services and to call on the Supreme Court to rule against the plaintiffs in Friedrichs v. CTA…”

In Oregon SEIU 49 and Portland Jobs With Justice passed a similar resolution, as did the Northwest Oregon Labor Council, which specially called for May 1st to be the day of national action.

An “open letter to the labor movement” is now being circulated that calls for May 1st to be a national day of action against Friedrichs.

Mass mobilizations on May Day is entirely possible, if unions join with the immigrant rights groups and others who already are planning these rallies in most major cities. A massive show of force is possible before the Supreme Court decides Friedrichs. And if unions show up in force on May Day, they can use the platform to threaten even more aggressive actions if the Supreme Court decides against them.

Doing nothing, however, can have devastating effects. An army that loses a decisive battle without firing a shot can be permanently demoralized, since basic human dignity demands action in the face of injustice. If the union is projecting weakness, members will internalize these weaknesses. And nothing screams “weak” such as sitting idle while someone kicks your teeth in.

When the union acts powerfully, the members feel powerful; strong unions defend themselves. And they defend their community against corporate attacks. Just as the Chicago Teachers Union has been a powerful voice against the privatization and defunding of public education, so should all unions be a voice for the community in the ongoing fight against low wages, high rents, the poisoning of Flint’s water, and other issues that are devastating working class people across the country.

Ultimately, unions must be transformed back into the mobilizing and fighting organizations that earned them the rights the Court is now attempting to take away. May 1st could be known as the rebirth of the labor movement, or the Court’s decision in June may mark its terminal decline.

 

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

 

 

“Rather than (irrationally) calling for a fast-tracked Zika virus vaccine program against a benign mosquito virus that is the least likely causative agent for congenital defects like microcephaly, these authorities have chosen to keep quiet about the really logical thing to do until more is known: warn the pregnant targets of the new vaccination policy and immediately stop inoculating pregnant women with neurotoxic, aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines! Doing otherwise might meet the definition of reckless child endangerment or even crimes against humanity.” – GGK

Today (2/2/16), investigative reporter Jon Rappaport of nomorefakenews.com/ wrote:

“AP: ‘Brazilian officials said the babies with the defect [microcephaly] and their mothers are being tested to see if they had been infected. Six of the 270 confirmed microcephaly cases were found to have the [Zika] virus.’ Out of all the microcephaly cases re-examined in Brazil, only six have the Zika virus!That constitutes zero proof that Zika has anything to do with microcephaly.”

A glossary of terms for this column:

“The Elephant in the Room”: A situation where there is an obvious root cause of a problem but those falsely claiming to try to solve the problem totally ignore the root cause that is staring them in the face. (Author Upton Sinclair’s incisive comment applies here, when he said: “It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it”.)

“Cognitive Dissonance”: The psychological discomfort felt when one is confronted with new information or a new reality that contradicts one’s deeply held beliefs. (As in seeing the sudden explosive collapse (on 9/11/01) of the three WTC towers into fine powder within seconds and the struggling with the desire to stick with the contradictory official White House theory that simple office fires made it happen.)

“Iatrogenic”: A condition, usually inadvertent, resulting from the activity of a physician, such as an adverse reaction to a prescription drug, surgery or vaccine.

“Correlation does not imply Causation”: A example of a logical fallacy in that two events occurring together do not necessarily have a cause-and-effect relationship.

“False Flag Operation”: A covert operation carried out by a government agency, a corporation or some other secret organization in order to deceive its own people into falsely believing the operation was carried out by enemy “others” – usually for political or economic gain. (Ex. Operation Northwoods, Operation Gladio, the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, 9/11/01, the Reichstag Fire, Operation Himmler, etc. (Google “False Flag Ops What Really Happened” for dozens more.)

“Conflict of Interest”: A situation in which a person or group is in a position to derive personal or collective benefit (financial or professional) from actions or decisions made in their official capacity.

Most of us are by now aware of the furor over the mosquito-borne Zika virus in Brazil. Seemingly every pro-corporate vaccinologist, academic pediatrician, infectious disease “expert”, and even the World Health Organization have been blanketing the media and agreeing with the unproven notion that this usually asymptomatic, very mild viral illness somehow caused an “epidemic” of thousands of microcephalic (“shrunken brain”) newborns in , an outbreak that made its appearance out of nowhere in November 2015.

Ignored is the fact that there are 35 other countries across the globe that have confirmed cases of Zika virus illness, but none are having any microcephaly reports (although some public health organizations are searching hard for other cases of microcephaly to support the current conventional “wisdom”).

(See the list of 35 at: http://ecdc.europa.eu/en/healthtopics/zika_virus_infection/zika-outbreak/Pages/Zika-countries-with-transmission.aspx)

The public radio stations (NPR, MPR and WPR) that I pay attention to – and usually try hard to trust – have trotted out an assortment of “experts” who have been eager to pontificate on the subject, but none of them have looked at the “elephant in the room”, which is discussed further below. The so-called health professionals from the CDC, the WHO, the NIH and the FDA were academics (or bureaucrats heading up professional organizations) who were specialists in infectious disease, virology, pediatrics, vaccinology and OB-GYN, all professions that have been well indoctrinated in the safety of all vaccines.

All of them were naturally quite willing to fan the flames of fear and paranoia among us lay listeners, and most of us were naturally alarmed to hear about the thousands of mutant  being born with underdeveloped brains.

The Elephant in the Room

But in the whole week of reports that I heard or read about, not a single interviewer asked about – and not a single “expert” or mainstream journalists ever mentioned the most likely triggering cause of the epidemic, and that is the neurotoxic, cytotoxic, genotoxic, aluminum that was in every DTaP shot, a vaccine that had been recently mandated (early in 2015) by the Brazilian government to be injected into pregnant women – and therefore into their fetuses.d by froontinur,he invitations to be interviewed – even he belief that all vaccines and both safe and effective.

Suspecting that some of the “experts” on the radio may have had professional or economic conflicts of interest in this story, I decided to do some independent research into what else might be behind last week’s three hysteria-provoking, media-hyped stories. Besides

(1) the Zika virus/microcephaly story, there were two other paranoia-inducing reports in the news that I noticed, including

(2) a report about a new kind of dog influenza virus that allegedly made somebody’s cute little Jack Russell terrier very sick with a cough (for which your local veterinarian apparently has a vaccine) and

(3) a preventive medical services “blue ribbon” panel that was recommended that every person in America henceforth should be screened for so-called “mental illnesses” (and then referred to physicians who are quick to prescribe unaffordable, brain-altering psychotropic medications, of course).

We all know how pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers (as well as clinics, hospitals and physician trade associations) are constantly trying to grow their businesses and enrich themselves and their stakeholders (by expanding market share whenever and wherever they can). So naturally I couldn’t help but speculate on which financial investment sectors and corporations were benefitting from the latest freak-out news this time around.

Cognitive Dissonance (or is it Willful Ignorance) in the Healthcare Industries?

It’s important to be aware of the unshakable faith that Big Medicine has in Big Pharma’s vaccines. As a family physician, I was likewise indoctrinated in medical school and beyond to believe that all mercury-containing or aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines are safe and effective and that both mercury and aluminum were non-toxic. (Both now are well-known to be serious poisons to every living cell in the universe, not just babies brains.) Generations of brain-washing of the medical profession by corporate-controlled or corporate-influenced professionals – has worked wonders for the vaccine industry, and it starts in medical school. And what physicians believe firmly extends to their patients, even in the face of powerful neuroscientific evidence to the contrary.

Even the Brazilian women who have been delivering their microcephalic babies (or autistic, learning impaired, hyperactive, antisocial, autoimmune, or otherwise neurologically-impaired later in childhood) are probably unaware that they and their fetuses had been exposed to injected neurotoxins (without their fully informed consent being given) when their fetuses were developing their brains, nerves and synapses.

And I’ll even be willing to bet that those healthcare workers who were delivering those babies had no clue either.

Significantly, it is even possible that some of those women were also receiving the mercury-containing flu shots during their pregnancy as well. Knowing that both toxic heavy metals are capable of crossing both the placental barrier and the immature blood-brain barrier of the fetus, those chemicals should have been contraindicated in pregnancy.

At this point, it must be recognized that those Brazilian mothers – usually living in poverty, malnutrition and in carcinogenic areas of the nation – have been chronically exposed also to Monsanto’s Round-up (a known neurotoxin that has shown brain toxicity and small brains in experimental animal testing), Syngenta’s Atrazine (another neurotoxic and genotoxic herbicide widely used in Brazil), mosquito repellants and fumigation with neurotoxins).

Brazil is notorious for the widespread use of toxic chemicals because of their burgeoning agricultural economy. It is the largest user of agribusiness poisons in the world. (Be careful about eating food from Brazil, which will be hard if Big Agribusiness and the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) succeed in banning the labeling of food products as to country of origin.)

I know of no pediatrician and very few family physicians that show any sign of recognition whenever the darling of Big Vaccine, Dr Paul Offit speaks. (Offit is the multi-millionaire inventor of a CDC-mandated rotavirus vaccine whose contagious live viruses are shed for weeks following the oral administration of the vaccine.) Offit, an academic pediatrician at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he is the director of the Vaccine Education Center, once made the ridiculous assertion that “infants can theoretically receive 10,000 vaccine (antigens) at once without overloading their immune systems.” Despite that outrageous belief, he seems to have open invitations to be interviewed on radio or TV anytime there is an outbreak of whooping cough or measles-like rashes among fully vaccinated populations of children.

(For more on Dr Offit and a list of a multitude of great reference articles, click on: http://jameslyonsweiler.com/2015/11/16/paging-dr-offit-your-aluminum-neurotoxicity-reading-assignments-are-ready/)

Those of you who are also smelling a rat will agree that big multinational Agribusiness corporations that manufacture insecticides and insect repellants will profit from the story, and the vaccine, medical and veterinarian industries will profit from the first two hyped-up stories, and that Big Pharma and the psychiatric and medical industries (and their lobbyists) will benefit from the third.

The remainder of this article will deal only with the very weak Zika/microcephaly theory.

A good example of a corporation that is already profiteering from the Zika virus story is the biotech company Oxitec. Oxitec developed the technology to genetically alter male Aedes aegypti mosquitos so that no offspring would be able to reproduce. Note that there is no proof that this will do anything to contain the widespread Aedes aegypti mosquito population, but for proof of how cunning these folks are, check out the headline that I saw last week from a financial services firm. It said: “Intrexon Stock Price Spikes 20%; Oxitec Subsidiary Working To Control Zika Virus Outbreak”

That headline concerned me, but what really piqued my interest was the totally irrational microcephaly part of the mosquito story and my understanding about the serious neurotoxicity of aluminum-adjuvanted vaccines. My information comes from my extensive reading of many honorable researchers into aluminum adjuvants across the world (in Israel, Canada, France, Japan, but not many in America – or in Brazil).

False Flag Op: Blaming a Mosquito Instead of the Real Villains

The Zika virus has been around semitropical and tropical countries since 1948 with no connection to fetal anomalies for the last 70 years, so my bul…it detectors screamed loudly when the mosquito carrier of the virus was blamed as the prime suspect in causing large numbers of congenital mutations as dramatic as microcephaly. A few others besides myself smelled the strong stench of another false flag operation, and I realized that I needed do my own research.

So, partly clued in (or inspired) by the essays of Jon Rappaport (Google “Jon Rappaport and the Zika Hoax”) I started to do my independent research into this story. What I found out is disturbing, but not surprising.

Starting at the beginning, one can report that the megacorporate vaccine industry, along with many co-opted public health experts, have long been concerned about the relative lack of efficacy of the pertussis (whooping cough) vaccine (the “P” in the trivalent DPT or TDaP) in actually preventing the disease even in fully vaccinated children. That reality has been effectively covered-up by the industry – with the help of the media.

In every one of the periodic outbreaks of whooping cough that we hear about from time to time (ad nauseum), large percentages, sometimes even majorities, of the sick children have been found to have been fully vaccinated with the recommended series of three shots, which should have, theoretically, protected them. In very young infants (whose immune system, blood-brain barriers and upper windpipes are at their most immature), whooping cough is much more likely to be lethal, the mortality rate varying from less than 1% to as much as 5% (in impoverished, malnourished, neglected and/or chemically poisoned populations).

Making the Mistake of Trying to “Keep up With the Joneses” in Brazil

In Brazil, public health officials have been concerned with the nation’s rising incidence of whooping cough (it was approximately double that of its neighboring countries). Between January 2007 and December 2014, there were 24,612 confirmed cases of whooping cough (averaging 3000 per year, with only small numbers of microcephalic newborns spontaneously occurring).

The actual annual incidence rates of whooping cough in Brazil between 2007 and 2010 ranged from a low of 0.32 cases per 100,000 to 0.75 per 100,000. Then, starting in 2011, there occurred increases, reaching 1.17 cases per 100,000 in 2011, 2.81 per 100,000 in 2012, 3.2 per 100,000 in 2013, and 3.25 per 100,000 in 2014 (which means that in the peak year, 2014, over 99,996 Brazilians out of every 100,000 didn’t contract whooping cough!)

During the so-called “epidemic” period [2012 – 2014], the mean annual incidence rate for whooping cough was 2.6 cases per 100,000 population, compared with 0.51 per 100,000 in the period from 2007 through 2010, but the relative rate of increase was calculated to be a pseudo-alarming 500% rise (2.6/0.51 X 100% = 520% [!])  The overall case fatality rate among confirmed cases during the eight years of the study was 2.1 % (528 deaths in the 8 years studied out of the 24,612 confirmed cases).(Statistics above were taken from a medical journal article that was titled “Increasing Incidence of Pertussis in Brazil” (BMC Infect Dis. Oct 2015). Ironically, the article was published online the month before the microcephaly outbreak occurred! (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4619034/)

Prior to the disastrous microcephaly outbreak that began in November 2015, the embarrassed Brazilian public health experts knew that Brazil’s high 90 – 95% infant vaccination rates among its infants were failing to eliminate, as promised, the occasional case of whooping cough (which, admittedly, can be fatal in very tiny infants, usually with pneumonia, encephalitis, dehydration, otitis, and malnutrition listed as contributory causes of death).

So they decided on a drastic plan: inoculate all pregnant women with the DTaP vaccine, hoping that by doing so, the babies would come out of the womb automatically immunized to whooping cough – a scientifically absurd notion.

The plan may have sounded plausible to the layperson. It may even have sounded plausible to a health science-oriented bureaucrat or perhaps even to an academic neuroscientist who might have financial conflicts of interest in not revealing what were the real villains in the outbreak. And of course, the plan looked like pure gold to Sanofi Pasteur (the largest corporation in the world devoted entirely to manufacturing and marketing vaccines) and to GlaxoSmithKline (the British mega-pharmaceutical corporation that would be getting the contract for the tens of millions of doses of aluminum-containing DTaP).

No well-designed experimental studies were done beforehand to prove that such a strategy would work, much less be safe. But I suspect that there was an uncomfortable minority of (enlightened) Brazilian strategists who were aware of the known neuroscience concerning the emerging epidemic of vaccine-induced autoimmune disorders. However, being out-numbered, I suspect that they had to resort to crossing their fingers that this high-risk plan would work out.

Crossing one’s fingers is lousy science.

Anyway, in the spring of 2015, public health officials mandated DTaP vaccinations for all pregnant Brazilian women. The vaccine contained, not just the whooping cough antigen and aluminum, but also two totally unnecessary antigens that are supposed to (allegedly) prevent diphtheria and tetanus, two illnesses that, compared to whooping cough, are so rare in first world countries as to be non-existent.

So since last year, clinics all over Brazil were injecting some form of DPT shots into pregnant women, despite the warnings from independent neuroscientists that such vaccines were known to be neurotoxic (poisonous to brain and nerve tissue), genotoxic (poisonous to DNA), mutagenic (capable of causing mutations) and generally fetotoxic (capable of poisoning fetuses, especially their brains and bones).

Conflicts of Interest (and CYA) Keep Big Lies Going, But at What Cost?

Quite often the need to preserve the reputations or wealth of powerful people or powerful industries takes precedence over the basic human needs of innocent people that may have been their victims.  So when those entities are at risk of being humiliated when their greed and  powerstious or guilty actions of the powerfulconflicts of interest are exposed, bad outcomes happen. This is true of Big Pharma, Big Medicine, Big Vaccine, Big Agribusiness, Big Chemistry, Big Food, Big Finance, Wall Street and the Pentagon.

And, after understanding the facts as revealed above, Brazilian women of child-bearing age – as are all of us – are being kept in the dark about all the facts about what Jon Rappaport calls the Zika virus hoax. The perpetrators of the hoax include officials at the WHO, the CDC, the NIH, the FDA and every major news outlet that has a paid medical doctor doing such stories. They should be ashamed of themselves for missing the essential ingredients of this story and mis-leading everybody with either their willful ignorance or their bald-faced promulgation of the Big Lie.

Rather than (irrationally) calling for a fast-tracked Zika virus vaccine against a benign mosquito virus that is the least likely to be the causative agent, these authorities have kept quiet about the really sensible thing to do until more is known: immediately stop vaccinating pregnant women with neurotoxic substances!

Dr Kohls is a retired physician who practiced holistic, non-drug, mental health care for the last decade of his family practice career. He now writes a weekly column for the Reader Weekly, an alternative newsweekly published in Duluth, Minnesota, USA. Many of Dr Kohls’ columns are archived at

http://duluthreader.com/articles/categories/200_Duty_to_Warn.

 

Are The US Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?

February 7th, 2016 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Are The Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?

US economics statistics are so screwed up that they do not provide an accurate picture.

Consider the latest monthly payroll jobs report. According to the report, in January 151,000 new jobs were created. Where are these jobs? According to the report, 69% of the new jobs are accounted for by retail employment and waitresses and bartenders. If we add in health care and social assistance, the entirety of the new jobs are accounted for. This is not the employment picture of a First World economy.

According to the report, in January the retail sector added 57,700 jobs. Considering that January is the month that followed a disappointing Christmas December, do you think retailers added 57,700 employees? Such a large increase in retail employment suggests an expected rise in sales, but transportation and warehousing lost 20,300 jobs and wholesale trade added only 8,800.

Perhaps it is mistaken to think that employment in these sectors should move together. Possibly the retail jobs, if they are real, are part-time jobs replacing a smaller number of terminated full-time jobs in order that employers can avoid benefits costs. If this is the case, then the retail jobs are bad news, not good news.

The reported unemployment rate of 4.9% is misleading as it does not count discouraged workers. When discouraged workers are added, the actual rate of US unemployment is about 23%, a number more consistent with the decline in the labor force participation rate. In January 2006 the labor force participation rate was 66%. In January 2016 the labor force participation rate is 62.7%.

The government has a second official unemployment rate that counts short-term discouraged workers (discouraged for less than one year). That rate, known as U-6, is 10%, twice the “headline rate” which is always the U-3 measure that excludes all discouraged workers not currently looking for a job.

In his reports John Williams (shadowstats.com) explains that the jobs reported can be an artifact of seasonal adjustments. Perhaps a simple way of seeing the influence of seasonal adjustments is to compare the not seasonally adjusted jobs numbers for December 2015 and January 2016. These numbers are 144,112,000 jobs in December and 141,123,000 jobs in January, a decline of 2,989,000. However, with seasonal adjustments the January number rises to 143,288,000 and the December number falls to 143,137,000, producing a January jobs gain of 151,000.

Payroll jobs are the number of jobs, not the number of employed people. Many of the payroll jobs are part-time. In order to make ends meet, some people hold two or more part-time jobs. In contrast to the 143,288,000 reported payroll jobs, civilian full-time employment is about 123,000,000.

Another factor that distorts the jobs reports is the birth-death model. Based on John Williams’ expertise, I have often reported on this effort by the BLS to estimate the net of unreported jobs losses from business closures and the unreported jobs gains of new start-ups. Here is John Williams in his latest report on the January payroll jobs:

“Historically, an upside-bias process was created for payroll-employment reporting simply by adding in a monthly “bias factor,” so as to prevent the otherwise potential political embarrassment to the BLS of understating monthly jobs growth. The “bias factor” process resulted from such an actual reporting embarrassment, with the underestimation of jobs growth coming out of the 1983 recession.

“That process eventually was recast as the now infamous Birth-Death Model (BDM), which purportedly models the relative effects on payroll employment of jobs creation due to new businesses starting up, versus jobs lost due to bankruptcies or closings of existing businesses.

Separately there is a preset upside bias, plus a presumed net additional “surplus” of jobs added on to the payroll estimates each month as a special add-factor. In current reporting, the aggregate average overstatement of monthly employment change easily exceeds 200,000 jobs per month. These details and section shall be updated fully in the pending Supplement.

The assertion that the US economy has been in recovery since June of 2009 is not consistent with the quantity and quality of the jobs reflected in the payroll jobs reports. The number of new jobs is not sufficient to prevent the labor force participation rate from declining, and the pay associated with the jobs is not sufficient to leave consumers with enough discretionary income to drive an economy based on consumption.

The financial presstitutes do not explore these issues. They merely report the numbers that the official releases emphasize and ask no questions about them. Therefore, the decline in American economic prospects receives no attention. The Federal Reserve can even report that half of American 25 year-olds live at home with their parents without causing alarm. They do this not from choice but from necessity. They simply cannot find jobs that pay enough to support an independent existence. You would think that this would be an issue of national concern.

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books areThe Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the WestHow America Was Lost, and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

Western Double Standards on North Korea

February 7th, 2016 by Stephen Lendman

North Korean military related activities are solely for self-defense – given longstanding US-led Western hostility and forced isolation.

Throughout its history, North Korea never attacked another nation. It remains justifiably concerned since Harry Truman launched naked aggression in June 1950. A shaky, unprecedented in length, July 1953 armistice excluded a peace treaty. A state of war persists. Washington misportrays North Korea as a belligerent threat.

Any military related activity it undertakes is automatically called hostile, irresponsibly considered a threat to neighboring countries and America – despite no evidence proving it.

Longstanding US-led Western hypocrisy is notorious. Do what we say, not what we do is official policy. Pyongyang seeks normalized relations with all nations.

Washington wants its government used as a punching bag, a convenient enemy the way it treats all independent nations.

On Sunday, Pyongyang announced the successful launching of a long-range rocket, deploying a Kwangmyongsong-4 satellite (named after the late Kim Jong Il) into space, orbiting the earth every 94 minutes.

At the request of Washington, Japan and South Korea, an emergency Security Council session will be held later on Sunday, discussing a nonexistent threat, solely to beat up on Pyongyang like always.

Banning its use of ballistic missile technology is wholly unjustified. Western and regional nations feature it. North Korea’s rights are no less than theirs.

Instead, its victimized by consistent US-led bashing. John Kerry duplicitously responded to Sunday’slaunch as expected.

He lied, calling it “major provocation,” absurdly claiming it threaten(s) not only the security of the Korean peninsula, but that of the region and the United States as well.”

Pentagon officials confirmed the launch posed no threat to North America. Pyongyang  said it’s “legitimately exercising the right to use space for independent and peaceful purposes.” It intends launching more satellites, what Western and many other nations do routinely, no criticisms heard about their activities, only against independent nations like North Korea – bashed for doing the same thing, with no evidence suggesting its space program threatens any nation.

Security Council resolutions unjustifiably prohibit Pyongyang from using ballistic missile technology. No such ban exists against Western and numerous other countries – a notorious double standard.

Sunday’s launch was North Korea’s sixth. Last month, it announced its fourth underground nuclear test, claiming it successfully detonated a small thermonuclear bomb, whether true or not isn’t clear.

US-imposed sanctions on North Korea are longstanding. Congress is moving to impose new ones, including against Chinese companies doing business with Pyongyang, intensifying Washington/Beijing tensions.  The double standard is glaring.

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.

 

1. Netanyahu heads the only undeclared nuclear weapons entity on the planet yet still ludicrously alleges that non­ nuclear Iran is trying to exterminate the state of Israel with its 100s of warheads in its Dimona secret arsenal, (all of which are outside the inspection of the IAEA), in an abortive effort to damage the agreed Iran peace deal, painstakingly negotiated by the UN Security Council members and the EU. His convoluted political machinations, in Washington and Europe, have resulted in ignominious failure as Iran rejoins the international community.

2. His government also refuses to be a party to both the Chemical and Biological Weapons Conventions (CWC / BWC) to which all EU members and most other UN states are signatories

3. His right­wing, extremist government supports the continued illegal occupation and settlement of the Palestinian West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights in violation of international law, in addition to continuing a blockade of essential materials to 1.8 million in Gaza that has received global condemnation.

4. He exerts a wholly undemocratic influence over the Republican­ AIPAC dominated US congress in Washington thereby disproportionately skewing American foreign policy in favour of Israel

5. His family background includes a documented association with terrorist organisations notably the Irgun Zvai Leumi paramilitaries

6. His government is in continued breach of the human rights provisions of the EU Association Agreement that affords Israel free trade access to the European single market

7. He allows the so­called ‘pricetag’ terrorists to continue to persecute Arab residents in the Occupied Territories by the burning and destruction of olive groves and businesses in a program of uncontrolled intimidation and violence

8. He continually threatens to restrict access to Jerusalem’s Al­ Aqsa mosque as did his failed predecessor, Ariel Sharon, apparently in a bid to provoke violence and dissent

9. He is the leader of a party whose published charter requires the ethnic cleansing of all indigenous Palestinians in order to establish a Greater Israel in all of former Palestine

10. Likud’s official agenda to establish the so­called ‘facts on the ground’ is a blatant attempt to abort the establishment of an independent Palestinian state. This illegal program has recently been condemned by China as well as by the EU, Russia and the US and is now expected to lead to economic, political and sporting sanctions.

Note: all the above facts are verifiable in the public domain

The idea that there is anything questionable about coating a sporting event in military promotion is the furthest thing from the minds of most viewers.

Super Bowl 50 will be the first National Football League championship to happen since it was reported that much of the pro-military hoopla at football games, the honoring of troops and glorifying of wars that most people had assumed was voluntary or part of a marketing scheme for the NFL, has actually been a money-making scheme for the NFL. The U.S. military has been dumping millions of our dollars, part of a recruitment and advertising budget that’s in the billions, into paying the NFL to publicly display love for soldiers and weaponry.

Of course, the NFL may in fact really truly love the military, just as it may love the singers it permits to sing at the Super Bowl halftime show, but it makes thempay for the privilege too. And why shouldn’t the military pay the football league to hype its heroism? It pays damn near everybody else. At $2.8 billion a year on recruiting some 240,000 “volunteers,” that’s roughly $11,600 per recruit. That’s not, of course, the trillion with a T kind of spending it takes to run the military for a year; that’s just the spending to gently persuade each “volunteer” to join up. The biggest military “service” ad buyer in the sports world is the National Guard. The ads often depict humanitarian rescue missions. Recruiters often tell tall tales of “non-deployment” positions followed by free college. But it seems to me that the $11,600 would have gone a long way toward paying for a year in college! And, in fact, people who have that money for college are far less likely to be recruited.

The military routinely endorses and promotes the NFL.

The military routinely endorses and promotes the NFL. | Photo: WikiMedia Commons

Despite showing zero interest in signing up for wars, and despite the permanent presence of wars to sign up for, 44 percent of U.S. Americans tell the Gallup polling company that they “would” fight in a war, yet don’t. That’s at least 100 million new recruits. Luckily for them and the world, telling a pollster something doesn’t require follow through, but it might suggest why football fans tolerate and even celebrate military national anthems and troop-hyping hoopla at every turn. They think of themselves as willing warriors who just happen to be too busy at the moment. As they identify with their NFL team, making remarks such as “We just scored,” while firmly seated on their most precious assets, football fans also identify with their team on the imagined battlefield of war.

The NFL website says:

“For decades the NFL and the military have had a close relationship at the Super Bowl, the most watched program year-to-year throughout the United States. In front of more than 160 million viewers, the NFL salutes the military with a unique array of in-game celebrations including the presentation of colors, on-field guests, pre-game ceremonies and stadium flyovers. During Super BowlXLIX week [last year], the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Wounded Warriors Project invited veterans to attend the Salute to Service: Officiating 101 Clinic at NFL Experience Engineered by GMC [double payment? ka-ching!] in Arizona.”

Pat Tillman, still promoted on the NFL website, and eponym of the Pat Tillman Foundation, is of course the one NFL player who gave up a giant football contract to join the military. What the Foundation won’t tell you is that Tillman, as is quite common, ceased believing what the ads and recruiters had told him. On September 25, 2005, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Tillman had become critical of the Iraq war and had scheduled a meeting with the prominent war critic Noam Chomsky to take place when he returned from Afghanistan, all information that Tillman’s mother and Chomsky later confirmed.

 

Tillman couldn’t confirm it because he had died in Afghanistan in 2004 from three bullets to the forehead at short range, bullets shot by an American. The White House and the military knew Tillman had died from so-called friendly fire, but they falsely told the media he’d died in a hostile exchange. Senior Army commanders knew the facts and yet approved awarding Tillman a Silver Star, a Purple Heart, and a posthumous promotion, all based on his having died fighting the “enemy.” Clearly the military wants a connection to football and is willing to lie as well as to pay for it. The Pat Tillman Foundation mis-uses a dead man’s name to play on and prey on the mutual interest of football and the military in being connected to each other.

Those on whom the military’s advertising succeeds will not typically die from friendly fire. Nor will they die from enemy fire. The number one killer of members of the U.S. military, reported yet again for another year this week, is suicide. And that’s not even counting later suicides by veterans. Every TV pundit and presidential debate moderator, and perhaps even a Super Bowl 50 announcer or two, tends to talk about the military’s answer for ISIS. What is its answer for people being stupidly ordered into such horrific hell that they won’t want to live anymore?

 

It’s in the ads

At least as big a focus of the Super Bowl as the game itself is the advertising. One particularly disturbing ad planned for Super Bowl 50 is an ad for a war video game. The U.S. military has long funded war video games and viewed them as recruiting tools. In this ad Arnold Schwarzenegger shows what fun it is to shoot people and blow up buildings on the game, while outside of the game people are tackling him more or less as in a football game. Nothing here is remotely warlike in a realistic sense. For that I recommend playing with PTSD Action Maninstead. But it does advance the equation of sport with war – something both the NFL and the military clearly desire.

An ad last year from Northrop Grumman, which has its own “Military Bowl,” was no less disturbing. Two years ago an ad that appeared to be for the military until the final seconds turned out to be for Jeeps. There was another ad that year for Budweiser beer with which one commentator found legal concerns:

“First, there’s a violation of the military’s ethics regulations, which explicitly state that Department of Defense personnel cannot ‘suggest official endorsement or preferential treatment’ of any ‘non-Federal entity, event, product, service, or enterprise. … Under this regulation, the Army cannot legally endorse Budweiser, nor allow its active-duty personnel to participate in their ads (let alone wear their uniforms), any more than the Army can endorse Gatorade or Nike.”

Two serious issues with this. First, the military routinely endorses and promotes the NFL. Second, despite my deep-seated opposition to the very existence of an institution of mass murder, and my clear understanding of what it wants out of advertisements (whether by itself or by a car or beer company), I can’t help getting sucked into the emotion. The technique of this sort of propaganda (here’s another ad) is very high level. The rising music. The facial expressions. The gestures. The buildup of tension. The outpouring of simulated love. You’d have to be a monster not to fall for this poison. And it permeates the world of millions of wonderful young people who deserve better.

It’s in the stadium

If you get past the commercials, there’s the problem of the stadium for Super Bowl 50, unlike most stadiums for most sports events, being conspicuously “protected” by the military and militarized police, including with militaryhelicopters and jets that will shoot down any drones and “intercept” any planes. Ruining the pretense that this is actually for the purpose of protecting anyone, military jets will show off by flying over the stadium, as in past years, when they have even done it over stadiums covered by domes.

The idea that there is anything questionable about coating a sporting event in military promotion is the furthest thing from the minds of most viewers of the Super Bowl. That the military’s purpose is to kill and destroy, that it’s recent major wars have eventually been opposed as bad decisions from the start by a majority of Americans, just doesn’t enter into it. On the contrary, the military publicly questions whether it should be associating with a sports league whose players hit their wives and girlfriends too much.

My point is not that assault is acceptable, but that murder isn’t. The progressive view of the Super Bowl in the United States will question the racism directed at a black quarterback, the concussions of a violent sport that damages the brains of too many of its players (and perhaps even the recruitment of new players from the far reaches of the empire to take their place), sexist treatment of cheerleaders or women in commercials, and perhaps even the disgusting materialism of some of the commercials. But not the militarism. The announcers will thank “the troops” for watching from “over 175 countries” and nobody will pause, set down their beer and dead animal flesh and ask whether 174 countries might not be enough to have U.S. troops in right now.

The idea that the Super Bowl promotes is that war is more or less like football, only better. I was happy to help get a TV show canceled that turned war into a reality game. There is still some resistance to that idea that can be tapped in the U.S. public. But I suspect it is eroding.

The NFL doesn’t just want the military’s (our) money. It wants the patriotism, the nationalism, the fervent blind loyalty, the unthinking passion, the personal identification, a love for the players to match love of troops — and with similar willingness to throw them under a bus.

The military doesn’t just want the sheer numbers of viewers attracted to the Super Bowl. It wants wars imagined as sporting events between teams, rather than horrific crimes perpetrated on people in their homes and villages. It wants us thinking of Afghanistan not as a 15-year disaster, murder-spree, and counter-productive SNAFU, but as a competition gone into double quadruple overtime despite the visiting team being down 84 points and attempting an impossible comeback. The military wants chants of “USA!” that fill a stadium. It wants role models and heroes and local connections to potential recruits. It wants kids who can’t make it to the pros in football or another sport to think they’ve got the inside track to something even better and more meaningful.

I really wish they did.

David Swanson is an author, activist, journalist, and radio host. He is director ofWorldBeyondWar.org and campaign coordinator for RootsAction.org. Swanson’s books include War Is A Lie. He is a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.

The question of the Malvinas Islands (Falkland Islands) remains one of those unresolved disputes in international politics which seldom receives much attention from the world community. This is a pity since the United Nations has for the last 50 years called upon the two parties to the dispute — Argentina and Britain — to negotiate a peaceful solution through bilateral negotiations.

The call from the UN is embodied in a General Assembly Resolution — Resolution 2065 (XX) — adopted on the 16th of December 1965. It invites the Governments of Argentina and Britain “to proceed without delay with the negotiations recommended by the Special Committee on the Situation with regard to the implementation of the Declaration on the Granting of Independence to Colonial Countries and Peoples with a view to finding a peaceful solution to the problem, bearing in mind the provisions and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations and of General Assembly resolution 1514(XV) and the interests of the population of the Falkland Islands ( Malvinas).”

Argentina has all along expressed a readiness to negotiate. Initially, Britain had also agreed to open talks on the dispute. Its Foreign Secretary, on a visit to Argentina in January 1966, expressed this view. In paving the way for bilateral negotiations the two governments agreed to cooperate on specific matters related to air and maritime services, and postal and telegraphic communications.

However, London made negotiations on the dispute difficult when it embarked upon exploration of natural resources in the Malvinas, thus contravening the spirit of the UN Resolution. This forced the UN General Assembly to adopt yet another Resolution — Resolution 31/49 — in December 1976 requesting both parties to the dispute “to refrain from adopting decisions that entail the introduction of unilateral modifications to the situation while the islands are going through the process recommended” by UN Resolutions. 102 states voted in favour of the Resolution, 1 (Britain) voted against it while 32 abstained. Britain ignored the stand of the vast majority of nation-states.

It was partly because of British intransigence that the military junta ruling Argentina at that time decided to invade the Malvinas in April 1982 to re-assert Argentinian sovereignty over the islands. It is of course true that the transfer of power from one military dictator to another, economic stagnation and a degree of civil unrest in Argentina were even more prominent factors in the decision to go to war. Argentina’s defeat in the 10 week war emboldened the British elite to strengthen its grip upon the Malvinas. London was even less prepared now to negotiate with Buenos Aries.

But the UN has stood by its decision that there must be direct bilateral negotiations between the two countries to find a peaceful solution to the territorial dispute. The UN does not recognize any British claim to suzerainty over the Malvinas and the surrounding islands. Regional groupings in Latin America and the Caribbean such as ALBA and CELAC also support the Argentinian position. So do most of the non-aligned nations who regard British control over the Malvinas as a vestige of the colonial era. Argentina for its part has since 1994 incorporated its claim of sovereignty over the Malvinas into its national constitution.

What civil society should do is to endorse the UN call for negotiations. Many more civil society voices should be raised on behalf of bilateral talks as the only feasible way of finding a peaceful solution to a dispute that goes back to the early decades of the 18th century. Civil society groups in Britain in particular should speak up. They have a moral responsibility to do so.

 

As the World Health Organization prepares to convene an emergency committee under international health regulations on Monday February 1, many are now wondering exactly where the Zika virus came from.

Seemingly coming out of nowhere, Zika went from its first discovered case in 1947 and sporadic appearances up until last year, the virus is now in outbreak stage with WHO officials concerned that it may become a pandemic. World health researchers seem perplexed as to the genesis of the virus or at least, the sudden appearance and rapid spread of it in 2015.

Claire Bernish of The Anti-Media points out one possibility:

When examining a rapidly expanding potential pandemic, it’s necessary to leave no stone unturned so possible solutions, as well as future prevention, will be as effective as possible. In that vein, there was another significant development in 2015.

Oxitec first unveiled its large-scale, genetically-modified mosquito farm in Brazil in July 2012, with the goal of reducing “the incidence of dengue fever,” as The Disease Daily reported. Dengue fever is spread by the same Aedes mosquitoes which spread the Zika virus — and though they “cannot fly more than 400 meters,”WHO stated, “it may inadvertently be transported by humans from one place to another.” By July 2015, shortly after the GM mosquitoes were first released into the wild in Juazeiro, Brazil, Oxitec proudly announced they had“successfully controlled the Aedes aegypti mosquito that spreads dengue fever, chikungunya and zika virus, by reducing the target population by more than 90%.”

Though that might sound like an astounding success — and, arguably, it was — there is an alarming possibility to consider.

Nature, as one Redditor keenly pointed out, finds a way — and the effort to control dengue, zika, and other viruses, appears to have backfired dramatically.

The mosquitoes that were released by Oxitec OX513A, were genetically engineered to need the presence of tetracycline in order to survive to maturity. Outside of the presence of tetracycline, they die. The idea behind the GM mosquitoes, was that they would be released into the wild and would mate with the natural female mosquitoes (only males were modified). The offspring that result are also supposed to die without the presence of tetracycline in their system. The GM mosquito program was introduced under the guise of controlling disease-carrying mosquito populations to reduce the amount of diseases in humans that were spread by mosquitoes.

There is a massive problem with this program, however, most notably, the fact that the presence of tetracycline in the environment is not as rare as one might suspect. Particularly in a place like Brazil.

As Claire Bernish writes:

According to an unclassified document from the Trade and Agriculture Directorate Committee for Agriculture dated February 2015, Brazil is the third largest in “global antimicrobial consumption in food animal production”— meaning, Brazil is third in the world for its use of tetracycline in its food animals. As a study by the American Society of Agronomy, et. al., explained,“It is estimated that approximately 75% of antibiotics are not absorbed by animals and are excreted in waste.”One of the antibiotics (or antimicrobials) specifically named in that report for its environmental persistence is tetracycline.

Back in September 2010, Dr. Ricarda A. Steinbrecher wrote a report in which he stated that there is a known survival rate of 3-4 percent of the GM mosquitoes. He suggested that further studies should be conducted before they’re released in the environment.

Claire Bernish points out that the survival rate might actually be much higher than what Steinbrecher suggested.

In fact, as a confidential internal Oxitec document divulged in 2012, that survival rate could be as high as 15% — even with low levels of tetracycline present. “Even small amounts of tetracycline can repress”the engineered lethality. Indeed, that 15% survival rate was described by Oxitec:

“After a lot of testing and comparing experimental design, it was found that [researchers] had used a cat food to feed the [OX513A] larvae and this cat food contained chicken. It is known that tetracycline is routinely used to prevent infections in chickens, especially in the cheap, mass produced, chicken used for animal food. The chicken is heat-treated before being used, but this does not remove all the tetracycline. This meant that a small amount of tetracycline was being added from the food to the larvae and repressing the [designed] lethal system.”

Even absent this tetracycline, as Steinbrecher explained, a “sub-population” of genetically-modified Aedes mosquitoes could theoretically develop and thrive, in theory, “capable of surviving and flourishing despite any further”releases of ‘pure’ GM mosquitoes which still have that gene intact. She added, “the effectiveness of the system also depends on the [genetically-designed] late onset of the lethality. If the time of onset is altered due to environmental conditions … then a 3-4% [survival rate] represents a much bigger problem…”

Yet there are still more problems with the process of releasing GM mosquitoes into the environment.

Another risk associated with the Oxitec experiment is the potential for the release of genetically engineered biting females into the environment. Since female mosquitoes are the mosquitoes which bite humans, Oxitec claims that its GE mosquito population is an all-boys club. However, due to the method by which the mosquitoes are sorted, the potential for release of female mosquitoes is very real.

As Eric Hoffman writes, “The sorting is conducted by hand and could result in up to 0.5 percent of the released insects being female. This would raise new human health concerns as people could be bit by GE mosquitoes. It could also hamper efforts to limit the spread of dengue fever.”

It should also be noted that eradicating the Aedes aegypti type of mosquito might well leave the area open to invasion by other species who may, in fact, be much more dangerous to human health. For instance, the Asian Tiger mosquito, considered one of the most invasive species in the world, is known to be a carrier of both Dengue fever and the West Nile Virus. What would be the result of an Asian Tiger invasion into South Florida? An eradication of Aedes aegypti might well provide us with an answer.

While many might be concerned about the spread of the Zika virus, from places like Africa and Brazil to the Western world and beyond, or that the virus will become an epidemic in the places it currently resides, many Americans might be surprised to learn that the Oxitec GM mosquitoes are slated to be released inside the United States.

In December 2011, I wrote an article entitled “Releasing Genetically Engineered Mosquitoes Poses Unknown Risks to Florida” where I documented the Oxitec plans to release 5-10,000 GM mosquitoes near the Florida Keys. This program was presented to the public under the guise of an attempt to eradicate Dengue fever and is still awaiting approval from regulatory agencies despite widespread opposition from the public. So if it is true that there is a link between the GM mosquitoes and Zika virus, then Florida may soon be covered in ticking time bombs over its swamps, waiting to provide us with yet another public health emergency.

Yet the program itself is actually older than that. In 2009, also under the guise of preventing the spread of Dengue fever, GM mosquitoes were released by Oxitec in the Cayman Islands. In fact, it is this release that has many questioning whether or not the GM mosquitoes actually have a link to increased rates of Dengue fever. After all, shortly after the release of the GM mosquitoes in the Caymans, cases of Dengue fever in Florida doubled. Is it merely a coincidence that cases of Dengue increased shortly after millions of mosquitoes capable of carrying the fever were released miles away in the Cayman Islands?

While Dengue fever had been eradicated in terms of naturally occurring outbreaks in the United States, cases that were research-related and laboratory-generated have occurred in the country for many years. This is because Dengue fever has been of particular interest to the United States government, US Army, and CIA since at least the middle part of the 20th century. There is a great deal of evidence suggesting that the biochemical research facilities at Fort Detrick were conducting tests on Dengue fever as a bio-weapon as far back as 1942. It is generally known that in the 1950s the CIA partnered with Ft. Detrick to study Dengue fever and other exotic diseases for use as biological weapons.

It is also interesting to note that, according to CIA documents as well as a 1975 congressional committee, the three locations of Key West, Panama City, and Avon Park (and two other locations in central Florida) were testing sites for Dengue fever research.

As is generally the case, the experiments in Avon Park were concentrated in low-income neighborhoods, in areas that were predominantly black with newly constructed housing projects. According to H.P. Albarelli Jr. and Zoe Martell of Truthout, CIA documents related to the MK/NAOMI program revealed that the agency was using the Aedes aegypti type of mosquito in these experiments as well. In one of these experiments, 600,000 mosquitoes were released over Avon Park and in another 150,000 insects were released in specially designed paper bags that were designed to open up when they hit the ground.

Truthout interviewed residents (or test subjects) of Avon Park still living in the area who related that there were at least 6 or 7 deaths resulting from the experiments. As quoted by Truthout, one resident said, “Nobody knew about what had gone on here for years, maybe over 20 years, but in looking back it explained why a bunch of healthy people got sick quick and died at the time of those experiments.”  Truthout goes on to point out that around the same time of the Avon Park experiments “there were at least two cases of Dengue fever reported among civilian researchers at Fort Detrick in Maryland.”

In 1978, a Pentagon document titled, “Biological Warfare: Secret Testing & Volunteers” revealed that similar experiments were conducted in Key West by the Army Chemical Corps and Special Operations and Projects Divisions at Fort Detrick.

Like the current situation, U.S. government agencies teamed with NGOs, academia, and other organizations to conduct mosquito-related projects. Operation Bellweather, a 1959 experiment consisting of over 50 field tests, was conducted over several states including Georgia, Maryland, Utah, and Arizona, and Florida. Operation Bellweather was coordinated with the Rockefeller Institute in New York; the facility that actually bred the mosquitoes. What’s more, the experiment was aided by the Armour Research Foundation, the Battelle Memorial Institute, Ben Venue Labs, Inc., the University of Florida, Florida State University, and the Lovell Chemical Company.

The military and CIA connections to Dengue fever outbreaks do not end with these experiments, however. It is widely believed that the 1981 outbreak in Cuba was a result of CIA and U.S. military covert biological attacks. This outbreak occurred essentially out of nowhere and resulted in over one hundred thousand cases of infection. Albarelli and Martell write:

American researcher William H. Schaap, an editor of Covert Actionmagazine, claims the Cuba Dengue outbreak was the result of CIA activities. Former Fort Detrick researchers, all of whom refused to have their names used for this article, say they performed ‘advance work’ on the Cuba outbreak and that it was ‘man made.’

In 1982 the CIA was accused by the Soviet media of sending operatives into Pakistan and Afghanistan for the purposes of creating a Dengue epidemic. Likewise, in 1985 and 1986, authorities in Nicaragua made similar claims against the CIA, also suggesting that they were attempting to start a Dengue outbreak.

While the CIA has characteristically denied involvement in all of these instances, army researchers have admitted to having worked intensely with “arthropod vectors for offensive biological warfare objectives” and that such work was conducted at Fort Detrick in the 1980s. Not only that, but researchers have also admitted that large mosquito colonies, which were infected with both yellow fever and Dengue fever, were being maintained at the Frederick, Maryland facility.

There is also evidence of experimentation with federal prisoners without their knowledge. As Truthout reports:

Several redacted Camp Detrick and Edgewood Arsenal reports indicate that experiments were conducted on state and federal prisoners who were unwittingly exposed to Dengue fever, as well as other viruses, some possibly lethal.

With all of the evidence that CIA and military tests have been conducted regarding Dengue fever, there is ample reason to be concerned when one sees a connection like the recent release of mosquitoes and the subsequent outbreak of Dengue fever in Florida, a traditional testing site for these organizations.

The response to the Dengue outbreak should also be questioned as aerial spraying campaigns were intensified. While these sprayings were claimed to be for the eradication of the Dengue-carrying mosquitoes, the number of people who contracted the illness actually rose.

While it was painfully obvious from the very beginning, that releasing genetically modified mosquitoes was a very bad idea, the possible connection to the mosquitoes and the increase of previously eradicated or extremely rare diseases should be a dramatic wake-up call to everyone.

Brandon Turbeville – article archive here – is an author out of Florence, South Carolina. He is the author of six books, Codex Alimentarius — The End of Health Freedom7 Real ConspiraciesFive Sense Solutions and Dispatches From a Dissident, volume 1 and volume 2The Road to Damascus: The Anglo-American Assault on Syria, and The Difference it Makes: 36 Reasons Why Hillary Clinton Should Never Be President. Turbeville has published over 650 articles dealing on a wide variety of subjects including health, economics, government corruption, and civil liberties. Brandon Turbeville’s radio show Truth on The Tracks can be found every Monday night 9 pm EST at UCYTV. His website is BrandonTurbeville.com He is available for radio and TV interviews. Please contact activistpost (at) gmail.com.

With the news that an American rights group has succeeded in forcing the Pentagon to release more photos of the abuse of prisoners in Abu Ghraib, while the UK government is trying to prevent lawyers from taking them to court over the abuse that Iraqis suffered at the hands of British soldiers, it is worth revisiting the sorry history of Britain where torture is concerned.

UN Convention Against Torture – Article 10

 

  1. Each State Party shall ensure that education and information regarding the prohibition against torture are fully included in the training of law enforcement personnel, civil or military, medical personnel, public officials and other persons who may be involved in the custody, interrogation or treatment of any individual subjected to any form of arrest, detention or imprisonment.
  2. Each State Party shall include this prohibition in the rules or instructions issued in regard to the duties and functions of any such persons.

During the Troubles in Northern Ireland, the British Armed Forces and the Royal Ulster Constabulary were using the ‘five techniques’ (wall standing, hooding, subjection to noise, sleep deprivation and food and drink deprivation) as a precursor to interrogation of suspected terrorists.  Following complaints and an inquiry, Lord Chief Justice Lord Parker’s report, published 2nd March 1972 stated that such practices were illegal under both the Geneva Conventions and domestic law.  This being so, ‘no Army Directive and no Minister could lawfully or validly authorise the use of the procedures.  Only Parliament can alter the law.  The procedures were and are illegal.’

That same day Prime Minister Edward Heath made a statement to Parliament: ‘The Government, having reviewed the whole matter with great care and with reference to any future operations, have decided that the techniques…  will not be used in future as an aid to interrogation… The statement I have made covers all future circumstances(my emphasis).

Directives expressly prohibiting the use of the techniques, whether singly or in combination, were then issued to the security forces by the Government.  And note Lord Parker’s judgment.  Putting international law aside, no Minister or Army Directive can legally order the use of procedures that our own laws regard as illegal, and only Parliament has the power to make those procedures legal.  It has never done so.

But the abuse continued. In 1978 Amnesty reported on RUC abuse of prisoners at Castlereagh.  Another inquiry followed, and Harry Bennett, an English circuit judge, examined ‘police procedures and practice’ in Northern Ireland.  His main recommendation, installing CCTV to record interrogations, had not been implemented by the time  the new Chief Constable Jack Hermon was appointed in 1980.  Under Hermon the abuse decreased but within ten years – after his retirement and the UK’s ratification of the Convention on Torture, allegations of severe beatings had become common again.

Also in 1978, Ireland having taken the UK to the European Court of Human Rights over the abuse of prisoners, the Court produced a judgement: that the 5 techniques, while not amounting to torture, were inhumane and degrading.  In 2014, following an RTÉ documentary The Torture Files, Ireland was intending to ask for the 1978 decision to be reviewed, as the British had withheld evidence proving the level of abuse from the original case.

Since the 1978 judgement, the UK has added the Human Rights Act to its body of law protecting humans from abuse.  The armed forces and intelligence services should be governed by the constraints of those laws yet, following the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, reports, photos and videos started to circulate showing that, along with a shocking level of abuse and violent behaviour towards detainees, the ‘five techniques’, so expressly prohibited in 1972, were back in full force, if indeed they had ever fallen out of use.

In the case of Iraqi hotel worker Baha Mousa, killed while in the custody of British soldiers, only one of the soldiers involved, Corporal Donald Payne, admitted the charge of inhuman treatment of civilians, and was convicted – for that offence only.  In his evidence to the Baha Mousa Inquiry he said that as a recruit in 1988 he was taught that the hooding of all prisoners was ‘Standard Operating Procedure’.

Ministers and military insist that all personnel as part of their training are taught their responsibilities towards prisoners under the Geneva Conventions.  They are obliged to carry an ‘aide memoire’ card on the law of armed conflict, though how many of the cards produced were actually given to the soldiers is unknown, nor whether any would bother to read it.  For many soldiers giving evidence to the Inquiry, the cards were a distant rumour.  Payne himself had not seen one, been supplied with one or read one.  And as he testified, a full copy of the rules governing the humane treatment of prisoners kept in the guard room was not there to be read, studied or referred to, but simply because: ‘You had to have a copy of JSP 469 as well as the standing orders for your battalion in your guard room.’

Another soldier said that the only training given to soldiers on how to treat prisoners humanely ‘involved watching a very old video followed by a briefing and a short test.’

Colonel Simon Wilson testified that basic training in the 1980’s permitted hooding, although he later ‘became aware that hooding was now no longer permitted.’  Captain Neil Wilson testifiedon an exercise on POW handling in 2002, he had come across soldiers hooding ‘prisoners’ as a matter of course.  He was also told that sandbagging of detainees had been taught at the infantry school at Brecon.

Prior to and during the invasion, troops were briefed on the fact that ‘sandbagging’ was banned.  In a report he produced in October 2003 he said that by the previous February it was clear the training for handling prisoners was ‘out of date’ (rather an understatement). But despite some effort to ensure that hooding was stopped, directives arrived from much higher up the chain of command allowing the hooding of Category A prisoners.

Lt General Brims said he had seen troops using blindfolds and stress positions as part of their training on how to resist enemy interrogation.  He added, somewhat optimistically, that it was never suggested these techniques were to be used by the troops themselves.

Captain Rogers said that hooding was permissible for security reasons, and that British forces policy covered stress positions, although he ‘couldn’t recall’ whether that instruction came in an operational order shortly before the invasion or once he was in Iraq.  Although he was not pressed on this, he was stating, not implying, that they received orders to treat detainees this way.

Witness SO17, a part-time instructor on Prisoner Handling and Tactical Questioning (PHTQ) courses, stated that hooding, stress positions etc. were prohibited for ‘conditioning or any other purposes’.  Anything placed over the nose and mouth (as in hooding with sandbags) was also prohibited because of the dangers of restricting breathing.  Blindfolds were allowed, but if none were available, the courses taught that clean sandbags could be torn into strips and used as blindfolds.

Yet some witnesses, including Donald Payne, said that the TQers (Tactical Questioners) ordered that the prisoners were to be conditioned for interrogation by hooding, stress positions etc. even though interrogators’ instruction manuals barred the practice.  Did they hope, as proved correct, that the soldiers handling detainees were happily ignorant of their responsibilities regarding human rights?

Army lawyer Lt Colonel Nick Mercer tried to correct the situation.  Witnessing the abuse of prisoners, he had repeatedly warned senior officers; had a ‘massive row’ with the commander of the Queens Dragoon Guards about the army’s legal obligations under the Conventions; had walked out of a meeting between British officials and the International Committee of the Red Cross after being told by a ‘political adviser’ to keep his mouth shut.  His repeated protests about the unlawful treatment of Iraqis in British custody was so unwelcome within the Ministry of Defence that the head of its legal service threatened to report him to the Law Society.

And the UK’s most senior military intelligence officer in Iraq, Lieutenant Colonel Ewan Duncan, told the inquiry that the US had been concerned that British interrogation techniques were ineffective, and asked for harsher methods to be used, even though British soldiers were already acting illegally.

To sum up – hooding and other practices were banned by Lt General Brims at the beginning of April 2003, seen to be still in use in July 2003, clearly in use in September 2003 when Baha Mousa died, banned again by Lt Gen Sir John Reith in October 2003, and in May 2004 the order banning hooding was extended to other theatres in which UK forces were operating.  And having put the ban in place – again – in 2004 new operating guidelines were issued, not that anyone knew what those guidelines were.  The Human Rights Joint Committee tried and failed to get a copy from the government.

The Intelligence and Security Committee also had trouble.  The Prime Minister had promised to publish the Draft Guidance on Handling Detainees.  As the ISC oversees MI5 and MI6, it repeatedly asked before finally being given a copy of the guidance.  Having got one it was due to publish its findings in March 2010 but publication was delayed again after it emerged that the ISC had made significant criticisms of the guidelines.

Finally in July 2010 the government published the current guidelines and one wonders what was taken out.  What did the ISC object to?  And although it emphasises that the United Kingdom is, was, and will forever be,  against torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment (CIDT), it says there is no agreed or exhaustive definition of what constitutes CIDT.  Many victims of the ‘war on terror’ could tell them, in disgusting detail.  So, while it gives a list of those practices that it does consider to come under CIDT, government lawyers have wriggle room to argue about any other practices that could be used.

The trouble is – we’ve been here before, on more than one occasion.  As the above record shows, the United Kingdom has not only been complicit in other states’ practice of torture, cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment, it has practiced these illegal actions itself.  And while some of the international laws we have signed up to have not yet been enacted into domestic law, all of the practices used by British soldiers and intelligence officers in Iraq were judged, by Lord Parker in 1972, to be illegal, and punishable, under British law.  Yet they went on being used, unpunished and, despite the fine words in support of humanitarian law, may still be in use.  Somewhere.  Out of sight.

So when will the United Kingdom obey its own laws? 

Clinton is a Wall Street favorite. War profiteers love her. Dirty deep-pocketed corporate money funds her campaign.

Binding strings are attached, donors expecting and getting multifold benefits for every dollar contributed, investments earning surefire huge returns.

Corporate America shuns Sanders. His support is largely grassroots, from organized labor and individual donors.

It’s a long time from now to November. Momentum can swing back and forth numerous times. Early frontrunners can become also-rans.

Upstarts rarely surprise. Will Sanders prove the exception to the rule? Quinnipiac’s Polling Institute is nationally recognized for its independent political and public policy surveys.

Its polls are highly rated for accuracy in predicting primary and general election results. In December, it had Clinton leading Sanders by a two-to-one margin nationwide (61 – 30%).

Its latest poll results released on February 5 shows a nearly dead heat – Clinton ahead nationwide by a 2% margin (44 to 42%) with 11% undecided.

Assistant poll director Tim Malloy highlighted the remarkable short-term turnaround, saying “Democrats nationwide are feeling the Bern as Sen. Bernie Sanders closes a 31-point gap” in weeks.

Poll results show he’ll fare better against leading Republican candidates than Clinton, growing increasingly unpopular, her disturbing past catching up with her.

Her net nationwide favorability rating is a negative 17. Sanders scored 9-points positive, the highest rating among top candidates.

Trump remains way out-in-front among Republican aspirants – getting 31% support to Ted Cruz’s 22%, Marco Rubio’s 19% and Ben Carson’s 6%.

No other Republican aspirant scored better than 3%, 9% remaining undecided.

It’s way too early to draw conclusions from current polls. Two things are clear so far. Trump remains way out in front as the Republican favorite, maintaining a substantial lead for months.

Sanders closed a big gap, now running virtually even with Clinton. Each primary shifts momentum. A clearer picture may emerge by summer.

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. America’s sham political process is too corrupted to fix.

Big money-controlled duopoly power runs things, both parties replicating each other on issues mattering most.

Names and faces change. Policies stay the same. Dirty business as usual always wins, peace, equity and justice be damned.

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

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

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

Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com

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

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

 

The Phoenix Program in Vietnam in many ways provides a blue print for our own times. Assassinations and torture are the essence of the war on terror. As are death squads and false flag terror attacks. As are mass surveillance of the populace.

Thanks to the work of Douglas Valentine in his classic book “The Phoenix Program” we have an extremely detailed account of the Phoenix Program exposing a classic example of the brutality of the CIA’s counter insurgency wars. By studying the Phoenix program one can gain a great deal of insight into the  wars in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.

How the book came to be written is an interesting story in it’s own right. Doug Valentine had written a novel about his fathers experiences in a prisoner of war camp during World War 2 called “Hotel Tacloban.”

He decided his next book would be on Vietnam and he decided to focus on the CIA role since little had been written on the topic. He approached former CIA Director William Colby for help. He sent him a copy of his book and the former CIA director decided that Valentine was a man who understood the harsh realities of war and agreed to meet with him. Valentine cut his hair, bought a suit and tie met with Colby and managed to gain his confidence.  Colby believed Valentine would write a sympathetic account. After all the CIA is used to working with journalists who censor the truth in exchange for inside information. Colby arranged for him to meet hundreds of former agents.

Valentine had managed to penetrate the inner world of the CIA. Amazingly it took years for the CIA to suspect that Valentine had no intention of writing a sympathetic account of their crimes in Vietnam. By then it was too late he already had hundreds of hours of taped interviews. He wrote his book one of the most detailed accounts of a CIA program ever. However the CIA used it’s influence with the New York Times to kill the book with a bad review. The book was buried in obscurity. Valentine was forced to give up writing and became a private investigator but fortunately one of the contacts he made while writing Phoenix Program helped him find an even more scandalous story and he went on to write “The Strength of the Wolf” and the “Strength of the Pack” which expose in great detail the phony nature of America’s decades long war on drugs. Doug Valentine is one of the most fearless researchers alive today his works are required reading for anyone interested in the CIA, Organized Crime, and America’s corrupt establishment.

What was the Phoenix Program?

From the perspective of a Bureaucrat like Bill Colby it was merely an attempt to coordinate a number of pre-existing programs.  Sort of like the Department of HomeLand Security or more precisely it’s fusion centers where military, police, and intelligence agencies pool information on their enemies the American people. Phoenix sought to provide cooperation between various Vietnamese and American agencies so that they could coordinate their war on the Vietnamese people. What was the Phoenix program? A massive campaign of torture and assassination aimed at destroying what the CIA called the VCI the Viet Cong Infrastructure.  Amusingly this term  was as confusing to Vietnamese as it probably is to you.

They had to hold a massive conference to attempt a translation and the word they ended up using only further confused the Vietnamese. By infrastructure the Americans meant not  roads and bridges but the civilian Shadow government the Communist revolutionaries had set up across the country. In many places they were the ones in real control on the local level and they used their power to fight for land reform on behalf of the peasants. America’s South Vietnamese allies however were a corrupt class of elitists who supported the land lords against the peasants and were hated by the majority of the populace. For the Vietnamese the Vietnam war was a revolution aimed at land reform and re-uniting the country.

Since they had popular support the National Liberation Front had hoped at first to win power peacefully. However the American’s had Installed Ngo Dinh Diem as dictator and he ruthlessly crushed all opposition attacking not just the Communist National Liberation Front but all competitors for power including Buddhists and fellow nationalists. His power was narrowly based in Vietnam’s catholic minority and he relied on a massive network of corruption to maintain loyalty. After tens of thousands of their supporters had been killed the National Liberation Front appealed to the north for help. When Vietnam was split thousands of South Vietnamese had moved north not wishing to live under Diem’s regime. In North Vietnam they had been trained in political organization and Guerrilla warfare. They were sent south to help organize the revolution. They formed what were known as armed propaganda teams. They would enter villages at night administer some revolutionary justice by executing a corrupt local official in front of the whole village and then would explain the goals of the revolution, educate the village about the crimes of the regime, even stage plays and read poems.

The NLF expanded their control over the countryside and set up their own system of government. This system extended from the local level of small committees to the top level COSVN which planned the strategy for the war. It was this system that the CIA targeted with the Phoenix program.

Interestingly the Phoenix program had it’s roots in an attempt to mimic the tactics of the Viet Cong Vietnam was quite literally a giant laboratory to study counter insurgency tactics. In the early days of the CIA presence there various CIA province chiefs were allowed to experiment with different ways to combat the growing revolution. Ralph Johnson decided to create the Mountain scouts to imitate the tactics of the armed propaganda teams. Recruiting hardened criminals, Viet Cong defectors, and various ethnic minorities like the hmong, and Montagnards the CIA formed brutal death squads highly trained in methods of covert war. They would sneak into a village at night and brutally slaughter someone they suspected of working with the NLF along with their families and any witnesesed and hope the attack would be blamed on the Viet Cong themselves.

They called the tactic counter terror ironically since what they were doing was terrorism. In fact throughout the Vietnam war the CIA staged false flag terror attacks even bombing theaters and blamed them on Viet Cong “Terrorists” it’s surprising that this aspect of the war is little mentioned given it’s special relevance today. However the primary purpose of the death squad commando’s was to sneak into NLF controller territory and kidnap and kill some target. In contrast to most such forces like the contras in Nicaragua in the 80′s (trained by people from the Phoenix program) or the Fascist volunteer battalions in Ukraine today who are often poor fighters only effective at terrorizing unarmed civilians The PRU (Provincial Reconnaissance Units) as the CIA’s Vietnamese death squads were renamed were the most effective fighting force in south Vietnam. They would form one of the primary elements in the Phoenix Program. Along with the Field Police they would be the enforcers.

The next element of the Phoenix program was the Province Interrogation Centers or PICs. Using a CIA Front company Pacific Architects and Engineers the CIA built prisons all over the country to be used to torture political prisoners. They are exact forerunners of todays CIA black sites which now dot the world aiming to torture people to produce real or fabricated intelligence, recruit double agents, break people’s spirits and terrify the rest of the planet into submission. Vietnam was covered with these torture sites often the only modern building that was built in a village. At first the Viet Cong made freeing the prisoners a major goal and they staged a number of successful attacks until the PICs were redesigned to make them more secure from outside attack. Inside the prisoners were subjected to horrific tortures, starvation, beatings, electric shock, rape.

Through a special program USAID the infamous CIA front that pretends to dole out charity sent out telephone generators across the world used by the CIA trained secret police around the world to torture their people. Vietnam was only one example. People would be held for months and there were few survivors.  These PICs in return would obtain names for further targets who would be either killed or sent to the PICs to be tortured to generate even more names. An endless cycle of horror. Many who ended up there were not even part of the resistance. Instead many were the victims of extortion who failed to pay the proper bribes and whose names were fed into the system. Others were set up by their personal enemies. Others were enemies of the VC. The VC managed to infiltrate all aspects of the South Vietnamese government they were masters of espionage and managed to feed the names of their enemies into the system.

The third aspect of the Phoenix program was intelligence collection. The CIA maintained a network of spies throughout the country and it attempted to assemble a master list of all the NLF members in south Vietnam. They set up ICEX in an attempt to coordinate intelligence from the CIA the Vietnamese Special Branch which ran the high level NLF infiltrations, the Field Police, the PRU and US military intelligence. However in reality this proved impossible since the South Vietnamese were always plotting against each other and jealously guarded their secrets. The various agencies were tools of the various factions in South Vietnam’s Machiavellian political struggles. After the fall of Diem Vietnam experienced a long string of coups as South Vietnam’s generals battled each other for control. In addition every sought to use their positions to get rich Drug Dealing, embezzlement, Prostitution and protection rackets were how the CIA’s allies mainly occupied themselves hunting down the NLF was only a minor concern. Of course many US Contractors, Military officers and CIA Officers also managed to earn fortunes in various corrupt schemes.

The whole war after was partly undertaken to simply to enrich the Corporate elite back home. The Military and the CIA also were in competition with the CIA unwilling to share information. The military often re-assigned people to intelligence with no prior experience or training giving them a short training course before making them case officers. Thus for obvious reasons the CIA considered them amateurs.  However despite the difficulties they did manage to set up a massive database of names of people they believed made up the NLF. In addition to gathering intelligence the massive network of agents was a means for the CIA to buy loyalty and the CIA paid more in bribes to agents then USAID’s whole development budget for South Vietnam. As mentioned the Phoenix Program was a further attempt to coordinate these various elements into a program to eliminate what they called the VCI or Viet Cong Infrasture.

The Phoenix program was thus a massive program to capture and Kill the VCI with the captured being tortured to reveal more names. It was also a massive psychological operation. Psychological operations aim at the mind of the enemy. They can range from Propaganda to terrorism and both were prominent features of the Phoenix Program. Edward Landsdale former advertising executive turned CIA counter insurgency expert was an important pioneer in these tactics. In the Philippines he had played on local superstitions about vampires in one famous example. He had used his agents to spread rumors that vampires were infesting the area the local guerrillas were camped.

Then when enough time had passed his Commandos grabbed a guerrilla bringing up the rear of a column drained his body of blood and then left it along the trail to be found the next day. The trick worked and the Guerrillas fled the area. Another favorite tactic was to paint an eye facing the front door of those they suspected of supporting the guerrillas as a threat before later kidnapping killing and torturing them. Thus whenever they painted one of these eyes they were sure to terrify their target and let them know they were being watched. Landsdale called it the eye of God.

In Vietnam the CIA would use variations of both these tactics. They played on Vietnamese beliefs about the afterlife to add additional horror to their murders. The Vietnamese believed the liver and the third eye were important to reaching heaven. The CIA would have the PRU cut out their victims pineal gland and even have them eat their liver. Thus their victims would not only be killed but denied an afterlife. They left the eye of god painted on corpses. They would also use variations of the eye of God technique. They would fly over their targets addressing the guerrillas by name and telling them to surrender now before it was to late. They Put up wanted posters to keep NLF cadres from being able to travel freely.

They even issued comic books explaining the benefits of being an informant.  They  dropped billions of propaganda leaflets throughout the country. These often backfired showing a  cruel disregard for the populace by constantly threatening them with death and destruction. They  had programs to indoctrinate their allies and they employed an eccentric South Vietnamese army officer named Be who was an expert in vietnamese mythology to concoct an elaborate ideology to indoctrinate their own “revolutionary” development cadres in another attempt to imitate the NLF. They forced Vietnam’s peasants to form local militias to combat the VC. These RF/PF militias would suffer the highest casualty rate of all the forces fighting in the war.

Another element of the Phoenix Program involved what were called census grievance teams. In every village the CIA appointed an official who was responsible for interviewing the head of each household every month. Initially the idea was that he would then use some of this information to root out corruption and improve the lives of the people. However since he was invariably a member of the corrupt elite who generally despised the peasants his real function was to discover who was dissatisfied and turn them in as suspected NLF.

Also involved in the Phoenix Program were US special operations forces. They acted as advisers sometimes training the PRU teams. Often advisers were sent to PRU Units that were already well trained and highly experienced in the ways of covert war. They also lead them on their snatch and grab missions and provided valuable equipment. One fascinating part of the book recounts the early misadventures of the Navy Seals who had been training for many years but who had never been in combat before. They made a disastrous series of mistakes in their first months in country due to faulty intelligence and general ignorance about Vietnam. It was after teaming up with the PRU and their CIA adviser that they found their role in the war dressed as vietcong hiding during the day and traveling at night and kidnapping or killing their CIA provided targets. In todays world special forces are CIA foot soldiers involved in a secret war in 140 countries. There is no telling how many people they have assassinated.

However all these efforts the enemies lists, torture centers, Psychological operations and Death Squads would in the end prove futile. They rarely managed to capture high level NLF members although they often targeted completely innocent people. They failed to regain control of the countryside. In part this was because the whole program was misconceived they attempted to adopt the Viet Cong tactics while ignoring their goals. The VC were offering land while the government was attempting to force people off their land into new villages that were little more the  prison camps. The VC were acting in Vietnam’s two thousand year tradition of battling for national liberation. Throughout the centuries they had suffered repeated conquest by the Chinese and had also successfully fought for their independence repeatedly throwing off Chinese domination.

More recently the struggle against the french had lasted almost a hundred years. They had fought the Japanese during World War 2. America was merely the latest foreign invader no amount of propaganda could hide this fact. Another factor in Vietnamese society that made the effort futile was our corrupt allies. Instead of using the program to hunt for communists they used it as a giant extortion racket. In addition they knew that if they targeted the high level NLF members they themselves might be targeted in revenge. They often already knew who the top leaders were but they kept the information from the CIA for fear of the reprisals that might result. In actuality there was often a sort of secret truce in place the NLF would allow the South Vietnamese government the illusion of control in an area in return the government wouldn’t interfere with their activities. Often the government ruled by day while at night the NLF ruled.   While 40,000 people were killed by the Phoenix Program the CIA failed to destroy the VCI instead it was the South Vietnamese government which would in the end collapse.

The legacy of the Phoenix program is a legacy of terror, torture, and death. With all the carnage of the Vietnam War it was little noticed although there was a brief scandal about it when the UN declared the US had a responsibility to insure South Vietnam adhered to the Geneva Convention on treatment of prisoners, since the US had designed and funded their prison system, one of the worst in the world. Colby was called before congress where he denied that the Phoenix program was an assassination program merely an effort to coordinate intelligence gathering. He admitted 20,000 people had been killed but that was merely a byproduct. The Phoenix program became was just another brief scandal. Andre Vltchek estimates that 8 million people died as a result of America’s wars in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Phoenix program did not end with those wars just as in a sense it did not begin with them. The tactics of Phoenix are common to all counter-insurgency campaigns and One can read accounts of American actions in the Philippines at the beginning of the 20th century that involve many of the exact same tactics. However the connection between the Phoenix program and later events is far more concrete and Doug Valentine ends his book with America’s dirty war in El Salvador. The US sent the exact same people involved in the Phoenix program to advise El Salvador on how to wage war on it’s own peasants. In Nicaragua there was another infamous example Felix Rodriguez was a PRU adviser in the Phoenix program.

He was an infamous figure a Cuban exile he was involved in the bay of pigs, the murder of Che Guevara in Bolivia, then went to Vietnam to serve in the Phoenix Program. After the war He and some of his exile friends did work as hit teams for Miami drug dealers before being sent to advise and train the contras while helping with their drugs and gun smuggling. Drug dealing had been a major element in the Vietnam War as well (a topic I touched on in my March 2015 Article Wars in Korea and Vietnam) It was so prevalent in South Vietnam that the CIA often paid their informants in heroin as well as cash. The highest levels of the vietnamese government were involved in the drug trade.

In Nearby Laos much of the war centered over a battle for the Opium poppy fields in the plain of jars and many of the coups actually centered around how to divide the profits from the drug trade. The CIA ran a front airline CAT later renamed Air America that smuggled in guns and smuggled out drugs to finance their massive “Secret Army.” In Nicaragua personal friend of then Vice President George H.W. Bush Felix Rodriguez was involved in a very similar scheme flying in guns and flying out drugs to fund the contras. The Contras then terrorized the populace in a horrific manner in exactly the same way the original CIA counter terror teams did. Thus in Central America Phoenix was able to live up to it’s name rising from the ashes of Vietnam. In El Salvador and Guatemala they advised the government in a massive program of torture and assassination.

Death Squads made up a major element in these programs. In Nicaragua they trained the contras to engage in terror and assassination that often targeted Nicaraguan health workers and teachers or any government member they could get their hands on doubtless in an attempt to eliminate the Sandinista “Infrastructure” Of course they also terrorized anyone else who fell into their hands men, women and children.  The Phoenix program would rise once again after the wars in central America ended this time in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In Iraq they explicitly called it the El Salvador solution and they sent people who had helped El Salvador wage it’s reign of terror to Iraq to train the Shiite Badr brigades. They would use these to wage a massive campaign of kidnapping and torture aimed at destroying the Sunni insurgency. In Syria they would train Wahhabi death squads in an attempt to overthrow the government in a manner similar to the way they used the contras in Nicaragua only even worse. Again Syria’s infrastructure has been targeted quite literally as the CIA backed death squads attempt to destroy food production, Hospitals schools, water, electricity and power, even cultural sites. Of course they also try to kill as many people as possible. Like the death squads of the phoenix program they frequently commit false flag attacks most famously using chemical weapons in attempt to frame the Assad government. Perhaps the latest site for the rebirth of the Phoenix program is Ukraine where Fascist Death Squads have been unleashed to terrorize the populace although after a recent power struggle the government plans to bring them into the regular army. Most ominous for Americans the entire war on terror apparatus mimics the phoenix program and fusion centers have already been set up to share intelligence on the American population itself as Doug Valentine himself explained in a brilliant series of articles. The Phoenix program has spread terror across the planet. It will doubtless continue to be reborn again and again so long as America and it’s allies long war against the planet continues.

Sources

I relied on Doug Valentine’s “The Phoenix Program.” A masterpiece made up of hundreds of first hand accounts analyzing every aspect of the Phoenix Program in depth. It is highly recommended for anyone interested in the Vietnam War, The CIA, and the wars in Central America and the Middle East. I’ve Just started his next book “The Strength of the Wolf” but I can already highly recommend it to anyone wanting to understand the Mafia, the War On Drugs, and the corrupt American Ruling class. His Next book is “Strength of the Pack” which continues the story. For More on Vietnam I highly recommend “The Perfect war” by James William Gibson which will be the topic of a future article. There is a great movie inspired by Graham Greene’s classic Novel “The Quiet American” that was actually based on Ed Landsdale.

Many Doug Valentine interviews and articles are available online. He has made all the recordings of the interviews he made on The Phoenix Program available to the public here is is website

http://www.douglasvalentine.com

A link to an interview he did and an article he wrote on Daniel Ellsberg who shockingly was involved in the phoenix program.

https://www.corbettreport.com/interview-709-douglas-valentine-on-ellsberg-and-the-cia/

Doug Valentine on what’s really going on in Mexico where 100,000 people have died as a result of the war on drugs. Plus a great discussion of the phoenix program

http://tracesofreality.com/2013/08/08/demanufacturing-consent-beyond-dirty-wars-douglas-valentine-on-the-phoenix-program-and-modern-day-terror-in-latin-america/

Doug Valentine on the coup in Ukraine

http://www.ancreport.com/podcast/doug-valentine-on-the-cias-relations-to-ngos-involved-in-ukraine/

Doug Valentine on the history of the war on drugs

http://www.ancreport.com/podcast/doug-valetine-on-the-cia-and-the-phony-war-on-drugs/

 

When we think of national security, we think of tanks, jets, missile defense systems and more recently, information space. But what about the realm of the microscopic, the biological or the genetic?

Whether you think biotechnology, genetics and microbes constitute another plane upon the modern battlefield or not is irrelevant. Someone else already does, and they have a head start on the rest of the world.

Genotype Specific Bioweapons

The Project for a New American Century or PNAC for short, penned a particularly unhinged policy paper in 2000 titled, “Rebuilding America’s Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources For a New Century.”

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In it, among many other things, it specifically writes:

Although it may take several decades for the process of transformation to unfold, in time, the art of warfare on air, land, and sea will be vastly different than it is today, and “combat” likely will take place in new dimensions: in space, “cyber-space,” and perhaps the world of microbes.

…advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.

Advanced forms of biological warfare that can “target” specific genotypes sound like the stuff of science fiction, and even if it were developed, it would be by the “bad guys,” right?

Wrong. As a matter of fact, the Western-backed apartheid government in South Africa in the 1980’s under Project Coast, attempted to create genotype specific bioweapons aimed at sterilizing the nation’s black women. PBS Frontline’s article, “What Happened in South Africa?” would recount:

In 1998 South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission held hearings investigating activities of the apartheid-era government. Toward the end of the hearings, the Commission looked into the apartheid regime’s Chemical and Biological Warfare (CBW) program and allegations that it developed a sterility vaccine to use on black South Africans, employed toxic and chemical poison weapons for political asssassination, and in the late 1970s provided anthrax and cholera to Rhodesian troops for use against guerrilla rebels in their war to overthrow Rhodesia’s white minority rule.

While South Africa’s entire CBW program was abhorrent, what is particularly frightening is the use of South Africa’s national vaccination program as a vector for infecting black women with viruses meant to sterilize them. Now that vaccination programs are being pushed globally, there lies the danger that such weapons could be used against entire regions of the planet.

PBS would elaborate further on the CBW program, stating that the South African government:

Developed lethal chemical and biological weapons that targeted ANC [African National Congress] political leaders and their supporters as well as populations living in the black townships. These weapons included an infertility toxin to secretly sterilize the black population; skin-absorbing poisons that could be applied to the clothing of targets; and poison concealed in products such as chocolates and cigarettes.   

PNAC’s dream of genotype specific bioweapons then, is not some far-off science fiction future, it is something that has been pursued in earnest for decades, and apparently by interests aligned to the West, not enemies of it.

Zika and GM Mosquitoes 

Though it is so far impossible to confirm a link between the two, it is troubling nonetheless to see the mosquito-transmitted Zika virus spreading in Brazil precisely from where GM (genetically modified) mosquitoes were released several years ago.

A 2012 entry in Nature titled, “Brazil tests GM mosquitoes to fight Dengue,” would report:

Scientists in Brazil say an experiment to reduce populations of the dengue-carrying Aedes aegyptimosquito, by releasing millions of genetically modified (GM) insects into the wild, is working.

More than ten million modified male mosquitoes were released in the city of Juazeiro, a city of 288,000 people, over a period of time starting a year ago.

The US CDC (Center for Disease Control) would report that Zika virus cases in northeast Brazil were first officially recognized in early 2015, with international hysteria finally reached early this year. The cases seem most concentrated in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, upon the borders of which the city of Juazeiro lies.

What could have happened between 2011 and 2016 that might have led to this development? Could the GM mosquitoes designed to stamp out dengue have mutated in some unpredictable way? And could this experiment have caused the Zika virus itself to mutate in an unpredictable way? It already has mutated once, allowing it to spread among humans more prolifically.

Or what if GM mosquitoes supposedly meant to wipe out dengue were serving as a vector for something else entirely? We can only imagine the sort of stories, excuses and feigned ignorance the South African government would have conjured had its genotype specific bioweapons worked, and black women began turning up sterilized in huge numbers after receiving their “vaccines.”

Mosquitoes as a Vaccine Vector 

Using mosquitoes as a vector to deliver engineered genetic material to humans as a sort of involuntary, inescapable “vaccine” is already a reality. The London Telegraph in its article, “Genetically modified mosquitos could be used to spread vaccine for malaria,” reported in 2010 that:

Experts believe “flying vaccinators” could eventually be a radical new way of tackling malaria.

The new approach targets the salivary gland of the Anopheles mosquito.

Scientists in Japan have engineered an insect producing a natural vaccine protein in its saliva which is injected into the bloodstream when it bites.

The “prototype” mosquito carries a vaccine against Leishmania, another potentially fatal parasite disease spread by sand flies.

And if mosquitoes can naturally deliver viruses, and scientists can alter what mosquitoes carry and infect hosts with, it is possible to engineer viruses to deliver virtually anything into targeted populations much in the same way viruses are re-engineered into vectors in labs today through a process called gene therapy. In the wrong hands, this technology and these techniques could become terrifying weapons.

For those in the middle of the Zika virus hysteria, perhaps it already has.

How Could They? Why Would They?

To answer “how could they possibly do something so diabolical?” we need only think back to 2003 and recall how the United States intentionally lied to the world, then between its initial invasion and subsequent occupation of Iraq, killed upward to a million people. This includes several thousand of its own soldiers and civilians, many of whom it appears were killed by militants armed and funneled into the country by the United States’ closest regional allies, with the US’ resolute backing.

To answer “why” American and European special interests seek to render any particular population sick, weak and they and/or their offspring incapable of  perpetuating a viable civilization, PNAC itself sums it up quite clearly:

The United States is the world’s only superpower, combining preeminent military power, global technological leadership, and the world’s largest economy. Moreover, America stands at the head of a system of alliances which includes the world’s other leading democratic powers. At present the United States faces no global rival. America’s grand strategy should aim to preserve and extend this advantageous position as far into the future as possible.

A population racked with birth defects, diminishing health and IQs and a lack of physical vitality constitutes the enemy every hegemon throughout history has dreamt of facing both on the battlefield and upon the grand chessboard of geopolitics.

Whether the Zika outbreak is linked to some insidious biowarefare program, an experiment gone wrong or simply the forces of nature, it showcases the danger biology can pose and reminds us of what greater dangers may yet await us if we do not properly prepare and protect ourselves.

Domestic Biotech is Imperative to National Defense 

It has been almost painful to watch the rest of the world attempt to catch up to the United States and Europe in the information war. For decades the West dominated information warfare without contest.

Only now have nations like Russia, China, Iran and others finally caught up and in some cases exceeded Western capabilities. Only now are nations finally investing seriously in information and cyber warfare capabilities. Only now does it seem that nations realize the folly of depending on others for both information, and information technology.

Russia recently decided to switch to local computer processor manufacturers to run on all computers used for official business. This is because foreign corporations making processors imported into the Russian Federation had been apparently compromised on the factory floor with the cooperation of these foreign corporations by US intelligence agencies.

We can easily imagine the danger of having US intelligence agencies getting into Russia’s IT infrastructure through these backdoor passes. It doesn’t take much imagination to think about the trouble US intelligence agencies could cause if they could get inside Russia’s human, natural and agricultural genomes.

Developing a viable domestic biotech industry is not only a matter of economic prosperity, but clearly also a matter of vital national security. Foreign corporations should no better be able to access a nation’s “genetic code and files” than it can its computer code and files. After all, genetic information is not entirely unlike digital information.
Brazil and other nations that have invited foreign biotech corporations to meddle with their human, natural and agricultural genomes are likened to those nations who hand their vital infrastructure over to foreign interests only to find out through Wikileaks years later the sort of invasive spying, abuses and other means of self-serving treachery this access has been exploited for.

Let’s not wait for Wikileaks to tell us 10 years from now just how bad the nations of the world had been infiltrated and exploited through biotechnology before we recognize this industry as absolutely vital to national security and begin investing in it domestically, rather than outsourcing it overseas.

Ulson Gunnar, a New York-based geopolitical analyst and writer especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.

 

 

Israel and the US are to hold a joint military exercise later in February with the focus on training in ballistic missile warfare, the Israeli military says.

Dubbed Juniper Cobra, the war games are also aimed at improving cooperation between the two militaries, the Times of Israel online newspaper reported on Saturday.

The drill, staged every two years, is said to be in the works since 2014, when thousands of soldiers from both armies took part in a five-day event that included simulations of a missile attack.

The file photo shows US Army officers during a joint Israeli American military training at a patriot battery site in Tel Aviv. ©AP

The file photo shows US Army officers during a joint Israeli American military training at a patriot battery site in Tel Aviv. ©AP

“This exercise is designed to improve cooperation and coordination between militaries,” the Israeli military said in a statement, adding that it is to be staged “in the context of a long-standing strategic partnership.”

The development comes as reports say Israeli officials have asked Washington to increase its annual military assistance by 60 percent to an average of USD 5 billion a year over the 2018-2028 period.

Under the existing agreement that was signed in 2007 and expires in 2017, annual military aid to Israel grew to more than USD 3 billion a year. That deal was negotiated during the administration of the previous US president, George W. Bush.

US President Barack Obama had reportedly agreed in principle with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in one meeting to increase the aid package to between USD 4.2 billion and USD 4.5 billion.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks at
the National Building Museum on November 9, 2015 in Washington, DC. ©AFP

The money is separate from the nearly USD 500 million in annual US funding for Israel’s missile system programs in recent years. It is also on top of the US war-fighting material held in Israel, which is valued at USD 1.2 billion.

US military assistance to Israel has amounted to USD 124.3 billion since it began in 1962, according to a recent congressional report.

Washington serves Israel’s interests due to the influence of the powerful Israeli lobby in the United States. The pro-Israel pressure groups actively work to steer US foreign policy in favor of Israel.

The Saudi Air Force has deliberately refused to bomb the Yemeni Al-Qaeda faction “Ansar Al-Shariah” and the so-called “Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham” (ISIS) in southern Yemen, despite their recent gains and exponential growth across the country.

Al-Masdar News has recently monitored the concentration of the Saudi-led Coalition airstrikes in Yemen and found that the Yemeni Army and the Houthis have been the only targets for these warplanes, which begs the question as to “why” they don’t target ISIS and Al-Qaeda.

In fact, if it wasn’t for the U.S. drone strike in southern Yemen this week, Ansar Al-Shariah would have been relatively untouched this entire war.

Perhaps even more shocking than this revelation, the Saudi-led Coalition’s warplanes have been responsible for the death of 300+ Yemeni civilians in only a matter of 7 days.

The primary culprit behind these airstrikes is the Saudi Air Force, who has reduced the historical cities of Saada and Sanaa into rubble, while their ground forces fail to regain territory inside southern Saudi Arabia.

At this rate, the Saudi Air Force and their allies will not ease off of bombing Yemeni Army controlled cities; however, when can we expect them to bomb both Al-Qaeda and ISIS?

Leith Fadel

Editor-in-Chief Specializing in Near Eastern Affairs and Economics. Al-Masdar News

Stealing Elections Is Easier Than You Can Imagine

Princeton University scientists showed how easy it is to steal elections by tampering with voting machines:

Here’s a summary:

So did University of California at Santa Barbara computer scientists:

So did a documentary filmmaker, to the shock of an election official and poll worker:

Indeed, a computer programmer admitted under oath to creating such a vote-switching program:

Argonne National Laboratories showed that voting machines can be hacked without any programming knowledge whatsoever … using around $20 worth of hardware:

Many videos have also been shot showing votes being switched in real-time:


 



Note how this machine switches votes even after being “recalibrated”:

Vote fraud doesn’t occur just through electronic shenanigans…

Last week local Iowa poll officials were caught on video changing vote tallies:

A quick explanation of what you’re watching (voter fraud):

The important problem is that the Bernie counters recounted everyone, while the Hillary counter was literally recorded telling someone else that she only added newcomers to the count she had before, and then when asked if she recounted everyone, she lied to the organizer and said “Yes”. This means that if anyone left the caucus site who was supporting Bernie, then they were removed by Bernie’s recounters, but any Hillary supporter who left the caucus site was treated as though they were still there for the purposes of the recount. Thus, artificial inflation of her numbers occurred unless everyone who left was a Bernie delegate, on top of the Hillary campaign surrogate lying to an election official to cover up her (negligent at best, malicious at worst) mistake.

And they left the recount up to a Yea Nay vote, which is just ridiculous.

The Des Moines Register noted “something smells” in the primaries.

Something similar happened in 2012:

The Wall Street Journal wrote in a 2008 article entitled “Will This Election Be Stolen?“:

Since early voting started recently, worried voters have reported seeing their votes flipped from Barack Obama to Mr. McCain in West Virginia and Texas.

We reported in 2006:

The non-partisan and highly-respected government agency, the Government Accountability Office, verified that the electronic voting machines used in 2004 were wide open to fraud, and that fraud likely occured in Ohio, Iowa, Nevada, New Mexico, and other states.

The security flaws in electronic voting machines are so complete that anyone caninstantaneously install software which will change the vote counts. See this New York Times’ Magazine analysis, and also E-Voting Machine an Easy Hack from Wired Magazine.

Exit polling data shows that there was vote fraud.

And Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and leading reporter Greg Palast have shown that the emperor’s cronies intentionally spoiled, rejected, purged and otherwise refused to count enough ballots to take the election away from Kerry (not that I like Kerry). See also this article.

And spend 10 minutes at this website and you’ll realize that electronic vote fraud is not some raving conspiracy theory, but is real.

Indeed, the following headlines from the last two weeks hint at the magnitude of the fraud:

And President Carter said that the 2000 election was stolen.

It’s not just skulduggery by one particular party …

Sonoma State University professor and Project Censored Director Peter Phillips noted in 2005:

There is little doubt key Democrats know that votes in 2004 and earlier elections were stolen. The fact that few in Congress are complaining about fraud is an indication of the totality to which both parties accept the status quo of a money based elections system. Neither party wants to further undermine public confidence in the American “democratic” process (over 80 millions eligible voters refused to vote in 2004)…. Future elections in the US will continue as an equal opportunity for both parties to maintain a national democratic charade in which money counts more than truth.

Some voting machine companies are partisan Republicans, and other partisan Democrats.

But some aren’t even American.  For example, a global internet voting company headquartered in Spainpurchased America’s dominant election results reporting company in 2012.

“It’s All Over But the Counting.  And We’ll Take Care of the Counting”

Stalin said:

The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.”

Before the 2004 election, U.S. Congressman Peter King said, “The election is over. We won.”

When a reporter asked, “How do you know that?”, King replied:

It’s all over, but the counting. And we’ll take care of the counting.

Indeed, both the Democrats and Republicans rig votes at their own conventions.

As Mark Twain said:

If voting made any difference they wouldn’t let us do it.

The international Left promotes its own image rather than engaging in the bitter reality of resistance against neoliberalism. It does not need to believe in postmodernism because it is postmodernism.

The rise of neoliberalism across the globe for decades, and its continued resilience since the 2007-2008 financial crisis in particular, forces us to ask why there has not been a more successful resistance against it.

We might start with the changing structure of the working class, especially in the West, and that would be worthwhile, but it is not as though neoliberalism has abolished working class resistance entirely. It is not as though there have not been multiple general strikes in Greece, for example. Additionally, the United States just recently saw a series of urban rebellions against police killing Black people, with buildings set on fire and police cars destroyed in revolt against the conditions imposed upon them by the state. Many of the participants have since been convicted of arson and other crimes and are now serving out years-long prison terms.

The problem is not that militancy is not possible or even at times imminent. Working class people in the US have shown great courage against police terrorism, and in Greece refused to accept yet another round of austerity even with European capital holding their economy hostage.

The alternate question to ask, then, is why has the Left specifically failed to resist neoliberalism?

We might answer this question in dozens of ways, one answer for each Left that exists. But the failure of SYRIZA in Greece to resist yet another wave of austerity measures–in fact to embrace austerity–sharpens and clarifies the problem, posing uncomfortable truths.

That is, perhaps the Left hasn’t failed to resist neoliberalism. Perhaps it has not even tried.

Wasn’t SYRIZA a decade-long project to build up an alliance of radicals in response to the collapse of social democracy into neoliberalism? It certainly seemed so at the time, probably to its participants most of all. And yet the entire project collapsed so immediately and so spectacularly, going from the cutting edge of the international Left to the symbol of all that is wrong with it, in less than a week.

The defining moment of SYRIZA and of the international Left of the current generation occurred in the early morning hours of July 11, 2015. Many histories will forget this detail as just one of many parliamentary sessions, yet this was by far the most significant. In this moment, just days after the spectacular “Oxi” vote by the Greek people rejecting austerity, their parliamentary representatives chose to embrace it. With 149 seats in parliament, only two members of the radical coalition of the Left dedicated to ending austerity found themselves voting “Oxi” along with the people they claimed to represent. It was a stunning moment that no radical should forget for the rest of their life, unless they simply want to repeat these exciting failures over and over indefinitely.

Certainly, the votes improved later in the month, but the collapse of July 11 should not be so easily forgotten. For a brief moment we saw the crux–or one of the cruxes–of the problem of the international Left.

In short, these members of SYRIZA were more committed to the image of SYRIZA as a united coalition of the radical Left than they were in actually opposing austerity when the opportunity to do so was right in front of them. They recoiled from reality and its consequences and embraced the image of what they had built instead. This is the Postmodern Left in practice.

In the face of unrelenting neoliberalism, the international Left has embraced postmodernism, not in theory but in practice, putting style over substance and feel good moments and flashy leaders over the brute reality of resisting capitalist exploitation. The Postmodern Left does not reject metanarratives or objective reality in theory. In fact it embraces the metanarrative of its own centrality to altering the course of history, but when it finds itself at the center of historical development, then history is treated like an ethereal, formless blob that nobody can make any sense of. It simply happens, and no options are possibly available that can shape it. Once the Left is placed in the driver seat, there is no alternative other than to passively participate in the machinations of the system. Anything else is just too difficult

The Postmodern Left avoids building actual power among the poor and the oppressed, instead focusing on self-promotional spectacles which feel like struggle and power but are entirely empty.

The Postmodern Left talks about “class struggle unionism” then carries out pension reform in the name of a balancing the budget and then insist that they never supported any such thing because words are meaningless and have no relationship to objective reality.

The Postmodern Left is detached from reality because it makes its own reality.

The Postmodern Left does not believe in postmodernism. The Postmodern Left is postmodernism.

The material roots of Postmodern Leftism

The Postmodern Left is not the result of the declining relevance of objective reality. On the contrary, it has a solid material base from which it arises, and to which it is shackled, specifically in the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) form. Under neoliberalism, the destruction of social welfare programs and other sources of stability for working class people have been replaced by services granted by NGOs, funded by foundations and governmental grants as well as directly from corporations. This organizational form has extended beyond the service sector and into the Left itself, where protest movement organizations can build up an infrastructure of full-time staff members through many of these same grants. The problem for NGOs, then, is to challenge the status quo without challenging the elite sources which fund the operation. This has proven to be an impossible problem to solve, and instead NGOs have served to reproduce neoliberalism rather than challenge it.

A few examples will illustrate this.

The Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung is a global network of organizations based in Berlin and New York that celebrates the life of Rosa Luxemburg, a Polish revolutionary best known for her role in the German socialist movement as a critic of its support of electoral reformism and imperialism. She was later killed by her reformist comrades when they came to power. Meanwhile, the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung has taken her name while supporting the the United Nations and hailing the electoral victory of Alexis Tsipras after he embraced austerity. Her name has become little more than a tool for garnering funding.

DeRay McKesson is an activist who rose to prominence during the rise of the Black Lives Matter movement, especially in Ferguson, MIssouri. While he is known as an activist, few people can point to what he has accomplished beyond amassing an enormous Twitter following and gaining the accolades of the corporate media. McKesson was also a school administrator associated with Teach For America, a pro-corporate school “reform” organization which weakens teachers’ unions by supplying schools with inexperienced, low-cost and temporary teachers fresh out of college. More recently, McKesson quit his job to become a “full-time activist” working with the Democratic and Republican parties, Twitter and other corporate sponsors to host presidential debates. In short, DeRay McKesson is not really a left-wing militant, but at times he sure looks like one. The problem is, there are so many McKesson’s on the activist scene, typically much less tied to corporate interests than he is, that it can be difficult to discern the difference between a “real” militant and “fake” one.

A group of non-profit organizations recently held a housing and tenants rights conference in Oakland, California. This is a city where two-bedroom apartments regularly rent for $2,000 or more and the Black and Latino working class is rapidly being displaced. One of the sponsoring organizations was recently bargaining with the City of Oakland over a $320,000 contract to oversee Oakland’s Day Laborer Program, which supplies low wage immigrant labor to various employers. Meanwhile, one of the speakers at the conference plenary session declared the enemy to be no less than the capitalist system itself. Recently deposed mayor Jean Quan, who was sitting in the audience and maintains a close alliance with many of the organizers, did not bat an eye at such a statement, and neither will anybody in Oakland City Hall, because this is all just window dressing to create the illusion of radicalism. Nobody who takes $320,000 from the city is going to threaten the political alliances that helped them garner it, no matter how loudly they proclaim their opposition to capitalism.

The Left exists in the general milieu of NGO activism created by such organizations. That is, not all radicals have to succumb to the NGO form, they merely need to adapt to the activism led by NGOs, which is the appearance of militancy, in order to build up a base of support and win reforms, without the substance of militancy, in order to avoid embarrassing important funding sources and allies. In short, the image of something that seems fundamentally revolutionary–Rosa Luxemburg, and the urban rebellions against police terror–can be used by people whose aims are totally compatible with neoliberalism.

The Postmodern Left does not need to take money from the City of Oakland, or even have a tax-free status. It merely needs to confuse such activism as a challenge to the system without identifying its severe limitations. And why would anybody do that? Because this sort of activism is so exciting! And everybody else is doing it. And being the sole figure in the room who says there is something wrong here is a terribly lonely place to be, especially when you are attempting to build a base or recruit people or just mobilize people around anything at all in the hopes that something will be a basis for future struggle. But instead of struggle we get the performance of struggle.

Anybody who attended one of the larger meetings of the British Socialist Workers Party in the past will be aware of the performative aspects of this organization. Having failed to build a workers party during its decades of existence, it must create a performance as though it is a workers’ party, otherwise workers won’t join it, capped off with chanting “The workers united will never be defeated!” Who they are chanting to is unclear. There are no bosses nearby, so it is more likely directed to the workers in attendance, or perhaps just to the party faithful to remind themselves of their commitment to the working class. It is not as though they are not committed–they certainly believe they are–rather the problem is that their commitment is a performance. Rather than build a workers party, they simulate one in the hopes that the workers will join it.

The Postmodern Left is the simulation of a Left, with all of the chants, banners and other paraphernalia of a militant Left with few to none of the acts of resistance. It simulates struggle, basks in the glorious imagery, then wonders why it never achieves victory, which is impossible unless there is an actual battle. Most of the time these battles will end in defeat, so the Postmodern Left accepts the happy illusion over the sad reality. Of course, working class people cannot ignore the bitterness of their own lived reality, but the Postmodern Left generally does not inhabit this world so it is not a problem for them.

On the one hand, Postmodern Leftism has completely failed to challenge neoliberal austerity measures. On the other hand, we can see that full-time staff of the Postmodern Left has done a spectacular job of staving off austerity once we realize that the only jobs they are committed to protecting are their own.

Postmodern social movements

Arun Gupta discussed the postmodern method behind many social movements, describing the People’s Climate March in 2014, a stunning victory of style over substance. He noted that there were “no demands, no targets,and no enemy. Organizers admitted encouraging bankers to march was like saying Blackwater mercenaries should join an antiwar protest. There is no unity other than money.”

How could a march of hundreds of thousands be made so powerless? Because it was run by NGOs committed most of all to continuing their own stream of revenue. All that was necessary was the image of a mass march, the feeling that we are doing something. That this was entirely inadequate to the problem at hand–saving the planet from destruction by capitalism–is not so much a problem if your real goal is to get donations, sell books and set up speaking engagements. In other words, this is not struggle but merely marketing in the form of struggle. It is merely a simulation.

Or, as Gupta described the logic:

Branding. That’s how the climate crisis is going to be solved. We are in an era or postmodern social movements. The image (not ideology) comes first and shapes the reality. The P.R. and marketing determines the tactics, the messaging, the organizing, and the strategy.

One of the most blatant current examples of illusory struggle is the Fight for Fifteen campaign, particularly at the national level, which has led thousands of low-wage workers in strikes against fast food employers. Or have they? One participant describes her experience: “In Miami, I’ve attended Fight for $15 demonstrations in which the vast majority of participants were paid activists, employees of NGOs, CBOs (Community Based Organizations), and union staff seeking potential members.” In fact, many people who have attended these actions will look around and ask, who is really on strike here? There are certainly people who risk their jobs to participate, but in many cases the hundreds of people who attend one of these “strikes” are simply supporters of the idea of low-wage workers striking. The striking workers are far and few between, with a small handful designated as media spokespeople and none others identified at all.

Jane Macalevy is a former staffer with the Service Employee’s International Union (SEIU), the union which runs the Fight for Fifteen in the background, but quietly in order to maintain the image of a worker-led campaign. She has described how illusory this campaign really is: “The problem is that there isn’t any depth to the Fight for 15 campaign. We call it the Berlin Rosen campaign: one hot-shot media firm that’s gotten something like $50 to 70 million from SEIU to paint, through social media, the illusion of a huge movement.”

Berlin Rosen is a public relations firm employed not only by SEIU but also by the current Mayor of New York City and was involved in the bankruptcy of Detroit, the belly of the beast of neoliberalism. They were also employed by the leadership of the United Auto Workers to convince Chrysler employees to accept a contract after these same employees rejected an earlier one that did not go far enough in cancelling the two-tier wage system. In this case, postmodern activism and neoliberalism are one and the same. Berlin Rosen proves, if nothing else, that there is good money to be made in postmodern social movements.

SEIU has since endorsed Hillary Clinton, who does not support a $15 per hour minimum wage. Meanwhile, the most recent Fight for $15 strike ended with appeals to get out the vote in 2016–we can imagine for whom–and has shifted its campaign slogan to “Come Get My Vote.” That is, the movement is being openly positioned to being co-opted by the Democratic Party. This is not usually how a national workers’ rebellion plays out, but might be how a simulated one could be directed.

Richard Seymour described the empty, feel good activism, in which the good feelings of people finally able to express their opposition to the horrors of neoliberalism overcomes the question of what can we do to actually stop these things. Why ask these difficult questions when it feels so good just to finally be marching?

It was, indeed, a joyous occasion [Seymour writes of a march against austerity]. The people thronged into streets barely big enough to contain them, and chanted and sang in notes of cheerful defiance. Those who claim that such events are ‘boring’ are wrong in point of fact, and give the impression of political thrill-seeking. We all had a lovely time. And this was precisely the problem.

A minimum condition for sentience on the left is an awareness that this protest is itself evidence of at least five years of catastrophic failure. There is something powerfully and stunningly incongruous in the subjectivity of a left marching as if in recreation, when we know we are also mourning for the casualties and the dead. It suggests that we don’t really mean business. It suggests that, rather than wanting to shake the walls and pillars to the earth, we want to grab some ice cream and go home.

What Seymour describes is the problem posed by February 15, 2003, the high point of postmodern activism, when millions around the globe marched against the war in Iraq in possibly the largest day of demonstrations in world history. Millions of people flooded the streets and for many it felt like the most empowering moment of their lives, and yet how little power we actually had. Of course, millions of people have an enormous amount of power, but not when they just stand there on the street, even if they are carrying a banner or wearing a political t-shirt. The Postmodern Left can still be heard, from time to time, saying how we nearly stopped the war in Iraq. Nothing could be further from reality, but reality does not bother the Postmodern Left.

“The tradition of all dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brains of the living,” wrote Marx in the 18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte. In this case, it’s more like a daydream, a fantasy of struggle with all the imagery of resistance and none of its substance. If this is all we can do, and no more, then we are utterly lost.

Some people have been grappling with the problem posed by February 15 for the last decade. Others are perfectly content to repeat this same process over and over again, as it allows them to continue selling books, booking speaking engagements, recruiting people to their organizations and funding their non-profit organizations. These machinations can continue indefinitely and are entirely compatible with the capitalist system. One can make can make quite a satisfying career and lifestyle as a revolutionary of sorts, so long as it is all within the confines of the Postmodern Left.

SYRIZA’s Postmodern Neoliberalism

If this is the age of illusions, then the rise of SYRIZA in Greece must be the penultimate illusion. Sadly, but predictably, the SYRIZA bubble has been popped and we have all been forced back down to reality. Since SYRIZA’s acceptance of austerity, former SYRIZA Central Committee member Stathis Kouvelakis has written a number of autopsies of what was once the SYRIZA dream. In one especially revealing statement, he notes how so many moves by SYRIZA were so contrary to what any radical Leftist would accept.

For example, he notes the acceptance of an early agreement on February 20, 2015, to extend the bailout, well before the July capitulation:

Its first and most immediate consequence was to paralyze the mobilization and destroy the optimism and militancy that prevailed in the first weeks after the January 25 electoral victory. Of course, this downgrading of popular mobilization is not something that started on January 25 or February 20, as a consequence of a particular governmental tactic. It is something that was preexistent in Syriza’s strategy.

This is the exact opposite of what was supposed to happen, but the facade had to be maintained. Kouvelakis then notes the rapid decline of internal democracy in SYRIZA in the last few years.

What we saw being constructed after June 2012 — step by step but systematically — was a party form increasingly leader-centered, centralized, and detached from the actions and the will of the membership. The process went entirely out of control when Syriza went into government.

None of this should be unexpected. These are the well known consequences of electoral strategies, which Marxists have been aware of for a century, since the capitulation of European Social Democracy to World War One and repeated many times since. Yet, eager Marxists the world over looked to SYRIZA as something different, but it was merely the illusion of something different. In the end, it was exactly the same sort of radical electoral strategies of the past, but the appeal that these plucky Marxist intellectuals and activists could take on the European powers was far too seductive. In SYRIZA, the international Left saw itself, and could not imagine that it, too, might collapse in much the same way under similar circumstances.

The problem is that these strategies appeal to a certain brand of Leftist occupying a certain social position–specifically, intellectuals and NGO leaders–including those who have spent their careers explaining the limitations of electoralism. The appeal of electoral glory is simply too great for these people to be withstood against a rock-solid critique of reformism.

After July 11, no serious Leftists can ever, for the rest of their lives, look a prominent left-wing figure in the eye and take their promises at face value. We just cannot take ourselves seriously if we continue to pretend that lofty promises from self-important, self-selected leaders can be trusted. And yet, this is precisely what the Postmodern Left will continue to do, assuring everybody that no, this next project is not an other SYRIZA, even though they almost certainly said the some sort of thing about SYRIZA itself.

Greece has had dozens of general strikes over the last few years and some even predicted that the working class might rise up in response to SYRIZA’s capitulation. There was even a one-day general strike of public sector workers carried out the day that the first round of austerity was approved by the Greek parliament on July 15. Surprisingly, this general strike seemed to have no impact whatsoever on parliament. “The fight is now on,” heralded one breathless commentary announcing the impending strike. “It is not off: it’s the period of shadow boxing that is over.” The strike came and went, but the mere shadow boxing continued.

We are left to wonder whether or not working people can challenge their own governments if even a general strike cannot alter the course of history. There is, of course, an alternate explanation, which is that at least some of these may have been mere simulations of general strikes, turned on and then turned off by the union leadership with little threat of disrupting much beyond halting a days’ work, after which order was fully restored, if it was ever even threatened in the first place.

If we cannot tell the difference between simulation and reality, we risk descending from a healthy pessimism over the current state of affairs into believing that working class struggles can have no impact simply because it deceptively appears that they don’t.

Simulation hits reality

SYRIZA played out like a simulation of Marxist theory. The collapse of social democracy required a new electoral force to take its place. In stepped SYRIZA, an electoral alliance that assured everyone that they were actually going to take on the financial powers in Europe. Marxists around the world who have documented in detail how social democracy has flailed and decayed for decades suddenly believed that yes, this electoral reform project would succeed, and no, there was no reason why it was any different than the failures of the past. Without a “fake” Marxist Left–the Stalinists, reformists and other revisionists of the past–the “real” Marxist Left stepped in to take its place, heralding the dawn of a new age in Europe, for a few exciting months anyway.

It can seem impossible at times to tell the difference between the real and the fake, the simulation and reality, but ultimately we do not live in a postmodern world. We simply live in a world where so many on the Left act as though it is. Nonetheless, all of these simulations do eventually confront the brute material forces of reality, and suddenly the complete inadequacy of the simulated Left–not just in SYRIZA but across the board–is laid bare for all to see. Eventually, a Ferguson or a Baltimore revolts and the irrelevance of the Postmodern Left to the project of organizing working class resistance is made completely clear.

If there is any way out of this rut, it is to reject the spectacle and the simulation in favor of substantive material resistance. The feel good moment of triumph with a hollow center, the exuberant meetings and chants that people remember for the rest of their lives, just might be an obstacle toward building something with actual power. The image of revolt, and even talk of socialism and–hold onto your seats!–“political revolution” coming from the Bernie Sanders campaign for President will go nowhere. It is the courageous act of resistance and the rein of terror that it must face in response from the neoliberal state that transforms a class into a force for rebellion.

In short, if social movements do not directly hurt the people in power–and not just mildly embarrass them–or empower the exploited and oppressed–and not just temporarily mobilize them–then it may not be a worthwhile strategy. It may simply feel like one.

In other words, if it feels good, don’t do it.

We may struggle to see past the illusions from our current vantage point. No doubt, we will find ourselves in the trenches of class war, only to look outside and realize that the entire spectacle has been constructed by a charlatan. This will continue to happen, so long as neoliberal capitalism provides career opportunities for charlatans, as it no doubt will.

There is a great need, then, to breakdown the facade, to no longer allow the false images of resistance that surreptitiously enable neoliberalism and distract from the fundamental project of resistance. The SYRIZAs of the world will insist that this is counterproductive to their project. And that is exactly the point.

As Syrian forces and their allies complete the encirclement of Syria’s largest city, Aleppo, the United States and its regional allies have signaled a sudden increased interest in ground operations in Syria, including US airpower backing Turkish-Saudi ground forces.

While it is obvious the US and its allies are responding directly to the collapse of their proxy forces across the country, their most recent threats to further escalate the conflict in Syria are tenuously predicated on “fighting ISIS.”

The Guardian in its article, “Saudi Arabia offers to send ground troops to Syria to fight Isis,” would report:

Saudi Arabia has offered for the first time to send ground troops to Syria to fight Islamic State, its defence ministry said on Thursday.

“The kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the coalition (against Isis) may agree to carry out in Syria,” said military spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed al-Asiri during an interview with al-Arabiya TV news.

Saudi sources told the Guardian that thousands of special forces could be deployed, probably in coordination with Turkey.

In reality, Turkey and Saudi Arabia have played a central role in both the intentional creation of ISIS and the logistical and financial perpetuation of its activities within Syria and Iraq. This is not according only to enemies of Ankara and Riyadh, but according to their central most ally, the United States.

As early as 2012, a Department of Intelligence Agency (DIA) document (.pdf) admitted in regards to the Syrian conflict and the rise of ISIS that:

If the situation unravels there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria (Hasaka and Der Zor), and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime, which is considered the strategic depth of the Shia expansion (Iraq and Iran).

Mention of this “Salafist” (Islamic) “principality” (State) in 2012 is clearly when it was decided to transform US, Saudi, and Turkish-backed Al Qaeda affiliates – then called “rebels” – officially into ISIS. To clarify just who these “supporting powers” were supporting its creation, the DIA report explains:

The West, Gulf countries, and Turkey support the opposition; while Russia, China, and Iran support the regime.

12650827_778554548917155_8689633179023108730_nIt is clear then, that this sudden interest in escalation has nothing to do with ISIS and more to do with rescuing the West’s proxy terrorists before they are entirely eradicated and/or expelled from the country. Russia, who has played a pivotal role in reversing the tides against Al Qaeda and ISIS militants in Syria, has even gone as far as accusing Turkey of what appears to be an imminent military incursion into the country’s northern region.

Reuters would report in its article, “Russia and Turkey trade accusations over Syria,” that:

Russia said on Thursday it suspected Turkey was preparing a military incursion into Syria, as a Syrian army source said Aleppo would soon be encircled by government forces with Russian air support.

ISIS, as it has always been designed to be, serves merely as a pretext for justifying any prospective operation by the US and its regional allies – an operation that will be in all reality aimed at challenging and rolling back Syrian and Russian gains on the battlefield – or at the very least, providing an unassailable sanctuary within Syrian territory for the West’s defeated proxies to retreat to.
The Buffer Zone (Again) 

The idea of carving out a buffer zone from Syrian territory also goes back as far as 2012 when it became apparent that Libya-style regime change would be difficult if not impossible to achieve quickly. The idea would be to switch from the fast paced, overwhelming proxy war the US and its allies had hoped to panic Damascus out from power with, to a more paced proxy war launched from NATO-occupied “safe havens” in Syria.

With NATO aircover, terrorists could safely launch operations deeper into Syrian territory, slowly expanding both the buffer zone and NATO’s defacto no-fly zone.

Eventually, it was planned, the buffer zones would lead directly to the collapse of the government in Damascus.

Again, far from a conspiracy theory, this plan was openly discussed within policy circles in Washington.

The Brookings Institution – a corporate-funded policy think-tank whose policymakers have helped craft upper-level strategy for the Iraqi, Afghan, Libyan, and now Syrian conflicts as well as plans laid for future confrontations with Iran and beyond – has been explicit regarding the true nature of these “buffer zones.” In a recent paper titled, “Deconstructing Syria: A new strategy for America’s most hopeless war,” it states:

…the idea would be to help moderate elements establish reliable safe zones within Syria once they were able. American, as well as Saudi and Turkish and British and Jordanian and other Arab forces would act in support, not only from the air but eventually on the ground via special forces.

The paper goes on by explaining (emphasis added) :

The end-game for these zones would not have to be determined in advance. The interim goal might be a confederal Syria, with several highly autonomous zones and a modest (eventual) national government. The confederation would likely require support from an international peacekeeping force, if this arrangement could ever be formalized by accord. But in the short term, the ambitions would be lower—to make these zones defensible and governable, to help provide relief for populations within them, and to train and equip more recruits so that the zones could be stabilized and then gradually expanded.

Su-35-Russian-airforce-fighter24In many ways, this has been attempted already to one degree or another in terrorist-occupied territory in Syria. As Syrian forces with Russian aircover moved into northern Aleppo, reports across the Western media complained that infrastructure underwritten by Western governments was being destroyed. This infrastructure, including bakeries literally run by Al Qaeda using flour supplied by the US government, was part of Brookings’ plan to “make these zones governable.”

The presence of Russian military forces in Syria has apparently prevented the West from making these zones more “defensible” through the use of direct military force aimed at Syrian troops.

How this plan will manifest itself now remains to be seen. What is most likely is a limited incursion into northern Syria into the shrinking Afrin-Jarabulus corridor before Syrian, Russian, and Kurdish forces completely fill the void. With Turkish and Saudi forces holding even a small percentage of the corridor, attempts to incrementally expand it as envisioned by Brookings may be made in the near to intermediate future.

Brookings had also envisioned coordinating Turkish operations in the north with an Israeli attack in the south – another option that is likely still being considered.

There is also the possibility of the West attempting to enter and seize a sizable piece of Syrian territory Syria’s eastern most region- linking it up with territory in Iraq that appears likely to be stripped from the central government in Baghdad through similar tactics.

Best Case Scenario is Still Defeat + Costly Long-Term Standoff 

The most likely result, however, would be a Golan Heights-style stand-off that could last years, if not decades.

Syria would still be able to restore peace and order across the vast majority of its territory, liquidate the West’s proxies within their borders, and perhaps operate proxies of their own within seized territory – creating a costly conflict politically, financially, and militarily for Turkey.

For Saudi Arabia, the further stretching of its military forces would strain operational preparedness within the Kingdom, and further diminish its fighting capacity amid its war of aggression against neighboring Yemen. It is also another opportunity to expose inherent weaknesses in its military capabilities, further emboldening the growing arc of opposition challenging its influence throughout the Middle East.

Worst Case Scenario Threatens US Hegemony 

The worst case scenario includes a NATO incursion into northern Syria being met by overwhelming resistance, blunting both its air and ground forces. With the majority of Turkish and Saudi military equipment originating in the US and Europe, it would in turn further weaken the illusion of Western military superiority upon the global stage. This could have significant impact on the integrity of both the European Union and the NATO alliance, as well as on prospective members seeking to join either or both in the near to intermediate future.

With the endgame approaching fast in Syria, Damascus and its allies may seek to invest heavily in making this second, worst case scenario the most likely outcome of any US-Turkish-Saudi incursion into northern Syria. By doing so, they may deter such a move from even being made in the first place, or the consequences unimaginable for the West should they try despite the obvious risks.

Since the prospect of a buffer zone being carved out of Syrian territory in the event of a failed regime change operation against Damascus has been literally years in the making – it is sincerely hoped that significant measures have been planned by Syria and its allies to counter it for just as long.

Tony Cartalucci is a Bangkok-based geopolitical researcher and writer, especially for the online magazineNew Eastern Outlook”.

Latest development in multiyear battle leaves 60 children, 18 adults without dwellings.

The Civil Administration in the West Bank on Tuesday demolished 23 homes and three outhouses in the southern Hebron hills villages of Jinba and Halawa. According to Israeli activists who reached Jinba by midday, shortly after the demolitions, 78 people had been living in the newly-built homes, including 60 children.

These are two of the 12 villages in the area that have been waging a legal battle for 17 years in an attempt to prevent their evacuation and demolition so they can be used as army training areas. The European Union has been closely following the villagers’ campaign, and has repeatedly stated it would view their evacuation as a coerced uprooting of a protected population, a contravention of international law.

Palestinian children search for toys in the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israeli bulldozers in a disputed military zone in the area of Musafir Jenbah, which includes several villages, south of the West Bank town of Hebron on February 2, 2016.

Palestinian children search for toys in the remains of their home after it was demolished by Israeli bulldozers, Musafir Jenbah, south of the West Bank town of Hebron on February 2, 2016.

On Monday morning, the State Prosecution and lawyers for the Association of Civil Rights in Israel (ACRI), as well as the villagers’ attorney Shlomo Lecker, announced that a bridging process started in October 2013 had failed. To the shocked surprise of residents and lawyers, within hours of informing the High Court of Justice of this development, Civil Administration officials arrived in these two villages and marked 40 dwellings for demolition. Less than 24 hours later they returned, accompanied by the army, and started destroying these structures. They also temporarily blocked a road leading to Jinba and confiscated vehicles and five solar panels.

The bridging procedure, mediated by law professor Yitzhak Zamir, was suggested by the High Court of Justice. The two sides were sworn to secrecy during this process. However, the Society of St. Yves learned that during the procedure the army demanded that residents leave their homes for a few days each month so that military exercises could be held in the area. The residents objected, leading to the termination of the bridging process.

Read complete article by Amira Hass

COINTELPRO, Leonard Peltier and the Limits of Resistance

February 7th, 2016 by Michael Welch

“In a way, their interest is served by it being known that he was flat-out railroaded, falsely convicted, that they orchestrated this as a consequence for basically standing on his rights and not equivocating. And the message is… “if you make yourself aware of your rights and you refuse to relinquish them when you’re instructed to do so, there are consequences….if you don’t want to end up like Leonard Peltier, do what you’re told.” -Ward Churchill (from this week’s interview)

 

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Saturday February 6 marks the fortieth year of Leonard Peltier’s imprisonment on the charge of murdering two FBI agents.

Peltier was an activist with the American Indian Movement in the mid-1970s. He had been called into a community to try to restore peace and security on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota at a time when politically motivated violence on the territory was in proportionate terms rivalling the death count in post-Allende Chile. A firefight which erupted on the Jumping Bull ranch claimed the lives of FBI agents Jack Coler and Ron Williams as well as a young native man named Joe Stuntz.

The FBI set about trying to implicate Peltier and two other AIM members by fair means or foul. Despite a number of legal irregularities and demonstrably fabricated evidence, Leonard Peltier was charged with the murder and continues to serve two consecutive life sentences.

Numerous individuals and groups have rallied to the cause of justice for Peltier. These include Nobel Laureates Jose Ramos Horta, the late Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Angela Davis, Former Attorney General Ramsey Clark, The National Association of Criminal Justice Lawyers, the National lAwyers Guild, the Parliaments of Belgium, Europe and Italy, Jane Fonda, Peter Coyote, Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, Harry Belafonte, and Robert Redford and dozens of Native American and Tribal leaders, representatives of the religious and faith communities, civil rights organizations, scholars, artists and celebrities.

It is widely believed that the arrest and lengthy incarceration of Peltier had to do with the desire of US authorities to contain the burgeoning American Indian Movement. The central instrument used against the AIM leadership was a program known as COINTELPRO (COunter-INTelligence-PROgram.)

COINTELPRO was the latest variation of a strategy used by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and its antecedents to control popular resistance movements.

On this installment of the Global Research News Hour, the last of a trilogy of stories dedicated to American political prisoners, we speak with Ward Churchill. 

Churchill is an author, academic and political activist. He is the author of several books including Agents of Repression: The FBI’s Secret Wars Against the Black Panther Party and the American Indian Movement which he co-authored with Jim Vander Wall, as well as his controversial 2003 work  On the Justice of Roosting Chickens: Reflections on the Consequences of U. S. Imperial Arrogance and Criminality

In this interview, Churchill discusses the history of Counterintelligence activities in the United States leading up to the COINTELPRO program of the 1960s, the involvement of the American Indian Movement in Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and the case of Leonard Peltier who he argues has been unjustly arrested and incarcerated.

Peltier has been diagnosed recently with Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm which is posing a threat to his life. For more details and updates please visit www.whoisleonardpeltier.info

 

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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 .

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Russia’s Northern Fleet’s sphere of responsibility includes the protection of the country’s sovereignty and of its economic interests in the Arctic Ocean zone. To this end the fleet has at its disposal not only powerful surface ships, submarines, and aircraft, which make it the most powerful of Russia’s four fleets, but also a sizable land component in the form of two motorized rifle brigades.

Recent conflicts in Ukraine, Syria, and Yemen have demonstrated that land forces are the ultimate guarantee of military success, and even though any conflict in the Arctic would be fought mainly by naval and air forces, the decisive role would still fall to the land component. Which is why the Northern Fleet has a sizable land force at its disposal.

The 200th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade is a conventional unit of one tank and three motorized rifle battalions with extensive artillery, air defense, and combat engineer support intended mainly for operations on Russia’s mainland, with the objective of protecting the fleet’s naval and air bases against a NATO attack. In the Far North, Russia borders a NATO country, Norway, which hosts frequent international exercises by the alliance’s Arctic-specialized units, including British Royal Marines. Further raising the level of tensions, Swedish officials have recently declared they are expecting to be engaged in a major conventional conflict in a matter of only a few years and are interested in expanding their cooperation with NATO and perhaps in joining the alliance, and even the neutral Finland has contemplated NATO membership in recent years. In the worst-case scenario, the balance of forces in the North could rapidly shift against Russia.

Defending Russia’s soil against conventional NATO attack is not the only concern. It is becoming clear that the Arctic will soon become the arena of a power struggle for control of this resource-rich region, just as the Middle East has become in recent years. Therefore, Russia’s armed forces are preparing to play their part in the looming conflict. The 80th Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade which was activated in January 2015 and which is based in the town of Alakurtti, can also be used for the same purpose as the 200th Brigade, but its organization, equipment, and training exercises indicate a somewhat different main mission. The 80th Brigade is also intended to fulfill the role of force projection alongside the Northern Fleet’s Naval Infantry units. While the Naval Infantry’s main mission is amphibious assault against a defended enemy coastline, the 80th Brigade is equipped and trained not for forced entry, but for extended independent operations far away from friendly bases on the many islands and archipelagoes of the Arctic theater of operation, such as Novaya Zemlya, Franz Josef Land, and Spitsbergen, and relying mainly on air and sea resupply. It could play both a defensive role, protecting key Russian military infrastructure such as airfields and early warning radar stations against NATO special operations raids, and an offensive one by pre-empting NATO landings on any contested land areas of the Arctic.

The Brigade’s recent exercises included close cooperation with Northern Fleet’s amphibious assault ships, which were used for transporting its units to their distant exercise areas. The strategic mobility requirement and the need to operate in extreme conditions with limited logistical support means that the 80th Brigade is more lightly equipped than conventional motorized rifle units. It does not have a tank battalion, and its rifle battalions are mounted on MTLB tracked APCs which have good mobility over snow and tundra. It is currently testing a wide range of specialized equipment, including winter uniforms suitable for extended operations in extremely cold conditions of the polar night, snowmobiles, 4-by-4 all terrain vehicles, articulated tracked carriers specially designed for over-snow operations, and other gear specifically adapted for Arctic conditions. Its personnel, which contain a high proportion of contract soldiers, is also receiving specialized training in Arctic warfare. A recent exercise included its reconnaissance company soldiers utilizing dogs and reindeer as a means of transport during a simulated operation behind enemy lines, indicating the brigade has considerable special operations capability.

This highly specialized unit represents an important military capability which contributes to Russia’s conventional deterrence. The ultimate measure of its success in that role may be that it will never have to be used to fulfill its assigned combat role against a real adversary, who will instead be persuaded to address Arctic-related issues through a normal negotiating process.

ISISEuropean Parliament Calls for Urgent Action to Protect Religious Minorities against ISIS, “War Crimes” and “Crimes against Humanity”

By Emilie Tournier, February 06 2016

GR Editor’s Note: The resolution does not focus on the State sponsors terrorism. the governments which are supporting the ISIS (including US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey) are responsible for ”War Crimes” and “Crimes against Humanity” (M.Ch.)

unclesam-Russia

The Militarization of Europe, The Dangers of a World War: “Never in the Cold War Had US Put Its Military Force So Close to Russia”

By Sputnik, February 04 2016

The decision to quadruple its military presence in Europe puts the US at its highest risk of a nuclear war with Russia, since the Cuban missile crisis of the early 1960s, as during the entire history of the mutual relationship it has never placed its military forces so close to Russia, according to Professor Stephen F. Cohen.

nato_war

U.S. Now Overtly at War Against Russia

By Eric Zuesse, February 06 2016

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on February 2nd that he approves of US ‘Defense’ Secretary Ash Carter’s proposal to quadruple US armaments and troops in Europe, against ‘Russian aggression’.

uk-parliamentYemen: UK Parliamentary Committee Calls for Halt to Arms Sales to Saudi Arabia, Moots International Inquiry into Alleged International Law Abuses

By Felicity Arbuthnot, February 06 2016

Mercurial: “Subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind.”

us imperialismUnited States War Crimes. A Historical Review

By Brian Willson and Lenora Foerstel, February 06 2016

The issue of War Crimes emerged after World War I at the Versailles Conference…

El tiempo “bendito” de las coaliciones

February 6th, 2016 by Ahmed Bensaada

Desde hace  un cuarto de siglo, el mundo árabe vive al ritmo  de las las coaliciones.

Y de coalición en coalición, este mundo se hunde más profundamente en la regresión, el caos y la desolación.  De coalición en coalición, este mundo no ha conocido más que las masacres, las violaciones, los éxodos y las ruinas. De  coalición en coalición, la sangre de cientos de miles de árabes ha fluido,  regando no sólo el odio de los árabes entre sí, sino también entre los árabes y los occidentales.

Sin embargo, de coalición en coalición, estos mismos occidentales nos habían prometido sembrar, gracias a sus armas sofisticadas y sus bombas inteligentes,  la Democracia, la Paz y la Prosperidad  así como  los derechos humanos y la libertad de expresión.

Muy por el contrario, de coalición en coalición,  todos los países árabes se han derrumbado, y la Democracia, tal y como se esperaba, ha sido sustituida por una doctrina que promueve el arte de comer corazones y cortar cabezas.

Sin embargo, de coalición en coalición, los bien-pensantes nos habían prometido luchar contra el “Eje del Mal”, el sangrante yihadismo y el horrible terrorismo.

Aunque,  de coalición en coalición, de 2002 a 2014, el número de muertes causadas por ataques terroristas aumentó un … 4500%!

Pero,  de coalición en coalición, los Grandes de este mundo nos habían garatizado un porvenir mejor, un florecimiento cultural y una prosperidad económica.

Muy por el contrario, de coalición en coalición, el único porvenir palpable ha sido el del éxodo,  la única cultura implantada ha sido la de los atentados suicidas, y la única prosperidad la de los campos de refugiados y la destrucción del patrimonio ancestral.

De coalición en coalición,  sí que han tenido éxito  para ofrecer  al mundo árabe una nueva estación,  que  ha sido envuelta en papel de flores para hacerla joven, para hacerla bella, para hacerla  ” primavera”.

Refugiados sirios en el cruce Pesh Khabur en Dohuk (430 km al noroeste de Bagdad, Irak), Martes, 20 de agosto 2013

(AP / Hadi Mizban)

Muy al contrario,  ninguna estación de la historia  ha sido tan funesta: 1,4 millones de víctimas (muertos y heridos), 833 mil millones de dólares en pérdidas y un número astronómico de secuelas para siempre grabadas en los cuerpos, en las mentes y en los ideales.

De coalición en coalición, hemos visto a los coaligados aplicarse en financiar el terrorismo, promover el yihadismo y armar la disidencia.

De coalición en coalición,  hemos visto a los coaligados participar en el bombeo del petróleo, en el saqueo de los tesoros arqueológicos  y en la destrucción de las infraestructuras del mundo árabe.

De coalición en coalición, las guerras religiosas han sido fomentadas,  los cismas han sido exacerbados, El Islám ha sido profanado y los musulmanes diabolizados.

De coalición en coalición,  los caminos de la trashumancia humana han sido abiertos a través de la tierra, hasta fronteras erizadas de alambres de púas  y a través del mar hasta una playa  en la que un pequeño niño de chandal rojo se ha dormido, mirando la arena mojada, para no ver la crueldad de los humanos.

En los tiempos benditos de las coaliciones, el mundo árabe no  para de sangrar, no deja de llorar, no acaba de colapsar.

Ahmed Bensaada

 

Versión original en francés: Au temps béni des coalitions

Traducción: Purificación González de la Blanca

Ai bei tempi delle coalizioni

February 6th, 2016 by Ahmed Bensaada

Analisi, dicembre 2015 - Ai bei tempi delle coalizioni, per il mondo arabo è un continuo sanguinare, un continuo piangere, una rovina senza fine (nella foto, rifugiati siriani in Iraq)

Da un quarto di secolo il mondo arabo vive al ritmo delle coalizioni.
E, di coalizione in coalizione, sprofonda sempre più nella regressione, nel caos e nella desolazione. Di coalizione in coalizione, questo mondo ha subito solo massacri, spoliazioni, esodi e rovine. Di coalizione in coalizione, il sangue di centinaia di migliaia di arabi è colato a fiumi, alimentando non solo l’odio degli Arabi tra di loro, ma anche tra gli Arabi e gli Occidentali.
Eppure, di coalizione in coalizione, proprio gli Occidentali ci avevano promesso una semina, grazie alle loro armi sofisticate e alle bombe intelligenti, di Democrazia, Pace e Prosperità, e anche di Diritti umani e Libertà di espressione.
Al contrario, di coalizione in coalizione, interi paesi arabi sono stati distrutti e la tanto attesa Democrazia è stata rimpiazzata da una dottrina che incoraggia l’arte di mangiare i cuori e tagliare le teste.
Eppure, di coalizione in coalizione, i benpensanti ci avevano promesso di lottare contro l’asse del male, il jihadismo sanguinario e l’orribile terrorismo…
Al contrario, di coalizione in coalizione, dal 2002 al 2014, il numero di morti provocati dagli attentati terroristi è cresciuto del 4500% !
Eppure, di coalizione in coalizione, i Grandi del mondo ci avevano garantito un futuro migliore, crescita culturale e prosperità economica.
Al contrario, di coalizione in coalizione, il solo futuro palpabile è stato quello dell’esodo, la sola cultura che si è radicata è stata quella degli attentati-suicidi, la sola prosperità quella dei campi profughi e della distruzione del patrimonio ancestrale.
Di coalizione in coalizione, si è riusciti a offrire al mondo arabo una stagione nuova, avvolta in carta fiorata, per darle un’aria giovanile, per farla bella, per farne una “primavera”.
Al contrario, mai una stagione è stata più funesta: 1,4 milioni di vittime (morti e feriti), 833 miliardi di dollari di danni e un numero astronomico di postumi, impressi per sempre nei corpi, negli spiriti e negli ideali.
Rifugiati siriani al posto di frontiera di Peshkhabour a Dahuk (430 km a nord-ovest di Baghdad, Iraq), il 20 agosto 2013 
(AP / Hadi Mizban)
Di coalizione in coalizione, si sono visti dei coalizzati finanziare il terrorismo, promuovere il jihadismo e armare i dissidenti.
Di coalizione in coalizione, si sono visti dei coalizzati partecipare allo sfruttamento abusivo del petrolio, al saccheggio dei tesori archeologici e alla distruzione delle infrastrutture del mondo arabo.
Di coalizione in coalizione, sono state fomentate le guerre inter-religiose, esacerbati gli scismi, l’islam è stato infangato e i mussulmani demonizzati.
Di coalizione in coalizione, sono stati aperti camini di transumanza umana attraverso le terre, fino a frontiere recintate da filo spinato, e attraverso i mari, fino a una spiaggia dove un bambino con un pullover rosso si è accasciato, gli occhi fissi sulla sabbia umida, per non vedere più la crudeltà degli uomini.
Ai bei tempi delle coalizioni, per il mondo arabo è un continuo sanguinare, un continuo piangere, una rovina senza fine.
Ahmed Bensaada

http://ossin.org/uno-sguardo-al-mondo/analisi/1882-ai-bei-tempi-delle-coalizioni

La fregatura delle “primavere arabe”

February 6th, 2016 by Ahmed Bensaada

Analisi, gennaio 2016 - Il quotidiano algerino Reporters ha intervistato Ahmed Bensaada, in occasione dell’uscita del suo ultimo saggio “Arabesque$”, sul ruolo che hanno avuto gli Stati Uniti nelle “primavere arabe” (nella foto, Homs in rovina)
Ahmed Bensaada – intervista di Nordine Azzouz
Reporters: Sono passati cinque anni dalla cosiddetta “Primavera araba”. Il bilancio, con tutta evidenza, non è molto positivo, addirittura catastrofico per molti dei paesi coinvolti. Perché, secondo lei?
Ahmed Bensaada: “Non molto positivo” dice? Gli imponenti rivolgimenti che i benpensanti occidentali hanno precipitosamente ed erroneamente battezzato “primavera” hanno provocato solo caos, morte, odio, esilio e desolazione in molti paesi arabi. Bisognerebbe forse chiedere ai cittadini dei paesi arabi “primaverizzati” se la disastrosa situazione in cui si trovano attualmente possa definirsi primavera.
In proposito, i numeri sono eloquenti. Uno studio recente ha dimostrato che questa funesta stagione ha provocato, in soli cinque anni, più di 1,4 milioni di vittime (morti e feriti), cui occorre aggiungere più di 14 milioni di rifugiati. La “primavera” è costata ai paesi arabi più di 833 miliardi di dollari, di cui 461 in perdite di infrastrutture distrutte e siti storici devastati. D’altra parte la regione MENA (Middle East and Noth Africa – Medio Oriente e Africa del Nord) ha perso più di 103 milioni di turisti, una vera calamità per l’economia.
Homs in rovina
Nella prima edizione del mio libro “Arabesque américaine” (aprile 2011), ho denunciato l’ingerenza straniera in queste rivolte, e anche il carattere non spontaneo di questi movimenti. Certamente, prima di questi avvenimenti, i paesi arabi erano in una vera situazione di decrepitezza: assenza di alternanza politica, forte disoccupazione, democrazia embrionaria, bassi livelli di vita, diritti fondamentali violati, assenza di libertà di espressione, corruzione a tutti i livelli, favoritismi, fuga dei cervelli, ecc. Tutto ciò rappresenta un “terreno fertile” per la destabilizzazione. Nonostante, però, l’assoluta fondatezza delle rivendicazioni della piazza araba, ricerche approfondite hanno dimostrato che i giovani manifestanti e i cyber-attivisti arabi erano stati formati e finanziati da organizzazioni statunitensi specializzate nella “esportazione” della democrazia, come USAID, NED, Freedom House o l’Open Society del miliardario George Soros. E tutto ciò, già molti anni prima che Mohamed Bouazizi si immolasse col fuoco.
I manifestanti che hanno paralizzato le città arabe e che hanno sbullonato i vecchi autocrati arabi, seduti sulle loro poltrone di potere da decenni, rappresentano tuttavia una generazione piena di forza e di speranze.
Una gioventù istruita, che ha dimestichezza con le tecniche della resistenza non violenta e i suoi slogan efficaci. Le stesse tecniche teorizzate dal filosofo statunitense Gene Sharp e messe in pratica dagli attivisti serbi di Otpor durante le rivoluzioni colorate. Le stesse tecniche insegnate ai giovani manifestanti arabi dai fondatori di Otpor, nel loro centro CANVAS (Center for Applied Non Violent Action and Strategies), realizzato apposta per la formazione di dissidenti in erba.
Una gioventù ferrata nelle nuove tecnologie, i cui leader sono stati individuati, formati, messi in rete e sostenuti dai giganti statunitensi del Net, attraverso organizzazioni statunitensi come l’AYM (Alliance of Youth Movements).
Ma, proprio come gli attivisti delle rivoluzioni colorate, i cyber-dissidenti arabi sono preparati solo per decapitare i regimi. Essi sono infatti – probabilmente a loro insaputa – “incaricati” di favorire il crollo della vetta della piramide del potere. Non sanno assolutamente che cosa fare dopo, quando gli autocrati sono stati scacciati e il potere diventa vacante. Non hanno alcuna attitudine politica per guidare la transizione democratica che dovrebbe seguire la rivoluzione.
In un articolo sulle rivoluzioni colorate scritto nel 2007 dal giornalista Hernando Calvo Ospina ne Le Monde Diplomatique, si legge: “La distanza tra governanti e governati facilita il compito della NED e della sua rete di organizzazioni, che fabbricano migliaia di “dissidenti”, grazie ai dollari e alla pubblicità. Una volta ottenuto il cambiamento, la maggior parte di questi dissidenti, e delle loro organizzazioni, sparisce ingloriosamente dalla circolazione”.
Quindi, quando il ruolo assegnato ai cyber-attivisti si esaurisce, sono le forze politiche già attive ad occupare il vuoto creato dalla dissoluzione del vecchio establishment. Nel caso della Tunisia e dell’Egitto, sono stati i movimenti islamisti ad approfittare in un primo tempo della situazione, evidentemente aiutati dai loro alleati, come gli Stati Uniti, alcuni paesi occidentali ed arabi, e dalla Turchia, che doveva fungere da modello.
E’ evidente che questa “primavera” non ha niente a che vedere con gli slogan coraggiosamente scanditi dai giovani cyber-attivisti nella piazze arabe e che la democrazia è solo uno specchio per le allodole. Infatti, come ci si può non porre delle serie domande su questa “primavera”, quando si veda che gli unici paesi arabi che hanno subito questa stagione sono delle repubbliche? E’ un caso che nessuna monarchia araba sia stata toccata da questo tsunami “primaverile”, come se questi paesi fossero dei santuari della democrazia, della libertà e dei diritti dell’uomo? L’unico tentativo di sollevazione anti-monarchica, quello del Bahrein, è stato represso con violenza, con la collaborazione militare del Consiglio di cooperazione del Golfo (CCG), il silenzio complice dei media mainstream e la connivenza dei politici, al contrario tanto loquaci quando simili vicende hanno riguardato repubbliche arabe.
Questa “primavera” ha di mira la destabilizzazione di alcuni paesi arabi ben individuati in un quadro geopolitico ben più vasto, certamente quello del “Grande Medio Oriente”. Questa dottrina prevede il rimodellamento delle frontiere di una regione geografica che ospita paesi arabi ed altri paesi vicini, cancellando quelle ereditate dagli accordi di Sykes-Picot. Benché lanciato sotto la guida del presidente G.W.Bush e dei suoi falchi neoconservatori, questa teoria si ispira ad un progetto del 1982 di Odeon Yinon, un alto funzionario del ministero degli affari esteri israeliano. Il “Piano Yinon”, come lo si chiama, aveva in origine come obiettivo la “dissoluzione di tutti gli Stati arabi esistenti e il rimodellamento della regione in piccole entità fragili, più malleabili e non in grado di scontrarsi con gli Israeliani”.
E lo smembramento purtroppo è in corso.
A proposito del “Piano Yinon”
In questo quadro, la Tunisia però resta un’eccezione. Come si spiega?
Certo, a paragone della Libia, della Siria o dello Yemen, la situazione in Tunisia può sembrare interessante. Ma, in termini assoluti, la Tunisia non rappresenta un modello di successo, come vogliono farci credere i media mainstream. E non è il Premio Nobel recentemente assegnato alla Tunisia che può cambiare qualcosa. Quando si osservi a chi è stato conferito negli ultimi anni, è lecito d’altronde chiedersi seriamente a cosa serva questo premio. E i Tunisini che, loro sì, da cinque anni vivono la “primaverizzazione” del loro paese ne sanno qualcosa. Commentando questo quinto anniversario, alcuni blogger non sono stati teneri. “Unico paese democratico del Maghreb + Premio Nobel, tutto il resto è peggio del periodo ZABA (Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali)”. O ancora, con una punta di umorismo: “Ingiustizia sociale, tortura, impunità, ce ne freghiamo di essere premio Nobel”.
In una recente intervista al Figaro, il mio amico tunisino, il filosofo Mezri Haddad, ha dichiarato: “Dovunque, anche nella Tunisia che viene presentata come il buon paradigma rivoluzionario e a cui è stato assegnato il premio Nobel della pace, senza la cancellazione del suo debito estero cresciuto vertiginosamente in meno di 5 anni e senza azioni di sostegno della sua economia oggi agonizzante, la ‘primavera araba’ ha distrutto piuttosto che costruire”. Per poi aggiungere: “Dal 2011, la Tunisia è diventato il primo paese esportatore di mano d’opera islamo-terrorista, come la Libia e la Siria. I rapporti delle Nazioni Uniti sono raccapriccianti per il Tunisino che è in me. L’autore dell’ultimo attentato suicida a Ziten, in Libia, è un tunisino, come quello che ha cercato di colpire la moschea di Valencia, o quello che si è fatto ammazzare dinanzi al commissariato del XVIII° arrondissement di Parigi”.
In effetti la Tunisia resta ancora, di gran lunga, il maggiore fornitore al mondo di jihadisti in Siria. Triste record per un paese che si vuole far passare per un’eccezione che giustifichi la narrazione “primaverile”.
E tutto ciò, senza contare gli assassinii politici, gli attentati terroristici ciechi che hanno provocato tanti lutti e le sordide storie del “jihad al-nikah” (il jihad delle giovani ragazze, consistente nell’andare a fare le prostitute dei mujaheddin in Siria, ndt), divulgate dai giovani tunisini radicalizzati.
E non basta il viaggio dell’equipe del (premio) Goncourt al Museo del Bardo, ancora segnato dalle stimmate dell’attentato del 18 marzo 2015 (riferimento alla decisione di celebrare la cerimonia di assegnazione del premio Goncourt 2015 al Museo del Bardo, ndt), che le attribuirà il marchio di paese che ha realizzato con successo la transizione democratica. Questa forzatura francese non riuscirà in alcun modo a cancellare il ricordo dell’errore del ministro francese Michèle Allot-Marie, che aveva proposto un aiuto francese alla polizia di Ben Ali per “risolvere i problemi di sicurezza”, dunque per porre fine all’impertinenza dei manifestanti che avevano invaso l’avenue Bourguiba, durante la primavera tunisina.
E questi manifestanti che sventolavano la propria giovinezza come la bandiera di un futuro radioso, cosa pensano adesso, dopo aver costretto il presidente Ben Ali alla fuga, dell’età di questi “dinosauri” politici che lo hanno sostituito? Giudicate voi: Moncef Marzouki (71 anni), Rached Ghannouchi (75 anni) e, soprattutto, l’attuale presidente, Beji Caid Essebsi (90 anni). Si può davvero credere che una rivolta intrinsecamente giovane, definita “facebookiana”, possa essere rappresentata da gerontocrati, da ex cacicchi di regimi odiati, da islamisti bellicosi o da quelli che confondono l’interesse del paese con quello, sovranazionale, della loro confraternita (I Fratelli Mussulmani, ndt)?
Potevano mai immaginare che sarebbe stata un giorno approvata una legge elettorale per riabilitare gli ex seguaci di quel Ben Ali, che hanno combattuto con accanimento? Avrebbero mai potuto immaginare che cinque anni – giorno più, giorno meno – dopo la fuga di Ben Ali, Ridha Yahyaoui, un giovane diplomato disoccupato tunisino, si sarebbe ucciso a Kasserine per protestare contro i favoritismi nelle assunzioni, lo stesso flagello che avevano denunciato e contro cui si erano battuti? E che i moti che sono seguiti a questo dramma sarebbero stati duramente repressi? Cosa c’è di positivo in questa “primavera” tunisina se, cinque anni dopo, Yahyaoui ha imitato Bouazizi per le medesime ragioni?
Manifestazioni e scontri con la polizia a Kasserine (gennaio 2016)
Quali differenze, o precisazioni, richiede secondo lei l’analisi della situazione attuale in paesi come la Siria o la Libia, quest’ultimo per noi tanto importante per la vicinanza geografica e storica (l’intervistatrice è algerina, ndt)?
La guerra civile che attualmente infuria in Siria ha curiose somiglianze con quella che la ha preceduta in Libia: a) l’epicentro iniziale della rivolta siriana non era nella capitale, ma in una regione di frontiera (contrariamente alla Tunisia e all’Egitto); b) una “nuova antica” bandiera ha visto la luce come stendardo degli insorti; c) la fase non violenta della rivolta è stata molto breve; d) il coinvolgimento militare straniero (diretto o indiretto) ha rapidamente trasformato le sommosse non violente in una sanguinosa guerra civile.
In effetti, quando la teoria di Gene Sharp non funziona e gli insegnamenti di CANVAS non si rivelano fruttuosi, come nel caso della Libia e della Siria, le manifestazioni si trasformano assai rapidamente in guerra civile. Questa metamorfosi si opera grazie ad una palese ingerenza straniera da parte degli stessi paesi prima citati, tramite NATO (il caso della Libia) o di coalizioni eteroclite (il caso della Siria).
Così i paesi occidentali (con l’aiuto dei loro alleati arabi e regionali) passano senza scrupoli da un approccio non violento alla Gene Sharp, ad una guerra aperta, sanguinosa e omicida, in cui il sangue arabo scorre a fiumi.
L’effimera fase sharpiana delle manifestazioni popolari è stata utilizzata sia per giustificare l’intervento militare della NATO in Libia, che quello della coalizione anti-Bachar in Siria. La risoluzione 1973, che ha permesso la distruzione della Libia, è stata giustificata dalla falsa accusa che le forze lealiste di Gheddafi avrebbero ucciso non meno di 6000 persone tra la popolazione civile. Molti paesi hanno ritenuto peraltro che gli Stati Uniti, la Francia, la Gran Bretagna e i loro alleati abbiano aggirato e forzato questa risoluzione, consentendo alla NATO di andare oltre il mandato ottenuto dal Consiglio di Sicurezza. Sono soprattutto la Russia e la Cina che, “memori della lezione della risoluzione 1973”, hanno poi opposto il loro veto a qualsiasi risoluzione ONU di condanna della Siria e del presidente Bachar el-Assad. Se così non fosse stato, le televisioni mainstream del mondo intero ci avrebbero mostrato le immagini del presidente Bachar, col cuore divorato o la testa strappata dai jihadisti specializzati in questo, che pullulano in Siria grazie all’attiva collaborazione degli Occidentali e dei loro alleati.
D’altronde l’analisi delle email della signora Hillary Clinton ha dimostrato che le motivazioni dell’eliminazione di Gheddafi non avevano niente a che vedere con una qualsiasi volontà di democratizzazione della Libia, ma avevano a che fare con interessi strategici, economici, politici e con un celebre tesoro in oro. Lo stesso è per il presidente siriano.
E’ anche interessante notare che le analisi serissime di alcuni specialisti statunitensi hanno dimostrato che la guerra in Libia non era necessaria, e che avrebbe potuto essere evitate se gli Stati Uniti l’avessero permesso e che l’amministrazione USA ha facilitato la fornitura di armi e l’appoggio militare ad alcuni ribelli legati ad Al Qaeda.
D’altra parte, il contrammiraglio statunitense Charles R. Kubic ha rivelato che Gheddafi era disposto ad andarsene, per permettere la formazione di un governo di transizione a due condizioni. La prima era di avere garanzie che una forza militare, anche dopo la sua partenza, sarebbe rimasta per contrastare Al Qaeda, e la seconda era un lasciapassare e l’abolizione delle sanzioni contro di lui, la sua famiglia e i suoi fedeli.
Nuovi documenti accusano Hillary Clinton nel dossier libico
Da parte sua, l’ex presidente finlandese (1994-2000) e premio Nobel per la pace 2008, Martti Ahtisaari ha riconosciuto di essere stato incaricato dal governo russo di trovare una soluzione pacifica al conflitto siriano, e questo fin dall’inizio del 2012.
Il piano di risoluzione del conflitto siriano, presentato ai rappresentanti delle cinque nazioni membri permanenti del Consiglio di Sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite, comprendeva tre punti; 1) non armare l’opposizione 2) organizzare un dialogo tra l’opposizione e Bachar el-Assad; 3) permettere a Bachar el-Assad di ritirarsi elegantemente.

Secondo Martti Ahtisaari, nessun seguito ha avuto la presentazione di questa proposta ai rappresentati statunitense, britannico e francese.

E’ chiaro dunque che l’obiettivo di questa “primavera” non ha nulla a che vedere con la democrazia e i diritti umani in Libia e in Siria (e dovunque nella regione MENA), ma era soltanto l’eliminazione fisica dei presidenti Gheddafi e Bachar el-Assad, a costo di distruggere questi due paesi e di liquidare migliaia di Arabi, a costo di finanziare degli jihadisti mangiatori di cuori e tagliatori di teste e offendersi quando essi rivolgono le loro armi contro i loro creatori.
In senso del tutto opposto, ciò che viene chiamata “primavera”, nel caso libico e siriano, è un esempio di scuola di guerra civile fomentata dall’estero col pretesto dei diritti dell’uomo.
Attualmente questi due paesi sono terre di instabilità politica e rifugio di terroristi di Daesh, apertamente finanziati da alcuni paesi occidentali, da paesi arabi e potenze regionali.
Nel quadro di questa forte turbolenza politica e di ingerenza straniera aggressiva, l’Algeria è stata uno dei bersagli di punta, e lo resta tuttora. Ricordiamo che anche dei giovani Algerini hanno partecipato ai corsi di formazione dei Serbi di CANVAS e che numerosi paesi hanno scommesso sulla “primaverizzazione” (violenta o meno) dell’Algeria. I pessimi ricordi del decennio nero e la inconsistenza della CNCD (Coordinamento nazionale per il cambiamento e la democrazia) hanno fatto sì che le cose andassero in un altro modo.
Attualmente la situazione libica è evidentemente assai preoccupante per la sicurezza e la stabilità dell’Algeria. Alcune stime indicano in 300 il numero delle milizie armate presenti in Libia e notano che esse sono saldamente collegate alle omologhe formazioni tunisine. Infatti, secondo un resoconto della Commissione affari esteri dell’Assemblea Nazionale Francese dello scorso novembre, “tutti i recenti attentati in Tunisia sono stati organizzati e pianificati dalla Libia”.
Così, e in senso contrario alle dichiarazioni bellicose e malintenzionate di Sarkozy – uno dei maggiori responsabili della distruzione della Libia – è piuttosto l’Algeria che dovrebbe attualmente lamentarsi della propria “collocazione geografica” confinante con la Tunisia e con la Libia. Ciò è tanto più vero, dal momento che la collaborazione tra Daesh e i movimenti terroristi del Sahel risulta sempre più evidente, ciò che dà ancor più filo da torcere all’Algeria nel mettere in sicurezza la propria regione meridionale.
Ne consegue dunque in modo evidente che, anche se l’Algeria non è stata direttamente toccata da questa lugubre stagione, la “primaverizzazione” dei suoi vicini le pone grandi sfide.
Le dichiarazioni incendiarie di Nicolas Sarkozy contro l’Algeria
Nel suo libro “Arabesque$”, di cui è appena uscita una nuova edizione riveduta e arricchita, lei avanza la tesi di un grande coinvolgimento e di una grande responsabilità degli Stati Uniti nelle “primavere arabe”, un impegno statunitense che lei assimila né più né meno che ad operazioni di destabilizzazione degli Stati e dei governi in carica nel mondo arabo. Fino a che punto, al di là della tesi, e in base a quali circostanze di fatto, lei continua a condividere tale analisi?
Quando la prima versione del mio libro intitolato “Arabesque américaine” venne pubblicata nell’aprile 2011, essa venne accolta con molto scetticismo, in quanto la tesi che vi si sosteneva si scontrava con l’euforia “primaverile” diffusa e introduceva una nota dissonante in un unanimismo estatico. Questa soddisfazione di fronte ad una “rivoluzione” araba immacolata, organizzata da una bella gioventù istruita e impetuosa, non doveva essere in alcun modo macchiata da accuse che, alla fine dei conti, non potevano che essere calunniose. Questa è la narrazione divulgata dai media mainstream e da molti specialisti “catodici”, di cui ancora residua qualche esemplare cocciuto.
Bisogna riconoscere che contraddire il romanticismo rivoluzionario portato al suo parossismo, solo qualche settimana dopo la caduta di Ben Ali e di Mubarak, era sintomo sicuro di una incosciente temerarietà.
Tuttavia la tesi sostenuta in questo libro – che contiene più di 260 riferimenti tutti facilmente verificabili – è stata meticolosamente elaborata attraverso l’analisi di molti libri, documenti ufficiali, rapporti, cabli WikiLeaks, ecc.
E’ chiaro che non sono stati gli Stati Uniti a provocare la “primavera” araba. Come già spiegato, la situazione politica e socioeconomica dei paesi arabi costituiva un terreno fertile alla dissidenza e alla rivolta. Però l’ingerenza statunitense in questo processo non è stata irrilevante, per niente. Il ruolo fondamentale svolto dalle organizzazioni specializzate nella “esportazione” della democrazia e nella maggior parte dei casi sovvenzionate dal governo USA, i corsi di formazione teorica e pratica alla resistenza non violenta dispensati da CANVAS, la costituzione di una “lega araba del Net”, capace di utilizzare le nuove tecnologie, l’elaborazione di strumenti di navigazione anonimi, distribuiti gratuitamente ai cyber-attivisti, la stretta collaborazione tra i cyber-dissidenti e le ambasciate statunitensi nei paesi arabi, l’importanza delle somme investite, l’impegno militare e le mosse diplomatiche di alto livello lo confermano. E siccome la politica estera degli Stati Uniti non è mai stata un modello di filantropia, occorre arrendersi all’evidenza che gli Statunitensi hanno fortemente influenzato il corso degli avvenimenti. Senza dimenticare che tutte queste attività sono state avviate anni prima dell’avvio della “primavera” araba.
Mano mano che il tempo passava, la natura perfida di queste “rivoluzioni” è diventata chiara, le lingue si sono sciolte e nuovi documenti sono comparsi. Non solo niente è venuto a smentire la mia tesi, ma essa è risultata straordinariamente confermata. E’ questo che ha reso necessaria una nuova versione del libro, intitolata “Arabesque$ – Inchiesta sul ruolo degli Stati Uniti nelle rivolte arabe”, pubblicata nel settembre 2015. Rispetto all’edizione precedente, la nuova contiene più di 600 riferimenti e il numero di pagine è quasi triplicato.
Tra i documenti espliciti, citiamo a titolo di esempio lo studio realizzato nel 2008 dalla RAND Corporation (Ufficio studi dell’esercito USA), che è stato utilizzato come base per la politica statunitense di “esportazione” della democrazia verso i paesi arabi, fondata sulla formazione, il sostegno e la messa in rete di attivisti provenienti da questi paesi.
Anche un altro documento merita di essere menzionato. E’ un rapporto del Dipartimento di Stato USA, redatto nel 2010 e ottenuto nel 2014, grazie alla legge sulla libertà di informazione. Questo rapporto spiega chiaramente “l’elaborata struttura dei programmi del Dipartimento di Stato miranti a creare organizzazioni della “società civile”, in particolare organizzazioni non governative (ONG), con l’obiettivo di modificare la politica interna dei paesi presi di mira, orientandola in modo da assecondare la politica estera degli Stati Uniti e i suoi obiettivi di sicurezza nazionale. Pur utilizzando un linguaggio prettamente diplomatico, il documento precisa che l’obiettivo è la promozione e il pilotaggio dei cambiamenti politici nei paesi presi di mira”.
Il coinvolgimento degli Stati Uniti nella “primavera araba” non è quindi una fantasia politica. Esso è apertamente riconosciuto dalla stessa amministrazione USA. E’ questo che viene spiegato, con molti dettagli, nel libro “Arabesque$”.
Presentazione di Michel Collon del libro “Arabesque$”
Condivide l’affermazione che “le primavere arabe sono finite”? Quali possibili scenari vede in Siria e soprattutto in Libia, paese nel quale stenta a trovarsi una soluzione politica e in relazione al quale si fanno, soprattutto in Europa, progetti di intervento militare?
Occorre anche dire che la “primavera” araba non è mai stata una primavera, viste le conseguenze disastrose che ha avuto per le popolazioni, né è stata intrinsecamente araba, dal momento che i movimenti di contestazione sono stati ampiamente infiltrati da organizzazioni straniere, soprattutto statunitensi.
Il processo di “primaverizzazione” del mondo aravo è giunto alla fine? Sicuramente sì, i popoli arabi non sono sciocchi. Gli esempi della selvaggia distruzione della Libia, della Siria e dello Yemen sono sufficienti a convincere anche i più riottosi-
Il mondo arabo ha imperativamente bisogno di grandi cambiamenti in molti settori della società: politico, socioeconomico, culturale, libertà di espressione, diritti umani, ecc. Ma questi cambiamenti si devono realizzare distruggendo i paesi e permettendo il risorgere di pratiche medioevali che seminano morte, odio e desolazione? Certamente no.
D’altra parte questi cambiamenti non devono in alcun modo essere funzionali ad agende straniere, e i paesi arabi non devono consentire che le loro terre diventino terreno di gioco delle potenze, su cui possano realizzare guerre “low cost”, nelle quali solo il sangue arabo viene versato.
E’ il caso della Siria, nella misura in cui questo paese è attualmente il teatro di scontro (diretto o indiretto) di molti belligeranti, ciascuno con la sua propria ambizione, diversa da quelle degli stessi Siriani.
Per quanto riguarda la Libia, qualsiasi nuovo intervento militare occidentale in questo paese rischia di avere delle conseguenze indesiderabili nel territorio algerino. E’ per questa ragione che l’Algeria è fermamente contraria a questa eventualità e compie ogni sforzo per trovare una soluzione politica a questo conflitto, per far sedere attorno ad uno stesso tavolo tutte le diverse fazioni in conflitto.
Perché è solo consentendo ai cittadini dello stesso paese di discutere insieme, in buona fede, tenendo conto dei loro interessi nazionali e non di quelli degli altri, che il mondo arabo riuscirà a uscire dalla situazione di profonda decadenza nella quale si è insabbiato.

Muy interesante entrevistde Nordine Azzouz, publicada en el periódico argelino Reportersa nuestro compañero Ahmed Bensaada,  sobre sus libros: Arabesco Americano y Arabescos$,   y concretamente sobre las llamadas “primaveras árabes”, que “solo han generado el caos, la muerte, el odio, el exilio y la desolación”. Importante leerla para conocerlo todo sobre las  más que orquestadas “Primaveras”.

Purificación González de la Blanca
Ojos para la Paz


Ahmed Bensaada, universitario argelino instalado en Canadá desde hace muchos años, sigue atentamente las mutaciones y trastornos en el Magreb y en Oriente Medio, a los cuales ha consagrado numerosos escritos, coloquios y conferencias…Sobre las Primaveras árabes él ha mantenido desde el principio una mirada muy crítica, que ha sintetizado en un libro, Arabesco Americano, y luego Arabesco$, una nueva versión corregida y enriquecida, de una actualidad ardiente más que nunca.Cinco años después! 

ENTREVISTA REALIZADA POR NORDINE AZZOUZ

Traducción: Purificación González de la Blanca


Las ruinas de la ciudad siria de Homs – 10 de mayo 2014 – (Ghassan Najjar/Reuters)

 

Periodista: Cinco años han pasado desde lo que se ha llamado  las “primaveras árabes”. El balance de la situación, vemos, no es muy satisfactorio, incluso catastrófico en muchos de los países concernidos . ¿Por qué, a su parecer?

Ahmed Bensaada: “No es muy satisfactorio”, dice usted? Estos grandes  trastornos  que el bien pensante Occidente  ha precipitadamente y falaciosamente bautizado como “Primavera” no ha  generado más que el caos, la muerte, el odio, el exilio y la desolación en numerosos  países árabes.   Sería preciso tal vez  preguntar a los ciudadanos de los países árabes “primaverizados” si la desastrosa situación en la que ello viven  puede ser calificada de primaveral.

Y las cifras son elocuentes al respecto. Un estudio reciente ha mostrado  que esta funesta estación  ha causado, en cinco años, más de 1,4 millones de víctimas (muertos y heridos),  a los que hay que sumar más de 14 millones de refugiados. Esta “primavera”  ha costado a los países árabes sobre 833 mil millones,  de los cuales  461 mil millones corresponden a párdidas en infraestructuras deestruidas y lugares históricos devastados.  Por otra parte, la región MENA (Oriente Medio y Norte de África ) ha perdido más de 103 millones de turistas, una verdadera calamidad   para la economía.

Con  la publicación de la primera versión de mi libro “Arabesco Americano” (abril de 2011),  he puesto en evidencia  la injerencia extranjera en estas revueltas que han afectado a la calle árabe y la no espontaneidad de estos movimientos. Es cierto que  los países árabes estaban antes de estos acontecimientos, en un cierto estado de decrepitud: ausencia de alternancia política,  alto desempleo, democracia embrionaria, la infelicidad, derechos fundaentales vulnerados,  falta de libertad de expresión, la corrupción a todos los niveles, el favoritismo,  fuga de cerebros, etc. Todo esto representa un “caldo de cultivo” para la desestabilización. Pero aunque  las reivindicaciones de la calle árabe son reales, las investigaciones llevadas a cabo han demostrado que los jóvenes  manifestantes y ciberactivistas árabes  habían sido instruidos y financiados  por organizaciones estadounidenses especializadas en la “exportación” de la democracia, como la USAID, la  NED, Freedom House  o la Open Society del  multimillonario George Soros.  Y todo esto, años antes de la auto-inmolación de Mohamed Bouazizi.

Estos manifestantes que han paralizado las ciudades árabes y que han desacreditado a los viejos autócratas árabes que se sientan en el poder  desde hace décadas, sin embargo, representan sin embargo  una juventud llena de pasión y de promesas.

Una juventud educada,  empuñando con brío las técnicas de resistencia no violenta y sus consignas. Estas mismas técnicas que han sido teorizadas por el filósofo estadounidense Gene Sharp y  puestas en práctica por los activistas serbios de Otpor  en las revoluciones de colores. Estas mismas técnicas enseñadas  a los jóvenes  manifestantes árabes por los fundadores de Otpor en su centro CANVAS (Center for Applied Acción Noviolenta y Estrategias) diseñadas especialmente para la formación de los disidentes en ciernes.

Una juventud  entusiasta de las  nuevas tecnologías cuyos líderes han sido puestos en el blanco, formados, entrenados en la red y sostenidos por los gigantes  estadounidenses del Net, con la mediación de organismos de Estados Unidos como AYM (Alianza de Movimientos Juveniles).

Pero así como los activistas de las revoluciones de colores, los ciberdisidentes árabes no son entrenados nada más que para descabezar  los regímenes. Ellos son en realidad – probablemente sin darse cuenta -  comandados  para llevar a cabo la caída de la cima de la pirámide del poder. Ellos no tienen competencia  alguna sobre el camino  a seguir cuando los autócratas son cazados y el poder queda vacante. Ellos no tienen ninguna capacidad política para conducir esta transición democrática que debiera seguir,  este importante cambio.

En un artículo sobre las revoluciones de colores escrrito en 2007 por el periodista Hernando Calvo Ospina en las columnas de Le Monde diplomatique, leemos: “la distancia entre gobernantes y gobernados facilita la tarea del NED y de su red de organizaciones, que fabrican miles de “disidentes” gracias a los dólares y a la  publicidad.  Una vez logrado el cambio, la mayor parte de entre ellos, así como sus organizaciones de todo tipo,  desaparecen sin gloria de la circulación”.

Por lo tanto, una vez que el papel atribuido a los ciberactivistas  se acaba,  son las fuerzas políticas en el lugar, al acecho de cualquier cambio importante, las que ocupan el vacío creado por la desaparición del antiguo régimen. En el caso de Túnez y Egipto, fueron los movimientos islamistas los que aprovecharon en un primer momento la situación,  evidentemente  ayudados por sus aliados tales como Estados Unidos, algunos  países occidentales y   árabes, y Turquía, que debía servir de modelo.

Está claro que esta “primavera” no tiene nada que ver con las consignas coreadas por los jóvenes ciberactivistas activistas en las calles árabes y que la democracia no es más que un señuelo. En efecto, ¿cómo no plantearse preguntas serias sobre esta  “la primavera” cuando se constata que los únicos países árabes que han sufrido esta estación  son las repúblicas? ¿Es una casualidad que ninguna monarquía árabe haya sido visto tocada por este tsunami “primaveral”, como si estos países fueran santuarios de la democracia, de la libertad y de los derechos humanos? La única tentativa de sublevación anti-monárquica, la de Bahrein,  ha sido violentamente reprimida por la colaboración militar del Consejo de Cooperación del Golfo (CCG), el silencio cómplice de los grandes medios de comunicación y la connivencia de los políticos sin embargo, tan locuaces cuando eventos similares han tocado algunas repúblicas árabes.

Esta “primavera” tiende a la desestabilización de algunos países árabes en el objetivo en un marco geopolítico  mucho más grande, muy ciertamente el del   “Gran Medio Oriente”. Esta doctrina preconiza  la remodelación de las fronteras de una región geográfica, reagrupando a los países árabes  y a algunos países del entorno,  poniendo así  fin a las herencias  de los Acuerdos Sykes-Picot. Lanzada bajo el liderazgo del presidenteG.W. Bush y sus halcones neoconservadores, este proyecto se basa en una idea teorizado en 1982 por Oded Yinon, un alto funcionario del Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores de Israel. El “Plan Yinon” como se le llama, tenía nicialmente como objetivo  “deshacer todos los estados árabes existentes y reorganizar el conjunto de la región  en pequeñas entidades frágiles, más  maleables e incapaces de hacer frente a los Israelíes”.

Y la partición desgraciadamente está en curso…

 

A propósito del “Plan Yinon”

 

En ese marco, Túnez sigue siendo una excepción. ¿Cómo se puede explicar?

Ciertamente, en comparación con Libia, Siria o Yemen, la situación en Túnez puede parecer interesante.  Pero no lo es en absoluto, Túnez no es un modelo exitoso tal y como quieren hacernos creer  los grandes medios de comunicación.

Y este no es el Premio Nobel otorgado recientemente a Túnez  el que ha cambiado algo allí. Cuando vemos a los que fueron  galardonados en los últimos años, uno se pregunta seriamente a quien sirve este premio. Y los  tunecinos que ellos mismos viven  desde hace cinco años la “primaverización” de su país saben algo. Comentando este quinto aniversario, algunos bloggers no han sido suaves. “Único paíes democrático del Magreb democrático + Premio Nobel, todo lo demás es peor que el período ZABA (Zine El Abidine Ben Ali).” O, con un toque de humor: “Injusticia social, tortura, impunidad, no  importa somos premios  Nobel.”

En una reciente entrevista con Le Figaro, mi amigo de Túnez, filósofo Mezri Haddad, he declarado: “En todas partes, comprendido Túnez que se presenta como el buen paradigma revolucionario y que ha recibido  el Premio Nobel de la Paz falta  borrar su deuda externa que se ha vulto vertiginosa  en menos de  5 años, y apoyar su economía,  hoy agonizante, la “primavera árabe” ha destruido más de lo que se ha construido”.

Antes de agregar:   ”Desde 2011, Túnez se ha convertido en el primer país exportador  de mano de obra islámo-terrorista, tanto en Libia como en Siria. Los Informes de las Naciones Unidas  son abrumadores para el Túnez que yo conozco.  El autor del  último atentado suicida en  Zliten, en Libia,  es un tunecino, como el que ha atacado la mezquita de Valence, o el que acaba de ser abatido ante la Comisaría del XVIIIe   distrito de París”.

En efecto, Túnez sigue siendo, con mucho, el mayor proveedor del mundo de jihadistas del Daesh en Siria. Triste récord para un país que quiere pasar por la excepción que justifica la terminología primaveral.

Y esto, sin contar los asesinatos políticos, los atentados terroristas indiscriminados que han eclipsado el país y las historias sórdidas de “Jihad al-nikah” popularizada por los jóvenes tunecinos  radicalizados.

Y no es el traslado de la familia de Goncourt al Museo del Bardo todavía marcado por las cicatrices del atentado del 18 de marzo 2015 el que le dará el sello de un país que tiene una transición democrática exitosa. Este “impulso” francés no borará de ninguna manera la equivocación de la ministra francesa, Michèle Alliot-Marie, que había propuesto el  modelo francés a  la policía de Ben Ali  “para resolver la situación de seguridad”,   la historia era  poner fin a la impertinencia de los manifestantes  que habían invadido la Avenida Bourguiba.

Y esos manifestantes que enarbolaban su juventud como bandera  de un futuro radiante, qué  piensan, después de haber empujado al presidente Ben Ali en la salida, de la edad de estos “dinosaurios” políticos que lo han sustituido? Juzgue usted mismo: Moncef Marzouki (71 años), Rached Ghannouchi (75 años) y, especialmente, el actual Presidente, Beji Caid Essebsi (90 años). ¿Se puede realmente  creer que   una revuelta joven, calificada como “faceboukiana”  puede ser representado por gerontócratas, antiguos caciques de  regímenes vilipendiados,  islamistas belicosos que confunden el interés del país con el de ellos,   supranacional, de su hermandad?

Pensaban que un día una ley electoral sería votada para rehabilitar a los antiguos partidarios de Ben Ali que lucharon ferozmente?

¿Habrían imaginado que cinco años – casi día a día  – después de la salida de Ben Ali,  Ridha Yahyaoui, un joven diplomado y desempleado tunecino, se provocaría la mure  en Kasserine para protestar contra el favoritismo en la contratación,  flagelo que ellos habían denunciado y contra el cual luchaban? Y los disturbios que siguieron a esta tragedia duramente  reprimidos ?

¿Qué ha tenido de positivo en esta “primavera” tunecina si, cinco años más tarde, Yahyaoui imita a Bouazizi por las mismas razones?

 

Los disturbios en Kasserine (enero de 2016)

 

¿Qué diferencia o matiz analítico se debe tener, en su opinión, en el análisis de las realidades actuales en países como Siria o Libia, países que nos preocupan principalmente por su vecindad y proximidad?

La guerra civil que se está librando actualmente en Siria tiene curiosas  similitudes con la que se ha mantenido en Libia: a) el epicentro inicial de la revuelta siria no estaba situado en la capital, sino en una región fronteriza (a diferencia de Túnez y Egipto); b) una “nueva edad” bandera apareció como estndarte  de los insurgentes; c) la fase no violenta de la revuelta fue muy corta; d) la implicación militar extranjera (directa o indirecta) ha transformado  rápidamente los disturbios no violentos en una sangrienta guerra civil.

En efecto,   cuando la teoría de Gene Sharp no funciona  y  las enseñanzas de la CANVAS  no tienen éxito como en el caso de Libia y de  Siria, las manifestaciones  se convierten rápidamente en una guerra civil. Esta metamorfosis se opera gracias a una ostensible  injerencia extranjera incluso de  los mismos países mencionados anteriormente a través de la OTAN (como en Libia) o de coaliciones heterogéneas (como en Siria).

Así, los países occidentales (con la ayuda de sus aliados árabes y regionales) pueden pasar, sin escrúpulos, de un enfoque no violento a lo Gene Sharp en una guerra abierta, sangrienta y asesina donde  fluye la sangre árabe.

La efímera fase sharpiana de las manifestaciones populares ha sido incluso utilizada para justificar la intervención militar de la OTAN en Libia o de la coalición  anti-Bashar en Siria. La Resolución 1973 que permitió la destrucción de Libia fue justificada por la falsa acusación según la cual las fuerzas leales a Gaddafi habrían provocado  no menos de 6.000 muertes en la población civil. Numerosos países también han estimado que los Estados Unidos, Francia, Gran Bretaña y sus aliados han desvirtuado y abusado de esta resolución permitiendo a  la OTAN  sobrepasar el mandato del Consejo de Seguridad. Se trata en particular de Rusia y de  China, que comprendiendo  ” la lección de la Resolución 1973″, oponen sus vetos a cualquier resolución de la ONU de condena  a Siria  o a su   presidente,  Bashar Al-Assad. Si no uera por esto, las principales cadenas de televisión del mundo entero nos habrían mostrado las  imágenes del presidente Bashar, con el corazón devorado o la cabeza arrancada  por  los yihadistas especializados en la materia que pululan en Siria gracias a la colaboración activa de los Occidentales  y sus aliados.

Por otra parte, el estudio de los correos electrónicos de la señora  Hillary Clinton ha mostrado que los motivos de la eliminación de Kadhafi no tenían nada que ver con cualquier voluntad de democratización  de Libia, sino que ponían de relevancia intereses estratégicos, económicos, políticos y un famoso tesoro en oro. Lo mismo sucede en el caso del  presidente sirio.

También es interesante anotar que las investigaciones muy serias llevadas a cabo por expertos de Estados Unidos han mostrado  que la guerra en Libia no era necesaria, que habría podido ser evitada  si los Estados Unidos lo hubieran permitido,  y que la administración  norteamericana facilitó  el suministro de armas y apoyo militar a los rebeldes vinculados a Al Qaeda.

Por otra parte, el Contralmirante de  los EE.UU. retirado,  Charles R. Kubic  ha revelado  que Gadafi estaba dispuesto a partir  para permitir el establecimiento de un gobierno de transición con dos condiciones. La primera era  la de asegurarse, después de su partida, que iba a quedar una  fuerza militar  para acabar con Al Qaeda,  y, la segunda,  pedía un salvoconducto así como el levantamiento de sanciones  contra él, su familia y sus seguidores.

 

Grabaciones secretas acusan a Hillary Clinton en el caso de Libia

Por su parte, el ex presidente de Finlandia (1994-2000) y Premio Nobel de la Paz (2008), Martti Ahtisaari, reconoció haber sido mandatado por la administración rusa  para encontrar una solución pacífica al conflicto sirio y esto desde principios  del año 2012.

El plan de resolución del conflicto sirio propuesto a los representantes de los cinco países miembros permanentes del Consejo de Seguridad de las Naciones Unidas comprendía  tres puntos: 1) no armar a la oposición; 2) organizar un diálogo entre la oposición y Bashar Al-Assad; 3) permitir a Bashar Al-Assad  retirarse elegantemente.

Según Martti Ahtisaari, ninguna opción fue tomada después de la presentación de esta propuesta a los representantes  estadounidense, británico y francés.

Parece por lo tanto claro que el objetivo de esta “primavera” no tiene nada que ver con la democracia y los derechos humanos en Libia y Siiria (y en otros lugares de la región MENA), sino  la eliminación física de los presidentes Gadafi y Bashar Al Assad, incluso destruir a  estos dos países y  liquidar a miles de árabes,  y financiar a jihadistas  comedores de corazones y cortadores de  cabezas.  Y   se ofenden  cuando ellos vuelven sus armas  contra sus creadores.

Muy por el contrario, lo que se llama “primavera” en los casos de Libia y Siria son ejemplos pedagógicos  de guerras civiles fomentadas desde el extranjero en virtud de razones de derecho de los derechistas.

Actualmente, ambos países son tierras de inestabilidad  geopolítica y guaridas de jihadistas daeschianos,  abiertamente financiados  por los países occidentales, los países árabes y  potencias regionales.

En el marco de esta fuerte turbulencia política y de injerencia  exterior agresiva, Argelia ha sido un blanco de elección y queda  siempre. Recordemos que los jóvenes argelinos han también participado en la formación de Serbes de CANVAS y quenumerosos  países han apostado por la  “primaverización” (violenta o no) de Argelia. Los malos recuerdos del decenio negro  y lo efímero de la  CNCD  (Coordinación Nacional para el Cambio y la Democracia) han decidido lo contrario.

Actualmente, la situación de Libia es evidentemente muy preocupante para la seguridad y estabilidad de Argelia. Algunos observadores estiman en 300 el número de milicias armadas en Libia y advierten   de que están fuertemente relacionados con sus homólogos tunecinos. En efecto,  de acuerdo con un informe de la Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores de la Asamblea Nacional francesa  fechado en noviembre último, ” el conjunto  de los atentados recientes en Túnez  han sido organizados y planificados desde Libia”

Así, y contrariamente a las declaraciones belicosas y malintencionadas de  Nicolas Sarkozy, – uno de los mayores responsables de la destrucción de Libia – es más bien  Argelia  quien ahora  debería quejarse de su “emplazamiento geografíco” fronterizo  con Túnez y Libia. Esto es aún más verdad que la colaboración entre Daech en Libia y los movimientos terroristas del Sahel es cada vez más evidente, lo que plantea todavía más dificultades  a Argelia para asegurar su Sur.

Se ve por tanto, bien  que incluso si Argelia no  ha sido directamente tocada por esta lúgubre estación, la “primaverización”  de sus vecinos le plantea desafíos mayores.

 

La declaración incendiaria de Nicolas Sarkozy contra Argelia

 

En su libro “Arabesque$*” que se acaba de apreciar una nueva edición revisada y enriquecida,  la tesis que defiende  es la de una gran implicación y compromiso norteamericano que usted identifica ni más ni menos que con la desestabilización de los estados y regímenes en el mundo árabe. ¿Hasta qué punto, más allá de la tesis, y sobre las cuestiones de hecho concretas, continúa  defendiendo este análisis?

Cuando fue publicada  la primera versión de mi libro titulado “Arabesco Americano”  en abril de 2011, fue recibida con mucho escepticismo porque la tesis  que allí desarrollaba se oponía a la euforia  “primaveral” ambiente y venía a poner  un bemol a una unanimida estática. Esta beatitud  frente a una  “revolución” árabe  inmaculada, orquestada por una hermosa juventud educada e impetuosa no debía en ningún caso  ser manchada por  acusaciones que, en cualquier caso, no podían más que ser calumniosas. Este discurso ha sido mantenido por los grandes medios de comunicación y muchos expertos “catódicos”  donde subsisten todavía algunos especímenes reticentes.

Hay que reconocer que oponerse al romanticismo  revolucionario que llegó a su paroxismo, apenas unas semanas después de la caída de Ben Alí y de Moubarak,  revestía ciertamente una inconsciente temeridad.

Sin embargo, la tesis presentada en este libro – que contiene más de 260 referencias fácilmente verificables -  ha sido meticulosamente elaborada gracias al análisis de numerosos libros, documentos oficiales, informes de actividades,  cables de Wikileaks, etc.

Es evidente que no son los Estados Unidos quienes han provocado directamente  la “primavera” árabe. Como se explicó anteriormente, la situación política y socioeconómica de los países árabes es un terreno fértil para la disidencia y rebeldía. Sin embargo, la implicación norteamericana  en este proceso no es trivial, ni mucho menos.  El papel principal de los organismos  especializados en la “exportación” de la democracia y mayoritariamente   financiados por el gobierno de los Estados Unidos, las formaciones teóricas y prácticas en la resistencia no violenta proporcionada por CANVAS, la constitución de una  “Liga Árabe del  Net” para el  dominio de  las nuevas tecnologías, el desarrollo de herramientas de navegación anónimos, gratuitamente   distribuidos a los ciberactivistas, la estrecha colaboración entre los ciberdisidentes y las embajadas de Estados Unidos en los países árabes, las sumas de dinero que se han invertido, el compromiso militar y las gesticuaciones diplomáticas de alto nivel lo confirman. Y como la política exterior de los Estados Unidos jamás  ha sido un modelo de filantropía, hay que rendirse a la evidencia de que los estadounidenses han influido de manera significativa el curso de los acontecimientos. Por no hablar de que todas estas acciones han sido emprendidas desde años antes del inicio de la  “primavera” árabe.

A medida que el tiempo avanzaba, la naturaleza pérfida  de estas “revoluciones” ha sido revelada, las lenguas se han soltado  y  han salido a la superficie  nuevos documentos. No solamente nada ha venido a desmentir mi tesis sino que ésta ha sido notablemente confirmada.  Esto es lo que justifica la elaboración de una nueva versión del libro, titulado  “Arabesque$-   Informe sobre el papel de los EE.UU. en las revueltas árabes” y editado en septiembre de 2015. En comparación con el anterior trabajo, el nuevo aporta  más de 600 referencias y el número de páginas  casi se ha  triplicado.

Entre los documentos  explícitos citamos, por ejemplo, el estudio realizado en 2008 por la RAND Corporation (Oficina de Estudios del Ejército de Estados Unidos), que ha servido de base  para  una política estadounidense de  “exportación” de la democracia  hacia los  países árabes basada sobre  la  formación, el apoyo y la creación de redes de activistas provenientes de estos países.

Otro documento merece también ser mencionado. Se trata de un informe proveniente del Departamento de Estado norteamericano, redactado en 2010 y obtenido en 2014 gracias a la ley de libertad de información.

Este informe explica claramente ”la elaborada estructura de los programas del Departamento de Estado con miras a crear organizaciones de la” sociedad civil “, en particular las organizaciones no gubernamentales (ONG), con el objetivo  de modificar la política interna de los países destinatarios a favor  de la política exterior de los Estados Unidos y sus objetivos de seguridad nacional.  Siempre utilizando un lenguaje diplomático, el documento – precisa que  el objetivo es la promoción y el seguimiento de los cambios de política en los países en el objetivo”.

La implicación de los Estados Unidos en la “primavera” árabe no es pues un mero producto de la imaginación. Su existencia es reconocida abiertamente por la misma administración americana. Esto es lo que se explica con  gran detalle en el libro ” Arabesque$”

 

 

¿Está de acuerdo con la afirmación según la cual “las primaveras árabes, se acabaron! “? ¿Qué escenarios posibles  ves en Siria y sobre todo en Libia, países cuyos actores están luchando para ponerse de acuerdo sobre una solución política y para los cuales existen  previsiones en  Europa concretamente de compromiso militar?

Corra la voz: la “primavera” árabe nunca ha sido una primavera  vistas  sus desastrosas consecuencias sobre las poblaciones, ni intrínsecamente  árabe porque los movimientos de contestación han sido ampliamente infiltrados por organismos extranjeros, esencialmente estadounidenses.

¿Está llegando a su fin el proceso de “primaverización” del mundo árabe?  Ciertamente. Los pueblos árabes no se deja engañar. Los ejemplos de la salvaje destrucción de Libia, Siria y Yemen son suficientes para convencer a los más recalcitrantes.

El mundo árabe necesita imperativamente  realizar cambios importantes en diferentes ámbitos de la sociedad: político, socioeconómico, cultural, la libertad de expresión, los derechos humanos, etc. Pero debemos realizar estos cambios destruyendo los paises y permitir el resurgimiento de prácticas medievales sembrando la muerte, el odio y la desolación? Por supuesto que no.

Por otra parte, estos cambios no deben en modo alguno obedecer ni beneficiar  a agendas extranjeras,  y  los países árabes no deben prestarse a que sus territorios  se conviertan en el terreno de juego de las potencias sobre el que orquestan las guerras  ”low cost”  donde  sólo se vierte la sangre árabe.

Este es el caso de Siria, en la medida en que este país es actualmente el escenario de confrontación (directo o indirecto) de numerosos beligerantes, cada uno con su propia ambición, lejos de la de los propios sirios.

En cuanto a Libia, cualquier nueva intervención militar occidental en ese país puede tener consecuencias indeseables sobre el territorio argelino. Es por esta razón que Argelia se opone firmemente a esta posibilidad y no escatima ningún  esfuerzo para encontrar una solución política a este conflicto y  hacer sentarse  en la misma mesa las distintas facciones en conflicto.

Porque solo  permitiendo  a  los ciudadanos de un mismo país discutir juntos, de buena fe, teniendo en cuenta sus intereses nacionales y no los de los demás,  el mundo árabe logrará salir da la situación  de decadencia avanzada hacia la que se ha encaminado.

 

Texto original en francés :

Traducción : Ojos para la Paz

_____________________

* Ahmed Bensaada, « Arabesque$ – Enquête sur le rôle des États-Unis dans les révoltes arabes », Editions Investig’Action, Bruxelles, septembre 2015, http://www.michelcollon.info

Quem possui o vírus Zika?

February 6th, 2016 by Guillaume Kress

A Organização Mundial de Saúde (OMC) declarou em 1 de Fevereiro que o vírus Zika constituía uma emergência de saúde global, sem fornecer grandes pormenores acerca da doença. Assim, aqui estão alguns factos até que disponhamos de mais informação:

Desde há 69 anos que este vírus sexualmente transmissível tem estado em torno de nós e é um produto de duas companhias: o LGC Group (sede no Reino Unido) e a ATTC (sede nos EUA).

LGC Group é:

“… o Instituto de Metrologia Nacional designado pelo Reino Unido para medições químicas e bio-analíticas é um líder internacional nos nos mercados de serviços de laboratório, padrões de medição, materiais de referência, genómica e testes periciais”.

Um dos seus ramos, o LGC Standards , é:

“… um dos principais produtores e distribuidores globais de materiais de referência e esquemas de testes periciais. Sediado em Teddington, Middlesec, Reino Unidos, a LGC Standars tem uma rede especial de escritórios de vendas que se estende por 20 países nos cinco continentes e mais de 30 anos de experiência na distribuição de materiais de referência. Estes produtos e serviços de alta qualidade são essenciais para a medição analítica precisa e o controle de qualidade, assegurando que sejam feitas decisões correctas baseadas em dados confiáveis. Temos um conjunto de produtos [com especificações] ISO Guide 34 certificados como material de referência em instalações situadas em quatro locais no Reino Unido, EUA e Alemanha”.

A LGC Standards entrou numa parceria com a ATCC . Esta última é:

“… o primeiro recurso em materiais biológicos globais e padrões de organização cuja missão centra-se na aquisição, autenticação, produção, preservação, desenvolvimento e distribuição de padrões de referência de microrganismos, linhas de células e outros materiais. Enquanto mantém o tradicional coleccionamento de materiais, a ATCC desenvolve produtos de qualidade, padrões e serviços para apoiar a investigação científica e avanços que melhoram a saúde de populações globais”.

Esta Parceria ATTC-LGC destina-se a facilitar:

“a distribuição de culturas e bioprodutos ATCC a investigadores de ciências biológicas na Europa, África e Índia e [...] tornar mais facilmente acessível importantes recursos da ATCC a comunidades científicas europeias, africanas e indianas através da manutenção de stocks locais de mais de 5000 ítens de culturas individuais apoiadas pela nossa rede de escritórios locais que proporciona os mais altos níveis de serviços a clientes e apoio técnico”.

E quem possui a patente do vírus? [NR] A Fundação Rockefeller!

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Fonte: www.lgcstandards-atcc.org/products/all/VR-84.aspx?geo_country=es#history

Por que é que a questão da propriedade da patente do vírus Zika não tem sido objecto de cobertura dos media?

Não nos esqueçamos das palavras de David Rockfeller num discurso de Junho de 1991 numa reunião da Comissão Trilateral:

“Estamos gratos ao Washington Post, New York Times, Time Magazine e outras grandes publicações cujos directores compareceram às nossas reuniões e durante quase 40 anos respeitaram suas promessas de discreção. … Teria sido impossível para nós desenvolver nosso plano para o mundo se tivéssemos estados sujeitos às luzes da publicidade durante aqueles anos. Contudo, o mundo está mais refinado e preparado para marchar rumo a um governo mundial. A soberania supranacional de uma elite intelectual e de banqueiros mundiais é certamente preferível à auto-determinação nacional praticada nos últimos séculos”.

Será que a propriedade do Vírus Zika pela Fundação Rockfeller faz parte daquela agenda de “soberania supranacional [dominada] por uma elite intelectual e de banqueiros mundiais…”?

É significativo: o vírus Zika é uma mercadoria que pode ser comprada online à ATCC-LCG por US$599,00.

Guillaume Kress

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O original encontra-se em www.globalresearch.ca/who-owns-the-zika-virus/5505323

Tradução em português : http://resistir.info/ 

U.S. Now Overtly at War Against Russia

February 6th, 2016 by Eric Zuesse

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg announced on February 2nd that he approves of US ‘Defense’ Secretary Ash Carter’s proposal to quadruple US armaments and troops in Europe, against ‘Russian aggression’.

Secretary Carter said earlier that same day, in his announcement of America’s arming for war against Russia:

We are reinforcing our posture in Europe to support our NATO allies in the face of Russia’s aggression. In Pentagon parlance, this is called the European Reassurance Initiative and after requesting about $800 million for last year, this year we’re more than quadrupling it for a total of $3.4 billion in 2017.

That will fund a lot of things: more rotational US forces in Europe, more training and exercising with our allies, more preposition and war-fighting gear and infrastructure improvements to support all this.

And when combined with US forces already in and assigned to Europe – which are also substantial – all of this together by the end of 2017 will let us rapidly form a highly capable combined arms ground force that can respond across that theater, if necessary.

The US is preparing for an invasion of Russia.

«By the end of 2017» the US will be prepared to invade Russia.

Secretary Carter went on to say:

Russia and China are our most stressing competitors. They have developed and are continuing to advance military system[s] that seek to threaten our advantages in specific areas. And in some case[s], they are developing weapons and ways of wars that seek to achieve their objectives rapidly, before they hope, we can respond.

Because of this and because of their actions to date, from Ukraine to the South China Sea, DOD has elevated their importance in our defense planning and budgeting.

Since he is a Secretary of ‘Defense’ instead of a Secretary of Offense, he immediately added:

While we do not desire conflict of any kind with either of these nations – and let me be clear.

That’s all there was to the assertion there; he didn’t finish the sentence, nor even the thought. But in this offhanded way, he did at least try to give the impression that the US is never an aggressor – for example: that, though the US is expanding NATO right up to Russia’s borders, Russia is being the ‘aggressor’ to move troops and weapons up to those borders – up to Russia’s own borders (to counter the US & NATO invasion-threat, of course; but, no: it’s to threaten NATO, if you believe the West).

In the statements by Ash Carter, Barack Obama, and Jens Stoltenberg, that’s ‘Russian aggression’. In the allegory by George Orwell, 1984, America’s rhetoric is called simply «Newspeak».

It’s as if during the Soviet Union (i.e., before 1991), when Nikita Khrushchev was the aggressor in 1962 and John Kennedy was the defender (against Soviet missiles in Cuba), Khrushchev had refused to yield and said that Soviet nuclear missiles near the US had only a defensive, not offensive, purpose (no purpose for a blitz nuclear attack against the US too fast for the US to be able to get its missiles launched in retaliation). Kennedy said no to that idea then, and Putin says no to that idea (right on Russia’s very borders) now. The US, in post-Soviet, post-communist, Russia, has turned around and become the aggressor – against the now democratic nation of Russia. (And Putin’s approval-rating from the Russian people is at least 80%, whereas Obama’s approval-rating from the American people is near 50%.)

We’ve switched roles. The US has turned to dictatorship, while Russia has turned to democracy. It’s a super-switcheroo. ‘Democracy’ in the US has become, during recent decades, the election of Presidents and congresspersons who were campaigning on lies, and who then actually delivered more like the opposite, as their actual governmental policies.

A good example of this is that when Mr Obama was campaigning for re-election to the Presidency in 2012, he outright mocked his opponent Mitt Romney’s asserting (2:22 on the video) that, «Russia, this is without question our number one geopolitical foe». But the moment that Obama became re-elected, Obama activated a 1957 CIA plan to overthrow Russia’s ally Bashar al-Assad in Syria, and a more-recent CIA and State Department plan to overthrow the actually neutralist Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in Ukraine and replace him with a rabidly anti-Russian government. The head of Stratfor called it «the most blatant coup in history,» and it was an extremely bloody coup, followed by a civil war – and economic collapse, and even more corruption there. In addition, Obama carried out a French plan to overthrow Russia’s ally Muammar Gaddafi in Syria.

All of these plans were strongly welcomed by Russia’s main oil-market competitors, all of them fundamentalist Sunni Arab financial backers of jihadists: the Saud royal family of Saudi Arabia, and the Thani royal family of Qatar, as well as the Sabah royal family of Kuwait, and the six royal families of the UAE. Those royals own most of the world’s oil, and only Russia and its ally Iran are even in that league. All of those Sunni Arab royal families (especially the Sauds) are the main financial backers of al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other jihadist groups, all of which are fundamentalist Sunni terrorist groups, which especially aim to exterminate all Shiites – and Shiites just happen to be supported by Russia. (The US overthrew the democratically elected progressive President of Iran and installed the tyrannous Shah, back in 1953, and Iranians have loathed the US government ever since.)

President Obama, in his second Administration, ceased his previous focus against the Sunni group al-Qaeda, and refocused US policy to be against Russia, even to the extent of supporting al-Qaeda, ISIS, and other rabidly anti-Russian Sunni groups, who are driving millions of refugees from Syria, Libya, etc., into Europe. (Of course, Obama’s rhetoric remains against those Sunni extremists – just as his rhetoric was against Romney’s policies that Obama ended up imposing in his second term.) All of those terrorist groups are allied with the Sunni Arab royal families against Shiite-led Iran, and Shiite-allied Syria.

The fundamentalist Sunni beliefs of the Arab royal families have, since at least 1744, been committed to exterminating all Shiites. Now that Shiite and Shiite-allied nations are supported by Russia, the United States is more overtly than ever preparing to conquer Russia, for the benefit of the aristocracies of America, and of Arabia.

And there are many other examples of President Obama’s policies exposing him to be an example of «the election of Presidents and congresspersons who were campaigning on lies, and who then actually delivered more like the opposite, as policies», such as his claiming to champion democracy in Syria when his actual demand regarding Syria is to block democracy there because all the evidence shows that it would result in an overwhelming electoral victory for Bashar al-Assad. And another example is Obama’s support of the right of self-determination of peoples regarding Scotland and Catalonia, but not in Crimea, nor in Donbas, nor in Abkhazia. The United Nations supports the right of self-determination of peoples everywhere, and Ban Ki-moon has clearly stated that America’s demand for the removal of Bashar al-Assad from power is alien to the principles upon which the United Nations was founded.

 

So: the US regime is moving toward a nuclear confrontation against Russia, as a ‘defensive’ measure against ‘Russian aggression’.

Obama had previously used ‘The Iran Threat’ as his basis for placing anti-ballistic missiles in European countries near and bordering Russia, but he can’t do that anymore and so he’s now doing it with what had been his actual motive all along: to ‘protect’ Europe from ‘Russian aggression’.

What had led up to Romney’s assertion that Russia «is without question our number one geopolitical foe» was his having been baited by CNN to comment upon a private statement that Obama had made to Dmitry Medvedev, saying that, «This is my last election. After my election I have more flexibility». CNN didn’t say what that matter was about, but simply baited Romney with it for Romney to play the Red-scare Joseph R. McCarthy role, which Romney did (McCarthy, of the anti-communist witch-hunts, being a Republican hero). Reuters explained what the context was, what Obama had been replying to there: Putin’s concern was that placing anti-ballistic missiles (ABMs) in Europe to strip Russia of its ability to retaliate against a first-strike from NATO forces in Europe, was unacceptable. Obama was telling that he would «have more flexibility» against Republican hate-mongers against Russia, after he’d win re-election. It was just another lie from him. He won re-election and turned out to be actually a black Mitt Romney. In fact, Obama had spent his entire first term deceiving the entire world to think that he rejected Republicans being «stuck in a Cold War mind warp», as he put it. It was all merely an act for him. He should be in Hollywood, not in the White House.

If this cat gets much farther out of the bag, it’s not just the cat but the whole world that will be lost.

The first priority for a President Bernie Sanders, or for a President Donald Trump, must be to undo the Bush-Obama foreign policy, because it certainly won’t be undone by a President Hillary Clinton, nor by a President Ted Cruz, nor by a President Marco Rubio – and this is the main thing that’s at stake in the current US Presidential contest. What’s at stake here is nothing less than whether civilization even survives another few decades. That’s now seriously at question, and trillions are being spent right now to bring it to an end.

This isn’t kid’s stuff. And it’s not really rocket science, either. It’s instead a fundamental and stark moral issue, that’s staring the entire world in the face right now. And it hasn’t got a thing to do with religion, but it has a lot to do with restoring democracy where it has been eroded down to virtually nothing.

Democracy requires a truthfully informed public. And that’s the truth. Let’s get with it, before it’s too late to do so.

The likelihood of a nuclear war has never been higher than it is now, except perhaps for the Cuban Missile Crisis, but the entire world was being informed about that then, and what about the situation now? This time around, the situation is perhaps even more serious. The urgency of the situation is critical.

Is this the type of ‘news’ coverage we’ll continue to get on the world’s top matter – that Russia is invading our territory, when we’re actually constantly invading (and perpetrating coups) in theirs, and they’re actually doing what they must do in order to defend the Russian people themselves from NATO?

End NATO now. Or else it (and its cooperative ‘news’ media in the West) will end us all. The whole expansion of NATO up to Russia’s borders has been based upon US President George Herbert Walker Bush’s lie to Mikhail Gorbachev in 1990, which induced Gorbachev to end not just the Soviet Union but their equivalent of NATO, the Warsaw Pact – all of which Russia did do in 1991. Russia has consistently fulfilled its part of the bargain, but GHWB’s vicious violation of his promise has been consistently followed, adhered to, by American Presidents ever since. The deceit goes on, and the US is now heading towards culminating the most dangerous lie in world history.

Eric Zuesse, 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 .

United States War Crimes. A Historical Review

February 6th, 2016 by Brian Willson

(This article was originally published by Global Research in 2002. It does not include a review of war crimes committed in Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen)

The issue of War Crimes emerged after World War I at the Versailles Conference, but it was not until the end of World War II that a more comprehensive definition of what constitutes war crimes was developed. First among new international conventions addressing war crimes was the 1950 Charter of the Nuremberg Tribunal. Its fundamental premise was that the conduct of war in violation of international treaties was a crime against peace. Ill treatment of prisoners of war, killing hostages, plunder of public or private property, wanton destruction of cities, towns, or villages was a war crime. Crimes against humanity include murder, extermination, deportation, and prosecution based on political, racial or religious grounds.

The 1949 Geneva Convention gave recognition to the development of new technologies which exposed civilian life to greater threats of destruction. A 1977 addendum further emphasized the right of civilians to be protected against military operations. This included the protection of civilians against starvation as a method of warfare. Article II of the Geneva Convention addressed the issue of genocide, defined as killing or causing serious bodily harm to individuals based on their nationality, ethnic, racial or religious group and with the intent to destroy that group.

Since the Geneva Convention, a number of other significant international treaties addressing war and human rights have been drafted, but the United States has rejected almost all of them. Among the treaties that the United States has refused to sign are the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights (1966); the Convention on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966); the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination (1966), and the American Convention on Human Rights (1965).

The United States has been particularly reluctant to sign treaties addressing the “laws of war”. It has refused to sign The Declaration on the Prohibition of the Use of Thermo-Nuclear Weapons (1961); The Resolution on the Non-Use of Force in International Relations and Permanent Ban on the Use of Nuclear Weapons (1972); The Resolution on the Definition of Aggression (1974); Protocols Additional to the 1949 Geneva Convention (1977); and the Declaration on the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons(1989).1

Equally disturbing was the U.S. refusal to sign the Convention on Rights of the Child, introduced into the United Nations General assembly on November 20, 1989 and subsequently ratified by 191 countries.

The first use of atomic weapons against human beings occurred on August 6-9 1945, when the United States incinerated the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II, killing an estimated 110,000 Japanese citizens and injuring another 130,000. By 1950 another 230,000 died from injuries and radiation. Earlier in 1945 two fire bombing raids on Tokyo killed 140,000 citizens and injured a million more.

Since World War II the US has bombed twenty-three nations. Author William Blum notes: “It is sobering to reflect that in our era of instant world wide communications, the United States has, on many occasions, been able to mount a large or small scale military operation or undertake other equally blatant forms of intervention without the American public being aware of it until years later if ever.”2

The growing primacy or aerial bombardment in the conduct of war has inevitably defined non-combatants as the preferred target of war. Indeed, the combination of American air power and occupation ground forces has resulted in massive civilian casualties around the world.

Korea:1943-1953

On August 15,1945, the Korean people, devastated and impoverished by years of brutality from Japanese occupation forces, openly celebrated their liberation and immediately formed the Committee for the Preparation of Korean Independence (CKPI). By August 28, 1945, all Korean provinces on the entire Peninsula had established local people’s democratic committees, and on September 6, delegates from throughout Korea, north and south, created the Korean People’s Republic (KPR). On September 7, the day after the creation of the KPR, General Douglas MacArthur, commander of the victorious Allied powers in the Pacific, formally issued a proclamation addressed “To the People of Korea.” The proclamation announced that forces under his command “will today occupy the Territory of Korea south of 38 degrees north latitude.”

The first advance party of U.S. units, the 17th Regiment of the 7th Infantry Division, actually began arriving at Inchon on September 5th, two days before MacArthur’s occupation declaration. The bulk of the US occupation forces began unloading from twenty-one Navy ships (including five destroyers) on September 8 through the port at Inchon under the command of Lieutenant General John Reed Hodge. Hundreds of black-coated armed Japanese police on horseback, still under the direction of Japanese Governor-General Abe Noabuyki, kept angry Korean crowds away from the disembarking US soldiers.

On the morning of September 9, General Hodge announced that Governor-General Abe would continue to function with all his Japanese and Korean personnel. Within a few weeks there were 25,000 American troops and members of “civil service teams” in the country. Ultimately the number of US troops in southern Korea reached 72,000. Though the Koreans were officially characterized as a “semi-friendly, liberated” people, General Hodge regrettably instructed his own officers that Korea “was an enemy of the United States…subject to the provisions and the terms of the surrender.”

Tragically and ironically, the Korean people, citizens of the victim-nation, had become enemies, while the defeated Japanese, who had been the illegal aggressors, served as occupiers in alliance with the United States. Indeed, Korea was burdened with the very occupation originally intended for Japan, which became the recipient of massive U.S. aid and reconstruction in the post-war period. Japan remains, to this day, America=s forward military base affording protection and intelligence for its “interests” in the Asia-Pacific region.

Seventy-three-year-old Syngman Rhee was elected President of ASouth Korea@ on May 10,1948 in an election boycotted by virtually all Koreans except the elite KDP and Rhee’s own right -wing political groups. This event, historically sealing a politically divided Korea, provoked what became known at the Cheju massacre, in which as many as 70,000 residents of the southern island of Cheju were ruthlessly murdered during a single year by Rhee’s paramilitary forces under the oversight of U.S. officers. Rhee took office as President on August 15 and the Republic of Korea (ROK) was formally declared. In response, three-and -a-half weeks later (on September 9, 1948), the people of northern Korea grudgingly created their own separate government, the Democratic People’s's Republic of Korea (DPRK), with Kim II Sung as its premier.

Korea was now clearly and tragically split in two. Kim Il Sung had survived as a guerrilla fighter against the Japanese occupation in both China and Korea since 1932 when he was twenty years old. He was thirty-three when he returned to Pyongyang in October 1945 to begin the hoped-for era of rebuilding a united Korea free of foreign domination, and three years later, on September 9, 1948, he became North Korea’s first premier. The Rhee/U.S. forces escalated their ruthless campaign of cleansing the south of dissidents, identifying as a suspected “communist” anyone who opposed the Rhee regime, publicly or privately. In reality, most participants or believers in the popular movement in the south were socialists unaffiliated with outside “communist” organizations.

As the repression intensified, however, alliances with popular movements in the north, including communist organizations, increased. The Cheju insurgency was crushed by August 1949, but on the mainland, guerrilla warfare continued in most provinces until 1959-51. In the eyes of the commander of US military forces in Korea, General Hodge, and new “President” Syngman Rhee, virtually any Korean who had not publicly professed his allegiance to Rhee was considered a “communist” traitor. As a result, massive numbers of farmers, villagers and urban residents were systematically rounded up in rural areas, villages and cities throughout South Korea. Captives were regularly tortured to extract names of others. Thousands were imprisoned and even more thousands forced to dig mass graves before being ordered into them and shot by fellow Koreans, often under the watch of U.S. troops.

The introduction of U.S./UN military forces on June 26,1950 occurred with no American understanding (except by a few astute observers such as journalist I.F Stone) that in fact they were entering an ongoing revolutionary civil war waged by indigenous Koreans seeking genuine independence after five years of U.S. interference. The American occupation simply fueled Korean passions even more while creating further divisions among them.

In the Autumn of 1950, when U.S. forces were in retreat in North Korea, General Douglas MacArthur offered all air forces under his command to destroy “every means of communication, every installation, factory, city and village ” from the Yalu River, forming the border between North Korea and China, south to the battle line. The massive saturation bombing conducted throughout the war, including napalm, incendiary, and fragmentation bombs, left scorched cities and villages in total ruins. As in World War II, the U.S. strategic bombing campaign brought mass destruction and shockingly heavy civilian casualties. Such tactics were in clear violation of the Nuremburg Charter, which had, ironically, been created after World War II, largely due to pressure from the U.S. The Nuremburg Tribunal defined “the wanton destruction of cities, towns or villages” to be a war crime and declared that Ainhumane acts against any civilian population” were a crime against humanity.

From that fateful day on September 8, 1945 to the present, a period of 56 years, U.S. military forces (currently numbering 37,000 positioned at 100 installations) have maintained a continuous occupation in the south supporting de facto U.S. rule over the political, economic and military life of a needlessly divided Korea. This often brutal occupation and the persistent U.S. support for the repressive policies of dictatorial puppets continues to be the single greatest obstacle to peace in Korea, preventing the inevitable reunification of the Korean Peninsula.

Until 1994, all of the hundreds of thousands of South Korean defense forces operated under direct U.S. command. Even today, although integrated into the Combined Forces Command (CFC), these forces automatically revert to direct US control when the US military commander in Korea determines that there is a state of war.

Indonesia: (1958-1965)

After 350 years of colonialism, President Sukarno, with the cooperation of the communist party (PKI), sought to make Indonesia an independent socialist democracy. Sukarno’s working relationship with the PKI would not be tolerated by Washington. Under the direction of the CIA, rebels in the Indonesian army were armed, trained and equipped in preparation for a military coup. The Indonesian army=s campaign against the PKI in 1965-66 brought the dictator Suharto to power. Under his rule, teachers, students, civil servants and peasants were systematically executed. In Central and East Java alone, 60,000 were killed. In Bali, some 50,000 people were executed, and thousands more died in remote Indonesian villages. In some areas citizens were confined in Navy vessels which were then sunk to the bottom of the sea.

The most extensive killing were committed against suspected PKI supporters identified by U.S. intelligence. Historian Gabriel Kollo states that the slaughter in Indonesia “ranks as a crime of the same type as the Nazi perpetrated.”3

Recent revealed documents at George Washington University’s National Security Achive confirmed how effectively the Indonesian army used the U.S.-prepared hit list against the Indonesian communist party in 1965-66. Among the documents cited is a 1966 airgram to Washington sent by U.S. ambassador Marshall Green stating that a list from the Embassy identifying top communist leaders was being used by the Indonesian security authorities in their extermination campaign.

For example, the US Embassy reported on November 13,1965 that information sent to Suharto resulted in the killing of between 50 to 100 PKI members every night in East and Central Java. The Embassy admitted in an April 15, 1966 airgram to Washington: “We frankly do not know whether the real figure for the PKI killed is closer to 100,000 or 1,000,000.”4

The Indonesian military became the instrument of another counter revolutionary offensive in 1975 when it invaded East Timor. On September 7,1975, just 24 hours after the highest officials of the United States government, President Gerald Ford and Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, had been in Djakarta on a state visit, 30,000 Indonesian troops landed in East Timor. Napalm, phosphorus bombs and chemical defoliants were delivered from US supplied planes and helicopters, resulting in the killing of tens of thousands of people, and the conflict continues to simmer.5

Vietnam: (1954-1965)

President Harry Truman began granting material aid to the French colonial forces in Indochina as early s 1946, and the aid was dramatically increased after the successful Chinese revolution in 1949 and the start of the “hot” Korean War in June 1950. By the time of the French army was defeated in 1954, the U.S. was paying nearly 80 percent of the French military expenditures and providing extensive air and logistical support.

The unilateral U.S. military intervention in Vietnam began in 1954, immediately following the humiliating French defeat in early May 1954. The July 21, 1954 Geneva Agreement concluded the French war against the Vietnamese and promised them a unifying election, mandated for July 1956. The U.S. government knew that fair elections would, in effect, ensure a genuine democratic victory for revered Communist leader Ho Chi Minh. This was unacceptable. In June 1954, prior to the signing of the historic Geneva agreement, the U.S. began CIA-directed internal sabotage operations against the Vietnamese while setting up the puppet Ngo Dinh Diem (brought to Vietnam from the U.S.) as “our” political leader. No electrons were ever held. This set the stage for yet another war for Vietnamese independence — this time against U.S. forces and their South Vietnamese puppets.

The significance of U.S. intentions to interfere with independence movements in Asia cannot be underestimated. U.S. National Security Council documents from 1956 declared that our national security would be endangered by communist domination of mainland Southeast Asia. Secret military plans stated that nuclear weapons will be used in general war and even in military operations short of general war. By March 1961, the Pentagon brass had recommended sending 60,000 soldiers to western Laos supported by air power that would include, if necessary, nuclear weapons, to assure that the Royal Laotian government would prevail against the popular insurgency being waged against it. For the next ten years the U.S. unleashed forces that caused (and continue to cause ) an incomprehensible amount of devastation in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia.

Eight million tons of bombs (four times the amount used by the U.S. in all of World War II) were dropped indiscriminately, leaving destruction which, if laid crater to crater, would cover an area the size of the state of Maine. Eighty percent of the bombs fell on rural areas rather than military targets, leaving ten million craters. Nearly 400,000 tons of napalm was dropped on Vietnamese villages. There was no pretense of distinguishing between combatants and civilians.

The callous designation of as much as three-fourths of South Vietnam as a “free fire zone” justified the murder of virtually anyone in thousands of villages in those vast areas. At the time, Defense Secretary Robert S. McNamara cited a 1967 memo in which he estimated the number of Vietnamese civilians killed or seriously injured by U.S. forces at 1000 per week. The CIA=s Phoenix program alone killed as many as 70,000 civilians who were suspected of being part of the political leadership of the Viet Cong in the south.

There was a historically unprecedented level of chemical warfare in Vietnam, including the indiscriminate spraying of nearly 20 million gallons of defoliants on one-seventh the area of South Vietnam. The vestigial effects of chemical warfare poisoning continue to plague the health of adult Vietnamese (and ex-GIs) while causing escalated birth defects. Samples of soil, water, food and body fat of Vietnamese citizens continue to reveal dangerously elevated levels of dioxin to the present day.

Today, Vietnamese officials estimate the continued dangerous presence of 3.5 million landmines left from the war as well as 300,000 tons of unexploded ordnance. Tragically, these hidden remnants of war continue to explode when farmers plow their fields or children play in their neighborhoods, killing thousands each year. The Vietnamese report 40,000 people killed since 1975 by landmines and buried bombs. That means that each day, 4 or 5 Vietnamese civilians are killed day by U.S. ordnance.

The U.S. and its allies killed as many as 5 million Southeast Asian citizens during the active war years. The numbers of dead in Laos and Cambodia remain uncounted, but as of 1971, a congressional Research Service report prepared for the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee indicated that over one million Laotians had been killed, wounded, or turned into refugees, with the figure for Cambodia estimated two million. More than a half million “secret” US bombing missions over Laos, begun in late 1964, devastated populations of ancient cultures there. Estimates indicate that around 230,000 tons of bombs were dropped over northern Laos in 1968 and 1969 alone. Increasing numbers of U.S. military personnel were added to the ground forces in Laos during 1961, preparing for major military operations to come.

The “secret” bombing of Cambodia began in March 1969, and an outright land invasion of Cambodia was conducted from late April 1970 through the end of June, causing thousand of casualties. These raging U.S. covert wars did not cease until August 14, 1973, by which time countless additional casualties were inflicted. When the bombing in Cambodia finally ceased, the U.S. Air Force had officially recorded the use of nearly 260,000 tons of bombs there. The total tonnage of bombs dropped in Laos over eight and a half years exceeded two million.

The consensus today is that more than 3 million Vietnamese were killed, with 300,000 additional missing in action and presumed dead. In the process the U.S. lost nearly 59,000 of her own men and women, with about 2,000 additional missing, while combatants from four U.S. allies lost over 6,000 more. The South Vietnamese military accounted for nearly 225,000 dead. All of this carnage was justified in order to destroy the basic rights and capacity of the Vietnamese to construct their own independent, sovereign society. None of the victims deserved to die in such a war. Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, and U.S. military “grunts” were all victims.

All of these corpses were created to perpetuate an incredible lie and to serve a “cause” that had been concocted by white male plutocrats in Washington, many of whom possessed Ph.Ds from prestigious universities. Like most of their predecessors throughout U.S. history, these politicians and their appointees, along with their profit-hungry arms makers/dealers, desired to assure the destruction of people’s democratic movements in East Asia that threatened the virtually unlimited American hegemony over markets, resources, and the profits to be derived therefrom. But never did a small country suffer so much from an imperial nation as the Vietnamese did from the United States.

Iraq:1991-2001

The royal family in Kuwait was used by the United States government to justify a massive assault on Iraq in order to establish permanent dominion over the Gulf. The Gulf War was begun not to protect Kuwait but to establish US power over the region and its oil.6 In 1990, General Schwarzkopf had testified before the Senate that it was essential for the U.S. to increase its military presence in the Gulf in order to protect Saudi Arabia. However, satellite photos showed no Iraqi troops near the Saudi Border.

After Iraq announced that it was going to annex Kuwait, the United States began its air attacks on Iraq. For 42 days the US sent in 2000 sorties a day. By February 13,1991, 1,500 Iraqi citizens had been killed. President George Bush ordered the destruction of facilities essential to civilian life and economic production.

The Red Crescent Society of Jordan announced at the end of the war that 113,00 civilians were dead and sixty percent were women and children. Some of the worst devastation was wrought by the US military’s use of Depleted Uranium (DU) on battlefields and in towns and cities across Iraq. It left a legacy of radioactive debris which has resulted in serious environmental contamination and health problems, particularly among Iraqi children. Child mortality rates have risen by 380 percent. Between August 1990 and August 1997 some 1.2 million children in Iraq died due to environmental devastation and the harsh economic sanctions imposed in 1991. Not satisfied with such havoc, the U.S. and Britain have recently sought to tighten the blockade against Iraq by imposing so-called :”smart sanctions.” This would continue the aggression against northern and southern Iraq and lead to the deaths of more women, children and elderly.

Yugoslavia: (1991-1999)

The United States and Germany prepared plans for the dismemberment of Yugoslavia in the late 1980′s and have since reconfigured Yugoslavia into mini-states, with only Serbia and Montenegro remaining in the Yugoslav federation, a situation which has opened the way to the re-colonization of the Balkans.

In 1991, the European Community, with US involvement, organized a conference on Yugoslavia that called for the separation, sovereignty and independence of the republics of Yugoslavia. President George Bush’s administration passed the 1991 Foreign Operations Act, which provided aid to the individual republics, but cut off all aid to Belgrade, the capitol of Yugoslavia. This stimulated the eventual secession of Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. With secession came civil wars. Ethnic Serbs living in Croatia had been loyal to that Yugoslav republic, but great power meddling now forced them to defend their region in Croatia known as Krajina. The U.S. covertly provided arms, training, advisors, satellite intelligence and air power to the Croats in “Operation Storm” directed against the helpless Serbs in Krajina. When the bombing began, the Krajina Serbs fled to Belgrade and Bosnia. Approximately 250,000 Serbs were thus ethnically cleansed from the Krajina and all evidence of Serb habitation was systematically destroyed. Civilians were executed, livestock slaughtered and houses were burnt to the ground.7

To avoid a similar human catastrophe in Bosnia/Herzegovina, Bosnian Serbs consolidated Serb-owned lands, an area constituting about two thirds of Bosnia/Herzegovina. Germany and the U.S. quickly aided the military alliance of Bosnian Muslims and Croats against the Serbs, and , supported by American bombing and regular army forces from Croatia, the Muslim/Croat alliance soon swept the Serbs from the majority of Bosnia/Herzegovina. As in the Krajina, the conflict forced ethnic Serbs off of their lands, creating one hundred thousand Serb refugees.

Under the U.S.-brokered Dayton Agreement, Bosnia/Herzegovina was divided into two parts, a Muslim-Croat Federation and Republica Srpska. The central government today is controlled by US/NATO forces, the IMF, and international NGOs. With no history of independence, Bosnia/Herzegovina=s economic assets have been taken over by foreign investors who now own their energy facilities, water, telecommunication, media and transportation.

The effects of the Bosnian civil war on the city of Srebrenica were reported extensively in the western media. Reports claimed that 7,414 Bosnian Muslims were executed by the Serbian army. After years of searching, digging and extensive investigations, only seventy bodies were found, but the original charges of genocide are still circulated in the media.

Kosovo, an autonomous region of Serbia, is the site of the most recent, and perhaps most disastrous, U.S. military intervention. Kosovo=s problems began after World War II when immigrants from Albania flooded into the region, sparking political confrontation between Albanians and Serbs. escalated into military conflict. The “Kosovo Liberation Army, an Albanian terrorist/separatist group, escalated tensions by directing their violence against not only Serbian civilians, but Albanian who refused to join their cause. As the war intensified, a United Nations team of observers in the Kosovo village of Racak found 44 Albanian bodies. The Serbs identified them as KLA fighters killed during one of the now frequent gun battles with police. William Walker, a US diplomat, who had earlier acted as an apologist for the death squads in El Salvador, led a group of journalists to view the bodies, and their subsequent claims of Serb war crimes made world-wide headlines.8

President Clinton used this event to bring delegates form the contending forces in Bosnia to Rambouillet, and the proposed Ramboullet Accords served as a prelude to U.S. intervention in Kosovo. The accords, if accepted, would have allowed NATO forces complete access to all of Yugoslavia, a virtual foreign occupation, with all associated costs to be borne by the Yugoslav government. As the Ramboullet negotiations began to stall, U.S. Secretary of State Madeline Albright ordered the bombing of Yugoslavia to begin.

On March 16, 1999, twenty three thousand missiles and bombs were dropped on a country of eleven million people. Thirty five thousand cluster bombs, graphite bombs and 31,000 rounds of depleted uranium weapons were used, the latter scattering radioactive waste throughout the Yugoslav countryside.

The 78 day bombing of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia targeted schools, hospitals, farms, bridges, roads communication centers, and waterways. Because a large number of chemical plants and oil refineries bombed by US/NATO planes were located on the banks of the Danube river, the bombing of these industrial sites polluted the Danube, a source of drinking water for ten million people in the region. The environmental damage done to the soil, water and air of Yugoslavia soon spread to Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Macedonia, Greece and Italy. Countries like Russia, Ukraine and Georgia, which border on the Black Sea, into which the Danube empties, also continue to face health hazards.

Afghanistan:(1979-2001)

“The Bush-Afghan war calls up memories of the Vietnam War in both actions and rhetoric, the massive use of superior arms heavily impacting civilians, deliberate food deprivation, wholesale terror allegedly combating ‘terrorism’, but always sincere regrets for collateral damages.”9

The U.S. war in Afghanistan began in 1979, ostensibly as a campaign to oust the ruling Taliban and apprehend the alleged terrorist Osama Bin Laden, who was assumed to be hiding in Afghanistan. Ironically, the Taliban had received billions of dollars worth of weapons from the CIA to help it overthrow a progressive socialist government in Afghanistan, and Bin Laden regarded himself as an important CIA asset. Indeed, the CIA had been deeply involved in Afghanistan even before the Soviet Union intervened there in 1979 to defend the revolutionary government.

Since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, the U.S. has waged a merciless war against the Afghan people, using chemical, biological and depleted uranium (DU) weapons. The use of DU continues to spread radiation throughout large parts of Afghanistan and will affect tens of thousands of people in generations to come, causing lung cancer, leukemia and birth defects. DU was also used against Iraq and Yugoslavia, where the frequency of cancer has tripled.

The bombing of the Afghan population has forced thousands of civilians to flee to Pakistan and Iran, and seven to eight million civilians are facing starvation. UNICEF spokesman Eric Larlcke has stated, “As many as 100,000 more children will die in Afghanistan this winter unless food reaches them in sufficient quantities in the next six weeks.”10

The racist underpinnings of the American world-view allows the American press and its political leaders to be silent on the mass killing of Third World children. Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Secretary of Defense, has stated that the U.S. is not looking to negotiate peace with the Taliban and Al-Quida in Afghanistan. There is a clear indifference to the daily carnage in Afghanistan, where sixty percent of the casualties are women and children. Human rights organizations have expressed concern over reports of large-scale executions of would-be Taliban defectors in the city of Kunduz, and the United Nations has echoed human rights groups in demanding an investigation into the slaughter of prisoners at the Qala-i-Jhangi fort near Mazar-i-Sharif. With more than 500 people dead and the fort littered with bodies, allegations of war crimes against the U.S. and UK for ignoring the Geneva Convention on the treatment of prisoners of war have led the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, to call for an urgent inquiry.

“Once we recognize the pattern of activity designed to simultaneously consolidate control over Middle Eastern and South Asian oil and contain and colonize the former Soviet Union, Afghanistan is exactly where they need to go to pursue that agenda.”11

In his book The Grand Chessboard, Zbigniew Brezezinski writes that the Eurasian Balkans are a potential economic prize which hold an enormous concentration of natural gas and oil and important minerals as well as gold. Brezezinski declares that the Central Asian region and the Caspian Sea basin are “known to contain reserves of natural gas and oil that dwarf those of Kuwait, the Gulf of Mexico, or the North Sea.”12 Afghanistan will serve as a base of operations to begin the control over the South Asian Republic in order to build a pipeline through Turkmenistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan to deliver petroleum to the Asian market. This pipeline will serve as a bonanza of wealth for the US oil companies.

Conclusion:

An examination of the American conduct of its wars since World War II shows the US to be in violation of the Nuremberg Principles, the 1949 Geneva Convention relating to protection of civilian prisoners of war, the wounded and sick, and the amended Nuremberg Principles as formulated by the International Law Commission in 1950 proscribing war crimes and crimes against humanity. The massive murder and destruction of civilian infrastructure through the use of biological, chemical and depleted uranium weapons violates not only international laws but the moral and humanitarian standards expected in modern civilization.

Notes

1. Ward Churchill, A Little Matter of Genocide: Holocaust and Denial in the Americas, 1942 to the Present. San Francisco: City Lights Books, 1977, p. 371.

2. William Blum, Killing Hope: US Military and CIA Intervention Since World War II, Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1995, p. 17.

3. Gabriel Kollo, AWar Crimes and the Nature of the Vietnam War, Bertrand Russell Foundation, http:www.homeusers.prestel.co.uk/littleton/br7006gk.htm

4. George Washington University’s National Security Archive, July 27, 2001, www.Narchives.org

5. Deirdre Griswold, Indonesia: the Second Greatest Crime of the Century, 2d edition. New York: World View Publishers, 1979, p. vii.

6. Ramsey Clark, The Fire This Time: U.S. War Crimes in the Gulf. New York: Thunder’s Mouth Press, 1992, p. 3.

7. Scott Taylor, INAT: Images of Serbia and the Kosovo Conflict. OttAwa, Canada: Espirit de Corps Books, 2000, p. 15.

8. Michael Parenti, To Kill a Nation: The Attack on Yugoslavia. New York: Verso, 2000, p. 106.

9. Edward Herman, A Genocide as Collateral Damage, but with Sincere Regrets, Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG) at http://globalresearch.ca , 2001

10. 100,000 Afghan Children Could Die This Winter, The Times of India, October 16, 2001.

11. Stan Goff, A September 11th Analysis, October 27, 2001, www.maisonneuvepress.com .

12. Zbigniew Brzezinski, The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperative, New York: Harper

GR Editor’s Note: The resolution does not focus on the State sponsors terrorism. the governments which are supporting the ISIS (including US, UK, France, Saudi Arabia, Turkey) are responsible for ”War Crimes” and “Crimes against Humanity” (M.Ch.)

MEPs urge the international community to take urgent action to counter the systematic mass murder of religious minorities by the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) or Daesh, in a resolution voted on Thursday. The text wraps up a 20 January debate with EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, in which many MEPs called for measures to protect all religious and minority groups against ISIS attacks.

MEPs reiterate their strong condemnation of ISIS/Daesh and its egregious human rights abuses, deliberately targeting Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen, Shi’ites, Shabak, Sabeans, Kaka’e and Sunnis who do not agree with their interpretation of Islam. These violations amount to “war crimes”, “crimes against humanity” and “genocide” according to the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court (ICC), they add.

The resolution, passed by show of hands, calls on the EU to establish a permanent Special Representative for Freedom of Religion and Belief and urges all countries in the international community to prevent war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide within their territory. All EU member states should update their legal and jurisdictional systems in order to prevent their nationals and citizens travelling to join ISIS/Daesh and other terrorist organisations and also ensure that, should they do so, they face criminal court proceedings as soon as possible, adds the text.

Note to editors

ISIS has been committing systematic and widespread violence and abuses of international human rights law and humanitarian law against members of minority groups, including Christians, Yazidis, Turkmen, Shi’ites, Shabak, Sabeans, Kaka’e and Sunnis in Iraq and Syria. According to the United Nations, “in some instances, these may amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.”

REF. : 20160129IPR11938

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No Fair Hearing for Assange at the Guardian

February 6th, 2016 by Jonathan Cook

At what point do we cry foul when we witness the abuse of a political dissident, one who dares to take on mighty vested interests?

When his own state, the local legal system and the media all turn on him? When he is forced to seek sanctuary in a foreign embassy for many years, surrounded by state security forces threatening to arrest him if he leaves? When the world’s highest arbiter on the matter of his confinement, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, supports his case? When the state, legal authorities and the media ignore the ruling and continue to demand his arrest?

If this were China or Russia, at some point along this trajectory most of us would have been forced to concede that this was a clear case of political persecution; that the best he could hope for was a show trial; and that the local media were failing in their role as watchdogs on power.

But this is not China or Russia. This is the UK, the dissident is Julian Assange and it suddenly seems that the world’s leading experts on arbitrary detention have no clue what they are talking about.

Today the UN panel on arbitrary detention ruled that Assange, who has spent more than three years confined to a tiny room in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, is being arbitrarily detained and that he should be allowed to walk free.

The panel comprises leading experts in international human rights law from around the world who have been studying his case since 2014. It is probably safe to assume they know much more about the details of the case than most journalists.

Assange was convicted by the British corporate media, including its supposedly liberal outfits, from the moment allegations of sexual offences in Sweden surfaced six years ago. August media outlets like the BBC, which carefully presume innocence in prosecutions of those accused of everyday crimes, repeatedly made grossly erroneous claims about Assange, including that he had been charged with rape when no charges have yet been laid. Assange is being investigated.

Even now, when the UN panel is on his side, it seems the British media are not about to stop.

What has been so infuriating about the coverage of Assange’s case is that supposedly critical journalists have simply peddled allegations and arguments advanced by the parties involved – the UK, Sweden, and the United States – without making even cursory efforts to check them.

Film-maker Alex Gibney, for example, spent many months putting together a cinema-released documentary on the Assange case that made such elementary mistakes that anyone who had spent even a little time watching the case unfold could pick apart basic flaws in Gibney’s argument, as I did here.

Although the UN panel has backed Assange, as it has other prominent dissidents such as Aung Sang Suu Kyi in Burma and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia, Britain’s most esteemed liberal mainstream newspaper, the Guardian, has barely paused for breath in continuing to pursue its campaign against him.

An editorial today dismisses the UN ruling as a “publicity stunt”. It ignores the weight of the UN panel’s decision, and yet again makes claims and assertions about the case that are patently false.

The core of its argument is this: Assange cannot have been arbitrarily detained because, by denying Swedish prosecutors the chance to interview him, he has blocked their efforts to advance the case. In other words, his detention is self-inflicted.

The Guardian puts it this way:

Since Mr Assange left Sweden in 2010 before he could be questioned and has resolutely refused to return, no such interview has taken place.

That short sentence contains two deceptions.

Assange was interviewed in Sweden when the allegations were initially made. And he was allowed to leave the country after the first prosecutor, Eva Finne, dismissed the case, saying: “I don’t believe there is any reason to suspect that he has committed rape.”

It is not even true that an interview cannot take place because Assange will not return to Sweden. Remember Assange has not returned because he is seeking asylum in Ecuador’s embassy to prevent his extradition to Sweden and what he fears will be an onward extradtion to the US, where he is likely to be tried for Wikileaks’ activities, which have deeply embarrassed the White House.

It is quite possible for Marianne Ny, the Swedish prosecutor who revived the case after Finne dismissed it, to travel the short distance to London to interview him. It has happened before in much less high-profile cases. She knows where to find him, after all.

But despite Ny’s aggressive pursuit of other angles to this case, she has dragged her feet for years over this simple and essential stage of her investigation to determine whether there is any substance to the claims against Assange.

Now judge for yourself the Guardian’s seriousness in considering Assange’s plight from this single sentence:

[Assange] was granted bail [in the UK] while he fought extradition to Sweden and he broke his bail conditions, at great expense to those friends and supporters who had backed him financially, by fleeing to the Ecuadorian embassy.

Assange is claiming asylum from political persecution, and has been backed by the world’s authority on the matter – the UN panel whose similar rulings in the the detentions of Aung Sang Suu Kyi in Burma and opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim in Malaysia have been enthusiastically supported by the Guardian.

Assange is not paranoid. A grand jury has been secretly arraigned in Virginia, the home of the CIA, that is dredging up long-discarded laws to charge him with espionage, even though he is not a US citizen.

And in spite of all this, the Guardian thinks that the most pressing matter is Assange violating his bail conditions. Should this argument not be considered risible? Would the Guardian have dared raise it in relation to Suu Kyi, Anwar Ibrahim or the dissident Chinese artist Ai Weiwei? Had they sought asylum in a foreign embassy from political persecution, as the UN panel’s ruling at the very least implies is the case for Assange, would the Guardian be arguing that they should still have handed themselves over to the authorities so as not to break their bail terms?

The Guardian’s truly Kafka-esque worldview is revealed in its editorial’s concluding line:

WikiLeaks was founded on exposing those who ignored the rule of law. Surely its editor-in-chief should recognise his duty to see it upheld.

Wikileaks was most certainly not founded to expose those who have violated local, state-based law. Wikileaks does not believe Suu Kyi should have spent many years under house arrest because she broke Burma’s laws, or that Anwar Ibrahim should be in jail because he violated Malaysian laws. Or that George Bush and Tony Blair should live as respected multi-millionaires rather than face long jail sentences as war criminals because their local legal systems do not function properly.

Wikileaks was founded on another idea: that a fairer world requires transparency.

The secret machinations of the US grand jury, the endless obfuscations and hidden agenda of Sweden’s second prosecutor, and the Guardian’s own financial reliance on major corporations are all relevant to understanding why Assange remains arbitrarily detained – and why the Guardian won’t give him a fair hearing.

Jonathan Cook is an independent journalist based in Nazareth and winner of the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism.

Syria’s conflict is getting increasingly dicey. Farcical peace talks collapsed. Resuming them is doubtful. Chances for diplomatic resolution are nil. 

Russia’s aerial campaign aiding Syrian ground forces continues unrelenting, Putin committed to combating all terrorist groups until defeating or reducing them to a shadow of their peak strength – enabling government troops to contain their remnants.

A previous article cited Russian evidence, indicating possible Turkish ground incursion preparations. Earlier Russian video evidence exposed Turkish shelling of Syria’s Latakia province – whether ahead of plans to invade its territory remains to be seen.

Does Riyadh have the same intention? Weeks earlier, it set up a military coordination body with Ankara. Saudi General Ahmed Asseri said “(t)he kingdom is ready to participate in any ground operations that the (US-led) coalition may agree to carry out in Syria” – on the phony pretext of combating ISIS.

Washington created ISIS, using its fighters as imperial foot soldiers – supported by other NATO nations, Gulf States including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Israel and Jordan.

If Ankara and Riyadh invade Syria, they’ll be supporting ISIS and other terrorist groups against Assad – complicit with Washington, wanting Western-controlled puppet governance replacing Syrian sovereign independence.

That’s what Obama’s dirty war is all about (Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State helped orchestrate) – along with eliminating an Israeli rival and isolating Iran ahead of plans to transform the Islamic Republic the same way, a prescription for endless war, greater destruction than already, and possibly millions more lives lost.

Asseri indicated what perhaps Washington supports and  intends – countering Russian/Syrian aerial and ground operations with its own, using US and “coalition” ground forces, raising the stakes hugely, making Syria a more dangerous flashpoint than already, US/Russian direct confrontation increasingly possible, a nightmarish scenario risking global war.

Exactly what Washington intends remains to be seen. Turkey and/or Saudi Arabia would never act unilaterally on their own against Syria without US approval or complicity.

Endless US wars and rage for unchallenged global dominance represent the greatest threat to world peace.

Daily events should scare everyone. When wars are prioritized over peace, human life hangs in the balance.

A Final Comment

On Friday, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter welcomed Riyadh’s willingness to send combat troops to Syria, saying:

“That kind of new is very welcome. I look forward to discussing (it) with…Saudi defense minister (Mohammad bin Salman) next week – that and other kinds of contributions that Saudi Arabia can make.”

Is the die cast? Carter said nothing about possible Turkish troops invading Syria.

Will Riyadh and Ankara join announced US combat force deployments, intended to aid ISIS and other terrorist groups, continuing endless war, aiming to topple Assad and destroy Syrian sovereignty.

 

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. 

US Sponsored “Democracy” in Haiti

February 6th, 2016 by Ezili Dantò

In our last post, we explained why we did not want the Senate president to convene the national assembly. ( Haiti’s David and Goliath Battle for Democracy Against U.S.-supported Dictatorship and Monopoly Capitalism .) This European Parliamentary format historically is the regency that maintains the monarchy and the Bank of International Settlements, not the majority voices. 

Yesterday the Senate head, Jocelerme Privert tried to cut the people’s throat. He convened the illegally elected Parliament, seating wrongfully elected Deputies and Senators, together as one. This attempts to erase the protester’s gains against the fraudulent presidential, local and parliamentary elections on August 9 and October 25th. Now the talk is of either Privert or the head of the Supreme Court (Cantave) being appointed as provisional president who will name a consensus provisional PM until elections are held.

Here’s the rub: the Euros kept their illegal, fraudulently elected parliament to use over the people’s wishes. Pierre Opont, the corrupt electoral council president’s last piece of garbage thrown at Haiti will hurt like hell and for more than five years no matter who becomes president, unless this fraudulent parliament is neutralize, goes unrecognized.

The Ezili Network/Free Haiti are made up of the finest Haiti minds. What’s our next play folks to help neutralize this illegal Parliament? To help give the pro-democracy sectors room to set up a proper transitional government that will sort out the Parliamentary and presidential vote and elections? Keep Empire’s violences, fostering corruption, stealing and plundering at bay?? (See the G8 proposition HLLN endorses at

https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/tout-haiti/U2Abqy7gfyI)

This illegal Privet/PHTK/KID Parliament is about to vote away HAITI RICHES to the CORE GROUP. That’s what Opont/US-EU put them in there to do. Stopping the election on Jan 24th was a battle we won. But the war is for Haiti’s riches and the Internationals have sic Parliament on us to vote to approve the new World Bank mining laws; to vote to amend the Haiti Constitution written by the World Bank. The CORE Group basically sneaked the Parliament in with a wink that said – “we know you guys are illegal. But the G8 won’t be bought off. We won’t say anything about your illegality. But as Parliament, you have to vote the World Bank mining amendment; you have to vote to confirm WB Constitutional amendment; you have to vote to approve all of Martelly’s illegal decrees. – That’s the whole ball game folks unless we step up and act instead of reacting. See, Haiti’s David and Goliath Battle for Democracy Against U.S.-supported Dictatorship and Monopoly Capitalism. 

Do not be surprised if at the last hour, this illegal CORE-Group Parliament, at least the Deputy Chamber filled with Martelly party Deputies, votes to extend Martelly’s term until May 14, 2016.

Even if they’re not brazen enough to do this, the Internationals have put a hornet nest of fraudulently elected people in our faces so that Empire may continue to have a reason to be in Haiti, make money with private military security contractors, keep the bogus narrative about the incompetent and divided Haitians who can’t rule themselves, going on…

It’s tragic. Today, Friday, February 5, 2016, men on motorcycles wearing former Haiti army military fatigue are roaming the streets, some shooting and attacking anti-Martelly dictatorship citizens. One was stoned by the crowd near Mason. Allegedly he shot at the crowd and they caught him. It’s ugly stuff.  Word in the street is as of tonight all illegal weapons are legal. Calmer minds must prevail. The Internationals need to back-off with their former Haiti military. Martelly must go without leaving his Duvalierist/Core Group remains behind. This Haitian blood in on the hands of the Clintons, Obama, Kenneth Merten, Paul Farmer NGOs that gave them the PR to illegally put in another Duvalierist Martelly. They are our past, not the future.

Reports are that the people came under heavy gun fire at Champs de Mars. Near Avenue Magloire Ambroise, there’s a grey pick up truck filled with the special police unit known as CIMO. The CIMO truckloads of militarized police are just watching the violence against unarmed people and doing nothing to chase the motorcycle militias or to arrest them. Therse motorcycle militias are part of the old army (FAHD) and the new ones were trained in Ecuador for Martelly. The rumor is they are headed to the national palace. But that is not confirmed. They came out of Delma, Petionville..central command.

(See photohttps://goo.gl/FcSzQ1 and https://goo.gl/kBKpE6

and video here

https://www.facebook.com/slorquet2/videos/1152943094730925/


If the past is prologue. The status quo will continue to ramp up their militarized police force and Guy Philippe-like paramilitary continue to kill, incarcerate, terrorize and beat up the anti-corruption protesters in order to demobilize, make fearful and scatter the people into silence.

Empire stills wants to install their fraudulent elections and stooges in Haiti. What can peaceful people with integrity do to save some Haiti lives from the wrath of the rabid elites and their overseers?  (See,

600 British soldiers train Islamic state (Daech) terrorists. – note google English translation below

http://lepouvoirmondial.net/2015/12/07/graves-revelations-du-daily-star-600-soldats-britanniques-forment-les-terroristes-de-daech/;

Romanian Hacker Who Exposed Clinton Email Scandal Welcomes Extradition

http://sputniknews.com/us/20160205/1034253727/romanian-hacker-clinton-email-scandal.html and Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/24/us/cash-flowed-to-clinton-foundation-as-russians-pressed-for-control-of-uranium-company.html.)

I see a few open doors.
One is the jockeying for the U.S. presidency.
The models of Eritrea, Russia, Zimbabwe and Ghana. All outlawed the NGOs and kicked out the corrupt UN. We do what Desalin and Toussaint did when facing overwhelming force. Give the Clintons their piece of change back. Donald Trump, (who along with Hillary Clinton is the lowest common denominator in Western “civilization”) will probably be the next U.S. president. I know. The duopoly of evil is stomach wrenching. I know. But the US electorate is nowhere as educated about their farcical elections as the Haitian on the streets these last five years against Martelly are.
The wealthiest, most “educated” population on the planet, generally has no clue that the Democrats are lethal to the common man, even more so than the Republicans and the the whole shebang must go!They don’t know that Obama’s War Against the First Black Republic is unspeakable. I’ve said this before and say it again: Give me the KKK, the ultra right skinheads, the Neocons before any of these sniveling emotional Democrats in need of a pat in the back from their victims while they rape you senseless. At least the Republicans honestly want a separation. I’m down with separating from neanderthals. All for it.

Let’s play the Republicans with promise of the Diaspora vote and buy room to renegotiate better use of Haiti human and natural resources. I mean really. There’s no use trying to convince Haitians in the US not to vote. That’s as much of a losing battle as asking local Black Americans to remember how Obama ignored them or the crimes of the Clintons, Bill’s prison industrial complex, et al. So, in the short term, there’s the Republican card to play, or the election card as a whole brings about flux in the “Mr. Smith drones” managing empire across the globe.

Also, Republicans are not about false love. Only war profiteering, institutionalized racism, Zionism, false Christianity PR and profit over people values. Not too different from the Democrats from FDR to Obama. We know we’re at war in Haiti. It’s a slow genocide. We fight the US-Euro warmongering duopoly from one generation to the next. Frankly, there must be an economic revolution in Haiti.  The white Oligarchs from Lebanon, Syria, Israel must account. Neither Reginald Boulos nor Gregory Brandt are authorized negotiate over the people’s heads with the Hillary Clinton/Cheryl Mills-ilks as was done in 2010.

Whoever will stand in solidarity with the people in their desire for justice, participatory democracy, no impunity of the criminals, IN THIS MOMENT, is the force we’re standing with. Whoever will show respect for local Haitians keeping Haiti lands, coastlines, deep water ports, offshore islands, mining riches, to move towards Haiti food sovereignty, to stop fleecing the Haiti Diaspora remittances, to allow the Haitian people to invest in its own informal economy – the Madan Sara, the chauffeur guides, the Tap Tap owners, without taking WB/IMF/NGO ownership – is the force we’re standing with. For now. UP with Haiti self-reliance and local sovereignty. Down with the illegal CORE-Group Parliament, fake elections, fake aid and the occupation in Haiti.

Someone please tell the OAS interlopers in Haiti that any deal between the ousted, defacto president Michel Martelly and the illegal Privert Parliament to continue the international crime scene in Haiti, is dead in the water. So they need not announce it.

See, Haiti’s David and Goliath Battle for Democracy Against U.S.-supported Dictatorship and Monopoly Capitalism

Martelly and his Handlers Commit Crimes against Humanity -

https://goo.gl/AogqKo  ;Obama’s War Against the First Black Republic  https://goo.gl/vvOMfK.

Synthetic biology also appears likely to open up opportunities in the human performance modification field through the potential to make regulatory molecules in laboratories or, more directly, inside the body. For example, bacteria that live in the human digestive system already convert food into neurotransmitters and other molecules that influence performance; by engineering these organisms to sense the levels of compounds in the body and to supplement or counteract them when needed, it may be possible to enhance physical, cognitive, and socioemotional (or interpersonal) performance. -DoD Office of Technical Intelligence

The mainstream media, the public and financiers are agog over the Zika virus (Zika) which is wreaking havoc on thousands of families and newborns in the vicinity of Piracicaba, Northeast Brazil. Zika cases have already been reported in Texas, Florida and Virginia.

According to the US Center for Disease Control, “In May 2015, the public health authorities of Brazil confirmed the transmission of Zika virus in the northeast of the country. Since October 2015, other countries and territories of the Americas have reported the presence of the virus.”

Opportunistic Zika is being presented by the mainstream media and some government agencies in the same manner as the beheading of an ISIL/Daesh prisoner, and with all the drama, color commentary and propaganda of the War on Terror, the War in Afghanistan, the War in Iraq, the War on Drugs, the War on Crime, the Cyber War, and the reemerging War against the twin Red—though capitalist—Menaces Russia and China.

Is it possible for the United States of America to do anything other than wage war?

At any rate, Piracicaba, Brazil, according to an Intrexon briefing at a JP Morgan sponsored conference, was the site of the “world’s first municipality to release Oxitec organisms [genetically modified organisms (GMO’s)] into the wild. The organisms were genetically tricked-out male mosquitoes and the release of the flying critters took place in April of 2015. Oxitec is a subsidiary of Intrexon.

The is no established link between Intrexon’s release of genetically modified mosquitoes and Zika or the birth defects attributed to Zika that are ravaging the families and children of northeast Brazil. But there is a link, however, between Intrexon’s timely purchase of Oxitec in August 2015 for $160 million, and the windfall that Intrexon expects to gain from its genetically modified killer mosquitoes. Already, Wall Street investors, business publications and media outlets are praising the use of GMO’s like those of Intrexon’s to wipe out malaria, dengue and other diseases even though there remains much scientific uncertainty over the long term effects of inserting GMO’s into the ecosystems into which human animals are embedded.

GMO’s Taste Great!

Science writer Phillip Ball writes that

“If the idea of introducing a turbo-boosted method of genetic modification into the wild sounds alarming, it should. In 2014, before it was even clear whether gene drives would work in insects, a group of US researchers recommended some safety guidelines and called for regulation and extreme caution before unleashing such a powerful technique in a natural ecosystem. The subsequent publication of a gene-drive system in flies led the same researchers (including those who did that work) to recommend lab containment procedures.

In similar fashion, another of Intrexon’s business units, AquaBounty’s AquaAdvantage Salmon, received approval in 2015 from the US Food and Drug Administration to produce and harvest genetically engineered salmon and sell it in the US without warning labels. The GM salmon will be produced in Panama and Canada. However, the US Congress stepped in and indicated that it would not allow the sale of GM salmon in the US without a labeling regime. According to the National Law Review, “Reversing course from the end of 2015, FDA recently announced an import ban on genetically engineered (GE) salmon until such a time as comprehensive labeling guidelines are introduced. Despite FDA’s approval of GE salmon in November 2015, the agency appears to have bowed to congressional pressure and placed a hold on the importation of the AquAdvantage Salmon pending resolution of the labeling guideline controversy.”

Further, documents received by foodandwaterwatch.org through a Freedom of Information Act request reveal that some staff at the US Fish and Wildlife Service expressed reservations about Intrexon’s GE salmon and the impact on native salmon:

“…I think the idea of genetically engineered animals that will be consumed is a bad idea anyway but it is done all the time. I think the uncertainty of what will eventually happen to a species if genetically altered animals mix with native stocks is reason enough to oppose this at least until such times as that controlled experimentation takes place…no matter what precautions you take fish escape and once they do, there is no closing that door. So that being said, I think it is a bad precedent to set.”

Lobbyists, Genes, Investments and Defense

Sitting on Intrexon’s board of directors is Cesar Alvarez of Greenberg Traurig (GT). His biography indicates that

“Mr. Alvarez has served since February 2010 as the Executive Chairman of the international law firm of Greenberg Traurig, LLP, and previously served as its Chief Executive Officer from 1997 until his election as Executive Chairman.”

If the name Greenberg Traurig sounds familiar, that because it was home to Jack Abramoff who brought in millions of dollars to GT while Alvarez was, ostensibly, in charge as GT’s CEO. According to GT’s website, “During his tenure as CEO, which began in 1997, he directed the firm’s growth from 325 lawyers in eight offices to approximately 1850 attorneys and government professionals…”  GT has been involved in a number of unsavory activities over the years, many of them under Alvarez’s watch.

The Pentagon and US Intelligence agencies are looking into synthetic biology in some sense the way they used to look into hallucinogenic LSD and atomic weapons: Theorize, test on humans, and then see what happens all before regulators get nosy. In January 2015 the Department of Defense’s Office of Technical Intelligence produced a report titled Synthetic Biology. The field is described as this:

“Synthetic biology is an emerging field in which scientists modify or ‘engineer’ DNA to improve their ability to understand, predict, design, and build biological systems…Thus, it is not a new field, but it is new in its approach – holistic engineering of biology – and its promise…Due to DoD’s unique missions, there are many special needs for advanced materials, and this area has low regulatory hurdles.”

Intrexon gets a few mentions in the Synthetic Biology study, always a good thing for a company looking to relieve the Pentagon’s research and engineering units of some cash. Here’s one:

“Intrexon, a synthetic biology company that designs and produces organisms for agricultural, medical, and industrial applications, conducted an initial public offering (IPO) this year that valued the company at more than $2 billion.” Here’s another: “The R&D Services group is similarly young and has received lower levels of investment, with the exception of one big winner: Intrexon, which has attracted $500 million dollars in investment, was omitted from the analysis above because of the degree to which it skews this group.”

John Stanton can be reached at [email protected] 

The Global Research community will likely agree that academic freedom and free speech are the basic tenets of free and democratic societies. On January 6, 2016 I was terminated from my tenured position as Associate Professor of Journalism and Media Studies at Florida Atlantic University. The reason FAU administrators gave for this abrupt action was that I questioned university policy and failed to file paperwork in a timely manner.

I began my employment at FAU as Assistant Professor in 2002 after completing my graduate studies at The University of Iowa, and was granted tenure in 2008. In my 13-years at Florida Atlantic my record of faculty teaching, research, and service has been consistently adjudged as excellent by my colleagues.

Most observers contend that my firing stemmed from the many articles on my personal blog, Memory Hole, that have interrogated the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre and similar controversial events. Beginning in early 2013 I became a target of many mainstream journalistic outlets that routinely failed to provide objective and responsible investigative coverage of these very incidents. I contend that this harassment and termination of my employment suggests a broader affront to free speech and academic freedom not only for faculty at FAU and other North American universities, but for free thinkers throughout the world.

The James Tracy Legal Defense Fund Inc. was established as a nonprofit charity by concerned scholars in January 2016. The central purpose of the Legal Defense Fund is to generate revenue toward retaining competent legal representation for researching and ascertaining the facts pertinent to my case.

For more information on how you can help please visit TracyLegalDefense.org. If you are able to assist in my legal defense a link is provided below to make a contribution to the Fund.

Screen Shot 2016-01-28 at 10.54.44 PM

Thank you.

Sincerely,

James F. Tracy, Ph.D.

Understanding False Flag Operations In Our Time

February 6th, 2016 by Bonnie Faulkner

Richard Dolan covers false flag operations analyzed as a distinctively modern phenomena, post WWI; the planet being stolen by a transnational corporate financial class; ideological false flags including religions and nationalism; the propaganda spectrum including cultural values, educational system and news media; a war of corporate cultural control and imposition of a global police state; US Psychological Operations Manual; white, grey and black PSYOPs; regime change and color revolutions; NGOs; characteristics of a false flag.

False flag operations analyzed as a distinctively modern phenomena, post WWI; the planet being stolen by a transnational corporate financial class; ideological false flags including religions and nationalism; the propaganda spectrum including cultural values, educational system and news media; a war of corporate cultural control and imposition of a global police state; US Psychological Operations Manual; white, grey and black PSYOPs; regime change and color revolutions; NGOs; characteristics of a false flag.

This is Guns and Butter.

We have 9/11 in which the hammer comes down and beats you over the head for the rest of your life with a big national security stick so that people learn to duck their head and not speak up, because … bad idea now. You know, we now have, I think 20% of the American population is 15 or younger. I think that’s the number. These are people who grew up – they don’t know anything other than post-9/11 America. And actually, let’s say that anyone who’s under 25 doesn’t, really. They were kids. That’s probably, what, a third or more of the population. It’s all going away. The whole past of the United States, the whole idea of rule by the people, of privacy. We have an entire new generation who are growing up without any of that. It’s all gone.

I’m Bonnie Faulkner. Today on Guns and Butter, Richard Dolan. Today’s show: Understanding False Flag Operations in Our Time. Richard Dolan is an author and historian. He is nearing completion of a groundbreaking book, A History of False Flag Operations, which will explain one of the most pernicious developments of our time: how clandestine agencies secretly engage in violence and destruction in order to promote their agendas. He has published four books and numerous articles on anomalous phenomena, suppressed science, secret space programs, breakaway civilizations, the intelligence community and similar subjects. He is best known as the author of two volumes of history, UFOs and The National Security State. He studied US Cold War strategy, Soviet history and international diplomacy. Today’s presentation, Understanding False Flag Operations In Our Time, is from the Architects of the New Paradigm Conference in San Rafael, California, January 16th, 2016. Richard Dolan.

* * * * *

In addition to writing books I’ve spent many, many years doing private consulting work. Basically I’m an independent writer and I would meet with individuals one on one, thousands and thousands of them. It was a great experience with me just to sit down and talk with someone about their life, about their career, about their anxieties and everything else.

What I’ve always noticed is that when you start scratching the surface of someone’s worldview you find very quickly that they, just as you, have an understanding that there’s something not right with the world around us. Not everyone has the motivation or the education or the background to kind of dive into this like a madman obsessed with getting to the truth, but they know. They feel it in their bones. There’s something wrong, desperately wrong, with the state of the world, and it involves a feeling that they’re not in control anymore.

In particular I think we can see this in the last 20 years in the United States where we’ve had severe economic dislocation. I live in the northeastern part of the United States and I’ve gotten to see really the obliteration of a company that informed the town that I live in. That’s Eastman Kodak in Rochester, New York, and I just watched Kodak go poof over the past decade and a half. But I think you can see this story everywhere, in many places of the US.

It accompanies a kind of loss of hope, a loss of confidence, a feeling like is the future really going to be worth something? In addition to that, those people who try to learn about their world by turning on the television and watching CNN, inevitably what they find is that they’re totally confused about what is happening. It just seems like one damn thing after another, one terrorist thing doing this and one national security thing doing that and these crazy people, why do they hate us… and there’s really no sense of understanding when you plug into the establishment news media. There doesn’t seem to be like how do we solve any of this, how do we fix this, how do we really get to a better world, why can’t these people just like freedom and democracy like we do? This is the kind of nonsense that … There doesn’t seem to be a way out of it.

I would say that all of that confusion, all of that hopelessness is by design. I believe this now. I don’t believe, as I might have years past, that the people on top, they’re trying to do their best but it’s a tough world out there. No. No. No. They want you to feel helpless. They want you to be confused. Let’s talk about why.

One reason why is that the whole planet is being stolen. You’ve got this many people who want to own every single thing that’s worth owning in this planet – all the water, all the genetically modified foods they want to shove down your throat, all the minerals in the ground. They want every single thing. And they’re getting it. They’ve got it, actually, and they just want more. That’s the way it’s happening.

It’s a transnational corporate financial theft of everything. It’s a war. When there’s a war, the people who are running that war really don’t want you to be able to react to it. They don’t want you to be cognizant of what is happening. And they want you to be quiet about it. They want you to obey and be compliant.

Therefore, they must rule by means of deception. Because if they were to out and out say to you, “Yeah, we’re going to steal all your stuff,” you might have a thing or two to say about it. So what must happen is a kind of ideological false flag or an ideological psych on you and me. This is exactly, I think, what we are seeing in the world.

Now, it’s certainly not true to say that this is a new development in a larger sense. Human history has always been informed by intense hierarchy. In that sense you could say mind control has always existed in the sense that elites have typically kind of created worldviews by which the great masses of humanity would look to the authority for guidance and for salvation. I think the obvious example of this we could see is various religions of the world but I would also include things like nationalism and other kinds of ideologies that let us say encourage and enforce compliance among the population.

I think we can agree that false problems have, since forever, since throughout human history, been kind of created in order to accommodate a pre-arranged solution to that problem, things that I would call an ideological false flag. What I mean by that is not an instance where a government or an intelligence agency in ancient times would kill people and blame it on another party and scare the heck out of people and enforce their rule. No, but by creating a mindset.

Think of something like the Inquisition. That’s a perfect example of an ideological false flag where back in, I think it was, 1487, a book called Malleus Maleficarum was published. This was a guidebook, really, on how to identify, prosecute and kill witches. That’s what that book really was. As a result of that, over the next century or so about 1 million European women were executed for witchcraft, about then. It did several things. One is it created a lot of fear among the population. “Oh, my God, witches. Get rid of those people!” It enforced the authority of the ecclesiastical Church at the time, at least for a certain while until there was a reaction against it. And it also got a lot of power and money for the Church. Families of witches would actually pay through indulgences to minimize the amount of time in Purgatory or get them out of Hell. This actually really happened. It also allowed for land grabs by the Church of the families of the witches, very much like the US government does today with people suspected – this is really the truth – of various crimes. They take your property. This is what the Church did. So that I call a false flag. The War on Terror is an ideological false flag.

That’s an old, old part of human history. I would say in our world today there is a manner in which they’re trying to get inside your head, and I call it a propaganda spectrum. There are all kind of forms of control but they get progressively more pernicious as you go down the list.

The most fundamental method by which society, that you are expected to conform to society, would be what we might call cultural values. That’s when you go to school and you learn to pledge allegiance with your hand over your heart and you go through the educational system. Even 100 years ago Bertrand Russell was talking about as a method of conformity. More recently we have really great visionaries like John Taylor Gatto who has talked very much along the same lines, of the educational system as a system of control over your head. Get inside your head and make you obey, make you an obedient worker.

So that’s the cultural values. Not all of it is necessarily evil. We can all recognize that a functioning society would require a kind of cultural consensus, but you can still see how the implementation of certain cultural values could at least provide a foundation of obedience.

Beyond that, though, I think what is a little bit more pernicious is what we might call cultural distractions. This is the phenomenon of the Kardashians and things like Dancing With The whatever they’ve got on this week or Monday Night Football, or all the stupid, meaningless stuff that is poured into everyone’s head every single day – truly, literally meaningless information that just goes right in. And we all like entertainment. I’m watching back episodes of “The Sopranos” so I’m just as guilty as anyone else. Those are my people. I’m from the Northeast. “You know what I’m talking about? Yeah, I know what you’re talking about.”

But I think when you get into a level of distraction that is so mindless as what we obviously see around us, this is a signal. It’s a signal for you to look over here, don’t look over there. There’s something important going on over here so look at this shiny little trinket. It goes on and on and on and on and it never stops, and it never will stop as long as this system is in place as it is.

Beyond that, though, there’s still always people even in what we would call the ordinary, out-there society, all the other people in this country, who still want to feel like they’re being informed, and that’s when they turn on the TV and they watch CNN or Fox or NPR. Hey, why not? Because look, NPR was run for years and years by a man who was running CIA propaganda, and that’s a fact, so NPR’s really no different. Yeah. It’s really true. People think, “Oh, I’m so educated. Fox sucks. I’m going to listen to NPR because they’re intelligent.

Well, you know, here’s the thing about that, I’ll just say as an aside. Our whole cultural narrative these days, our whole cultural discourse in politics seems to me to be on nothing more than cultural issues. Not that they don’t matter, but it’s like if you’re a liberal that means “I support transgender rights.” If you’re a conservative, “I don’t support transgender rights.” “I do support Black Lives Matter.” “I don’t support Black Lives Matter.” “I do support smoking weed in Colorado.” “I don’t support smoking” … If this is what we’ve come down to in our politics, we’re done. It’s over – over, over. Stick a fork in us, it’s done because, as I say, there’s a serious war happening. It is a war of corporate cultural control and imposition of a global police state over you and over your children, over your grandchildren, for all of time. That’s the war. If we’re not talking about that, then we’re just wasting our time. That’s my view.

Anyway, for that third level of control and spin there’s the news media, people who want to be informed, so they’ll turn on CNN and become confused forever, because really, that’s a system that is all about censorship, spin, propaganda, control. CNN … Why is it that CNN is on at every single gate at every single airport in the United States? Why? Is it like every airport manager in the country is like, “Oh, wow. I totally love CNN. I want to inform…” I don’t think so. They’re a private company owned by Time Warner – clearly there’s a nice sweetheart deal – and because they are the propaganda voice of the US State Department and CIA. That’s the only reason they’re on. That’s the only reason you see them at every gate. So that’s the third level. I would say those first three levels of propaganda account for probably 95% of the control mechanisms in place to keep you in your place. Most probably.

But then, every now and then you need a little bit more something, and that’s when we’re talking about psy-ops, psychological operations, covert ops, color revolutions, regime change down to the “Shock Doctrine” type of events, if anyone’s read Naomi Klein. I’m a big fan of that book. And then down to false flags, which I think is the most pernicious of those. I’ll talk a little bit about these in a little more detail.

With psy-ops, psychological operations, US military, this is in their playbook. This is an official thing that our military does, and other militaries do it, too. It’s not just us. It’s interesting that the Defense Department will have in this psychological operations manual three different types of ops. They call them white, grey and black psy-ops.

White psy-ops is pretty straightforward. It’s not really even a psych job on the world. It’s basically an official or a virtually official statement of the United States government just getting their message out to the world. And you know it’s from the US government and it’s relatively straightforward, even if you don’t agree with it.

Grey psy-ops is a little more interesting and very pervasive in our world today, as it’s always been. If you’re familiar with something like Operation Mockingbird, that would be a grey psy-op. That would be something like using journalists or using other voices that are not officially part of the US government but basically having them give the US government perspective, pretending it’s coming from some other voice. That’s a grey psy-op, and that’s a very, very widespread phenomenon.

The Pentagon, for example, which spends billions of dollars every single year managing their social image – they do – that includes things like not simply having close relationships with professional journalists who spin the news in their favor, but it also includes paid trolls, which I call sock puppets. This is true. Let’s say you read news articles and you look at all the comments below and you see these real whackjobs out there. Some of them really literally are sock puppets. That means you’d be a Pentagon employee and you’d be in charge of X number of profiles on the social media and on the message boards. That’s what you would do. You would disrupt, you would persuade, you would cajole, but in fact, you’re a paid employee. That would be a grey psy-op, as well.

Then there’s black psy-ops, and this is where we’re really getting into some serious stuff. This is according to the US Psychological Operations Manual: A black psy-op is something that comes from a US government source but “appears to emanate from a source hostile in nature. US government would deny responsibility.” That’s a false flag. I don’t know how else you can describe it. Something that the US government does but seems to come from one of the “bad guys.”

One of the things about black psy-ops in the manual is that – at least they state – this is not actually a function of the United States military but actually that black psy-ops are a function of the US intelligence community, and that kind of makes sense. I guess the point is that false flag black psy-ops are in the playbook of the United States. It’s just worth keeping in mind.

Something like regime change or the so-called color revolutions, these can include false flags, which I’m going to get into a false flag in just a moment in case you’re still wondering, “What the heck is a false flag?” Regime change is something that the United States has truly perfected to the extent possible over many decades. They did it back in 1953 in Iran. Essentially what that was was a CIA operation to overthrow an elected government that had the temerity to nationalize its oil, and you can’t do that, so the CIA, Kermit Roosevelt, a grandson of T.R., ran an operation for the CIA to pay off people to pretend they were communists, to do horrible things to discredit that group, and to organize crowds that pushed for regime change. And it was quite successful. This was a model that has been followed ever since.

Primarily now what you find is the US does this through NGOs, non-governmental organizations, and this has been a very, very major topic of study. So again, it’s all ruled by indirection. There’s one group known as Avaaz – it’s called The Voice in many languages – and many others as well, but this one has been heavily involved in supporting efforts to destabilize and topple the governments of Libya. They were really gleeful about that one and calling for NATO intervention, which ended up essentially destroying that nation, which it is to this day, and they’re trying to do the same in Syria today.

So in other words, the US works through these and many other NGOs to push for regime change where ordinary citizens, people around the world that don’t know any better think, “Oh, well they’re a non-governmental organization. They’re obviously detached, objective, etc.” No. They’re not. They’re working for the United States government and intelligence community. And this is very, very common. That’s an image of the color revolution in Ukraine back in ’04 and it’s just a model that’s been done tried and true many times now.

Another aspect of the covert ops, getting toward false flag in cases we might call provocations, and this has happened everywhere, we’re talking about agents provocateur. We probably are all familiar with the old COINTELPRO operation from the FBI from the ‘50s and ‘60s and ‘70s in which the FBI would infiltrate organizations that were pushing for positive social change, I would say – Students for Democratic Society, the Black Panthers. What they would do then is have their guys inside the organization fomenting violence and doing things to discredit those organizations. That’s provocation.

This is again, a highly effective tool used within the US, used in Canada, used in the UK. It’s used all through Europe. It was used very much in Ukraine in 2014, used in Iraq after the invasion in ’03, through ’04, ’05, ’06. There are a lot of provocations that we know about – I’ll be writing about them in my new book – in Syria, elsewhere. And it happened in the Occupy movement, without a doubt.

So you have covert operatives infiltrating movements for progressive change with a view to discredit it. I suspect most of you may be familiar with this or on board with it, but if you doubt it, this is a great deal of research and really excellent journalism that has gone into this and has, I think proven – not suggested, not hinted, but has proven that provocations are standard operating procedure. Some of these guys just get found out.

Another important means by which I think propaganda is used to dominate your mind and to kind of impose a corporate control kind of global revolution is what we might call the “Shock Doctrine” technique, and this was the contribution of Naomi Klein. Really, what she argues is that neoliberalism, or let’s call it globalism, as a fundamentally anti-human process, her argument is that it can only be imposed via trauma, I guess we could say. She came up with the phrase “shock doctrine” through the US military’s phrase of “shock and awe.” The military goes into a nation, we’re going to “shock and awe” them. Think about, oh, wow… what a thing to say about another group of people. You pound them into submission and traumatize them, and that’s precisely US military doctrine.

What occurred to her was that this is actually how they rule, not just abroad but they rule at home through shock. She was thinking of Katrina, she was thinking of 9/11. When some horrible, terrible thing happens in which people are just bereft and no one’s thinking clearly… Often after these horrific things happen, and that is exactly when, she says, contingency plans which had been in place since forever are rolled out and people just accept it because they’re looking for help – corporate control over New Orleans after Katrina or the whole national security apparatus rolled in after 9/11 and so on and so on.

What she suggests is that these catastrophes and the anxiety that comes about as a result of it that is played up by authorities results in what she calls learned helplessness. We’ve done science studies of rats and you create so much anxiety and loss of control, they learn helplessness, and it’s the same with people. And her argument is that this is a key method by which global control is achieved. I would totally agree with that, and I would say, let’s go one step further.

There are instances in which crises aren’t simply happening and then groups opportunistically take advantage of it. I would argue that there are a number of events in our contemporary world in which those catastrophes are intentionally created, and that is what we call a false flag – an instance in which a group, an intelligence agency usually, does something truly horrible – killing people, blowing up buildings, some other kind of horrific act that is then blamed on another party by which to justify things that could never otherwise be justified, whether it’s dastardly pernicious laws of control over a population or wars that could never have otherwise be justified to justify theft of natural resources of other countries and so on. That’s a false flag. There’s a lot of that going on around in the world these days.

I think it’s probably the single most powerful form of propaganda. I can’t think of anything that has more emotional impact than a false flag. And I also think there’s not much more that I can think of that’s more risky or audacious or bold to undertake than a true false flag. It’s not something for everyone. I think it’s something that only a very few organizations truly have the wherewithal and the power to implement. I’ll get into that in a moment.

If you scroll through the Web on the phenomenon of false flags you’ll find a lot of sites that will say that this is an ancient phenomenon going back. Some will site things like Nero burning down Rome and blaming it on the Christians to implement certain things. And when I started researching this about a year ago I was certainly inclined to accept that line of reasoning, but my own research has told me otherwise.

Actually, I would argue that false flags are not an ancient phenomenon. Now, I talked about the ideological false flags, a kind of mind control system in place, like the Inquisition and other things, but that’s different. I mean false flags as a covert op. I don’t think that’s an ancient phenomenon at all. I think it’s a distinctively modern phenomenon and, in fact, I think that’s an important thing to understand about them so that we realize why they are happening today, and I will be talking about that now.

I think to have a false flag what you need, because a false flag is a big psych job on the population, so one thing that is necessary is you have to have a kind of ostensibly – and I say ostensibly – democratic type of system. It doesn’t have to be truly democratic. The United States is not a truly democratic society. In fact, Yale university – I think it was Yale – did a study a couple of years ago that actually quantitatively I would say proved that what we have is an oligarchy. What they did is they looked at public policy and legislation that was implemented and looking at public opinion and the like, and really, I think, proving beyond the shadow of a doubt that the wishes of the great masses of the population have zero impact on public policy, and that public policy is, on the contrary, put into place on the wishes of those who have power and money and influence. It’s no surprise. That’s an oligarchy, and that’s what we have.

But we also have an ostensive democratic system where people still believe and we still have the remnants, let’s say, of that kind of rule of the people. It’s not just the United States. It’s in much of the world now. Kim Jong Un of North Korea doesn’t need to do false flags. Really, why? Because he’s got the people terrified. He just controls them through fear – and lies, yes, but a lie is not the same as a false flag. In fact, he can’t really do easily, in my view, a false flag against South Korea, either, because he doesn’t have control over major media globally. That’s the next thing.

For false flag you need an ostensibly democratic system because you have to corral the people into a particular point of view, and then you need control over major media. You have to have the ability to effectively propagandize without competition from other narratives – at least significant competition of that. So you dominate the narrative.

On top of that, you need decent covert op teams, people who know what they’re doing. Again, this is not the type of thing that you would really find in the ancient world. You need a lot of money to do that, and there’s a few nations in the world today who have much more money and means than others to do this. And you need motive and the capability, obviously, for what I would call geopolitical, financial or national political change. There’s got to be groups that are pushing to revolutionize their society in ways that they believe it should be. They realize they can’t do it along legal means and so they use these other means.

The other one thing I would say why false flags are not a truly ancient phenomenon is in the ancient world – and I’m an avid student of ancient history, very much so. What you find in ancient history is lots of bloodshed. I mean massacres and horrific… We think it’s bad today but in the ancient world armies would go in and just completely kill every single inhabitant in a town, my God. So there’s no shortage of bloodshed. There’s no shortage of lies that nations would tell each other, absolutely. But the idea of doing something like a false flag in the ancient world, when you look at most of the cultural values that existed in most of the societies back then, it really would be pernicious to them. As bloody-minded as most of the ancient militaries were, there was a sort of code. Let’s call it a code among thieves or a code of honor, in which the deception really would be considered a pernicious and a horrible thing to do. Also, I think it would be much more difficult to do a true false flag for those reasons and due to the lack of communication, just a harder thing to do. I think a false flag is, again, a distinctively modern phenomenon.

To do a false flag internationally or even domestically and have it fly internationally, you need power in the world today. You’ve got to be able, especially for something international, to dominate global media, at least sufficiently so that you can sort of push aside alternative narratives and explanations. You also have to have the ability to intimidate other nations into silence if you’re going to do this, and there are very few nations that have that ability in the world today.

I’m going to do a little bit and there’s no way that I’m going to be able to go over every single thing that I think has been a false flag in the last 100 years – there’s a lot of things – but I do want to give a sense of how the phenomenon has evolved. False flags have evolved.

My own research at this point is telling me that the true phenomenon really takes off following the First World War. Again, there are isolated events possibly, maybe probably, from prior to World War I but not many. Even talking about the sinking of the Maine, I’ve looked into that and I’m not really sure that I would classify that as a true false flag. It can go either way. But we start seeing them now for sure in the 1930s and, really, the main nations that were doing them, Japan, Germany, Soviet Union. They did some very prominent ones and I think many of us are familiar with some of these.

Everyone’s heard of the Reichstag Fire. The German invasion of Poland is maybe one of the classic international false flags of all time. Essentially, Germans took a bunch of political prisoners who were rotting away in their prison system, dressed them in Polish military uniforms, took over a radio station at the border, shot all of the prisoners, posed one of them at a microphone and then went on the air and pretended that Poland had attacked Germany and was inciting Poles in Germany to resist Hitler. This was an absolute false flag. The German people, as far as we can tell, more or less accepted it. International politicians were not particularly impressed by it, to say the least, but it worked enough for the Germans to justify to themselves that they invaded. False flag. That’s the Reichstag, by the way, burning. That’s their 9/11.

The thing that they all have in common, those false flags of that decade, is that those were nations with state control over the media. That’s a very important thing to keep in mind. And they also had very sophisticated military intelligence groups for their time, without a doubt. So they had the control over the media and they had the teams. They were militarized and this is, I think, why after World War I we start seeing it. World War I militarized all of Europe and the United States, and really transformed those cultures to that extent so that there was a very strong militarization in the aftermath of that, and I think that was part of it.

What you find after the Cold War is that the United States wins the False Flag Olympics hands down, and it’s really been every since. I would say that the US and its vassal states essentially run the false flag universe. It’s basically US, Israel, the UK, I would say are the big three. There are certainly other nations that have been involved in this, without a doubt. Particularly since 9/11 a lot of nations have jumped on board.

In the immediate aftermath of 9/11 a lot of them did it in order to get US terror funding. There was a case I think in ’02 that was found out, this one, the nation of Macedonia – found out that they had murdered seven illegal immigrants from Pakistan and said that these are al Qaeda terrorists. They were not al Qaeda terrorists. They were illegals but they were innocent people. They were killed and Macedonian authorities played it up as al Qaeda specifically in order to get US funding and they aren’t the only example of that type of shenanigans, kind of a piling-on effect after 9/11.

But back to the Cold War, what you see is a transformation of the false flags in the sense that they start becoming domestic. There are still international incidents that are false flags, absolutely. There was one that was found out by the Israelis in 1954 where Mossad was basically finding Egyptian Jews who were going to blow up certain buildings and blame it on the Muslim Brotherhood and it was found out. It was called the Lavon Affair, after the Israeli Defense Minister. The parties involved confessed and all that. That was an international type of false flag. They did that, incidentally, to encourage the British not to leave and abandon the Suez Canal.

But primarily what you see are domestic false flags specifically for political control. COINTELPRO in the US is maybe a classic example of that, the FBI doing what they call black-bag jobs and the like, to dirty tricks, smearing people, doing events and blaming it on other organizations and so on.

In Europe, probably the most pernicious was known as Operation Gladio, which was a NATO/CIA operation. Essentially, when World War II concluded there was the fear among Allied nations that the Russians would roll over Europe, and so there were teams put in place in Europe to act as kind of a resistance if this were to happen. Well, the Russians did not roll over Western Europe and these teams are still sitting there. In Italy, they got the bright idea of killing people and blowing up buildings and train stations and blaming it on the communists, which they did for years – years and years. This has been found out. And in fact, one of the Gladio operatives, Vincenzo Vinciguerra, who is serving life in prison for his part in Gladio, in an interview was very specific. He said, “The point of what we were doing was to force these people” the Italian people in this case, “to turn to the state and ask for greater security.” They’re very up-front about it. These were NATO operatives, with the knowledge of the higher-up authorities, and they were just doing this and blamed their murders on the Red Brigade and blamed them on other leftwing groups.

There’s a long proven history. This is another list of the ‘60s, and in the ‘70s and ‘80s and I’m not going to go over all of it. It includes the Gulf of Tonkin, it includes some really nasty Mossad operations, some of which looked exactly like Charlie Hebdo, one of which occurred in 1982, a bombing of a Jewish delicatessen in Paris. Sound familiar? But it was in 1982. When French intelligence investigated far enough they kind of ran into a brick wall and everything stopped, and it did get some very good international analysis at the time.

One of the more pernicious ones would be during the ramp-up to the Persian Gulf War. Do you remember this? I bet some of you do. The Incubator Hoax. This woman was actually the daughter of the Kuwaiti ambassador to the United States but she was pretending to be a nurse on TV, and to Congress. What she said was that the Iraqi troops, once they had gone into Kuwait – remember that? – were looting incubators from a Kuwaiti hospital, leaving the premature babies to die on the floor. And it was such a horrific image, this went on all the news. Everyone promoted this from NPR to Fox and everyone in between. It was a total lie and she was a total lie, but this is how it works. In fact, by the ‘80s and ‘90s, the United States military was officially hiring public relations firms in a very effective way. The Persian Gulf War was kind of a watershed in that effort.

Let’s keep going here. Through the ‘90s you’ve got quite a few of these. The Oklahoma City bombing’s probably the most prominent one there. I’ll talk about some of the problems of how to identify these types of false flags when I close.

As we get to the 21st century I think we hit the era of true false flags. I’m not going to go into the specifics; there’s just too much. I want to talk about the geopolitics and help us understand why this is happening. I think one of the key things has to do with globalization. With globalization you get economic disruption and the loss of jobs. This is Seattle 1999. I think Seattle is a great indicator. These are the WTO riots, or protests, November 30th. This went for four days, into early December. This is significant.

Back in 1999 Americans still believed they had rights. I remember those days. The WTO, the World Trade organization, was convening in Seattle at that time, and for several months protestors planned this out, and when that convention happened these protestors, at minimum 40,000, probably much more – shut that city down. They shut it down. They were so effective the delegates were not able to enter the premises for the longest time. Police teargas didn’t work, pepper spray didn’t work. The police were overwhelmed by an incredibly powerful public reaction, and this is what happens when the public feels empowered. The WTO was really initiating some very nasty decisions that, in fact, they ended up doing, that just accelerated the process of the de-industrialization of the United States.

This is when people were saying, “No. Were not going to put up with it.” Of course, 18 months later we have 9/11, in which the hammer comes down and beats you over your head for the rest of your life with a big national security stick, so that people learn to duck their head and not speak up because … bad idea now. You know, we now have, I think, 20% of the American population is 15 or younger. I think that’s the number. These are people who grew up – they don’t know anything other than post-9/11 America. And actually, let’s say that anyone who’s under 25 really doesn’t. They were kids. So that’s, what, a third or more of the population. It’s all going away. The whole past of the United States, the whole idea of rule by the people, of privacy. We have an entire new generation who are growing up without any of that. It’s all gone.

For some of these young people, I hate to say it, but it almost seems meaningless. I have two brilliant young teenagers, 19 and 17, and I know a lot of their friends. They’re a little different; they’re kind of plugged in, but I know about a lot of young people and they just live, post their stuff on Facebook … They don’t care about privacy. They don’t expect it. It’s a different world. I think this type of thing is a threat to the globalist process and is a trigger for false flags.

The other major geopolitical thing behind false flags, I would suggest to you, is the petrodollar system. I can’t go over the whole thing here but essentially, this is the deal worked out between Henry Kissinger and the king of Saudi Arabia in the early-‘70s to keep the dollar in place as the world reserve currency. The dollar had just gone off the gold standard – whole story behind that – and now they wanted to hook the dollar to petroleum. And really, what Kissinger was able to agree was to have all the OPEC nations sell their oil only in dollars, and that’s the foundation of American policy to this day. All of the nations would get their oil pegged in dollars.

It’s great for the US because it allows that there’s a global demand for our currency, which allows for all kinds of things that the US can do printing up trillions of dollars and basically holding the world hostage as a result. No other nation could afford to do what the US is doing, to prosecute all of its wars and the like, because of the petrodollar system. And it is a foundation of America’s empire. It’s really never discussed, never, ever discussed in mainstream media. But the petrodollar system forces, these geopolitics force US neoconservatives – which is simply another world for empire-builder – neoconservative.

Think about that word. Old conservative. What would be an old conservative? Someone who I would think would want to conserve the traditional republican values and institutions of this country. That’s not the worst thing in the world. A neoconservative is the new conservative. They’re preserving not the republic, my friends; they’re conserving the empire. That’s what a neoconservative is. They are building and conserving empire. You can be a Republican like Dick Cheney, and you can be a Democrat like Hillary Clinton, and you can be a neoconservative. They’re twins. They’re brother and sister twins, politically, in my opinion. They both are as equally intent on domination and preservation of the United States empire, and that forces the neocons, the whole petrodollar system, to demonize any of these people who are not on board with that system. This is why Saddam went away, because he started selling his oil in euros in 2000. And Kaddafi, with the gold-based dinar system, he was about to introduce, which was a threat to the dollar. And Putin, of course, who is simply … Well, long story about Vlad. We’ll have to skip that for another time. I’m fascinated by Russian politics, always have been.

It forces the United States to feel the need to physically control the sources of energy that exist, basically the hydrocarbons that go from basically Western Africa across the continent to the Middle East and to western Asia. That’s two-thirds of the world’s oil and natural gas right there, and the US wants it all. They want to control it physically.

These are the geopolitical reasons, I would argue, that are directly behind 9/11. To steal, say, $30 trillion worth of oil under the ground in Iraq, which they did and then sold off to multinationals, and to steal all the nice mineral wealth under the ground in Afghanistan as a nice little bonus. So theft, of course, is always important for this, and then to control the population.

I would suggest, too, that the petrodollar and all of this is all part of a hierarchical-based and scarcity-driven system. That is, energy scarcity – Energy in our world today is based on physical control over a particular commodity, oil and natural gas primarily, and if you control those locations, you control the distribution, you have the power. That’s a strength and a power of the system, but it’s also the weakness of the system, because if we develop an alternative energy paradigm, this is very much in danger. And that’s a good thing. So this whole system is vulnerable to emerging technologies, and that means that the false flag phenomenon itself would be vulnerable to that.

I’m going to give you a quick profile. You know how we talk about racial profiling by the police; let’s talk about false flag profiling. There’s certain things that by themselves or even collectively don’t prove that something is a false flag but they give you an idea that you want to look carefully at it. The only way to prove one thing or another is through good investigative journalism but, nonetheless, let’s just take a quick look at some of these things.

One thing to look for is that it’s a sensational event that gets a lot of major media attention, boom, immediately. That’s pretty obvious. But what you really want to look for are changing narratives. In other words, particularly in the beginning, in the first day or two of an event, you will always find competing narratives of what exactly happened. You really want to look for that because after a few days, that goes away and the major media, particularly, are on board with, boom, this story, and this is the only story.

San Bernardino’s a great case. This happened not long ago and there were several witnesses – several – who said, “I saw three big white guys come in with guns.” Now, I don’t know if that’s the case or not but that’s a fact. These witnesses said this. That’s just one example. With 9/11 there’s all kinds of alternative narratives. You have the case of Rumsfeld talking about the plane that got shot down over Pennsylvania. Woops, maybe I didn’t mean to say that. And on and on and on. There’s all of these competing different statements that get leaked out and then just go away. You want to look for that.

You also want to look for the fact that the case is quickly closed, that a patsy or the “evil-doer” is quickly found and usually is either killed immediately or if he’s not killed, he just disappears and then the trial is always a kangaroo court and you’ll never even hear what’s going on. Boston was a great example of that.

Another thing you want to look for is that these suspects are connected to intelligence groups, whether US or non-US, but frequently US. I would say this. If you are approached by the FBI, ever in your life, and your skin color’s maybe a shade or two darker than mine, you’d better run far and fast. I’m not kidding. Because what they do, the FBI goes after foreign nationals who look foreign – that is, i.e., they’re a little darker – and they love to set these people up. More than have of all the terrorist arrests post-9/11 that have to do with federal terrorism charges, they’re FBI set-up jobs.

So the FBI will approach you, they’ll convince you, “Oh, yeah, the US government, they suck. Let’s go get them.” And in particular, if you’re not that bright, if you’re very easily impressionable … This happened in my town of Rochester just a couple weeks ago. They got another one there. They will bring you to the store to get your terrorist equipment, like a knife or a ski mask – I’m serious – and then they’ll arrest you and you’ll never see daylight ever again. These people on their own would almost never have committed any of these crimes, so this is provocation. This is what our government does to us. So if the FBI comes up to you, no matter what you look like, run. Go away from these people. What you find is that these suspects, there’s often a connection to intelligence organizations.

Typically the suspects that are promoted in the media have some kind of connection, sociologically, demographically, to whatever group is to be demonized. Back in the ‘90s it was typically rightwing militias, gun nuts, that type of thing. Timothy McVeigh comes to mind. In our century it’s more Muslims. They seem to be the group they’re going after, but there’s others. The LAX shooting was a so-called rightwing conspiracy theorist. That’s how he was portrayed in the media. And so on and so on, so look for these.

One thing you really want to look for are unanswered questions, and just problems associated with the official explanation of the event. There’s often gaping holes in these things, that the media – the establishment media, that is – never ask, how did these guys get out of Charlie Hebdo shooting so easily? There’s a car, no one bothered them. How is it they talked about a pristine passport being found after 9/11 and then also after the Paris murders just a few months ago. Really? A pristine passport? In the case of the Paris shooting, this perfect Syrian passport was left behind. What? Really? Then that story kind of went away and is not talked about … changing narratives. These are very suspicious things and whatever the truth is behind these – maybe we’ll never find the truth to some of these incidents because who knows why? But we certainly ought to be asking the questions.

Multiple drills is important. This is a key thing. When the events happen you typically find there are multiple drills happening that portray the exact same thing. With 9/11, there was a drill going on that day to protect America against the attack by terrorists using airplanes to crash into us. I’m not kidding. And there are a number of these multiple drills with the shootings and other things.

Why would that be? Here’s why. In the intelligence community, when you’re planning this thing out, there are always people who are not in with the in crowd. They’re not on board. The idea of the multiple drills is to provide cover, so if someone sees that this is happening the answer is, “Oh, no, no, no, no. We’re doing a drill. We’re doing a drill.” But then it happens. The other thing is that the existence of the drills also provides confusion during the day when the false flag occurs and that is very helpful for the operation.

The other thing you just see is a media narrative that jumps right on top because there’s intimate collaboration. The discussion’s inevitably focus on do we need more police protection, greater police state measures? What about our privacy? Yeah, but we have to have security. That whole discussion just goes on and on and so the public conversation inevitably creeps toward fascism, always does, and war – fascism and war.

Finally, you find the government taking action and doing things, again, that could never be justified, whether it’s invading Iraq or whether it’s rolling out the naked-body scanners owned by Michael Chertoff’s company after the Underwear Bomber – Ooh … Underwear! Bomber! – and sweetheart deals that happened that would never have happened otherwise.

Now, it’s true. Some of these events may not be always false flags. They might be devious, evil opportunism run amok. Would not rule that out, but a lot of these I think are indeed false flags absolutely, and we need to look at it.

Finally, in concluding, I would say that a lot of these false flags are not necessarily going to be military operations, especially moving forward. I think we need to look for corporate and financial false flags. In fact, there have been financial false flags in the past. I’ll write about the 1907 financial crisis that led to the establishment of the Federal Reserve, and I think that we have financial false flags that are going on in our own era. We have corporate false flags, if everyone remembers the Sony North Korea hack – absolute corporate/intel false flag – the flu scares, the pharmaceutical. All of these I think are a big part of our world today. Keep in mind, too, not every false flag – in fact, no false flag, likely, is going to be on the magnitude of something like 9/11. That’s the granddaddy, the big one. Most other false flags will have varying levels of impact on the world. Think of them as different types of different size weapons to target different types of things that they want to get done.

I just want to wrap up. I think there is a way out. What we’re seeing, the false flag phenomenon is important right now because you have groups that are trying right now to establish a global, totalitarian system, and they are trying very, very hard using false flags as a way to psych us out, terrify us, make us feel helpless so that we run to the state for protection. You can see it happening. This is exactly what they’re moving toward, and they’re being very successful at it right now.

In that war, we have to expect all forms of propaganda to be ramped up and to be in place, including the false flag but not exclusively false flags. All the tricks of the trade are coming out.

The way out for us, obviously, educate ourselves. Be unafraid to be an activist. I keep thinking, find out what you’re willing to go to jail for. Think about this. What are the things that you personally are willing, would be willing, to be arrested for? Because we’re getting to that point, what will we support? Organizations like WikiLeaks, which technically do things that are illegal but we need them because we’re not living in a democratic system. We’re living in an authoritarian system masking as a democratic system.

Fascism today is not going to look like Hitler. That was 80 years ago. This isn’t the world of the 1930s. Fascism’s not going to look like Brownshirts raising their right hand. That’s not how it is. Fascism’s going to look a lot sexier. It’ll look like Monday Night Football and it’ll look like Dancing With the Stars and it’ll look like all those nice things that people like to look at, the glitter. And it’ll call itself democracy. But it’s not going to call itself fascism. Of course it won’t. So we have to be aware.

The other thing that researchers should be doing, and they are doing this, we’re seeing this with the Web – is they’re calling out false flag opportunities now when they happen. This was not the case 20 years ago. It’s happening now. When any big event happens you see it. Now, sometimes people just jump on and say “False flag!” and maybe not always with evidence, but researchers are very, very aware now and so it’s becoming a little more difficult.

The main thing I feel we need to do, though, is to break out of this hierarchical control system. I was talking about energy earlier. I think there are ways for us moving forward technologically and in terms of our own thinking, to break ourselves out of this system of energy control. We’re talking about things like energy harvesting devices, free energy and the like. I think this is important.

The other thing, I do write about UFOs and let’s call it the ET phenomenon. I do consider that probably the greatest and most deep, dark secret that we have in our world today. It represents an infrastructure that is so vastly beyond the infrastructure we’re looking at here, and I do think that the opening of that secret as well as other secrets would cause an effect for people to be peering into the structures of power and allow them to take or at least begin the process of taking back the power, taking back our own sovereignty so that we can live actually as we always wanted to – as free, independent citizens of a society that believes in rule by the people.

You’ve been listening to Richard Dolan. Today’s show has been: Understanding False Flag Operations In Our Time.

Richard Dolan is an author and historian. He is nearing completion of a groundbreaking book, A History of False Flag Operations, which will explain one of the most pernicious developments of our time: how clandestine agencies secretly engage in violence and destruction in order to promote their agendas. He is best known as the author of two volumes of history, UFOs and the National Security State. He is widely regarded as a leading researcher and historian on the topic of the UFO cover-up. He studied US Cold War strategy, Soviet history and international diplomacy. Since 2012, he has hosted The Richard Dolan Show, airing on KGRA Radio every Monday evening, from 8-10 pm Eastern. In addition to his research, his company, Richard Dolan Press, actively publishes innovative books by authors from around the world. Visit his website at richarddolanpress.com.

Guns and Butter is produced by Bonnie Faulkner, Yarrow Mahko and Tony Rango. To leave comments or order copies of shows, email us at [email protected].

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