Global Research Editor’s Note

We bring to the attention of our readers the following text of Osama bin Laden’s interview with Ummat, a Pakistani daily, published in Karachi on September 28, 2001. It was translated into English by the BBC World Monitoring Service and made public on September 29, 2001.

The authenticity of this interview remains to be confirmed. It is available in recognized electronic news archives including the BBC. Its authenticity has not been questioned.  

The interview tends to demystify the Osama bin Laden persona.

Osama bin Laden categorically denies his involvement in the 9/11 attacks.  Bin Laden’s statements in this interview are markedly different from those made in the alleged Osama video tapes.

In this interview, Osama bin Laden exhibits an understanding of US foreign policy. He expresses his views regarding the loss of life on 9/11. He focusses on CIA support to the narcotics trade.

He also makes statements as to who, in his opinion, might be the likely perpetrator of  the September 11 attacks.

This is an important text which has not been brought to the attention of Western public opinion.

We have highlighted key sections of this interview.

It is our hope that the text of this interview, published on 28 September 2001 barely a week before the onset of the war on Afghanistan, will contribute to a better understanding of the history of Al Qaeda, the role of Osama bin Laden and the tragic events of September 11, 2001.

This interview is published for informational purposes only. GR does not in any way endorse the statements in this interview.

Michel  Chossudovsky, September 9, 2014


Full text of September 2001 Pakistani paper’s “exclusive” interview with Usamah Bin-Ladin

Ummat (in Urdu)

translated from Urdu

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

Ummat’s introduction

Kabul: Prominent Arab mojahed holy warrior Usamah Bin-Ladin has said that he or his al-Qa’idah group has nothing to do with the 11 September suicidal attacks in Washington and New York. He said the US government should find the attackers within the country. In an exclusive interview with daily “Ummat”, he said these attacks could be the act of those who are part of the American system and are rebelling against it and working for some other system. Or, Usamah said, this could be the act of those who want to make the current century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. Or, the American Jews, who are opposed to President Bush ever since the Florida elections, might be the masterminds of this act. There is also a great possibility of the involvement of US intelligence agencies, which need billions of dollars worth of funds every year. He said there is a government within the government in the United States.

The secret agencies, he said, should be asked as to who are behind the attacks. Usamah said support for attack on Afghanistan was a matter of need for some Muslim countries and compulsion for others. However, he said, he was thankful to the courageous people of Pakistan who erected a bulwark before the wrong forces. He added that the Islamic world was attaching great expectations with Pakistan and, in time of need, “we will protect this bulwark by sacrificing of lives”.

Following is the interview in full detail:

Ummat: You have been accused of involvement in the attacks in New York and Washington. What do you want to say about this? If you are not involved, who might be?

Usamah [Osama bin Laden]: In the name of Allah, the most beneficent, the most merciful. Praise be to Allah, Who is the creator of the whole universe and Who made the earth as an abode for peace, for the whole mankind. Allah is the Sustainer, who sent Prophet Muhammad for our guidance. I am thankful to the Ummat Group of Publications, which gave me the opportunity to convey my viewpoint to the people, particularly the valiant and Momin true Muslim people of Pakistan who refused to believe in lie of the demon.

I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children, and other humans as an appreciable act. Islam strictly forbids causing harm to innocent women, children, and other people.

Such a practice is forbidden ever in the course of a battle. It is the United States, which is perpetrating every maltreatment on women, children, and common people of other faiths, particularly the followers of Islam. All that is going on in Palestine for the last 11 months is sufficient to call the wrath of God upon the United States and Israel.

There is also a warning for those Muslim countries, which witnessed all these as a silent spectator. What had earlier been done to the innocent people of Iraq, Chechnya, and Bosnia?

Only one conclusion could be derived from the indifference of the United States and the West to these acts of terror and the patronage of the tyrants by these powers that America is an anti-Islamic power and it is patronizing the anti-Islamic forces. Its friendship with the Muslim countries is just a show, rather deceit. By enticing or intimidating these countries, the United States is forcing them to play a role of its choice. Put a glance all around and you will see that the slaves of the United States are either rulers or enemies of Muslims .

The US has no friends, nor does it want to keep any because the prerequisite of friendship is to come to the level of the friend or consider him at par with you. America does not want to see anyone equal to it. It expects slavery from others. Therefore, other countries are either its slaves or subordinates.

However, our case is different. We have pledged slavery to God Almighty alone and after this pledge there is no possibility to become the slave of someone else. If we do that, it will be disregardful to both our Sustainer and his fellow beings. Most of the world nations upholding their freedom are the religious ones, which are the enemies of United States, or the latter itself considers them as its enemies. Or the countries, which do not agree to become its slaves, such as China, Iran, Libya, Cuba, Syria, and the former Russia as received .

Whoever committed the act of 11 September are not the friends of the American people. I have already said that we are against the American system, not against its people, whereas in these attacks, the common American people have been killed.

According to my information, the death toll is much higher than what the US government has stated. But the Bush administration does not want the panic to spread. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; the people who are a part of the US system, but are dissenting against it. Or those who are working for some other system; persons who want to make the present century as a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity so that their own civilization, nation, country, or ideology could survive. They can be any one, from Russia to Israel and from India to Serbia. In the US itself, there are dozens of well-organized and well-equipped groups, which are capable of causing a large-scale destruction. Then you cannot forget the American Jews, who are annoyed with President Bush ever since the elections in Florida and want to avenge him.

Then there are intelligence agencies in the US, which require billions of dollars worth of funds from the Congress and the government every year. This funding issue was not a big problem till the existence of the former Soviet Union but after that the budget of these agencies has been in danger.

They needed an enemy. So, they first started propaganda against Usamah and Taleban and then this incident happened. You see, the Bush administration approved a budget of 40bn dollars. Where will this huge amount go? It will be provided to the same agencies, which need huge funds and want to exert their importance.

Now they will spend the money for their expansion and for increasing their importance. I will give you an example. Drug smugglers from all over the world are in contact with the US secret agencies. These agencies do not want to eradicate narcotics cultivation and trafficking because their importance will be diminished. The people in the US Drug Enforcement Department are encouraging drug trade so that they could show performance and get millions of dollars worth of budget. General Noriega was made a drug baron by the CIA and, in need, he was made a scapegoat. In the same way, whether it is President Bush or any other US president, they cannot bring Israel to justice for its human rights abuses or to hold it accountable for such crimes. What is this? Is it not that there exists a government within the government in the United Sates? That secret government must be asked as to who made the attacks.

Ummat: A number of world countries have joined the call of the United States for launching an attack on Afghanistan. These also include a number of Muslim countries. Will Al-Qa’idah declare a jihad against these countries as well?

Usamah: I must say that my duty is just to awaken the Muslims; to tell them as to what is good for them and what is not. What does Islam says and what the enemies of Islam want?

Al-Qa’idah was set up to wage a jihad against infidelity, particularly to encounter the onslaught of the infidel countries against the Islamic states. Jihad is the sixth undeclared element of Islam. The first five being the basic holy words of Islam, prayers, fast, pilgrimage to Mecca, and giving alms Every anti-Islamic person is afraid of it. Al-Qa’idah wants to keep this element alive and active and make it part of the daily life of the Muslims. It wants to give it the status of worship. We are not against any Islamic country nor we consider a war against an Islamic country as jihad.

We are in favour of armed jihad only against those infidel countries, which are killing innocent Muslim men, women, and children just because they are Muslims. Supporting the US act is the need of some Muslim countries and the compulsion of others. However, they should think as to what will remain of their religious and moral position if they support the attack of the Christians and the Jews on a Muslim country like Afghanistan. The orders of Islamic shari’ah jurisprudence for such individuals, organizations, and countries are clear and all the scholars of the Muslim brotherhood are unanimous on them. We will do the same, which is being ordered by the Amir ol-Momenin the commander of the faithful Mola Omar and the Islamic scholars. The hearts of the people of Muslim countries are beating with the call of jihad. We are grateful to them.

Ummat: The losses caused in the attacks in New York and Washington have proved that giving an economic blow to the US is not too difficult. US experts admit that a few more such attacks can bring down the American economy. Why is al-Qa’idah not targeting their economic pillars?

Usamah: I have already said that we are not hostile to the United States. We are against the system, which makes other nations slaves of the United States, or forces them to mortgage their political and economic freedom. This system is totally in control of the American Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States. It is simply that the American people are themselves the slaves of the Jews and are forced to live according to the principles and laws laid by them. So, the punishment should reach Israel. In fact, it is Israel, which is giving a blood bath to innocent Muslims and the US is not uttering a single word.

Ummat: Why is harm not caused to the enemies of Islam through other means, apart from the armed struggle? For instance, inciting the Muslims to boycott Western products, banks, shipping lines, and TV channels.

Usamah: The first thing is that Western products could only be boycotted when the Muslim fraternity is fully awakened and organized. Secondly, the Muslim companies should become self-sufficient in producing goods equal to the products of Western companies. Economic boycott of the West is not possible unless economic self-sufficiency is attained and substitute products are brought out. You see that wealth is scattered all across the Muslim world but not a single TV channel has been acquired which can preach Islamic injunctions according to modern requirements and attain an international influence. Muslim traders and philanthropists should make it a point that if the weapon of public opinion is to be used, it is to be kept in the hand. Today’s world is of public opinion and the fates of nations are determined through its pressure. Once the tools for building public opinion are obtained, everything that you asked for can be done.

Ummat: The entire propaganda about your struggle has so far been made by the Western media. But no information is being received from your sources about the network of Al-Qa’idah and its jihadi successes. Would you comment?

Usamah: In fact, the Western media is left with nothing else. It has no other theme to survive for a long time. Then we have many other things to do. The struggle for jihad and the successes are for the sake of Allah and not to annoy His bondsmen. Our silence is our real propaganda. Rejections, explanations, or corrigendum only waste your time and through them, the enemy wants you to engage in things which are not of use to you. These things are pulling you away from your cause.

The Western media is unleashing such a baseless propaganda, which make us surprise but it reflects on what is in their hearts and gradually they themselves become captive of this propaganda. They become afraid of it and begin to cause harm to themselves. Terror is the most dreaded weapon in modern age and the Western media is mercilessly using it against its own people. It can add fear and helplessness in the psyche of the people of Europe and the United States. It means that what the enemies of the United States cannot do, its media is doing that. You can understand as to what will be the performance of the nation in a war, which suffers from fear and helplessness.

Ummat: What will the impact of the freeze of al-Qa’idah accounts by the US?

Usamah: God opens up ways for those who work for Him. Freezing of accounts will not make any difference for Al-Qa’idah or other jihad groups. With the grace of Allah, al-Qa’idah has more than three such alternative financial systems, which are all separate and totally independent from each other. This system is operating under the patronage of those who love jihad. What to say of the United States, even the combined world cannot budge these people from their path.

These people are not in hundreds but in thousands and millions. Al-Qa’idah comprises of such modern educated youths who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system as they are aware of the lines in their hands. These are the very flaws of the Western fiscal system, which are becoming a noose for it and this system could not recuperate in spite of the passage of so many days.

Ummat: Are there other safe areas other than Afghanistan, where you can continue jihad?

Usamah: There are areas in all parts of the world where strong jihadi forces are present, from Indonesia to Algeria, from Kabul to Chechnya, from Bosnia to Sudan, and from Burma to Kashmir. Then it is not the problem of my person. I am helpless fellowman of God, constantly in the fear of my accountability before God. It is not the question of Usamah but of Islam and, in Islam too, of jihad. Thanks to God, those waging a jihad can walk today with their heads raised. Jihad was still present when there was no Usamah and it will remain as such even when Usamah is no longer there. Allah opens up ways and creates loves in the hearts of people for those who walk on the path of Allah with their lives, property, and children. Believe it, through jihad, a man gets everything he desires. And the biggest desire of a Muslim is the after life. Martyrdom is the shortest way of attaining an eternal life.

Ummat: What do you say about the Pakistan government policy on Afghanistan attack?

Usamah: We are thankful to the Momin and valiant people of Pakistan who erected a blockade in front of the wrong forces and stood in the first file of battle. Pakistan is a great hope for the Islamic brotherhood. Its people are awakened, organized, and rich in the spirit of faith. They backed Afghanistan in its war against the Soviet Union and extended every help to the mojahedin and the Afghan people. Then these are the same Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Copyright Ummat in Urdu, BBC translation in English, 2001

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

September 11th, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

 

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

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GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE

INTERACTIVE READER SERIES

GR I-BOOK No.  7 

THE 9/11 READER

The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

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

Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)

August 2012


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


 

INTRODUCTION

The tragic events of September 11, 2001 constitute a fundamental landmark in American history. a decisive watershed, a breaking point. Millions of people have been misled regarding the causes and consequences of 9/11.

September 11 2001 opens up an era of crisis, upheaval and militarization of American society.

A far-reaching overhaul of US military doctrine was launched in the wake of 9/11.

Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” were set in motion. 

9/11 was also a stepping stone towards the relentless repeal of civil liberties, the militarization of law enforcement and the inauguration of “Police State USA”.

September 11, 2001 marks the onslaught of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification by the US and its NATO allies to carry out a “war without borders”, a global war of conquest. 

At eleven o’clock, on the morning of September 11, the Bush administration had already announced that Al Qaeda was responsible for the attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) and the Pentagon. This assertion was made prior to the conduct of an indepth police investigation.

CIA Director George Tenet stated that same morning that Osama bin Laden had the capacity to plan  “multiple attacks with little or no warning.”

Secretary of State Colin Powell called the attacks “an act of war” and President Bush confirmed in an evening televised address to the Nation that he would “make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them”.

Former CIA Director James Woolsey, without mentioning Afghanistan, pointed his finger at “state sponsorship,” implying the complicity of one or more foreign governments. In the words of former National Security Adviser, Lawrence Eagleburger, “I think we will show when we get attacked like this, we are terrible in our strength and in our retribution.”

That same evening at 9:30 pm, a “War Cabinet” was formed integrated by a select number of top intelligence and military advisors. And at 11:00 pm, at the end of that historic meeting at the White House, the “War on Terrorism” was officially launched.

The tragic events of 9/11 provided the required justification to wage war on Afghanistan on “humanitarian grounds”, with the full support of World public opinion and the endorsement of the “international community”.  Several prominent “progressive” intellectuals made a case for “retaliation against terrorism”, on moral and ethical grounds. The “just cause” military doctrine (jus ad bellum) was accepted and upheld at face value as a legitimate response to 9/11. 

In the wake of 9/11, the antiwar movement was completely isolated. The trade unions and civil society organizations had swallowed the media lies and government propaganda. They had accepted a war of retribution against Afghanistan, an impoverished country in Central Asia of 30 million people.

The myth of the “outside enemy” and the threat of “Islamic terrorists” was the cornerstone of the Bush administration’s military doctrine, used as a pretext to invade Afghanistan and Iraq, not to mention the repeal of civil liberties and constitutional government in America.

Amply documented but rarely mentioned by the mainstream media, Al Qaeda is a creation of the CIA going back to the Soviet- Afghan war. This was a known fact, corroborated by numerous sources including official documents of the US Congress, which the mainstream media chose to either dismiss or ignore. The intelligence community had time and again acknowledged that they had indeed supported Osama bin Laden, but that in the wake of the Cold War: “he turned against us”.

The 9/11 Commission Report has largely upheld the “outside enemy” mythology, heralding Al Qaeda as the “mastermind” organization behind the 9/11 attacks.

The official 9/11 narrative has not only distorted the causes underling the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings, it has also erased the historical record of US covert support to international terrorism, while creating the illusion that America and “Western Civilization” are threatened.

Without an “outside enemy”, there could be no “war on terrorism”. The entire national security agenda would collapse “like a deck of cards”. The war criminals in high office would have no leg to stand on.

After 9/11, the campaign of media disinformation served not only to drown the truth but also to kill much of the historical evidence on how this illusive Al Qaeda “outside enemy” had been fabricated and transformed into “Enemy Number One”.

Click to view video

VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR

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

***

The 911 Reader is composed of a carefully selected collection of key articles published by Global Research in the course of the last eleven years.

9/11 was an important landmark for Global Research. Our website was launched on September 9, 2001, two days prior to 9/11. Our coverage of 9/11 was initiated on September 12, 2001.

Within this collection of more than 60 chapters, we have included several important reports from our archives, published by Global Research in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. These articles provide a focus on issues pertaining to the 9/11 Timeline, foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks, the attack on the Pentagon, the issue of insider trading on Wall Street in the days preceding 9/11 pointing to foreknowledge of the attacks.

What prevails is a complex web of lies and fabrications, pertaining to various dimensions of the 9/11 tragedy. The falsehoods contained in the official 9/11 narrative are manifold, extending from the affirmation that Osama bin Laden was the mastermind, to the assertion by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) that the WTC buildings collapsed due to the impacts of fire. (see Part III).

Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

Is there any proof to the effect that Osama bin Laden, the bogeyman, coordinated the 9/11 attacks as claimed in the official 9/11 narrative?

According to CBS news (Dan Rather, January 28, 2002), “Enemy Number One” was admitted to the urology ward of a Pakistani military hospital in Rawalpindi on September 10, 2001, courtesy of America’s indefectible ally Pakistan. He could have been arrested at short notice which would have “saved us a lot of trouble”, but then we would not have had an Osama Legend, which has fed the news chain as well as presidential speeches in the course of the last eleven years.

DAN RATHER. As the United states and its allies in the war on terrorism press the hunt for Osama bin Laden, CBS News has exclusive information tonight about where bin Laden was and what he was doing in the last hours before his followers struck the United States September 11.

This is the result of hard-nosed investigative reporting by a team of CBS news journalists, and by one of the best foreign correspondents in the business, CBS`s Barry Petersen. Here is his report.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE) BARRY PETERSEN, CBS CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Everyone remembers what happened on September 11. Here`s the story of what may have happened the night before. It is a tale as twisted as the hunt for Osama bin Laden.

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

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]

 

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11.

CBS News footage of the Rawalpindi, Pakistan, hospital where bin Laden was allegedly treated the day before 9/11. [Source: CBS News]

The foregoing CBS report which  is of utmost relevance indicates two obvious facts:

1. Osama bin Laden could not reasonably have coordinated the 9/11 attacks from his hospital bed;

2. The hospital was under the jurisdiction of the Pakistani Armed Forces, which has close links to the Pentagon. Osama bin Laden’s whereabouts were known to both the Pakistani and US military.

 U.S. military and intelligence advisers based in Rawalpindi. were working closely with their Pakistani counterparts. Again, no attempt was made to arrest America’s best known fugitive. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld claimed, at the time, that the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden were unknown. According to Rumsfeld:  “Its like looking for a needle in a stack of hay”.

October 7, 2001: Waging America’s 9/11 War of Retribution against Afghanistan

The immediate response of the US and its allies to the 9/11 attacks was to the declare a war of retribution against Afghanistan on the grounds that the Taliban government was protecting “terror mastermind” Osama bin Laden. By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Taliban were complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.

Parroting official statements, the Western media mantra on September 12, 2001 had already approved the launching of “punitive actions” directed against civilian targets in Afghanistan. In the words of William Saffire writing in the New York Times: “When we reasonably determine our attackers’ bases and camps, we must pulverize them — minimizing but accepting the risk of collateral damage” — and act overtly or covertly to destabilize terror’s national hosts”.

This decision was taken by the Bush-Cheney war cabinet in the evening of September 11, 2001. It was based on the presumption, “confirmed” by the head of the CIA that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks.

On the following morning, September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, endorsed the Bush administration’s declaration of war on Afghanistan, invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) is an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security. Under any stretch of the imagination, the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon cannot be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.

Meanwhile, on two occasions in the course of September 2001, the Afghan government –through diplomatic channels– offered to hand over Osama Bin laden to US Justice. These overtures were turned down by president Bush, on the grounds that America “does not negotiate with terrorists”.

The war on Afghanistan was launched 26 days later on the morning of October 7, 2001. The timing of this war begs the question: how long does it take to plan and implement a major theater war several thousand miles away. Military analysts will confirm that a major theater war takes months and months, up to a year or more of advanced preparations. The war on Afghanistan was already in the advanced planning stages prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan, almost immediately following 9/11 with the adoption of the PATRIOT legislation and the setting up of a Homeland Security apparatus, under the pretext of protecting Americans. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset

Important to the understanding of 9/11, US intelligence is the unspoken architect of “Islamic terrorism” going back to the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war.

Bin Laden was 22 years old and was trained in a CIA sponsored guerrilla training camp. Education in Afghanistan in the years preceding the Soviet-Afghan war was largely secular. With religious textbooks produced in Nebraska, the number of CIA sponsored religious schools (madrasahs) increased from 2,500 in 1980 to over 39,000.

“Advertisements, paid for from CIA funds, were placed in newspapers and newsletters around the world offering inducements and motivations to join the [Islamic] Jihad.” (Pervez Hoodbhoy, Peace Research, 1 May 2005)

 ”The United States spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings….The primers, which were filled with talk of jihad and featured drawings of guns, bullets, soldiers and mines, have served since then as the Afghan school system’s core curriculum. Even the Taliban used the American-produced books,..”, (Washington Post, 23 March 2002)

Under the Reagan administration, US foreign policy evolved towards the unconditional support and endorsement of the Islamic “freedom fighters”. This endorsement has not in any way been modified.

In a twisted irony, throughout the post 911 era,  US intelligence in liaison with Britain’s MI6, an Israel’s Mossad, continues to provide covert support to the radical Islamist organization allegedly responsible for the 9/11 attacks. Al Qaeda and its various affiliated groups including the Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) and factions within the Free Syria Army (FSA) are directly supported by the US and NATO.

In a bitter irony, the US and its allies claim to be waging a “war on terrorism” against the alleged architects of 9/11, while also using Al Qaeda operatives as their foot-soldiers.


Front row, from left: Major Gen. Hamid Gul, director general of Pakistan’s
Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), Director of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Willian Webster; Deputy Director for Operations Clair George; an ISI colonel; and senior CIA official,
Milt Bearden at a Mujahideen training camp in North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan in 1987.
(source RAWA)


Ronald Reagan meets Afghan Mujahideen Commanders at the White House in 1985 (Reagan Archives)

VIDEO (30 Sec.)

The Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings

Based on the findings of  Richard Gage of Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings was not caused by fire resulting from the crash of the planes:

In more than 100 steel-framed, high-rise fires (most of them very hot, very large and very long-lasting), not one has collapsed, ever. So it behooves all of us, as your own former chief of NIST’s Fire Science Division, Dr. James Quintiere, said, “to look at real alternatives that might have been the cause of these collapses.”

Let’s start with temperatures – 1,340° F. temperatures, recorded in thermal images of the surface of the World Trade Center rubble pile a week after 9/11 by NASA’s AVIRIS equipment on USGS overflights. Such temperatures cannot be achieved by oxygen-starved hydrocarbon fires. Such fires burn at only 600 to 800° F. Remember, there was no fire on the top of the pile. The source of this incredible heat was therefore below the surface of the rubble, where it must have been far hotter than 1,340 degrees.

Mark Loizeaux, president of Controlled Demolition, Inc., who was hired for the Building 7 cleanup, said that “molten steel was found at 7 WTC.” Leslie Robertson, World Trade Center structural engineer, stated that on October 5, “21 days after the attacks, the fires were still burning and molten steel was still running.” Fire department personnel, recorded on video, reported seeing “molten steel running down the channel rails… like you’re in a foundry – like lava from a volcano.” Joe O’Toole, a Bronx firefighter, saw a crane lifting a steel beam vertically from deep within a pile. He said “it was dripping from the molten steel.” Bart Voorsanger, an architect hired to save “relics from the rubble,” stated about the multi-ton “meteorite” that it was a “fused element of molten steel and concrete.”

Steel melts at about 2,850 degrees Fahrenheit, about twice the temperature of the World Trade Center Tower 1 and 2 fires as estimated by NIST. So what melted the steel?

Appendix C of FEMA’s BPAT Report documents steel samples showing rapid oxidation, sulfidation, and intergranular melting. A liquid eutectic mixture, including sulfur from an unknown source, caused intense corrosion of the steel, gaping holes in wide flange beams, and the thinning of half-inch-thick flanges to almost razor-sharpness in the World Trade Center 7 steel. The New York Times called this “the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.”

NIST left all of this crucial forensic evidence out of its report. Why? Because it didn’t fit in with the official conspiracy theory.

Last year, physicist Steven Jones, two other physicists, and a geologist analyzed the slag at the ends of the beams and in the samples of the previously molten metal. They found iron, aluminum, sulfur, manganese and fluorine – the chemical evidence of thermate, a high-tech incendiary cutting charge used by the military to cut through steel like a hot knife through butter. The by-product of the thermate reaction is molten iron! There’s no other possible source for all the molten iron that was found. One of thermate’s key ingredients is sulfur, which can form the liquid eutectic that FEMA found and lower the melting point of steel.

In addition, World Trade Center 7′s catastrophic structural failure showed every characteristic of explosive, controlled demolition. … The destruction began suddenly at the base of the building. Several first responders reported explosions occurring about a second before the collapse. There was the symmetrical, near-free-fall speed of collapse, through the path of greatest resistance – with 40,000 tons of steel designed to resist this load – straight down into its own footprint. This requires that all the columns have to fail within a fraction of a second of each other – perimeter columns as well as core columns. There was also the appearance of mistimed explosions (squibs?) at the upper seven floors on the network video recordings of the collapse. And we have expert testimony from a European demolitions expert, Danny Jowenko, who said “This is controlled demolition… a team of experts did this… This is professional work, without any doubt.”

Fire cannot produce these effects. Fire produces large, gradual deformations and asymmetrical collapses. Thermate can produce all of these effects used in conjunction with linear shaped charges. If the thermate is formed into ultra-fine particles, as has been accomplished at Los Alamos National Laboratory, it is called super-thermate, and is very explosive.(Richard Gage, January 2008)

The following AE911Truth Video provides irrefutable evidence that the WTC center towers were brought down through controlled demolition.

According to David Ray Griffin: “The official theory of the collapse, therefore, is essentially a fire theory, so it cannot be emphasized too much that fire has never caused large steel-frame buildings to collapse—never, whether before 9/11, or after 9/11, or anywhere in the world on 9/11 except allegedly New York City—never.” (See David Ray Griffin).

According to Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, based on solid scientific analysis and evidence, the collapse of the WTC towers was engineered through controlled demolition. While AE11Truth does not speculate on who might be behind the conspiracy to bring down the WTC buildings, they nonetheless suggest that the carrying out such an operation would require a carefully planned course of action with prior access to the buildings as well as an advanced level of expertise in the use of explosives, etc.

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven

The most grotesque lie pertains to the BBC and CNN announcement in the afternoon of September 11, that WTC Building Seven (The Solomon Building) had collapsed. The BBC report went live at 5.00pm, 21 minutes before the actual occurrence of the collapse, indelibly pointing to foreknowledge of the collapse of WTC 7.  CNN anchor Aaron Brown announced that the building “has either collapsed or is collapsing” about an hour before the event. (See WTC7.net the hidden story of Building 7: Foreknowledge of WTC 7′s Collapse)

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

CNN anchor Aaron Brown seems to struggle to make sense of what he is seeing one minute after announcing that WTC Building 7, whose erect facade is clearly visible in his view towards the Trade Center, has or is collapsing.

Coverup and Complicity

The 911 Reader presents factual information and analysis which points to cover-up and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.

This body of articles by prominent authors, scholars, architects, engineers, largely refutes the official narrative of the 9/11 Commission Report, which is reviewed in Part IV. It  dispels the notion that America was attacked on September 11, 2001 on the orders of Osama bin Laden.

This is a central issue because US military doctrine since 9/11 has been predicated on “defending the American Homeland” against Islamic terrorists as well as waging pre-emptive wars against Al Qaeda and its various “state sponsors”.  Afghanistan was bombed and invaded as part of the “war on terrorism”. In March 2003, Iraq was also invaded.

War Propaganda

Fiction prevails over reality. For propaganda to be effective, public opinion must firmly endorse the official 9/11 narrative to the effect that Al Qaeda was behind the attacks. A well organized structure of media disinformation (Part XI) is required to reach this objective. Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend also requires defying as well smearing the 9/11 Truth Movement.

Throughout the post 9/11 era, a panoply of Al Qaeda related events and circumstances is presented to public opinion on a daily basis. These include terrorist threats, warnings and attacks, police investigations, insurgencies and counter-insurgencies, country-level regime change, social conflict, sectarian violence, racism, religious divisions, Islamic thought, Western values, etc.

In turn, 9/11, Al Qaeda – War on Terrorism rhetoric permeates political discourse at all levels of government, including bipartisan debate on Capitol Hill, in committees of the House and the Senate, at the British House of Commons, and, lest we forget, at the United Nations Security Council.

September 11 and Al Qaeda concepts, repeated ad nauseam have potentially traumatic impacts on the human mind and the ability of normal human beings to analyze and comprehend the “real outside World” of war, politics and the economic crisis.

What is at stake is human consciousness and comprehension based on concepts and facts.

With September 11 there are no verifiable “facts” and “concepts”, because 9/11 as well as Al Qaeda have evolved into a media mythology, a legend, an invented ideological construct, used as an unsubtle tool of media disinformation and war propaganda.

Al Qaeda constitutes a stylized, fake and almost folkloric abstraction of terrorism, which permeates the inner consciousness of millions of people around the World.

Reference to Al Qaeda has become a dogma, a belief, which most people espouse unconditionally.

Is this political indoctrination? Is it brain-washing? If so what is the underlying objective?

People’s capacity to independently analyse World events, as well as address causal relationships pertaining to politics and society, is significantly impaired. That is the objective!

The routine use of  9/11 and Al Qaeda to generate blanket explanations of complex political events is meant to create confusion. It prevents people from thinking.

All of these complex Al Qaeda related occurrences are explained –by politicians, the corporate media, Hollywood and the Washington think tanks under a single blanket “bad guys” heading, in which Al Qaeda is casually and repeatedly pinpointed as “the cause” of numerous terror events around the World.

The Alleged Role of Iraq in the 9/11 Attacks

9/11 mythology has been a mainstay of war propaganda. In the course of 2002, leading up to the invasion of Iraq in March 2003,  “Osama bin Laden” and “Weapons of Mass Destruction” statements circulated profusely in the news chain. While Washington’s official position was that Saddam Hussein was not behind the 9/11 attacks, insinuations abounded both in presidential speeches as well as in the Western media. According to Bush,  in an October 2002 press conference:

The threat comes from Iraq. It arises directly from the Iraqi regime’s own actions — its history of aggression, and its drive toward an arsenal of terror. .,..  We also must never forget the most vivid events of recent history. On September the 11th, 2001, America felt its vulnerability — even to threats that gather on the other side of the earth. We resolved then, and we are resolved today, to confront every threat, from any source [Iraq], that could bring sudden terror and suffering to America. President Bush Outlines Iraqi Threat, October 7, 2002)

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

Meanwhile, a new terrorist mastermind had emerged: Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

In Colin Powell’s historic address to the United Nations Security Council, in February 2003, detailed “documentation” on a sinister relationship between Saddam Hussein and Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi was presented, focussing on his ability to produce deadly chemical, biological and radiological weapons, with the full support and endorsement of the secular Baathist regime. The implication of Colin’s Powell’s assertions, which were totally fabricated, was that Saddam Hussein and an Al Qaeda affiliated organization had joined hands in the production of WMD in Northern Iraq and that the Hussein government was a “state sponsor” of terrorism.

The main thrust of the disinformation campaign continued in the wake of the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq. It consisted in presenting the Iraqi resistance movement as “terrorists”. The image of “terrorists opposed to democracy” fighting US “peacekeepers” appeared on television screens and news tabloids across the globe.

Iran: Alleged State Sponsor of 9/11

In the wake of the Iraq invasion, the same alleged “state sponsorship” of terrorism accusations emerged in relation to Iran.

In December 2011, the Islamic Republic of Iran was condemned by a Manhattan court, for its alleged role in supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 attacks.

The investigation into Tehran’s alleged role was launched in 2004, pursuant to a recommendation of the 9/11 Commission “regarding an apparent link between Iran, Hezbollah, and the 9/11 hijackers”. The 91/11 Commission’s recommendation was that the this “apparent link” required  “further investigation by the U.S. government.” (9/11 Commission Report , p. 241). (See Iran 911 Case ).

In the December 2011 court judgment (Havlish v. Iran)  “U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels ruled  that Iran and Hezbollah materially and directly supported al Qaeda in the September 11, 2001 attacks and are legally responsible for damages to hundreds of family members of 9/11 victims who are plaintiffs in the case”.

According to the plaintiffs attorneys “Iran, Hezbollah, and al Qaeda formed a terror alliance in the early 1990s. Citing their national security and intelligence experts, the attorneys explained “how the pragmatic terror leaders overcame the Sunni-Shi’a divide in order to confront the U.S. (the “Great Satan”) and Israel (the “Lesser Satan”)”. Iran and Hezbollah allegedly provided “training to members of al Qaeda in, among other things, the use of explosives to destroy large buildings.” (See Iran 911 Case ).

This judicial procedure is nothing more than another vicious weapon in the fabricated “War on Terror” to be used against another Muslim country, with a view to destabilizing Iran as well as justifying ongoing military threats. It also says a lot more about the people behind the lawsuit than about the accused. The expert witnesses who testified against Iran are very active in warmongering neocon circles. They belong to a web of architects of the 21st century Middle-Eastern wars, ranging from high profile propagandists to intelligence and military officers, including former U.S. officials.

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

Al Qaeda: US-NATO Foot-soldiers

Ironically, while Washington accuses Iran and Afghanistan of supporting terrorism, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the “state sponsorship” of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America’s humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East and North Africa.

In Syria Al Qaeda units were recruited by NATO and the Turkish High command: “Also discussed in Brussels and Ankara, our sources report, is a campaign to enlist thousands of Muslim volunteers in Middle East countries and the Muslim world to fight alongside the Syrian rebels.” (http://www.debka.com/article/21255/  Debkafile, August 31, 2011).

In Libya, jihadists from Afghanistan trained by the CIA were dispatched to fight with the “pro-democracy” rebels under the helm of “former” Libya Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Commander Abdel Hakim Belhadj:

Western policy makers admit that NATO’s operations in Libya have played the primary role in emboldening Al Qaeda’s AQIM faction (Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb). The Fortune 500-funded Brookings Institution’s Bruce Riedel in his article, “The New Al Qaeda Menace,” admits that AQIM is now heavily armed thanks to NATO’s intervention in Libya, and that AQIM’s base in Mali, North Africa, serves as a staging ground for terrorist activities across the region. http://www.globalresearch.ca/al-qaeda-and-natos-pan-arab-terrorist-blitzkrieg/

Table of Contents of the 9/11 Reader

In Part I, the 911 Reader provides a review of what happened on the morning of 9/11, at the White House, on Capitol Hill, the Pentagon, at Strategic Command Headquarters (USSTRATCOM), What was the response of the US Air Force in the immediate wake of the attacks?  Part II focusses on “What Happened on the Planes” as described in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Part III sheds light on what caused the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings. It also challenges the official narrative with regard to the attack on the Pentagon.

Part IV reviews and refutes the findings of the 9/11 Commission Report.

Part V focusses on the issue of foreknowledge by Western intelligence agencies. Part VI examines the issue of how foreknowledge of the attacks was used as an instrument of insider trading on airline stocks in the days preceding September 11, 2001. The bonanza financial gains resulting from insurance claims to the leaseholders of the WTC buildings is also examined.

Part VII focusses on the history and central role of Al Qaeda as a US intelligence asset. Since the Soviet-Afghan war, US intelligence has supported the formation of various jihadist organizations. An understanding of this history is crucial in refuting the official 9/11 narrative which claims that Al Qaeda, was behind the attacks.

Part VIII centers on the life and death of 9/11 “Terror Mastermind” Osama bin Laden, who was recruited by the CIA in the heyday of the Soviet Afghan war. This section also includes an analysis of the mysterious death of Osama bin Laden, allegedly executed by US Navy Seals in a suburb of Islamabad in May 2011.

Part  IX  focusses on “False Flags” and the Pentagon’s “Second 9/11″. Part X examines the issue of “Deep Events” with contributions by renowned scholars Peter Dale Scott and Daniele Ganser.

Part XI  examines the structure of 9/11 propaganda which consists in “creating” as well “perpetuating” a  “9/11 Legend”. How is this achieved? Incessantly, on a daily basis, Al Qaeda, the alleged 9/11 Mastermind is referred to by the Western media, government officials, members of the US Congress, Wall Street analysts, etc. as an underlying cause of numerous World events.

Part XII focusses on the practice of 9/11 Justice directed against the alleged culprits of the 9/11 attacks.

The legitimacy of 9/11 propaganda requires fabricating “convincing evidence” and “proof” that those who are accused actually carried out the attacks. Sentencing of Muslims detained in Guantanamo is part of war propaganda. It depicts innocent men who are accused of the 9/11 attacks, based on confessions acquired through systematic torture throughout their detention.

Part  XIII focusses on 9/11 Truth.  The objective of 9/11 Truth is to ultimately dismantle the propaganda apparatus which is manipulating the human mindset. The 9/11 Reader concludes with a retrospective view of 9/11 ten years later.


PART  I

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

Nothing Urgent: The Curious Lack of Military Action on the Morning of September. 11, 2001
- by George Szamuely – 2012-08-12
Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
9/11 Contradictions: Bush in the Classroom
- by Dr. David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-04
9/11 Contradictions: When Did Cheney Enter the Underground Bunker?
- by David Ray Griffin – 2008-04-24
VIDEO: Pilots For 9/11 Truth: Intercepted
Don’t miss this important documentary, now on GRTV
- 2012-05-16

PART II

What Happened on the Planes

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

 

PART III

What Caused the Collapse of

The WTC Buildings and the Pentagon?

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

PART IV

Lies and Fabrications: The 9/11 Commission Report

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

PART  V

Foreknowledge of 9/11

  VIDEO: The SECRET SERVICE ON 9/11: What did the Government Know?
Learn more on this week’s GRTV Feature Interview
- by Kevin Ryan, James Corbett – 2012-04-10
9/11 Foreknowledge and “Intelligence Failures”: “Revealing the Lies” on 9/11 Perpetuates the “Big Lie”
- by Prof. Michel Chossudovsky – 2011-09-14
“Foreknowledge” and “Failure to act” upholds the notion that the terrorist attacks (“act of war”) “waged by Muslims against America” are real, when all the facts and findings point towards coverup and complicity at the highest levels of the US government.
Foreknowledge of 9/11 by Western Intelligence Agencies
- by Michael C. Ruppert – 2012-08-21

PART VI

Insider Trading and the 9/11 Financial Bonanza

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

PART VII

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

Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2002-06-20
On the morning of September 11, Pakistan’s Chief Spy General Mahmoud Ahmad, the alleged “money-man” behind the 9-11 hijackers, was at a breakfast meeting on Capitol Hill hosted by Senator Bob Graham and Rep. Porter Goss, the chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence committees.
9/11 ANALYSIS: From Ronald Reagan and the Soviet-Afghan War to George W Bush and September 11, 2001
- by Michel Chossudovsky – 2010-09-09
Osama bin Laden was recruited by the CIA in 1979. The US spent millions of dollars to supply Afghan schoolchildren with textbooks filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings.

 

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

PART VIII

The Alleged 9/11 Mastermind:

The Life and Death of  Osama bin Laden

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

PART  IX

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

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

PART X

“Deep Events” and State Violence

The Doomsday Project and Deep Events: JFK, Watergate, Iran-Contra, and 9/11
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2011-11-22
The Doomsday Project is the Pentagon’s name for the emergency planning “to keep the White House and Pentagon running during and after a nuclear war or some other major crisis.”
JFK and 9/11
Insights Gained from Studying Both
- by Dr. Peter Dale Scott – 2006-12-20
In both 9/11 and the JFK assassination, the US government and the media immediately established a guilty party. Eventually, in both cases a commission was set up to validate the official narrative.
Able Danger adds twist to 9/11
9/11 Ringleader connected to secret Pentagon operation
- by Dr. Daniele Ganser – 2005-08-27
Atta was connected to a secret operation of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the US. A top secret Pentagon project code-named Able Danger identified Atta and 3 other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.
9/11, Deep State Violence and the Hope of Internet Politics
- by Prof. Peter Dale Scott – 2008-06-11
The unthinkable – that elements inside the state would conspire with criminals to kill innocent civilians – has become thinkable…
Al Qaeda: The Database.
- by Pierre-Henri Bunel – 2011-05-12

PART XI

Propaganda: Creating and Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend

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

PART XII

Post 9/11 “Justice”

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

PART XIII

9/11 Truth

Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

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

*   *  *

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

According to Chossudovsky, the  “war on terrorism” is a complete fabrication based on the illusion that one man, Osama bin Laden, outwitted the $40 billion-a-year American intelligence apparatus. The “war on terrorism” is a war of conquest. Globalisation is the final march to the “New World Order”, dominated by Wall Street and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

Order Directly from Global Research

America's War on Terrorism

Salafism and the CIA: Destabilizing the Russian Federation?

September 14th, 2012 by F. William Engdahl

Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

On August 28 Sheikh Said Afandi, acknowledged spiritual leader of the Autonomous Russian Republic of Dagestan, was assassinated. A jihadist female suicide bomber managed to enter his house and detonate an explosive device.

The murder target had been carefully selected. Sheikh Afandi, a seventy-five-year old Sufi Muslim leader, had played the critical role in attempting to bring about reconciliation in Dagestan between jihadist Salafi Sunni Muslims and other factions, many of whom in Dagestan see themselves as followers of Sufi. With no replacement of his moral stature and respect visible, authorities fear possible outbreak of religious war in the tiny Russian autonomous republic.[1]

The police reported that the assassin was an ethnic Russian woman who had converted to Islam and was linked to an Islamic fundamentalist or Salafist insurgency against Russia and regional governments loyal to Moscow in the autonomous republics and across the volatile Muslim-populated North Caucasus region.

Ethnic Muslim populations in this region of Russia and of the former Soviet Union, including Uzbekistan, Kyrgystan and into China’s Xinjiang Province, have been the target of various US and NATO intelligence operations since the Cold War era ended in 1990. Washington sees manipulation of Muslim groups as the vehicle to bring uncontrollable chaos to Russia and Central Asia. It’s being carried out by some of the same organizations engaged in creating chaos and destruction inside Syria against the government of Bashar Al-Assad. In a real sense, as Russian security services clearly understand, if they don’t succeed in stopping the Jihadists insurgency in Syria, it will come home to them via the Caucasus.

The latest Salafist murders of Sufi and other moderate Muslim leaders in the Caucasus are apparently part of what is becoming ever clearer as perhaps the most dangerous US intelligence operation ever—playing globally with Muslim fundamentalism.

Previously US and allied intelligence services had played fast and loose with religious organizations or beliefs in one or another country. What makes the present situation particularly dangerous—notably since the decision in Washington to unleash the misnamed Arab Spring upheavals that began in Tunisia late 2010, spreading like a brushfire across the entire Islamic world from Afghanistan across Central Asia to Morocco—is the incalculable wave upon wave of killing, hatreds, destruction of entire cultures that Washington has unleashed in the name of that elusive dream named “democracy.” They do this using alleged Al-Qaeda groups, Saudi Salafists or Wahhabites, or using disciples of Turkey’s Fethullah Gülen Movement to ignite fires of religious hatred within Islam and against other faiths that could take decades to extinguish. It could easily spill over into a new World War.

Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus

Following the dissolution of the USSR, radical Afghanistani Mujahadeen, Islamists from Saudi Arabia, from Turkey, Pakistan and other Islamic countries flooded into the Muslim regions of the former USSR. One of the best-organized of these was the Gülen Movement of Fethullah Gülen, leader of a global network of Islamic schools and reported to be the major policy influence on Turkey’s Erdogan AKP party.

Gülen was quick to establish The International Dagestani-Turkish College in Dagestan. During the chaotic days after the Soviet collapse, the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation officially registered and permitted unfettered activity for a variety of Islamic foundations and organizations. These included the League of the Islamic World, the World Muslim Youth Assembly, the reportedly Al-Qaeda friendly Saudi foundation ‘Ibrahim ben Abd al-Aziz al-Ibrahim.’ The blacklist also included Al-Haramein a Saudi foundation reported tied to Al-Qaeda, and IHH, [2] a Turkish organization banned in Germany, that allegedly raised funds for jihadi fighters in Bosnia, Chechnya, and Afghanistan, and was charged by French intelligence of ties to Al Qaeda.[3] Many of these charities were covers for fundamentalist Salafists with their own special agenda.

As many of the foreign Islamists in Chechnya and Dagestan were found involved in fomenting the regional unrest and civil war, Russian authorities withdrew permission of most to run schools and institutions. Throughout the North Caucasus at the time of the Chechyn war in the late 1990’s, there were more than two dozen Islamic institutes, some 200 madrassas and numerous maktabas (Koranic study schools) present at almost all mosques.

The International Dagestani-Turkish College was one that was forced to close its doors in Dagestan. The College was run by the Fethullah Gülen organization.[4]

At the point of the Russian crackdown on the spread of Salafist teaching inside Russia at the end of the 1990’s, there was an exodus of hundreds of young Dagestani and Chechyn Muslim students to Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and other places in The Middle east, reportedly to receive training with the Gülen movement and various Saudi-financed organizations, including Salafists. [5] It is believed in Russia that the students trained by Gülen supporters or Saudi and other Salafist fundamentalist centers then were sent back to Dagestan and the North Caucasus to spread their radical strain of Islam.

By 2005 the situation in the Caucasus was so influenced by this Salafist intervention that the Chechen Salafist, Doku Umarov, cited by the UN Security Council for links to Al-Qaeda,[6] unilaterally declared creation of what he called the Caucasus Emirate, announcing he planned to establish an Islamic state under Sharia law encompassing the entire North Caucasus region including Dagestan. He modestly proclaimed himself Emir of the Caucasus Emirate. [7]

*  *  *

WWIII Scenario

*  *  *

 

Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition

Salafism, known in Saudi Arabia as Wahhabism, is a fundamentalist strain of Islam which drew world attention and became notorious in March 2001 just weeks before the attacks of September 11. That was when the Salafist Taliban government in Afghanistan willfully dynamited and destroyed the historic gigantic Buddhas of Bamiyan on the ancient Silk Road, religious statues dating from the 6th Century. The Taliban Salafist leaders also banned as “un-islamic” all forms of imagery, music and sports, including television, in accordance with what they considered a strict interpretation of Sharia.

Afghani sources reported that the order to destroy the Buddhas was made by Saudi-born jihadist Wahhabite, Osama bin Laden, who ultimately convinced Mullah Omar, Taliban supreme leader at the time to execute the act.[8]

Before and…After Salafist Taliban …

While Sufis incorporate the worship of saints and theatrical ceremonial prayers into their practice, Salafis condemn as idolatry any non-traditional forms of worship. They also call for the establishment of Islamic political rule and strict Sharia law. Sufism is home to the great spiritual and musical heritage of Islam, said by Islamic scholars to be the inner, mystical, or psycho-spiritual dimension of Islam, going back centuries.

As one Sufi scholar described the core of Sufism, “While all Muslims believe that they are on the pathway to God and will become close to God in Paradise–after death and the ‘Final Judgment’– Sufis believe as well that it is possible to become close to God and to experience this closeness–while one is alive. Furthermore, the attainment of the knowledge that comes with such intimacy with God, Sufis assert, is the very purpose of the creation. Here they mention the hadith qudsi in which God states, ‘I was a hidden treasure and I loved that I be known, so I created the creation in order to be known.’ Hence for the Sufis there is already a momentum, a continuous attraction on their hearts exerted by God, pulling them, in love, towards God.” [9]

The mystical Islamic current of Sufism and its striving to become close to or one with God is in stark contrast to the Jihadist Salafi or Wahhabi current that is armed with deadly weapons, preaches a false doctrine of jihad, and a perverse sense of martyrdom, committing countless acts of violence. Little wonder that the victims of Salafist Jihads are mostly other pacific forms of Islam including most especially Sufis.

The respected seventy-five year old Afandi had publicly denounced Salafist Islamic fundamentalism. His murder followed a July 19 coordinated attack on two high-ranking muftis in the Russian Volga Republic of Tatarstan. Both victims were state-approved religious leaders who had attacked radical Islam. This latest round of murders opens a new front in the Salafist war against Russia, namely attacks on moderate Sufi Muslim leaders.

Whether or not Dagestan now descends into internal religious civil war that then spreads across the geopolitically sensitive Russian Caucasus is not yet certain. What is almost certain is that the same circles who have been feeding violence and terror inside Syria against the regime of Alawite President Bashar al-Assad are behind the killing of Sheikh Afandi as well as sparking related acts of terror or unrest across Russia’s Muslim-populated Caucasus. In a very real sense it represents Russia’s nightmare scenario of “Syria coming to Russia.” It demonstrates dramatically why Putin has made such a determined effort to stop a descent into a murderous hell in Syria.

Salafism and the CIA

The existence of the so-called jihadist Salafi brand of Islam in Dagestan is quite recent. It has also been deliberately imported. Salafism is sometimes also called the name of the older Saudi-centered Wahhabism. Wahhabism is a minority originally-Bedouin form of the faith originating within Islam, dominant in Saudi Arabia since the 1700’s.

Irfan Al-Alawi and Stephen Schwartz of the Centre for Islamic Pluralism give the following description of Saudi conditions under the rigid Wahhabi brand of Islam:

Women living under Saudi rule must wear the abaya, or total body cloak, and niqab, the face veil; they have limited opportunities for schooling and careers; they are prohibited from driving vehicles; are banned from social contact with men not relatives, and all personal activity must be supervised including opening bank accounts, by a male family member or “guardian.” These Wahhabi rules are enforced by a mutawiyin, or morals militia, also known as “the religious police,” officially designated the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice (CPVPV) who patrol Saudi cities, armed with leather-covered sticks which they freely used against those they considered wayward. They raid homes looking for alcohol and drugs, and harassed non-Wahhabi Muslims as well as believers in other faiths.” [10]

It’s widely reported that the obscenely opulent and morally-perhaps-not-entirely-of- the-highest-standards Saudi Royal Family made a Faustian deal with Wahhabite leaders. The deal supposedly, was that the Wahhabists are free to export their fanatical brand of Islam around to the Islamic populations of the world in return for agreeing to leave the Saudi Royals alone.[11] There are, however, other dark and dirty spoons stirring the Wahhabite-Salafist Saudi stew.

Little known is the fact that the present form of aggressive Saudi Wahhabism, in reality a kind of fusion between imported jihadi Salafists from Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and the fundamentalist Saudi Wahhabites. Leading Salafist members of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood were introduced into the Saudi Kingdom in the 1950’s by the CIA in a complex series of events, when Nasser cracked down on the Muslim Brotherhood following an assassination attempt. By the 1960’s an influx of Egyptian members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Saudi Arabia fleeing Nasserite repression, had filled many of the leading teaching posts in Saudi religious schools. One student there was a young well-to-do Saudi, Osama bin Laden.  [12]

During the Third Reich, Hitler Germany had supported the Muslim Brotherhood as a weapon against the British in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. Marc Erikson describes the Nazi roots of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood thus:

…as Italian and German fascism sought greater stakes in the Middle East in the 1930s and ’40s to counter British and French controlling power, close collaboration between fascist agents and Islamist leaders ensued. During the 1936-39 Arab Revolt, Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, head of German military intelligence, sent agents and money to support the Palestine uprising against the British, as did Muslim Brotherhood founder and “supreme guide” Hassan al-Banna. A key individual in the fascist-Islamist nexus and go-between for the Nazis and al-Banna became the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Haj Amin el-Husseini.[13]

After the defeat of Germany, British Intelligence moved in to take over control of the Muslim Brotherhood. Ultimately, for financial and other reasons, the British decided to hand their assets within the Muslim Brotherhood over to their CIA colleagues in the 1950s. [14]

According to former US Justice Department Nazi researcher John Loftus,  “during the 1950s, the CIA evacuated the Nazis of the Muslim Brotherhood to Saudi Arabia. Now, when they arrived in Saudi Arabia, some of the leading lights of the Muslim Brotherhood, like Dr Abdullah Azzam, became the teachers in the madrassas, the religious schools. And there they combined the doctrines of Nazism with this weird Islamic cult, Wahhabism.” [15]

“Everyone thinks that Islam is this fanatical religion, but it is not,” Loftus continues. “They think that Islam–the Saudi version of Islam–is typical, but it’s not. The Wahhabi cult has been condemned as a heresy more than 60 times by the Muslim nations. But when the Saudis got wealthy, they bought a lot of silence. This is a very harsh cult. Wahhabism was only practised by the Taliban and in Saudi Arabia–that’s how extreme it is. It really has nothing to do with Islam. Islam is a very peaceful and tolerant religion. It always had good relationships with the Jews for the first thousand years of its existence.” [16]

Loftus identified the significance of what today is emerging from the shadows to take over Egypt under Muslim Brotherhood President Morsi, and the so-called Syrian National Council, dominated in reality by the Muslim Brotherhood and publicly led by the more “politically correct” or presentable likes of Bassma Kodmani. Kodmani, foreign affairs spokesman for the SNC was twice an invited guest at the Bilderberg elite gathering, latest in Chantilly, Virginia earlier this year.[17]

The most bizarre and alarming feature of the US-financed  regime changes set into motion in 2010, which have led to the destruction of the secular Arab regime of Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and Muhammar Qaddafi in Libya, and the secular regime of President Ben Ali in Tunisia, and which have wreaked savage destruction across the Middle East, especially in the past eighteen months in Syria, is the pattern of emerging power grabs by representatives of the murky Salafist Muslim Brotherhood.

By informed accounts, a Saudi-financed Sunni Islamic Muslim Brotherhood dominates the members of the exile Syrian National Council that is backed by the US State Department’s Secretary Clinton and by Hollande’s France. The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood is tied, not surprisingly to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood of President Mohammed Morsi who recently in a meeting of the Non-Aligned in Iran called openly for the removal of Syria’s Assad, a logical step if his Muslim Brothers in the present Syrian National Council are to take the reins of power. The Saudis are also rumored to have financed the ascent to power in Tunisia of the governing Islamist Ennahda Party,[18] and are documented to be financing the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated Syrian National Council against President Bashar al-Assad. [19]

Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror

Indicative of the true agenda of this Muslim Brotherhood and related jihadists today is the fact that once they have power, they drop the veil of moderation and reconciliation and reveal their violently intolerant roots. This is visible in Egypt today under Muslim Brotherhood President Mohammed Morsi.

Unreported in mainstream Western media to date are alarming direct reports from Christian missionary organizations in Egypt that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood has already begun to drop the veil of “moderation and conciliation” and show its brutal totalitarian Salafist colors, much as Khomeini’s radical Sharia forces did in Iran after taking control in 1979-81.

In a letter distributed by the Christian Aid Mission (CAM), a Christian Egyptian missionary wrote that Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood “announced they would destroy the country if Morsi didn’t win, but they also said they will take revenge from all those who voted for [his opponent Ahmed] Shafiq, especially the Christians as they are sure we did vote for Shafiq. Yesterday they began by killing two believers in el Sharqiya because of this,” the missionary added, speaking on condition of anonymity.[20]

This report came only weeks after Egyptian State TV (under Morsi’s control) showed ghastly video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims. The footage showed a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. As one man was heard chanting Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity, another man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat began to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is great”), according to transcripts. In the letter, the Egyptian missionary leader added that, “soon after Morsi won, Christians in upper Egypt were forcibly prevented from going to churches.” Many Muslims, the letter claimed, “also began to speak to women in the streets that they had to wear Islamic clothing including the head covering. They act as if they got the country for their own, it’s theirs now.” [21]

Already in 2011 Morsi’s Salafist followers began attacking and destroying Sufi mosques across Egypt. According to the authoritative newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm (Today’s Egyptian), 16 historic mosques in Alexandria belonging to Sufi orders have been marked for destruction by so-called ‘Salafis’. Alexandria has 40 mosques associated with Sufis, and is the headquarters for 36 Sufi groups. Half a million Sufis live in the city, out of a municipal total of four million people. Aggression against the Sufis in Egypt has included a raid on Alexandria’s most distinguished mosque, named for, and housing, the tomb of the 13th century Sufi Al-Mursi Abu’l Abbas.[22]

Notably, the so-called “democratically elected” regime in Libya following the toppling of Mohamar Qaddafi by NATO bombs in 2011, has also been zealous in destroying Sufi mosques and places of worhip. In August this year, UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova expressed “grave concern” at the destruction by Islamic Jihadists of Sufi sites in Zliten, Misrata and Tripoli and urged perpetrators to “cease the destruction immediately.” [23] Under behind-the-scenes machinations the Libyan government is dominated by Jihadists and by followers of the Muslim Brotherhood, as in Tunisia and Egypt. [24]

The explosive cocktail of violence inherent in allowing the rise to power of Salafist Islamists across the Middle East was clear to see, symbolically enough on the night of September 11,th when a mob of angry supporters of the fanatical Salafist group, Ansar Al-Sharia, murdered the US Ambassador to Libya and three US diplomats, burning the US Consulate in Bengazi to the ground in protest over a YouTube release of a film by an American filmmaker showing the Prophet Mohammed indulging in multiple sex affairs and casting doubt on his role as God’s messenger. Ironically that US Ambassador had played a key role in toppling Qaddafi and opening the door to the Salafist takeover in Libya. At the same time angry mobs of thousands of Salafists surrounded the US Embassy in Cairo in protest to the US film. [25]

Ansar Al-Sharia (“Partisans of Islamic law” in Arabic) reportedly is a spinoff of Al-Qaeda and claims organizations across the Middle East from Yemen to Tunisia to Iraq, Egypt and Libya. Ansar al-Sharia says it is reproducing the model of Sharia or strict Islamic law espoused by the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Islamic State of Iraq, a militant umbrella group that includes al-Qaeda in Iraq. The core of the group are jihadists who came out of an “Islamic state”, either in Afghanistan in the mid-1990s, or among jihadists in Iraq after the US-led invasion in 2003.[26]

The deliberate detonation now of a new round of Salafist fundamentalist Jihad terror inside Muslim regions of the Russian Caucasus is exquisitely timed politically to put maximum pressure at home on the government of Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Putin and the Russian Government are the strongest and most essential backer of the current Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, and for Russia as well the maintenance of Russia’s only Mediterranean naval base at Syria’s Tartus port is vital strategically. At the same time, Obama’s sly message to Medvedev to wait until Obama’s re-election to evaluate US intent towards Russia and Putin’s cryptic recent comment that a compromise with a re-elected President Obama might be possible, but not with a President Romney, [27] indicate that the Washington “stick-and-carrot” or hard cop-soft cop tactics with Moscow might tempt Russia to sacrifice major geopolitical alliances, perhaps even that special close and recent geopolitical alliance with China.[28] Were that to happen, the World might witness a “reset” in US-Russian relations with catastrophic consequences for world peace.

F. William Engdahl*  is the author of Full Spectrum Dominance: Totalitarian Democracy in the New World Order

Notes:

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

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

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

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

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mairbek Vatchagaev, op. cit.

[6] UN Security Council, QI.U.290.11. DOKU KHAMATOVICH UMAROV, 10 March 2011, accessed in http://www.un.org/sc/committees/1267/NSQI29011E.shtml. The UN statement reads: “Doku Khamatovich Umarov was listed on 10 March 2011 pursuant to paragraph 2 of resolution 1904 (2009) as being associated with Al-Qaida, Usama bin Laden or the Taliban for “participating in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing, or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf of, or in support of”, “recruiting for”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” and “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” the Islamic Jihad Group (QE.I.119.05), the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (QE.I.10.01), Riyadus-Salikhin Reconnaissance and Sabotage Battalion of Chechen Martyrs (RSRSBCM) (QE.R.100.03) and Emarat Kavkaz (QE.E.131.11).”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[14] Ibid.

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

[16] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

[21] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[27] David M. Herszenhorn, Putin Says Missile Deal Is More Likely With Obama, The New York Times, September 6, 2012, accessed in http://www.nytimes.com/2012/09/07/world/europe/putin-calls-missile-deal-more-likely-if-obama-wins.html. According to an interview Putin gave on Moscow’s state-owned RT TV, Herszenhorn reports, “Mr. Putin said he believed that if Mr. Obama is re-elected in November, a compromise could be reached on the contentious issue of American plans for a missile defense system in Europe, which Russia has strongly opposed. On the other hand, Mr. Putin said, if Mr. Romney becomes president, Moscow’s fears about the missile system — that it is, despite American assurances, actually directed against Russia — would almost certainly prove true.

“Is it possible to find a solution to the problem, if current President Obama is re-elected for a second term? Theoretically, yes,” Mr. Putin said, according to the official transcript posted on the Kremlin’s Web site. “But this isn’t just about President Obama. “For all I know, his desire to work out a solution is quite sincere,” Mr. Putin continued. “I met him recently on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, where we had a chance to talk. And though we talked mostly about Syria, I could still take stock of my counterpart. My feeling is that he is a very honest man, and that he sincerely wants to make many good changes. But can he do it? Will they let him do it?”

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

 

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December 30th, 2012 by Global Research News

A deluge of articles have been quickly put into circulation defending France’s military intervention in the African nation of Mali. TIME’s article, “The Crisis in Mali: Will French Intervention Stop the Islamist Advance?” decides that old tricks are the best tricks, and elects the tiresome “War on Terror” narrative.TIME claims the intervention seeks to stop “Islamist” terrorists from overrunning both Africa and all of Europe. Specifically, the article states:

“…there is a (probably well-founded) fear in France that a radical Islamist Mali threatens France most of all, since most of the Islamists are French speakers and many have relatives in France. (Intelligence sources in Paris have told TIME that they’ve identified aspiring jihadis leaving France for northern Mali to train and fight.) Al-Qaeda in Islamic Maghreb (AQIM), one of the three groups that make up the Malian Islamist alliance and which provides much of the leadership, has also designated France — the representative of Western power in the region — as a prime target for attack.”

What TIME elects not to tell readers is that Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) is closely allied to the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG whom France intervened on behalf of during NATO’s 2011 proxy-invasion of Libya – providing weapons, training, special forces and even aircraft to support them in the overthrow of Libya’s government.

As far back as August of 2011, Bruce Riedel out of the corporate-financier funded think-tank, the Brookings Institution, wrote “Algeria will be next to fall,” where he gleefully predicted success in Libya would embolden radical elements in Algeria, in particular AQIM. Between extremist violence and the prospect of French airstrikes, Riedel hoped to see the fall of the Algerian government. Ironically Riedel noted:

Algeria has expressed particular concern that the unrest in Libya could lead to the development of a major safe haven and sanctuary for al-Qaeda and other extremist jihadis.

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

“Crucially, still in 2007, then al-Qaeda’s number two, Zawahiri, officially announced the merger between the LIFG and al-Qaeda in the Islamic Mahgreb (AQIM). So, for all practical purposes, since then, LIFG/AQIM have been one and the same – and Belhaj was/is its emir. “

“Belhaj,” referring to Hakim Abdul Belhaj, leader of LIFG in Libya, led with NATO support, arms, funding, and diplomatic recognition, the overthrowing of Muammar Qaddafi and has now plunged the nation into unending racist and tribal, genocidal infighting. This intervention has also seen the rebellion’s epicenter of Benghazi peeling off from Tripoli as a semi-autonomous “Terror-Emirate.” Belhaj’s latest campaign has shifted to Syria where he was admittedly on the Turkish-Syrian border pledging weapons, money, and fighters to the so-called “Free Syrian Army,” again, under the auspices of NATO support.

Image: NATO’s intervention in Libya has resurrected listed-terrorist organization and Al Qaeda affiliate, LIFG. It had previously fought in Iraq and Afghanistan, and now has fighters, cash and weapons, all courtesy of NATO, spreading as far west as Mali, and as far east as Syria. The feared “global Caliphate” Neo-Cons have been scaring Western children with for a decade is now taking shape via US-Saudi, Israeli, and Qatari machinations, not “Islam.” In fact, real Muslims have paid the highest price in fighting this real “war against Western-funded terrorism.”

….

LIFG, which with French arms, cash, and diplomatic support, is now invading northern Syria on behalf of NATO’s attempted regime change there, officially merged with Al Qaeda in 2007 according to the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC). According to the CTC, AQIM and LIFG share not only ideological goals, but strategic and even tactical objectives. The weapons LIFG received most certainly made their way into the hands of AQIM on their way through the porous borders of the Sahara Desert and into northern Mali.

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

A leading member of an al Qaeda-affiliated terror group indicated the organization may have acquired some of the thousands of powerful weapons that went missing in the chaos of the Libyan uprising, stoking long-held fears of Western officials.”We have been one of the main beneficiaries of the revolutions in the Arab world,” Mokhtar Belmokhtar, a leader of the north Africa-based al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb [AQIM], told the Mauritanian news agency ANI Wednesday. “As for our benefiting from the [Libyan] weapons, this is a natural thing in these kinds of circumstances.”

It is no coincidence that as the Libyan conflict was drawing to a conclusion, conflict erupted in northern Mali. It is part of a premeditated geopolitical reordering that began with toppling Libya, and since then, using it as a springboard for invading other targeted nations, including Mali, Algeria, and Syria with heavily armed, NATO-funded and aided terrorists.

French involvement may drive AQIM and its affiliates out of northern Mali, but they are almost sure to end up in Algeria, most likely by design.

Algeria was able to balk subversion during the early phases of the US-engineered “Arab Spring” in 2011, but it surely has not escaped the attention of the West who is in the midst of transforming a region stretching from Africa to Beijing and Moscow’s doorsteps – and in a fit of geopolitical schizophrenia – using terrorists both as a casus belli to invade and as an inexhaustible mercenary force to do it.

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image: Foley beheading video

Since mid-August 2014 major news organizations have conveyed videos allegedly found online by the SITE Intelligence Group.

Unsurprisingly the same media have failed to closely interrogate what the private company actually is and whether the material it promotes should be accepted as genuine.

[Image Credit: i24news.tv]

beheading2The Search for International Terrorist Entities Intelligence Group (SITE) was co-founded by Rita Katz in 2001.

In 2003 Katz authored a book, Terrorist Hunter: The Extraordinary Story of a Woman Who Went Undercover to Infiltrate the Radical Islamic Groups Operating in America, which she published using the pseudonym, “Anonymous.”

In the book Katz explains how she took on the trappings of a Muslim woman to infiltrate the meetings of radical Muslim terrorists. The plot is unlikely, especially when one considers that such secret fundamentalist gatherings are almost always segregated along gender lines and no woman, however elaborate her costume, would be granted entry without her identity being firmly established.

SITE Intelligence Group consists of Katz and two “senior advisers,” one of whom is Bruce Hoffman, the Corporate Chair in Counterterrorism and Counterinsurgency at the RAND Corporation and former director of the RAND’s Washington DC office.

The SITE Intelligence Group “constantly monitors the Internet and traditional media for material and propaganda released by jihadist groups and their supporters,” the company’s website announces.

“Once obtained, SITE immediately translates the material and provides the intelligence along with a contextual analysis explaining the source of the material and its importance to our subscribers.”[1]

In 2003 and 2004, SITE received financial support from the US government. Also in the early 2000s SITE was on contract providing consulting services to the FBI.[2]

It would appear that SITE has abandoned its non-profit status and now relies on corporate and individual subscriptions for revenue. In 2005 the private mercenary contractor Blackwater hailed SITE as “an invaluable resource.”[3]

The majority of “jihadist groups” operate one or more media outlets that produce and publish “the group’s multimedia, and in some cases, communiqués and magazines,” SITE explains on its website.

“These media units involve production teams and correspondents who report directly from the battlefield, and craft propaganda to indoctrinate and recruit new fighters into the group’s ranks.” SITE provides no direct links to the jihadist groups’ websites or multimedia productions from its own platform.[4]

Katz describes SITE as geared toward international Islamic jihad. “[W]e at SITE for over a decade monitor, search, and study the jihadists online,” she explains.

We have been studying and monitoring the jihadists online, which also as they get more sophisticated, we follow their techniques and study them. And based on that, we could predict where they will be uploading their video.

After all, we have to remember that much of this propaganda is being posted online. Their releases are released online [sic]. So they have to be able to use certain locations to upload their releases before they are published.[5]

Though routinely overlooked in the flurry of front-page coverage corporate media have allotted the three beheading videos–the most recent of which featured Scottish aid worker David Cawthorne Haines–it is common knowledge that SITE uncannily secures terrorist statements and videos well before the US’s wide array of lavishly-funded intelligence services.

For example, as the Washington Post reported in 2007,

[a] small private intelligence company that monitors Islamic terrorist groups obtained a new Osama bin Laden video ahead of its official release last month, and around 10 a.m. on Sept. 7 … It gave two senior officials access on the condition that the officials not reveal they had it until the al-Qaeda release. Within 20 minutes, a range of intelligence agencies had begun downloading it from the company’s Web site. By midafternoon that day, the video and a transcript of its audio track had been leaked from within the Bush administration to cable television news and broadcast worldwide.[6]

The video later proved to be fraudulent.

With the above in mind, one may ask, If parties within a US presidential administration or the State Department sought to bypass the potential scrutiny of a wide-ranging intelligence community concerning such matters, while simultaneously providing itself with the means to effectively propagandize the American public toward a broader end, what better way than to contract the services of an entity such as SITE?

beheadingIf there is some merit in the above appraisal, the arrangement is now being pushed to an extreme by the Obama administration to pave the road toward a long-sought goal: war with Syria’s Bashar Al Assad regime. Indeed, services such as SITE’s are a potent and valuable means for moving public opinion, as they have done in recent weeks concerning military action against the Islamic State. Along these lines, a decade ago both John Kerry and George W. Bush credited the latter’s re-election to a surreptitious appearance by Osama bin Laden via video tape several days before the vote.[7]

[Image Credit: ibtimes.co.in]

Playing a role similar to SITE, IntelCenter acts as an intermediary between Al-Qaeda’s supposed media arm, As-Sahab, and major media. In other words, “they acquire the tapes and pass them on to the press, and have occasionally even predicted when tapes would be released beforehand,” Paul Joseph Watson reports.

“IntelCenter is run by Ben Venzke, who used to be the director of intelligence at a company called IDEFENSE, which is a Verisign company. IDEFENSE is a web security company that monitors intelligence from the Middle East conflicts and focuses on cyber threats among other things. It is also heavily populated with long serving ex-military intelligence officials.[8]

As noted, news outlets seldom see fit to closely analyze SITE or Katz concerning their research and function as conduits for terrorist propaganda. A LexisNexis search for SITE Intelligence in the article content of US newspapers and major world publications over the past two years produces 317 items—an admittedly low figure given the prominence of SITE’s recent disclosures. Yet a similar search for “Steven Sotloff” alone yields over 1,000 newspaper stories and 600 broadcast transcripts, suggesting the sensationalistic usage and effect of SITE’s data and how neither SITE nor Katz are called upon to explain their specific methods and findings.

Indeed, a similar search for “SITE Intelligence” and “Rita Katz” yields only 26 entries over a two year period. Of these, 14 appear in the Washington Post, a publication with well-established links to US intelligence. Four New York Times articles feature the combined entities.

In a CNN on the heels of the Sotloff beheading, Katz explains how again SITE curiously surpassed the combined capacities of the entire US intelligence community in securing the Sotloff footage.

“The video shows the beheading of Steven Sotloff,” Katz cautiously begins after being queried on the document’s authenticity.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aNUm0Z_lXs

The location from where the video was obtained from is the location where ISIS usually uploads their original videos to [sic]. The video shows a clear message from ISIS that follows the same message that it had before. And in fact within a short time after our release, ISIS’ account on social media indicated that within a short time they would be releasing the video, only we actually had that video beforehand and were able to beat them with the release. (emphasis added)

This unusual statement alongside SITE’s remarkable abilities, should put news outlets on guard concerning the reliability of SITE statements.

Undoubtedly this is a great deal to ask from a news media that all too frequently participate in orienting public opinion toward war, a feat it has once again accomplished with the aid of SITE.

The interests and alliances of the transnational entities owning such media make them poised to profit from the very geopolitical designs drawn up by SITE’s corporate and government clients–the most important of which may be those seeking to broaden Middle Eastern conflict. No doubt, the wide-scale acceptance of such propaganda is also the result of the vastly diminished critical capacities of the broader public, now several decades in the making.

Notes

[1] “Services,” SITE Intelligence Group, , accessed September 15, 2014,

[2] Berni McCoy, “So, a ‘Charitable Organization’ Released the bin Laden Video,” Democratic Underground, September 10, 2007, http://journals.democraticunderground.com/berni_

[3] “SITE Institute,” Sourcewatch.org, Center for Media and Democracy, n.d.

[4] “Media Groups,” SITE Intelligence Group, n.d., accessed September 15, 2014.

[5] Karl Penhaul, Pamela Brown, Alisyn Camerota, Don Lemon, Paul Cruickshank, “Joan Rivers on Life Support; Chilling Words From ISIS Terrorist; How to Fight Radical Recruitment” (transcript), CNN, September 2, 2014.

[6] Joby Warrick, “Leak Severed a Link to Al Qaeda Secrets,” Washington Post, October 9, 2007.

[7] Paul Joseph Watson, “Another Dubious Osama Tape Appears When the Neo-Cons Need It Most,” Prisonplanet.com, July 16, 2007.

[8] Ibid. See also, Kurt Nimmo, “Sotloff Video Found by Group Responsible For Releasing Fake Osama Bin Laden Video,” Infowars.com, September 3, 2014.

President Mahmoud Abbas and the Fatah movement, which he commands, have unleashed a media campaign against Hamas and the resistance. If pressure from the Palestinian public fails to stop the campaign, Abbas may achieve politically what Israel failed to achieve militarily: forcing the Palestinian presidency to choose “peace with Israel ” over national reconciliation.

It appears that President Abbas has, indeed, prioritised “peace with Israel .” He has devised plans for resuming negotiations, and is still banking on American support for such talks. This is the only explanation for the current anti-Hamas media campaign.

Abbas sent his negotiators — Saeb Erekat, Majed Faraj and Maen Erekat — to Washington, where they met with US Secretary of State John Kerry a week ago last Wednesday. US State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki described the more than two-hour meeting as “constructive”. Abbas then prepared to obtain an Arab mandate, which seems guaranteed in advance, for his plans from the 142nd session of the Arab foreign ministers conference, held in Cairo this week.

However, US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power poured cold water over the Palestinian Authority (PA) president’s bid to obtain US backing for his plan, which he intends to put before the UN Security Council and UN General Assembly. The proposal would end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank and Gaza within three years, during which period negotiations would resume within three months with the occupying power over its borders with the Palestinian state.

“We don’t think there are shortcuts or unilateral measures that can be taken at the United Nations or anyplace else that will bring about the outcome that the Palestinian people most seek,” Power said in a press conference last week. “To think that you can come to New York and secure what needs to be worked out on the ground is not realistic.”

This clearly translates into an unequivocal US “No.” The Palestinian president’s new plan has run up against the same American wall that Palestinian negotiators have faced since negotiations were adopted as a strategic approach. The Zionist route remains the only way these negotiators can access the White House and the UN Security Council.

There can be only one explanation for this plan. It is in fulfilment of a Palestinian promise not to resist the occupation and to offer the occupying power the opportunity to agree to yet another futile round of negotiations. Such negotiations will give Israel the time it needs to turn the Givaot colony into a major settler city on the 4,000 dunams of Palestinian land that it has just seized by declaring it “state land”.

The purpose of this appropriation is to separate the Hebron and South Bethlehem governorates in the West Bank . It is also a means to deflect international humanitarian pressure in reaction to Israeli war crimes in Gaza , to evade Israel ’s obligations to the truce agreement with the resistance in Gaza , and to fuel internal Palestinian tensions until they reignite once more.

It was not Hamas or the resistance that described Abbas’s new plan as a “spurious process”. It was independent Palestinian figures who expressed their views in a statement read out by Mamdouh Al-Akr, general commissioner of the Independent Organisation of Human Rights, on 2 September in Ramallah. They called for an urgent meeting of the unified leadership of the Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO), in accordance with the Cairo agreement of 2011, so that it can serve as a frame of reference for the Palestinian will and take critical national decisions.

Activating the unified leadership framework of the PLO will put President Abbas’s call for a “single Palestinian central authority”, uniquely empowered to “determine matters of war and peace”, into its concrete national context. Only this context can confer legitimacy on a Palestinian leadership that does not derive its authority from resisting the occupation in all forms.

Moreover, the currently missing “electoral legitimacy” is no longer sufficient in and of itself to allow Palestinian decisions on war and peace to remain in the hands of a leadership that is the product of elections that were held with the approval of the occupation power and in the framework of agreements signed with it.

The Palestinian presidency has dropped the available option of resistance from the lexicon of its negotiating strategy, let alone the option of war, which is not available. The PA, in coordination with the occupation’s security apparatus, has become “the security proxy for the occupying power, rather than an instrument to end the occupation and establish the state,” as Palestinian analyst Hani Al-Masri wrote on 26 August.

As a result, the occupying power, alone, holds the keys to the decision of war, which it continues to repeat, and to the decision of peace, which it still refuses to take.

It appears that President Abbas is working against the tide of Palestinian public opinion, as voiced in a recent survey conducted by the Palestinian Centre for Policy and Survey Research (PCPSR) in Ramallah. According to this poll, only 22 per cent of respondents supported a resumption of negotiations, while 53 per cent said they regarded resistance as “the more effective way” to realise the creation of a Palestinian state.

The results of the PCPSR poll contradict all the charges levelled by the president and Fatah against the resistance and Hamas. Of those polled, 79 per cent believe that the resistance emerged victorious from the recent war, while 86 per cent support the defensive use of rockets.

Respondents gave very low ratings to the performance of the Palestinian president, the PA, the national unity government and the PLO, while the approval rating for Hamas was 88 per cent.

What is the substance of this media campaign against Hamas? It ranges from blaming Hamas for prolonging the war and for the consequent loss of lives and material damage, to adopting the Israeli narrative regarding a Hamas-engineered “coup attempt” against the president in the West Bank and the existence of a “shadow government” in Gaza that prevents the national unity government from functioning.

Then there are the charges of keeping Fatah members under “house arrest”, of “opening fire on civilians”, and of “selling emergency relief on the black market.” On top of these come the accusation that Hamas has violated “the law that defines the colours and dimensions of the flag.”

President Abbas’s instructions to create a “committee to hold a dialogue” with Hamas to discuss the “fate of the national unity government,” as announced by Amin Maqboul, secretary of the Fatah Revolutionary Council, does little to encourage optimism. The national unity government, national reconciliation, the Cairo agreement of 2011, the unified leadership framework that it stipulated, and the reactivation of the PLO, all stand at a crossroads.

This is because of the confrontation stirred by the systematic smear campaign that President Abbas and the Fatah movement are waging against Hamas and the resistance. The campaign has created a media smokescreen behind which the occupation authority can conceal its foot-dragging in carrying out its obligations under the truce agreement, which will probably be echoed in Israeli procrastination on continuing with truce talks due to be held in Cairo.

It should also be stressed that to accuse the resistance and Hamas of prolonging the war is to exonerate the occupation power of responsibility. The Israeli media was quick to capitalise on this, further proof of the extensive coverage the campaign has received.

Indeed, Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev virtually reiterated it verbatim when he said that the Egyptian initiative was on the table from 15 July and that while the Arab League and Israel had approved the initiative, Hamas rejected it, only to turn around and agree to it a month later. “If [Hamas] had agreed then to what it agrees to now” it would have been possible “to avoid all that bloodshed,” he said.

The investigatory commission appointed by the UN Human Rights Council will most likely cite the president’s charges to strengthen the claims of the occupying power, as these charges would be regarded as “testimony of a witness from the other side.”

Abbas says that while the “final toll” from the most recent war in Gaza was 2,140 dead, “if added to the number of dead in previous wars, and those who died during the period of the Shalit problem, the number would be 10,000 dead and wounded, in addition to the 35,000 homes that were totally or partially destroyed.”

When Abbas says that “it would have been possible” to avert the human and material losses of the recent conflict he is effectively blaming the resistance, not the occupation, for the last war on Gaza and the two wars since 2008 that preceded it.

The spectre of discord once again hovers over Palestinian unity, with Palestinian opinion divided over a programme of negotiations versus a programme of resistance. This is the breach through which Arab and non-Arab “axes” penetrate into the Palestinian interior, deepening rather than mending Palestinian rifts.

Nicola Nasser is a veteran Arab journalist based in Birzeit, West Bank of the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories ([email protected]).

This article was first published and translated from Arabic by Al-Ahram Weekly on September 11, 2014.

What Will It Take To Create Climate Justice?

September 15th, 2014 by Margaret Flowers

All of the elements required to create climate justice seem to be in place. The climate movement can put hundreds of thousands on the streets, organize creative civil resistance, get thousands to risk arrest and mobilize blockades of tar sands, fracking, oil pipelines and mountain top removal.

Polls show high levels of public support for taking action on climate change. A 2014 Gallup Poll shows 65% of Americans support emissions controls and a 2014 George Mason-Yale study  found Americans were twice as likely to support a congressional or presidential candidate who strongly supports action to reduce global warming.

There is strong scientific consensus with the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) ringing the climate change alarm for two decades. In 2014, IPCC reports and the US National Climate Assessment  show that the climate crisis is here and affecting access to water, food production and health. The planet is in its Sixth Great Extinction ,  this one caused by humans. The World Health Organization estimates  that climate change currently causes 150,000 deaths annually .

Yet, despite all of this, the climate change movement is unable to move US or UN policy or force the economic system to respond adequately to the climate crisis.

The climate crisis is a crisis of democracy  requiring a coordinated global grassroots mobilization to stop harmful policies and practices and build alternative systems that are effective and equitable. The climate crisis affects all of us and touches everything we care about. It will take a mass ‘movement of movements’ to counter the power of money and corruption that prevents the change we need.

The last two decades have been wasted by political misleadership and as a result, immediate action is required. A landmark report last week concluded: “By 2018, no new cars, homes, schools, factories, or electrical power plants should be built anywhere in the world, ever again, unless they’re either replacements for old ones or carbon neutral.” We have a big task before us and need to build a global movement to make it a reality.

Confronting climate change will require major political and economic transformations that will impact how we live our lives. We must transition from the Industrial Revolution to the Sustainable Revolution.

The State of the Climate Movement

The climate movement has made tremendous strides in building the structure of a broader movement of movements over the past decade, and it will develop further via the events being organized around the next set of United Nations climate change meetings in New York this month.

At the global level, the movement of movements was formed outside the UN climate talks in Bali, the COP 13 in 2007. Calling themselves Climate Justice Now, more than thirty non-governmental organizations and social movements signed on to a statement that concluded with “We will take our struggle forward not just in the talks, but on the ground and in the streets.”

Climate Justice Now  continued to meet after the COP 13 and grow. They developed a set of principles, organized alternative events at the COP meetings and published analyses of the UN’s climate negotiations. They participated inside the climate talks and engaged in direct action to protest the negotiations. Their organizing led to large demonstrations of more than 100,000 people  and direct actions at the COP15 in Copenhagen in 2009 where 3,000 activists  tried to “take over the conference for one day and transform it into a ‘People’s Assembly’” to counter the “false solutions and elitism of the UN climate talks.” At the same time 300 people walked out of the conference and tried to hold an assembly with the protesters outside. The police disrupted them and more than 1,000 people were detained or arrested during COP15.

As we reported in a previous article , the US spied on delegates and sabotaged the COP15. President Obama declared victory when he put forward a failed nonbinding agreement and Big Greens from the US including the Natural Resources Defense Council, World Wildlife Federation and Sierra Club all declared victory despite the outcome.

In the United States, a similar body formed during the 2010 US Social Forum in Detroit. The Climate Justice Alliance is composed of frontline environmental and social justice organizations that work together to move local and state governments towards renewable energy and a just transition to the green energy economy. Across the country local groups have engaged in acts of resistance   including blocking pipelines and protesting fracking , nuclear energy and mountain top removal  among other forms of extreme energy extraction.

Big Greens vs Fresh Greens

One of the challenges in recent years was the conflict between these “big greens,” the traditional environmental groups, and fresh greens that include frontline groups directly impacted by the excavation and transport of carbon and nuclear fuels. The anger between these groups can be seen in some of the writings of frontline activists who see the big greens as “quelling dissent.”

Tim DeChristopher , the climate justice advocate who went to prison for blocking the leasing of lands for gas in Utah, explained recently how the 2009 ‘cap and trade bill’ was a turning point. Activists believed cap and trade was a false solution but the big greens said it was the only politically realistic possibility. When the bill failed, people realized the big greens not only pushed false solutions but also did not know what was politically realistic.

Part of the problem comes from money. Some major environmental groups, Sierra Club, NRDC and Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), took the position that methane gas was a ‘bridge fuel’  from coal. Methane is a greenhouse gas obtained through fracking that has a much greater short term impact than carbon. After Corporate Crime Reporter started asking questions it was revealed that the Sierra Club had taken $25 million from Chesapeake Energy, a firm heavily involved in fracking. Since then, under the direction of Michael Brune, the Sierra Club turned back an additional $30 million in gas donations.

Problems with big green environmental groups working with industries that profit from climate gasses continue. A recent report shows how EDF is supporting efforts for ‘safe fracking ‘ (which is like ‘clean coal,’ it doesn’t exist) through partnerships with gas corporations. Vera Scroggins, an anti-fracking activist, describes how these groups are “pouring money into calming fears and calming objections. They’re basically promoting something that’s been created by the industry.”

In recent years the divide between big greens and frontline activists has shrunk slightly. Research has shown  that blockades and other aggressive actions work in stopping or slowing environmentally destructive actions. The increased use of civil resistance in the climate movement led the Sierra Club, for the first time, to engage in risking arrest with Michael Brune getting arrested at the White House.

There is still a long way to go to stop the division in the movement and get traditional environmental groups to treat climate change as an urgent disaster for which real solutions and not false compromises are needed. Beyond that, the movement needs to be broader than the environmental movement to include all who will be affected by the climate crisis. To achieve climate justice will require building a people-powered movement of movements that can have a significant impact on the tremendous wealth and power of the global financial elites who currently control the system.

Broadening and Sharpening the Climate Justice Movement

In addition to getting the environmental movement to speak with a common voice on climate justice and the policies needed to achieve it, the movement needs to reach beyond environmentalists. Solidarity across issues is essential to creating the movement of movements that can achieve climate justice.

An important step in broadening the US climate justice movement took place this year at the founding meeting of the Global Climate Convergence (GCC) in January. Held in the Workers United Hall in Chicago, the meeting was attended by unions and by advocates for peace, food security, economic rights, civil rights, housing, the environment, renewable energy and ending corporate power. The GCC organized ten days of action from Earth Day to May Day to show that all of our issues are connected and that the climate crisis is the ticking clock that brings urgency to our work. The climate convergence is continuing with the NYC Climate Convergence  being held for the two days before the People’s Climate March.

Labor’s involvement is necessary to achieve climate justice. The Labor Network for Sustainability  criticizes the idea that “labor can focus on jobs, and leave the environment to the environmental movement.”  They describe this silo approach as outdated and ensuring failure for both movements. Their founding president and executive director, Joe Uehlein argues  that labor needs to define and lead the way in a just “transition to a climate-safe economy.”

The new Trade Unions for Energy Democracy  includes 41 institutions from 15 countries. They seek “to advance democratic direction and control of energy in a way that promotes solutions to the climate crisis, energy poverty, the degradation of both land and people, and responds to the attacks on workers’ rights and protections.” Their response to the climate crisis goes beyond the need to reduce emissions and protect workers to creating a world that is more just and equitable.

The People’s Climate March also attempts to bridge this divide between labor and environmentalists; Daniel Adam writes “more than 30 unions presents a ground-breaking opening for labor and the climate movement.” The downside though is that the price for getting broad union involvement was to avoid clear demands that would offend some unions or their allies in the Democratic Party. The tent is so big that “it even includes organizations that support fracking and the tar sands gigaproject,” reports Anne Peterman .   So more work is needed, but progress is being made.

In addition to workers, business owners must understand the necessity of participating in the broad climate justice movement. The climate crisis will bring new challenges to businesses in the acquisition, production and transport of goods. It also brings new opportunities to be part of the solution. Either business will adapt to the changes that the climate crisis brings by adopting climate-friendly practices or they will become the blacksmiths and carriage makers of our time.

There are business groups seeking to confront climate change. For example, BALLE (Business Alliance for Local Living Economies) made up of 50,000 entrepreneurs and funders have been advocating localism, sustainability and ecological restoration since 2001. Other business groups raise questions, as Chris Hedges writes  “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, JPMorgan Chase and Greenstone.” They do not advocate for “carbon-free, nuclear-free” but support a “prosperous, low-carbon future for all.”

Indigenous groups have taken a strong lead in organizing and action for Indigenous rights and protection of the planet. Idle No More began in Canada as a series of teach-ins on legislation in the Parliament and when grew very rapidly when Chief Theresa Spence began a hunger strike on Victoria Island across from Parliament Hill in December, 2012. The movement gained international attention and solidarity actions occurred throughout North America.

The Idle No More movement brought greater attention to the challenges that First Nations face throughout North America and the work they’ve done to gain sovereignty and to protect the environment. Indigenous groups have educated about and advocated for protection of the air, land and water, have led marches and rides to raise awareness of critical issues and have organized blockades and other direct action to prevent further exploitation of their rights and destruction of the Earth through extreme energy extraction for oil, gas, uranium and minerals. In Canada, there has been both significant repression of First Nation protests such as the Mi’kmaq faced in New Brunswick and victories such as in the Supreme Court decision that granted land titles to First Nations in British Columbia.

Food and water are two reasons for all people to join the climate justice movement. Food systems produce 19% to 29% of greenhouse gas emissions making agriculture a major sector needing transformation. In, “ Grass, Soil, Hope ,” rancher and environmentalist Courtney White describes agricultural practices that adapt to climate change impacts but also sequester large amounts of carbon in soil and improve both quality and output of food. These are positive solutions that are win-win for agriculture, people and the planet. On the negative side, corporations like Monsanto and Dupont seek to control the world’s food supply through genetically engineered seeds and increased use of chemicals. And private corporations are vying to take over water, meaning scenarios like what is happening in Detroit where water prices are rising and residents are losing access to water will become more common.

Jacqui Patterson, the director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program, points out that climate change is a civil rights issue . In the United States, on issues of food, health effects, the cost of fuel or impacts of carbon fuel pollution, African Americans pay a higher price even though they use less carbon fuels. The same is true globally where the poorest nations using the least fuel will be most impacted. These are reasons that people who care about the wealth divide or inequality should be part of the climate justice movement.

Veterans For Peace  has been making the connections between the climate crisis and militarism. The US military is the biggest polluter on the planet and uses tremendous amounts of fossil fuels. Current military conflicts are centered on control of oil and gas. VFP members have joined frontline communities in actions against coal and fracking and to demand clean-up of thousands of abandoned uranium mines left from the Cold War era. There will be a veteran’s contingent and peace roundtable at the People’s Climate March.

Youth are a foundation for climate justice advocacy. They have used the courts to sue for the right to clean air, pressured universities to divest from carbon energy and organized campaigns to stop extreme energy extraction . Informed youth understand that the climate crisis is not something in the future, but shapes their lives.

Realizing Our Power

The ingredients do exist to build the people-powered movement of movements that can organize actions to expose and resist corruption of the political system and economy at all levels and create alternative systems that are based on principles of sustainability, solidarity, equity and justice. On a daily basis we see examples of actions in communities that resist the expansion of fossil and nuclear fuels and build local living economies.

Climate justice is in our reach if we realize that the climate crisis connects all of us and take action to manifest our power. As Alice Walker said, “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” In this situation, we have a choice to continue on the destructive path towards climate chaos or to come together and build a future that not only addresses the climate crisis but is also healthier, more equitable and prosperous.

In the final article of this series, we will describe a common vision and strategy that can be used for developing clear demands and a positive pathway to the world that is needed and is possible.

This article is part of a series in the lead up to the UN Climate Summit and the activities occurring around that event. It is being produced by Popular Resistance 

Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese are organizers with Popular Resistance , which provides daily movement news and resources. Sign up for their daily newsletter ; and follow them on twitter, @PopResistance To march with us at the People’s Climate March or join us at the Global Climate Convergence, click here.

The Recovery Of the Earth’s Ozone Layer

September 15th, 2014 by Marianne de Nazareth

Lets first understand what is Ozone? According to the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) Ozone is a special form of oxygen with the chemical formula  O3. And the oxygen we breathe which is totally vital to life on earth is O2.

Ozone constitutes a very small part of our atmosphere, but its presence is nevertheless vital to human well-being. Most ozone resides high up in the atmosphere, between 10 and 40km above Earth’s surface. This region is called the stratosphere and it contains about 90% of all the ozone in the atmosphere.

Image courtesy WMO

So, why do we humans need to care about atmospheric ozone ?

The Ozone in the stratosphere absorbs some of the Sun’s biologically harmful ultraviolet radiation. Because of this beneficial role, stratospheric ozone is considered “good” ozone. In contrast, excess ozone on the Earth’s surface that is formed from pollutants is considered “bad” ozone because it can be harmful to humans, plants, and animals. The ozone that occurs naturally near the surface and in the lower atmosphere is also beneficial because ozone helps remove pollutants from the atmosphere.

 A decade or so ago the world was woken up rudely to the fact that the earth’s protective ozone layer had developed a huge hole through which harmful cancer causing UV rays were being emitted.

Scientists sent alarm bells ringing and countries took steps to help reduce the problem and try to recover or repair the hole. Thankfully the Assessment for Decision-Makers, a summary document of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014,  a new assessment by 300 scientists, is being published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and is the first comprehensive update in four years on the issue.  The document says that the ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances.

The stratospheric ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Without the Montreal Protocol and associated agreements, atmospheric levels of ozone depleting substances could have increased tenfold by 2050. According to global models, the Protocol will have prevented 2 million cases of skin cancer annually by 2030, averted damage to human eyes and immune systems, and protected wildlife and agriculture, according to UNEP.

The phasing-out of ozone depleting substances has had a positive spin-off for the global climate because many of these substances are also potent greenhouse gases. However, the assessment report cautions that the rapid increase in certain substitutes, which are themselves also potent greenhouse gases, has the potential to undermine these gains. The assessment also notes that there are possible approaches to avoiding the harmful climate effects of these substitutes.

“There are positive indications that the ozone layer is on track to recovery towards the middle of the century. The Montreal Protocol – one of the world’s most successful environmental treaties – has protected the stratospheric ozone layer and avoided enhanced UV radiation reaching the earth’s surface,” said UN Under-Secretary-General and UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner.

“However, the challenges that we face are still huge. The success of the Montreal Protocol should encourage further action not only on the protection and recovery of the ozone layer but also on climate. On September 23, the UN Secretary General will host Heads of State in New York in an effort to catalyse global action on climate. The Montreal Protocol community, with its tangible achievements, is in a position to provide strong evidence that global cooperation and concerted action are the key ingredients to secure the protection of our global commons,” he added.

“International action on the ozone layer is a major environmental success story,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

“This should encourage us to display the same level of urgency and unity to tackle the even greater challenge of climate change. This latest assessment provides solid science to policy-makers about the intricate relationship between ozone and climate and the need for mutually-supportive measures to protect life on earth for future generations.”

“Human activities will continue to change the composition of the atmosphere. WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch programme will therefore continue its crucial monitoring, research and assessment activities to provide scientific data needed to understand and ultimately predict environmental changes, as it has done for the past 25 years” said Mr Jarraud.

The key findings of the report are in brief below:  Actions taken under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer are enabling the return of the ozone layer to benchmark 1980 levels.

·        Under full compliance with the Montreal Protocol, the ozone layer is expected to recover to 1980 benchmark levels- the time before significant ozone layer depletion- before the middle of the century in mid-latitudes and the Arctic, and somewhat later in the Antarctic.

·        The Montreal Protocol and associated agreements have led to decreases in the atmospheric abundance of gases, such as CFCs (chlorofluorocarbons) and halons, once used in products such as refrigerators, spray cans, insulation foam and fire suppression.

·        Total column ozone declined over most of the globe during the 1980s and early 1990s. It has remained relatively unchanged since 2000, but there are recent indications of its future recovery.

·        The Antarctic ozone hole continues to occur each spring and it is expected to continue occurring for the better part of this century given that ozone depleting substances persist in the atmosphere, even though their emissions have ceased.

·        The Arctic stratosphere in winter/spring 2011 was particularly cold, which led to large ozone depletion as expected under these conditions.

The climate benefits of the Montreal Protocol could be significantly offset by projected emissions of HFCs (hydrofluorocarbons) used to replace ozone depleting substances.

·        The Montreal Protocol has made large contributions toward reducing global greenhouse gas emissions. In 1987, ozone-depleting substances contributed about 10 gigatonnes CO2-equivalent emissions per year. The Montreal Protocol has now reduced these emissions by more than 90 per cent. This decrease is about five times larger than the annual emissions reduction target for the first commitment period (2008–2012) of the Kyoto Protocol on climate change.

·        Hydrofluorocarbons  (HFCs) do not harm the ozone layer but many of them are potent greenhouse gases. They currently contribute about 0.5 gigatonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions per year. These emissions are growing at a rate of about 7 per cent per year. Left unabated, they can be expected to contribute very significantly to climate change in the next decades.
·        Replacements of the current mix of high-GWP HFCs with alternative compounds with low GWPs or not-in-kind technologies would limit this potential problem.

The annual Antarctic ozone hole has caused significant changes in Southern Hemisphere surface climate in the summer.

·        Ozone depletion has contributed to cooling of the lower stratosphere and this is very likely the dominant cause of observed changes in Southern Hemisphere summertime circulation over recent decades, with associated impacts on surface temperature, precipitation, and the oceans.

·        In the Northern Hemisphere, where the ozone depletion is smaller, there is no strong link between stratospheric ozone depletion and tropospheric climate.

CO2, Nitrous Oxide and Methane will have an increasing influence on the ozone layer

·        What happens to the ozone layer in the second half of the 21st century will largely depend on concentrations of CO2, methane and nitrous oxide – the three main long-lived greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Overall, CO2 and methane tend to increase global ozone levels. By contrast, nitrous oxide, a by-product of food production, is both a powerful greenhouse gas and an ozone depleting gas, and is likely to become more important in future ozone depletion.

The Scientific Assessment Panel is expected to present the key findings of the new report at the annual Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol, to be held in Paris in November 2014. The full body of the report will be issued in early 2015.

The Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014 was prepared and reviewed by 282 scientists from 36 countries (Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Botswana, Brazil, Canada, People’s Republic of China, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cuba, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Togo, United Kingdom, United States of America, Zimbabwe.)

Co-Chairs of the ozone assessment are: Prof. Ayité Lô Nohende Ajavon, Université de Lomé, Togo; Prof. John Pyle, University of Cambridge and National Centre for Atmospheric Science, UK; Dr. Paul Newman, NASA/ Goddard Space Flight Center, USA; Prof. A.R. (Ravi) Ravishankara, Colorado State University, USA.

Marianne de Nazareth is a Freelance science and environment journalist, PhD scholar and adjunct faculty, St Joseph’s College of Media studies, Bangalore, India

The United Nations (UN) has stressed that there are strong links and contacts between the armed terrorist organizations in Syria and the Zionist entity.

The UN remarks came in a report by its Secretary General on the United Nations Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) during the period from May 29th to September 3rd 2014.

The report said that members of the so-called “armed opposition” transported 47 of its wounded members through “the ceasefire line” and handed them to the “Israeli army”, indicating that the “Israeli army” handed 43 of the wounded who were treated at the Israeli hospitals to the armed terrorist organizations.

The report talked about the attack of the terrorist organizations including Jabhat al-Nusra against the positions of the UNDOF personnel and how they seized a number of their vehicles and equipment and how they used the UN uniform.

It added that the UNDOF Commander was in constant and regular contact with the Syrian Arab army in the area as the army provided all types of support to guarantee the evacuation of the UNDOF personnel.

The report affirms what Syria has always mentioned about the close relations between the armed terrorist organizations and the Israeli occupation authorities which shows how much the Israeli occupation is participating in the sinister conspiracy hatched against Syria.

The cooperation between the terrorist organization of Jabhat al-Nusra which has been designated as a terrorist group by the UN and the Israeli occupation authorities shows that Israel supports a terrorist organization which requires a response from the international community.

R. al-Jazaeri/ Ghossoun

Someone’s Already Fighting ISIS: The Syrian Arab Army

September 15th, 2014 by Tony Cartalucci

Since 2011, the Syrian Arab Army (SAA) has waged a relentless war within Syrian territory against what it has said from the very beginning was an invasion of heavily armed, foreign-backed sectarian extremists. In retrospect, the transparently ludicrous nature of articles like the Guardian’s “Syria’s rebels unite to oust Assad and push for democracy” is self-evident. The article would lay out Syria’s claims side by side with the West’s narrative by stating:

In one of the fiercest clashes of the insurrection, Syrian troops finally took control of the town of Rastan after five days of intense fighting with army defectors who sided with protesters. Syrian authorities said they were fighting armed terrorist gangs.

In retrospect, and upon examining the obvious lay of Syria’s battlefields today, it is clear Syrian authorities were right.

Shortly after NATO carried out successful “regime change” in Libya in 2011 under the false pretext of a “humanitarian intervention,” sectarian-driven mercenaries it armed, funded, and provided air cover for in Libya began steadily streaming into Syria via its northern border with NATO-member Turkey.

Terrorists from the US State Department designated terrorist organization, the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) officially made contact with terrorists fighting in Syria to offer them weapons, cash, training, and fighters. The London Telegraph would report in their article, “Leading Libyan Islamist met Free Syrian Army opposition group,” that:

The meetings came as a sign of a growing ties between Libya’s fledgling government and the Syrian opposition. The Daily Telegraph on Saturday revealed that the new Libyan authorities had offered money and weapons to the growing insurgency against Bashar al-Assad. 

Mr Belhaj also discussed sending Libyan fighters to train troops, the source said.

Indeed, at the highest levels, even as far back as 2011-2012, the so-called “moderate rebels” were entwined with Al Qaeda, vindicating the Syrian government’s statements regarding its struggle against foreign-backed terrorism, not a “pro-democracy uprising.”

Today, the West has expunged all rhetoric regarding “pro-democracy,” with sectarian extremism clearly driving militancy across both sides of Syria’s borders with Lebanon and Iraq. Instead, the West has been resigned to attempts in differentiating between groups like Al Qaeda’s al Nusra franchise and its Islamic State (ISIS) counterparts – claiming the latter must be addressed more urgently, even at the cost of cooperating with the former - yet another US State Department designated terrorist organization.

Syria’s Long War  

And while the fierce fighting in Syria may have began in 2011, the war on foreign-backed sectarian extremism began a generation ago. From 1976 to 1982, Syrian President Bashar al Assad’s father, Hafez al-Assad, waged war on the heavily militarized Muslim Brotherhood. Upon breaking the back of the organization in Syria, it fled and was later reconstituted by the United States and Saudi Arabia into what would become Al Qaeda in the mountains of Afghanistan to fight the Soviet Union.

In the US Army’s West Point Combating Terrorism Center (CTC) 2008 report titled, “Bombers, Bank Accounts and Bleedout: al-Qa’ida’s Road In and Out of Iraq,” it stated unequivocally that (emphasis added):

During the first half of the 1980s the role of foreign fighters in Afghanistan was negligible and was largely  un‐noticed by outside observers. The flow of volunteers from the Arab heartland countries was just a trickle in the early 1980s, though there were more significant links between the mujahidin and Central Asian Muslims—especially Tajiks, Uzbeks, and Kazakhs. Individuals like the above‐mentioned Abu’l‐Walid were recruited in the early years via ad hoc outreach campaigns initiated from within Afghanistan, but by 1984, the resources being poured into the conflict by other countries—especially Saudi Arabia and the United States—had become much greater, as had the effectiveness and sophistication of the recruitment efforts. Only then did foreign observers begin to remark on the presence of outside volunteers. 

6464623The repression of Islamist movements in the Middle East contributed to the acceleration of Arab fighters leaving for Afghanistan. One important process was the Syrian regime of Hafez Assad’s brutal campaign against the Jihadi movement in Syria, led by the “Fighting Vanguard” (al‐Tali’a al‐Muqatila) of the Syrian Muslim Brotherhood. The crackdown initiated an exodus of Vanguard militants to neighboring Arab states. By 1984, large numbers of these men began making their way from exile in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Jordan toward southeastern Afghanistan to fight the Soviets.

Despite terms like “repression” and “brutal campaign,” it is clear that the CTC is referring to heavily armed, militarized, extremist movements the US itself has allegedly waged “repressive, brutal” campaigns against across the planet, including in neighboring Iraq. It is also clear that Syria has been fighting sectarian extremism for decades, with the current protracted violence simply being the latest chapter. It is also clear that the United States and Saudi Arabia have, admittedly so, been propping up regional extremism in the form of both the Muslim Brotherhood and its various armed factions, as well as Al Qaeda, and now most recently, ISIS.

Syria is battling a long war against proxy imperialism brought upon it through heavily armed terrorists who serve both as a mercenary force, as well as a pretext, if all else fails, for its state-sponsors to intervene directly to stop widespread chaos of their own design.

There is Only One Logical Ally in the War on ISIS 

If the West was truly interested in fighting ISIS, it can find only one ally in the region – the Syrian Arab Army that has fought ISIS and its affiliates fiercely since 2011, and its predecessors for decades.

That the West instead proposes further arming and funding so-called “moderates” from which ISIS, Al Nusra and an innumerable amount of other extremist factions have risen from exposes a lack of sincerity and in fact, utter duplicity amidst its intentions in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. It is a geopolitical arsonist seeking to extinguish the flames of its crime by emptying a barrel of gasoline directly upon the raging inferno.

Indeed, since 2011, the so-called “moderates” of the “Free Syrian Army” were openly collaborating with LIFG, a US designated terrorist organization. It would also be confirmed that the “Free Syrian Army” was fighting alongside (if not entirely a component of) Al Qaeda’s al Nusra franchise all throughout territory now allegedly held by ISIS. ISIS in fact did not mutate from idealistic moderates – only the narrative covering up the existence and extent of ISIS’ foreign-backed operation in Syria and now in Iraq and Lebanon has changed. From the very beginning, and in fact, proceeding the ongoing war in Syria, a sectarian driven, genocidal mercenary force designed for ravaging the entire region on behalf of the US and its regional partners was the stated plan as early as 2007.

Veteran journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winner Seymour Hersh warned in a prophetic 2007 New Yorker article titled, “The Redirection Is the Administration’s new policy benefitting our enemies in the war on terrorism?” that (emphasis added):

To undermine Iran, which is predominantly Shiite, the Bush Administration has decided, in effect, to reconfigure its priorities in the Middle East. In Lebanon, the Administration has coöperated with Saudi Arabia’s government, which is Sunni, in clandestine operations that are intended to weaken Hezbollah, the Shiite organization that is backed by Iran. The U.S. has also taken part in clandestine operations aimed at Iran and its ally Syria. A by-product of these activities has been the bolstering of Sunni extremist groups that espouse a militant vision of Islam and are hostile to America and sympathetic to Al Qaeda.

It can no longer be denied that the West is the cause of, not the solution for, the ongoing chaos now slowly burning the entire Middle East and beyond.

It can also not be denied that the only true force in the region fighting Al Qaeda and the myriad of aliases it is operating under, is the Syrian government with the backing of its allies in Lebanon, Iraq, Iran, and even as far as Russia. For the West to pose as “fighting” ISIS by creating a coalition consisting of the very nations sponsoring the terrorist organization, illustrates the audacity afforded to the West by its immense unwarranted power and influence – power and influence that must be ultimately reckoned with in order to truly resolve the violence in the Middle East and prevent similar chaos from being instigated elsewhere around the world.

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

Early in 2013 I thought I had reached a low point as I reacted to the way the animal-loving British elite happily slaughtered anything that got in its way.  The most visible sign of its lust for ‘controlling’ wildlife by culling has been the project to kill badgers on the poor excuse that they are responsible for all the bovine TB in cattle.  So the start of the second year of badger culling coinciding with Medway Council trying again to destroy a protected site where nightingales breed forced me to revisit the war we wage on nature.

So far it has not been a good year:

In January roe deer became trapped between two security fences at Sellafield nuclear power station and plans to shoot them caused uproar.  Always shoot rather than rescue is the way to deal with pesky wildlife that has the temerity to get in the way and despite the protests the guns had their way.  In April the cull started.

Also in January after another public uproar, a cull of hares was called off at Cranfield Airport. The cull was “to be undertaken following a crash between a light aircraft and a muntjac deer as the plane was coming in to land”.  Well, if a deer caused an accident, of course you’d go out and shoot hares, wouldn’t you?  Because according to the guns, the hare population was ‘out of control’.  Conservationists begged to differ and Natural England actually plans to try and double the brown hare population by 2020.

Anglers like killing too.  They have called for otters to be culled because of ‘damage’ to fishing lakes.  “If you watch £20,000 worth of stock disappear in just a few days – what are the owners going to do?”  Well, either each fish costs an inordinate amount of money or there is a whole plague of animals that we know nothing about, seeing that most of us are desperate to see just one otter before we die.  The very expensive fish are giant carp, twice the size of otters and like the pheasant, another species imported to provide fun.

And then there are the beavers on the River Otter inDevon, caught on film in February.  Anglers immediately demanded culling – anglers need beavers “like we need a hole in the head”.  Defra announced they would be trapped and removed because they might be ‘diseased’.  Everyone else has sided with the beavers.  Despite Defra’s desire to control all wildlife, they are still there, and have been for quite some years, without trouble.

In March the Scotsman had news of how birds of prey were suffering because of gamekeepers ‘protecting’ game birds that were going to be shot for pleasure.  They are switching from poisoning to shooting, trapping and nest destruction – small comfort there for the birds.  Even worse, the Scottish RSPB reported that “There have been incidents where chicks and eggs of ground-nesting species such as the hen harrier have been stamped on.”

In April the “We’re all in it together” Prime Minister Cameron vetoed  the raising of the firearms licence fee.  It has been frozen at £50 since 2001 – just over a quarter of the £196 that it costs police (and taxpayer) to issue the licence; it now costs us £17m.  Why subsidise people who can afford up to £1000 and more for the gun?  Top of the range guns come at over £60,000, and they only pay £50 a year to licence it.

At the same time the pheasant-and-grouse-shooting government increased the subsidies for grouse moors.  George Monbiot wrote a brilliant resume of how the pheasant constantly switched from ‘livestock’ to ‘wildlife’ in order to make the most use of both subsidies and regulations.  As he said: “Through a series of magnificent legal manoeuvres it becomes whatever the wealthy want it to be.”

The battle to save the endangered hen harrier from the grouse shooters is ongoing.  And its favoured habitat, the moors and uplands, are damaged by ‘management’ undertaken for ‘agricultural purposes’ by the owners.  One only has to look at what such management means to fall into utter despair.  Can these people not see what they do to the land?

The fight goes on to stop the burning of the peatlands inNorthern England.  An RSPB assessment of the scale of burning on England’s upland peatlands “revealed at least 127 separate historic agreements or consents which allow burning of blanket bog habitat on sites recognised as internationally important for birds.”  Not so curiously, all permissions for such burning have been granted to areas managed for grouse shooting.

The practice doesn’t just destroy precious wildlife habitats in defiance of EU law.  The Moorland Association (aka grouse killers) said that a review of the practice would “be a risk to us all”.  As Hazel Hedge commented:

“Which ‘all’ is referred to here?  Not the residents of towns such as HebdenBridge, who rely on healthy upland catchments to reduce the risk of flooding.  Not the averageYorkshiredweller who is paying extra to have their water cleaned after the bog burning.  And not the ‘all’ of us affected by climate change, which is being exacerbated by the release of carbon from moorland which could and should be used as a carbon sink.  No, it must be the ‘all’ of us who have an interest in grouse-shooting…”

A study by Exeter University revealed  just how much we need our green earth.  Even a photograph of a dull rural scene produces a feeling of inner calm, while one of a city (no matter how beautiful), makes our brains disorganised and dysfunctional.  We are not programmed to be “civilised”, to live piled on top of one another in deserts of buildings, with no more comfort for the soul than a dying pot plant or the trees plonked along between the street and the pavement, roots covered in concrete.  We need ‘nature’.

For most of our past, as hunter-gatherers, we never thought about ownership.  Killing for food was a necessity, but life was not about killing or being in control, it was simply about being within and a part of the landscape.  As Douglas Fry argues, we were at peace with ourselves and the earth.

The invention of agriculture damaged us, both physically and mentally.  If Jared Diamond and others are to be believed, our bodies suffered and became diminished because of agriculture.  So did our spirits, souls, hearts – whatever you want to call that ‘other’ side of us.

By growing crops and domesticating animals we came to believe that we owned the food and animals we farmed, and that any other form of life that tried to eat ‘our’ food had to be killed.  It is a short step from trying to protect your source of food to becoming addicted to the thrill of killing.  After living healthily and peacefully with the earth for millennia, we learnt to see the rest of life as alien.  We now see wildlife in two ways:

Something to be controlled or something to be killed for sport.  But now, for a growing number of us, it is something to be protected and left alone.  Which brings me back to the badger cull and another spate of unnecessary killing.

It is hard to accept that the cull is set up and carried out by fellow humans who simply take pleasure in killing; hard to accept that they will do anything to protect that pleasure, whether it is through bullying and intimidation, misusing the law and, utterly to be condemned, by our politicians misusing science in support of the killing.

For all those people walking the lanes and getting in the way of the cullers, I say this.  Keep going.  Somehow you will win this one.  For every badger that is killed, you will save many more.  Sooner rather than later sanity and honest science will win the day.  The fact that you will have to immediately man the barricades to save yet another species from the hungry guns should not deter you.  It should invigorate you – because look at what you have learnt:

Look at how much information you have garnered by using FoI requests.  Look at the tactics you have mastered, the way you can render uninformed MPs speechless with solid, science-based arguments.  Look at how you organise through social media, emails and meetings in pubs.  Look at how you have liaised with the police and made them change their way of thinking and their approach to wildlife “protestors”.

Look at how a passion for wildlife has energised you; how it has brought many more people onto the streets; made so many more people realise just how important the idea of ‘green’, of ‘nature’ and ‘wildlife’ is to our sense of wellbeing.

And look at how many more friends you and I have made because of the badgers – and the buzzards and the hares and nightingales.  We have woken up and seen that it is time to act in defence of life.  Without the natural environment we will become dead – dead in our minds and souls and, eventually, dead in our bodies because we are slowly killing the earth that is our home, our blood and bone and breath.

World War II demonstrated an enormous shift in the technological capability of the United States to bring death and destruction to the civilian populations of its enemies through aerial attack. The American air forces undertook strategic bombing campaigns that pulverized and burned numerous German and Japanese cities, culminating in the nuclear devastation of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This bombing killed hundreds of thousands of civilians.

Although the massive killing of noncombatants did not provoke widespread protests or recriminations among Americans at the time, the aftermath was not a simple story of acceptance of the practice as a common and legitimate method of warfare in a new technological age of air power. The experience of the Korean War demonstrated that American moral scruples against targeting civilians did not disappear with the bombing in World War II, as some historians have argued.1 Instead, American norms about bombing civilians followed a more complicated evolution.

Only five years later, the Korean War followed the pattern set by World War II of massive civilian destruction inflicted by bombing. Nevertheless, American leaders continued to claim throughout the war that U.S. air power was being used in a discriminate manner and was avoiding harm to civilians, as they had asserted even during the height of the bombing in World War II. The elasticity of the definition of a “military target” helped make these claims of discrimination more plausible.

The new bombing capabilities contributed to stretching the definitions of military targets because they brought new portions of civilian societies, such as transportation networks, arms factories, and their workers, within reach and under consideration for targeting. However, the American experience during the Korean War suggests that a dynamic of escalation stretched definitions of “military targets” even more. As military crises threatened and the war dragged on, American commanders vastly expanded the portion of the enemy’s society deemed to be a “military target.” While the loose semantics of military targets made it easier to claim publicly that prohibitions on targeting civilians remained, the prohibition found active reinforcement in the United States’ prominent role in the post-World War II war crimes trials of Germans and Japanese. Having held their former enemies accountable for harming civilians, Americans worked to distance themselves from similar practices, and the international competition of the Cold War only increased the stakes for American identity and political interests. In short, the broadly accepted moral prohibition against targeting civilians did not disappear with the bombing in World War II and Korea.

Although the norm against targeting civilians remained robust in the face of the technological transformations surrounding air power, the new bombing capabilities did foster several related changes in thinking about war’s harm to civilians and in international humanitarian law. One of the most significant was the increased importance of intention in rationalizing harm to noncombatants. For Americans, the crucial dividing line between justifiable and unjustifiable violence increasingly became whether their armed forces intentionally harmed civilians. With this reasoning, unintended harm—what later would be called “collateral damage”—became a tragic but acceptable cost of war.

The difficulties of controlling the violence of air power made common and widespread unintended harm plausible. American weapons might inflict massive casualties on civilians, as they had in World War II and Korea, but only intentionally targeting civilians remained a crime. International humanitarian law lagged behind the development of public norms on bombing but did eventually formally incorporate restrictions on bombing and in particular reflected this growing emphasis on intention. While other changes in thinking about bombing civilians are more difficult to assess because of the changing nature of American wars after Korea, and limited access to sources related to more recent conflicts, Americans did come to accept that certain portions of civilian society that directly supported the fighting capabilities of armed forces, such as arms factories and their workers, were justifiable targets for attack although destroying cities as such remained controversial.

THE WORLD WAR II BACKGROUND

On the eve of World War II, American leaders strongly condemned the bombing of civilians. Following Japanese air strikes in China and fascist bombing in Spain, the U.S. Senate issued its own “unqualified condemnation of the inhuman bombing of civilian populations” in 1938. When Germany invaded Poland in 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt urgently appealed to all sides in the hostilities to affirm publicly that their armed forces “shall in no event, and under no circumstances, undertake the bombardment from the air of civilian populations or of unfortified cities.” Alluding to earlier air attacks, he said “ruthless bombing” had killed and maimed thousands of defenseless men, women, and children and had “profoundly shocked the conscience of humanity.” Roosevelt feared that hundreds of thousands of “innocent human beings” would be harmed if the belligerent nations sunk to “this form of inhuman barbarism.”2 As the fighting in Europe escalated, the American press contained regular discussion of the bombing of civilians by both the Germans and the British.3 These public expressions of concern suggested that Americans supported a transnational norm against attacks on civilians, from bombing or otherwise, or that, at least, American leaders and journalists thought this norm had widespread support. World War II offered further evidence of this norm’s existence.

Indeed, judged from the perspective of what American leaders said about the bombing of civilians, little changed during World War II, even at the height of the air campaigns against Germany and Japan. They continued to talk as if they were trying to uphold the prohibition against targeting civilians, even though the reality of civilian deaths strained the credibility of their claims. U.S. armed forces described their strategic bombing methods as precision bombing throughout the war.4 When American planes joined the British Royal Air Force in burning Dresden in February 1945, Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson assured the public: “We will continue to bomb military targets and . . . there has been no change in the policy against conducting ‘terror bombings’ against civilian populations.” When asked off the record about the burning of Tokyo at a press conference, an Air Force spokesman General Lauris Norstad denied that there had been any change in the Air Force’s basic policy of “pin-point” precision bombing.5 President Harry S. Truman in his initial public statements even described the attack on Hiroshima as a strike against “a Japanese Army base” and said that “we wished in this first attack to avoid, insofar as possible, the killing of civilians.”6

So even in the face of these gross violations of the custom of actually sparing civilians, American leaders persisted in publicly deferring to a norm against targeting civilians by justifying the bombing as attacks on military targets and rarely claiming that attacking civilians directly was legitimate. There is still much work to be done to answer the question of whether these statements by American leaders reflected wider public sentiments, or political calculation. A better assessment of the breadth and depth of the American public’s attachment to the norm against attacking civilians during World War II is also needed. After all, American reactions to the bombing of civilians seem to have been quite muted during the war, and little protest against the bombing occurred.7 However, several factors could help explain why this apparent quiescence was not proof of Americans abandoning the norm against targeting civilians in war. One was the relative novelty of the extensive killing of civilians through bombing, and the limited information that Americans had about the attacks during the war, especially when official sources were continuing to claim that air power was being used precisely. Another could have been beliefs that the violence in World War II was exceptional even for war, justified as retribution for German or Japanese aggression and atrocities, or because such tactics were a lesser evil than the feared consequences of defeat by the Axis powers.

Although Americans were quiet about the harm to civilians resulting from U.S. bombing, they spoke out loudly against German and Japanese atrocities. Condemnation and prosecution of Axis atrocities after World War II provided the strongest reinforcement of the norm against attacking civilians. The Nuremberg tribunals in Germany and a similar set of war crimes trials of the Japanese focused international attention on the harm that Axis leaders and soldiers had inflicted on civilians and held them criminally accountable for it. This assertive application of international law and the leading role that the United States played in these prosecutions reinforced the impression that Americans remained committed to the norm against attacking civilians. However, conscious of the snares of hypocrisy, none of the tribunals prosecuted any of the defendants for promiscuous bombing of civilians. As U.S. relations with the Soviet Union deteriorated, Americans increasingly sought to distinguish clearly American killing of civilians in the past war and their strategies for fighting future wars in an atomic age from the crimes of Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. In clashes with the United States, the Soviet Union enthusiastically condemned the American armed forces for relying on barbarous methods of bombing civilians to fight imperialistic wars.8

While the war crimes trials and the Cold War helped to reaffirm the norm against targeting civilians, American postwar discussion of air power did not clearly reflect this at first. Enthusiastic embrace of the American atomic monopoly and awe over the power of nuclear weapons combined with the popularity of the U.S. Air Force to produce much loose talk about bombing cities and civilians in future wars. For four years after World War II, it was difficult to tell from what Americans said publicly that they had not abandoned the custom of sparing civilians in war.9 However, a strand of criticism of strategic bombing was growing as well, and it emerged as a national issue in 1949 when U.S. Navy admirals attacked their Air Force colleagues in a dramatic set of Congressional hearings. During this “Revolt of the Admirals” as the media came to call it, a string of admirals deployed arguments that appealed to the norm against targeting civilians in raising their concerns over military policy and the defense budget. At the hearings, Rear Admiral Ralph A. Ofstie contended that “strategic air warfare, as practiced in the past and as proposed for the future, is militarily unsound and of limited effect, is morally wrong, and is decidedly harmful to the stability of a postwar world.” These charges prompted the Air Force to clarify its stance on bombing civilians. The Secretary of the Air Force W. Stuart Symington said bluntly: “It has been stated that the Air Force favors mass bombing of civilians. That is not true. It is inevitable that attacks on industrial targets will kill civilians. That is not an exclusive characteristic of the atomic bomb, but is an unavoidable result of modern total warfare.” 10 Symington distinguished between targeting industry which unavoidably killed civilians, and targeting civilians generally and directly. When confronted starkly with the idea of accepting the targeting of civilians as a legitimate method of war, the Air Force and almost every participate in the 1949 hearings avoided such a course.

THE KOREAN WAR

General MacArthur discusses the military situation with Ambassador John J. Muccio at ROK Army headquarters, 29 June 1950.
(National Archives”)

When the United States intervened in the war on the Korean peninsula in 1950, Americans continued to proclaim a norm against targeting civilians, even though, like World War II, the Korean War would become massively destructive of civilian lives and property. However, the devastation did not come immediately. American leaders explicitly rejected the fire-bombing of North Korean cities in the early days of the war. The Korean War would not begin as World War II had ended. The experiences of 1945 had not made the obliteration of cities and their populations the standard tactic for U.S. air power, only one of a range of options. Firebombing and the widespread harm to Korean civilians would only come after a process of escalation and dramatic setbacks for United Nations forces in the fall of 1950.

Only days after the outbreak of heavy fighting in Korea on June 25, 1950, President Truman ordered U.S. air attacks against North Korea in support of the American led intervention by the United Nations. The instructions from Washington for the U.N. commander General Douglas A. MacArthur specified a narrow range of targets for attack. The message from the Joint Chiefs of Staff read: “You are authorized to extend your operations into Northern Korea against air bases, depots, tank farms, troop columns and other such purely military targets, if and when, in your judgment, this becomes essential for the performance of your missions…or to avoid unnecessary casualties to our forces.” The orders also directed operations in North Korea to “stay well clear of the frontiers of Manchuria or the Soviet Union.”11 MacArthur’s instructions urged discrimination and limitations. Clearly, the new capacity to destroy entire cities from the air had not obliterated the distinction between military and non-military targets from the thinking of American military leaders.

The restraint in the use of U.S. air power appears to have been primarily motivated by a desire to avoid provoking the Soviet Union into a general war, and not out of explicit desires of American leaders to avoid civilian casualties. However, violation of the international norm against attacking civilians seems to have been one of the provocations that Washington wanted to avoid. In the meeting of the National Security Council that had agreed on the wording of MacArthur’s instructions, both President Truman and Secretary of State Dean Acheson expressed their concerns about provoking the Soviet Union. The president insisted that some restrictions were necessary in the instructions. Truman said he only wanted to destroy air bases, gasoline supplies, ammunition dumps, and such places north of the 38th parallel. He was concerned with restoring order below the 38th parallel and did not want to do anything north of the line except that which would “keep the North Koreans from killing the people we are trying to save.” Agreeing with the president, Secretary Acheson said he had no objections to attacks on North Korean airfields and army units but believed no action should be taken outside of North Korea. Acheson had already received an indication of Soviet opposition to a liberal use of American force. The Soviet representative to the United Nations Yakov A. Malik had expressed Soviet displeasure over American planes bombing Korean cities.12 Protests against “the mass annihilation of the peaceful civilian population” of Korea became a regular feature of propaganda from the Soviet Union and its communist allies.13 Apparently Truman and Acheson believed that attacks on targets other than “purely military” ones, in addition to strikes against targets outside of Korea, held a greater risk of provoking the Soviet Union.

MacArthur’s bomber commander General Emmett “Rosy” O’Donnell had no such concerns. O’Donnell led the two groups of B-29 bombers dispatched from U.S. Strategic Air Command to Korea. When O’Donnell first met with MacArthur in Tokyo in early July, he told the U.N. commander that he would like to incinerate the five North Korean cities which contained much of the country’s industries. O’Donnell argued that proper use of his bombers required heavy blows at the “sources of substance” for enemy frontline soldiers. His B-29s were “heavy-handed, clumsy, but powerful,” and they were no good at “playing with tanks, bridges, and Koreans on bicycles.” O’Donnell proposed that MacArthur announce to the world that as U.N. commander he was going to employ, against his wishes, the means which “brought Japan to its knees.” The announcement could ease concerns over harming civilians by serving as a warning, as O’Donnell put it, “to get women and children and other noncombatants the hell out.”

According to O’Donnell, MacArthur listened to the entire proposal and then said, “No, Rosy, I’m not prepared to go that far yet. My instructions are very explicit; however, I want you to know that I have no compunction whatever to your bombing bona fide military objectives, with high explosives, in those five industrial centers. If you miss your target and kill people or destroy other parts of the city, I accept that as a part of war.” MacArthur was not yet ready to destroy entire enemy-held cities, but was willing to accept the risk of unintended harm to civilians.14

After rejecting O’Donnell’s recommendation for incendiary attacks, MacArthur had his commander of the Far East Air Forces (FEAF) General George E. Stratemeyer issue a directive on bombing. It forbade O’Donnell from attacking “urban areas” as targets but authorized strikes against “specific military targets” within urban areas. Two days earlier, Stratemeyer’s director of operations had written a memorandum, approved by the FEAF commander, which said that “reasonable care” should be exercised in air operations “to avoid providing a basis for claims of ‘illegal’ attack against population centers.”15

Accompanying their measures to limit bombing damage to cities, American leaders strongly proclaimed their commitment to avoiding harm to civilians. “The problem of avoiding the killing of innocent civilians and damages to the civilian economy is continually present and given my personal attention,” General MacArthur asserted in his public reports to the U.N.16 In response to a flood of accusations from communists,17 Secretary Acheson denied that U.N. forces were “bombing and killing defenseless civilians.” Acheson said that U.N. air strikes in Korea had been “directed solely at military targets of the invader” and that these targets were “enemy troop concentrations, supply dumps, war plants, and communication lines.” Any harm to civilians, Acheson suggested was the fault of the North Koreans. The Secretary accused the North Koreans of compelling civilians to labor at military sites, using peaceful villages to hide tanks, and disguising their soldiers in civilian clothes.18

As the early months of the fighting demonstrated, the Korean War began as World War II had, with efforts to distinguish between military targets and civilians and public condemnation of attacks against noncombatants. The devastating aerial campaigns of 1945 had not annihilated the norm against targeting civilians nor made indiscriminate destruction inevitable. However, the Korean War, like World War II, would demonstrate a dynamic of escalation that rendered the persisting norm against targeting civilians largely impotent to actually save civilians from harm.19

In early November 1950, when U.N. soldiers first fought with Chinese units, the U.N. Command adopted a policy of the purposeful destruction of cities in enemy hands. The Far East Air Force began incendiary raids against urban areas reminiscent of those of World War II, and MacArthur spoke privately of making the remaining territory held by the North Koreans a “desert.”20 Yet, as they had during World War II, American leaders persisted in describing their escalated aerial attacks as discriminating strikes against military targets. However, as Chinese intervention threatened U.N. forces, U.S. commanders stretched the definition of “military target” far beyond its usual meaning.

This elasticity tied to a dynamic of escalation was visible from the opening of the U.N. fire-bombing campaign. As one of its first objectives, the U.N. command selected for destruction the city of Sinuiju, a provincial capital with an estimated population of over 60,000, that was across the Yalu River from the Manchurian city of Antung. In October, General MacArthur had restrained his FEAF commander General Stratemeyer in bombing the city. Stratemeyer had asked for the authorization of an attack “over the widest area of the city, without warning, by burning and high explosive,” but he was willing to settle for an attack only against “military targets in the city, with high explosive, with warning.” Here Stratemeyer was still distinguishing between specific military targets within a city and attacks on the city as a whole.

Stratemeyer offered no direct military justification for the attack but instead argued that Sinuiju could be used as the capital of North Korea once Pyongyang was evacuated, which would provide more legitimacy to the communist government than if it were a refugee government on foreign soil. He also believed the psychological effect of a “mass attack” would be “salutary” to the Chinese across the Yalu. The closest Stratemeyer came to a military justification for the attack was his observations that the city served as a rail exchange point between Korea and Manchuria and that the city had considerable industrial capacity that could provide “some means” of supporting a North Korean government, but he did not tie either of these points to the fighting then occurring. MacArthur’s headquarters returned a reply to Stratemeyer’s suggestion the next day that read: “The general policy enunciated from Washington negates such an attack unless the military situation clearly requires it. Under present circumstances this is not the case.” MacArthur was still refusing his air commanders’ pleas for incendiary attacks, but this would not last long.21

On November 3, Stratemeyer again asked MacArthur for permission to destroy Sinuiju. That day Stratemeyer forwarded the request of General Earle E. Partridge, commander of the Fifth Air Force, for clearance to “burn Sinuiju” because of heavy antiaircraft fire from the city and from Antung. Later in the afternoon, Stratemeyer met with MacArthur to discuss the request. Their conversation demonstrated the subjectivity of a “military target” for the U.N. commanders, especially when they had motivations for escalating attacks. General MacArthur told Stratemeyer that he did not want to burn Sinuiju because he planned to use the town’s facilities once the 24th Division seized it. MacArthur did grant permission to send fighters to attack the antiaircraft positions in Sinuiju with any weapon desired, including napalm. Stratemeyer then raised the subject of the marshalling yards near the bridge between Sinuiju and Antung, and MacArthur told him to bomb the yards if Stratemeyer considered them a military target.

At the meeting, Sinuiju was spared from burning, but another North Korean city was not so lucky. MacArthur desired an increase in the use of the B-29s which had run short of targets to bomb, and so he was sympathetic to Stratemeyer’s further recommendation to attack the town of Kanggye. The Air Force commander suggested the FEAF could burn several towns in North Korea as a lesson and indicated that Kanggye was a communications center for both rail and road and was occupied, he believed, by enemy troops. MacArthur answered: “Burn it if you so desire. Not only that, Strat, but burn and destroy as a lesson any other of those towns that you consider of military value to the enemy.” MacArthur left the decision to his air commander. Apparently, MacArthur did not feel the towns to be so vitally important to the enemy’s war effort that it was obvious to him that they had to be destroyed, but Stratemeyer’s idea about teaching the communists a lesson appealed to him. After the meeting, Stratemeyer informed Partridge of MacArthur’s decision not to burn Sinuiju but instead only to authorize strikes against the antiaircraft batteries in and around the city.22

MacArthur’s prohibition on burning Sinuiju lasted only a few hours this time. The general may have changed his mind because of the intelligence he was then receiving that more than 850,000 Chinese soldiers had gathered in Manchuria. By the evening, MacArthur’s chief of staff told Stratemeyer that the burning of Sinuiju had been approved. On November 5, MacArthur conveyed his new instructions to his air commander. Stratemeyer wrote in his diary that the “gist” of these instructions was: “Every installation, facility, and village in North Korea now becomes a military and tactical target.” The only exceptions were to be hydroelectric power plants, the destruction of which might provoke further Chinese intervention, and the city of Rashin, which was close to the Soviet border.

Stratemeyer demonstrated a single-mindedness in carrying out MacArthur’s wishes even at the risk of unwanted destruction. Stratemeyer’s staff pointed out to him how reported sites of POW camps, hospitals, and prisons would be vulnerable to incendiary attack. The Air Force commander later wrote in his diary about the danger to these sites, “Whether vulnerable or not, our target was to take out lines of communication and towns.” Stratemeyer sent orders to the Fifth Air Force and Bomber Command “to destroy every means of communications and every installation, factory, city, and village.” In reviewing Stratemeyer’s orders, MacArthur had him add a sentence that explained the rationale for the escalation. Inserted immediately after the phrase about destroying all communications and settlements, the sentence read, “Under present circumstances all such have marked military potential and can only be regarded as military installations.”23

Stratemeyer also evidenced some concern over justifying the new attacks. He was troubled to learn that ten media correspondents would accompany the B-29 raid on Kanggye. After consulting with his vice commanders and his public information officer, he decided on a general statement on the bombing if asked: “That wherever we find hostile troops and equipment that are being utilized to kill U.N. troops, we intend to use every means and weapon at our disposal to destroy them, that facility, or town. This will be the answer to the use of the incendiary-cluster type of bombs.” Stratemeyer included a similar rationale in his cable to the Air Force chief of staff on the attack: “Entire city of Kanggye was virtual arsenal and tremendously important communications center, hence decision to employ incendiaries for first time in Korea.”24

Several points are worth stressing about these remarkable exchanges between MacArthur and his air commander. Before MacArthur decided to escalate, the U.N. commander and Stratemeyer were distinguishing the targeting of specific structures defined as military targets from the targeting of urban areas as such. The anti-aircraft batteries in Sinuiju were the clear example of a “military” target, but even before the decision to escalate, some targets were more ambiguous such as the city’s marshalling yards. The commanders were also tempted to initiate area attacks because of their beliefs in the potential political and psychological effects the strikes might have on the enemy, even though those effects were at best indirectly related to the actual fighting then occurring.


However, it is crucial to note that the generals never explicitly defined civilians as legitimate targets, even though Stratemeyer readily risked the destruction of hospitals, POW camps, and prisons.

Bombs Away regardless of the type of enemy target lying in this rugged, mountainous terrain of Korea, very little would remain after the falling bombs have done their work. This striking photograph (above) of the lead bomber was made from a B-29 “Superfort” of the Far East Air Forces 19th Bomber Group on the 150th combat mission the 19th Bomber Group had flown since the start of the Korean war, ca. 02/1951

The generals escalated the war by targeting the physical infrastructure of cities and sought political and psychological benefits from this destruction, but there is no evidence that they talked, even privately among themselves, about aiming to kill enemy civilians or about gaining benefits from those civilian deaths. It is conceivable that killing civilians could have been their underlying intention and motivation, but it is exceedingly difficult to demonstrate convincingly an individual’s state of mind at a given time, and the historical evidence that has yet come to light does not suggest that the U.N. commanders were thinking specifically about killing civilians.

The episode did demonstrate the instability of the definition of a military target which slid within hours from preventing the burning of Sinuiju to justifying it. Instead of defining anti-aircraft batteries and railroad yards as the only military targets in Sinuiju, MacArthur redefined the entire physical infrastructure of the city as a military target, and showed how quickly structures usually considered civilian became open for attack. With the potential for media attention to the new incendiary raids, Stratemeyer employed new, and possibly disingenuous or muddled, attempts to obscure or justify the escalation. The attack on Kanggye, which he had justified to MacArthur for its potential as a “lesson” and for its transportation capacity and its possible housing of enemy troops, suddenly became necessary because the city was a “virtual arsenal” and a “tremendously important communications center.” While some of these points may sound like the second-guessing of difficult military decisions based on the limited information of historical hindsight, even if one agrees with every decision MacArthur and Stratemeyer made, their conversations suggested that pressures to escalate stretched the definition of military targets well beyond its common usage.

The “fire job,” which General O’Donnell had advocated in July but Washington had forbidden as too provocative, commenced in early November. Unlike the summer retreat of 1950, Washington did not restrain MacArthur, likely because the wider war feared earlier had already broken out, with the Chinese instead of the Soviets. On November 8, the FEAF showered 500 tons of incendiary bombs on more than one square mile of Sinuiju’s built-up area, destroying 60 percent of the city.

In O’Donnell’s report on the work of his bombers, he declared that “the town was gone.” Other towns were to follow. By November 28, Bomber Command reported that 95 percent of the town of Manpojin’s built up area was destroyed, for Hoeryong 90 percent, Namsi 90 percent, Chosan 85 percent, Sakchu 75 percent, Huichon 75 percent, Koindong 90 percent, and Uiju 20 percent. The destruction continued into the winter as Chinese forces compelled the U.N. soldiers to retreat south. As U.N. units withdrew from the major North Korean cities, those cities too became targets. On December 30, the FEAF commander informed his subordinates that they had the authority to “destroy” Pyongyang, Wonsan, Hamhung, and Hungnam, four of North Korea’s largest cities. The FEAF conducted the attacks without warning to the civilian population, and purposefully avoided publicizing the strikes. By the end of the war, eighteen of twenty-two major cities in North Korea had been at least half obliterated according to damage assessments by the U.S. Air Force. The fire-bombing of North Korean communities that commenced in November made meaningless the earlier claims of the FEAF that their bombing operations avoided the destruction of residential areas.25

However, just as during World War II, Americans’ depiction of their fighting as employing discriminating means changed little. Military officers and the press proceeded to discuss the violence in Korea as if its application remained discriminate and as if risks to noncombatants had not increased. The objects of attack were still “military targets” but the implicit definition of the term “military target” had grown to include virtually every human-made structure in enemy-occupied territory. The norm against targeting civilians survived within this definition, in the sense that Americans never came to the point of arguing that the civilian population itself was a “military target” and therefore a legitimate object of attack, but the expanded definition of the term and the acceptance of the destruction it entailed offered meager protection for Korean civilians.

While avoiding direct acknowledgment that U.N. forces were systematically burning North Korean cities, the U.N. Command did admit that it had escalated the air war. U.N. commanders offered new justifications for the expanded destruction that clung to the notion that its airplanes were attacking military targets. The justifications were far distant from the Air Force’s primary vision of how a strategic air offensive should be conducted. As Air Force leaders had been claiming from before World War II and had reiterated during the “Revolt of the Admirals” in 1949, the purpose of strategic air power was to destroy war-supporting industries in order to deprive the enemy’s forces in the field of weapons, ammunition, and supplies. Shortly before he left his post as head of Bomber Command, General Emmett O’Donnell said in an interview that his bombers had been prevented from destroying the enemy’s true sources of supply in China and the Soviet Union and therefore had been prevented from doing the job that they were made to do.26

Instead, the Air Force viewed its escalated bombing in Korea as part of a campaign to interdict the flow of weapons, supplies, and additional men to the communist army in Korea, and explained it to the public as such. But the campaign went beyond precise attacks against transportation and communication systems in North Korea in which bridges, railroad yards, docks, and vehicles were targets. U.N. forces undertook the destruction of entire towns, particularly those along major transportation routes from Manchuria and the Soviet Union, in order to deprive the communists of shelter in which to conceal their supplies and soldiers from the U.N. airplanes. The destruction also stripped the enemy soldiers of protection from the elements during the winter campaign

Nevertheless, the U.N. forces rarely acknowledged that this escalation was destroying entire communities and placing Korean civilians at risk. Public communiques from the U.N. Command avoided discussing or justifying the destruction of Korean towns and villages directly.

Instead, the press releases named “buildings,” often identified as enemy-occupied or as structures for storing, as the usual target of U.N. airplanes, disaggregating the communities into their constituent structures. Besides being regularly mentioned as the object of attack in the daily releases on air operations, buildings destroyed became part of the public and internal measure of progress of the air campaign. A January 2, 1951 release, labeled the six-month “box score,” placed the Navy total for buildings destroyed at 3,905. These buildings were presumably not ammo dumps, command posts, fuel dumps, observation positions, radio stations, roundhouses, power plants, or factories because the tallies listed those categories separately. The Air Force introduced the category of “enemy-held buildings” into their press release target tallies in the fall of 1951 and by that time they were advertising the destruction of more than 4,000 buildings a month and over 145,000 since the beginning of the war. Within the Air Force, the square footage of buildings destroyed eventually became a semi-official measure of progress in the air campaign. Towns and villages divided up into their constituent “buildings” by official press releases proved a much less controversial target for demolition than the blatant admission that American air power was leveling much of the Korean peninsula.27

The tank of napalm dropped by Fifth Air Force B-26 Invader light bombers of the 452nd Bomb Wing (light) on this Red marshalling yard at Masen-ni, North Korea, has blended with a stockpile of supplies on a loading platform to from a fiery inferno, ca. 07/11/1951

The press releases of the U.N. Command also avoided directly acknowledging attacks on entire villages and towns by the use of the term “supply center” and similar phrases such as “communications center,” “military area,” and “build-up area.” MacArthur’s public report to the United Nations on military operations during the first half of November described the escalation in the air war this way: “Command, communication and supply centers of North Korea will be obliterated in order to offset tactically the handicap we have imposed upon ourselves strategically by refraining from attack of Manchurian bases.”28 With the fall escalation, the daily press releases began to make vague references to strikes against supply centers. Sometimes the wording of the releases would use a Korean town name interchangeably with the phrase supply center implying that they were one and the same. More often the releases would report attacks against supply centers “at,” “in,” or “of,” a Korean town or city: “the supply center of Hamhung,” for example. These prepositional phrases could imply either that the entire town was considered by the U.N. forces a supply center or that the town contained within it a supply center. Only rarely would the releases explicitly identify the Korean place names referred to as villages, towns, or cities. With “supply center” identified as a military target, use of the term and similar phrases helped to maintain the perception that U.S. forces were only attacking military targets.29

However, the reliance of the press releases on describing operations as attacks on “buildings” and “supply centers” was not always enough to quiet the U.N. Command’s fears about the American image in Korea. In August 1951, the U.N. Command’s Office of the Chief of Information wrote a memorandum for the Public Information Office of the Far East Air Force. The memo said that General Matthew B. Ridgway, MacArthur’s replacement, had suggested that in news releases of targets destroyed by air attacks, the Air Force publicists might “specify more definite military targets” such as tanks, anti-aircraft guns, or armored vehicles. This would prevent anyone from pointing to the releases as evidence that American forces were “wantonly attacking mass objectives such as cities and towns” in North Korea. The U.N. Command, despite its expanded air attacks, continued to present the war it was waging as a discriminate use of force directed solely against military targets.30

These press relations efforts met with considerable success in the United States. Press coverage of the escalated air assault did not challenge the comforting picture the U.N. Command presented. Newspapers did note the U.N. forces had initiated some of the largest air strikes of the war in November and occasionally acknowledged the burning of entire cities. Nevertheless, the reporting indicated the military usefulness of destroying the physical infrastructure and avoided discussing the impact of the destruction on civilians.31 This picture of a discriminate use of air power in Korea has survived in many of the historical treatments of the war including the official Air Force history32 and a number of popular military histories and cursory scholarly accounts of the air war in Korea.33 Only recently have Americans begun to acknowledge the full extent of the fire bombing campaigns in histories of the Korean War.34

As in World War II, U.S. air power inflicted massive harm on civilians during the Korea War, and diverged from the customary practice of sparing civilians from the violence of war. However, this violence came through a process of escalation during the war. Area bombing did not supplant precision bombing as the standard method of employing air power against an enemy, but it remained an option when the fighting escalated. Even with the undeniable widespread harm Korean civilians suffered from U.S. weapons, Americans clung to the normative value of avoiding direct attacks against noncombatants, a norm buttressed by international humanitarian law and the precedents of Nuremberg. They almost never advocated publicly or privately, within the armed forces or outside them, the purposeful targeting of civilian populations as such. The stunning contradictions between lethal consequences and proclaimed scrupulousness were eased by the elastic definitions of military targets, but other changes in thinking about harming civilians assisted in this tortured reconciliation as well.

One of the most significant changes was the emerging emphasis on intention as the crucial distinction between justifiable and unjustifiable harm to civilians in war. Americans and a broader transnational consensus, which was eventually reflected in international humanitarian law, placed less importance on whether civilians were killed than on whether they were killed intentionally. It was not that intentional killing was identified as a new wrong after World War II, the norm against attacking civilians had all along implied prohibition of intentional attacks. It was rather that the massive expansion of firepower that was difficult to control, as exemplified by American air power, created a novel cultural space for plausible unintentional destruction on a tremendous scale. When wars were fought with spears, or even with cannon or rifles, the relative ease with which these weapons could be directed against a specific target left little room for questions of intent. In face-to-face warfare, warriors attacked individuals that they could identify as combatants or as bystanders. Mistakes could be made, but these occurred under unusual circumstances such as in combat at night or in fog. In most close fighting, intention was manifest in action. Either warriors killed noncombatants purposefully or they spared them. With the introduction of weapons that killed over long distances and devastated great areas, intent no longer clearly followed from action. Common and widespread unintended destruction became plausible. The great acceleration of this trend toward uncontrollable firepower in the twentieth century contributed to making intention crucial to Americans’ thinking about attacking civilians. Americans rationalized harm to noncombatants from violence that they could not control as a tragedy of war but not a crime.

The Korean War clearly illustrated this preoccupation with intention. Americans’ public insistence throughout the war that they discriminated between military targets and civilians sought to demonstrate that Americans did not intend to kill civilians. In addition to their extensive talk about intentions, Americans pointed to their military’s efforts to warn civilians of air attacks and evacuate them from combat areas. U.N. forces regularly broadcast warnings to civilians by radio and loudspeaker, and conducted a number of operations where warning leaflets were dropped on communities.35 These warnings, while of dubious value in actually protecting civilians, were well covered by the American media.36 U.N. forces also tried to assist civilians by conducting several large operations to evacuate them out of harm’s way during the winter retreat. In December 1950 as the Navy was evacuating X Corps from Hungnam, the Americans made room on their ships for 91,000 refugees. The U.N. Command also relocated thousands of refugees, including an airlift of 989 orphans, to the islands off South Korea’s coast during the winter.37 Even though these evacuations assisted only a small fraction of the Koreans who were threatened by the war’s violence, the U.S. press lauded these operations as well as other well-intentioned deeds by American soldiers on behalf of civilians.38

After the war, the U.S. Army’s revised field manual on the law of land warfare introduced a new statement that expressed as doctrine the growing importance of intention. The revised 1956 manual said, “It is a generally recognized rule of international law that civilians must not be made the object of attack directed exclusively against them.”39 Previous army manuals had left this rule unexpressed. As a subculture, military professionals may have placed even more emphasis on their intentions not to harm noncombatants even in the face of widespread civilian deaths. While the sources make it difficult to assess the personal sentiments of officers and soldiers about civilian casualties during the Korean War, it is not hard to believe that many in private did not want to think of themselves as waging war against defenseless civilians.40

This focus on intentions assisted in leaving the vital core of a norm against attacking civilians intact. Americans did not come to accept the targeting of civilians as a legitimate method in the Korean War. Nevertheless, the focus on intentions encouraged by new air power capabilities created a tendency in American thinking that was extremely dangerous to civilians in war. Americans came to condone unintended civilian casualties as an acceptable human cost of war, what would later be called “collateral damage.”41

How many unintended deaths could be justified in pursuing military objectives was a calculation usually absent from the Korean War era discussions of U.S. commanders and from the wider media attention to the suffering of Korean civilians. However, the beginning of a revival in just war thought started to raise these questions of proportionality, at least among theologians and scholars. In the first half of the twentieth century, only a few Catholic theologians had published studies in the United States which considered in any depth the problem of morality and warfare. In the early 1950s, just war reasoning reemerged in the hypothetical discussions of a feared nuclear war,42 and by the late 1950s, the just war tradition was undergoing a scholarly rebirth.43 One obscure principle from just war thought, the principle of double effect, had great relevance to the dilemmas of justifying unintended harm to civilians and gauging proportional harm. Derived from the teachings of Thomas Aquinas, the principle of double effect acknowledged that a given action could have multiple consequences, some of them good and some of them bad. As theologians and moral philosophers formulated the principle in the twentieth century, it held that as long as only the good consequences of an action were intended, the evil results were not a means to the good outcome, and the positive benefits outweighed the negative, such an action was morally justified.44 For example, the Catholic University theologian Father Francis J. Connell argued along these lines in debates during the Korean War over the morality of using nuclear weapons. He argued that a limited killing of noncombatants might be justified by the military advantage gained through the destruction of a crucial military target.45 Others like the British theologian F. H. Drinkwater criticized the use of the principle to rationalize unintended harm. Drinkwater argued that use of an atomic bomb against a city without a warning to the population was certain to kill tens of thousands of civilians. Since this evil was certain, he asserted it was hypocrisy to claim that it was not intended.46 While it is difficult to demonstrate that the dilemmas over justifying unintended harm which the new bombing capabilities raised was a direct spur to the revival of just war thinking, the principle of double effect has since served as a common justification for unintended harm.

International humanitarian law evolved slowly to reflect the changing norms about bombing and attacking civilians and the increased importance of intention, but the laws have lagged far behind broader attitudes. When the 1949 Geneva Conventions were revised following the experiences of World War II, they were almost completely silent on the threat to civilians from bombing. Although negotiators composed an entirely new convention for the protection of civilians in wartime, the protections concerned almost exclusively civilians in occupied territory and not civilians still behind their side’s frontlines who were the people who were most vulnerable to strategic bombing. At the 1949 Geneva conference, the Americans and the British opposed both the inclusion of restrictions on bombing and the Soviet Union’s attempts to use the treaty to outlaw atomic weapons. Two of the American negotiators later wrote, “It is to be emphasized that these ‘grave breaches’ do not constitute restrictions upon the use of modern combat weapons. For example, modern warfare unfortunately and often may involve the killing of civilians in proximity to military objectives, as well as immense destruction of property.”47 The 1949 agreements shielded only hospitals from all forms of attack, including bombing, and otherwise proposed voluntary establishment of safety zones where noncombatants could be sheltered from the effects of war. Although the United States and the U.N. forces agreed to abide by the Geneva Conventions in Korea, the laws provided few impediments to the use of American air power. When the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) and the United Nations raised the idea of the creation of safety zones in Korea to protect women, children, and the elderly from the ravages of war, the United States rejected the proposal out of concern that neutral observers could not be found to ensure that the safety zones in North Korea were not contributing to the war effort.48

LEGACIES

After the Korean War, the ICRC began to circulate draft rules for the protection of civilian populations from the dangers of indiscriminate warfare, but it took years for protections against targeting civilians to be written into international law. In 1968, the U.N. General Assembly affirmed a Red Cross resolution that banned attacks against civilian populations as such. In 1977, an international conference completed the drafting of two additional protocols to the Geneva Conventions of 1949. The first and second protocols, which related to the protection of victims of international and non-international armed conflicts respectively, each included the provision: “The civilian population as such, as well as individual civilians, shall not be the object of attack. Acts or threats of violence the primary purpose of which is to spread terror among the civilian population are prohibited.”49 Only slowly did international law come to embody the increased importance of intention that the norm against targeting civilians had acquired.

Beyond the growing importance of intention in defining legitimate uses of force in war, it is much more challenging to assess the legacy of the rise of bombing after World War II on norms because of the changing nature of conflicts the United States fought after Korea, and the unavailability of crucial sources. Despite these challenges, one normative belief appears to have been firmly established among American military leaders, and to have become noncontroversial among a wider public: that the weapons of war and military supplies before they found their way to soldiers’ hands were a worthy target. Bombing behind the frontlines of battle opened up the possibility of destroying arms and supplies before they could be used by enemy forces, either through attacks on factories or the transportation networks through which this matérial flowed. This disarming strategy was the favorite justification of bombing by commanders and civilian advocates of air power as was clearly shown during the Korean War.50 The U.S. Army’s 1956 field manual on the law of land warfare also incorporated this new understanding into the revisions of the previous manual from 1940. In narrowing the Hague Convention prohibition on the bombardment of undefended places, the manual clarified that this did not preclude strikes against military supply. The new manual said, “Factories producing munitions and military supplies, military camps, warehouses storing munitions and military supplies, ports and railroads being used for the transportation of military supplies, and other places devoted to the support of military operations or the accommodation of troops may also be attacked and bombarded even though they are not defended.”51 These parts of civilian society behind the frontline were deemed a vital component of a war effort, and few during the Korean War or since have challenged the legitimacy of these sources of supply as targets. The distinctions between civilian and military and defended and undefended became less important than the difference between noncombatant and combatant and an individual’s or resource’s relationship to the actual violence of war. Just as a civilian factory could produce supplies for the military, a soldier could become a noncombatant once wounded and incapacitated. An individual’s or resource’s relationship to the actual violence of war became the most important determinant of whether they were legitimate targets for attack.

While Americans embraced the targeting of clearer sources of military supply, bombing entire cities and urban areas has stayed consistently controversial, both on grounds of moral principle and effectiveness, even though a literal distinction could be made between the physical structures of an urban area and the civilian populace, as was often done in the Korean fighting. Military leaders in World War II, Korea, and afterwards have gone to great lengths to avoid openly acknowledging the destruction of cities as such. Although preparations for nuclear war often clearly envisioned targeting cities, this open acknowledgement was a major factor in making nuclear war repugnant.52

Other changes in thinking about bombing civilians are much more difficult to assess. For example, the subjectivity in choosing “military” targets has not necessarily decreased in the wars since Korea. Given the elaborate expressions of official American concern over civilian casualties, it might be tempting to argue that the wars in the Persian Gulf, Iraq, and Afghanistan have encouraged more precise and rigid definitions of military targets. Nevertheless, these definitions have not been tested, as they were in the Korean War. These later wars have been severely asymmetrical conflicts and American forces and commanders were not strained in the ways they were in Korea, let along during World War II. Definitions of military targets may still be elastic but recent wars may not have necessitated the type of escalation that encouraged this flexible thinking.

In other areas where changes in thinking about bombing civilians might seem apparent, a closer examination may reveal their superficiality. Indisputably, the United States has conducted less area bombing in its wars since Korea, but this could simply be because it has fought fewer evenly matched wars and has faced fewer desperate decisions to escalate. It might also be tempting to believe that American commanders in recent wars have resisted the temptations to which MacArthur and his air commanders succumbed of justifying bombing attacks for their political and psychological effects instead of for their directly military impact. However, limited current access to sources and records about these highly classified internal discussions hampers a full assessment.

Finally, more active efforts to avoid civilian casualties in recent American wars such as the expanded role of operational law and military lawyers in targeting may be more a result of the rise of counterinsurgency thinking than evidence of a growing belief among Americans that killing civilians is wrong. Counterinsurgency doctrine has emphasized the importance of winning the support of civilian populations in civil wars as a means to military victory. From Vietnam to Afghanistan, American commanders have tried to limit civilian casualties in order to avoid alienating civilians.53 The rise in counterinsurgency doctrine is an important change in military thought, but one tied more to the changing nature of American wars than to norms about bombing civilians.

In assessing changing norms about bombing after World War II, it is crucial to distinguish among the changes in values, ideas, laws, and behavior that the term “norm” can encompass. These distinctions make it easier to summarize how norms about bombing changed after World War II. The transnational normative value that prohibited attacks on civilians persisted. However, the actual protections it offered to civilians were undermined by the new bombing capabilities. Because of the difficulties with controlling the violence of modern weaponry, the focus on intention gained great significance in moral justification, and this focus helped rationalize, along with the obscure moral principle of double effect, unintended harm and contributed to a complacent stance toward the terrible human cost of collateral damage. On the other hand, normative behavior or customary practice did change, at least temporarily, during both World War II and Korea. As the wars escalated, U.S. armed forces conducted unprecedented fire-bombing and other area attacks against cities and towns that proved deadly to civilians, and the flexibility of the definition of “military targets” facilitated these area attacks. International humanitarian law also evolved to catch up with the growing significance of intentional attacks, but at a relatively slow rate. Finally, while normative beliefs about bombing civilians are the hardest to assess, Americans have come to accept the idea that bombing behind the frontlines with the goal of disarming was an effective and acceptable method of fighting even while they remained hotly divided over attacks on urban areas.

The decade after World War II and the experience of the Korean War laid a foundation for the sensitivity to civilian casualties that became evident in the American wars of the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. This foundation was not built through a recovery of the norm against targeting civilians spurred by the trauma of the Vietnam War after a period when the norm had been abandoned. The role of the Vietnam War in changing American attitudes toward civilian casualties was not so crucial because many of these changes, such as the growing significance of intention, began earlier, and because much about these attitudes has remained relatively constant from the 1930s to the 1970s and has remained so into the twenty-first century. Instead, the Korean War experience demonstrated the durability of the norm against targeting civilians even in the face of mass killing from bombing or otherwise. Adherence to the norm persisted even though the norm provided severely limited protections to civilians when bombing was employed and conventional wars escalated. In avoiding massive killing of civilians in their wars since Vietnam, Americans may not have become more virtuous, but only more fortunate in not having to fight more evenly matched wars.

This article is an expanded and adapted version of the chapter “Bombing Civilians After World War II: The Persistence of Norms Against Targeting Civilians in the Korean War” from Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue (eds.), The American Way of Bombing: How Ethical and Legal Norms Change, from Flying Fortresses to Drones (Cornell University Press, 2014).

Sahr Conway-Lanz is Senior Archivist for American Diplomacy at the Yale University Library. He is the author of Collateral Damage: Americans, Noncombatant Immunity, and Atrocity After World War II (Routledge, 2006). His article “Beyond No Gun Ri: Refugees and the United States Military in the Korean War” that appeared in Diplomatic History won the Bernath Article Prize in 2006. He has a Ph.D. in history from Harvard University and is currently working on a book project about how Americans have held their own soldiers accountable for harming civilians in war.

Notes

1 For such arguments, see George E. Hopkins, “Bombing and the American Conscience during World War II,” Historian 28, no. 3 (1966): 451–73; Richard Shelly Hartigan, The Forgotten Victim: A History of the Civilian (Chicago: Precedent, 1982), 1–10; Ronald Schaffer, Wings of Judgment: American Bombing in World War II (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 3, 217–18; H. Bruce Franklin, War Stars: The Superweapon and the American Imagination (New York: Oxford University Press, 1988), 105; Paul Boyer, Fallout: A Historian Reflects on Americas Half-Century Encounter with Nuclear Weapons (Columbus: Ohio State University Press, 1998), 12; John W. Dower, Cultures of War: Pearl Harbor/Hiroshima/9–11/Iraq (New York: W.W. Norton and New Press, 2010), 161, 166–70, 192–96. For a contrary view, see Biddle in Matthew Evangelista and Henry Shue (eds.), The American Way of Bombing: Changing Ethical and Legal Norms, from Flying Fortresses to Drones (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2014).

2 Congressional Record, 75th Cong., 3rd sess., vol. 83, pt. 8: 9524-9526, 9545; Public Papers and Addresses of Franklin D. Roosevelt, vol. 8 (New York: Macmillan, 1941), 454.

3 See, for example, New York Times, April 29, May 10, 1940.

4 Schaffer, Wings of Judgment, 70; Conrad C. Crane, Bombs, Cities, and Civilians: American Airpower Strategy in World War II (Lawrence, KA: University of Kansas Press, 1993), 31.

5 New York Times, February 25, 1945; Michael S. Sherry, The Rise of American Air Power: The Creation of Armageddon (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 1987), 289.

6 Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States: Harry S. Truman, 1945 (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1961), 197, 212.

7 Crane, Bombs, Cities, and Civilians, 29-30.

8 For an early example of this, see Conference minutes, July 7, 1949, box 2389, 514.2, Central Decimal Files 1945-1949, Record Group (hereafter RG) 59, U.S. National Archives and Records Administration, College Park, MD (hereafter NA).

9 Sahr Conway-Lanz, Collateral Damage: Americans, Noncombatant Immunity, and Atrocity after World War II (New York: Routledge, 2006), 23-26.

10 U.S. House Committee on Armed Services, The National Defense Program—Unification and Strategy: Hearings, 81st Cong., 1st sess., 1949, 183-189, 402-403.

11 Message, Joint Chiefs of Staff to MacArthur, June 29, 1950, FRUS 1950, vol. 7, 240-241.

12 Draft notes on June 29, 1950 White House defense meeting, box 71, Elsey Papers, HSTL; memorandum of conversation, Philip C. Jessup, June 29, 1950, box 4263, 795.00, Central Decimal Files 1950-1954, RG 59, NA; message, Warren R. Austin to Acheson, June 27, 1950, FRUS 1950, vol. 7, 208-209.

13 United Nations Security Council Official Records, August 8, 1950, 5th year, 484th mtg., S/PV.484, 20.

14 O’Donnell to LeMay, July 11, 1950, box 65, series B, Curtis E. LeMay Papers, Library of Congress (LC).

15 Stratemeyer to O’Donnell, July 11, 1950, box 103, Series B, LeMay Papers, LC; HQ USAF, An Evaluation of the Effectiveness of the United States Air Force in the Korean Campaign (Barcus Report), vol. 5, 2, box 906, Project Decimal Files 1942-1954, Directorate of Plans, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, RG 341, NA.

16 New York Times, September 3, 1950. See also “Report of the United Nations Command Operations in Korea,” U.S. Department of State Bulletin, October 2, 1950, 534-540; “Fifth Report of the U.N. Command Operations in Korea,” U.S. Department of State Bulletin, October 16, 1950, 603-606.

17 Message, London Embassy to Secretary of State, July 1, 1950, box 4264, 795.00, Central Decimal Files 1950-1954, RG 59, NA.; New York Times, July 4, 11, 12, 14, 18, 26, 1950; message, Moscow Embassy to Secretary of State, July 14, 1950, box 4265, 795.00, Central Decimal Files 1950-1954, RG 59, NA; message, Moscow Embassy to Secretary of State, July 17, 1950, box 4265, 795.00, Central Decimal Files 1950-1954, RG 59, NA; Daily Worker, July 4-6, 10, 12, 14, 17, 18, 20, 24-28, 31, 1950; United Nations Security Council Official Records, August 8, 1950, 5th year, 484th mtg., S/PV.484, 20. The Soviet Union also led a campaign among communist countries to raise relief funds for the Korean victims of American “terror bombing.” “From Korea Bulletin 1 August 1950,” box 1, Korean War Communiques and Press Releases 1950-1951, Office of the Chief of Information, RG 319, NA; New York Times, August 3, 1950. Seoul City Sue, the English-speaking commentator for North Korean radio broadcasts to U.N. forces, excoriated the U.S. Air Force for promiscuous bombing of schools and the strafing of farmers. Message, CINCFE to UEPC/Department of the Army, August 8, 1950, box 199, 311.5, Classified Decimal File 1950, Office of the Chief of Information, RG 319, NA.

18 ”North Korea Slanders U.N. Forces to Hide Guilt of Aggression,” U.S. Department of State Bulletin, September 18, 1950, 454.

19 I want to thank Alexander B. Downes and his work Targeting Civilians in War (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2008) for helping me to understand the larger significance of this dynamic of escalation.

20 Memorandum of conversation, Muccio, November 17, 1950, Foreign Relations of the United States (hereafter FRUS) 1950, vol. 7, 1175.

21 William T. Y’Blood (ed.), The Three Wars of Lt. Gen. George E. Stratemeyer: His Korean War Diary (Washington, DC: Air Force History and Museums Program, 1999), 236-237.

22 Ibid., 253-255.

23 Douglas MacArthur, Reminiscences (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1964), 366; Conrad C. Crane, American Airpower Strategy in Korea, 1950-1953 (Lawrence, KA: University of Kansas Press, 2000), 46; Stratemeyer Diary, 258-261.

24 Stratemeyer Diary, 256-257; message, Stratemeyer to Vandenberg, November 5, 1950, box 86, Vandenberg Papers, LC.

25 Robert Futrell, The United States Air Force in Korea, 1950-1953, rev. ed. (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983), 221-23, 226; New York Times, November 9, 1950; Stratemeyer Diary, 269, 371-72; interview transcript from 98th Bomb Group, November 30, 1950, box 905, Project Decimal File 1942-1954, Directorate of Plans, Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, RG 341, NA; Crane, American Airpower Strategy in Korea, 63, 168.

26 New York Times, January 16, 1951.

27 ”Korean Release, No. 778,” January 2, 1951, box 3, Korean War Communiques and Press Releases 1950-1951, Office of the Chief of Information, RG 319, NA; “Korean Release Unnumbered,” December 2, 1951, box 5, Korean War Communiques and Press Releases 1950-1951, Office of the Chief of Information, RG 319, NA; memorandum to Schmelz, October 31, 1951, box 15, Formerly Classified General Correspondence, Public Information Division, Office of Information Services, RG 340, NA; Wiley D. Ganey to LeMay, September 7, 1952, series B, box 65, LeMay Papers, LC.

28 ”Ninth Report: For the Period November 1-15, 1950,” U.S. Department of State Bulletin, January 8, 1951, 47-50.

29 See the press releases printed daily in the New York Times starting with “Korean Release, No. 627,” November 9, 1950. By spring 1951, references to supply centers or areas as the targets for U.N. air attacks were frequent in the releases. Releases December 1950-December 1951 are also in boxes 2-3, Korean War Communiques and Press Releases 1950-1951, Office of the Chief of Information, RG 319, NA. The terms like supply center were not only used by the military for public consumption. Similar terms were used in internal documents by American officers. Message, G-2, Department of the Army to USCINCEUR et al., November 24, 1952, box 756, Chronological File 1949-June 1954, Office of Security Review, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative and Public Affairs, RG 330, NA.

30 Memorandum, Office of the Chief of Information, HQ FEC to Public Information Office, FEAF, August 1, 1951, box 36, Office of the Chief of Information, Office of the Chief of Staff, Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, RG 331, NA.

31 Chicago Tribune, November 8, 1950; St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 8, 1950; Detroit News, November 8, 1950; Philadelphia Bulletin, November 8, 9, 1950; Los Angeles Times, November 8, 9, 1950; San Francisco Examiner, November 8, 9, 1950; Houston Chronicle, November 8, 9, 1950; Washington Post, November 8-10, 1950; Baltimore Sun, November 8-10, 1950; Boston Post, November 8-11, 1950; New York Times, November 9, 1950; Cleveland Press, November 9, 1950. Of the twelve daily newspapers surveyed, only the Detroit News and Cleveland Press did not label Sinuiju a supply base or similar term. For additional evidence of the wider public embrace of this persisting vision of a war fought with discrimination, see Conway-Lanz, Collateral Damage, 114-119.

32 Futrell, United States Air Force in Korea.

33 For example, Max Hastings, The Korean War (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987); Crane, Bombs, Cities, and Civilians, 147-150.

34 Bruce Cumings, The Roaring of the Cataract, 1947-1950, vol. 2 of The Origins of the Korean War (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1990); Crane, American Airpower Strategy in Korea; Steven Hugh Lee, The Korean War (New York: Longman, 2001).

35 First Radio Broadcast and Leaflet Group, “Plan for Psychological Warfare Operations Designed to Support the United Nations Air Force,” June 12, 1952, box 20, General Correspondence 1952, Psychological Warfare Section, General Headquarters, Far East Command, RG 338, NA; “Plan for Psychological Warfare Operations in Support of Air Attack Program,” July 7, 1952, box 7, General Correspondence 1952, Psychological Warfare Section, General Headquarters, Far East Command, RG 338, NA; “Monthly Report for August 1952,” box 14, General Correspondence 1952, Psychological Warfare Section, General Headquarters, Far East Command, RG 338, NA; “Report of the U.N. Command Operations in Korea,” U.S. Department of State Bulletin, January 26, 1951, 155-159; “Psychological Warfare Weekly Bulletin,” n.d., box 20, General Correspondence 1952, Psychological Warfare Section, General Headquarters, Far East Command, RG 338, NA; Crane, American Airpower Strategy in Korea, 122-125; message, CINCFE to PsyWar, October 9, 1952, box 759, Chronological File 1949-June 1954, Office of Security Review, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Legislative and Public Affairs, RG 330, NA; “Reports of U.N. Command Operations in Korea: Sixty-Fifth Report for the Period March 1-15, 1953,” U.S. Department of State Bulletin, July 13, 1953, 52-53.

36 ”The Right Track,” Time, July 21, 1952, 32; “Will Bombing End Korean War?” U.S. News and World Report, September 12, 1952, 13-15; “Truth About the Air War,” U.S. News and World Report, November 7, 1952, 20-21; Carl Spaatz, “Stepped-Up Bombing in Korea,” Newsweek, August 18, 1952, 27; New York Times, August 5, 6, 8-10, 19, 21, 29, 30, September 14, 20, October 3, 5, 1952.

37 ”Korean Release, No. 761,” December 29, 1950, box 2, Korean War Communiques and Press Releases, 1950-1951, Office of the Chief of Information, RG 319, NA; Ashley Halsey, Jr., “Miracle Voyage Off Korea,” Saturday Evening Post, April 14, 1951, 17; message, X Corps to CINCFE, December 22, 1950, box 729, Security-Classified Correspondence 1950, Adjutant General Section, RG 500, NA; James A. Field, The History of United States Naval Operations: Korea (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1962), 304; Robert Futrell, The United States Air Force in Korea 1950-1953, Rev. ed. (Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office, 1983), 269.

38 New York Times, December 25, 1950, January 19, February 11, June 16, 1951, July 30, 1951, November 4, 1952, January 14, May 25, 1953; San Francisco Examiner, December 1, 1950; Nora Waln, “Our Softhearted Warriors in Korea,” Saturday Evening Post, December 23, 1950, 28-29, 66-67; “Waifs of War,” Time, January 1, 1951, 16; “The Greatest Tragedy,” Time, January 15, 1951, 23-24; “Helping the Hopeless,” Time, January 29, 1951, 31; Bill Stapleton, “Little Orphan Island,” Collier’s, July 14, 1951, 51; Michael Rougier, “The Little Boy Who Wouldn’t Smile,” Life, July 23, 1951, 91-98; James Finan, “Voyage from Hungnam,” Reader’s Digest, November 1951, 111-112; “Christian Soldiers,” Time, June 15, 1953, 75-76.

39 FM 27-10 Department of the Army Field Manual: The Law of Land Warfare (Washington: Department of the Army, 1956), 16.

40 For an example of the challenge in assessing individual officers’ principled commitments to protecting civilians, see Conway-Lanz, Collateral Damage, 52-55.

41 For a more extensive examination of this argument, see Conway-Lanz, Collateral Damage.

42 For examples, see St. Louis Post-Dispatch, February 1, 1950; Edward A. Conway, “A Moralist, a Scientist, and the H-Bomb,” America, April 8, 1950, 9-11.

43 For examples, see Ralph Luther Moellering, Modern War and the American Churches: A Factual Study of the Christian Conscience on Trial from 1939 to the Cold War Crisis of Today (New York: American, 1956); John Courtney Murray, Morality and Modern War (New York: Church Peace Union, 1959); Roland H. Bainton, Christian Attitudes Toward War and Peace: A Historical Survey and Critical Re-Evaluation (New York: Abingdon, 1960); William J. Nagle, Morality and Modern Warfare: The State of the Question (Baltimore: Helicon, 1960); Joseph C. McKenna, “Ethics and War,” American Political Science Review 54 (September 1960), 647-658; Robert W. Tucker, The Just War: A Study in Contemporary American Doctrine (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1960); G. E. M. Anscombe and Walter Stein, Nuclear Weapons: A Catholic Response (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1961); Paul Ramsey, War and the Christian Conscience: How Should Modern War Be Conducted Justly? (Durham, NC: Duke University Press), 1961).

44 Joseph T. Mangan, “An Historical Analysis of the Principle of Double Effect,” Theological Studies 10 (1949), 41-61; John C. Ford, “The Morality of Obliteration Bombing,” Theological Studies 5, no. 3 (September 1944), 289; Robert L. Holmes, On War and Morality (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1989), 193-196.

45 Francis J. Connell, “A Reply,” Commonweal, September 26, 1950, 607-608.

46 F. H. Drinkwater, “War and Conscience,” Commonweal, March 2, 1951, 511-514. See also Michael De La Bedoyere, “Pacifism and the Christian Conscience,” Commonweal, December 21, 1951, 271-273; “War and Conscience,”Commonweal, January 18, 1952, 375-378.

47 Geoffrey Best, War and Law Since 1945 (New York: Clarendon), 115-6, 204-5; conference minutes, July 7, 1949, 514.2, Central Decimal Files 1945-1949, RG 59, NA; Raymund T. Yingling and Robert W. Ginnane, “The Geneva Conventions of 1949,” American Journal of International Law 46, no. 3, (July 1951), 427.

48 Paul Ruegger, “Press Conference Statement,” April 9, 1951, box 4380, 800.571, Central Decimal Files 1950-1954, RG 59, NA; New York Times, July 23, September 27, 1952; K. R. Kreps to Secretary of State, April 20, 1951, box 879, 014, Project Decimal File 1942-1954, Directorate of Plans, Office of Deputy Chief of Staff for Operations, RG 341, NA.

49 U.N. General Assembly, “Respect for Human Rights in Armed Conflicts,” Resolution 2444, December 19, 1968; Adam Roberts and Richard Guelff (eds.), Documents on the Laws of War, (Clarendon: Oxford, 1989) 415, 455.

50 For an additional example from a prominent air power booster, see Alexander De Seversky, Air Power: Key to Survival (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1950), 184-185.

51 FM 27-10, 19.

52 Conway-Lanz, Collateral Damage; Nina Tannenwald, The Nuclear Taboo: The United States and the Non-Use of Nuclear Weapons since 1945 (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

53 For examples from the Vietnam War, see Westmoreland to Commander, All Subordinate Units, July 7, 1965, History Files, microfilm collection, The War in Vietnam: Papers of William C. Westmoreland (Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, 1993); “Combat Operations Minimizing Non-Combatant Battle Casualties,” MACV Directive 525-3, September 7, 1965, History Files, Papers of William Westmoreland; memorandum, George M. Gallagher, September 15, 1965, History Files, Papers of William Westmoreland; “Tactics and Techniques for Employment of U.S. Forces in the Republic of Vietnam,” MACV Directive 525-4, September 17, 1965, History Files, Papers of William Westmoreland; “Synopsis of Tactical Air Firepower Study,” n.d., History Files, Papers of William Westmoreland; “Combat Operations Control, Disposition, and Safeguarding of Vietnamese Property, Captured Materiel and Food Supplies,” MACV Directive 525-9, April 10, 1967, 2021 (MACJ4-Logistics), MACV Historical Office, microfilm collection, Records of the Military Assistance Command Vietnam (Bethesda, MD: University Publications of America, 1988); Division Order 003330.2, August 9, 1967, attachment to August 1967 Command History of the 1st Marine Division, microfilm collection, Records of the U.S. Marine Corps in the Vietnam War (Bethesda, Md.: University Publications of America, 1990); Appendix 10 to Annex A to 9th Infantry Division Field SOP, attachment to Major General George G. O’Connor, U.S. Army Senior Officer Debriefing Report, February 23, 1968, microfilm collection,U.S. Armed Forces in Vietnam 1954-1975 (Frederick, MD: University Publications of America, 1983).

Established power hates uncertainty, especially any threat to its grip on the political, economic and financial levers that control society. And so it is with elite fears that the United Kingdom, formed by the1707 Acts of Union, could be on the verge of unravelling.

No informed commentator doubts that elite interests will do all they can to maintain hegemony in an independent Scotland, should that historic shift occur following the referendum of September 18. But if it does happen, there will likely be significant consequences for the Trident nuclear missile system, the future of the NHS and the welfare state, education, climate policy, energy generation and other industry sectors, the media and many additional issues; not just in Scotland, but beyond, including Nato and the European Union. There is clearly a lot at stake and established power is concerned.

Just over a week ago, to the consternation of Westminster elites and their cheerleaders in media circles, a YouGov opinion poll showed that the ‘Yes’ vote (51%) had edged ahead of ‘No’ (49%) for the first time in the campaign, having at one point trailed by 22%. The Observer noted ’signs of panic and recrimination among unionist ranks’, adding that ‘the no campaign is desperately searching for ways to seize back the initiative’. The panic was marked by ‘intensive cross-party talks’ and underpinned George Osborne’s announcement on the BBC Andrew Marr show on September 7 that ‘a plan of action to give more powers to Scotland’ in the event of a No vote would be detailed in the coming days.

Confusion reigned in the Unionist camp, and in media reporting of their befuddlement. According to the rules governing the referendum, the UK and Scottish governments are forbidden from publishing anything which might affect the outcome during the so-called ‘purdah period’ of 28 days leading up to September 18. So, how to reconcile the opportunistic ‘promise’ during purdah to grant Scotland new powers following a ‘No’ vote? BBC News dutifully reported the government sleight-of-hand that:

‘the offer would come from the pro-Union parties, not the government itself.’

Voters, then, were supposed to swallow the fiction that the announcement came, not from the UK government represented by Chancellor George Osborne, but from the pro-Union parties represented by senior Tory minister George Osborne!

However, Alastair Darling, leader of the pro-Union ‘Better Together’ campaign, told Sky News that all new powers for Scotland had already been placed on the table before the purdah period. What had been announced was ‘merely… a timetable for when the Scottish Parliament could expect to be given the limited powers already forthcoming.’

Thus, an announcement setting out a timetable for enhanced powers was completely above board and not at all designed to influence the very close vote on independence. This was establishment sophistry and a deeply cynical manipulation of the voters.

Media manipulation was exposed in stark form when Nick Robinson, the BBC’s political editor, was rumbled by viewers able to compare his highly selective editing of an Alex Salmond press conference last Thursday with what had actually transpired. Robinson had asked Salmond a two-part question about supposedly solid claims made by company bosses and bankers -  ‘men who are responsible for billions of pounds of profits’ – that independence would damage the Scottish economy. Not only did thefull version of the encounter demonstrate that Salmond responded comprehensively, but he turned the tables on Robinson by calling into question the BBC’s role as an ‘impartial’ public broadcaster. Theself-serving report that was broadcast that night by Robinson on BBC News at Ten did not reflect the encounter which the political editor summed up misleadingly as:

‘He didn’t answer, but he did attack the reporting.’

The distorted BBC News reporting was picked up on social media and no doubt encapsulated what many viewers and listeners, particularly in Scotland, have been observing for months, if not years. One reader wrote an excellent email to us in which he said:

‘Honestly, this is just ONE example of pathetic bias which more and more Scots are seeing through. I’ve long been a follower of your site, and I make a point of reading each and every alert. This is the first time I’ve taken to contacting you, and as I said, I imagine lots of others will be doing just that on the same subject.

‘I’ve seen so much media bias with BBC Scotland since the turn of the year, but it’s now getting to laughable proportions. And now that we have the entire London press-mafia crawling all over it too, it’s daily headline news – all doom and gloom about how Scotland will fail, Scotland will be bankrupt, there’s no more oil left, jobs will go, etc etc. It’s been diabolical.’

The BBC’s dismissive response to the public complaints about Robinson’s skewed report concluded with the usual worn-out boilerplate text:

‘the overall report [was] balanced and impartial, in line with our editorial guidelines.’

It is not only the bias in BBC News reporting that has alienated so many people, but the way the public broadcaster fails to adequately address public complaints – on any number of issues.

Scaremongering-A-Go-Go

On the day following the YouGov poll result (September 8), frantic headlines were splashed all over the corporate media:

‘Ten days to save the Union’ (Daily Telegraph)
‘Parties unite in last-ditch effort to save the Union’ (The Times)
‘Ten days to save the United Kingdom’ (Independent)
‘Scotland heads for the exit’ (i, a tabloid version of the Independent)
‘Last stand to keep the union’ (Guardian)
‘Queen’s fear of the break up of Britain (Daily Mail)
‘Don’t let me be last Queen of Scotland’ (Daily Mirror)

And, of course, the laughably over-the-top Sun:

‘Scots vote chaos. Jocky horror show’

Corporate journalists pressed on with their scaremongering over Scottish independence. In theTelegraph, business news editor Andrew Critchlow intoned ominously:

‘Scottish homeowners face mortgage meltdown if Yes campaign wins.’

The same newspaper published a piece by Boris Johnson arguing:

‘Decapitate Britain, and we kill off the greatest political union ever. The Scots are on the verge of an act of self-mutilation that will trash our global identity.’

Times editorial twitched nervously:

‘The British political class is in a fight for which it seemed unprepared. It needs to find its voice’. (‘Signifying Much’, September 8, 2014; access by paid subscription only)

Larry Elliott, the Guardian‘s economics editor warned that an independent Scotland ‘would not be a land flowing with milk and honey’. Jonathan Freedland, the Guardian’s executive editor who oversees the paper’s opinion section and editorials, bemoaned that:

‘If Britain loses Scotland it will feel like an amputation…the prospect fills me with sadness for the country that would be left behind.’

Freedland quoted with obvious approval an unnamed ‘big hitter’ in the ‘No’ campaign who claimed:

‘none of this would be happening if there were a Labour government in Westminster.’

This is the classic liberal-left fairytale that things would be different if only Labour were in power: a delusion that all too many voters in Scotland, as elsewhere, have seen through ever since it was obvious that Blairism was a continuation of Thatcherism.

Freedland sighed:

‘When I contemplate the prospect of waking up on 19 September to discover the union has been defeated, I can’t help but feel a deep sadness.’

Given Freedland’s role as a Guardian mover and shaker, with a big input to its editorial stance, it was no surprise when a Guardian leader followed soon after, firmly positioning the flagship of liberal journalism in the ‘No’ camp. The paper pleaded: ‘Britain deserves another chance’. But the pathetic appeal for the Union was propped up by a sly conflation of independence with ‘ugly nationalism’, notwithstanding a token airy nod towards ‘socialists, greens and other groups’. The paper’s nastiness continued with the unsubstantiated assertion that ‘a coded anti-English prejudice can lurk near the surface of Alex Salmond’s pitch’.

Ironically, one of the Guardian‘s own columnists, Suzanne Moore, had a piece published two days earlier that inadvertently preempted the nonsense now being spouted by her paper’s own editors:

‘The language of the no camp – Westminster, bankers, Farage, Prescott, the Orangemen and Henry Kissinger – is innately patronising.’

To which we can now add the Guardian.

She continued:

‘Do not give in to petty nationalism, they say. Just stick with the bigger unionist nationalism; it’s better for you.’

In the Observer, sister paper of the Guardian, Will Hutton was virtually inconsolable:

‘Without imaginative and creative statecraft, the polls now suggest Scotland could secede from a 300-year union, sundering genuine bonds of love, splitting families and wrenching all the interconnectedness forged from our shared history.’

He ramped up the rhetoric still further:

‘Absurdly, there will be two countries on the same small island that have so much in common. If Britain can’t find a way of sticking together, it is the death of the liberal enlightenment before the atavistic forces of nationalism and ethnicity – a dark omen for the 21st century. Britain will cease as an idea. We will all be diminished.’

Writing for the pro-independence Bella Caledonia website, Mike Small responded to Hutton’s apocalyptic warnings:

‘Unfortunately he has misunderstood the basic tenor of the British State, that is to cling to power, to centralise it, and to shroud it in obscurity.’

Small added that Hutton’s caricature of the ‘Yes’ camp as ‘the atavistic forces of nationalism and ethnicity’ is ‘such an absurd metropolitan misreading of what’s going on as to be laughable.’

Small’s crucial point is one we should remember when listening to senior politicans; that their first priority is always to cling to power. Craig Murray was scathing about the leaders of the main Westminster political parties, and their last-ditch desperate trip to Scotland last Wednesday to ‘save the Union’:

‘Cameron, Miliband and Clegg. Just typing the names is depressing. As part of their long matured and carefully prepared campaign plan (founded 9 September 2014) they are coming together to Scotland tomorrow to campaign. In a brilliant twist, they will all come on the same day but not appear together. This will prevent the public from noticing that they all represent precisely the same interests.’

Murray nailed what is at stake when he said that the ‘three amigos’ ‘offer no actual policy choice to voters’, and he gave a list showing how tightly they march together:

‘They all support austerity budgets
They all support benefit cuts
They all support tuition fees
They all support Trident missiles
They all support continued NHS privatisation
They all support bank bail-outs
They all support detention without trial for “terrorist suspects”
They all support more bombings in Iraq
They all oppose rail nationalisation’

In short:

‘The areas on which the three amigos differ are infinitesimal and contrived. They actually represent the same paymasters and vested interests.’

These ‘paymasters and vested interests’ are surely trembling with fear at the power now residing in the hands of voters in Scotland. As George Monbiot observes:

‘A yes vote in Scotland would unleash the most dangerous thing of all – hope.’

He expands:

‘If Scotland becomes independent, it will be despite the efforts of almost the entire UK establishment. It will be because social media has defeated the corporate media. It will be a victory for citizens over the Westminster machine, for shoes over helicopters. It will show that a sufficiently inspiring idea can cut through bribes and blackmail, through threats and fear-mongering. That hope, marginalised at first, can spread across a nation, defying all attempts to suppress it.’

Whatever happens on Thursday, skewed media performance on Scottish independence – in particular, from the BBC – has helped huge numbers of people see ever more clearly the deep bias in corporate news media.

Seeds of Destruction: The Diabolical World of Genetic Manipulation

September 15th, 2014 by F. William Engdahl

Click here to order the book now! 

Control the oil, and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.”* -Henry Kissenger

Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation” by F. William Engdahl is a skillfully researched book that focuses on how a small socio-political American elite seeks to establish control over the very basis of human survival: the provision of our daily bread.

This is no ordinary book about the perils of GMO.  Engdahl takes the reader inside the corridors of power, into the backrooms of the science labs, behind closed doors in the corporate boardrooms. The author cogently reveals a diabolical world of profit-driven political intrigue, government corruption and coercion, where genetic manipulation and the patenting of life forms are used to gain worldwide control over food production. If the book often reads as a crime story, that should come as no surprise. For that is what it is.

Engdahl’s carefully argued critique goes far beyond the familiar controversies surrounding the practice of genetic modification as a scientific technique. The book is an eye-opener, a must-read for all those committed to the causes of social justice and world peace.

What follows is the Preface to ”Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation” by F. William Engdahl (available through Global Research):

Introduction

“We have about 50% of the world’s wealth but only 6.3% of its population. This disparity is particularly great as between ourselves and the peoples of Asia. In this situation, we cannot fail to be the object of envy and resentment. Our real task in the coming period is to devise a pattern of relationships which will permit us to maintain this position of disparity without positive detriment to our national security. To do so,we will have to dispense with all sentimentality and day-dreaming; and our attention will have to be concentrated everywhere on our immediate national objectives.We need not deceive ourselves that we can afford today the luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.”
-George Kennan, US State Department senior planning official, 1948

This book is about a project undertaken by a small socio-political elite, centered, after the Second World War, not in London, but in Washington. It is the untold story of how this self-anointed elite set out, in Kennan’s words, to “maintain this position of disparity.” It is the story of how a tiny few dominated the resources and levers of power in the postwar world.

It’s above all a history of the evolution of power in the control of a select few, in which even science was put in the service of that minority. As Kennan recommended in his 1948 internal memorandum, they pursued their policy relentlessly, and without the “luxury of altruism and world-benefaction.”

Yet, unlike their predecessors within leading circles of the British Empire, this emerging American elite, who proclaimed proudly at war’s end the dawn of their American Century, were masterful in their use of the rhetoric of altruism and world-benefaction to advance their goals. Their American Century paraded as a softer empire, a “kinder, gentler” one in which, under the banner of colonial liberation, freedom, democracy and economic development, those elite circles built a network of power the likes of which the world had not seen since the time of Alexander the Great some three centuries before Christ—a global empire unified under the military control of a sole superpower, able to decide on a whim, the fate of entire nations.

This book is the sequel to a first volume, A Century ofWar: Anglo-American Oil Politics and the New World Order. It traces a second thin red line of power. This one is about the control over the very basis of human survival, our daily provision of bread. The man who served the interests of the postwar American-based elite during the 1970’s, and came to symbolize its raw realpolitik, was Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. Sometime in the mid-1970’s, Kissinger, a life-long practitioner of “Balance of Power” geopolitics and a man with more than a fair share of conspiracies under his belt, allegedly declared his blueprint for world domination: “Control the oil and you control nations. Control the food, and you control the people.”

The strategic goal to control global food security had its roots decades earlier, well before the outbreak of war in the late 1930’s. It was funded, often with little notice, by select private foundations, which had been created to preserve the wealth and power of a handful of American families.

Originally the families centered their wealth and power in New York and along the East Coast of the United States, from Boston to New York to Philadelphia and Washington D.C. For that reason, popular media accounts often referred to them, sometimes with derision but more often with praise, as the East Coast Establishment.

The center of gravity of American power shifted in the decades following the War. The East Coast Establishment was overshadowed by new centers of power which evolved from Seattle to Southern California on the Pacific Coast, as well as in Houston, Las Vegas, Atlanta and Miami, just as the tentacles of American power spread to Asia and Japan, and south, to the nations of Latin America.

In the several decades before and immediately following World War II, one family came to symbolize the hubris and arrogance of this emerging American Century more than any other. And the vast fortune of that family had been built on the blood of many wars, and on their control of a new “black gold,” oil.

What was unusual about this family was that early on in the building of their fortune, the patriarchs and advisors they cultivated to safeguard their wealth decided to expand their influence over many very different fields. They sought control not merely over oil, the emerging new energy source for world economic advance. They also expanded their influence over the education of youth, medicine and psychology, foreign policy of the United States, and, significant for our story, over the very science of life itself, biology, and its applications in the world of plants and agriculture.

For the most part, their work passed unnoticed by the larger population, especially in the United States. Few Americans were aware how their lives were being subtly, and sometimes not so subtly, influenced by one or another project financed by the immense wealth of this family.

In the course of researching for this book, a work nominally on the subject of genetically modified organisms or GMO, it soon became clear that the history of GMO was inseparable from the political history of this one very powerful family, the Rockefeller family, and the four brothers—David,Nelson, Laurance and John D. III—who, in the three decades following American victory in World War II, the dawn of the much-heralded American Century, shaped the evolution of power George Kennan referred to in 1948.

In actual fact, the story of GMO is that of the evolution of power in the hands of an elite, determined at all costs to bring the entire world under their sway.

Three decades ago, that power was based around the Rockefeller family. Today, three of the four brothers are long-since deceased, several under peculiar circumstances.However, as was their will, their project of global domination—“full spectrum dominance” as the Pentagon later called it—had spread, often through a rhetoric of “democracy,” and was aided from time to time by the raw military power of that empire when deemed necessary. Their project evolved to the point where one small power group, nominally headquartered in Washington in the early years of the new century, stood determined to control future and present life on this planet to a degree never before dreamed of.

The story of the genetic engineering and patenting of plants and other living organisms cannot be understood without looking at the history of the global spread of American power in the decades following World War II. George Kennan, Henry Luce, Averell Harriman and, above all, the four Rockefeller brothers, created the very concept of multinational “agribusiness”. They financed the “Green Revolution” in the agriculture sector of developing countries in order, among other things, to create new markets for petro-chemical fertilizers and petroleum products, as well as to expand dependency on energy products. Their actions are an inseparable part of the story of genetically modified crops today.

By the early years of the new century, it was clear that no more than four giant chemical multinational companies had emerged as global players in the game to control patents on the very basic food products that most people in the world depend on for their daily nutrition—corn, soybeans, rice, wheat, even vegetables and fruits and cotton—as well as new strains of disease-resistant poultry, genetically-modified to allegedly resist the deadly H5N1 Bird Flu virus, or even gene altered pigs and cattle. Three of the four private companies had decades-long ties to Pentagon chemical warfare research. The fourth, nominally Swiss, was in reality Anglodominated. As with oil, so was GMO agribusiness very much an Anglo-American global project.

In May 2003, before the dust from the relentless US bombing and destruction of Baghdad had cleared, the President of the United States chose to make GMO a strategic issue, a priority in his postwar US foreign policy. The stubborn resistance of the world’s second largest agricultural producer, the European Union, stood as a formidable barrier to the global success of the GMO Project. As long as Germany, France, Austria, Greece and other countries of the European Union steadfastly refused to permit GMO planting for health and scientific reasons, the rest of the world’s nations would remain skeptical and hesitant. By early 2006, the World Trade Organization (WTO) had forced open the door of the European Union to the mass proliferation of GMO. It appeared that global success was near at hand for the GMO Project.

In the wake of the US and British military occupation of Iraq, Washington proceeded to bring the agriculture of Iraq under the domain of patented genetically-engineered seeds, initially supplied through the generosity of the US State Department and Department of Agriculture.

The first mass experiment with GMO crops, however, took place back in the early 1990’s in a country whose elite had long since been corrupted by the Rockefeller family and associated New York banks: Argentina.

Seeds of DestructionThe following pages trace the spread and proliferation of GMO, often through political coercion, governmental pressure, fraud, lies, and even murder. If it reads often like a crime story, that should not be surprising. The crime being perpetrated in the name of agricultural efficiency, environmental friendliness and solving the world hunger problem, carries stakes which are vastly more important to this small elite. Their actions are not solely for money or for profit. After all, these powerful private families decide who controls the Federal Reserve, the Bank of England, the Bank of Japan and even the European Central Bank. Money is in their hands to destroy or create.

Their aim is rather, the ultimate control over future life on this planet, a supremacy earlier dictators and despots only ever dreamt of. Left unchecked, the present group behind the GMO Project is between one and two decades away from total dominance of the planet’s food capacities. This aspect of the GMO story needs telling. I therefore invite the reader to a careful reading and independent verification or reasoned refutation of what follows.

F. William Engdahl is a leading analyst of the New World Order, author of the best-selling book on oil and geopolitics, A Century of War: Anglo-American Politics and the New World Order,’ His writings have been translated into more than a dozen languages. 


Order this critically-acclaimed book from Global Research!

Seeds of Destruction: The Hidden Agenda of Genetic Manipulation
by F. William Engdahl

ISBN Number: 978-0-937147-2-2
Year: 2007
Pages: 341 pages with complete index

Global Research Price: US $17.00
(List price: US $24.95)
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By 2025, half the kids born in the U.S. will be diagnosed with autism, according to Dr. Stephanie Seneff, Senior Research Scientist at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. She, like many others says autism isn’t just genetic – it is almost surely due to environmental factors. Just a couple of those factors are Monsanto’s RoundUp (glyphosate) and heavy exposure to a cocktail of heavy metals, including aluminum.

Dr. Seneff isn’t respected by the ivory towers of the pharmaceutical medicine paradigm or industrial agriculture, but she has something to say about autism. She is a computer scientist who transitioned into biology and toxicology, so people like to attack her credentials, but what Dr. Seneff has to say is key, and many other mainstream researchers have been negligent in reporting these findings.

She has been studying autism for over 7 years, along with the environmental factors that lead to the disease. Decreased exposure to sunlight, poor diet, vaccines (specifically aluminum and mercury), as well as glyphosate toxins from RoundUp are causing skyrocketing rates of autism. She explains this in a two-hour presentation given recently at Autism One.

Aluminum and Glyphosate

Aluminum and glyphosate specifically interrupt the workings of the pineal gland (melatonin sulfate), leading to high rates of autism. She outlines this fact in pinpointing detail in her research, which can be found here.

Furthermore, glyphosate chelates manganese. Dr. Seneff believes that just the absence of appropriate amounts of manganese can help to cause autism. Glyphosate also promotes aluminum uptake into our tissues, and interrupts an important path for amino acid uptake called the shikimate pathway, into our guts.

“The way glyphosate works is that it interrupts the shikimate pathway, a metabolic function in plants that allows them to create essential amino acids. When this path is interrupted, the plants die. Human cells don’t have a shikimate pathway so scientists and researchers believed that exposure to glyphosate would be harmless.”

In fact, industrial claims don’t match the science on RoundUp. It is often used because it is considered one of the ‘safest’ of all herbicides. This claim is touted by Monsanto and other chemical pushers, but it turns out that RoundUp is one of the least safe herbicides on the market.

Incidentally, scientists were mistaken about a human shikimate pathway, and we rely upon it for many important functions in our body, including ridding our body of poisons like RoundUp as well as other herbicides and pesticides.

“The problem is that bacteria DO have a shikimate pathway and we have millions of good bacteria in our guts – our ‘gut flora.’ These bacteria are essential to our health. Our gut isn’t just responsible for digestion, but also for our immune system. When glyphosate gets in our systems, it wrecks our gut and as a result our immune system.”

She says:

“The effects are insidious. You won’t notice when you eat a food that contains glyphosate, but over time you will enter an old-age state before you should.”

It’s Time for Chemical Reform

Though Dr. Seneff’s findings are in the research stages, there are plenty of families that have autistic children who have chosen to drastically change their children’s diets, eliminating all pesticides, herbicides and as many neurotoxins as possible while eating organic food. They often experience some incredible results, seeing improvement in their children’s speech patterns, cognitive abilities, and social skills in weeks, not years. This amounts to circumstantial evidence, but it supports Dr. Seneff’s claims.

The rate at which diseases like autism (along with Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and others) are growing would be unheard of just 50 years ago. You can’t simply discount this phenomenon as the result of ‘better screening and diagnosis.’ In the past 5 years alone, autism rates have increased from 1/150 to 1/50. This is an environmental epidemic; it isn’t genetic.

When you factor in the levels of glyphosate being found in women’s breast milk is ten times that which is allowed in European drinking water, and people in 18 different countries were found to have glyphosate in their blood, you have to question the rise in autism from another perspective, aside from the genetic one, and connect the dots. This leads to glyphosate as a synergistic compound that works with other suggested autism causes – like vaccines (controversial, I know).

Ordinarily the body is quite good about keeping aluminum out. The gut will absorb very little of what’s in the diet…assuming you have a healthy gut. Glyphosate produces a leaky gut, and that’s going to help the aluminum get in. What I believe now is that the aluminum in the vaccine is far more toxic as a consequence of the glyphosate that’s also in the blood. The two of them are synergistic, because the glyphosate forms a cage around the aluminum and keeps it from getting expelled. The aluminum ends up accumulating, getting trapped with the glyphosate, and then the aluminum ends up in the pineal gland, and messes up sleep, and causes a whole cascade of problems in the brain. The glyphosate and aluminum are working together to be much more toxic than they would be, acting alone.”

RoundUp chemicals are the most used chemicals in numerous lived-in cities such as New York City, not just on American farms. In just ten years, the use of RoundUp chemicals on American farms grew more than 89%. More than 80000 tonnes are currently used on GMO corn, soy and other crops. We are being poisoned by the truckload. This isn’t Big Ag against the masses anymore, it looks like pure genocide.

You can watch Dr. Seneff’s speech at Autism One, here.

Additionally, all of Dr. Seneff’s papers can be studied to corroborate her assertions that glyphosate and aluminum, among other environmental toxins, are synergistically causing autism:

  • “Anthony Samsel and Stephanie Seneff, “Glyphosate’s Suppression of Cytochrome P450 Enzymes and Amino Acid Biosynthesis by the Gut Microbiome: Pathways to Modern Diseases” Entropy 2013, 15(4), 1416-1463; doi:10.3390/e15041416 (Download)

  • Robert M. Davidson, Ann Lauritzen and Stephanie Seneff, “Biological Water Dynamics and Entropy: A Biophysical Origin of Cancer and Other Diseases” Entropy 2013, 15, 3822-3876; doi:10.3390/ e15093822 (Download)
  • Stephanie Seneff, Ann Lauritzen, Robert Davidson and Laurie Lentz-Marino, “Is Encephalopathy a Mechanism to Renew Sulfate in Autism?” Entropy 2013, 15, 372-406; doi:10.3390/e15010372 (Download)
  • Stephanie Seneff, Ann Lauritzen, Robert Davidson and Laurie Lentz-Marino, “Is Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase a Moonlighting Protein Whose Day Job is Cholesterol Sulfate Synthesis? Implications for Cholesterol Transport, Diabetes and Cardiovascular Disease.” Entropy 2012, 14, 2492-2530; doi:10.3390/e14122492 (Download)
  • Stephanie Seneff, Robert M. Davidson and Jingjing Liu, “Is Cholesterol Sulfate Deficiency a Common Factor in Preeclampsia, Autism, and Pernicious Anemia?” Entropy 2012, 14, 2265-2290; doi:10.3390/e14112265 (Download)
  • Samantha Hartzell and Stephanie Seneff, “Impaired Sulfate Metabolism and Epigenetics: Is There a Link in Autism?” Entropy 2012, 14, 1953-1977; doi:10.3390/e14101953 (Download)
  • Stephanie Seneff, Robert M. Davidson, and Jingjing Liu, “Empirical Data Confirm Autism Symptoms Related to Aluminum and Acetaminophen Exposure,” Entropy 2012, 14, 2227-2253; doi:10.3390/e14112227 (Download)
  • Robert M. Davidson, and Stephanie Seneff, “The Initial Common Pathway of Inflammation, Disease, and Sudden Death,” Entropy 2012, 14, 1399-1442; doi:10.3390/e14081399 (Download)
  • Stephanie Seneff, Glyn Wainwright, and Luca Mascitelli, “Nutrition and Alzheimer’s Disease: The Detrimental Role of a High Carbohydrate Diet,” European Journal of Internal Medicine 22 (2011) 134-140; doi:10.1016/j.ejim.2010.12.017 (Download)
  • Stephanie Seneff, Glyn Wainwright, and Luca Mascitelli, “Is the Metabolic Syndrome Caused by a High Fructose, and Relatively Low Fat, Low Cholesterol Diet?” Archives of Medical Science, 2011; 7, 1: 8-20; doi:10.5114/aoms.2011.20598 (Download)
  • Stephanie Seneff, Robert Davidson, and Luca Mascitelli, “Might cholesterol sulfate deficiency contribute to the development of autistic spectrum disorder?” Medical Hypotheses, 8, 213-217, 2012(Download)

The new sanctions against Russia announced by Washington and Europe do not make sense as merely economic measures. I would be surprised if Russian oil and military industries were dependent on European capital markets in a meaningful way. Such a dependence would indicate a failure in Russian strategic thinking. The Russian companies should be able to secure adequate financing from Russian Banks or from the Russian government.  If foreign loans are needed, Russia can borrow from China.

If critical Russian industries are dependent on European capital markets, the sanctions will help Russia by forcing an end to this debilitating dependence.  Russia should not be dependent on the West in any way.

The real question is the purpose of the sanctions.  My conclusion is that the purpose of the sanctions is to break up and undermine Europe’s economic and political relations with Russia. When international relations are intentionally undermined, war can be the result.  Washington will continue to push sanctions against Russia until Russia shows Europe that there is a heavy cost of serving as Washington’s tool.

Russia needs to break up this process of ever more sanctions in order to derail the drive toward war.  In my opinion this is easy for Russia to do.  Russia can tell Europe that since you do not like our oil companies, you must not like our gas company, so we are turning off the gas.  Or Russia can tell Europe, we don’t sell natural gas to NATO members, or Russia can say we will continue to sell you gas, but you must pay in rubles, not in dollars.  This would have the additional benefit of increasing the demand for rubles in exchange markets, thus making it harder for speculators and the US government to drive down the ruble.

The real danger to Russia is a continuation of its low-key, moderate response to the sanctions. This is a response that encourages more sanctions.  To stop the sanctions, Russia needs to show Europe that the sanctions have serious costs for Europe.

A Russian response to Washington would be to stop selling to the US the Russian rocket engines on which the US satellite program is dependent.  This could leave the US without rockets for its satellites for six years between the period 2016 and 2022.

Possibly the Russian government is worried about losing the earnings from gas and rocket engine sales.  However, Europe cannot do without the gas and would quickly abandon its participation in the sanctions, so no gas revenues would be lost.  The Americans are going to develop their own rocket engine anyhow, so the Russian sales of rocket engines to the US have at most about 6 more years.  But the US with an impaired satellite program for six years would mean a great relief to the entire world from the American spy program.  It would also make difficult US military aggression against Russia during the period.

Russian President Putin and his government have been very low-key and unprovocative in responding to the sanctions and to the trouble that Washington continues to cause for Russia in Ukraine. The low-key Russian behavior can be understood as a strategy for undermining Washington’s use of Europe against Russia by presenting a non-threatening face to Europe.  However, another explanation is the presence inside Russia of a fifth column that represents Washington’s interest and constrains the power of the Russian government.

Saker describes the two power groups inside Russia as the Eurasian Sovereignists who stand behind Putin and an independent Russia and the Atlantic Integrationists, the fifth column that works to incorporate Russia in Europe under US hegemony or, failing that, to help Washington break up the Russian Federation into several weaker countries that are too weak to constrain Washington’s use of power.  http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com.br/2014/09/strelkov-from-swimming-with-piranhas-to.html

Russia’s Atlantic Integrationists share the Brzezinski and Wolfowitz doctrines with Washington.  These doctrines are the basis for US foreign policy.  The doctrines define the goal of US foreign policy in terms of preventing the rise of other countries, such as Russia and China, that could limit Washington’s hegemony.

Washington is in a position to exploit the tensions between these two Russian power groups. Washington’s fifth column is not best positioned to prevail.  However, Washington can at least count on the struggle causing dissent within the Eurasian Sovereignists over Putin’s low-key response to Western provocations.  Some of this dissent can be seen in Strelkov’s defense of Russia and more can be seen here:http://slavyangrad.org/2014/09/13/the-new-round-of-sanctions-the-pre-war-period/#more-3665

Russia, thinking the Cold War ended with the collapse of the Soviet Union, opened herself to the West.  Russian governments trusted the West, and as a result of Russia’s gullibility, the West was able to purchase numerous allies among the Russian elites. Depending on the alignment of the media, these compromised elites are capable of assassinating Putin and attempting a coup.

One would think that by now Putin’s government would recognize the danger and arrest the main elements of the fifth column, followed by trial and execution for treason, in order that Russia can stand united against the Western Threat.  If Putin does not take this step, it means either than Putin does not recognize the extent of the threat or that his government lacks the power to protect Russia from the internal threat.

It is clear that Putin has not achieved any respite for his government from the West’s propaganda and economic assault by refusing to defend the Donbass area from Ukrainian attack and by pressuring the Donetsk Republic into a ceasefire when its military forces were on the verge of a major defeat of the disintegrating Ukrainian army.  All Putin has achieved is to open himself to criticism among his supporters for betraying the Russians in eastern and southern Ukraine.

The European politicians and elites are so deeply in Washington’s pocket that Putin has little chance of courting Europe with a Russian show of good will. I have never believed that this strategy could work, although I would be pleased if it did.  Only a direct threat to deprive Europe of energy has a chance of producing within Europe a foreign policy independent of Washington.  I do not think Europe can survive a cutoff of the Russian natural gas. Europe would abandon sanctions in order to guarantee the flow of gas.  If Washington’s hold on Europe is so powerful that Europe is willing to endure a major disruption of its energy supply as the price of its vassalage, Russia will know to cease its futile attempts at diplomacy and to prepare for war.

If China sits on the sidelines, China will be the next isolated target and will receive the same treatment.

Washington intends to defeat both countries, either through internal dissent or through war.

Nothing said by Obama or any member of his government or any influential voice in Congress has signaled any pullback in Washington’s drive for hegemony over the world. The US economy is now dependent on looting and plunder, and Washington’s hegemony is essential to this corrupted form of capitalism.

At least 2 trillion becquerels’ worth of radioactive material flowed from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean between August 2013 and May 2014, plant operator Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) has admitted. The rate of release was 10 times higher than TEPCO’s pre-meltdown threshold for radioactive material.

A becquerel is a unit for measuring radioactive material that corresponds to one unit of radioactive decay per second. It is a way of describing how much radiation is being emitted by radioactive material, in contrast to measuring the mass or volume of the material itself, the energy carried by the radiation or the biological impact of exposure.

Radioactive sludge accumulating in bay

In March 2011, the Fukushima plant suffered multiple meltdowns triggered by a massive earthquake and tsunami. Since then, TEPCO has struggled to contain the flow of radioactive water away from the plant. Currently, radioactive water is known to be leaking out of reactor buildings and downstream into the ocean. It is also suspected to be leaking into the ground from the plant, and flowing underground to the ocean from there.

TEPCO estimates that this water has been carrying 4.8 billion becquerels of strontium-90 and 2 billion becquerels of cesium-137 every day, based on measurements taken near the water intakes for reactors 1 through 4. This means that in the 10 months from August to May, the plant emitted 1.46 trillion becquerels’ worth of strontium-90 and 610 billion becquerels of cesium-137, totaling 2.07 trillion becquerels of radioactivity released into the ocean.

This astonishing amount of radioactivity is actually an improvement over the first two years following the disaster. Between May 2011 and August 2013, 10 trillion becquerels of strontium-90 and 20 trillion becquerels of cesium-137 flowed into the bay, for a total of 30 trillion becquerels. The improvement does not mark an improvement in TEPCO’s containment methods, however, but is a result of the concentration of nuclear material at the plant decreasing over time.

Water flowing away from the plant enters the bay, where it can then spread into the open ocean. This bay contains a port that is used by the plant to transport materials and equipment.

So much radioactive material has accumulated along the mud of the sea floor at this port that TEPCO is now pursuing a plan to coat the sea floor with cement, to prevent the material from migrating deeper into the ocean.

This may make it impossible to ever dredge the port and remove the radioactive material.

“The first priority is to keep the material where it is,” said a TEPCO official. “No decision has been made on whether to recover the [radioactive] mud at some point in the future.”

Radioactive swamp

TEPCO has already coated several other sections of sea floor, near the outlets of tunnels used to release the radioactive water used to cool the plant immediately following the meltdown.

Work has already begun on a project to coat 50,000 square meters of sea floor near the quay with a cement mixture. The remaining 130,000 square meters will also be coated in several smaller segments. Every part will then be re-coated, to ensure durability of the barrier.

Meanwhile, radioactive water continues to accumulate on-site, with both rainwater and groundwater continually seeping into the failed reactors and becoming contaminated. TEPCO has been attempting to pump this water out and store it in tanks all over the site, but numerous leaks have caused so much water to spill out that Kyoto University professor Hiroaki Koide has described the plant as a radioactive swamp.

TEPCO has also attempted to dispose of some of the water by directly discharging it into the Pacific Ocean, violating its own standards for safe radiation exposure levels.

Sources for this article include:

http://www.japantimes.co.jp

http://ajw.asahi.com

http://www.naturalnews.com

https://www.wordnik.com

http://science.naturalnews.com

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/046881_Fukushima_plant_radioactive_waste_Pacific_Ocean.html#ixzz3DOXcVGg4

“Progressive Democrats” Follow Obama to War in Syria

September 15th, 2014 by Shamus Cooke

It’s nearly impossible to find an anti-war congressperson nowadays. A bi-partisan consensus exists for an expanded war in Iraq and Syria — from the “radical” socialist Bernie Sanders to Obama’s right-wing nemesis, John Boehner. So enthused was Boehner that he ordered Republicans back to D.C. — during a peak campaign season — to vote for Obama’s plan to fund the Syrian rebels. 

Aiding the Syrian rebels is the fastest moving part of Obama’s anti-ISIS strategy. The Syrian rebels get a quick congressional vote and a speedy promise from U.S.-allied Saudi Arabia to open a rebel training camp, whose goal is to recruit and train 6,000 Syrian rebels over the next year, assumedly flush with their Congressional approved $500 million dollars.

The problem is that the Syrian rebels aren’t motivated to fight ISIS; they are rebelling against the Syrian government. They want regime change.  This glaring paradox is hardly mentioned in the U.S. media, though The New York Times commented on it briefly: “…there are bigger questions. The main target of the United States right now is ISIS, but for the mainstream [Syrian] rebel groups, getting rid of Mr. Assad is the main goal. How do you reconcile those competing goals?”

The Times didn’t pretend to answer the impossible question, and Democrats and Republicans never bother asking. Obama understands perfectly well — as does Congress — that regime change in Syria is the expected outcome of funding the rebels; the ISIS beheadings were a convenient excuse.

There is a remarkable bait and switch happening in U.S. politics: Assad is the big fish that Obama wants hooked and he’s using ISIS to bait the American public. The U.S. president has superbly exploited American’s disgust of ISIS to deepen a war against the Syrian government, the scope and implications of which are completely unspoken.

Bush used a similar logic in Iraq when he “fought terrorism” by instead toppling the secular Iraqi government. And the deceit goes unchallenged in Syria because all of Congress is on board, dragging behind them the boot-licking media.

The “quiet support” of war by the progressive Democrats is especially noteworthy. The progressive superstar, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, has been especially vocal in her support of Obama’s war plans, saying that ISIS should be the nation’s “number 1 priority.” But Warren always conditions her war support with populist catchphrases such as “we can’t be dragged into another Middle East War,” as if investing in the Syrian rebels wasn’t doing exactly that.

The other progressive figurehead, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, also hides his war support under a populist glaze. Sanders shamefully agrees that Obama should ramp up support to the Syrian rebels, while giving the same hollow warning about avoiding another prolonged military adventure. Either the Democrats don’t understand the basic arithmetic of war or they assume the American public is stupid.

Sanders has repeatedly argued in favor of Obama’s plan as he grumbles about the “enormously complicated” problem of ISIS. But it’s actually quite simple; the U.S. military’s campaigns in the Middle East are creating more enemies with each bomb dropped. And the ongoing U.S.-led proxy war against the Syrian government has directly contributed to the rise of ISIS and other extremists.

But these simple truths are considered taboo in the war-hungry Congress. Most Americans still don’t know that Obama has coordinated the proxy war against the Syrian government since at least 2012. By doing this Obama and his regional allies have artificially lengthened the Syrian war, directly contributing to the deaths of tens of thousands of people while giving rise to the Islamic extremist Syrian opposition fighters.

The U.S. media lets out the occasional burp of truth about this, such as The New York Times quick mention that “In April 2013, Mr. Obama authorized the C.I.A. to begin a secret mission to train Syrian rebels in Jordan. The total number trained so far is between 2,000 and 3,000.”

These truths and other events in the region have been systematically hidden from the public in a scheme that makes President Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal look tame. Obama’s “Contras” are the Syrian rebels, whom he has been covertly funding, arming, and training while telling the public little if anything about it.

The media has consistently minimized the breadth of Obama’s rebel support while ignoring the implications — a deeper U.S. involvement in regime change. This is why Americans were so shocked last year when Obama suddenly announced he’d be bombing the Syrian government; they didn’t realize that the U.S. was already neck-deep in a proxy war, and that direct intervention is an inevitable outcome.

The new escalation of the Syrian proxy war puts renewed pressure on Obama to directly intervene militarily, to ensure that the $500 million investment in the rebels — and the political investment with regional partners — “pays off.”

The basic facts of Obama’s involvement in the Syrian war go untold because there is no independent voice in the U.S. Congress. The two-party system is completely united on the fundamentals of government; spending more on war and cutting everything else. This is why working class issues find zero expression in Congress except for populist rhetoric reserved for Labor Day and the campaign trail.

With each Hellfire missile launched, two fewer teachers are hired. And with each Reaper drone built, $28 million goes unspent on funding healthcare, education or fighting climate change. The two-party system is so united over war they can’t even address the fundamental absurdity of the “war on terror:” the more bombs dropped the more extremists are created, requiring more bombs be dropped that create more terrorists, etc., etc. Permanent war is plaguing a nation where 99% of the people would much rather prioritize good jobs, social services and confronting climate change.

On this day in September 2008, the collapse of the US investment bank Lehman Brothers sparked the greatest financial crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. Within days of the bankruptcy, the entire American and global financial system was on the point of disintegration.

Reporting on the Lehman disaster on September 16, 2008, the World Socialist Web Site noted that it marked “a new stage in the convulsive crisis of American capitalism.”

The WSWS continued: “A sea change is unfolding in the US and world economy that portends a catastrophe of dimensions not seen since the Great Depression of the 1930s.” It warned that for the working class, the financial meltdown meant “rapid growth of unemployment, poverty, homelessness and social misery,” while “many of those who precipitated this economic disaster… will profit handsomely from the debris they have left behind.”

That analysis has been entirely confirmed. Six years on, the world economy has not only failed to recover, it is experiencing continued stagnation, with the ever-growing threat of a new financial crisis. In the euro zone, economic output has yet to reach the levels it attained in 2007; Japan stands once again on the brink of recession; and Chinese economic expansion is faltering. The growth rate in the US economy is now 16 percent below that of 2005–2007, with cumulative output losses totalling about 80 percent of gross domestic product.

But despite stagnation in the real economy, stock markets have hit record highs, boosted by the provision of ultra-cheap cash from the US Federal Reserve and other central banks to the financial institutions and banks responsible for the crisis—a continuation of the policy initiated in the immediate aftermath of the Lehman collapse.

For the working class all over the world, the past six years have brought lower wages, rising social inequality and outright impoverishment. In the United States, median family incomes fell by 5 percent in real terms between 2010 and 2013, supposedly years of “recovery.”

The financial crisis revealed a level of lawlessness on an unprecedented scale, as major finance houses and banks sold complex financial products they knew were doomed to fail and then profited on the outcome. Facts and figures produced in a US Senate report in 2011 revealed that these were nothing short of criminal operations.

But not a single top executive of a major US or international bank has been prosecuted, let alone jailed. The attorney general in the Obama administration, Eric Holder, has specifically ruled out any prosecution on the grounds it could jeopardise the US and possibly the global banking system.

In other words, finance capital and its speculative and parasitic activities are a law unto themselves. This culture of criminality and illegality in finance finds its expression in politics: the illegal drone operations and assassinations carried out by the Obama administration, including of American citizens; the mass spying by the National Security Agency (NSA) and its equivalents around the world; and the strengthening of the apparatus of a police state.

The ongoing breakdown of the global economy underlies the growth of militarism, which is creating the conditions for the eruption of a new world war. Here the first place is occupied by the United States.

The economic problems and contradictions of American capitalism, so graphically revealed in the collapse of 2008, have only increased since then. This is the economic impetus for war, as US imperialism seeks to use its military might to reverse its economic decline and assert its global hegemony.

While the connections between economic trends and political developments are never direct and immediate, but always complex, there is nonetheless a profound significance to the fact that this year, one of deepening economic malaise, both the German and Japanese governments have broken with the post-World War II geo-political framework.

The German ruling elite, powerful sections of the mass media, and the foreign policy establishment are conducting a campaign to assert Germany’s role not only as the dominant power within Europe, but as a world power—a return to Hitler’s agenda of the 1930s.

Likewise, the right-wing nationalist government of Shinzo Abe in Japan has “reinterpreted” the country’s constitution to allow Japan to play an international military role.

The significance of these events, in which three of the major imperialist combatants of World War II are asserting their global role, is unmistakeable. Six years into the global economic breakdown, the major powers, facing contracting markets and stagnant or negative growth, are determined to fight for their interests by military means.

The drive to war is accompanied by militarism at home. The ruling classes everywhere know they have no economic solution to the ongoing crisis of the profit system.

As a report prepared by the World Bank, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and the International Labour Organisation for the upcoming G20 summit stated, economic growth will “remain below trend with significant downside risks for the foreseeable future,” while there is “no universal formula for creating productive, quality jobs.”

Living in fear of a coming social explosion, the ruling classes everywhere are organising their repressive apparatuses. The police-military operation in Ferguson, Missouri was by no means a purely American phenomenon, but reflected the preparations being made in every country to confront the social consequences of another financial crisis, the conditions for which are well advanced.

On Sunday, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS), sometimes known as the central bankers’ bank, warned in its quarterly review that the present lack of volatility in global financial markets was not a sign of strength, but rather a herald of new dangers.

As BIS chief economist Claudio Borio told reporters in a briefing on the review: “It all looks rather familiar. The dance continues until the music eventually stops. And the longer the music plays and the louder it gets, the more deafening is the silence that follows,” when markets become illiquid precisely at the moment “when liquidity is needed most.”

The day after the Lehman crash, the World Socialist Web Site set out a clear political strategy:

“The entire financial system must be taken out of private hands… and subordinated to the social needs of the people and dedicated to developing and expanding the productive forces in order to eliminate poverty and unemployment and vastly improve the living standards and cultural level of the entire population.”

Six years on, the fight for this perspective has become even more urgent as large sections of the working class, in the US and around the world, have either been impoverished or seen their living standards slashed, and a generation of workers, students and youth that has come of age since then faces a future under capitalism of poverty and war.

“Yes” campaign supporters try to disrupt a gathering of a “No” campaign rally that leader of the Labour party Ed Miliband addressed, in Glasgow, September 11, 2014. (Reuters/Paul Hackett)

Politicians clashed over the National Health System (NHS) at a Scottish independence debate. “Yes” supporters say independence could save the health service from privatization, while “No” advocates say Scotland can’t afford it alone.

Independence is needed to protect against a “nasty, competitive, profit-driven motive” towards the NHS, Scottish Green Party MSP Patrick Harvie said Thursday.

Respect MP George Galloway, who is calling for a “No” vote, however, says there would not be an NHS without “a country big enough” to share resources.

The debate was held at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro arena before an audience of around 7,500 young people, drawn from secondary schools across Scotland.

The 18th September referendum will be the first time 16 and 17 year olds have been entitled to vote. Support for independence is highest among the younger population.

Both sides in the referendum race hold strong emotional attachments to the NHS. The “Yes” camp says independence would shield the health service from Westminster-imposed budget cuts and privatization.

 

Employees of Gordon diesel services prepare to erect Yes campaign placards on their workshop in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides September 11, 2014. (Reuters/Cathal McNaughton)

“There’s a difference between being able to control policy on something like the NHS and being able to control Scotland’s finances,” said Harvie, arguing for a “Yes” vote.

“Now, right now, the UK government is dead set on breaking up and privatizing the structure itself of the NHS. If that leads in the longer term to more introduction of fees and charges, if it leads to a decline in the public resources that are going in, that will impact on the Scottish budget.”

Harvie said Scotland needed “control of its own finances and its own voice at a European level.”

Enough to go around?

The “No” camp is questioning whether an independent Scotland could afford to maintain current health spending. Galloway said the NHS would be more secure under the union.

“We would never have had a National Health Service if it wasn’t for two things: a Labour government in 1945 and a country big enough to make a big enough pot to share resources across the country in order to have healthcare free at the point of need,” said the Respect MP, who also presents his own TV show on RT, “Sputnik: Around the World with George Galloway.”

“The National Health Service is an entirely devolved matter. It could only be privatized if people were foolish enough to elect a Scottish government that was ready to privatize it.”

Galloway caused controversy in the run-up to the debate, suggesting that the BBC had tried to withdraw his invitation at the request of the pro-independence Scottish National Party (SNP). He said fellow panelist and SNP party member Nicola Sturgeon had threatened to pull out if he took part.

Sturgeon, a former health secretary representing “Yes Scotland,” said waiting for a Labour government to take power and protect the NHS was not an option.

“How many times has Scotland voted Labour to end up with the Tories?” asked Sturgeon. “Why do we have to cross our fingers and vote for a Labour government when we can vote ‘Yes’ and guarantee we always get the governments we vote for?

“I know how hard it is to protect the budget of the health service when our overall budget is being reduced by Westminster.”

Sturgeon added: “I will fight with every breath in my body to keep the National Health Service in public hands, but we are going to be more able to do that when we are in control of our own budget so that we set our own priorities.”

Pro-union banners are placed in a field in Jedburgh, on the Scottish border with England, on September 11, 2014, a week ahead of Scotland’s independence referendum. (AFP Photo/Lesley Martin)

The future of the NHS as a state-run health service is currently in question throughout the UK. Campaigners say the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the largest bilateral trade deal ever brokered, could lead to the permanent privatization of NHS services.

The deal could allow US corporations to sue the British government if it ever embarked on an effort to re-nationalize outsourced health services.

“If the Scottish NHS is not exempt from TTIP it will be a disaster,” said Willie Wilson, of the “NHS for Yes”campaign.

“The Scottish Government has so far protected the NHS as much as it can within the limits of the Scottish budget,” he said. “But TTIP will mean we won’t have a choice, we will be forced to open up NHS services to multinational companies in Europe and America.”

The only way to protect free NHS services was to vote “Yes,” Wilson said: “The UK Government’s position is now absolutely clear: they are not seeking exemptions from TTIP, and therefore we can only protect the Scottish NHS from privatisation by voting Yes.”

The Russell Tribunal (RT) is an activist peace organization. It’s known as the International War Crimes Tribunal.

It condemns America’s permanent war agenda. It opposes New World Order extremism. Its members include academics, intellectuals and artists.

It’s inspired by the BRussells Tribunal. It was named after after famed philosopher/mathematician/anti-war/anti-imperialism activist Bertrand Russell (1872 – 1970).

He warned many years ago:

“Shall we put an end to the human race, or shall mankind renounce war” and live in peace. There’s no in between.

Previous tribunals investigated war crimes in Vietnam, Iraq and Palestine. Others examined human rights abuses in Latin America and psychiatry.

An extraordinary Brussels September 24 and 25 session is planned on Israel’s Operation Protective Edge.

Outrage about its genocidal high crimes against peace inspired it.

The session will examine Israel’s crimes of war, against humanity and genocide. “(T)hird States” complicity will be investigated.

Distinguished panel members will present their findings during a September 25 international press conference.

They’ll be received at the European parliament the same day. They’ll address a message to UN General Assembly members during its 69th session.

RT “is your tribunal,” it says. It needs public support to operate. Its work is more important than ever. At stake is humanity’s survival.

On September 13, RT International headlined “Guilty! ‘Russell Tribunal’ condemns Obama, Poroshenko ‘war crimes’ in E. Ukraine,” saying:

On Saturday, “an informal Russell Tribunal…took place in Venice, Italy…”

Its rulings have no legal status. At the same time, they affect public opinion worldwide.

RT’s Southeastern Ukraine ruling will be sent to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, EU states, the International Criminal Court (ICC), and other appropriate international bodies.

According to RT’s board of judges:

“The Russell Tribunal, which met to condemn the war crimes in Donbas (south-eastern Ukraine), based on the presented evidence, ruled to hold Ukraine’s president, Petro Poroshenko, US president Barack Obama, European Commission head, Jose Manuel Barroso, and NATO Secretary General, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, accountable for their direct responsibility in the war against the people of Donbas.”

Judges consisted of Venice residents. Veneto Government president Albert Gardin presided.

Amnesty International and likeminded human rights organizations were invited to attend. They opted out.

They’re on the wrong side of history. Often they support what demands condemnation.

Galina Kozhushko represented Lugansk and Donetsk self-defense forces. She’s a Lugansk native. She currently resides in Italy.

Donbass “protests escalated into armed resistance after the voices of the people were ignored,” she said.

“As a result, schools, hospitals, nursing homes and churches were destroyed.”

“People in Lugansk just couldn’t believe that their own government would be killing them.”

Journalist/former European MP Giulietto Chiesa called Southeastern Ukraine events “a planned provocation by the US against Russia.”

“Ukraine was conquered by the US long ago,” he said. “If NATO does send its troops to the border with Russia, we’ll find ourselves on the verge of a war between the west and Russia.”

Violence erupted in April. Kiev declared war on its own people.

Southeastern Ukrainian freedom fighters reject fascist rule. They reject its illegitimacy.

They want democracy. They want local autonomy. They want the right to elect their own officials. They deserve universal support.

Fighting took a horrendous toll. Thousands were killed. Many more were injured.

Hundreds of thousands are internally or externally displaced.

On September 5, both sides agreed to ceasefire terms. Fighting continues.

Washington bears full responsibility. It manipulates events covertly.

Peace is more fantasy than real. Full-scale conflict could erupt again any time.

America wants war. It deplores peace. It’s running things. Kiev officials are convenient stooges.

At issue is solidifying hardline rule. It’s targeting Russia. It’s incorporating all former Soviet republics and Warsaw Pact countries into NATO.

It’s surrounding Russia with US bases. It’s targeting its heartland with long-range, multiple warhead nuclear missiles.

It’s marginalizing, containing, weakening, isolating and co-opting Russia. It’s transforming it into another US colony.

It’s eliminating a major rival. It’s stealing its resources. It’s exploiting its people.

It’s redrawing Eurasia. It’s balkanizing the world’s largest land mass. It’s transforming it into mini-states. It’s neutralizing them in the process.

It’s advancing America’s imperium. It’s isolating China. It’s part of Washington longterm aim for unchallenged global dominance.

War without end is its strategy to achieve it. World peace hangs by a thread. New World Order extremism threatens it.

Welcome to Cold War 2.0. Western policy is hard-wired. Russia isn’t about to roll over for America.

It’s sovereignty matters. Putin defends what’s too important to lose. He opposes US imperial lawlessness.

He does so justifiably. He does it courageously. Washington considers him public enemy No. one.

Waging war on ISIS/ISIL/IS is subterfuge for solidifying unchallenged Middle East control en route to establishing it globally. Eurasia is in the eye of the storm.

“Who is behind the Islamic State Project,” asked Michel Chossudovsky?

“Until recently (they) were heralded as Syria’s ‘opposition freedom fighters’ committed to ‘restoring democracy’ and unseating the secular government of Bashar al Assad.”

Who’s “behind the jihadist insurgency in Syria,” Chossudovsky asked?

Dark Washington forces “are behind the Caliphate Project.”

“The Islamic State (IS) militia, which is currently the alleged target of  a US-NATO bombing campaign under a ‘counter-terrorism’ mandate, was and continues to be supported covertly by the United States and its allies.”

It’s a “creation of US intelligence.” It’s supported by Britain, Israel and other rogue state dark forces.

They back fascist extremism in Ukraine. They want democracy prevented at all costs.

State terrorism is official policy. Peace is a convenient illusion. War without end persists. Rogue states operate this way.

Invented enemies are red herring cover for imperial aims. Obama bears full responsibility. His war on Ukrainian freedom persists.

Bombing Syria looms. The entire region is up for grabs. Obama wants unchallenged control.

His agenda threatens world peace. Humanity may not survive his second term. Stopping him before it’s too late matters most.

A Final Comment

On September 12, Putin questioned new Western sanctions.

“When the situation is moving towards a peaceful resolution, steps are taken which are aimed at disrupting the peace process,” he said.

It’s “begun. I can’t understand what these next sanction steps are about.”

“I’ve said many times that our western partners first drove the situation into an anti-constitutional coup and then supported the punitive operation in the south-east, and now that the situation has switched over to the track of peace settlement, someone is taking steps aimed at breaking (it) up.”

“Why is this being done?” Putin asked. They’re counterproductive. They won’t work. Russia will respond accordingly, he suggested.

It’ll do so to benefit Russian commerce and industry. It won’t be “for the sake of showing how tough we are…”

On September 13, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Washington “is trying to use the crisis in Ukraine to break economic ties between the EU and Russia and force Europe to buy US gas at much higher prices.”

It’s exploiting Ukrainian crisis conditions. It’s doing so “to economically tear Europe from Russia and bargain for itself the most favourable conditions in the context of the ongoing negotiations on the creation of a transatlantic trade and investment partnership.”

It’s trying to “impose on Europe deliveries of US liquefied natural gas at prices that cannot be competitive compared with Russian gas prices.”

Russia supplies about a third of the EU’s gas. Lavrov said EU states are “prepared to sacrifice (their) econom(ies) to politics.”

On Saturday, Ukraine’s putschist prime minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk ludicrously accused Moscow of wanting to “eliminate Ukraine as an independent country.”

Putin’s “ultimate goal is to take the whole of Ukraine.” He won’t stop until he restores the “Soviet Union,” he said.

He wants NATO membership. “Under these circumstances, NATO is the only possibility to protect Ukraine,” he claimed.

Russia is firmly opposed. It won’t tolerate US-controlled NATO bases on its borders.

Encroachment would be hugely provocative. Imagine if Russia had bases in Canada and/or Mexico.

Imagine if its warships patrolled close to America’s east and west coasts, as well as Mexican Gulf waters.

Imagine calls in Washington for war. Remember Bertrand Russell’s warning.

Our choice is either ending war or humanity. There’s no in between.

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. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

Image: Biography of Gaston Besson, “French volontary against the Serbs”.

So we already reported on the American Nazi who was fighting in Ukraine until he got killed, the neo-Nazi Azov battalion he was fighting with, and the reports of war tourism, or, European right wingers joining in the fighting just for fun.

Now here’s another one, Gaston Besson.  This guy seems to be a war afficionado or professional mercenary.  He has a reputation going back to the Yugoslav wars where he was accused of war crimes.  He’s also served in Laos and Myanmar.  Apparently he enjoys going berserk in battle and being “excessively cruel”.

Like the American Nazi, Paslawsky, he also fights with the Azov battalion, the one with the Nazi swastika on its coat of arms which runs around bravely punishing civilians.  He’s in charge of coordinating foreign volunteers.

We’ve got a backlog of video and material about the neo-Nazi presence in Ukraine.  Its much bigger than has been reported so far in the western media.

This stuff will eventually get out, and when it does, it will be a major political problem in Europe, especially in Germany.

On Sunday USA Today warned Obama’s campaign to launch air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria will reduce the latter to a failed state.

“The turmoil in Libya is a cautionary tale as the United States enlists the help of moderate Syrian rebels to defeat the radical Islamic State and oust Syrian President Bashar Assad,” writes Oren Dorell for the newspaper. “As occurred in Libya, U.S. intervention to remove an anti-U.S. regime could lead to another failed state and more instability in the Middle East.”

In fact, the United States, Britain and Israel have colluded for years to turn the Middle East into a collection of failed states unable to rise above ethnic and tribal conflict.

The West has used a divide and rule formula in the Middle East for nearly a century. “Great Britain and France transformed what had been relatively quiet provinces of the Ottoman Empire into some of the least stable and internationally explosive states in the world,” writes Ayse Tekdal Fildis.

“A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm,” a policy document prepared in 1996 by a study group led by Richard Perle for Benjamin Netanyahu, at the time the Prime Minister of Israel, has served as a master plan for destabilizing the Arab and Muslim Middle East.

The plan calls for Israel to work “closely with Turkey and Jordan to contain, destabilize, and roll-back some of its most dangerous threats,” most notably Syria. “Most important, it is understandable that Israel has an interest supporting diplomatically, militarily and operationally Turkey’s and Jordan’s actions against Syria, such as securing tribal alliances with Arab tribes that cross into Syrian territory and are hostile to the Syrian ruling elite.”

This is precisely what is now happening in Syria as “Arab tribes,” that is to say “tribes” of Salafist mercenaries supported by the U.S. and its Persian Gulf emirate partners, attack the Shia Alawite regime in Damascus.

Israel, as a settler state established in Palestine by United Nations mandate, of course takes its cues from the global elite and would not, without their continued support, be able to maintain a hegemonic hold in the Middle East.

“To put it in a terminology that hearkens back to the more brutal age of ancient empires, the three grand imperatives of imperial geostrategy are to prevent collusion and maintain security dependence among the vassals, to keep tributaries pliant and protected, and to keep the barbarians from coming together,” writes Rockefeller operative and former national security adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski.

For more in-depth detail on this, see our ISIS and the Plan to Balkanize the Middle East.

Exporting the Failed State Model

The State Department went before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs last week and said it is worried about Libyan Salafists tied to al-Qaeda expanding to neighboring countries and across the Middle East.

“We have concerns about the potential of Libyan militias Ansar al Shariah and others to continue to metastasize and spread to Algeria, Egypt… and spread to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and other nations and become a serious security issue to the rest of the world,” said Gerald Feierstein, deputy assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs.

USA Today reports “Sudan, which shares a border with Libya, and Qatar are sending weapons and money to Islamist militias against U.S. wishes,” a statement that is patently untrue. The United States has supported the arming of al-Qaeda linked and inspired jihadist mercenaries, particularly in Syria.

Libya served as a beta test for Syria and, ultimately, the rest of the Arab Middle East. “The fact that the CIA was actively working to help the Libyan rebels topple Gaddafi was no secret, nor were the airstrikes that Obama ordered against the Libyan government. However, little was said about the identity or the ideological leanings of these Libyan rebels. Not surprising, considering the fact that the leader of the Libyan rebels later admitted that his fighters included Al-Qaeda linked jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq,” notes SCGNews.

Little, or rather virtually nothing, is said about the U.S. supporting, through its Gulf Emirate partners, al-Qaeda and its spin-offs, most notably ISIS, in Syria and northern Iraq. Instead, we are expected to believe failed states are a tragic result of humanitarian intervention. In order to remedy this, the State Department and the Obama administration argue in favor of more military action, not less.

Venezuela Sends More Aid Planes to Gaza

September 15th, 2014 by Middle East Monitor

The second Venezuelan aid plane took off on Thursday evening from Caracas International Airport heading to Palestinians in the Gaza Strip.

This plane, which is going to land in Cairo International Airport on Saturday, is loaded with 55 tons of urgent food and medical supplies for the residents of Gaza.

Palestinian ambassador to Venezuela and Palestinian embassy staff, along with the deputy Venezuelan foreign minister, were there when the plane took off.

According to the Palestinian ambassador a third Venezuelan aid plane is planned to follow this one next week.

The three planes are part of a series of Venezuelan planes carrying food and medical aid supplies to the Palestinians in the war-stricken Gaza Strip.

The Venezuelan leadership, including the Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, demanded the Venezuelans collect aid for the Palestinian people as support for their resistance in Gaza.

Russia Denounces New Western Sanctions

September 15th, 2014 by Stephen Lendman

New EU sanctions target Russian finance, energy and defense sectors.

They restrict state-owned energy giants Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft (its oil subsidiary) from raising capital in European markets.

They prohibit buying their 30-day yield bonds and equities of any kind.

Five state-owned banks were targeted. They include Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Rosselkhozbank.

They’re prohibited from raising capital in EU markets. Purchasing newly issued bonds and other securities with maturities over 30 days are banned.

Sanctions affect three major Russian defense companies. They include UralVagonZavod (UVZ), Oboronprom and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC).

Purchasing and selling their bonds with maturities over 30 days is prohibited.

Nine other defense companies were targeted. They include the Sirius Concern, OJSC Stankoinstrument, Khimkompozit, the Kalashnikov Concern, the Tula Arms Plant, Technologii Mashinostroyeniya, Vysokotochnye Kompleksy, the Almaz-Antei Concern, and Bazalt.

Purchasing their dual-purpose technologies is prohibited.

Twenty-four more Russian officials were blacklisted. In total, 119 are sanctioned. New names added include:

Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhironovsky.

Federation Council Deputy Chairman Yury Vorobyov.

Rosoboronexport Board Chairman Sergey Chemezov.

Duma Deputy Speakers Vladimir Vasilyev, Ivan Melnikov, Igor Lebedev, and Nikolai Levichev.

Deputy Duma Committee on International Affairs heads Leonid Kalashnikov and Svetlana Zhurova.

Deputy Duma Committee on the Affairs of the CIS and the European Integration heads Vladimir Nikitin and Oleg Lebedev.

Duma deputy Alexander Babakov.

MP and Cossack Troops commander Viktor Vodolatsky.

Airborne troops 76th division commander Alexei Naumets.

Crimea’s official Moscow representative Georgy Muradov.

First Deputy Crimean Prime Minister Mikhail Sheremet.

Blacklisted names include eight Novorossiya leaders. They include:

Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko.

DPR’s Defense Minister Vladimir Kononov.

Donbass self-defense forces leader Miroslav Rudenko.

Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) Prime Minister Gennady Tsypkalov.

DPR’s Security Minister Andrey Pinchuk.

Its Interior Minister Oleg Bereza.

Its official Moscow representative Andrei Rodkin.

Its social affairs Vice-Premier Alexander Karaman.

Sanctioned individuals are prohibited from entering EU territory. Assets held in European banks, if any, are frozen.

Sanctions targeted services Russia needs for Arctic oil and gas extraction, as well as deep sea and shale exploration projects.

On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said EU sanctions won’t go unanswered. It called imposing them devoid of logic and common sense.

They compromise already deteriorating relations. They’re polar opposite what’s badly needed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the following:

“Making this step, the EU actually made its choice against the process of peace settlement of the intra-Ukrainian crisis, support for which is expected from all responsible forces in Europe.”

“Today, Brussels and heads of EU member states should give a clear answer to EU citizens why they are subjected to the risks of confrontation, economic stagnation and loss of jobs.”

“Give people a chance for peace at last,”

it stressed.

Sergey Lavrov called imposing more sanctions an attempt to throw Russia off balance.

Its EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov said they’re devoid of elementary logic at a time Russia went all-out to resolve Ukrainian crisis conditions responsibly.

Punishing good policy is madness. Doing so shows other motives are pursued. Europe leaves Russia no other choice than to adopt comparable countermeasures.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called EU sanctions a strategic error and gross miscalculation.

“It’s not so much the (targeted sectors they’re) punishing,” he said.

“They’re trying to punish the whole nation because the sanctions against the financial sector, the manufacturing sector, the oil and gas sector are the sanctions aimed at damaging the life of ordinary Russians.”

“They think they can sting us somehow this way because the sanctions against the defense manufacturing industries signal an attempt to enfeeble us physically, and I think that’s a strategic error on the part of the West.”

On September 12, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed more sanctions. Secretary Jack Lew lied, saying:

“Given Russia’s direct military intervention and blatant efforts to destabilize Ukraine, we have deepened our sanctions against Russia today, in concert with our European allies.”

“These steps underscore the continued resolve of the international community against Russia’s aggression.”

“Russia’s economic and diplomatic isolation will continue to grow as long as its actions do not live up to its words.”

“It is essential that Russia work with Ukraine and other international partners to find a lasting settlement to the conflict.”

“If Russia does so, these new sanctions could be suspended. If instead Russia chooses to continue its violations of international law, the costs will continue to rise.”

“As in all of the sanctions steps we have taken, we have designed the actions announced today to deliver significant pressure on the targets of our sanctions while safeguarding, to the extent possible, global financial markets and the global economy.”

Fact check:

Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions.

It ousted its democratically elected government. It installed neo-Nazi-infested putschists.

They have no legitimacy whatever.

Throughout months of conflict, Russia has gone all-out for diplomatic conflict resolution.

Western sanctions aim to marginalize, contain, weaken and isolate Russia. Perhaps in the end they’ll backfire.

Pursuant to Executive Order 13662 dated March 24, 2014: Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine (to include Russian commerce, industry and finance), OFAC targeted five Russian defense companies.

They classified them as Specialty Designated Nationals (SDNs).

At the same time, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added five Russian energy and defense companies to its Entity List.

It subjects targeted businesses and other organizations to specific license requirements for export, re-export, and/or transfer (in country) of specified items.

In targeting Russia, it imposed special conditions intended to impede commerce.

New US measures overall restrict:

targeted industries’ dual-use products and technologies;

services related to deep water oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration and production, as well as Russian shale projects;

services related to Common Military List products and technologies; and

access to capital markets.

Previous dual use restrictions applied only on products and technologies sold, supplied, transferred, or exported to Russia for military use or to a military end-user.

New sanctions outright ban these products and services listed in the EU Dual-Use Regulation.

It does so if sale, supply, transfer or export is to one of the targeted Russian companies. They include:

JSC Sirius, OJSC Stankoinstrument, OAO JSC Chemcomposite, JSC Kalashnikov, JSC Tula Arms Plant, NPK Technologii Maschinostrojenija, OAO Wysokototschnye Kompleksi, OAO Almaz Antey and OAO NPO Bazalt.

New Regulation restrictions prohibit related technical help, brokering services, and financial assistance.

They’re much broader than previously in banning services relating to Arctic and other deep water exploration and production, as well as Russian shale oil projects.

Insurance and reinsurance prohibitions are imposed on the sale, supply, transfer or export of Common Military List products and technologies.

Capital market restrictions affect bonds, equities and money market instruments with maturities exceeding 30 days.

Sberbank, VTB bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), Rosselkhozbank are targeted.

Twenty-four new individuals were blacklisted. In total, 119 are sanctioned. Designated entities number 23.

US and EU sanctions prohibit making funds and/or economic resources available directly or indirectly to targeted companies or individuals.

They include dealings with suppliers, banks, agents, distributors, other intermediaries, or entities owned or controlled by targeted entities or persons.

It bears repeating. Russia strongly condemned new sanctions. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich:

“On many levels, the Russian leadership has made it clear that we’ll take adequate measures, and our response will be absolutely comparable with the actions by the EU” and America.

Sanctions wars continue. They cut both ways. They come when weakening EU economies can least afford them. It remains to be seen how badly they’ll be hurt.

In the long run, Russia’s economy may be helped. It’s diversifying effectively. Its energy deal with China is hugely beneficial.

It’s trading more with Eastern and BRICS countries. It’s reducing its dependency on Europe.

It’s transforming its economic relationships effectively. It’s polar opposite counterproductive US/EU policy.

It stands to gain overall longterm. Expect sanctioning Russia to fail.

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. http://www.progressiveradionetwork.com/the-progressive-news-hour

O especialista militar romeno, piloto e ex-comandante adjunto do aeroporto militar Otopeni, Valentin Vasilescu, comentou o relatório da investigação das razões da queda do Boeing 777.

1. “As imagens disponíveis mostram que as peças dos restos do avião foram perfuradas em numerosas partes. O tipo de danos na fuselagem do avião e da cabina é consistente com o que se poderia esperar de uma grande quantidade de objetos de alta energia que penetraram o avião vindos do exterior.

Vasilescu: “Os Mig-29 do exército ucraniano estão armados com o canhão de 30 milímetros GSh-301, que dispara 1500 projéteis por minuto.  O canhão estava carregado com 150 projéteis que contém uma liga de tungstênio. Esses projéteis atravessam os objetivos, deixando marcas perfeitamente circulares. Não explodem dentro da fuselagem, não são incendiários, mas podem matar a tripulação e destruir a cabine, o que pode ser observado através da presença de buracos com bordas que se abrem para fora no tabique oposto. Nas fitas de cartuchos do canhão GSh-301 são inseridos também alguns obuses explosivo-incendiários, que explodem dentro da fuselagem, produzindo fragmentos de grande velocidade que saem através da fuselagem na área da cabine, como metralha produzida pela detonação de uma ogiva terra-ar. Os disparos foram feitos por um piloto de caça experimentado, que apontou somente para a cabine de comando. Isso é demonstrado pelo fato de que a secção posterior da fuselagem, atrás da cabine, permaneceu intacta. Não haviam orifícios que pudessem ter sido causados por metralha.

2. “O Boeing 777-200 rompeu-se no ar, provavelmente como resultado de dano estrutural causado por uma grande quantidade de objetos de alta energia que penetraram o avião desde  seu exterior…  os parâmetros dos motores do avião eram consistentes com a operação normal durante o vôo”.

Vasilescu: “O Boeing malaio MH-17 foi derrubado pelo canhão de um avião Mig-29, em vez de um míssil. Nesse caso, os mísseis ar-ar estão equipados com sensores de calor que apontam para a parte mais quente do avião, ou seja, os motores. O Boeing  derrubado tinha a cabine de comando destruída”. Não houve danos aos motores do avião até que as asas, onde eles estão localizados, se espatifaram no solo. Não houve uma grossa coluna ou condensação branca à 10 mil metros do solo, como a provocada pelo lançamento de um míssil ar-ar.

3. “É provável que esses danos tenham resultado na perda da integridade estrutural do avião, provocando uma ruptura durante o vôo”.

Vasilescu: “A morte da tripulação e a despressurização da  cabine fizeram com que o Boeing girasse instantaneamente, e que o avião se dividisse em várias partes a uma altura de 2 mil metros. O avião, como mostram as caixas-pretas, entrou em colapso no ar, mas isso somente é possível no caso de um mergulho vertical desde a altura de 10 mil metros, quando é excedido o limite máximo de velocidade. Se o avião gira, a tripulação freqüentemente fica incapaz de controlá-lo. Também pode ocorrer uma despressurização instantânea da cabine.”

4. O gravador de vozes da cabine e o gravador dos dados de vôo e dos dados do controle de tráfego aéreo sugerem  que o vôo MH-17 decorria normalmente até às 13:20:03 (UTC), depois do que terminou abruptamente… Uma escuta completa das comunicações entre membros da tripulação, registradas no gravador de voz da cabine, não revela sinais de nenhuma falha ou situação de emergência”.

Vasilescu: “Se um avião tão grande como o Boeing 777 da Malaysia Airlines tivesse sido alcançado por um míssil terra-ar, a tripulação teria conseguido advertir os serviços de controle de tráfego sobre a situação à bordo. Contudo, não vimos nada semelhante nos registros.” Além disso, o MH-17  voava no rumo  118º. O caça Mig-29 se aproximava com seus canhões na direção perpendicular ao avião MH-17 (118 + 90 =  208). Isso corresponde à direção do sol às 16h21min locais. Ninguém, nos meios de comunicação, tinha mencionado uma coisa básica relacionada ao Boeing-777: Os controles de vôo do piloto são transmitidos à cabine por circuitos elétricos, como em um vôo controlado por computador. A tripulação não consegue controlar o avião caso os elementos de transmissão que controlam o leme de direção e o estabilizador, situados na cauda do avião,   sejam destruídos. Um curto-circuíto no sistema elétrico da cabine, como resultado do fogo de canhão,  incapacitou o transponder e o transmissor de rádio.

Na coletiva de imprensa do Ministro da Defesa da Federação Russa em 21 de julho de 2014, o chefe do Estado Maior Gera, Tenente General A Kartopolov,l e o comandante da Força Aérea, Igor Makuchev, provaram a existência de um avião ucraniano que teria detido o vôo da Malaysia Airlines três minutos antes do acidente, estimando a distância que o separava do MH17 em 3-5km.

Mas o Documento 4444 (Regras de Procedimentos Aéreos para Serviços de Navegação Aérea), emitido pela Organização Internacional de Aviação Civil, artigo 7.4.4, indica que a distância mínima permitida entre dois aviões se baseia em sua turbulência. O Boeing 777 (peso 299,370 toneladas) pertence à categoria de avião pesado (H – Heavy). Entre essa categoria de aviões e um caça como o Mig-29 (peso entre 10-20t), se requer que os controles aéreos solicitem uma distância de pelo menos 9,3 km. Foi um erro ou uma ação deliberada dos controladores de tráfego aéreo da Ucrãnia posicionar o avião ucraniano a 3 km de distância do vôo MH 17? Quando o Boeing 777 foi derrubado, encontrava-se a 48 km do ponto de navegação Tamak, no procedimento de transferência do controle de vôo da região de Dnepropetrovsk (que é responsável pelo espaço aéreo da Ucrânia oriental) para região de controle de Rostov-on-Don (começo do espaço aéreo Russo).

O mesmo documento 4444,  Capitulo 7.5  (transferência de controle por radar), obriga as agências ucranianas de controle de tráfego aéreo civil e militar (ACT) a determinar uma distância mínima entre dois aviões que permitisse a separação por radar do vôo MH 17 e o caça ucraniano, o suficiente para assegurar a transferência segura do avião civil para o ACT russo.  Segundo o documento 4444, a distância normal de separação para aviões da categoria H  seguidos por um caça é de pelo menos 11,1 km.

Os ucranianos derrubaram o avião quando o Boeing  era transferido pelo UCT ucraniano para o ACT dos russos.

Graças às evidências que aparecem claramente, é possível que as autoridades civis e militares ucranianas estivessem cooperando para derrubar o vôo através de um caça ucraniano. Por que ocultam ao ICAO e ao Eurocontrol essa flagrante violação das leis de navegação? Antes que o piloto de caça pudesse apontar e abrir fogo em direção à secção da cabine do Boeing 777,  que é  um setor de 6 metros de largura e 64,8 metros de comprimento, o B-777 deveria entrar por inteiro na linha de visão do piloto do caça. O instrumento de  avistamento faz automaticamente cálculos que dão ao piloto todos os parâmetros necessários para que os projéteis que alcançaram a fuselagem do vôo MH-17. A melhor maneira de atingir a cabine de comando era  aproximar-se de maneira quase perpendicular à direção de vôo do MH-17. Nesse caso, o piloto de caça teria as condições apropriadas para preparar-se para disparar à distância a 900 m do B-777. Se a velocidade de aproximação do caça ucraniano era de aproximadamente 280-300 metros por segundo, a repetição do ataque seria impossível, e o piloto de caça teria 3-4 segundos para todas essas manobras.  Isso poderia ser o resultado de dezenas de horas de treinamento em simuladores e condições de vôo semelhantes à aquelas existentes  quando o vôo MH-17 foi derrubado.

Artigo em inglês :

http://www.globalresearch.ca/mh17-boeing-crash-investigation-dsb-report-hides-truth-plane-shot-down-by-ukrainian-aircraft/5400725

Artigo em espanhol :

http://www.globalresearch.ca/investigacion-del-desastre-del-boeing-mh17-el-avion-fue-derribado-por-un-caza-ucranio/5401883

Tradução do espanhol: Renzo Bassanetti

El experto militar rumano, piloto y excomandante adjunto del aeropuerto militar Otopeni, Valentin Vasilescu, comentó sobre el informe de la investigación de las razones de la caída del Boeing 777 en Ucrania.

1. “Las imágenes disponibles muestran que las piezas de los restos del avión fueron perforadas en numerosas partes. El modelo del daño del fuselaje del avión y de la cabina es consistente con lo que se podría esperar de una gran cantidad de objetos de alta energía que penetraron el avión desde el exterior.”

Vasilescu: “Los MiG-29 del ejército ucranio están armados con el cañón de 30 milímetros GSh-301, que dispara 1.500 proyectiles por minuto. El cañón estaba cargado con 150 proyectiles que contienen una aleación de tungsteno. Esos proyectiles pasan a través de los objetivos, dejando rastros de una forma perfectamente circular. No estallan dentro de la cabina, no son incendiarios, pero pueden matar a la tripulación y destruir la cabina, lo que puede ser visto en la presencia de agujeros con bordes que se abren hacia afuera en el tabique opuesto”. En los cartuchos de cinta para el cañón de 30 milímetros GSh-301 se insertan también unos pocos obuses explosivos-incendiarios, que estallan dentro de la cabina, produciendo fragmentos con grandes velocidades que salen del fuselaje del avión en el área de la cabina, como metralla producida por la detonación de la ojiva de un misil tierra-aire. Los disparos fueron hechos por un piloto de caza experimentado, quien apuntó solo a la cabina. Esto es demostrado por el hecho de que la sección de fuselaje posterior de la cabina permaneció intacta. No hubo agujeros que podrían haber sido causados por metralla.

2. “El Boeing 777-200 se rompió en el aire probablemente como resultado de daño estructural causado por una gran cantidad de objetos de alta energía que penetraron el avión desde el exterior… Los parámetros de los motores del avión eran consistentes con la operación normal durante el vuelo”.

Vasilescu: “El Boeing malayo MH-17 fue derribado por el cañón de un avión MiG-29, en lugar de un misil. En este caso los misiles aire-aire están equipados con buscadores de calor que apuntan a la parte más caliente del avión, es decir los motores. El Boeing derribado tenía la cabina destruida”. No hubo daños a los motores del Boeing hasta que las alas (donde están ubicados los motores) se estrellaron en el suelo. No hubo una gruesa columna o condensación blanca a una altura de diez kilómetros de la superficie, que debería haber sido causada por el lanzamiento de un misil aire-aire.

3. “Es probable que este daño haya resultado en una pérdida de integridad estructural del avión, llevando a una ruptura durante el vuelo”.

Vasilescu: “La muerte de la tripulación y la despresurización de la cabina hizo que el Boeing girara instantáneamente, y el avión se dividiera en piezas a una altura de dos mil metros. El avión, como lo muestran las cajas negras, colapsó en el aire, pero esto solo es posible en caso de un picado vertical desde la altura de diez mil pies, cuando se excede el máximo límite de velocidad. Si el avión gira, la tripulación es frecuentemente incapaz de controlarlo. También puede ocurrir una despresurización instantánea de la cabina”.

4. “La grabadora de voz de la cabina, y la grabadora de datos de vuelo y los datos del control de tráfico aéreo sugieren todos que el vuelo MH-17 procedió normalmente hasta 13:20:03 (UTC), después de lo cual terminó abruptamente… Una escucha completa de comunicaciones entre miembros de la tripulación en la cabina registrada en la grabadora de voz de la cabina no reveló señales de ninguna falla o situación de emergencia.”

Vasilescu: “Si un avión tan grande como el Boeing 777 de Malaysia Airlines hubiera sido alcanzado por un misil tierra-aire, la tripulación habría podido advertir a los servicios de control de tráfico de la situación a bordo. Pero no vemos nada semejante en los registros.” Además, el MH-17 volaba con rumbo 118º. El caza MiG-29 se acercaba con sus cañones en la dirección perpendicular al avión MH-17 (118 + 90 = 208). Esto corresponde a la dirección del sol a 16:21 hora local. Nadie en los medios ha mencionado una cosa básica relacionada con el Boeing 777. Los controles de vuelo del piloto son transmitidos a la cabina con circuitos eléctricos como en un vuelo controlado por ordenador. La tripulación no puede controlar el avión, en caso de destrucción de los elementos de transmisión que controlan el timón de dirección y el estabilizador, colocados ambos en la cola del avión. Un cortocircuito en el sistema eléctrico en la cabina, como resultado del fuego de cañón, discapacitó el transponedor y la estación de radio.

En la conferencia de prensa del Ministro de Defensa de la Federación Rusa del 21 de julio de 2014, el Jefe del Estado Mayor General y el Jefe de la Fuerza Aérea, Teniente General

Andrey Kartopolov e Igor Makushev probaron la existencia de un avión ucranio que habría detenido el vuelo de Malaysia Airlines, tres minutos antes del accidente, estimando la distancia que lo separaba de MH-17 en 3-5 km.

Pero el Doc. 4444 (Reglas de Procedimientos Aéreos para Servicios de Navegación Aérea) emitido por la Organización Internacional de Aviación Civil, Artículo 7.4.4 indica que la mínima distancia permitida entre dos aviones se basa en su turbulencia. El Boeing 777 (peso 299.370 kg) pertenece a la categoría de avión pesado (H – Heavy). Entre esa categoría de aviones y un caza como el MiG-29 (peso 10-20 t), se requiere que los controladores de tráfico aéreo creen una distancia de pos lo menos 9,3 km. ¿Fue un error o una acción deliberada de los controladores de tráfico aéreo de Ucrania posicionar el caza ucranio a 3 km de distancia del vuelo MH-17? Cuando el Boeing 777 fue derribado, se encontraba a 48 km del punto de navegación Tamak, en el proceso de trasferir el control de vuelo de la región de control de Dnepropetrovsk (que es responsable por el espacio aéreo en Ucrania oriental) a la región de control de Rostov-na-Donu (el comienzo del espacio aérea ruso).

El mismo Documento 4444, Capítulo 7.5 (transferencia de control por radar) obliga a agencias del control de tráfico aéreo civil y militar ucranio (ACT) a una distancia mínima que permite la separación de radar entre el vuelo MH-17 y el caza ucranio, lo suficiente para asegurar la transferencia segura del avión civil al ACT ruso. Según el Documento 4444, la separación normal para aviones de la categoría H, seguida por el caza es por lo menos 11,1 km (fig. VI-VI-1A y 1B).

Los ucranios derribaron el avión, cuando el Boeing era trasferido por el ACT ucranio al ACT de los rusos.

Gracias a la evidencia presentada claramente, es posible que las autoridades civiles y militares ucranias estuvieran cooperando para derribar el Vuelo MH-17 desde un caza ucranio. ¿Por qué ocultan la ICAO y Eurocontrol esta flagrante violación de las reglas de navegación? Antes que el piloto del caza pudiera apuntar y abrir fuego hacia la sección de cabina del B-777, que es una sección de seis metros de largo, de una longitud total de 64,8 m, el B-777 debía entrar entero en la línea de vista del piloto del caza. El instrumento de avistamiento hace automáticamente cálculos que dan al piloto todos los parámetros necesarios para los proyectiles que alcanzaron el fuselaje del vuelo MH-17. La mejor manera de alcanzar la cabina era acercarse de modo casi perpendicular a la dirección del vuelo MH-17. En este caso el piloto del caza tenía las condiciones apropiadas para prepararse para disparar de la distancia de 900 m al B-777. Si la velocidad de aproximación del caza ucranio era de aproximadamente 280-300 metros por segundo, la repetición del ataque era imposible, y el piloto del caza ucranio tenía 3-4 segundos para todas esas maniobras. Esto podría ser el resultado de docenas de horas de entrenamiento en simuladores y condiciones de vuelo similares a aquellas existentes cuando el vuelo MH-17 fue derribado.

Fuente: http://www.globalresearch.ca/mh17-boeing-crash-investigation-dsb-report-hides-truth-plane-shot-down-by-ukrainian-aircraft/5400725

Traducido del inglés para Rebelión por Germán Leyens

The Smoking Guns of the 2001 Anthrax Attacks

September 15th, 2014 by Washington's Blog

Professor Graeme MacQueen has written a must-read book on the anthrax attacks on America: The 2001 Anthrax Deception.

Even those of us who have paid close attention to – and written broadly on – the 2001 anthrax attacks will learn stunning new information.

For example, we learned the following eye-opening facts from the book:

  • There was a set of 3 letters sent around the same time as the initial anthrax mailings, which attempted to frame the Russians for the anthrax attacks, and which warned of further attacks.  These letters could not have been sent by Dr. Bruce Ivins (the scientist the FBI blamed for the attacks), nor could they have been “copycat” letters
  • Less than 3 months before the anthrax attack, the government carried out a simulated exercise called “Dark Winter”, where: a lethal germ had been aerosolized then released; anonymous letters threatened anthrax attacks; Iraq and Al Qaeda are blamed for the attacks; and preparations are made for the drastic reduction of civil liberties in the United States, including martial law
  • The National Academy of Sciences found that the anthrax mailed to Congressmen and the media could have come from a different source altogether than the flask maintained by Ivins
  • The Department of Justice argued in a lawsuit that the anthrax used in the attacks was of a completely different nature (dried, aerosolized, and specially treated to act as a lethal weapon) than maintained by Dr. Ivins (a standard liquid solution):
  • PBS’ Frontline, ProPublica and McClatchy newspaper all found that Dr. Ivins was doing valid and important work during the timeframes when the FBI claims that he “went missing”
  • There is reason to suspect that the same people who carried out 9/11 also carried out the anthrax attacks

We’re not the only people who have already spent countless hours researching the anthrax attacks who MacQueen’s work enlightening. For example, Meryl Nass, M.D. – consultant on the prevention and mitigation of bioterrorism for the Director of National Intelligence and the World Bank, and an expert on anthrax vaccines – writes:

Finally, a book has come out that explodes the FBI’s anthrax letters case. Not only is there no evidence linking Army scientist Bruce Ivins to the crime–it turns out his famous flask of anthrax was never proven to be related to the attack spores! MacQueen peeks behind the curtain, showing that nothing about the anthrax letters case is as it seems.

And Dr. Francis A. Boyle – author of the U.S. domestic implementing legislation for the 1972 Biological Weapons Convention, and a Professor of International Law at the University of Illinois, Champaign – notes:

Professor MacQueen provides yet another piece of the puzzle connecting the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 to the immediately following anthrax attacks of October 2001 that were indisputably conducted by Agents of the United States government.

We agree with Denis J. Halliday – UN Assistant Secretary-General from 1994-98 – who says:

This deeply troubling book should be read by all thinking Americans.

Obama’s “Coalition of the Willing” against Syria, Iran

September 15th, 2014 by Peter Symonds

The Obama administration is rapidly putting together a “coalition of the willing” to ramp up its new war of aggression in the Middle East. Using the pretext of “degrading and destroying” Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militias, Washington has revived its plans, put on hold last year, directed at ousting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and also aimed against Syria’s backers, Iran and Russia.

Since Obama announced his war plans last Wednesday, US Secretary of State John Kerry has been criss-crossing the Middle East to drum up support for military action in Iraq and Syria and the arming and training of pro-Western militia inside both countries. France has already indicated its willingness to participate in air strikes in Iraq. Yesterday, the Australian government announced the dispatch of eight strike fighters and associated military aircraft, as well as 600 troops to the Middle East.

The latest barbaric ISIS beheading of British aid worker David Haines has proven very convenient for the British government, which last year was forced to pull out of the planned US-led air war against Syria. Amid widespread public opposition and divisions in ruling circles, British Prime Minister David Cameron lost a parliamentary vote authorising air strikes.

Just as Obama has exploited the ISIS murder of two American journalists to sway public opinion, temporarily at least, behind a new war in the Middle East, Cameron is attempting to do the same. Denouncing ISIS as “monsters” and the “embodiment of evil,” he declared that Britain would proceed with the US and its allies to “dismantle and ultimately destroy ISIL [ISIS] and what it stands for.” The British-based Telegraph reported yesterday that Cameron could announce air strikes as early as next week after attending the UN and reconvening parliament to authorise military intervention.

In reality, ISIS is a creation of the US and its allies. It emerged as Al Qaeda in Iraq amid the sectarian bloodletting unleashed by the American-led occupation of Iraq from 2003. It morphed into ISIS as part of the US-backed regime-change operations in Libya and Syria initiated in 2011. ISIS established its prominent position in Syria, not as a result of popular support by the Syrian people, but through arms, funds and fighters from American allies in the Middle East, particularly Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states.

The absurdity of US claims that it will train and arm “moderate” anti-Assad forces in Syria to fight ISIS is underscored by a report Friday by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights that ISIS had reached a ceasefire with “moderate and Islamist rebels.” An official from the pro-Western Syrian National Coalition, no doubt concerned that the report could jeopardise US arms and aid, vigorously denied that the Free Syrian Army (FSA) had reached anything other than a temporary truce to retrieve bodies. He noted, however, that he did not speak for the many other “moderate” and Islamist militias in Syria.

The Syrian opposition militias including ISIS, whatever their disputes and clashes, are united by their determination to oust Assad and unquestionably maintain close relations. The family of beheaded American journalist Steven Sotloff has reported that he was traded to ISIS by the “moderate” FSA for a sum of between $25,000 and $50,000. The FSA and other anti-Assad militias certainly welcome the prospect of American aid, training and arms but these will be directed primarily at the Syrian regime, not ISIS.

That is Washington’s objective as well. An article in yesterday’s New York Times based on discussions Obama held last week with senior journalists, former officials and foreign policy experts, drew attention to the way in which the war on ISIS could rapidly transform into a wider war to topple Assad.

“He [Obama] made clear the intricacy of the situation, though, as he contemplated the possibility that Mr Assad might order his forces to fire at American planes entering Syrian airspace,” the New York Times reported.

“If he dared to do that, Mr Obama said he would order American forces to wipe out Syria’s air defence system, which he noted would be easier than striking ISIS because its locations are better known. He went on to say that such an action by Mr Assad would lead to his overthrow.”

Of course, as it has done in the past, the US is quite capable of fabricating such an incident, if Assad does not order the military to respond to US air strikes, which are naked acts of aggression against a sovereign state. Nor would it simply be Syrian air defences that would be wiped out. Rather the Pentagon would set in motion plans drawn up at least a year ago to target the Syrian military and industrial base, including “command and control” centres, with Assad himself at the top of the list.

The wider US aims are also evident in the composition of the conference to be convened today in Paris to map out war plans. After France indicated that Iran might receive an invitation, US Secretary of State Kerry quickly ruled out the possibility, telling the media that it “would not be appropriate, given the many other issues that are on the table with respect to their engagement in Syria and elsewhere.” The last thing that Washington wants is for the Assad regime, or its backer Iran, itself a US target, to be part of the discussions.

Saudi Arabia, which was bitterly critical of Obama’s decision to call off air strikes against Syria last year, is only backing the new war because Riyadh understands it is directed against Assad, and also arch-rival Iran. The Saudi monarchy has agreed to provide the US with facilities to arm and train Syrian “moderates.” Last week Saudi Arabia hosted a gathering of 10 Arab states attended by Kerry that agreed to support efforts to destroy ISIS, including through their military involvement “as appropriate.”

As cited in yesterday’s New York Times, a senior US State Department official stated that at least some of the Arab countries had offered to take part in air strikes, including in Syria, and have been doing so for some time.

The scope of what is being prepared goes far beyond the US air strikes that have already taken place against ISIS inside Iraq. Even that has been grossly understated. The Pentagon has focused on the 156 airstrikes on ISIS vehicles, road blocks and other targets, but the number of sorties over the past month has been far higher—2,749 up until September 11, including reconnaissance and refueling missiles. With France, Australia, possibly Britain and also Arab countries involved, the US is preparing a devastating air war in Iraq and Syria.

What Israel Has Done After the Ceasefire

September 15th, 2014 by Omar Robert Hamilton

On 26 August a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas was agreed, bringing a fragile end to a war that killed 2150 Palestinians (mostly civilians) and 73 Israelis (mostly soldiers). Since then Hamas has not fired a single rocket, attacked an Israeli target, or done anything to break the terms of the ceasefire. Israel has done the following:

1. Annexed another 1500 acres of West Bank land
2. Seized $56 million of PA tax revenue
3. Not lifted the illegal blockade (as required by the ceasefire)
4. Broken the ceasefire by firing at fishermen on four separate occasions
5. Detained six fishermen
6. Killed a 22-year-old, Issa al Qatari, a week before his wedding
7. Killed 16-year-old Mohammed Sinokrot with a rubber bullet to the head
8. Tortured a prisoner to the point of hospitalisation
9. Refused 13 members of the European Parliament entry into Gaza
10. Detained at least 127 people across the West Bank, including a seven-year-old boy in Hebron and two children, aged seven and eight, taken from the courtyard of their house in Silwad – and tear-gassed their mother
11. Continued to hold 33 members of the Palestinian Legislative Council in prison
12. Continued to hold 500 prisoners in administrative detention without charge or trial
13. Destroyed Bedouin homes in Khan al Ahmar, near Jerusalem, leaving 14 people homeless, and unveiled a plan to forcibly move thousands of Bedouin away from Jerusalem into two purpose-built townships
14. Destroyed a dairy factory in Hebron whose profits supported an orphanage
15. Destroyed a family home in Silwan, making five children homeless
16. Destroyed a house in Jerusalem where aid supplies en route to Gaza were being stored
17. Destroyed a well near Hebron
18. Set fire to an olive grove near Hebron
19. Raided a health centre and a nursery school in Nablus, causing extensive damage
20. Destroyed a swathe of farmland in Rafah by driving tanks over it
21. Ordered the dismantling of a small monument in Jerusalem to Mohamed Abu Khdeir, murdered in July by an Israeli lynch mob
22. Continued building a vast tunnel network under Jerusalem
23. Stormed the al Aqsa mosque compound with a group of far right settlers
24. Assisted hundreds of settlers in storming Joseph’s Tomb in Nablus
25. Prevented students from entering al Quds University, firing stun grenades and rubber bullets at those who tried to go in
26. Earned unknown millions on reconstruction materials for Gaza, where 100,000 people need their destroyed homes rebuilt. The total bill is estimated at $7.8 billion

The Bureau of Investigative Journalism’s application to the Strasbourg Court challenges the government’s use of covert surveillance powers to access and analyse journalistic information. We say it is clearly contrary to fundamental human rights law.

The background to BIJ’s challenge is well known. Edward Snowden finally told us the facts.

The government uses the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to harvest huge quantities of our data. This includes the content of our digital material and communications. It also includes our communication data (or metadata) – the surrounding information about who we communicate with, how, when, from where and so on.

There is no targeting of subjects for these investigations by GCHQ (such as particular individuals or premises). Instead there is blanket collection of data in pursuit of broadly identified aims – such as the protection of national security and prevention of crime. Authorisations under RIPA are signed off routinely and on a rolling basis.

This data is then analysed using hugely sophisticated and intrusive programs to find out whatever it is the security state considers it needs to know.

RIPA was drafted before we all began to use digital communications and information storage in any meaningful way. It is not designed to protect our rights to privacy and freedom of expression – under Articles 8 and 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights respectively – in the digital age.

Everyone knows now that RIPA is therefore no longer “fit for purpose”.

The practical and legal consequences for journalists of this data harvesting are, however, less well known. BIJ’s case is concerned with these.

Related article: Bureau files ECHR case challenging UK government over surveillance of journalists’ communications

In the midst of the vast quantities of data being indiscriminately collected and analysed are large quantities of journalistic information. After all, journalism is a huge digital information industry in the UK. The days when journalists met their confidential sources in the snug bar and jotted down handwritten notes, or pocketed photocopied documents, are long gone. The tools of the trade are now computers and mobile devices. The leaks can come in gargantuan numbers of bytes.

No one knows anything about what GCHQ does with the journalistic information it pulls in. This is because, startlingly, neither the legislation nor government guidance about its use says anything at all about this.

But it is inevitable that some of GCHQ’s minute analysis of the data will be giving it selective access to confidential journalistic material and identifying sources. There is already much evidence that law enforcement agencies increasingly seek to access such information for their own purposes. It is an easy way of advancing their investigations. It can help to identify and deal with embarrassing whistleblowers and can forewarn of awkward stories in the offing. The same is true for the security and intelligence agencies.

Article 10 of the Convention, as interpreted by the Strasbourg Court, gives strong legal protections to those engaging in public interest journalism. It is these rights that BIJ argues are being flouted by this process.

In particular, such journalists are entitled to protect information which may identify a confidential source. Such sources are recognised as the lifeblood of investigative journalism. State enforced disclosure of this type of information deters future whistleblowers from approaching journalists. Journalistic activity is “chilled”. The journalists are less able to pass on important information and ideas to the public. In this process our Article 10 rights to receive the product of this journalism are interfered with by the state as well.

So Strasbourg has long made clear that this Article 10 right can only be overridden by an order of a judge. And the journalist must first have the opportunity to argue before the court that there is no competing public interest which makes such an order necessary. The law under the Convention is quite clear. Covert state surveillance and accessing of journalistic information cannot be used to circumvent these important rights.

Other journalistic information and activity can only be the subject of such covert surveillance in certain circumstances. Most importantly it must be carried out under laws which are clear, accessible and foreseeable in their effects. These laws must give journalists an adequate indication of how these discretionary surveillance powers might be used against them. They also have to provide protection against arbitrary or disproportionate surveillance measures.

The Court of Human Rights recently spelt this out in a case brought by two Dutch investigative journalists subjected to covert surveillance. In finding their Article 10 rights had been violated the Court said:

“…where, as here, a power of the executive is exercised in secret, the risks of arbitrariness are evident. Since the implementation in practice of measures of secret surveillance is not open to scrutiny by the individuals concerned or the public at large, it would be contrary to the rule of law for the legal discretion granted to the executive to be expressed in terms of an unfettered power. Consequently, the law must indicate the scope of any such discretion conferred on the competent authorities and the manner of its exercise with sufficient clarity, having regard to the legitimate aim of the measure in question, to give the individual adequate protection against arbitrary interference.”

This is exactly what UK law and practice under RIPA fails to do. In fact there is no clarity at all – let alone insufficient clarity.

The way in which our state security apparatus is using the journalistic material it collects is in flagrant breach of these basic human rights norms. No one can seriously argue that collection of this material is not arbitrary and disproportionate. Indeed this is the whole point of the exercise.

So BIJ has decided to challenge the government. Of course we must have state surveillance laws to protect us against serious harm. But they must meet international standards and should only be used against journalists where strictly necessary in a democracy. This is what the Convention says and it is time the UK started to listen.

 

Barghouti is special. He’s important. He’s multi-faceted. He’s a man for all seasons. He’s a physician, political activist, and human rights champion. He supports nonviolent resistance. He’s a Palestinian National Initiative (PNI) co-founder. He currently serves as secretary-general.

PNI aims to build Palestinian unity. It does so in struggling for self-determination. It does it by promoting democratic values.

Barghouti is a Palestinian Legislative Council/PLO member. He’s a former presidential candidate. Israel rigged Abbas’ 2005 election to deny him. He was harassed while campaigning. He was intimidated. He was arrested. He was expelled from East Jerusalem. He was excluded from Nablus and Gaza. He was prevented from  competing fairly against Israel’s preferred choice.

Israel rigged things for Abbas. He lacked legitimacy from day one in office. He has none now.

Barghouti is genuine. He’s polar opposite Abbas. He’s a grassroots democracy advocate. He’s president of the Palestinian Medical Relief Committee. It provides health and community services for over one million Palestinians annually. He heads the Health Department Information and Policy Institute. It’s a Ramallah-based think tank. It specializes in policy research and planing for the Palestinian healthcare system. He co-founded the Grassroots International Protection for the Palestinian People. He formerly served as Palestinian People’s Party general-secretary. He’s an Oxford Research Group associate. It’s dedicated to developing effective methods for positive change on security issues through non-violent means.

Barghouti is well-known. He enjoys worldwide respect. Nobel Peace Prize recipient Mairead Maguire nominated him for the 2010 award. She was “inspired by the life and work of Dr. Barghouti whose commitment to nonviolence, in his personal and public life, is truly in the Ghandian spirit.” Honoring Barghouti “would be a recognition of not only his great spirit of peace and nonviolence, but also the Palestinian Nonviolent Movement, which gives us all hope for the future of Palestine, Israel and the Middle East Community,” she explained.

Britain’s parliament passed a motion. It paid tribute to his nomination. It cited his “invaluable role…in organizing and encouraging Palestinian civil society in the fundamental principles of non-violence.” It acknowledged “the tirelessness of his activities in the face of so many seemingly insurmountable obstacles that face all Palestinians living under Israeli occupation whether that be in the West Bank or imprisoned in Gaza.”

In 2010, France awarded Barghouti its Legion of Honor (Legion d’Honneur). Napoleon established it in May 1802. It was the first modern-day order of merit. It’s France’s highest honor. It’s awarded for excellent civil or military service.

Throughout Operation Protective Edge (OPE), Barghouti debunked the official narrative. He denounced Israeli high crimes. He separated myths from reality. War didn’t start in Gaza, he said. It began in the West Bank. It had nothing to do with Hamas rockets. Israel bears full responsibility. It does so for state-sponsored terrorism.

The dominant narrative called it self-defense. Justifiable Palestinian resistance is called terrorism. During OPE, Israel rampaged throughout the territories. It did so multiple times daily. It terrorized West Bank/East Jerusalem communities. It invaded over 3,000 homes. It ransacked them. It destroyed many. It stole money and other personal possessions. It used tear gas, stun grenades, rubber-coated steel bullets and live fire against peaceful Palestinian demonstrators. It arrested over 1,000 Palestinians. They included parliamentarians doing their jobs.

Nearly three dozens are lawlessly imprisoned. They languish in Israel’s gulag. Conditions are brutal. Torture is official Israeli policy. Horrific abuses are commonplace.

OPE was much more than war on Hamas. It was war on Palestine. It was collective punishment writ large. Dozens of families were annihilated to the last man, woman and child. “Entire neighborhoods…were completely eliminated within 24 hours,” said Barghouti. Eight hospitals were attacked. So were clinics, ambulances and healthcare workers. Palestinian journalists were murdered in cold blood.

Obama and other world leaders ignored Israeli aggression. They defended its right to mass murder and destroy. “(N)ot a single word” supported Palestinians’ right of self-defense, said Barghouti. “The Palestinians are the ones whose land has been occupied for 47 years, who have been forced into displacement and refugee status since 1948, (and who suffer) from a system of apartheid, discrimination and segregation created by the Israeli occupation.” Yet nothing is said in their behalf. Reality is turned on its head.

Israeli suffering is considered unique. Extreme Palestinian misery is ignored. They dehumanized. Their lives and well-being aren’t important. They faced the world’s fourth most powerful army. They did so with light arms and ineffective rockets. Israeli began OPE. It did so lawlessly. Palestinians were victimized. It wasn’t the first time. It won’t be the last.

Instigators are called victims. Real ones are called perpetrators and terrorists. Civilians suffer most in all wars. Palestinians suffer under the longest occupation in modern memory. Palestine’s longstanding struggle affects Israel, said Barghouti. “Israelis will never be free as long as we are not free,” he stresses. What’s been ongoing for decades must stop, he says. “(I)mpunity and reality must be exposed.”

Enough is enough! No longer can longstanding injustice continue. Things must change. The official Israeli narrative must be challenged. “Please see the reality,” says Barghouti. “Look at the facts.” Truths must replace fiction. Peace, equity, and justice can’t wait.

The Palestinian Solidarity Campaign (PSC) champions Palestinian peace and stability. It deplores militarism, war and other forms of violence. It calls human rights laws inviolable. It wants violators held accountable.

On September 9, Barghouti addressed PSC members. He did so in London. He discussed what he saw and experienced in Gaza. “Thank you for everything you have done for Palestine and Gaza,” he said. “We have been watching the demonstrations. What you have done has given the people a great amount of moral support and I hope you can continue with this, because it is very important.”

“(S)olidarity work” is vital, he stressed. “(W)e have a very, very big fight ahead of us.” No one can comprehend what happened without living it. “No footage, no speech, no camera, no television can really show the reality that you can see with your own eyes,” he said. “Please go there if you can. It’s so important for you to know the reality, and (vital) for (Gazans) to see you there.”

“What happened is beyond description. Even describing it as an act of disproportionality is an insult to humanity. Describing it as an imbalance of power is also an insult. After slaughtering thousands of people and destroying thousands of homes and to speak about reconstruction and to immediately allow Israeli companies to make a profit from this is also an insult to humanity. What happened in Gaza, as has happened before in the West Bank is nothing but war crimes and crimes against humanity. What happened was nothing but massacres against the civilian population and Israel couldn’t have done that without a feeling of impunity and without having impunity from international law, and this couldn’t have happened if so many Western world leaders hadn’t been complicit in what happened.”

They support Israeli genocidal high crimes against peace. They ignore Palestinian suffering. They do virtually nothing to relieve it. They let business as usual continue. Status quo conditions remain. After endless days of meaningless discussions, Barghouti expressed disgust with “diplomatic talk.”

He showed pictures of what he saw. It exceeded some of the worst WW II devastated areas in some places, he said. “This was not about one house being destroyed and the house next to it being destroyed,” he explained. “This was intentional bombardment by the Israeli army and navy and air force to destroy whole neighborhoods.”

Shujaya was completely destroyed. “It was a town. It was was a city with 150,000 people…Every house, every clinic, every mosque, every building was destroyed. Even a home for people with disabilities was destroyed. The destruction was beyond belief, and it is there for people who want to see. Huge buildings, of five, six, seven, eight storeys were completely destroyed. I have never seen even in films such a level of devastation. I saw one bomb which caused a half a square kilometer hole in the ground.”

The toll throughout Gaza was horrific, said Barghouti. It was devastating. It’s catastrophic. It includes:

“18,000 homes and buildings destroyed completely, 41,000 houses partially damaged, 145 schools, eight hospitals, 13 health centers damaged. 180 mosques damaged, 71 destroyed completely. Even cemeteries were bombarded, 10 bombarded, nine Muslim cemeteries, one Christian cemetery. They bombarded the graves.” The bones of the dead became visible. “The amount of explosives they used was beyond description. Tens of thousands of Gazans lost virtually everything. Their homes, belongings, money, papers, photos, passports, and memories unable to “be brought back even if there is reconstruction. That is what (Israel) did to people.” It “insult(ed) humanity.”

It mass  murdered Palestinians in cold blood.

Nearly half million Gazans lost their homes and personal possessions. Their loved ones are lost forever.

Many still live in shelters. “In huge numbers.”

“I almost cried when I was asked to see a girl in one of these shelters. She has cancer which has taken away her sight and she was half paralyzed. Her mother was with her also. She had to be inside the room with 50 other people. Very hot, very humid, no showers, no clean water. That’s what happened to these people when they went into these shelters. We found evidence of scabies, and gastroenteritis and hepatitis. Some people decided to live in the rubble rather than in the shelters, because it was so humiliating to live without any privacy. Sometimes they still find people who are dead under the destruction. Towers, high rises, they were all destroyed. Huge devastation. This building hosted 80 families. In two minutes, it was destroyed. There was a man, 82 years old, who told me he spent all his life building a house and a family. He had a house with four storys and 28 sons and daughters and grandchildren. He went to pray during Ramadan, one evening. He came back. The house was completely destroyed, his wife was killed. All the 28 sons and daughters and grandsons and granddaughters were killed. 91 families were completely annihilated. 91 families were scratched from the civil records in these attacks.”

If Gaza’s population matched America’s, “you(‘d) (have had) 400,000 killed and 1,934,000 injured, almost two million.”

“(H)ow can a country that claims to be…civilized…that has a very special relationship with the United Kingdom, that keeps speaking about the right to defend itself, ask them, how can they be allowed to,” commit mass murder and destruction with impunity. Shrapnel from its explosives cut everything. It’s “all over the place.” “It includes very dangerous material. Tungsten and other material that is carcinogenic, and depleted uranium.”

UN safe haven refugees were willfully attacked. Israel blamed Hamas for its own crimes. It used prohibited weapons. They included “(d)ime bombs, tungsten, depleted uranium,” white phosphorous that burns skin to the bone, flechettes and others. Israel wanted maximum destruction, deaths and injuries. Civilians were willfully targeted. It’s official Israeli policy.

IDF attacks “destroyed water networks, sewage systems,” said Barghouti.

“They destroyed the only electricity station in Gaza. And they created epidemics. Up until now, in the best case scenario, people in Gaza have electricity for only six hours a day. What would you do if you could not have showers every day because the water is so saline? What would you do in a place where 90% of water sources are polluted and salinated, and not good for human use? The devastation is unbelievable. They attacked 36 ambulances. They killed 22 first aid and health providers. They devastated eight hospitals. They killed 18 journalists and attacked seven UNWRA schools. They killed five people in Shifa hospital. Two disabled women were killed in a disabled centre. 450 factories were destroyed. Farms were destroyed. Today there is no meat in Gaza, because all the sheep were killed in the attacks. The soil is so covered in chemicals that it’s not good for human use, for farming. Israel attacked Gaza in 2006, in 2008, in 2013 and in 2014. In 2014, there was one hundred times more destruction and more explosives than in all three previous wars. Why? Because they are testing the world. They are testing you. They are testing every single person in humanity to see how much you can tolerate. This is what the fascists did before. The fascists tested humanity to see how much it would resist and now it is time to resist Israel.”

Fascism grips Israel. Democracy is pure fantasy. Palestinians have no rights. Gazans face slow-motion genocide. An entire population is up for grabs. World leaders able to make a difference do nothing. They support Israel’s killing machine. Israel “tried to dehumanize us as Palestinians,” said Barghouti. “First they tried to dehumanize Hamas, then all Palestinians. Netanyahu even has the guts to try and compare Hamas with ISIS.”

It’s totally unacceptable to let Israel claim self-defense.

“This is not self-defense,” said Barghouti. “This is offense. Israel shouldn’t be allowed this level of impunity. Enough is enough. We have to take them to the International Criminal Court. The PLO must immediately sign the Rome Statute and take Israel to the ICC. (T)his inhumanity can’t continue. There’s only one way out.”

Boycott, divest, sanction, isolate and prosecute Israeli officials for high crimes against peace.

“(D)ismantle this occupation and this apartheid” once and for all. Afford Palestinians justice they’ve long been denied.

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.

The Root Cause of the Latest Resurgence of Anti-Semitism in Britain

September 14th, 2014 by Anthony Bellchambers

It is presumably because the recently appointed British Government Chief Whip has married into the Jewish faith that is the reason for his zeal in condemning the recent resurgence in antisemitism and, frankly, any initiative that serves to combat this unreasoning hatred, should be vigorously supported. Certainly, the last thing that either Britain, or Europe, needs is a resurgence of a racial prejudice that ended in the indescribable horror of the Holocaust and the extermination of six million souls during World War 2.

However, the energy of the Chief Whip might be better targeted if he were to examine the actual root cause of this latest resurgence of antisemitism and, if so, he might alight upon the fairly obvious fact that the key driver is the policy agenda of the current Israeli government and its continuing acts of illegal expropriation of Palestinian land in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. It is clear that these land-grabs constitute a concerted effort to flout international law and to implement the Likud Charter that rejects the establishment of an independent state for the indigenous Palestinian people.

However, if the Chief Whip were to be successful in effecting a paradigm shift, not only in the agenda of the Netanyahu government but, equally importantly, in his own government and in those members of the Diaspora who indiscriminately support the Netanyahu administration and its illegal settlements, then it is likely that this new antisemitism could be reduced to a level of mere irritation as compared to the now, very real and dangerous threat.

PS. It is public domain knowledge – only perhaps not in UK – that the seven year old, Israeli blockade of Gaza is not, as claimed, to prevent the smuggling of weapons but is, in fact, a blatant and illegal attempt to effect regime change of a democratically elected government. To date, it has failed.

Note

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/11/world/middleeast/gaza-strip-israel-criminal-investigation.html?ref=middleeast&_r=0

July 14, 2014 (Chile) – Verdad Ahora analyzed the positions of the United States, Israel and Turkey in regards to the emergence of the militant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as part of the Anglo-American project of sectarian division promoting the geopolitical reconfiguration of the Middle East.

An interview was conducted with sociologist Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, researcher at the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) and columnist for the Strategic Culture Foundation.

Nazemroaya explains the US “Strategy of Redirection” and how it is tied into the development of ISIL. He also explains what the Yinon Plan is and the Western project to redraw the regional map with a “New Middle East.”

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For the Spanish transcript of the interview, please click here.

Last week, Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, announced the intention of the Israeli state to further expand Israeli settlements in the West Bank in an attempt to annex an additional 400 hectares of Palestinian land. A further escalation of this program so soon after the onslaught on the Palestinian people has sparked outrage both inside and outside the state of Israel.

The 50-day war fought between Hamas and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) concluded only last week, a war which left over 2,100 Palestinians dead - 70% of which were civilians according to the United Nations (UN) – and 70 Israeli’s dead, 64 of which were soldiers.  Israel has been widely condemned for violating international law and committing war crimes in Gaza during ‘Operative Protective Edge’.  In July, Bolivian President Evo Morales denounced Israel as a “terrorist state” and filed a request with the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to prosecute Israel for “crimes against humanity”.

Israeli settlements are initiatives that build Israeli civilian communities in occupied Palestinian land, with the settlements “grossly illegal under international law”.  A UN fact-finding mission in 2012/2013 concluded that the settlements violated “international humanitarian law”, in addition to the programs being “developed through a system of total segregation”:

“The settlements have been established and developed at the expense of violating international human rights laws and international humanitarian law” (p.20).

The report continues:

“The settlements are established for the exclusive benefit of Israeli Jews; settlements are being maintained and developed through a system of total segregation between the settlers and the rest of the population living in the OPT. This system of segregation is supported and facilitated by a strict military and law enforcement control to the detriment of the rights of the Palestinian population” (p.20).

The Power of the Israeli Lobby

Britain and the US are home to two of the most powerful Israeli lobbying groups on the planet, with both nations’ foreign policies considerably shaped by organisations loyal to Israel. A 2009 investigative documentary in Britain asserted that 50% of the conservative cabinet were members of the Conservative Friends of Israel (CFI), a pro-Israel lobbying group founded in 1974 by Michael Fidler. According to the documentary, £10m was donated to the conservative party over a period of 10 years in return for support to the state of Israel and their policies. David Cameron was also accused in 2009 of accepting £15,000 from Poju Zabludowicz, the chair of the ‘British Israel Communications and Research Centre’ (BICOM) at the time. The film exposes that Zabludowicz has business interests in an illegal West Bank settlement.

Cameron has repeatedly supported Israel’s right to defend itself since taking office in Britain, leading many to question if Cameron’s political allegiance to Israel is a direct result of membership and financing by the Israeli lobby? One politician in the UK who is not controlled by the CFI is Sayeeda Warsi, who showed incredible courage and moral fibre after resigning over the UK’s “morally indefensible” policy on Gaza last month.

In America, one of the most pre-eminent lobbying groups in Washington is the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), a pro-Israel organisation that promotes strong US-Israeli relations and funds political campaigns. Barack Obama revealed his close relationship with the group during an AIPAC conference that he delivered a speech at, describing the “bond between the United States and Israel” as “unbreakable forever”:

“I know that when I visit AIPAC I’m among friends – good friends, who share my strong commitment to make sure that the bond between the United States and Israel is unbreakable today, unbreakable tomorrow – unbreakable forever.”

AIPAC’s education arm is the American Israel Education Foundation (AIEF), which organises expeditions for US politicians to Israel. In 2011, AIEF spent $2m on arranging “one-sided congressional trips to Israel” which negated the Palestinian perspective on the situation and failed to even take the politicians to the Gaza Strip. An example of the biased nature of these trips was when Rep. Mike Pompeo visited Israel on a nine-day tour of the region. Over the course of his visit he only spent one hour talking with a Palestinian official.

Western Politicians Ensure Israel Avoids Prosecution

As Israeli Professor of History, IIan Pappe, wrote in an article titled: ‘The Historical Perspectives of the 2014 Gaza Massacre’, the West often protects Israel from prosecution at the “international court of Justice”:

“The political elites in the West continue to provide the old immunity to the Jewish state. The recent appeal by Western governments to the prosecutor in the international court of Justice in The Hague not to look into Israel’s crimes in Gaza is a case in point. Wide sections of the Western media followed suit and justifies by and large Israel’s actions.”

Pappe continues to argue that the international community has to stop deploying “double standards” in relation to Israel’s crimes to have any legitimacy and effectiveness in dealing with other atrocities around the world:

“A world that would stop employing double standards in its dealing with Israel is a world that could be far more effective in its response to war crimes elsewhere in the world. Cessation of the incremental genocide in Gaza and the restitution of the basic human and civil right of Palestinians wherever they are, including the right of return, is the only way to open a new vista for a productive international intervention in the Middle East as a whole.”

Considering the relationship between Western leaders and the Israeli lobby however, it remains highly unlikely that Israel will ever be prosecuted under international law for the crimes they have committed in Palestine.

Steven MacMillan is an independent writer, researcher, geopolitical analyst and editor of  The Analyst Report, especially for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”.  This article was first by New Eastern Outlook. 

Meet The 25 Billionaires Who Control Everything

September 14th, 2014 by Blacklisted News

The Brookings Institution think-tank has just released a list of the 25 US billionaires with the most political power. You can access an interactive graphic on the Brookings Institute website.

The list is a part of Brookings Institution Governance Studies Director Darrell West’s forthcoming book Billionaires: Reflections on the Upper Crust. The book argues that the wealthy are more politically engaged than the general public. Research has found that 99 percent of the top 1% of wealth holders vote in presidential elections, nearly double the rate of the general public.

This is likely due to the fact that the super wealthy know that political engagement matters, and being involved in politics yields results. While the general public is busy turning a cynical eye to elections, seeing little difference between Democrats and Republicans, the ultra rich are buying up our government and influencing domestic and foreign affairs.

Hover Over a Billionaire’s Photo (Click to See More Details)

Static image

U.S. Billionaire Political Power Index: America's Billionaires ranked By Overall Political Influence

Copyright Brookings Institute, 2014

# Names
1 Charles & David Koch
2 Michael Bloomberg
3 Tom Steyer
4 Sheldon Adelson
5 George Soros
6 Rupert Murdoch
7 Bill and Melinda Gates
8 John and Laura Arnold
9 Penny Pritzker
10 Warren Buffett
11 Peter Thiel
12 Mark Zuckerberg
13 Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos
14 Pierre and Pamela Omidyar
15 Paul Singer
16 Peter G. Peterson
17 Marc Andreessen
18 Donald Trump
19 Alice Walton

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West notes that much of the debate of how wealth influences politics suffers from an ideological fallacy.

Progressives raise alarm when conservative billionaires are politically active, yet are quick to praise the efforts of the left-leaning rich. Alternately, conservatives fear when liberal billionaires put money into elections but celebrate the advocacy efforts of their own billionaires and special interest groups. West argues that each side misses the challenges raised by billionaire activism for the entire system. The extensive resources and advocacy efforts of the super wealthy provoke concerns about “political influence, transparency and accountability.”

During this time of “high income concentration and dysfunctional political institutions” it is important that the general public understand just how much money impacts politics.

While the United States, United Kingdom and NATO are pushing for war with Russia, it behoves people and their governments around the world to take a clear stand for peace and against violence and war, no matter where it comes from.

We are at a dangerous point in our history of the human family and it would be the greatest of tragedies for ourselves and our children if we simply allowed the war profiteers to take us into a third world war, resulting in the death of untold millions of people.

NATO’s decision at its summit in Wales (September 4-5) to create a new 4,000 strong rapid reaction force for initial deployment in the Baltics is a dangerous path for us all to be forced down, and could well lead to a third world war if not stopped. What is needed now are cool heads and people of wisdom and not more guns, more weapons, more war.

NATO is the leadership which has been causing the ongoing wars from the present conflict in the Ukraine, to Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and others.

NATO’s latest move commits its 28 member states to spend two percent of their gross domestic product on the military, and to establish a series of three to five bases in Eastern Europe where equipment and supplies will be pre-positioned to help speed deployments, among other measures.

“We are at a dangerous point in our history of the human family and it would be the greatest of tragedies for ourselves and our children if we simply allowed the war profiteers to take us into a third world war, resulting in the death of untold millions of people.”

This decision by the United States/NATO to create a high readiness force with the alleged purpose of countering an alleged Russian threat reminds me of the war propaganda of lies, half-truths, insinuations and rumours to which we were all subjected in order to try to soften us all up for the Iraq war and subsequent horrific wars of terror which were carried out by NATO allied forces.

According to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OCSE) observation team, NATO’s reports, including its satellite photos which show Russian combat forces engaged in military operations inside sovereign territory of Ukraine, were based on false evidence.

While NATO is busy announcing a counter-invasion to the non-existent Russian invasion of Ukraine, people in Ukraine are calling out for peace and negotiations, for political leadership which will bring them peace, not weapons and war.

This spearhead military force will be provided by allies in rotation and will involve also air, sea and special forces. We are also informed by a NATO spokesperson that this force will be trained to deal with unconventional actions, from the funding of separatist groups to the use of social media, intimidation and black propaganda.

No doubt the current Western media’s demonisation of President Vladimir Putin and the Russian people, by trying to inculcate fear and hatred of them, is part of the black propaganda campaign.

NATO’s latest proposals of 4,000 soldiers, and a separate force of 10,000 strong British-led joint expeditionary force also proposed, is a highly aggressive and totally irresponsible move by the United States, United Kingdom and NATO. It is breaches the 1997 agreement with Moscow under which NATO pledged not to base substantial numbers of soldiers in Eastern Europe on a permanent basis.

NATO should have been disbanded when the Warsaw Pact disintegrated but it was not and is now controlled by the United States for its own agenda. When speaking of NATO, one of President Bill Clinton’s officials said “America is NATO”. Today NATO, instead of being abolished, is re-inventing itself in re-arming and militarising European states and justifying its new role by creating enemy images – be they Russians, IS (the Islamic State), and so on.

In an interdependent, interconnected world, struggling to build fraternity, economic cooperation and human security, there is no place for the Cold War policies of killing and threats to kill and policies of exceptionalism and superiority. The world has changed. People do not want to be divided and they want to see an end to violence, militarism and war.

The old consciousness is dysfunctional and a new consciousness based on an ethic of non-killing and respect and cooperation is spreading. It is time for NATO to recognise that its violent policies are counterproductive. The Ukraine crisis, groups such as the Islamic State, etc., will not be solved with guns, but with justice and through dialogue.

Above all, the world needs hope. It needs inspirational political leadership and this could be given if President Barack Obama and President Putin sat down together to solve the Ukraine conflict through dialogue and negotiation and in a non-violent way.

We live in dangerous times, but all things are possible, all things are changing … and peace is possible.

New EU sanctions target Russian finance, energy and defense sectors. They restrict state-owned energy giants Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft (its oil subsidiary) from raising capital in European markets. They prohibit buying their 30-day yield bonds and equities of any kind.

Five state-owned banks were targeted. They include Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB) and Rosselkhozbank. They’re prohibited from raising capital in EU markets. Purchasing newly issued bonds and other securities with maturities over 30 days are banned.

Sanctions affect three major Russian defense companies. They include UralVagonZavod (UVZ), Oboronprom and United Aircraft Corporation (UAC). Purchasing and selling their bonds with maturities over 30 days is prohibited.

Nine other defense companies were targeted. They include the Sirius Concern, OJSC Stankoinstrument, Khimkompozit, the Kalashnikov Concern, the Tula Arms Plant, Technologii Mashinostroyeniya, Vysokotochnye Kompleksy, the Almaz-Antei Concern, and Bazalt.

Purchasing their dual-purpose technologies is prohibited.

Twenty-four more Russian officials were blacklisted. In total, 119 are sanctioned. New names added include:

Liberal Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) leader Vladimir Zhironovsky.

Federation Council Deputy Chairman Yury Vorobyov.

Rosoboronexport Board Chairman Sergey Chemezov.

Duma Deputy Speakers Vladimir Vasilyev, Ivan Melnikov, Igor Lebedev, and Nikolai Levichev.

Deputy Duma Committee on International Affairs heads Leonid Kalashnikov and Svetlana Zhurova.

Deputy Duma Committee on the Affairs of the CIS and the European Integration heads Vladimir Nikitin and Oleg Lebedev.

Duma deputy Alexander Babakov.

MP and Cossack Troops commander Viktor Vodolatsky.

Airborne troops 76th division commander Alexei Naumets.

Crimea’s official Moscow representative Georgy Muradov.

First Deputy Crimean Prime Minister Mikhail Sheremet.

Blacklisted names include eight Novorossiya leaders. They include:

Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko.

DPR’s Defense Minister Vladimir Kononov.

Donbass self-defense forces leader Miroslav Rudenko.

Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) Prime Minister Gennady Tsypkalov.

DPR’s Security Minister Andrey Pinchuk.

Its Interior Minister Oleg Bereza.

Its official Moscow representative Andrei Rodkin.

Its social affairs Vice-Premier Alexander Karaman.

Sanctioned individuals are prohibited from entering EU territory. Assets held in European banks, if any, are frozen. Sanctions targeted services Russia needs for Arctic oil and gas extraction, as well as deep sea and shale exploration projects. On Thursday, Russia’s Foreign Ministry said EU sanctions won’t go unanswered. It called imposing them devoid of logic and common sense.

They compromise already deteriorating relations. They’re polar opposite what’s badly needed. Russia’s Foreign Ministry said the following:

“Making this step, the EU actually made its choice against the process of peace settlement of the intra-Ukrainian crisis, support for which is expected from all responsible forces in Europe. Today, Brussels and heads of EU member states should give a clear answer to EU citizens why they are subjected to the risks of confrontation, economic stagnation and loss of jobs. Give people a chance for peace at last,” it stressed.

Sergey Lavrov called imposing more sanctions an attempt to throw Russia off balance. Its EU Ambassador Vladimir Chizhov said they’re devoid of elementary logic at a time Russia went all-out to resolve Ukrainian crisis conditions responsibly. Punishing good policy is madness. Doing so shows other motives are pursued. Europe leaves Russia no other choice than to adopt comparable countermeasures.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin called EU sanctions a strategic error and gross miscalculation.

“It’s not so much the (targeted sectors they’re) punishing,” he said. “They’re trying to punish the whole nation because the sanctions against the financial sector, the manufacturing sector, the oil and gas sector are the sanctions aimed at damaging the life of ordinary Russians. They think they can sting us somehow this way because the sanctions against the defense manufacturing industries signal an attempt to enfeeble us physically, and I think that’s a strategic error on the part of the West.”

On September 12, the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) imposed more sanctions. Secretary Jack Lew lied, saying:

“Given Russia’s direct military intervention and blatant efforts to destabilize Ukraine, we have deepened our sanctions against Russia today, in concert with our European allies. These steps underscore the continued resolve of the international community against Russia’s aggression. Russia’s economic and diplomatic isolation will continue to grow as long as its actions do not live up to its words. It is essential that Russia work with Ukraine and other international partners to find a lasting settlement to the conflict. If Russia does so, these new sanctions could be suspended. If instead Russia chooses to continue its violations of international law, the costs will continue to rise. As in all of the sanctions steps we have taken, we have designed the actions announced today to deliver significant pressure on the targets of our sanctions while safeguarding, to the extent possible, global financial markets and the global economy.”

Fact check:

Washington bears full responsibility for Ukrainian crisis conditions. It ousted its democratically elected government. It installed neo-Nazi-infested putschists. They have no legitimacy whatever.

Throughout months of conflict, Russia has gone all-out for diplomatic conflict resolution. Western sanctions aim to marginalize, contain, weaken and isolate Russia. Perhaps in the end they’ll backfire. Pursuant to Executive Order 13662 dated March 24, 2014: Blocking Property of Additional Persons Contributing to the Situation in Ukraine (to include Russian commerce, industry and finance), OFAC targeted five Russian defense companies. They classified them as Specialty Designated Nationals (SDNs).

At the same time, the US Commerce Department’s Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) added five Russian energy and defense companies to its Entity List. It subjects targeted businesses and other organizations to specific license requirements for export, re-export, and/or transfer (in country) of specified items. In targeting Russia, it imposed special conditions intended to impede commerce.

New US measures overall restrict:

  • targeted industries’ dual-use products and technologies;
  • services related to deep water oil exploration and production, Arctic oil exploration and production, as well as Russian shale projects;
  • services related to Common Military List products and technologies; and
  • access to capital markets.

Previous dual use restrictions applied only on products and technologies sold, supplied, transferred, or exported to Russia for military use or to a military end-user. New sanctions outright ban these products and services listed in the EU Dual-Use Regulation. It does so if sale, supply, transfer or export is to one of the targeted Russian companies. They include:

JSC Sirius, OJSC Stankoinstrument, OAO JSC Chemcomposite, JSC Kalashnikov, JSC Tula Arms Plant, NPK Technologii Maschinostrojenija, OAO Wysokototschnye Kompleksi, OAO Almaz Antey and OAO NPO Bazalt.

New Regulation restrictions prohibit related technical help, brokering services, and financial assistance. They’re much broader than previously in banning services relating to Arctic and other deep water exploration and production, as well as Russian shale oil projects.

Insurance and reinsurance prohibitions are imposed on the sale, supply, transfer or export of Common Military List products and technologies. Capital market restrictions affect bonds, equities and money market instruments with maturities exceeding 30 days. Sberbank, VTB bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank (VEB), Rosselkhozbank are targeted.

Twenty-four new individuals were blacklisted. In total, 119 are sanctioned. Designated entities number 23.

US and EU sanctions prohibit making funds and/or economic resources available directly or indirectly to targeted companies or individuals. They include dealings with suppliers, banks, agents, distributors, other intermediaries, or entities owned or controlled by targeted entities or persons.

It bears repeating. Russia strongly condemned new sanctions. According to Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich: “On many levels, the Russian leadership has made it clear that we’ll take adequate measures, and our response will be absolutely comparable with the actions by the EU” and America.

Sanctions wars continue. They cut both ways. They come when weakening EU economies can least afford them. It remains to be seen how badly they’ll be hurt. In the long run, Russia’s economy may be helped. It’s diversifying effectively. Its energy deal with China is hugely beneficial. It’s trading more with Eastern and BRICS countries. It’s reducing its dependency on Europe. It’s transforming its economic relationships effectively. It’s polar opposite counterproductive US/EU policy. It stands to gain overall longterm. Expect sanctioning Russia to fail.

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

14 de jul, 2014 (República de Chile) - Verdad Ahora analizó la posición de Estados UnidosIsrael y Turquía frente al progresivo avance de los militantes del Estado Islámico de Irak y el Levante, y los proyectos de división sectaria y reconfiguración geopolítica promovidos por el establishment anglo-americano en Medio Oriente, con el sociólogo e investigador del Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG) y la Strategic Culture Foundation de Moscú, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya.

Mahdi explicó en qué consiste la estrategia estadounidense conocida como la Redirección, así como también el Plan Yinon y el proyecto del “Nuevo Medio Oriente” impulsado por las potencias de Occidente en la región.

Transcripción

VA: Mahdi, ¿cuál es la situación actual en Irak? ¿Cuáles son las principales fuerzas en terreno? Tenemos que preguntarnos si el ISIS, verdaderamente, está luchando solo, o si cuenta con otros aliados.

Mahdi: Bueno, antes de hablar de la fuerzas en terreno me gustaría hablar primero de lo que ocurre en Irak. El país está literalmente dividido en más de tres secciones: las zonas que el ISIS controla – yo le llamo ISIL, Estado Islámico de Irak y el Levante. De hecho, cambiaron su nombre al de Estado Islámico. Ha tenido cuatro o cinco cambios de nombre. También hay zonas controladas por gente que tiene problemas con el actual gobierno, hay cierta confusión respecto a eso. Y también está el norte de Irak que está bajo control del Gobierno Regional del Kurdistán, y en las últimas semanas o días el gobierno del Kurdistán, que es liderado por el presidente Barzani, del clan Barzani del Kurdistán iraquí, ha expandido su territorio y de hecho han enviado sus fuerzas de seguridad – los Peshmerga – a Kirkuk, que es un importante centro petrolero, que ahora está bajo su control. Y luego está el gobierno federal de Bagdad que controla el sur y parte de al-Anbar, el suroeste; y la frontera con Irán hasta el Kurdistán.

Respecto a los actores externos, justo ayer un representante del gobierno de coalición de Bagdad declaró que tropas israelíes han entrado, fuerzas especiales israelíes han llegado a asistir al ISIL o al Gobierno Regional del Kurdistán. No me sorprendería respecto del gobierno del Kurdistán, pero el informe señalaba al Estado Islámico de Irak y el Levante, es algo a lo que debemos tomar nota.

VA: ¿Qué es exactamente el ISIS? (o ISIL, como señalaste) Porque ahora todos hablan de ISIS, pero no es algo que surgió de la nada. ¿Cuáles son sus antecedentes?

Mahdi: Esa es una excelente pregunta. Este grupo, todos dicen que evolucionó de al-Qaeda. Primero que todo, primero se llamaban al-Qaeda y luego Estado Islámico en Irak. Estaba al-Qaeda, también estaba al-Nusra – con el que tienen problemas ahora – y recientemente cambiaron su nombre al de Estado Islámico de Irak y el Levante. Su último nombre es Estado Islámico. Hay muchos nombres para este Estado Islámico. Como sea, los nombres pueden ser muy confusos, pero no son tan importantes como quiénes son estas personas.

Estas personas son una mezcla de fuerzas que Estados Unidos cooptó en Irak. Muchos años atrás cuando ellos y los británicos ocupaban Irak, durante la ocupación angloamericana, los estadounidenses cogieron algunos locales que combatían contra ellos – se llamaban el Movimiento del Despertar. Luego los cooptaron financieramente, también comenzaron a entrenar personas en otras partes del Medio Oriente. Ustedes saben, sabemos desde hace varios años, algunos años, que Estados Unidos ha estado entrenando fuerzas antigubernamentales para que combatan al gobierno Sirio, en Jordania. Bueno, la mayoría de la gente entrenada en Jordania está ahora en Irak.

Obviamente también está Siria. Se originaron en Irak y crecieron en Siria, algunas personas fueron reclutadas en Siria. No podemos olvidar a Turquía también los reclutó. No podemos olvidar que Arabia Saudí los ha reclutado y los saudíes los reclutaban así: a cualquier persona con sentencia a muerte, o a muchos de ellos, les dijeron que serían ejecutados en Arabia Saudí si no se iban a combatir afuera.

Y por supuesto sabemos de fugas carcelarias, recuerdo que en el Líbano huyeron miembros de un grupo llamado Fatah al-Islam. Hablé sobre Fatah al-Islam con gente en el Líbano justo después. Hubo una fuga carcelaria, fue organizada, se cree alguien del gobierno o de las fuerzas de seguridad fue sobornado y escaparon, se fueron a Siria y se unieron a estos tipos, que han estado reclutando gente en el Líbano, y es muy importante: en 2006, cuando Israel fue derrotado por los libaneses, durante la guerra que libraron contra Hezbolá, Estados Unidos cambió de estrategia. El término que ocuparon se llamó la “Redirección”: “Haremos que los musulmanes y los pueblos luchen unos contra otros, así que vamos a usar lo que llaman salafistas o takfiríes, y los usaremos para combatir a Hezbolá, vamos a usarlos para combatir en Siria. Así que básicamente comenzaron a entrenar un nuevo muyahidín como los muyahidines talibanes afganos, básicamente brigadas que usaremos contra Siria.

VA: ¿Puedes profundizar respecto a la relación histórica de estas organizaciones tipo al-Qaeda con los intereses estratégicos estadounidenses? Has hablado de esta nueva “Redirección”, pero anteriormente hemos visto cómo la CIA financió muyahidines durante la administración de Jimmy Carter, pero también en otros lugares como Chechenia, los Balcanes y otros. ¿Podrías profundizar en eso?

Mahdi: Bueno, a eso iba. La gente de la “Redirección” son los mismos de la era Brzezinski. Mucha gente es la misma, dentro de la CIA. Esto incluye básicamente la misma estrategia que usó Jimmy Carter con Brzezinski, por eso digo que es una recreación de los muyahidines afganos y los talibanes, esencialmente. Es la misma gente en los niveles más bajos, incluye a Robert Gates por lo demás.

VA: Él fue director de la CIA.

Mahdi: Por supuesto, fue jefe de la CIA y estuvo involucrado en ello, esa es una de las razones por las que siendo republicano se quedó como Ministro de Defensa de Obama que es un presidente demócrata. Esto demuestra dos cosas: primero, que esa política – la Redirección – ha continuado; y la segunda, que existe una continuación de la política estadounidense de la administración Bush a la de Obama, lo que es representado por Robert Gates. Todos estos actores, saben por supuesto poner a musulmanes contra musulmanes, o contra nuestro enemigo que era la Unión Soviética, hicieron una excelente estrategia y están tratando de recrear esa estrategia. Pero sus principales oponentes han sido hasta ahora Irán y Siria, y por eso Siria ha estado bajo asedio. Por supuesto, el gobierno de Irak, aunque el sistema político fue esencialmente instalado por Estados Unidos y los británicos, a pesar de que fue instalado por ellos, el gobierno de Irak no es un títere, está alineado con Irán, ha comprado armas a Rusia, le vende petróleo a China y se negó a ayudar a Estados Unidos [contra Siria].

VA: Rusia le entregó algunos aviones al gobierno de Irak para luchar contra ISIL.

Mahdi: Bueno, los rusos han enviado aviones y expertos a Bagdad, que están ahora en el Aeropuerto Internacional Ali [….] que creo que están en territorio [….]. Lo hicieron porque Estados Unidos se negó – bueno, en realidad dijo que enviarían ayuda, pero básicamente está retrasada (lo explicaré en un momento). Pero me gustaría decir que no es sólo Rusia que envió ayuda a Bagdad: Bielorrusia también envió jets militares, hay informes de que los iraníes les han enviado jets militares para que los usen los iraquíes, así como drones aéreos iraníes, y los sirios de hecho enviaron a la fuerza aérea a ayudar en las fronteras iraquíes, bombardeando a las milicias. Los otros actores que probablemente entren a jugar son actores no-estatales, milicias shiíes por ejemplo. Escuchamos llamados de un emir en Bagdad y la gente está siendo reclutada por ellos para ayudar.

Respecto a la ayuda… Estados Unidos ha prometido ayuda pero han dicho que quieren un cambio de gobierno. Básicamente dicen que el primer ministro tiene que renunciar y que se necesita un nuevo gobierno federal en Irak; básicamente: cambio de régimen. Están usando – y hablamos de cómo estos grupos vinculados a al-Qaeda, están usando este ISIL, Estado Islámico de Irak y el Levante, para atacar a Irak, y al mismo tiempo los están usando para dividir al país.

Siempre han querido dividir el país. Joseph Biden, el actual vicepresidente de Estados Unidos, de hecho dijo que Irak debía ser dividido en tres bajo una “balcanización suave”, queriendo decir federalización. Dijo que se deberían separar la zona suní, la zona kurda y la zona árabe musulmana shií, eso fue en 2007 creo. Y de hecho ahora en Estados Unidos, donde mucha gente dice, “debemos involucrarnos ahora”, y hablo de los medios corporativos como The Atlantic. The Atlantic dijo de nuevo hace unos días… Goldberg, escribió un artículo sobre redibujar el Medio Oriente, dijo “dejemos que la naturaleza siga su camino”. Que “la naturaleza siga su camino” significa “dejemos que Irak se divida en tres: una zona kurda, una zona suní y una zona shií. Esa es la geopolítica detrás de esto.

Por supuesto que Estados Unidos maniobra geopolíticamente. También está presionando al gobierno de Irak a cambiar y está usando cierta propaganda diciendo que el gobierno de Irak “es sólo un gobierno shií, no representa a todos los iraquíes”. El gobierno de Irak puede que no sea popular, pero no es un gobierno shií. El ministro de defensa es árabe suní, el ministro de exteriores es un kurdo suní, no es un gobierno shií, de hecho tiene más suníes que shiíes en el gobierno.

Ellos creen que el curso natural es dividir a Irak en tres, y ellos lo quieren dividir en tres. Déjame explicar algo: los kurdos, el Gobierno Regional del Kurdistán, que es pro-estadounidense y está vinculado a Israel, está usando esto como una oportunidad para expandir sus fronteras y tomar Kirkuk militarmente, y es importante tener en cuenta que quieren enviar el petróleo de Kirkuk a Turquía a través de compañías turcas y compañías kurdas, y eso es ilegal. Sólo el gobierno federal puede hacer ventas de petróleo, pero el Gobierno Regional del Kurdistán quiere hacerlo, y ya han dicho que van a tener un referéndum, que son básicamente independientes y tendrán un referéndum “para separarnos de Irak en unas semanas”. Así que básicamente están apostando a la destrucción de su país y lo importante respecto al petróleo de Kirkuk es que va al norte, al Kurdistán iraquí y al Kurdistán turco – lo que se llama el Kurdistán noreste – sigue por Turquía todo el camino hasta el puerto mediterráneo de Ceyhan, que es un puerto importante para el petróleo del Caspio y de Azerbaiyán. Y esto de hecho va a perjudicar el oleoducto que va desde Irak a Siria, desde Kirkuk hasta Baniyas, va a perjudicar a Siria, y también va a perjudicar los intereses rusos e iraníes en oleoductos.

VA: Esta intención de dividir o balcanizar Irak, como mencionas, no es nueva. Leí un artículo el año pasado, de Robin Wright en el New York Times, y el publicó un mapa que tiene mucha similitud con el mapa de Ralph Peters. Así que, ¿qué puedes decirnos de esta idea de balcanización? Recuerdo que el jefe de Hezbolá, Hassan Nasrallah, dijo en su entrevista con Seymour Hersh que querían crear “fitna”, división, entre los musulmanes. Cuéntanos sobre eso.

Mahdi: Correcto. Bueno, fitna significa división, es la palabra árabe para ello, es usada en el vocabulario musulmán, porque el árabe es el lenguaje religioso de los musulmanes. Hassan Nasrallah está muy en lo correcto respecto a lo que Estados Unidos está haciendo. Podemos ver ahora mismo. Estados Unidos pretende estar en contra del ISIL. Pretende que está en contra de estas milicias armadas en Irak, pero en realidad las está apoyando en Siria. ¿Las apoyas en Siria y dices que estás contra ellas en Irak? Es porque Estados Unidos no está contra ellas en Irak. De hecho, hay reportes de que Estados Unidos sobornó o engaño a los generales iraquíes para que abandonaran Mosul, para que estos tipos pudieran tomarla.

Trajiste a colación el mapa que está en el New York Times, lo recuerdo, yo presenté ese mapa. De hecho cuando estaba en Ecuador, con el ministro de relaciones exteriores de Ecuador, tuvimos una discusión respecto a ese mapa y otros mapas durante un almuerzo. Así que ese mapa es importante pero no es el único; es la continuación de lo que dijiste, el mapa del Tte. Coronel Ralph Peters para dividir el Medio Oriente, lo llamó el “Nuevo Medio Oriente”, que a su vez es una continuación del mapa de Goldberg en The Atlantic y también está vinculado a algo incluso más antiguo y a un concepto – todos estos mapas portan un concepto. Se llama el Plan Yinon, que tenían los israelíes para quebrar el Norte de África y el Medio Oriente en pequeños países que ellos dominarían. También se vincula a una versión actualizada del Plan Yinon llamada Clean Break. El Clean Break es un documento escrito en 1996 que incluyó a Richard Perle, un neocon, un grupo de neocons que terminaron en el Departamento de Estado. También incluía a Dick Cheney como asesor para el Medio Oriente y a los fundadores de una organización llamada MEMRI. El MEMRI, Middle East [Media] Research Institute, busca videos en sobre Irán, Turquía y en el mundo árabe, buscando los peores videos para hacer que los iraníes, árabes, turcos parezcan bárbaros. Es esencialmente la inteligencia israelí. Y la gente que escribió el Clean Break declaró “tenemos que tumbar a Siria”.

Déjame explicar algo sobre eso. “Antes de tumbar a Siria, necesitamos un cambio de régimen en Irak, tenemos que deshacernos del presidente Saddam Hussein”, y lo hicieron. “Necesitamos una oposición libanesa anti-siria”, y la hicieron. Luego de que el primer ministro Rafik Hariri fuera asesinado, culparon a los sirios y fueron forzados a retirarse del Líbano. Y se creó esta nueva entidad política libanesa que se llamó Alianza 14 de Marzo. La Alianza 14 de Marzo fue liderada por el hijo de premier asesinado, Saad Hariri, que creó el Movimiento Futuro así como la Alianza 14 de Marzo, se opuso al gobierno sirio, e incluso actuaron contra su propio país. Cuando Israel bombardeó el Líbano, le pidieron a los militares que no hicieran nada, es muy embarazoso que los oficiales del ejército libanés hayan servido té a los israelíes cuando invadieron. Y eso porque Elías Murr, el ministro de defensa, le ordenó al ejército no hacer nada y actuar con los israelíes contra su propio país y contra los palestinos en la región más amplia. Esa es la gente que fue instalada.

Y bueno, este documento Clean Break que escribieron Richard Perle y estos neocons para el primer ministro israelí Benjamín Netanyahu, también decía, “tenemos que usar el centro de Irak” – tienes que recordar todos los mapas de los que hemos hablado, el Nuevo Medio Oriente de Ralph Peters, el mapa que fue dibujado en el New York Times y muestran al centro de Irak como una zona suní. Bueno ellos dicen, “usemos el centro de Irak contra Siria”, lo que significa usar a los suníes de Irak para combatir a Siria y eso es lo que ha estado pasando. Todo eso ya ha ocurrido.

Y los otros mapas, como el mapa de The Atlantic, que muestra a Sudan partido en dos. Sudán del Sur, que llaman “Nuevo Sudán” y la parte norte de Sudán. Y esa misma división tuvo su creación, se materializó, después de este artículo, tres años después. El artículo fue escrito en 2007-2008; en 2011 Sudán fue dividido, y el gobierno estadounidense incluso reconoció la división de Sudán antes que tuviera lugar un referéndum, así que Obama violó el derecho internacional.

VA: Podemos decir que es un plan de largo plazo que ha sido diseñado. ¿Podríamos hablar ahora de Israel? Mencionaste Israel y leí un artículo en The Jerusalem Post con algunos comentarios que hizo Netanyahu sobre la situación del ISIS y dijo “esto puede ser usado para debilitar a Irán”. También dijiste que había fuerzas especiales israelíes en terreno. ¿Esto se hace a través del Mossad, o alguna otra agencia del gobierno israelí?

Mahdi: Bueno, los israelíes han estado metidos en Siria e Irak durante un tiempo. Quiero clarificar eso. Cuando los estadounidenses y los británicos invadieron Irak, los israelíes entraron en Irak. De hecho, los israelíes enviaron lo que ellos llaman “unidades de cazadores asesinos” (hunter-killer units). Asesinaron doctores iraquíes, profesores, profesionales, arquitectos, científicos, así que estuvieron involucrados en ello. De hecho, cuando comenzó la crisis en Siria también enviaron estas mismas unidades para destruir, perseguir y eliminar científicos sirios, gente de interés, profesores, doctores, profesionales. Básicamente, para destruir la intelectualidad, laintelligensia del país. Así que los israelíes han estado ahí desde hace un tiempo. Y han usado el norte de Irak, donde están los kurdos, como una base de inteligencia contra los sirios y contra los iraníes. Así que no hay sorpresa en ello.

Y sí, Netanyahu le dijo al gobierno estadounidense que no intervenga, “deja que se maten entre ellos”. Y esta es una vieja estrategia israelí. Es la razón por la que quieren romper esta región. Esa es la razón por la que quieren crear Estados sectarios homogéneos con una identidad única que se odiarán unos a otros, involucrándose en limpieza étnica, así que quieren un país árabe alauí, que no permita kurdos étnicos, turcomanos étnicos, asirios o armenios étnicos, que no le gustan los cristianos, los musulmanes shiíes, los musulmanes suníes. Y viceversa, quieren un estado árabe suní al que no le gusten los musulmanes shiíes, y quieren que todos estos pueblos se odien y luchen unos contra otros, todos debilitados mientas Israel se beneficia con ello.

Ese es el Plan Yinon; es la razón por la que el Líbano tenía que ser un país cristiano, es la razón por la que Siria debe ser dividida en una zona drusa y una suní, y lo mismo para Irak. Y los israelíes en sus documentos, en el documento Yinon, que fue preparado para el ministerio de exteriores israelí dice “antes de destruir a Irak tiene que haber una guerra entre Irak e Irán”. Por supuesto, Estados Unidos empujó a Saddam Hussein, le dijeron vamos, le instaron atacar a Irán después de 1979, después de la Revolución Iraní que derrocó al sha; debilitaron a Irán a Irak. Henry Kissinger, el secretario de estado norteamericano dijo, “dejen que los iraquíes y los iraníes se maten entre ellos, ambos son nuestros enemigos y eso debilita a ambos”. Por supuesto, los estadounidenses ayudaron a Saddam Hussein, pero era primeramente un aliado de los soviéticos en ese momento.

VA: Discutí esta balcanización del Medio Oriente con un profesor y pensamos que si miras el cuadro general de esto, para Israel es muy conveniente dividir el Medio Oriente en estados sectarios porque en ese marco un estado judío tiene sentido, cuando tienes un estado suní o alauí, y quizás ese sea el interés de Israel.

Mahdi: Déjame agregar algo a esto, creo que podemos ver que los israelíes quieren que toda la región sea rediseñada bajo el modelo del sionismo, es lo que tú dijiste. Ese es el modelo del sionismo, es un estado homogéneo hecho para un solo pueblo. Los israelíes quieren un estado judío, no quieren cristianos ahí, sean católicos, ortodoxos o protestantes, no quieren cristianos ahí, no quieren musulmanes ahí; quieren una identidad judía, y quieren que el resto de la región sea rediseñado de la misma forma. Un estado árabe cristiano, un estado árabe shií, un estado árabe musulmán suní, y eso es lo que están impulsando. Están impulsando el modelo del sionismo en toda la región.

Y este proyecto es mucho más antiguo que los israelíes, es algo de los británicos y los franceses comenzaron. Tú recuerdas, Sykes-Picot. A Sykes-Picot lo hicieron parecer una consecuencia de la primera guerra mundial contra el Imperio Otomano. Pero, como le dije a alguien en otra entrevista en Estados Unidos: había dos Sykes. Hubo también un Percy Sykes trabajando en Irán para dividir Irán en la segunda guerra mundial.

Había uno en el Imperio Otomano y otro también en Irán tratando de dividir Irán y eso que Irán era neutral en esa guerra. Siempre han querido dividir esta región y si miras lo que han hecho, estas potencias coloniales imperialistas de Gran Bretaña y Francia, puedes mirar Argelia: fue dividida en Túnez y Argelia. Puedes mirar Egipto y Sudán, antes eran un solo país. Los británicos dividieron a Egipto. Gamal Abdel Nasser y otros líderes egipcios jamás perdonaron que los británicos separaran a Sudán de Egipto. Puedes mirar a Kuwait, fue separado de Irak; puedes mirar la península arábiga. Seguro, unieron la tierra del Hijaz con la de Ibn Saud, pero también separaron a los estados del Golfo. Puedes mirar al Líbano, fue separado de Siria, lo sacaron de ahí. Puedes ver Palestina, fue separada de Jordania, la sacaron de ahí. Y cuando realmente ves el cuadro entero, Palestina, Jordania, Líbano y Siria eran todos partes de la Gran Siria, o Bilad al-Sham. Así que ellos continuamente han quebrando a los países árabes, fracturándolos y dividiéndolos.

De hecho, uno de sus objetivos es separar el Sinaí de Egipto, darle autonomía. De hecho en uno de los mapas que cité, el de The Atlantic habla sobre ello. Y eso ocurrió hasta hace poco; el Sinaí esencialmente ha sido autónomo desde que Mubarak fue derrocado. Sólo hasta que al-Sisi envió a los militares ahí ha sido autónomo. Así que es muy conveniente que tengan todas estas ideas acerca de la región siendo dividida.

VA: Para finalizar, una última pregunta. ¿Cómo ves que se va a desarrollar o terminar verdaderamente esta situación en Irak, y cómo evolucionará en el tiempo?

Mahdi: Creo que Irak es básicamente un país dividido, de facto y en la práctica es un país dividido, de iure y en términos legales no lo está. Veremos al Kurdistán volviéndose independiente. Si el Gobierno Regional del Kurdistán hace al Kurdistán iraquí independiente van a ver a los iraníes un poco tensos. No creo que los rusos los apoyen, o los chinos al comienzo, depende de que pase con el petróleo, pero verás la postura a nivel internacional fuera de la región cambiando.

Los turcos – mucha gente dice que están en contra de un Kurdistán independiente, y hablo del gobierno turco, el Partido AK del primer ministro Erdogan, mucha gente dice que están en contra de la independencia kurda, pero yo creo que van a apoyar la independencia kurda porque ellos van a tratar de incorporar económicamente el norte de Irak a Turquía, ese es un objetivo de los turcos. Crear una confederación turca-kurda. Así que los turcos están apostando a esta división, balcanización del Medio Oriente. No estoy 100% seguro de ello, pero es algo que no podemos descartar. Así es la contingencia. La contingencia es muy importante en ello; las cosas no siempre salen como se planean. Por ejemplo, cuando los estadounidenses invadieron Bagdad, no sabían que los iraníes ganarían más influencia, que la influencia iraní crecería en Irak y en Medio Oriente. Así que no tienen una estructura que vaya como lo planean, de hecho, han estado perdiendo. Perdieron en Siria, y debido a que perdieron en Siria cambiaron el foco de regreso a Irak.

Veámoslo de la siguiente forma, en 2011 los estadounidense se retiraron de Irak, la mayoría de las tropas se retiro y su influencia decayó, la influencia iraní creció un montón y esto creó un arco, desde Irán a Irak, Siria, Líbano, así como a los palestinos a los que son cercanos y a esto se le llamó, o podría llamarse, “Arco de la Resistencia”, algunos en Irán le llamaron “Arco Dorado de la Resistencia”, yo lo llamo el “Bloque de la Resistencia” o el “Eje de la Resistencia”. Los enemigos de Irán y la propaganda en los medios corporativos le llaman la “Medialuna Shií”. No es una medialuna shií, no es porque todos los países son shiíes, no es porque los gobiernos sean shiíes. Lo que comparten es un objetivo político. Los palestinos son casi todos suníes, hay muy pocos shiíes, hay más cristianos que shiíes en Palestina. Siria tiene más suníes que shiíes. El Líbano es pluralista, incluye musulmanes, cristianos, drusos pero están todos unidos por una agenda política.

Porque los estadounidenses dejaron Irak, tuvieron que tratar de desestabilizar a Siria. Ahora que perdieron en Siria, estuve en Siria, acabo de llegar el Medio Oriente, estuve en Líbano y Siria por algunas semanas, un par de semanas.

VA: Estuviste ahí para las elecciones.

Mahdi: Estuve ahí, fui uno de los observadores de las elecciones presidenciales. Fui asignado a la costa, en lugares como Tartus donde está la base naval rusa; en Baniyas donde está la refinería de petróleo, y por supuesto estuve en Damasco. Fui con representantes rusos, representantes coreanos que vinieron a Siria, así como pakistaníes.

Pero, los estadounidenses perdieron en Siria, es muy claro que su programa en Siria ha sido debilitado, es por eso que cuando Irak comenzó a ser atacado, vieron la oportunidad de avanzar en Siria. Cuando Obama dice “quiero enviar medio billón de dólares, o 500 mil millones de dólares” a la insurgencia en Siria, está declarando la guerra. Quiere enviarles armas, básicamente. ¿Y quiénes son estas personas? Son los mismos, no son moderados, son la misma gente que hay en Irak. Así que está aprovechando la oportunidad de crear problemas en Irak, pero quieren volver el foco a Siria. Perdieron en Siria, por eso tuvieron que enfocarse en Irak. Quieren crear una base en Irak para atacar Siria porque básicamente perdieron en Siria.

Francamente, los sirios han recibido una tremenda ayuda de Rusia, Hezbolá e Irán y podemos ver a los mismos pueblos, los mismos países, los mismos actores ayudando a Irak ahora. De hecho el embajador iraquí en Washington DC le dijo a la Carnegie Foundation que como Estados Unidos no estaba ayudando le iban a pedir ayuda a sirios, rusos e iraníes, y eso es lo que está pasando. Estados Unidos ha estado retrasando la ayuda porque quiere crear problemas en Irak. Es parte del juego y algunas personas en Irak – la gente del gobierno – no están conscientes de ello o algunos de ellos han sido cooptados.

VA: Ha sido grato que nos acompañes, Mahdi. Espero que podamos conversar nuevamente sobre lo que tú desees respecto de la política exterior de Estados Unidos no sólo en Medio Oriente, sino en todo el mundo. ¿Deseas agregar algo más?

Mahdi: Bueno creo que es importante para mí indicar algo más. En Venezuela, cuando los estadounidenses intentaron apoyar un golpe contra el fallecido Hugo Chávez, eso fue antes de que invadieran Irak, porque querían asegurar el petróleo de Venezuela. Sabían que el precio del petróleo subiría en 2003 cuando invadieran y habría inestabilidad. Así que mi punto es este: no piensen que sólo están enfocándose en el Medio Oriente. Sudamérica, Latinoamérica, también tienen el foco en esa área y podemos ver eso en Venezuela también, así que deberíamos tener esas cosas en mente.

President Obama’s much celebrated ISIS(L) ‘strategy’ speech came on Tuesday night amid great fanfare and even greater debate. Sure, he outlined a strategy, but the President has been harboring another hidden agenda – one you won’t get a straight answer on.

Obama rode a wave of public outrage and fear into Tuesday’s address, mostly due to the extensive media coverage of the alleged murders of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff – a drama played out on Youtube of all places. The beheadings were important in this process because they set the US military media campaign into hyper-drive. The timing in the run-up to the 9/11 anniversary seemed uncanny.

Obama’s public agenda is the one you can see on the table, one where the US officials promise to “degrade and destroy ISIS”. Sounds great. Who can disagree with that?

Then there’s the hidden agenda, somewhere under the table, and not really up for rational debate. That’s probably because it’s highly illegal and has something to do with what started the ISIS crisis to begin with.

This is how Obama plans to sneak back in and re-ignite with last year’s failed bombing campaign that never was in Syria. He explains, “I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria.”

SLIPPERY WHEN WET: Obama twisting and turning to hide the real agenda to ‘degrade and destroy’ Bashar al Assad in Syria.

Put aside for a minute that any US airstrikes conducted inside Syria without consultation from the Syrian government would be classed by international law and perhaps even by the UN as an act of war against Syria. Why are US politicians, bureaucrats and paid media pundits all guarding their Syrian option so closely? I thought this was an ISIS crisis, not a Bashar al Assad crisis?

The central flaw in all of this is that Washington has no real policy on Syria other than hyperbole. Any policies it does have are centered around clandestine and illegal operations there. US officials will spout now and again how, “we do not recognize Syria as a sovereign state”, even though the US has no legal basis on which to maintain such a position. They simply announce in 2011 that, “Assad must go”, ala regime change per usual.

Obama tried to explain Tuesday evening, “In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost.”

Instead the US only recognizes the fabled “Free Syria Army” – more of a concept than an actual army, as the legitimate governing body in Syria. So much so, that for the last 3 years Washington and its agencies like the CIA have been supporting and arming this proxy guerrilla fighting force – in effect driving a bloody civil war inside Syria.

Ironically (well, not really), the US has been doing the very thing that it’s been accusing (but has yet to prove) the Russians of doing in Eastern Ukraine. If any other country did what the US is doing in Syria, it would be roundly condemned by the US as ‘violating the sovereignty of Syria’ and disrespecting what John Kerry too often refers to as ‘international norms’. But for Obama, John Kerry, McCain and company, they’ve given themselves a free pass. That’s American exceptionalism.

The Myth of the ‘Moderate Rebel’ in Syria

The President is pulling the wool over Americans’ eyes when he tries to sell them the idea that more money, arms and training for his ‘moderate Syrian opposition’ will somehow degrade TheIslamic State in Syria. The absence of logic here is pretty stunning.

“Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I again call on Congress to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters”, said Obama.

What he really means here is, ‘this seems like a good opportunity to get another half billion in Congressional funding for our proxy army in Syria’. If Congress won’t pass it, he’ll go the dictator route. Notice how Obama was careful not to call it a “war”.

The problem with the ‘Moderate Rebels’ is that Washington has never been able to identify who’s moderate and who’s borderline radical, and who are closet Islamic extremists. Rather inconvenient for spooks and politicians in Washington, rebel fighters in Syria don’t carry I.D.bracelets indicating how extreme they are or will be in the future.

It is this very problem which helped to enable the growth of ISIS inside Syria over the last three years. As foreign money, guns and NON-SYRIAN foreign fighters began to flow into Syria, the US and its allies turned a blind eye to a host of known terrorist groups and their heinous acts, as they infested the region from outside (including hundreds of British, French, and American terror recruits), including al Qaeda, AQI, al Nusra, Front Victory, and of course, ISIS.

Like it or not, that is what has happened over the last three years. The logic in Washington and London was basically, “whoever is fighting the Syrian government is OK by us. We want regime change, so the end justifies the means”.

Yes, US and NATO guns and equipment have moved from FSA hands to ISIS hands, and US special forces have knowingly or unknowingly (only they know) trained and armed future ISIS terrorists in Jordan. That’s not a theory, that’s a fact. Still, no comment from Washington.

Syrian Rebels Are Actually Working with ISIS

Here’s the real kicker. Even today, as the FSA/Moderate Rebels being backed by the US – they are also working together in joint operations with ISIS. Beirut’s Daily Star reported this week:

“Often at odds on the Syrian battlefields, the FSA, Nusra Front and ISIS have entered a tenuous allegiance of convenience to fight Assad-aligned forces in the badlands surrounding Arsal.

“We are collaborating with the Islamic State and the Nusra Front by attacking the Syrian Army’s gatherings in … Qalamoun,” said Bassel Idriss, the commander of an FSA-aligned rebel brigade.

“We have reached a point where we have to collaborate with anyone against unfairness and injustice,” confirmed Abu Khaled, another FSA commander who lives in Arsal.”

So Obama wants to fund and arm rebels working with ISIS(L) in Syria. His plan will give aid and comfort to ISIS. On this basis alone, the Obama ‘strategy’ should be disqualified and the president should be dragged in front of a hearing to explain himself. Look at how we got here in the first place. Another $500 million dollars into the hands of these ‘moderate rebels’ will only yield more of the same – more well-equipped jihadist fighters marauding through Syria and Iraq. More ISIS.

Of course, even a Middle East novice knows full well that that in addition to all the residual aid and arms from Washington and the CIA, terror brigades like al Nusra and ISIS wave been financed and assisted by persons and intelligence agents in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait – all staunch US and British allies. ISIS would be history in a fortnight if the west applied real pressure on the Gulf monarchies responsible for terrorist infestations like the Islamic State and al Nusra. But that will never happen, because as any State Department official will tell you off the record, “It’s a very sensitive issue. There are grey areas there.” I think ‘duplicitous’ is the word they are really looking for.

Still, President Obama will go in front of the country with a straight face and try to sell the fiction – as a cheap trick to reboot his and the Neocon’s so far unsuccessful nation-building project in Syria.

US Will Use Airstrikes to Direct its Civil War in Syria.

Think about it: only 12 months after failing to secure another WMD narrative laying blame on Bashar al Assad and the Syrian government, the US military machine has done the impossible and found a new backdoor into Syria.

We’ve been observing US airstrikes overseas for a few decades now, long enough to understand the reality beyond Pentagon propaganda. Not to be naive, expect that the US will certainly use any air strikes in Syria to offer real time air intel to the rebels, provide air cover, and create much-needed corridors for the FSA Syrian rebels.

In addition, the US would not lose the opportunity to test all of Syria’s air defense systems and generate extensive target lists, eventually using the cover of their ‘ISIL Operation’ to hit key Syrian military targets. The deception will be carried out under a complete media blackout, with no western media reporting ‘wrong targets’ or ‘mistakes’. Any such attack will not exist from a western perspective, and only the Syrian and Lebanese news agencies will report these incidents

The US debate has already reached confusing and insane levels, with US pundits arguing that, “airstrikes could be problematic because ISIS is also fighting against the Syrian government and if we strike ISIS in Syria, this could actual provide relief to Assad which is not good for the US”.

Worthless Coalition

Obama claims he’s gathered a broad ‘coalition of the willing’, but in reality, there is no coalition, at least no one willing to get their hands dirty on the ground.

Beyond Americans’ willful denial and refusal to recognize Syria and its people, is the fact that of all countries in the Middle East, no one has done more to fight extremist terrorists on the ground than Bashar al Assad and the Syrian military. No one has spilled more blood than the people of Syria.

In a logical world, if the real objective was to eliminate ISIS, then you would expect that Washington would want to sit down with both the Syria and Iraqi govt’s in order to form a strategy to flush out and destroy the ISIS brigades. With that level of coordination, the terror group could be wiped out in a matter of weeks, but that cannot happen because the US is playing their double agenda. The fact that the US is not coordinating with Syria and Iraq together shows more than anything, that the US is not fully committed to flushing out ISIS, and seems much more interested in regime change in Syria. One only needs to look at Libya today to get an idea of how bad Washington can be get it wrong on such important geopolitical matters.

A coalition without, Iraq, Greater Kurdistan, Syria, Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and Iran – all together, is a meaningless coalition. That looks to be the case here. Lebanon is not invited because of their links to Syria. Iran is out because they have already been designated as a pariah state by the US and Israel and therefore are not allowed to participate in anything, not to mention they are the wrong branch of Islam for American planners. Syria is obviously out because the US has vowed not to recognize that state until Washington has installed their own government in Damascus. Jordan cannot participate because Jordan has been instrumental in providing training and refuge for foreign fighters heading into Syria. NATO member Turkey will not commit to any coalition partly because its hands are already dirty having played a damaging role in pumping-up the civil war in Syria since 2011, and has allowed itself to be used as both a staging ground and well as a safe haven for extremist and ISIS fighters inside Turkish borders just over Syria’s the northern border.

Some coalition.

Obama: Lying in Full View

What is most impressive about Barack Obama is his ability to tell a lie right to your face, even if it contradicts what he said a few seconds earlier.

The first one was obvious. “But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil“, said Obama.

Shortly after, he boasts that he will be sending an additional 475 ‘US servicemen’ (Special Forces) to Iraq to help with the fight. Bear in mind that there are already over 1,000 boots already on the groundthere, which gives us a total of 1,700. To Obama, this number really means zero.

The next lie requires a forked tongue and the ability to be duplicitous, and feel cool about it. Here Obama thrives:

“In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.”

How is arming-up a rebel faction in a foreign country, and fueling a civil war… pursuing a “political solution”?

This fight could last another three years, which is perfect timing, as the crisis rides into the US 2016 presidential election. All this crisis needs is a false flag event on US soil to really solidify another 10 to 20 years of hyper security/police state designed mainly for Europe, Australia and North America.

The sad truth is that US actions and policies in the region over the last three decades have created the conditions for ISIS(L) and even the organization itself. It’s Mujahedin all over again, but much better funded and equipped this time.

None of it makes sense, until you study the facts. But facts and history do not seem to mean much to the ruling bureaucratic class in Washington, and London too.

The NATO proxy war in the Ukraine started with the violent US-EU-sponsored overthrow of the elected government via a mob putsch in February 2014.  This was well financed at $5 billion, according to President Obama’s Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs, Victoria Nuland.

The result was a junta, composed of neo-liberal puppets, rightist nationalists and fascists, which immediately proceeded to purge the Ukrainian legislature of any politicians opposed to the coup and Kiev’s submission to the European Union and NATO.  The NATO-sponsored client regime then moved swiftly to extend its control by centralizing power and overturning the official policy of bilingualism (Russian and Ukrainian) in the southeastern regions.   It was preparing to break its long-standing agreement over the huge Russian naval base in Crimea and renege on its massive debts to Russia for gas and oil imports.

These extremist measures by a violent coup regime amounted to a radical break with existing economic, cultural and political institutions and, naturally, provoked a robust response from large sectors of the population.  The overwhelmingly Russian speaking majority in Crimea convoked a referendum with 90% voter participation:  89% voted to secede and rejoin Russia.  The ethnic Russian and bilingual, industrialized southeast regions of Ukraine organized their own referenda, formed popular militias and prepared for an armed response from what they viewed as an illegal junta in Kiev. Threatened by the new measures against their language and traditional and economic ties with Russia, the resistance drew its fighters from the vast reservoir of skilled industrial workers, miners and local business people who understood that they would lose thousands of jobs and access to the Russian markets as well as cultural and family links under the boot of the EU-NATO puppet in Kiev.

For critical sections of Ukraine, the Kiev junta was illegitimate, so the NATO overseers, cooked up an election with a pre-selected candidate, Petro Poroshenko, a millionaire oligarch, willing to serve as a ‘reliable’ proxy, despite his history of dubious ‘business’ deals, who would implement the Euro-US agenda.  Despite large sectors boycotting the sham elections, the ‘victorious President’ Poroshenko immediately joined the EU, shredding the heavily subsidized and generous gas and oil agreements with Russia as well as cutting Ukraine off from its main export markets.  He proposed to join NATO and convert Ukraine into a launching pad aimed at Russia.  He eagerly signed an IMF agreement ending critical subsidies for low income Ukrainians, privatizing public enterprises and raising the cost of basic public services and food.  He launched an all-out military campaign against the Donbass region, using missiles, air strikes, artillery and ground forces while assuring his masters in Washington and Brussels that he could easily smash all resistance to his dictatorial fiats and impose their radical retrograde agenda.

The scope and depth of the changes and the unilateral manner in which they were formulated and implemented provoked a widespread popular uprising in the southeast that cut across the entire social spectrum.  The popular democratic nature of the opposition in the east attracted support throughout the region, reaching beyond the borders of Ukraine.  The resistance easily captured Ukrainian military outposts while conscripted soldiers, ex-soldiers and local police units joined the resistance, bringing their arms with them.

The Kiev regime and its increasingly fascist shock troops responded with terror tactics, bombing civilian infrastructure and neighborhoods. In the ethnically-mixed city of Odessa, with its substantial Russian-speaking population, Kiev-based fascists torched the city’s main trade union building where civilian protesters had sought refuge, burning alive or later slaughtering over 40 trapped citizen demonstrators.

The terrorist tactics of the Kiev government spurred thousands more to join the resistance. Horrified and demoralized Ukrainian conscripts, who had been told they were fighting ‘Russian invaders’ defected or surrendered in large numbers.  The spectacle of surrender and demoralization among its armed forces and police undermined this phase of Kiev’s offensive and led to a ‘legitimacy’ crisis.

The US-EU propaganda campaign intensified denying civilian resistance in the southeast any authenticity as an independent, democratic, national force by labeling them as ‘Russian separatists’ and ‘invaders’.  Together with their puppet-‘President’ Petro Poroshenko, the US-EU tried to discredit the popular resistance via a major provocation:  Ukrainian government air controllers in Kiev re-directed a civilian air liner, Malaysian Airlines Flt. 17, to fly directly over the war zone, shot it down killing almost 300 passengers and crew.  The puppet in Kiev and their masters in Brussels and Washington then blamed the resistance, as well as Russia, for the crime!

The NATO-backed proxy regime’s tactic of terror boomeranged and caused even more outrage!  More Ukrainian troops refused to fire on the own compatriots .The puppet regime in Kiev had to rely on the special fascist battalions eager to kill ‘Russians’.  Many ordinary soldiers deserted rather than obey orders to fire heavy artillery shells into densely populated urban neighborhoods full of trapped civilians.  Other troops crossed over into the safety of neighboring Russia where they surrendered and turned their arms over to the resistance.

The incredible strength of the southeast regional resistance came from several sources: First and foremost, they were defending home turf:  their families, relatives, friends, neighbors, homes, orkplaces, transport systems, hospitals and schools and they increasingly saw themselves as a nation confronting the ravages of a foreign-imposed dictatorship arbitrarily selling their principle economic enterprises and means of livelihood while submitting to the dictates of the US-EU controlled International Monetary Fund.  This popular resistance was bolstered morally and materially by pro-democracy activists and militants from Euro-Asia, who understood that a NATO victory in Ukraine would lead to more coups in sovereign countries, more civil wars and brutal conquests throughout the region – a formula for economic and social disaster affecting tens, if not hundreds, of millions of people.

NATO’s heavy-handed presence behind the putsch in Kiev spurred a national liberation struggle in Ukraine and the growth of anti-NATO internationalism regionally.  The battle was joined.  The Kiev blitzkrieg halted in confusion.  The battles for Donetsk and Lugansk turned the tide.  The Resistance went on the offensive.  Over 800 Kiev soldiers were killed.  Thousands more were wounded, captured or deserted.

The Resistance was advancing westward and to the south threatening to create a land bridge to the Crimea and encircle an entire regiment.  The puppet regime in Kiev panicked and pleaded for its EU and US patrons to intervene directly.  Divisions within the junta deepened: the fascists demanded an all-out war against the Russian-speaking population and total mobilization.  The neo-liberals, for their part, begged for direct NATO intervention.

Meanwhile, the EU and US imposed wide economic sanctions against Russia, unwilling to believe that the citizens in the Donbass region of southeast Ukraine would successfully resist their puppet in Kiev.  They drank their own propaganda swill and blamed ‘Putin’, the Russian President, for the debacle.   The increasing economic sanctions against Russia had no effect on the popular resistance in Ukraine as it took on the character of a national liberation struggle.  However, the sanctions did provoke painful counter-measures from Russia, which slapped major embargos on EU and US agricultural products, deepening Europe’s economic recession.  And there was a build up of NATO troops and joint military exercises on Russia’s borders in Poland, the Baltic States and over the Black Sea.

Finally the NATO powers realized that their puppet’s military conquest of the East was not going to be another ‘cake walk’, indeed it was turning into a brutal farce.  From top to bottom, the junta’s armed forces were in shambles.  The continued advance of the popular resistance and the onset of winter without Russian oil and gas could topple the regime in Kiev and force new elections free from NATO, the CIA and the machinations of US Assistant Secretary ‘F… the EU’ Victoria Nuland, Obama’s key strategist for Eastern Europe.

With NATO’s and Washington’s fears in mind, Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed a ‘compromise’ for Poroshenko, an immediate ceasefire and negotiations leading to a political settlement between Kiev and the rebels.  In the face of a military debacle in the East and growing internal fissures, the puppet in Kiev agreed to the ceasefire.

Prospects for Peace with Justice

Poroshenko and his NATO overseers eagerly grabbed onto Putin’s peace plan to stave off the advance of the popular resistance and gain time to re-group, rebuild and re-supply Kiev’s armed forces.  NATO leaders are counting on a ‘political’ settlement where they trade easily-broken political promises in exchange for the resistance demobilizing and disarming under Kiev’s authority. There is no indication that the NATO-Kiev axis intends to abandon their strategic goal of turning Ukraine into a NATO base and vassal state of the EU.

As the cease fire comes into effect, the NATO powers have organized two sets of military exercises within Ukraine and on its immediate border – clearly undermining Russia’s strategic interests. The ongoing military build-up is a sign that NATO intends to participate directly in crushing the popular resistance in the next round.  It is just a matter of time for NATO and Kiev to trot out some pretext to end the ceasefire.   Meanwhile, NATO is increasing the flow of arms, advisers and contract mercenaries to Kiev.  The oligarch in Kiev, Poroshenko is attempting to bolster his ground forces by imposing a highly unpopular universal conscription.  Even the citizens in the west of Ukraine can see the war is going badly with the return of wounded soldiers and caskets holding their sons and brothers.

Tactically Poroshenko/NATO may offer paper concessions, greater ‘autonomy’ … under the rule of the Kiev junta, and the acceptance of bilingualism, but political, administrative, legal and fiscal powers will not devolve to the democrats in Donesk and Lugansk to design and implement their own policies and protect their rights.  The regime will demand the re-entry of ‘its army’ on the pretext of guarding borders against Russia.  There will be no reparations for the massive loss of life and infrastructure in the region.  Kiev will seek to surround and fragment the Resistance and eliminate the key cross-border sanctuary with Russia.  The ultimate goal would be to squeeze and oust resistance-led regional self-government.

The prolongation of negotiations will be used to build-up Kiev’s military capabilities.  Meanwhile more US-imposed EU economic sanctions against Russia give Washington greater power to expand its influence in Europe and deepen political and trade polarization between the EU and Moscow.  The Ukraine crisis is only one part of the Obama regime’s strategy of global military escalation, which includes re-entry into Iraq, direct bombing of Syria (including Damascus) and increased sanctions against companies and banks trading with Iran and Cuba, as well as the encirclement and provocation of China.

An independent Russia is the real target and the annexation of the Ukraine is a mere stepping stone on the way to Moscow.  Under this strategic (and insane) vision, the US and EU will never accept a neutral (NATO-free), independent, democratic Ukraine.  The popular resistance in the country’s southeast must clearly understand this strategic vision and continue the fight.  They must recognize that the only means to establish democracy and self-rule, free from NATO and  IMF dominance, and free from the marauding gangs of  Kiev-led Nazi thugs – the terrorist Azov, Aidar and Donbass battalions – is via a plebiscite for total national independence.

The current cease fire is a Trojan horse:  within the bowels of these negotiations, Kiev warlords are busily preparing to unleash more of their military excrement – fascist hordes and the oligarchs’ private armies, the monstrous spawn of the NATO-armed Azov battalion under Nazi banners, sporting swastika tattoos and hate-filled insignias.  The choice is clear.

Well, Well, Well, what do we have here? 

According to a new report by Agence-France Presse (AFP) “Syrian rebels and jihadists from the Islamic State have agreed a non-aggression pact for the first time in a suburb of the capital Damascus, a monitoring group said on Friday.”  

What will the Obama administration do now? Originally President Obama said in a televised speech that he will support “military assistance to the Syrian opposition.”  Here is what he said:

Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I again call on Congress to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters. In the fight against ISIL, we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorizes its people; a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost. Instead, we must strengthen the opposition as the best counterweight to extremists like ISIL, while pursuing the political solution necessary to solve Syria’s crisis once and for all.

This is an interesting development since Washington wants to authorize airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or ISIS on Syrian territory. It is a move that the Assad government and Russia say that would be an act of aggression and a breach of International law.  Will the mainstream media report this peace agreement between these two organizations? Washington would welcome this development because both groups consider the Assad government a common enemy. Online news organization Middle East Eye reported that both moderate Syrian rebels and the Islamic State’s common enemy is the Assad government:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported that moderate and Islamist rebels had signed a ceasefire deal for the first time in a suburb of the capital Damascus. “The two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found, and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy” to be Assad’s government and his forces.

They forgot to mention that the U.S. and other Western allies consider the Assad government their enemy as well.  Although this truce is a new development, it should not surprise anyone. The U.S. has been supporting the Syrian rebels’ right from the start to remove Assad. Many of them joined the Islamic State, Al-Qaeda, Al-Nusra and other terrorist groups in the region including those in Iraq. Washington would welcome a truce between both groups because they will target the Syrian government.  Washington will most likely launch airstrikes against these same terrorists in Syria as a justification to enter Syrian territory.

The AFP detailed exactly what was agreed upon between both groups:

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the ceasefire deal was agreed between IS and moderate and Islamist rebels in Hajar al-Aswad, south of the capital.

Under the deal, “the two parties will respect a truce until a final solution is found and they promise not to attack each other because they consider the principal enemy to be the Nussayri regime.”

Nussayri is a pejorative term for the Alawite sect, an offshoot of Shiite Islam to which President Bashar al-Assad belongs.

The world needs to stop this war. If the U.S. does launch airstrikes into Syria to target these terrorist organizations, it will be considered an aggression against the Assad government. If innocent civilians or Syrian government forces are killed in the airstrikes, the Assad government would most likely respond with military action. Russia, China and most nations around the world would condemn U.S. actions on Syria’s sovereign territory. The U.S. wants Assad out of power. ISIL was created by the U.S. and its allies in the region. Is this the start of World War III? I hope not.  The Syrian government can defeat ISIL on their own if Washington would stop sending arms into the region. The question we must ask is who will receive U.S. arms shipments now.  ISIL?

Never one to believe in the shackles of legality, former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger has decided to give advice entirely free of it. It is comforting to know that a man who was instrumental in illegal, unauthorised operations in Cambodia and Laos, among other things, should find it appropriate to advise the stumbling Obama administration where it might go next.

For Kissinger, the forces of the West better up and at them – the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq are no longer matters of sideshow amusement or ceremonial fanfare. “There can’t be any more debate about fighting them.”[1]

The moment any former Secretary of State reaches for the lexicon of international relations terms, and nabs the first one that comes to mind, you know you, and the rest of the world, may be in for some trouble. This is particularly so when terms such as “new order” make their way to the front page of supposedly wise counsel. The creators of such orders tend to be fundamental wreckers in the bargain. “We don’t have the power to impose our preference, but without us, and without some leadership from us, the new order cannot be created.  That I think has not (been) understood.”

This does not stop such terms as having currency, even if that currency is counterfeit. World Order talk is simply fanciful costumery on the political non-science circuit. There is nothing orderly about it, and its seeming breath of scope is merely cigar room speculation about what intervention comes next. Nonetheless, Kissinger has decided to use the term World Order as the title of his latest book, again using a host of limp terms that anyone wishing to construct the world from an armchair wishes for.

“When ‘the international community’ is invoked perhaps more insistently now than in any other era,” writes Kissinger, “it presents no clear or agreed set of goals, methods or limits…. Chaos threatens side by side with unprecedented interdependence.”  If you want the language of empty, non-committal consultancy, than this is it.

John Mickelthwait, in his review for the New York Times (Sep 11) doesn’t have much time to question the very term World Order, let alone the premise: “if you worry about a globe spinning out of control, then [Kissinger’s] World Order is for you. It brings together history, geography, modern politics and no small amount of passion.”

Kissinger is a man who primarily sees himself as realist in chief, the Metternich of the twentieth century (when in office), and modern consultant in an age when consultancy counts as work as supposed to mere sophistry. Think clearly about a state’s interests, count the chips, draw up the balance sheet, do the sums, and attack.  Air strikes on IS positions should be of “limited duration as a punitive measure” and “not make any distinction between Syria in Iraq.” How positively Indochina-like and so very 1970s – make few distinctions in a geographical belt, and cause come creative disruption.

While Obama’s rival, Hillary Clinton, has happily sought nuggets of wisdom from the Bavarian-born sage, Obama has conspicuously left him off the payroll. Such snubs are bound to get any strategist, especially one so self-esteemed, knotted and irritated.  Obama, he claims, “has not understood all the currents that need to be dealt with.”

The recipe of intervention this cobbled coalition (more NATO than not) are coming up with stress the need for various Iraqis to do the dying, while the United States and its allies do the surgically directed bombing. The Iraqi state, and Syrian state, are patients about to be opened up, though the pundits are suggesting that this will be key-hole surgery at its finest, a non-intrusive, but still effectively intrusive enough, to get the job done.

This, according to President Barack Obama, has been the working formula in such places as Yemen and Somalia – remotely directed bombing from afar, with the use of local government forces on the ground. He doesn’t mention, of course, the extent that such a tactic has actually worked – these are not quantifiable in states that are failed or still in conflict.

British Foreign Secretary, Philip Hammond, has come out with a sketch of “comprehensive” plans to defeat IS.

“This will involve a mix of humanitarian, military and diplomatic efforts with different nations making contributions including: training and advising the Iraqi security forces; arming, training and advising the Kurds; technical and political support to an inclusive Iraqi government, reinforcement of neighbouring countries against Isil and continuing surgical strikes on Isil.”

Such positions – be it between Hammond, Obama or Kissinger, do not vary enormously. All want to attack and “degrade” the capability of a force that has its complex roots in the historical meddling of foreign powers and opportunistic demagogues. The “realist” tag, as any, tends to be just that. It can be snipped off the product at any given moment, leaving no one the wiser. A chaotic environment won’t cease being chaotic, and the demon slayed will simply be another resurrected.

For someone so steeped in that tradition, Kissinger had a habit of getting it spectacularly wrong, suggesting that either the label, or the man, were monstrously faulty. The Cambodian bombing venture, apart from being illegal, also paved the way for the orgy of murder that became Pol Pot’s regime. Kissinger’s bloodied fingerprints tend to find their way on every Latin American regime which had an anti-socialist axe to grind. Wherever there was popular will for a progressive government in the Americas, Kissinger’s consultancy went into adamant overdrive – direct the people’s wishes; they don’t know any better.

Fitting now that this legacy has turned states and regimes through the south against the United States, a sort of sweet vengeance for murderous wishes. If this is the sort of realism Kissinger is proffering, then his fees should best be cut.

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

Notes

US and EU Expand Economic Sanctions Against Russia

September 14th, 2014 by Niles Williamson

The United States and the European Union announced Friday an expanded package of sanctions against the Russian financial, energy, and defense sectors. The new measures were enacted as part of an ongoing campaign to place economic and military pressure on Russia, despite a continuing ceasefire in Ukraine between the Kiev regime and pro-Russian separatists in the east.

Banks affected by the new economic restrictions include Russia’s largest lenders Sberbank, Gazprombank and Rosselkhozbank. Western banks and individuals will be limited to purchasing short-term debt with a maturity of 30 days from five Russian financial firms.

Ivan Tchakarov, the chief economist for Citigroup in Russia, told the New York Times that the new limitations could lead to a major credit crunch at the end of the year when $25.1 billion in Russian foreign corporate debt matures.

The sanctions also limit Western funding to Russian defense companies Oboronprom, the United Aircraft Corporation, and Uralvagonzavon. Russian state-owned oil firms Rosneft, Transneft, and Gazpromneft will be subject to the new financing restrictions as well.

According to the Wall Street Journal the new round of sanctions are targeted at scuttling Russian Arctic and shale oil exploration projects by Exxon Mobil, BP, and Shell, partnering with Russian energy firms. The Western energy firms will be prohibited from providing technology and services to Russian energy corporation projects in the Arctic.

In addition to the economic sanctions, two dozen more Russian and Ukrainian citizens have been subject to a travel ban and asset freezes. Amongst those placed on the travel ban and asset freeze list was Alexander Zakharchenko, the Ukrainian leader of the Donetsk People’s Republic.

US Treasury Secretary Jack Lew released a statement in which he provocatively cited “Russia’s direct military intervention and blatant efforts to destabilize Ukraine” as justifications for the expanded economic sanctions.

The fighting in eastern Ukraine between Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian separatists has been used a pretext by the US and its European allies to increase economic and military pressure on Moscow.

Without presenting any convincing evidence, NATO and the US have repeatedly accused Russia of directly controlling the separatists and intervening in eastern Ukraine, recklessly raising the possibility of war between nuclear armed powers.

The imposition of a ceasefire and accompanying peace plan, worked out between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko last week, has halted fighting in the Donbass region for the moment.

Putin dismissed the latest round of US and EU sanctions as ineffective, stating, “There are some things that are negative, but if we consider the problem in its totality, there is more positive than negative.” He stated that he found the new sanctions “odd” in the face of the peace plan. “Perhaps it is not to someone’s liking that the process has taken a peaceful turn,” he said.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov denounced the decision by the US and EU to impose new sanctions, saying, “We believe that taking such a decision in a time when the peace process is just becoming stable is in effect choosing the path to a derailment of the peace process.”

Poroshenko, speaking in Kiev on Friday at the Yalta European Strategy conference, hailed the expanded Western economic sanctions against Russia as a sign of unity and solidarity with Ukraine. Declaring that “Europe simply can’t be the European Union without Ukraine,” Poroshenko announced that Ukrainian and European parliaments would ratify an association agreement between the European Union and Kiev on Tuesday.

Ratification of the association agreement would move Ukraine further out of Russia’s economic sphere of influence and closer to EU member status. In a concession to Russia, European Commission president Jose Manuel Barroso announced that Ukraine could maintain current tariffs until early 2016.

Russia had threatened to block trade between Russia and Ukraine if trade barriers with Europe were dropped as stipulated in the original agreement. Other economic and political measures required by the association agreement would still go into effect immediately.

In February the United States and its European allies supported a far-right-wing coup that ousted former Ukrainian President Victor Yanukovych after he refused in late 2013 to sign the EU association agreement.

Also speaking at the Yalta European Security conference was Estonian President Toomas Hendrik Ilves, who took the opportunity to denounce and further antagonize Russia. Comparing Russia’s annexation of Crimea to Hitler’s seizure of the Sudetenland in 1938, Ilves described 2014 as an “annus horribilis” for Europe.

He placed blame on Russia for plunging the continent into the deepest crisis since World War II. Ominously Ilves declared that Russia was responsible for bringing Europe “back to 1648 and Hobbes’s war of all against all.”

Poroshenko will travel to Washington D.C. next week to meet with President Obama. He is expected to propose the creation of a military alliance with the US which sidesteps NATO as well seeking to developing closer economic ties with the US.

American military advisers have already been sent to assist in improving Ukraine’s military capabilities. The Defense and State departments have established a program to train and equip a battalion of the Ukrainian National Guard.

IDF Soldiers Denounce Israeli High Crimes Against Peace

September 14th, 2014 by Stephen Lendman

Netanyahu is a world class thug. He wages a genocidal war on Palestine. Operation Protective Edge (OPE) is the latest example. Mass slaughter and destruction were horrific. James Petras calls Israel a “genocidal state.”

“Citizens and soldiers, criminals and professionals, torturers and sociopaths…coexist within the same person,” he says.

Exterminating Palestinians is official policy. It’s consciously pursued. It’s done with “savage enthusiasm.” It enjoys full Western support. Washington backs its killing machine. Israelis alone have rights. Palestinians are used, abused, mass slaughtered and exterminated. Rogue states operate this way. Israel and America are the world’s worst. They partner in each other’s crimes. They operate extrajudicially. They wage war on humanity. They claim a divine right to do what they damn please. They get away with it because who’ll stop them. Humanity may not survive their madness.

On Friday, 43 IDF reservists and former army intelligence members published an open letter. They addressed Netanyahu and top military officials. They gave their ranks, first names only or initials. They included a reserve major and two captains. They kept their identities secret. They did so to avoid certain recrimination. Israel accepts no criticism. It goes all-out to suppress it.

Signatories denounced Israeli high crimes against peace. They condemned longstanding collective punishment. They henceforth refuse to serve. They want no part of Israel’s killing machine. They were clear and unequivocal, saying:

“There’s no distinction between Palestinians who are, and are not, involved in violence. Information that is collected and stored harms innocent people. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself. We cannot continue to serve this system in good conscience, denying the rights of millions of people. Those among us who are reservists, refuse to take part in the state’s actions against Palestinians. We, veterans of Unit 8200 (Israel’s NSA equivalent), reserve soldiers both past and present, declare that we…refuse to continue serving as tools in deepening the military control over the Occupied Territories. It is commonly thought that the service in military intelligence is free of moral dilemmas and solely contributes to the reduction of violence and harm to innocent people. However, our military service has taught us that intelligence is an integral part of Israel’s military occupation over the territories.”

Information collected and stored “harms innocent people. It is used for political persecution and to create divisions within Palestinian society by recruiting collaborators and driving parts of Palestinian society against itself.”

Unit 8200 signatories admitted spying on Palestinians’ sexual “preferences.” They did so to blackmail them. To enlist collaborators against their own people. “We call for all soldiers serving in the Intelligence Corps, present and future, along with all the citizens of Israel, to speak out against these injustices and to take action to bring them to an end.”

Daniel is a reserve captain. He said gathering signatures took about a year. “There were fears of how people, and friends from the unit, might respond – if they knew that it was I and if they didn’t know,” he said. “I don’t feel comfortable in my conscience continuing to serve, and instead of dealing with the dilemmas and the ramifications, I chose to take a more evasive route,” he said. He calls it a “gray-market dodge.” He used it for three years.

“Now, later on, we feel that evasion is wrong, and that we have to take responsibility,” he explained. “In the end, I served there for seven years. I believed in what we did there – and for all those reasons. I must take responsibility for what I see as the perpetuation of the cycle of violence. We hope that people will think critically about these things.”

An IDF spokesman said Unit 8200 “worked since the day it was established to gather intelligence that allows the army and security agencies to perform their tasks, and each day it helps protect the citizens of the State of Israel.” He lied claiming no knowledge of crimes signatories revealed. It’s “unknown in the Intelligence Directorate,” he said.

Former Unit 8200 commander, Brigadier General Hanan Gefen (Res.) accused the signatories of a grave breach of trust,” saying:

“If this is true and if I were the current unit commander, I would put them all on trial and would demand prison sentences for them, and I would remove them from the unit. They are using information that reached them in the course of their duties to promote their political position.”

One signatory said he “thinks that all of us who signed the letter did so because we understood that we are unable to sleep well at night.” They’re not alone. Breaking the Silence calls itself:

“an organization of veteran combatants who have served in the Israeli military since the start of the Second Intifada and have taken it upon themselves to expose the Israeli public to the reality of everyday life in the Occupied Territories. We endeavor to stimulate public debate about the price paid for a reality in which young soldiers face a civilian population on a daily basis, and are engaged in the control of that population’s everyday life. Soldiers who serve in the Territories witness and participate in military actions which change them immensely. Cases of abuse towards Palestinians, looting, and destruction of property have been the norm for years, but are still explained as extreme and unique cases. Our testimonies portray a different, and much grimmer picture in which deterioration of moral standards finds expression in the character of orders and the rules of engagement, and are justified in the name of  Israel’s security.”

Breaking the Silence was established to “demand accountability (for Israeli crimes) in the Occupied Territories perpetrated by us in our name.” Yehuda Shaul is a Breaking the Silence co-founder. Israeli actions during Operation Protective Edge were “unthinkable a few years ago,” he said.

Entire neighborhoods were destroyed. So were families in them. Noncombatant men, women and children ere willfully targeted. They were murdered en masse in cold blood. “From one operation to the next, Israel and the IDF are just going down the drain,” said Shaul. “As a country, the moral low we reached in the previous operation is the point from where we start the next one. This is how it continues. Operation Protective Edge continued where Operation Cast Lead ended.”

Israeli strategy reflects madness. It’s “insane,” said Shaul. “Everything we do is right, and everything they do is wrong.” Palestinians are considered subhumans. Israelis ignore their suffering. “It is almost a crime in Israel to have empathy (for them), even though you are talking about women and children,” said Shaul.

Israeli soldiers “think a lot about right and wrong.” They knowingly perform duties contrary to their moral principles, Shaul believes. They cross one red line after another. Only after multiple times do they fully understand how they breached their moral code. At the same time, they acclimate. They get used to doing things they know are wrong.

(T)he atmosphere in Israel (is) very bad” today, said Shaul. Even worse than during previous conflicts. There’s “no space for question marks, absolutely no space. I am not just talking about the media. There were many anti-war protestors beaten up in Tel Aviv and Haifa by gangs so they had to be taken to the hospital. And the police did nothing to protect them.”

At the same time, Israeli officials called for destroying entire Gazan communities. Their voices drown out sane ones. Critical ones “hardly get any platform these days,” said Shaul. They’re largely shut out.

Things today are worse than ever. Police state apparatus rules govern. Dissent is verboten. Militarized occupation persists. Gaza is a perpetual battleground. An entire population is vulnerable. “We continue to build settlements, said Shaul. “We increase our military rule over the Palestinians. Israel is not heading for a way out. We are digging ourselves in. We are doing everything we can to maintain the occupation.”

To deny Palestinians rights they deserve. To brutalize them. To eliminate them. To exterminate them. To make Israel ethnically pure. To do it over the corpses of Palestinian men, women, children, infants, the elderly and infirm. To wage genocidal war against them. To get away with it because who’ll intervene responsibly.

Breaking the Silence was founded in March 2004. Today it has over 1,000 members. They speak out courageously. They tell their own stories. They reject Israeli lawlessness. They believe Israel’s greatest threat is itself. Its militarized occupation. Its settlement enterprise. Its institutionalized racism. Its treating Palestinians like subhumans. Its waging wars without mercy to exterminate them.

“(T)he treatment of the Palestinians is the biggest threat to Israel,” Shaul maintains. “It undermines (its) legitimacy.” Israeli policy shouldn’t be “either us or them. It is exactly the opposite.”

Israel’s security “depends on a sovereign Palestinian state beside us and on giving dignity and rights to the Palestinians. In Israel, we are now in a fight over the heart and the soul of our society. The questions are: who are we as a society? What country do we want to live in? The question is whether dropping all these bombs on families is something acceptable in our eyes or not.”

Israel systematically spurns all international human rights laws, norms and standards. Morality isn’t its long suit. Accountability is long overdue.

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.

Towards Military Escalation: Obama Declares War on Syria

September 14th, 2014 by Mike Whitney

Invoking the same ominous language as his predecessor, Barack Obama used a prime time presidential address on Wednesday to announce the beginning of a war on Syria. And while there’s no doubt that many Americans will be confused by Obama’s misleading focus on the terrorist organization named ISIL, the real purpose of the speech was to garner support for another decade of homicidal conflicts in the Middle East.

The administration is as determined as ever to plunge the region into chaos, erase existing borders, and install its puppets wherever it can.  ISIL–which is mainly an invention of western Intel agencies and their treacherous counterparts in the Gulf– conveniently creates the justification for another bloody invasion followed by years of occupation, subjugation, and revolt.

Barack Obama:

My fellow Americans — tonight, I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL. As commander-in-chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people…..

Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer.

Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today. That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge.

Get it? We are all in great peril and only our loving father, Obama, can save us. Where have we heard that before?

Obama: “In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage…..If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region — including to the United States.”

This is pure demagoguery, the likes of which we haven’t heard since Bush’s ”The Axis of Evil” speech.  The truth is, ISIL poses NO threat to US national security at all. It’s a joke.  Readers should mull that over before they throw their support behind Obama’s proposed crusade in Syria..

More Obama:  “First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists…..I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven…..”

Okay, so borders don’t matter, international law doesn’t matter, national sovereignty doesn’t matter. What matters is oil, money and power. Isn’t that what he’s saying? He’s asking the American people to support another millennia of killing so he can pad the bank accounts of corrupt US oil magnates while strengthening America’s tenuous grip on global power.  Would you be willing to sacrifice your son’s life for such a cause?

Obama: “Across the border, in Syria, we have ramped up our military assistance to the Syrian opposition. Tonight, I again call on Congress to give us additional authorities and resources to train and equip these fighters.”

So, now Obama wants to arm and train the same terrorists which the CIA and our enlightened friends in the Gulf States recruited from around the world. Sounds like a good plan, doesn’t it? What could go wrong?

Obama:  “This is our strategy….. Secretary Kerry was in Iraq today meeting with the new government and supporting their efforts to promote unity, and in the coming days he will travel across the Middle East and Europe to enlist more partners in this fight.”

So, Senator Botox and his gaggle of neocons are going to fix everything, just like they did in Kiev.  Now I am worried.

Obama: “But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.”

No American “boots on the ground”?? Is that what he said? What he meant to say was no boots on the ground until after the midterms. After that, the sky’s the limit!

Don’t kid yourself, the Obama claque is as determined to topple Assad as Bush was determined to remove Saddam. That’s why Obama’s public relations team decided to use the prestige of a primetime presidential speech –with all the pompous trappings of high-office–to make their case. It’s because their real target is the American people who are being led by the nose into another hellish bloodbath.

Obama: “American leadership is the one constant in an uncertain world. It is America that has the capacity and the will to mobilize the world against terrorists.”

Oh boy. American troublemaking is the “one constant” in this world, even death and taxes take a back seat to that.  America started the war on terror. (Blowback) America perpetuated the war on terror. (check the globe. The US is fighting wars everywhere.) And America is entirely responsible for the war on terror. (Afghanistan, Mujahedin) And now–after 13 years of unlawful detentions, black sites, Abu Ghraib, Gitmo, death squads, waterboarding, illegal surveillance, drone attacks, and a mountain of carnage that stretches halfway to the moon– Obama is re-launching the  War on Terror under the opaque sobriquet “ISIL”.  Haven’t we had enough of this garbage yet?

As always, the media seems entirely mystified as to the administration’s real intentions. In contrast, analyst Patrick Martin at the World Socialist Web Site sees through the hoax and sums it up like this in an article  titled “Obama announces open-ended war in Iraq and Syria”. Here’s an excerpt:

“It was only 12 months ago that Obama tried and failed to create the political conditions for US air strikes against the Assad regime, making allegations of the use of nerve gas weapons that were later discredited. Now Obama is seeking to achieve the same goal by a different route, using ISIS as a pretext to get American military forces into Syria, where they will become the spearhead of the campaign to oust Assad and install a pro-US stooge regime in Damascus.”

Bingo. The ISIL canard is nothing but a pretext for war.

Write to your Senators and Congressmen: NO WAR IN SYRIA.

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

James Corbett appears on Press TV to discuss the new American-led coalition to attack ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq.

He discusses the hypocrisy of a country that has actively helped to foster, train, equip and aid these terrorists presuming to then lead a military expedition against them.

 

This article was first published on July 25th 2014.  It focuses on issues which have not been addressed by the Dutch Security Board’s (DSB) preliminary report

Until this past Monday [July 21], the downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 on July 17th, 2014, was a potential game changer for global geopolitics and the New Cold War. However, a funny thing happened on the way to the Kremlin…

In this report, we will lay out the facts based on a wide breadth of available information and data surrounding MH17. We will also present and give critique to Washington and Kiev’s “mountain of evidence” that has saturated US and European-based media coverage since the incident took place. 21WIRE has compiled this report with the help of many contributors and references from English-speaking media, as well as material translated from Russian and Ukrainian media sources, along with other historical references to provide context. Our objective is to get as close to the truth as possible. Although many revelations will appear to be self-evident, we still encourage the public to draw there own conclusions regarding this pivotal event.

There are other well-known anomalies surrounding this event which have been covered at 21WIRE, as well as connections to MH370, but for the purposes of this investigation we will focus on both factual and speculative evidence brought forth by the US, Ukraine and Russia.

The Brink of War

Last Monday morning was not a pleasant one for the US State Department. Russian officials surprised Washington and its NATO partners when it released all available satellite imagery and air traffic control data which was recorded in and around the final minutes of Flight MH17 – and presented it to the world media on live television. The data painted a very different picture, drawing contrasting conclusions to what Washington and Kiev officials had been disseminating via western media since July 17th. Following their presentation, Moscow handed its findings – air traffic data and time stamped satellite imagery – to European authorities. We will review those findings in detail later in this report. In stark contrast, US officials have been reluctant to do the same. Is Washington willing to share any object data or evidence to the public, or is it only interested in sharing that which somehow fits into the same predetermined narrative it stood by on July 17th, one which already assigned guilt to both rebel fighters in eastern Ukraine and Russia?

We hope that political leaders and media organizations in the US and Europe will take the time to consider all available information, rather than simply repeat and spin what is bouncing around the media echo chamber. It’s also crucial to understand the geopolitical context in which this incident has occurred in order to discover who really possessed the motive, and the means to destroy this passenger aircraft, and which parties stand to benefit most from such an international incident.

After reviewing the evidence, all indicators points to the downing of MH17 as a highly coordinated, but failed false flag event.

MH17: A Doomed Flight Path

A Malaysian Airlines spokesman has already confirmed that, for some unknown reason, Kiev-based Ukrainian Air Traffic Control (ATC) ordered MH17 off of its original flight path along the international air route, known as L980.

Most likely, this order was given to pilots while MH17 was still in Polish air space. L980 is one of the most popular and most congested air routes in the world, as well as a key link between major international hubs in Europe, like London Heathrow, Amsterdam Schiphol, and Frankfurt, and Asian destinations, like Singapore, Mumbai, Hong Kong and Kuala Lumpur.

MH-17-FLight-Path
As MH17 moved into Ukrainian air space, it was moved approximately 300 miles north of its usual route - putting it on a new course, flying directly over a war zone – a dangerous area that’s hosted a number of downed military craft over the previous 3 weeks.

Robert Mark, a commercial pilot and editor of Aviation International News Safety magazine, confirmed that most Malaysia Airlines flights from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur would normally travel along a route significantly further south than the route MH17 was diverted onto.  Indeed, previous days’ flight records see here confirm that MH17 from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur is always assigned routes much further south than the one it took that fateful day.

The fatal event occurred somewhere in the interval between 17:21:28 and 17:22:30 Moscow Time. The exact time of the crash is believed to be at 5:23pm. The last available geographic coordinates can be found here on Flight Radar24:

Weather and Visibility Factor

Kiev-based air traffic controllers not only led MH17 right over its alleged ‘target zone’ in Eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk region, but also helped make it visible. 

Although weather data online is all but unavailable for the area of Donetsk, Ukraine for July 17th, conditions are evident by numerous videos depicting the crash and crash site in the aftermath - it was cloudy and overcast, with more visibility above the cloud canopy. This factor is important because at the normal cruising altitude of 33,000 feet (10,000 meters), the airliner would not be visible from the ground in the rebel-held area where Washington is insisting a SAM missile was launched. Why did Kiev air traffic controllers order MH17 to suddenly drop its altitude, from 35,000 feet to 33,000 feet, just before the plane’s demise is unknown for sure, but it would have been near impossible for the alleged rebel gunman occupying this relatively small rebel-held patch of land to make a visual sighting of MH17 and acquire the target during the 1-2 minute window they would have had (assuming they were even in possession of the BUK missile system).

To date, Kiev has refused to acknowledge or explain why the plane was moved into position in this way. Moreover, Interfax news agency reported that Ukraine’s SBU security service confiscated recordings of conversations between Ukrainian air traffic control officers and the crew immediately after the incident.

The probability that this is all an ‘unfortunate coincidence’ reduces to near zero when one considers the air traffic data and Kiev’s denial of the close proximity of its Ukrainian SU-25 fighter jet in pursuit of MH17 minutes before the crash (see ‘Aircraft in the Vicinity’ below).

Small Rebel Target Window

Much has been made by the US and its media of MH17 being shot down and crashing in “the rebel-held area”, but few are aware of just how small the said area actually is. The Ukrainian military had already isolated the rebel area which Kiev and Washington insist a rebel-controlled BUK SAM missile battery had fired on the passenger jet. The actual size of this rebel-held patch is only 40-50 miles wide, with MH17 approaching on a southeastern route over Horlivka, the frontline of this rebel-held zone, towards Snezhnoye (Snizhne).

Cruising at 58o mph (933 kmph), MH17 would have only been visible for a very short time – just over 1 minute (if Kiev had not ordered MH17 to alter its course and altitude then it would not have been visible at all), from the vantage point of the alleged rebel firing position. According the Jane’s Defense, the alleged cluprit – an SA-11 (NATO code name) or ‘BUK’ missile system, requires 5 minutes set-up active targeting, followed by an additional 22 seconds ‘reaction time’ for target acquisition and firing. As the MH17 was only visible for 70 seconds above this rebel-held area surrounding Grabovo, unless the alleged rebel firing position was specifically tracking MH17 long before it entered the rebel-held airspace and could distinguish it from other military civilian aircraft also in the general vicinity, Washington’s theory and Kiev’s accusation – that rebels shot down this aircraft becomes even weaker.

Considering these factors, the probability increases greatly that targeting MH17 would have had to be premeditated far in advance of the 70 seconds it was visible above this particular rebel-held area.

Russian Satellite Data and Public Presentation

On Monday, the Russian government, with almost every major global media outlet in attendance, released all of its air traffic data and satellite imaging data (in fact, only part of it) – all verifiable, including time stamps and supporting data. The entire content of the presentation was also handed over to the European authorities. The conclusions to be drawn from this are stunning, to say the least. Despite the public release of this information, US and British media outlets did report back to its people on these findings. They are as follows:

Minutes before the downing of MH17, the plane made a mysterious ‘Left Turn’ as it flew over the Donetsk area at approximately 5:20pm Moscow time, making a sharp 14km deviation, before attempting to regain its previous course before dropping altitude disappearing from radar at 5:23pm. As we previously pointed out, air traffic controllers in Kiev had already diverted MH17 300 miles north into the target zone, so the question remains: was Kiev ATC also responsible for this final, fatal diversion, or is there another reason for this unusual turn (see ‘Mysterious Left Turn’, below)?

According to clear satellite images provided, on July 16th, the Ukrainian Army positioned 3-4 anti-aircraft BUK M1 SAM missile batteries close to Donetsk. These systems included full launching, loading and radio location units, located in the immediate vicinity of the MH17 crash site. One system was placed approximately 8km northwest of Lugansk. In addition, a radio location system for these Ukrainian Army missile batteries is situated 5km north of Donetsk. On July 17th, the day of the incident, these batteries were moved to a position 8km south of Shahktyorsk. In addition to this, two other radio location units are also identified in the immediate vicinity. These SAM systems had a range of 35km distance, and 25km altitude.

From July 18th, after the downing of MH17, Kiev’s BUK launchers were then moved away from the firing zone.

Unlike rebel fighters, the Ukrainian military is in possession of some 27 BUK missile systems capable of bringing down high-flying jets, and forensic satellite imagery places at least 3 of their launchers in the Donetsk region on the day of this tragedy. Yet, Washington and NATO will not inquire about the possibility that any of these system had targeted MH17.

This is a definitive smoking gun: why did the Ukrainian Army move these short-range anti-aircraft SAM missile batteries into position on July 16-17th – to an interior region of East Ukraine where it’s known that the rebel resistance possess no air crafts whatsoever? Not surprisingly, both the US and Kiev have not answered that difficult question, perhaps for obvious reasons.

In addition, the Ukrainian Army’s radio location traffic near Donetsk peaked on the 16th and 17th, including a total of 9 separate radio location systems active. On the 18th and 19th of July, radio location traffic from these stations dropped sharply, down to 4 stations. If, as Washington/Kiev claims, rebels fired a BUK missile at MH17, then the rebel radar location signals would be clearly noted and verifiable on the day; only, they are not.

MH17-MAP

All Aircraft in the Vicinity

Between 5pm-6pm Moscow Time on July 17th, the following aircraft have been identified in the general vicinity of MH17 on its course heading to its fatal destination of Grabovo:

1. Boeing 772 – traveling southeast from Copenhagen to Singapore at 5:17pm
2. Boeing 778 – traveling southeast from Paris to Taipei at 5:24pm
3. Boeing 778 – traveling northwest from Delhi to Berlin circa 5:20pm
4. Boeing 777 – Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 at 5:17pm
5. Su-25 Ukrainian Fighter Jet appears on radar, trailing MH17 at same altitude, est. 4km behind it at 5:21pm

Note: the pilots and passengers of Singapore Airlines Flight SIA351 were close enough to have visually observed, at high altitude, the demise of MH17.

At 5:20pm MH17 began to abruptly lose speed, eventually slowing to 124mph (200kmph). At this time, a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet appears on ATC radar and trailing MH17 on the same flight path approximately 2-3km behind MH17, and at the same altitude – only minutes before MH17 disappeared on radar. The Su-25 would not have been visible on ATC radar before it broke the ATC long-range standby radar tracking ceiling of 5km in altitude. Civilian ATC radar would not be able to identify this Su-25 as military because no secondary detection system is mounted – typical for military aircraft. Note also that the Su-25 is armed with air-to-air missiles with a range of 5km-12km. Over the next four minutes, the Ukrainian fighter remained in the area.

Another Smoking Gun: Kiev government officials insisted on July 17th that, “No military aircraft were available in the region”. Based on available data detailed above, this appears to be a lie, indicating that a cover-up was taking place.

Again, it’s important to note here that at the moment when MH17 was allegedly was hit for the first time, at around 5:23pm Moscow time, the passenger jet was also within the range of several Ukrainian BUK batteries deployed close to Donetsk and as well as the Ukrainian Army’s BUK system positioned on the day just 8km south of Shakhterskoye, only a few miles from the eventual crash site at Grabovo. 


IMAGE: A Ukrainian military Su-25 fighter jet carries air-to-air missiles.

MH17′s Mysterious Left Turn

On passing glance, this seemingly minor, yet unexplained  event doesn’t appear to be significant, but as is often the case, the devil is in the detail.

Again, was Kiev ATC also responsible for MH17′s final and fatal diversion from its course, or is there another reason for what appears to be an evasive maneuver?

One possible explanation for this crucial event in the timeline is that MH17 was hit, or damaged, taking an emergency 180º left turn for 14km, before disappearing completely off of radar. This appears to be the case. On July 23rd, Anna-News published an interview with retired Russian Air Force colonel Aleksand Zhilin (Александр Жилин) a frequent military commentator on Ukraine’s Civil War.

“According to the colonel, at 16:19:45 (local time, and 5:19pm Moscow time), a Ukrainian jet fighter targeted the Boeing with an air-to-air missile R-60. The missile damaged the right engine of the Boeing. The Boeing was hit, but still managed to stay in the air. However, in doing so, the Boeing turned 180 degrees to the left. It was at this moment that the false flag attack started falling apart. According to Zhilin, part of the plan controlled by the US with Ukrainian hands executing it was to have the Boeing crash past the southern frontline by the Ukrainian-Russian border. Had the Boeing fallen there, securing the crash sites with the troops in response to international pressure was on top of all else effectively to allow Kiev to lift the encirclement of its brigades (currently pinned down by rebels) in the southern pocket by the Russian border.”

“When, however, the Boeing started to turn in the opposite direction and was still apparently manageable, the US-Ukrainian headquarters of the special operation panicked and ordered the Buk battery to destroy the plane in the air in order to pre-empt the possibility of the Boeing’s emergency landing. A Buk missile was fired and the plane was then finally destroyed.”

21WIRE spoke to former Czech diplomat and political analyst, Vladimir Suchan, who puts Zhilin’s comments into context of what was happening militarily at the time of the crash. Suchan explains, “If MH17 was hit right over the frontline over Snezhnoye, this would have placed the timing and location of the intended downing and crash site to  either the territory controlled by the Ukrainian army, or much closer to the border between Russia and Ukraine where the “securing of the site” would allow lifting the strategic encirclement of the Ukrainian troops in the south and thus, on top of other objectives, saving Kiev’s armed forces from its first major military defeat.” (see ‘Military All-Out Offense’ section below)

If, indeed MH17 was struck by an air-to-air missile at that time, a distress call may have been sent to Kiev ATC, but as yet, Kiev officials may be reluctant to share, or release the entirety of its communications from July 17th. 

At the time of this report being filed at 21WIRE, a second source to verify this testimony is not presently available. Zhilin’s account certainly makes sense when placed next to all ATC and satellite data released by Moscow. However, flight recorder information and data from MH17′s black boxes would certainly be able to corroborate this timeline of events, and one hopes that Great Britain’s predetermined political stance against Russia does not prevent Downing Street, or MI5 Intelligence Services from releasing the black box information in its entirety and more importantly, a full and unedited disclosure to the media. More than likely, the BBC will have first access to this release, and how the BBC report their findings will be very telling.


Above, is one possible map of MH17 final minutes, as calculated from one source of available public data, available here: http://nikolay-istomin.livejournal.com/3057934.html.

This account is also consistent with the location of key pieces of wreckage scattered over the wider crash site radius. It shows M17 turning back on itself, after being struck initially. If this was the final path, then it completely disapproves the US (US State Department) conspiracy theory that a rebel-controlled BUK missile hit the plane head-on from Snezhnoye (Snizhne). This U-turn then also helps explain why Kiev’s first “leaked conversation of the rebels” (see ‘Kiev’s Botch Social Media Audio’ below) tried to place the rebel’s BUK battery at a completely different location in Debaltzevo, a few kilometers northwest of the main crash site at Grabovo. However, that would not explain the U-turn, which they tried so much to conceal – for it points to the Ukrainian jet fighter.

As part of their PR damage-control exercise, Washington released this Google Map-style graphic on Tuesday July 22nd, illustrating its theory that the rebel missile battery was now located in Snezhnoye:

1-US-BUK-MISSILE-HOAX

Whistleblower: A Spanish Air Traffic Controller in Kiev

All evidence pointing to a Ukrainian Su-25 fighter jet in the same frame as MH17, also validates the testimony of ‘Carlos’, an ATC contractor in Kiev.

ETN received information from an air traffic controller (Borispol Airport) in Kiev on Malaysia Airlines flight MH17:

“This Kiev air traffic controller is a citizen of Spain and was working in the Ukraine. He was taken off duty as a civil air-traffic controller along with other foreigners immediately after a Malaysia Airlines passenger aircraft was shot down over the Eastern Ukraine killing 295 passengers and crew on board. The air traffic controller suggested in a private evaluation and basing it on military sources in Kiev, that the Ukrainian military was behind this shoot down. Radar records were immediately confiscated after it became clear a passenger jet was shot down. Military air traffic controllers in internal communication acknowledged the military was involved, and some military chatter said they did not know where the order to shoot down the plane originated from. Obviously it happened after a series of errors, since the very same plane was escorted by two Ukrainian fighter jets until 3 minutes before it disappeared from radar.”

Again, real mounting evidence which points to an obvious cover-up by Kiev and its NATO partners.

Crime scene investigation is important, although reports to date from the crash site in Grabovo do not inspire much confidence, that a thorough and independent forensic investigation will be carried out. The key evidence would be ballistics, including pieces of shrapnel retrieved from the wreckage. It should be easy to determine if they came from any of the following:

1. A bomb on board (this is still a possibility).
2. An air-to-air missile. 
3. A surface-to-air missile.

After that, the autopsy of the bodies would reveal additional evidence about what really took place on July 17th. At present, the majority of the remains are being handled by the Netherlands government, and given their NATO involvement to date in the Ukrainian conflict, it’s debatable whether or not they would present any findings which do not square with Washington and Kiev’s narrow, yet ever-evolving narrative of the incident.

Finally, if MH17 was indeed shot down as a false flag provocation of war by either a Ukrainian SU-25 fighter, or a Ukrainian Army BUK SAM – or both, as much of the hard evidence suggests, then would Malaysia declare war on the Ukraine? Would the UN table a resolution backing sanctions against Ukrainian officials in Kiev for their role in this international war crime?

US-NATO’s Military Drill in the Black Sea Ended on July 17th

Russia’s Satellite Data and Public Presentation on Monday July 21st has put Washington on its back foot. The existence of this intelligence, now made public, along with other data in Russia’s possession, means that the Washington cannot show the real intelligence – which they too have. It’s no coincidence that US and NATO conducted a large-scale military and intelligence drill in the Black Sea just south of Crimea named, SEA BREEZE 2014, which just so happened to end on… July 7th. The drill included hundreds of US military specialists running ‘war simulations’ in electronic warfare, data collection from a spy satellite, and ‘monitoring’ of all passenger aircraft flying in the region. A massive drill – yet another improbable coincidence.

Another smoking gun: Is it a coincidence that the US had its new experimental satellite positioned over Eastern Europe for 1-2 hours, and directly over Donetsk in eastern Ukraine from 5:06pm – 5:21pm. Taking this fact into consideration, alongside the other improbable ‘coincidences’, leads to an almost certain conclusion.

In addition to SEA BREEZE, both US and British armed forces had also scheduled a concurrent military exercise, code named, Rapid Trident 2014, a NATO event which takes place annually in and around the Ukraine, designed to “promote regional stability and security, strengthen partnership capacity and foster trust while improving interoperability between the land forces of Ukraine, and NATO and partner nations,” according to the US Forces in Europe website. Since March, the Pentagon has kept quiet regarding the number of US forces, and hardware assets expected to participate in the maneuvers.

According to US Army spokesman Col. Steven Warren, Rapid Trident is the only Ukraine military exercise the US planned to participate in this year, and it’s main purpose was, “To help the Ukrainian military improve its troops and weapons operability with NATO forces.” 

Ukrainian Military All-Out Offensive Timed For July 18th

Three uncomfortable realities in Kiev were prevailing before the downing of MH17 on July 17th:

First, the troops were losing morale, and suffering defections and other serious set-backs in an increasingly unpopular military theater of Eastern Ukraine.  Kiev was losing the PR war hearts and minds in the Ukraine and abroad.

After the downing of MH17, Kiev garnered huge public sympathy and support, and just so happened to launch a massive offensive on July 18th, one which military analysts believe would have to have been planned many weeks in advance – and could not just be a knee-jerk reaction to the MH17 tragedy as government spokespersons in Kiev insist.

Secondly, they were losing the war. Behind the lines battle reports from Igor Strelkov’s blog at the time confirms this all-out offensive at Snezhnoye by the Kiev military planners against the People’s Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk – allowing the Ukrainian Army to penetrate deeper and deeper, in effect splitting Donetsk and Lugansk.

Vladimir Suchan adds,

“After the loss of MH17 and some talk about “humanitarian ceasefire”, the Kiev regime launched three massive offensives from the north, the west (from Artemovsk, which included a large tank attack) and in the south. Since it always takes some good time to prepare an offensive, this had to be planned sufficiently ahead, though, with a view of the desperate situation for the junta in the south, most likely at a very accelerated pace.  http://voicesevas.ru/news/yugo-vostok/2968-voyna-na-yugo-vostoke-onlayn-18072014-hronika-sobytiy-post-obnovlyaetsya.html

“In this regard, it is also very plausible that some hope was put on having the command of Novororrysia paralyzed, busy and distracted over MH17. By all accounts, both the timing and location of the MH17 crash, has enabled a huge ‘game changer’ in terms of how this conflict was previously going.”

If the international community were indeed to connect the prospect of a  false flag attack on MH17 with the false flag attack by Maidan snipers back in February, and the attempted false flag attack with the Odessa massacre, perhaps the Ukrainian Civil War could be abated, for the right reasons.

Disturbing reports are also coming in about the Ukrainian Military dropping White Phosphorus on civilian targets this week, as forces continue bombarding areas surrounding of Lugansk. Here are two unconfirmed videos, possible evidence of unconventional chemical weapons being deployed over several locations near Lugansk People’s Republic of Novorossia, from July 20-21, 2014:



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Thirdly, Kiev is going broke trying to fund what appears to be an ethnic cleansing campaign in eastern Ukraine. Sources from the Parliamentary budget office in Kiev now confirm that as of August 1st, Kiev can’t pay its military (who are, in fact, waging war against its own people and calling it ‘anti-terror operations).

“To continue the anti-terrorist operation in eastern Ukraine, it  is necessary to amend the state budget and to find additional sources of its content. We do not have money to pay at least a cash security to our military from August”, stated Ukraine’s Finance Minister Oleksandr Shlapak, speaking in Parliament this week. According to Shlapak, funds previously provided by the state budget for these purposes has been calculated for the period prior to July 1st, and continued operations will require additional funds totaling 9 billion UAH ($1 billion). Infighting has already begun, as MP’s are now blamingthe Ministry of Defense and army staff for corruption and looting of money.

In the wake of the MH17 disaster, US and its NATO allies are responding with a renewed call for more military aid to Kiev and to fast-track the Ukraine’s membership into Washington’s overseas military surrogate, NATO. As an emergency response to “secure the crash site”, NATO stalwart, The Netherlands, are weighing up deploying NATO troops into the middle of this war zone. Such a move could easily cascade into something much worse should another bizarre “accident” occur, or some tragedy befalls Dutch troops inserted into the hot zone.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has responded with strong words of condemnation, stating,

“No matter what our Western counterparts tell us, we can see what’s going on. As it stands, NATO is blatantly building up its forces in Eastern Europe, including the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea areas. Its operational and combat training activities are gaining in scale.”

While the US push Kiev eastwards to fight Washington’s proxy war against Russia, the political and financial situation in Kiev is rapidly falling apart.

On Thursday July 24th, Victoria Nuland’s puppet leader following a US-backed, violent military coup back in February, Prime Minister of Ukraine Arseniy ‘Yatz’ Yatsenyuk (photo, left) announced his resignation in connection with the collapse of a Washington-designed coalition and parliament blocking government initiatives.

Made-up ‘Evidence’ From Washington and Kiev

The talking point shift by the US media on Tuesday July 22nd was an obvious reaction to the Russian data dump. US media are now airing Washington DC’s revised conspiracy theories. Theory 1) “The rebels shot MH17 down by mistake”, and Theory 2) “Russia is responsible for creating the conditions for this tragedy”.

In reality, no evidence actually exists to date, other than anecdotal, that the rebels in the east possess any ‘BUK’ surface-to-air missile systems (see Washington and Kiev’s ‘BUK’ Missile Evidence Debunked’, below).

Close observers of Washington DC’s media blitz can only be left with a feeling of embarrassment, as the US State Department still clings to some semblance of continuity in the face of a total PR meltdown. As late as July 22nd, the US State Department was  still attempting to pass-off its ‘evidence’ from social media (Twitter and YouTube), and backed-up by what it claims is “common sense”, that “clearly indicates Ukrainian militia shot down MH17″.

Since the incident on July 17th, the Kiev regime and US State Department have built their case against Rebels in eastern Ukraine and Moscow, and even Vladimire Putin himself, on the following items, which have all been thoroughly discredited by now:

1. The audio  “tapes” issued by Kiev
2. A video and photos of BUK missile batteries issued by Kiev (of their own BUK missile batteries)
3. Claims by Kiev and supported by the West, that Ukraine had “no military aircraft in the air” at the time of the crash of the MH17 plane. 

On July 22nd, the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (photo right) was forced to change Kiev’s story - a damage-control exercise to  the overwhelming evidence against Ukraine. He has since reversed this position.

Suchan explains the western political media machine and its all-out effort to cast Russia and Putin as international pariahs over the incident:

“What has been thus established is that Ukraine, as well as the US, the EU, NATO, and other Western countries, have been systematically and grossly lying about evidence pertaining to the tragedy of MH17, thus willfully – and bluntly, abusing the tragedy and the demise of the victims and the suffering of their families for perverse political goals related to NATO expansionism and anti-Russian hysteria, and ‘Russophobia’, in order to support an openly fascist regime in Kiev, whose objective is the deliberate destruction of civilians and civilian infrastructure in east Ukraine.”

“The smearing campaign has also been used to demonize and criminalize anti-fascism and its resistance to a fascist dictatorship in Kiev, enrolled by Ukraine’s criminal oligarchs.”

Washington and Kiev’s ‘BUK’ Missile Evidence Debunked

Immediately after the MH17 crash event on July 17th, the Ukrainian government in Kiev quickly uploaded a brief YouTube video it purported to be ‘evidence’ of “a ‘BUK’ missile system being moved” out of a rebel-held area near Donetsk. US State Department officials, and every US media outlet, led by CNN, FOX, ABC, NBC and CBS, along with major US talk radio hosts like Sean Hannity, immediately jumped on this 5 second YouTube video claiming it was, “Irrefutable proof that a Russian-made BUK missile system was being moved away after it shot down MH17″. That talking point began to cascade from media, and into public chatter. It seemed their job was all but done.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation newspaper , The Sun, always ready to take any pro-war line to the extreme, led the ‘conflict pornography’ on news stands, intentionally inciting fear and jingoism, doing what it always does: nudge British working class readers in a predetermined direction and fuse public opinion among differing classes on divisive international issues. No surprise then, as The Sun ran, “Putin’s Missile” as its headline the next morning. Similar covers and headlines were cloned across US and British media. Within hours of the news breaking – and despite this blanket coverage, not one of these newspapers or TV broadcasters offered any real evidence outside of anecdotal and wild speculation and conjectural theories.

Once again, we’ve witnessed world’s most powerful, highly coordinated and synchronized propaganda machine. Once it’s set in motion, most western consumers are helpless to fend off it’s relentless repeating and universal coverage across hundreds of media outlets owned in most part by 5 US, and 2 British corporations.

A similar attempt was made by Washington and London last September, when US Secretary of State John Kerry, along with then British Foreign Secretary William Hague, presented their now infamous claim of ‘open source evidence’ (YouTube videos) used to assign blame to the Syrian government for a chemical weapons attack against its own people. Many of the photos and videos were later proven to be faked and staged, and ‘the gas’ was made in Britain, and that ‘chemical attack’ was in fact staged by Syrian insurgents still being supported by the US-British-Saudi-Qatari Axis.

Washington’s initial ‘BUK Missile’ social media evidence seems to be rapidly heading down the same memory hole as its Syria predecessor, and soon, it will not be mentioned again by any US official. The speed at which it was released after the crash, and the fact that falsified audio, video, and photos have been intentionally released by the Kiev government in the wake of such a tragedy, demonstrates a clear motive to deceive the public about who is to blame for the MH17 event – using falsified evidence to build a case against ‘pro-Russian separatists’ and Moscow, and even Russian President Vladimir Putin himself.

What is obvious, but not being discussed in mainstream western circles, is that like Syria, Washington and its NATO allies have been openly conducting a proxy war in the Ukraine, and have managed to control media coverage in the west so that what clearly a Civil War in the Ukraine – is being cynically, and very wrongly labeled as an “anti-terror operation”. On a daily basis, the Ukrainian Military are carrying out attacks on civilian targets all over Eastern Ukraine, killing thousands of its own innocent citizens with the full logistical and financial backing of the Washington and NATO. In Syria, the tables are reversed, where the government in Damascus is clearly fighting against known al Qaeda and ISIS-linked foreign terrorists brigades, as Washington and London politicians and media insist on calling it a ‘civil war’. Both are classic proxy wars being waged by the NATO block of nations.

More Falsified and Sloppy ‘Evidence’ Supplied by SBU Defense Ministry in Kiev

Let’s start with the famous 5 second YouTube video released by Kiev and lauded by Washington, CNN, ABC, FOX et all, of a BUK missile battery being moved, we were told, secretly by rebels out of the area after the plane crash.

Not only does signage clearly visible in the video place this truck in Krasnoarmeysk – a town which has been in control of the Ukrainian Army since May 11th. Here is one early news release of the now discredited video.

In the absence of any real evidence or data, it’s worth asking who has paid large sums of money to create a 3-D computer animation sequences, of what the US/Kiev governments claim look place?

In addition to falsified the YouTube video, Kiev also published falsified photos of an alleged BUK missile system on July 19th. Kiev’s Security Service (SBU) published photos online it claimed showed ‘Russia’ secretly withdrawing a BUK-M system from the Ukraine civil war zone, but shortly after publishing this article the photos in question were deleted. The photo released by Kiev was actually an image taken of its own military’s BUK missiles – ironically, our readers will find that Kiev showing photos of its own systems is much closer to the real story than we previously thought.

Somewhat haphazardly, Kiev’s SBU, which is overseen by the new CIA station occupying the top floor in the same building in Kiev, released two more videos meant to assign blame to rebels in Donetsk, with Kiev claiming these were of Russian-made BUK-M being transported back to Russia on July 18th after the crash – but both videos were clearly shot during the winter time, with one found to have been previously published in March. Again, more intentional lying by Kiev, in order to assign blame to ‘pro-Russian Separatists’, and Moscow.

Kiev’s Botched Social Media ‘Audio Clips’

Early on, Washington and the entire western media machine, made much of two audio ‘tapes’ released via YouTube by Kiev officials, alleged to be taken from conversations between ‘pro-Russian separatist’ rebel commanders.

Both Kiev and Washington held these up as ‘evidence’ of rebels using a BUK SAM missile system to shoot down MH17. The only problem here, is that both ‘tapes’ contradict each other regarding the location of the alleged missile batteries.

Vladimir Suchan points out the obvious, “The identification of the direction of the blast then also disproves the junta’s videos with “leaked conversations” from yesterday and today–for the missile could not then be launched either from Debaltzevo, or Donetsk, as claimed on both tapes -these places were by then a bit far, and not in front of MH17. That’s also evidently why, today the junta’s sites are claiming that the BUK missile battery was supposed to be in Snezhnoye, forgetting all about their first tape leak with commander ‘Bes’ from Gorlovka (40 miles north-west). If the Ukrainian Army used a BUK missile, then it would most likely have been fired from north of Amvrosivka, which is a place of a large concentration of Ukrainian troops. It is also southwest of Torez and Snezhnoye in the proximity of which the crash site is located. BUK missiles have a range of up to 20 miles. Enough for a battery in the Amvrosivka region.”

Zero Hedge reported on July 17th:

The only problem is that there is absolutely no way to confirm who “Major” and “Grek” are, and considering the entire Ukraine civil war has been merely one provocation and counter-provocation after another, explicitly staged in advance by either the CIA on the side of Kiev or the Kremlin on the Russian side, one does have to wonder whether the said two “smoking gun” participants aren’t merely two random people speaking Russian and reading off a script?

The clip concludes with another unnamed “Militant” who supposedly is speaking to Mykola Kozitsyn, one of the purported leaders of the Cossacks operating in east Ukraine. The Militant makes it clear to Kozitsyn that it is not a military plane and has “Malaysian Airlines” written on the side. One wonders just where one could find such writing on the side of the crashed and exploded fuselage but that one is for the forensics to decide.”

In addition, multiple independent analysis’s of these audio recordings also reveals that these audio recordings were not integral files, indicating they were spliced together, as is evident from the different time stamp dates visible from the raw audio data. It also reveals at least one portion was recorded, or edited on July 16th – before the crash of MH17. ITAR-TASS Agency confirms this:

“The tape’s second fragment consists of three pieces but was presented as a single audio recording. However, a spectral and time analysis has showed that the dialog was cut into pieces and then assembled. Short pauses in the tape are very indicative: the audio file has preserved time marks which show that the dialog was assembled from various episodes, the expert said. The tape’s linguistic analysis also shows that those who made the faked tape clearly did not have enough material and time, the expert said. That is why, speech fragments can hardly correlate with each other in terms of their sense and the spectral picture of audio materials also differs, the expert said. But the most indicative moment is that the audio tape clearly shows that it was created almost a day before the airliner crash, the expert said.”

Only one conclusion can be drawn here: these tapes were faked, and released after the crash in order to assign blame on rebels and Russia for this event.

In addition to this, video production on both Kiev ‘tapes’ matches a previous YouTube video – same graphics style and editing, which was previously proven to be another fake. Interestingly, Ukrainian producers used the same actor, an alleged Cossack rebel commander, Mykola Kozitsyn, in their MH17 audio production. Zero Hedge also reveals: “Finally, we clearly have no way of authenticating the recording or the participants, it was just over a month ago, on June 5, when in another attempt to cast blame and discredit the separatists, Ukraine released another trademark YouTube clip seeking to disparage and frame Kozitsyn, entitled “Russian Cossack Formations are Responsible For Chaos In Ukraine.”

In summary, multiple falsified information releases by Kiev government officials only points to one conclusion: a cover-up. By contrast, Russia officials have not released any falsified or fraudulent ‘evidence’ to assign blame to any parties – instead Moscow released all of its verifiable data surrounding the incident which has now forced Washington to rethink its wild approach which previously tried to pin responsibility on Russia itself…


IMAGE: President Obama and John Kerry unable to settle on a version of events (Photo: RCJ)

US Now in Full Retreat and Damage-Control Mode

Amazingly, in a US State Department briefing led by Deputy Spokesperson Marie Harf on Tuesday July 22nd, Harf insisted that, yes, US intelligence officials still include these ‘social media’ posts as part of what Secretary of State John Kerry describes as a “mountain of evidence”.

Obviously under great pressure to show strength in the face of a complete collapse in confidence, Harf (photo, left) could be seen stuttering and twitching nervously as difficult questions were raised by members of the media. In one of the biggest flops in State Dept. history, Harf appeared so desperate to shed any further questions on ‘social media evidence’, that she opted for a fatal gaff - stating on record that “US intelligence officials have authenticated the audio”. Unless she means they’ve authenticated these as fake, this statement may come back to haunt US officials. Many are now calling it a bold-faced lie, designed to cover-up the mishandling and over-politicization of posts found on social media, shamelessly used by Washington to promote a war agenda.

As a result, CNN and others are now scavenging the tragedy, trying to hide the emerging facts under the heap of its “fair and balanced” mainstream conspiracy theories. The story has now shifted from what happened, to how US politicians are dealing with the crisis, as was evident after one major outlet who ran this headline, “Obama: What exactly are they trying to hide?” 

On Tuesday, the US government finally admitted (as well as it could), that it had been bluffing about its ‘certainty’ that Russia was behind the downing of Malaysian Air Flight MH-17.

Washington’s New Conspiracy Theory

In a damage control exercise this past Tuesday, Washington invited members of the majors like the Washington Post and the LA Times, to an ‘intelligence update’ briefing, and a press conference run by the inexperienced Marie Harf.

The Los Angeles Times reported:

“U.S. intelligence agencies have so far been unable to determine the nationalities or identities of the crew that launched the missile. U.S. officials said it was possible the SA-11 [anti-aircraft missile] was launched by a defector from the Ukrainian military who was trained to use similar missile systems.”

The quiet U-turn by Washington signals that its previous case blaming the rebels has been destroyed, and rather than concede that the Ukrainian Army has actually shot down MH17, they’ve chosen to instead concoct a new revision about a “rogue defector” and his “rogue team” who happen to be wearing Ukrainian Army uniforms.

Washington’s new and creative official conspiracy theories now include:

1. Ukrainian separatists shot down plane by mistake after misreading ‘fuzzy’ radar images on a much-too sophisticated AS-11 system (as if US intelligence officials were actually there), probably mistook the airliner for a Ukrainian military plane (reverting to their original line).

2. Missile that brought down Malaysian jet probably fired by ‘ill-trained crew’ of pro-Russian rebels

The “ill-trained crew” theory is the work of one U.S. official who, “requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak publicly on the issue”. And who could blame him?

Finally, Washington ends up at a place it knows well – reducing a major geopolitical event or crime down to the work of a lone wolf, or in this case, a ‘rogue defector’ from the Ukrainian Army, an image which will no doubt fuel even more wild commentary by Wolf Blitzer, Anderson Cooper, George Stephanopoulos and Sean Hannity.

American investigative reporter Robert Parry (who broke many of the Iran-Contra scandal for AP and Newsweek in the 80′s) published this on Consortium News, July 20th (based on his CIA source):

“What I’ve been told by one source, who has provided accurate information on similar matters in the past, is that U.S. intelligence agencies do have detailed satellite images of the likely missile battery that launched the fateful missile, but the battery appears to have been under the control of Ukrainian government troops dressed in what look like Ukrainian uniforms.” 

This account is fully consistent with

1) the “anonymous US intelligence officers’ briefing from US mainstream media on Tuesday July 22,” as reported,

2) the briefing by the Russian Ministry of Defense on July 21 and,

3) Alexandr Zhilin‘s analysis previously covered.

Backpedaling even further, Washington has officially downgraded its overall indictment, with another ‘senior intelligence official’ announcing a brand new party line – a weaker thesis, somehow claiming that, “Russia created the conditions for this to happen”.

More Western Media Manipulation

London’s media arms have also sprung into action in an attempt to reinforce Washington-NATO-Kiev Axis assignment of guilt. In a classic demonstration of its pro-Foreign Office institutional bias, Guardian writer Shawn Walker carefully attempts to contain the western guilty verdict, considering only ‘pro-Russian rebels’ and intentionally reinforcing the ‘Rebel-BUK conspiracy theory’.

Walker states, “Claims by pro-Russia separatists in east Ukraine that they have never been in possession of the missile launcher apparently used to down flight MH17 are looking increasingly flimsy, as several witnesses told the Guardian they had seen what appeared to be a Buk missile launcher in the vicinity of the crash site last Thursday.

The sightings back up a number of photographs and videos posted online that put the Buk system close to the crash site on the day of the disaster. Just before lunchtime last Thursday, prior to the Malaysia Airlines plane’s takeoff, a Buk was driven through Gagarin Street, one of the central thoroughfares of Torez, witnesses said.”

The Guardian could very well be relaying genuine eyewitness accounts here, but only advanced media watchers will have noticed the slight of hand being applied here: Walker has ruled out any other possible suspects other than rebels – skillfully hiding his paper’s bias in reporting by pouring evidence collected into a pre-determined verdict. If the Guardian were not applying an institutional (British Foreign Office pre-determined conclusion) bias, then its editor would have combined the eyewitness accounts to the clear satellite photographic evidence provided by the Russian authorities, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who was really in possession of these surface-to-air missile systems – the Ukrainian military.

Official US Plan to Destroy Civilian Aircraft for Diplomatic Gain

The first official known plan to fake the destruction of a civilian aircraft was drafted by the US Pentagon in 1962. A former NSA analyst at Strategic Culture reports:

“The use of commercial passenger planes as false flag targets of opportunity for U.S. national security and intelligence planners is nothing new.

The U.S. National Archives yielded an explosive formerly classified document some five months before the 9/11 attack in 2001. The document, “Justification for U.S. Military Intervention in Cuba”, outlined for Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, a series of false flag attacks, code named Operation Northwoods, which would be carried out by the United States on various targets but be blamed on the Fidel Castro government of Cuba. Dated March 13, 1962, the Top Secret Northwoods document was prepared by America’s top covert Special Operations officer, General Edward Lansdale.”

The Northwoods plans called for the sinking of a boatload of Cuban refugees en route from Cuba to U.S. shores, blowing up an American ship in Cuban waters, and more importantly in light of the recent downing of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 over eastern Ukraine, faking a Cuban Air Force attack on a civilian jetliner.

Lansdale and his Northoods planners concluded that the U.S. invasion of Cuba would receive wide support as a result of an outraged public. The document states:

“World opinion and the United Nations forum should be favorably affected by developing the international image of Cuban government as rash and irresponsible, and as an alarming and unpredictable threat to the peace of the Western Hemisphere.”

Most certainly, this blueprint by US intelligence is mirrored today in 2014, as the US and its NATO member allies (and media assets in tow) using totally synchronized messaging – dominated by wild speculation, hyperbole and hysteria characterizing the rebels in the east of Ukraine as terrorists, Russia as the enemy, and President Vladimir Putin as ‘the personification of evil’ for American and British media consumers.

All we need now is the truth.

La santa crociata di Obama

September 13th, 2014 by Manlio Dinucci

«Che Dio benedica le nostre truppe, che Dio benedica gli Stati uniti d’America»: con queste parole (che invitiamo Papa Francesco a commentare) si conclude la solenne «Dichiarazione sull’Isis», con cui il presidente Barack Obama, in veste di  «Comandante in capo», si è rivolto ieri sera non solo ai suoi concittadini ma al mondo intero. L’America, spiega il Presidente, è «benedetta» perché si assume i compiti più gravosi, a partire dalla «responsabilità di esercitare la leadership». In «un mondo incerto» come quello attuale, «la leadership americana è l’unica costante». È infatti l’America che ha «la capacità e volontà di mobilitare il mondo contro i terroristi», è l’America che ha «chiamato a raccolta il mondo contro l’aggressione russa», è l’America che può «contenere e debellare l’epidemia di Ebola». Con questi toni, che ricordano quelli di un predicatore medioevale all’epoca della Peste Nera («l’aggressione russa» messa sullo stesso piano dell’epidemia di Ebola), il Presidente lancia la nuova crociata contro lo «Stato islamico dell’Iraq e della Siria», avvertendo che «ci vorrà tempo per sradicare un cancro come quello dell’Isis». Nonostante tutto quello che ha fatto finora l’America per combattere il terrorismo, sottolinea, «abbiamo ancora di fronte una minaccia terroristica». Ciò perché «non possiamo cancellare ogni traccia del male dal mondo».

Con questa premessa, che ricorda le crociate del repubblicano Reagan contro l’«impero del male» (l’Urss) e del repubblicano Bush contro «il nemico oscuro che si nasconde negli angoli bui della Terra» (al Qaeda), il democratico Obama enuncia «la strategia degli Stati uniti per sconfiggere l’Isis», articolata in quattro punti. 1) «Una sistematica campagna di attacchi aerei contro l’Isis», in Siria così come in Iraq. 2) «Accresciuto appoggio alle forze che combattono l’Isis sul terreno»: a differenza che in Iraq e Afghanistan gli Stati uniti non invieranno ufficialmente forze di terra, ma consiglieri e istruttori (altri 475 arriveranno in Iraq), finanziando e armando, con un’apposita legge del Congresso, forze irachene e curde e, in Siria, quelle che combattono sia contro «il regime di Assad che terrorizza il suo popolo», sia contro «gli estremisti come l’Isis». 3) «Attingere alle nostre sostanziali capacità di controterrorismo per prevenire attacchi dell’Isis»: ciò avverrà lavorando in stretto contatto con i partner (compreso Israele che si è già detto disponibile a condividere le informazioni della propria intelligence). 4) «Fornire assistenza umanitaria agli innocenti civili che l’Isis caccia dalle proprie case». Gli Stati uniti hanno già costituito «un’ampia coalizione di partner», che forniscono «miliardi di dollari di assistenza umanitaria, armi e sostegno alle forze di sicurezza irachene e all’opposizione siriana». Nei prossimi giorni il segretario di stato Kerry visiterà il Medio Oriente e l’Europa per «reclutare altri partner nella battaglia».

Quella che l’amministrazione Obama lancia non è una strategia che il presidente è costretto ad autorizzare dopo aver sottovalutato la minaccia dell’Isis (secondo una diffusa vulgata), ma una strategia costruita negli anni. Come già ampiamente documentato,  i primi nuclei del futuro Isis si formano quando, per rovesciare Gheddafi in Libia nel 2011, la Nato sotto comando Usa finanzia e arma gruppi islamici fino a poco prima definiti terroristi. Dopo aver contribuito a rovesciare Gheddafi, essi passano in Siria per rovesciare Assad. Qui, nel 2013, nasce l’Isis che riceve armi, finanziamenti e vie di transito da Arabia Saudita, Qatar, Kuwait, Turchia e Giordania, nel quadro di un piano coordinato dalla Cia. Nel maggio 2013, un mese dopo aver fondato l’Isis, Ibrahim al-Badri – il «califfo» oggi noto col nome di battaglia di Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi – incontra in Siria il senatore John McCain, incaricato da Obama di svolgere operazioni segrete per conto del governo (v. foto sul manifesto del 10 settembre). L’Isis lancia poi l’offensiva in Iraq, nel momento in cui il governo al-Maliki sta prendendo le distanze da Washington, avvicinandosi alla Cina e alla Russia. Il reale scopo della strategia varata da Obama è la demolizione della Siria e la rioccupazione dell’Iraq. Inoltre, impegnando gli alleati europei (tra cui l’Italia) sul nuovo fronte mediorientale e allo stesso tempo su quello orientale contro la Russia, gli Stati uniti rafforzano la loro influenza sull’Unione europea, che vogliono unita solo se resta sotto leadership Usa.

 

Estado Islámico, la nueva estrategia de Washington

September 13th, 2014 by Roberto Castellanos

Damasco, 10 de septiembre de 2014 (PL) – En Washington y en varias capitales europeas se frotan las manos, pues las amplias zonas de Iraq y Siria controladas por el extremista Estado Islámico (EI) le abre las puertas a Occidente a una intervención a gran escala en el Oriente Medio.

La ofensiva del EI le permite, además, cumplir un viejo sueño: la balcanización de la región, que posee los principales yacimientos de hidrocarburos del mundo.

Con decenas de miles de hombres, armamento sofisticado y abundante financiamiento, el Daesh (acrónimo en árabe de ese grupo) pasó de una minúscula formación a representar una verdadera amenaza para Iraq y Siria.

Decapitaciones, crucifixiones, violaciones sexuales, asesinatos masivos y otros crímenes en las zonas que controla, convierten a esa agrupación en sinónimo de terror.

El Estado Islámico y el Frente al Nusra, brazo de Al Qaeda en Siria, fueron capaces de crecer gracias a las donaciones de los aliados de la Casa Blanca en el Golfo Pérsico, estimó Andrew Tabler, experto del Washington Institute for Near East Policy.

Durante los últimos tres años, Damasco denunció el respaldo exterior a los grupos armados y advirtió el peligro que representaban para la región y el mundo, pero sus palabras fueron ignoradas.

Con el argumento de combatir el terrorismo, ahora la Casa Blanca inició bombardeos en Iraq, país que invadió en el 2003, y amenaza con extenderlos a la vecina nación, en la mira desde hace varios años.

Sin embargo, muy pocos hablan del ajedrez que impulsan Washington y otros actores internacionales y regionales como parte del gran juego geopolítico.

Las actuales fronteras de la región (con alguna que otra variación) datan del fin de la I Guerra Mundial (1914-1918), cuando Gran Bretaña y Francia aplicaron el acuerdo secreto de Sykes-Picot para dividirse la zona.

Precisamente esas demarcaciones impuestas por potencias extranjeras fueron siempre un elemento perturbador y de fricciones entre los países árabes durante décadas, azuzados convenientemente por Occidente.

El empleo de diferencias políticas, religiosas, fronterizas y hasta económicas propiciaron los planes para balcanizar el Levante.

El objetivo es lo que muchos politólogos conocen como “la teoría del caos constructivo”, que permitiría a las antiguas metrópolis y a Estados Unidos remodelar y dibujar nuevas fronteras e instaurar gobiernos afines en la región.

La Casa Blanca desarrolló en los años 90 una nueva estrategia llamada Redirección, en la cual los takfiríes (extremistas sunitas) juegan un papel importante para convertir el área en un polvorín, señaló Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, sociólogo e investigador del Centre for Research on Globalization y la Strategic Culture Foundation, de Moscú.

Me gustaría ver a Siria como un país desintegrado y balcanizado con “más o menos regiones autónomas”, afirmó recientemente Henry Kissinger, exsecretario de Estado norteamericano, durante una intervención en la Escuela Gerald R. Ford de Política Pública de la Universidad de Michigan.

Pese a las afirmaciones de Washington, la ofensiva del EI sobre amplios territorios en Iraq, no sorprendió al gobierno de Obama, que cuenta con tecnología de punta y el presupuesto más alto del mundo para labores de espionaje.

Hemos tenido esa información desde principios de año, y la pasamos a Washington, aseguró al diario británico The Telegraph, Rooz Bahjat, quien trabaja para Lahur Talabani, jefe de la inteligencia del kurdistán iraquí.

En una comparecencia ante el Congreso en febrero último, el teniente general Michael Flynn, entonces jefe de la Agencia de Inteligencia de Defensa, advirtió que el EI lanzaría un ataque masivo en el 2014 en ambos lados de la frontera.

Según el Centre for Research on Globalization, miembros claves de esa organización terrorista recibieron entrenamiento de la Agencia Central de Inteligencia norteamericana (CIA) en un campamento secreto en las afueras de la ciudad jordana de Safawi, en el 2012.

“Los campos de entrenamiento secretos estadounidenses en Jordania y otros países entrenaron a varios miles de combatientes musulmanes en las técnicas de guerra irregular, sabotaje y el terror general”, reveló el tanque pensante.

También hay numerosas denuncias sobre instalaciones similares en Turquía y Libia, que tras la agresión occidental se convirtió en un vivero de yihadistas.

El Daesh no tenía el poder para conquistar y ocupar Mosul (la segunda ciudad iraquí) por sí mismo. Lo que ha ocurrido es el resultado de la colaboración con la inteligencia de algunos países de la región con grupos extremistas dentro del gobierno iraquí, estimó el periodista iraní Sabah Zanganeh.

Un reporte del diario The Wall Street Journal destacó que un comandante militar del EI, el georgiano de origen checheno Tarkhan Batirashvili, hizo de las guerras en Iraq y Siria una lucha “geopolítica entre Estados Unidos y Rusia”.

Batrashvili es un producto de un programa conjunto de Estados Unidos y Georgia, aseguró Jeffrey Silverman, corresponsal en ese último país del diario electrónico norteamericano Veterans Today.

Siria e Iraq sufren hoy las políticas de las potencias occidentales que durante años cerraron los ojos y financiaron a organizaciones radicales con un objetivo claro: justificar la intervención con el argumento del combate al terrorismo.

Por Roberto Castellanos*

* Corresponsal de Prensa Latina en Siria.

05 de Septiembre, 2014- Las acciones que llevan a cabo los terroristas de la agrupación terrorista Estado Islámico de Irak y El Levante (EIIL) forman parte de una política de Estados Unidos en el Medio Oriente, explicó el analista geopolítico canadiense, Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya.

“El denominado EIIL no es una expresión de error de una política de EEUU, como este país está intentando hacer ver; es en realidad la expresión de una política estadounidense”, expresó en entrevista con Press TV.

Indicó que lo que ha hecho esta agrupación periodista, que armó Washington para tratar de derrocar al presidente sirio Bashar Al Assad, “es la clara manifestación de lo que Estados Unidos y sus aliados, incluyendo Israel, han estado tratando de hacer en la región por una década”.

De acuerdo al analista, el EIIL busca unir a Siria con Irak para desintegrar los Estados existentes en Medio Oriente; y a su vez, crear Estados sectarios y homogéneos, en base a las etnias, que sean principalmente para sunitas, por lo que tendrían que expulsar a chiítas, cristianos y drusos.

Sin embargo, aclaró que esa presunta lucha étnica no es más que un camuflaje de EEUU, para lograr su objetivo de desintegrar a los Estados.

“Denominan esto un Califato Islámico, pero quiero ser categórico, esto no tiene nada que ver con el islam. Estados Unidos ha estado impulsando la idea de un Emirato Islámico. Cuando se disolvió el Emirato Islámico, el último Califato bajo los otomanos, no era tampoco el auténtico Califato. Cualquiera que hable de eso no conoce la historia o no entiende el islam”, precisó el analista.

Enfatizó que Estados Unidos ha hecho ver esta situación como una lucha islámica. “Muchos en occidente creen que EIIL representa a los musulmanes; no representan ni a musulmanes ni a sunitas en lo absoluto”.

Recientemente, el Departamento de Defensa de EEUU informó que más de 100 estadounidenses combaten en las filas de terroristas en Siria y una decena de ellos forman parte del EIIL, reseñó la agencia rusa Ria Novosti.

Por su parte, el jefe del Centro Nacional Antiterrorista de EEUU, Matt Olsen, confirmó este número y precisó que más de 12.000 mercenarios extranjeros, entre ellos 1.000 europeos, penetraron durante los últimos 3 años en el territorio del país árabe.

The ISIL Caliphate in Iraq and Syria, “Made in America”

September 13th, 2014 by Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

 Original Video interview. Russian and English

English subtitles.

This interview with Prime Minister Zakharchenko was recorded on the 8th of September 2014 following the signing of the September 5 tripartite Minsk Peace agreement under the auspices of  the OSCE.

 

Obama’s ISIS speech would have provoked outrage if Bush gave it. Now, however, Democrats and Republicans are united over foreign war to such an extent that a prolonged military campaign without congressional approval barely raises an eyebrow. So one year after an attack on Syria was rejected by the American public bombs will be dropping after all.

More surprising than the bi-partisan escalation of Middle East war is the complete absence of strategy. Obama’s speech ignored the fundamental causes of ISIS’ rise, while putting forth a military strategy of pure fantasy. The only guarantee of Obama’s war strategy is the unnecessary prolonging of the Syrian conflict and the further growth of Islamic extremism. It’s as if President Obama hasn’t figured out the ABC’s of terrorism: the more you bomb, the more extremists you create. It isn’t rocket science.

The 13-year “war on terror” has fundamentally failed, creating an exponential growth in Islamic extremism, now sprawling across the very epicenter of the Middle East where its presence before was miniscule.

The president’s speech ignored how his strategy to fight the secular Syrian government — funding, training, and arming the Syrian rebels — has directly contributed to creating giant militias of Islamic extremists, filled with money and jihadists from Obama’s Gulf state allies of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait. If not for the U.S.-backed rebels in Syria, the conflict would have ended long ago, and ISIS would have remained marginal.

But instead of admitting that this failed approach helped create ISIS, Obama has doubled down on his ludicrous plan to further arm and finance the “moderate” opposition in Syria. The New York Times discussed the holes in Obama’s strategy:

“… Mr. Obama is still wrestling with a series of challenges, including how to train and equip a viable ground force to fight ISIS inside Syria, how to intervene without aiding President Bashar al-Assad, and how to enlist potentially reluctant partners like Turkey and Saudi Arabia.”

None of these issues are to be resolved, only compounded. Of course President Assad will benefit if Obama attacks his enemy ISIS, in the same way that ISIS has been benefitting the last two years from the U.S.-backed proxy war against President Assad.

Further exposing these issues is the highly regarded Middle East journalist Patrick Cockburn, who predicted Obama’s foolish speech with precision:

“So far it looks as if Mr. Obama will dodge the main problem facing his campaign against Isis. He will not want to carry out a U-turn in U.S. policy by allying himself with President Assad, though the Damascus government is the main armed opposition to Isis in Syria. He will instead step up a pretense that there is a potent “moderate” armed opposition in Syria, capable of fighting both Isis and the Syrian government at once. Unfortunately, this force scarcely exists in any strength and the most important rebel movements opposed to Isis are themselves jihadis such as Jabhat al-Nusra, Ahrar al-Sham and the Islamic Front. Their violent sectarianism is not very different to that of Isis.”

Later in the article Cockburn explains that the negligible moderate force is dominated by the CIA. Obama dared not say explicitly that his plan to fight ISIS included a plan to fight the Syrian government, but that’s exactly what he implied by continuing to arm, fund, and train a “moderate” Syrian opposition that is fighting both ISIS and Assad.

Obama’s bombing campaign against ISIS can thus rapidly transition into a regime change bombing of the Syrian Government, as happened in the U.S.-led NATO bombing campaign in Libya that began as “humanitarian intervention” and veered into regime change after the first bomb dropped.

Before he announced the expansion of the war Obama claimed legal authorization to bomb without Congressional approval.  The U.S. House Judiciary Chair issued a different opinion. And Democrats, too, had a different opinion when Bush was in office.

But now many congressmen from both parties would like Obama to act without Congress, since midterm elections are nearing and no congressman wants to be on record voting for war, since Americans are fed up with it. Better to skip democracy and have the president declare war unilaterally, war weary voters be damned.

Lastly, Obama failed to mention that perpetual war is the new normal for the U.S. government, no matter which party is elected. By not addressing any of the above-mentioned issues, a serious analysis was shelved in favor of the Bush Jr. circular logic that can be used to rationalize war forever, creating new generations of Islamic extremists that will justify permanent war. There can be only one real solution: remove the U.S. military from the Middle East.

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

Will NATO Liberate Jihadistan?

September 13th, 2014 by Pepe Escobar

Drive your cart and your plow
Over the bones of the dead … 

William BlakeThe Marriage of Heaven and Hell

Caliph Ibrahim, aka Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, self-declared leader of Islamic State, formerly the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, really sports a mean PR vein. When the show seemed scheduled for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to save Ukraine and Western Civilization – at least rhetorically – from that Evil Empire remixed, Russia, The Caliph, accessing his expensive watch wisdom, intervened with – what else – yet another “off with their heads” special. 

Eyebrows were properly raised until the United States’ intel alphabet soup solemnly concluded that Islamic State (IS) really beheaded yet another American journalist on video (US President Barack Obama: “An horrific act of violence”).

And then, out of the blue, The Caliph doubled down, proclaiming to the whole world his next target is none other than Russian President Vladimir Putin. Was he channeling the recently ostracized Saudi Prince Bandar bin Sultan, aka Bandar Bush?

In thesis, everything would be settled. The Caliph becomes a contractor to NATO (well, he’s been on to it, sort of). The Caliph beheads Putin. The Caliph liberates Chechnya – fast; not the usual, deeply embarrassing NATO quagmire in Afghanistan. The Caliph, on a roll, attacks the BRICS – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. The Caliph becomes NATO’s shadow secretary-general. And Obama finally stops complaining that his calls to Putin always end up on voicemail.

Ah, if geopolitics was as simple as a Marvel Comics blockbuster.

Instead, The Caliph should know – even as he is largely a Made-in-the-West product, with substantial input from Gulf Cooperation Council petrodollar cash – that NATO never promised him a rose garden.

So, predictably, those ungrateful Obama and David Cameron, the British Prime Minister – oh yes, because the “special relationship” is all that matters in NATO, the others are mere extras – have vowed to go after him with a broad (well, not that broad) “coalition of the willing” with the usual GCC suspects plus Turkey and Jordan, bombing Iraqi Kurdistan, parts of Sunni Iraq and even Syria.

After all, Syrian President “Bashar al-Assad must go”, rather “Assad brutality” in Cameron’s formulation, is the real culprit for The Caliph’s actions.

And all in the name of the Enduring Freedom Forever-style Global War on Terror.

Now get me that Slavic Caliph 

NATO’s outgoing secretary-general Anders “Fogh of War” Rasmussen was somehow rattled. After all, this was supposed to be the “crucial moment”, at the NATO summit in Wales, when NATO would be at its Cold War 2.0 best, rescuing “the allies”, all 28 of them, from the dark gloom of insecurity.

One just had to look at the replica of a glorious Eurofighter Typhoon deployed in front of the NATO summit hotel in the southern Welsh town of Newport.

To round it all off, that evil Slavic Caliph, Vlad Putin himself, designed a seven-point peace plan to solve the Ukrainian quagmire – just as Kiev’s appalling army has been reduced to strogonoff by the federalists and/or separatists in the Donbass. Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko – who until virtually yesterday was screaming “Invasion!” at the top of his lungs – breathed long sighs of relief. And as an aside, he disclosed Kiev was receiving high-precision weapons from an unnamed country that could only be the US, the UK or Poland.

The whole thing posed a problem, though. What is NATO to defend Western Civilization from when all that threat embodied by “Russian aggression” dissolves into a road map to peace?

No wonder the 60 heads of state and government with their Ministers of Defense and Foreign Relations who performed a soft invasion/breaching of the “ring of steel” protecting Newport from protesting hordes were also somehow dazed an confused.

Over 11 years after Shock and Awe, we are still living in a Rumsfeldian world. It was the former Pentagon head David Rumsfeld under George “Dubya” Bush who conceptualized “Old Europe” and “New Europe”. “Old” were Venusian sissies; “New” were vigorous Martians.

“New” totally supported Shock and Awe, and the subsequent invasion/occupation of Iraq. Now they support, in fact beg, for NATO to stare down Russia.

“Old”, for its part, was trying at least to save a negotiating space with Putin. And in the end dear prudence, especially by Berlin, was rewarded with the Putin peace plan.

Just in case, not to rattle the Empire of Chaos too much, Paris announced it won’t deliver the first of two Mistral helicopter carrier battleships to Moscow according to schedule. And of course NATO strongly condemned Russia on Ukraine, and the European Union followed up with yet more sanctions.

As for Fogh of War, predictably, he kept juggling his “Mars Attacks!” rhetoric (see Asia Times Online, September 3, 2014). It was all Moscow’s fault. NATO is nothing but an innocent force of appeasement – powerful and solid. At the same time, NATO would not be foolish to start depicting Russia as an enemy outright.

So, as Asia Times Online reported, NATO at best will help train Kiev’s forces; the Donbass performance showed they badly need it. But there will be no Ukraine “integration” – for all the hysteria deployed by Kiev and well as Poland and the Baltic states calling for permanent bases. The new element will be the remixed NATO Response Force (NRF) which, by the way, was never used before.

NRF even comes with a catchy slogan: “Travel light and strike hard”. An 800-strong battalion will be able to strike in two days, and a 5,000-strong brigade between five and seven days. Well, by those “travel light” standards it would hardly be enough to prevent The Caliph from annexing larger parts of Jihadistan with his gleaming white Toyota combo. As for “strike hard”, ask Pashtuns in the Hindu Kush for an informed opinion.

So Wales yielded NRF; permanent “rotation” and permanent forward bases to “protect” Central and Eastern Europe; and everybody shelling out more cash (no less than 2% of their GDP each, for all 28 members, from here to 2025). All this in the middle of the third European recession in five years.

Now compare the astonishing combined NATO military budget of US$900 billion (75% of all expenses monopolized by the US) with only $80 billion for Russia. Yet Moscow is the “threat”.

Needless to add, even under so much sound and fury, Wales did not yield NATO sitting on a Freudian divan – analyzing in an endless monologue its abject failure in both Afghanistan and Libya.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban basically run rings around NATO’s bases and “strike hard” movements, demoralizing them to oblivion. That was NATO in GWOT mode.

And in Libya, NATO created a failed state ravaged by militias and called it “peace”. That was NATO in “Responsibility To Protect” mode.

NATO liberating Jihadistan? The Pentagon couldn’t care less. The Pentagon wants eternal GWOT. US Think Tankland is ecstatic at NATO finding a “renewed purpose” and its long-term survival now assured by a “unifying threat”. Translation: Russia.

So The Caliph is not exactly quaking in his Made-in-USA desert boots. He’s even dreaming of taking on the Slavic Caliph himself. How come Marvel Comics never thought about that?

Pepe Escobar is the author of Globalistan: How the Globalized World is Dissolving into Liquid War (Nimble Books, 2007), Red Zone Blues: a snapshot of Baghdad during the surge (Nimble Books, 2007), and Obama does Globalistan (Nimble Books, 2009).

He may be reached at [email protected].

Satire: Obama ISIS Speech Depresses Nation

September 13th, 2014 by Peter Van Buren

Following Obama’s address to the nation Wednesday, America’s psychiatrists and liquor stores stocked up on anti-depressants and massive amounts of alcohol. States allowing for legal marijuana report booming sales.

President Obama announced an expansion of the current war with Iraq (not to be confused with the previous war with Iraq he claimed to have ended in 2011) as well as a Cheney-like giddy eagerness to bomb Syria “just as soon as Congress wimps out and gets out of my way.” Despite their general glee about bombing any brown person anywhere anytime on the planet, many Americans are expected to complain of depression.

“I support 9/11 and all that, but really, another freaking war?” said one college undergrad waken for comment. “My neighbor’s cousin’s son has PTSD or STD or something from that last war I like saw online and so I plan to feel sad about this before the pre-game on Saturday.”

Psychiatrists take a more serious tone.

“People will be eating Prozac and Cymbalta like candy,” said one doctor. I’m stocking up, not just for myself, but for the new patients I am expecting to flood in. I’ll be double-billing the insurance companies as usual, so I guess there is an upside. Also, 9/11.”

“Upside?” commented the owner of local store Booze-a-Palooza, We Don’t Card.

“Hell, I’ve already booked a luxury cruise on the profits from this thing. You had the drinking games. Kids online were saying they took shots every time the president mentioned ‘moderate rebels’ or ‘degrade and destroy.’ I quietly trolled for a full water glass of bourbon to be drunk every time the idiot said ‘no boots on the ground.’ And of course depressed people are my bread and butter audience every day, so there’s also that. And 9/11. Never forget.”

Colorado state officials, congratulating themselves on the timing of legalizing marijuana, could not be happier. “The taxes on weed sales just funded our school systems through 2019, with an overflow of cash into the coffers to buy enough blow to near kill us all here at the office. Weed is for light weights, especially after this speech. Dude, 9/11. Don’t forget.”

When reached for comment at a Colorado medical marijuana dispensary, Obama was characteristically calm and cool about the issue.

“Americans understand our constant state of pointless war is necessary to, what is it this week Reggie? Right, to protect the country. Some may say by making this speech exactly one year after I said we’d bomb Syria to oust Assad only to now plan on bombing Syria in tacit support of Assad, and choosing 9/11 eve for the speech, I increased the weary nation’s sense of complete and devastating cynicism. Well, folks have got to understand that war means sacrifice. Hey, did you hear about this drinking game where every time I said ‘no boots on the ground’ people had to shotgun a water glass of bourbon? I told my speechwriters to throw that line in about a million times. I think the whole address went down better with the American people drunk off their ass when they heard it. Now, watch this drive.”

The Hillary Clinton not-a-campaign, located in Oprah’s guest house, declined comment on the entire everything, pending the outcome of polling to see what opinion the not-a-candidate should hold deeply.

Reached at his luxury villa in Riyadh, an ISIS spokesperson just laughed.

“ISIS lacks the ability to strike directly into your Homeland– I mean, who even says words like ‘Homeland,’ seriously man, outside of Leni Riefenstahl and Fox anymore? Anyway, we can’t whack you infidels at home, so we rely on the American government to do the job for us. And I must say, they are superb. Declaring ISIS a direct threat to Americans in Iowa, man, that sent ISIS stock futures soaring. Making all Americans depressed over our successes and the needlessly dumb acts their government plans to take? Man, you can’t buy that kind of PR. I’d say I was happy as a pig in poop right now if I did not consider pigs filthy creatures under my religion. Oh heck, why not? This is a great day!”

Peter Van Buren writes about current events at blog. His book,Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99Percent, is available now from Amazon

by Ezgi Yildiz

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan became the first publicly elected President of Turkey in the history of the Republic, winning 52 per cent of the votes at the presidential elections of August 10. Ekmeleddin Ihsanoğlu, joint candidate of the CHP (secularist, so-called centre-left) and the MHP (nationalist, centre-right), finished second with 38 per cent of the vote. Selahattin Demirtaş of HDP (pro-Kurdish, left) came in third with 9.6 per cent of the votes.

Protesters hold a placard with a cartoon depicting Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his three cabinet ministers who resigned under a huge graft scandal during an anti-corruption protest in Ankara on January 11, 2014. Placard reads: “No one is clean if the whole system is corrupt.”

The August 10 elections illustrated well the conundrum of Turkish politics and the success of Erdoğan’s AKP in shifting the centre of Turkish politics to the right. An evident outcome of this election was Erdoğan’s clear win in the first round, which rendered him the first President elected by popular vote, a fact upon which he is likely to base the (il)legitimacy of his actions as President. A shift in the centre of politics to the right, however, has been a subtle and systematic change that not only played into Erdoğan’s hands but also left many voters with the frustration of not being represented by the opposition parties.

Erdoğan’s success in winning the heartlands of Turkey, and thereby the election, is a disappointment that many secularist and leftist Turks sadly have become accustomed to over the years. Another disappointment, which they have seen time and time again, is the weak-willed policies of the main opposition party. The Republican People’s Party (CHP), officially a social-democratic party, has long ceased to have any connection with the left in order to compete with AKP’s rightist and Islamist policies. It lost its breath in chasing AKP’s shadow with a view to mirror AKP’s success. Its decision to support Ihsanoğlu, a theologian and former Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, is just another illustration of this stillborn strategy.

Non-Partisan Custodian?

Turkey is a parliamentary republic whose President is traditionally expected to act as a non-partisan custodian of the rule of law, which in part explains the lengths to which the main opposition candidate went to present himself as ideologically neutral. Nevertheless, Ihsanoğlu’s conservative tenor became apparent in some of the less scripted comments he made during his campaign. Ihsanoğlu went out of his way to insist that he “represent[ed] the mentality and preferences” of AKP voters, and that founding members of the party who had become disillusioned with Erdoğan supported him.[1] He also called for Turkey’s LGBT community, whose cause is just beginning to enter the mainstream of secularist opposition politics, to respect Turkey’s status as a “conservative society” and behave accordingly.[2]

Ihsanoğlu, who is new to Turkish politics, did not offer an alternative to Erdoğan, either in class politics or with regard to emancipatory social stances. His campaign focused instead on democratic procedure and on modest limitations to the role of the state in citizens’ lives. He proposed to conserve the existing power structures and curtail the excesses of Erdoğanian democracy, namely the reign of authoritarian and populist politics pursued by Erdoğan’s AKP government. Ihsanoğlu’s vision of democracy included some elements of secularism and a stronger enforcement of the separation between public and private spheres. Under an Ihsanoğlu presidency, the government’s activities would be restricted to the public realm and its interference in the private realm would not be tolerated. In other words, the state would not be a machinery of social engineering whose ultimate role is to regulate the private realm by interfering in peoples’ lifestyle or belief systems à la Erdoğan’s much touted “conservative democracy.” Additionally, in the face of both domestic and regional turmoil he promised peace and stability in his campaign. Ihsanoğlu’s stand, sanctioned by the CHP, is at best a form of classical liberal/conservative thought, without any traces of leftist thinking. Although his platform was more palatable compared to that of Erdoğan, he was not the alternative that anyone even minimally left of center in Turkey had been hoping for.

Capitalist in structure and moderately conservative in cultural matters, with a somewhat more circumspect state, Ihsanoğlu’s Turkey reflects the status quo of about 2010; not a rollback to pre-AKP days, even, but to the period before the AKP’s constitutional referendum victory handed it the power and momentum required for the full-scale state assaults on secular lifestyles and judicial independence that have taken place since then.

The Left

While Ihsanoğlu implicitly advocated a return to the “moderate Islamist” center-right profile of the AKP circa 2010, Demirtaş proposed taking steps toward a Turkey that has never yet been, either in the old days of secular nationalism or since. The HDP election campaign unfolded in the spirit of leftist thought. Demirtaş, a former human rights lawyer of Kurdish origins, had embraced the role of fighting for the Kurdish cause in his previous political career. For the Presidential elections, however, he introduced himself as a candidate of ‘the peoples and change’, a candidate to represent not only the Kurds but also other groups living in Turkey, with a vision that extends beyond a mere pro-Kurdish stand. He called for ‘radical democracy’, a post-Marxist concept developed by Laclau and Mouffe, which he deems fit for the current conjuncture of Turkey. He underlined that traditional political parties had exploited the clash of different groups in Turkey, such as the nationalists, leftists, secularists, Kemalists, Islamists, or people with different ethnic identities, by using one or several of them as their power basis and antagonizing the rest. (The AKP government has been, par excellence, a keen implementer of this wretched policy). Demirtaş suggested that the solution to the current political crisis should not be built on the dominance of any of these groups at the expense of the others. This would only increase social tensions and lead to further grievances. Demirtaş’s radical democracy would embrace the difference between these groups and the people at the margins without imposing a uniform identity upon them. This strategy would yield the possibility of coexistence in harmony under the guidance of the principles of human rights and a robust notion of positive freedom. His campaign embraced advocacy for women, workers, and the environment, and even for gay and lesbian rights, and these strong stances distinguished him from both of the other candidates.

Indeed, Demirtaş’s vision differs from Erdoğan’s not only in degree but in kind. Though the Turkish constitution envisions the President as non-partisan guardian of the Republic and its laws, Erdoğan made it clear that he would not be a neutral President, but would be on the side of ‘his people’, by which he means his AKP voting base. Erdoğan has also promised to make use of the presidential power to dissolve the parliamentary government, a power granted by the current constitution with an eye to states of emergency, but not relied on in practice since the presidency of Kenan Evren, who came to power in 1980 via military coup.

Demirtaş’ program came as a refreshing solution to the traditional dilemmas in Turkish politics and was indeed admired by a considerable number of people in Turkey, although one cannot really say that this was fully reflected at the ballot box. In the run-up to the elections and its immediate aftermath, I held discussions with people from different walks of life who said they would vote or had voted for either Ihsanoğlu or Erdoğan. When I asked their view of Demirtaş, the answer remained the same, which could be summarized as follows: “I quite like Demirtaş’ ideas and approach… only if he had not openly or tacitly supported the PKK,” or “if only his party would not stand up solely for the Kurdish cause.”

One could draw two conclusions from this picture. First, active involvement in the Kurdish cause is still perceived as a taboo, which prevents the non-Kurdish audience from fully trusting politicians who have a history with this cause. Second, the number of leftist sympathizers is substantial. This can be deduced from the unexpected popularity of Demirtaş in the eyes of people who do not normally associate themselves with the Kurdish cause, including even many who did not end up voting for him. This observation exposes a desperate desire to shift the centre of Turkish politics to the left. Any party that seeks to be a viable opponent to Erdoğan has to realize this quest first.

Or Else? En Route to the New Turkey

Erdoğan did not leave the consequences of this extremely skewed political system to our imagination. The aftermath of the elections read like a thriller. He first purged his long-time ally Abdullah Gül, former President and co-founder of AKP, signalling him as a threat. With his blessings, Ahmet Davutoğlu, former Minister of Foreign Affairs and a keen supporter of pan-islamist ideology, was elected with an overwhelming vote at the extraordinary AKP congress on 27 August.

In their respective speeches both Erdoğan and Davutoğlu pledged for cooperation and shared their vision of New Turkey (Yeni Türkiye) with the public. Newly elected President Erdoğan expressed his intention of not cutting the organic ties with his party, which he calls as ‘his fifth child.’ Let alone pretending to assume a more neutral position as his new title would require, Erdoğan acted as the de facto leader of the party and talked about his party’s mission (dava), which he would now continue as the President. However, as Erdoğan himself underlined, it is just a beginning and the shape of things to come in his New Turkey will be somewhat different.

Davutoğlu and Erdoğan seem to be in tune when it comes to their power sharing agreement, which is likely to lead further concentration of power and render an already imperilled system of checks and balances even more illusionary. Former President Gül often acted as a notary and signed every AKP proposal without much resistance, yet in Erdoğan’s New Turkey the tides will turn and the presidential power will expand. This agreement will pave the way for maintaining Erdoğan’s dominance in Turkish politics, which Erdoğan hopes to seal by establishing an executive presidential system.

There was also familiarity hidden in their vision of the New Turkey. First and foremost, it was served with their traditional divisive political discourse with classical bashing sessions particularly devoted to the secularists (the old defeated enemy) and Fethulah Gülen (yesterday’s loyal ally and today’s fierce enemy). Both Erdoğan and Davutoğlu expressed their determination to fight ‘the parallel state’ of the Gülen movement. As it stands now, the New Turkey appears to be yet another manifestation of divisive Erdoğanian democracy, which is in constant need of an enemy figure as the driving force of its power. The discourse of enemies and the tension it generates has served Erdoğan well in controlling the public and concentrating further power in his hands. This pathological tendency, however, continues to damage the social fabric, creating new animosities and rekindling old ones.

The New Turkey has already turned out to be another dead end. Though Demirtaş’s HDP campaign was a good start, it will take a more unified opposition to turn left and find a new route. •

Ezgi Yıldız is a Ph.D. candidate in International Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva Switzerland. She works on the human rights regime in Europe and state violence.
This article first published on the LeftEast website.

NATO Loses Ukraine

September 13th, 2014 by Margaret Kimberley

The United States and NATO attack on the Russian Federation has failed. The Ukrainians who refused to accept the legitimacy of the West’s puppet government emerged victorious on the battlefield. If there is any doubt on that point, Ukraine’s decision to sign the Minsk Protocol cease fire agreement is proof. President Poroshenko seemed like a man in the cat bird seat when western nations chose sides in a civil war and kicked out his predecessor. The road to hell was paved with very bad intentions.

One wouldn’t know it from reading and viewing the corporate media, but the western gambit has been disastrous. More than 1 million people have been displaced (most fled to Russia), the economies of many countries have been damaged by sanctions, and atrocities such as the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines flight 17 would have been avoided if there had been any grown ups at work in the western capitals.

The talking heads should be telling us about the failing effort to prop up the empire, but instead they parrot the words of the losing side. After destroying Libya and killing president Gaddafi the evil empire concluded that they had found a winning formula. Fortunately for humankind, Bashir al Assad hangs on in Syria and all that NATO has to show for its misadventures is ISIS, which grows stronger by the day, beheads American journalists on video, and attacks the legitimacy of Saudi Arabia and the other gulf monarchies who worked hand in hand on the imperial project.

Assad is still in power and Putin’s nemesis Poroshenko waved a flag of surrender but the United States and its allies won’t give up the failing strategy because they have no other plan for keeping the leaking ship afloat. Aggression is the only weapon they have and snatching defeat from the jaws of victory is the order of the day. Putin is the winner by any standard but the United States won’t admit what is obvious to the rest of the world. Instead they dredge up phony claims of Russian treaty violations and behave as if Putin hasn’t pulled off a coup of his own.

Obama and his partners in crime would do well to remember the events of September 2013, just one year ago. The United States accused Assad of using chemical weapons as a casus belli. The American people didn’t buy what their president was selling and the no vote in the British parliament crushed the effort to start a hot war.

The signs of desperation in the capitalist West are obvious. Their “rebels” in Syria can’t defeat Assad, they can’t get support among their own people for war and yet they still used Ukraine’s political crisis to take on Putin and failed. The United States is committed to making war on the rest of the planet and uses its military and economic muscle to get its way. Peace is the last thing that the Nobel Peace Prize winning president wants to see.

In light of reality in Ukraine, the recently concluded NATO summit in Wales was a truly surreal event. Even as NATO’s major undertaking crumbled, Barack Obama pretended as though nothing happened at all. The lies and aggressions make American presidents sound like delusional psychiatric patients who don’t know hallucination from reality. Just as George W. Bush made bizarre claims about aluminum tubes being a reason for an invasion of Iraq, Obama tells Estonians that they are about to be attacked by Putin.

Ukraine acknowledged that its country would be broken up among the groups it had been fighting, with special status for the Donetsk and Lugansk regions. Rather than rethink its strategy, NATO announced that it was sending troops in a Rapid Response Force to Russia’s border. It seems that NATO’s motto is “nothing succeeds like failure.”

The horrible truth is that for the United States and its allies, war is peace. They will continue fanning the flames until they crush the rest of the world or ignite a war they don’t really want. The latter is more likely to happen because they actively create conflict and stand in the way of peaceful resolutions. Ukraine has been trying to sign a ceasefire for several months but always succumbed to American pressure to hang on a little longer.

Unfortunately there is more reason to fear than to rejoice at this juncture because of the insanity emanating from Washington. No one knows what our government will do next or where it will attack. We can only be certain of the uncertainty of events and that means the evil doers will not always get their way. Just ask Ukrainian president Poroshenko, the poster child of unintended consequences.

Margaret Kimberley’s Freedom Rider column appears weekly in BAR, and is widely reprinted elsewhere. She maintains a frequently updated blog as well as at http://freedomrider.blogspot.com. Ms. Kimberley lives in New York City, and can be reached via e-Mail at Margaret.Kimberley(at)BlackAgendaReport.com.

Ruble, Yuan to Pave Way for US Dollar Substitution?

September 13th, 2014 by The Brics Post

Russia and China have begun discussions on new joint projects, worth up to a billion dollars in infrastructure, agriculture and petrochemicals.

In a major highlight of an investment meet on Tuesday, Moscow and Beijing have entered into a pact to boost use of the rouble and yuan for trade transactions.

During its maiden meeting in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, the Russia-China Investment Cooperation Commission discussed 32 bilateral investment projects on Tuesday, Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov said.

Shuvalov said the projects’ cost ranges from hundreds of millions to around a billion dollars.

“[The projects] are related to transport infrastructure, petrochemical complexes, the extraction, processing and delivery of natural resources through the Far East region and development of the agricultural sector,” Shuvalov was quoted by Russian agency Ria Novosti.

“We’re going to encourage companies from the two countries to settle more in local currencies, to avoid using a currency from a third country,” he said referring to the US dollar.

Moscow is looking to increase trade and banking cooperation with Beijing, even as it battles new rounds of sanctions imposed by the EU and US over the Ukraine crisis.

“We talked about the infrastructure of investment cooperation, expanding trade in rubles and yuan, banking cooperation, the possibility of Russian companies opening accounts and being issued loans from Chinese banks, as well as the possibility of facilitating Chinese companies’ access to Russian banks,” Shuvalov said.

The European Union had earlier in July published a law to cut off financing for five major Russian banks over Moscow’s alleged support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping had proposed the idea of the investment commission during their bilateral meet in May, earlier this year.

The commission, headed by Shuvalov and his Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier of China’s State Council Zhang Gaoli, was officially established on Tuesday in Beijing.

In Persia almost five thousand years ago, Zoroaster divided the gods into two opposing groups. Two, Ahura Mazda (Illuminating Wisdom) and Angra Mainyu (Destructive Spirit), were personifications of good and evil which, he claimed, were in conflict, and the Earth was described as their battlefield. Many others have described the Earth similarly. That the Earth is a battlefield is obvious. People everywhere have been killing each other for various reasons since the dawn of human history. That the battle is between the forces of good and the forces of evil is dubious.

The barbaric violence of Islamic jihadists is undeniable. Regardless of the merit any reasons they have for attacking Westerners have, none justifies their willingness to brutally kill whole groups of people in genocidal ways. Nothing can justify impaling a child! So that jihadists promote evil is an acknowledged assumption of this piece. But the killing being carried out by Westerners is equally abhorrent.

Two American journalists were recently beheaded by jihadists. The Western press turned these killings into a cause celebre. According to that press, two more horrendous murders had never been committed. The jingos pounded the drums of war. But the same week, two other Americans who had joined the jihadists were killed by opposition forces in Syria (perhaps Iraq), but their deaths barely received a notice. The mother of one of the journalists openly pled for the life of her son; no one pled for the lives of the jihadists. Did they not have mothers who grieve?

But some will say, the journalists were beheaded! Ah, yes, they were. Beheading is a horrid crime. No question about it. But let’s remember our history.

In the sixteenth century, the English had a king who had six wives. He had two of them beheaded. He is not generally referred to as a barbaric man. Strange! The English are America’s allies.

In the eighteenth century, the French had a revolution during which they beheaded numerous members of the aristocracy and even invented a machine to make beheading more humane. The French are America’s allies too. Are they horrid barbarians? When does a nation whose people kill others indiscriminately stop being barbaric?

What about the Germans? They lack a history of beheading people, but, according to Zionists, they murdered six million Jews in an attempted genocide. More American allies whose barbaric actions are known but who are never called barbarians. But those jihadists? What barbarians!

The French beheaded Louis XVI, Marie Antoinette, and other aristocrats by using the guillotine. Was that less brutal than beheading people by sword?

Tsar Nicholas II and his family were executed by bullets during the Russian Revolution. That too was brutal, but was it less brutal than beheading?

ISIS uses swords to brutally behead people. Horrible! Absolutely horrible! Americans use Hellfire missiles fired from drones to dismember people. Isn’t that also horrible? Is dismembering a person by means of a missile less brutal than beheading a person by sword? If you believe so, there’s something wrong with you.

In America recently, a condemned criminal was executed in a botched procedure that took two hours. An efficient, not botched, procedure would have taken mere minutes. But would it have been less brutal than the execution that took two hours?

According to the Geneva Conventions, it is okay to blow people to bits by bullet, bomb, and missile but not to merely gas them to death. Do you believe the dying really care?

People, it’s the killing that’s brutally horrible. There are no ways of killing that are less brutal than others. Distinguishing between killings by various means amounts to making distinctions without a difference. The dead don’t care! They’re dead no matter what.

The President sent a team of assassins to a compound in Afghanistan to execute Osama Bin Laden. The team carried out the mission despite botching the landing because Bin Laden apparently was unguarded. When word of Bin Laden’s execution reached the White House, the people waiting for the news, like Romans in The Colosseum watching gladiatorial combat, cheered. No, the cheering was not a sign of barbarity; it was one of kindness and compassion. Sure it was!

The United States launched a humanitarian mission to aid a trapped, obscure Christian sect in Iraq that turned out not to be needed by the time it arrived. But no humanitarian mission was ever even contemplated to aid the children of Gaza who were being killed by Israeli bombs while in their own bedrooms. Apparently the children of Gaza were not worthy of humanitarian aid. If people can pick and choose whom to provide with aid, the aid is not humanitarian.

Westerners seem to believe that when one of them kills an enemy, something honorable has happened, and that when one is killed by an enemy, a dastardly and barbaric crime has occurred. Isn’t this hypocrisy run amok? Is it any wonder that a nation that wantonly kills people abroad has police who shoot down unarmed teenagers in its streets at home? No people can be violent abroad and peaceful at home. Brutality is a character trait not an accident. Brutality drives out compassion and kindness; brutality and compassion cannot exist together.

The War of the World does not pit good against evil. There is no army of the good in the fight. The battle pits one evil group against another. No matter which side prevails, no good can ever come of it. If humanity survives, decades from now nothing will have changed. Mothers will still be sending their sons and daughters off to combat adversaries and have them come back in boxes. They will fill hallowed graves in reserved cemeteries which people will visit on Memorial Days. They will have died in vain just as all the warriors of past generations have. Humanity has been here before. Many times! Mothers will someday wail that cannon fodder is the fruit of their wombs. The war to end all wars is the war without end. This alone is the legacy of the brutality mentality.

John Kozy is a retired professor of philosophy and logic who writes on social, political, and economic issues. After serving in the U.S. Army during the Korean War, he spent 20 years as a university professor and another 20 years working as a writer. He has published a textbook in formal logic commercially, in academic journals and a small number of commercial magazines, and has written a number of guest editorials for newspapers. His on-line pieces can be found on http://www.jkozy.com/ and he can be emailed from that site’s homepage.

When the banksters who run America set their sights on the newest designated enemy of democracy, without fail the assault is preceded by information operations to convince a clueless public of the target state’s burning hatred for “freedom.” Momentarily torn away from corporate entertainment spectacle, enlightened citizen-consumers will be fed phony news stories of atrocities,green-screened crisis coverage set to dramatic music, and helpful cues to identify heroes, victims and villains in the unfolding morality play. Washington is said to be Hollywood for ugly people, and the ugly people have proven remarkably adept at statecraft as stagecraft, selling their brand of international banditry as feel-good humanitarian uplift for decades now.

But just as Hollywood has lurched into creative senility, so too is the template for overseas intervention fraying as US global dominance enters its terminal phase. No longer yielding to “leadership” from the wolves of Wall Street, independent powers have begun to challenge the foundations of the Washington consensus. At the forefront of this movement has been a revivedRussia, which in the face of NATO encirclement and with survival on the line, has shown itself willing and able to confront the Pax Americana. But the show must go on; as the United States positions forces ever closer toward Moscow’s frontiers, with furrowed brows and feigned concern, the talking heads on our telescreens mechanically inform us of Russian aggression. It’s springtime again for Russophobia in the West.

With its roots in the Great Game of espionage and intrigue between Victorian subalterns and the Tsar’s Cossacks in Central Asia, a systemic antipathy to Russia as such only took root in America from the time it assumed Britain’s imperial mantle at the dawn of the Cold War. The hostility, of course, has been mutual, and Russians have not forgotten how their land suffered through the “peace dividend” of US unipolarity in the 1990s. Promised that the North Atlantic alliance would never contemplate expanding eastward, Mikhail Gorbachev starred in pizza commercials and Boris Yeltsin headlined summits with his trademark vodka-soaked buffoonery. It was then that a weakened, bankrupt Russia could be looted by multinationals, its people impoverished and demoralized, and the state further subverted by forces from “civil society” NGOs to cutthroat jihadist mercenaries waging holy war in the North Caucasus.

Those days of humiliation are over, and that’s what has Washington worried. During his 15 years of “authoritarian” rule, Russia’s President Vladimir Putin set his country on a new path after a disastrous post-Soviet decline. Early on he thwarted the ambitions of oligarchs and regional separatists; since then he has moved to counter US/NATO plans for controlling Eurasia and its energy transit networks. This struggle has played out through espionage, color-coded revolutions, pipeline double-crosses and proxy wars. After a naval task force dispatched by Moscow effectively deterred the West from bombing Syria in 2013, US foreign policy planners decided to upend Russian resurgence through a quick and dirty route to destabilization: Ukraine.

By orchestrating a coup in Kiev in February of this year, American strategists were gambling on the seizure of Crimea, home to the Black Sea Fleet. Sevastopol in NATO hands would have drastically curtailed Russian influence in the Eastern Mediterranean while ensuring Russian vulnerability to US missile defense and first strike assets. Moscow’s hold on the North Caucasus (and even the Volga Basin) would also inevitably come under challenge, given Washington’s history of generating chaos through webs of foundations and aid agencies. Due to Putin’s quick action, instead of evicting the Kremlin from Crimea, the State Department and CIA unwittingly played catalyst to the peninsula’s reunion with its historical motherland. This bloodless victory constituted an intolerable affront to the vanity of America’s policy elites, sending their demonization campaign into overdrive.

For leading Russia’s return to prominence and refusing to bow to US pressure, Vladimir Putin has been made the focal point of this propaganda barrage. Any enemy of the “international community” (globalist plutocrats speaking through political ventriloquist dummies) must be cast as evil incarnate, which for contemporary man translates first and foremost to one name: Adolf Hitler. As if on cue, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton – the woman who demanded that her husband cluster-bomb Serbia as an act of righteousness – ordained the Crimea crisis as a reprise of the Sudetenland.

Now if this sounds familiar, it’s what Hitler did back in the 30s … All the Germans that were … the ethnic Germans, the Germans by ancestry who were in places like Czechoslovakia and Romania and other places, Hitler kept saying they’re not being treated right. I must go and protect my people and that’s what’s gotten everybody so nervous.

Other figures from the unbalanced Senator John McCain to Prince Charles also joined in to label Putin as “another Hitler” for daring to defy the New World Order. Running afoul of American geopolitical designs triggers the Reductio ad Hitlerum mechanism – it’s a multipurpose tool of manipulation used against public opinion and handy for practically any occasion. Thus Gamel Abdel Nasser; Fidel Castro; the Ayatollah Khomeini; Manuel Noriega; Saddam Hussein; Slobodan Milosevic; Kim Jong-Il; Mohamar Gaddafi; and Bashar al-Assad, to name just a few, have all been affixed with the Austrian corporal’s toothbrush mustache of infamy when it suited US objectives. In comparing Putin with Hitler, the most genocidal Russophobe to walk the earth, the limits of absurdity stretch still further. Since he resolutely opposes the Western oligarchy mastering Russia and all of Eurasia, a dream shared by a certain twentieth-century Reichskanzler, Putin is by some wonder of logic akin to Hitler. Here’s a helpful checklist to demonstrate the similarities:

  • Stands against international capital stripping the people of their national wealth. What is this guy, a Nazi?
  • Asserts traditional identity of Russia and native cultures within Russia; supports pro-natal policies and strengthening the role of the Orthodox Church in society. Well, that sounds just like something Hitler would do.
  • Upholds the stabilizing role of Russia as a sovereign Eurasian power with its own natural sphere of interests. Hitler, Hitler, Hitler.

A strange reality comes into focus amidst endless inane Hitler rhetoric deployed in the service of universal conquest: more than any other deity in its pantheon, the liberal order needs Hitler for its continued existence. Leave aside the fact that Anglo-American financial elites underwrote the Führer’s rise to power, or the inconvenient story of Project Paperclip. Even if only for a moment, look past ongoing US sponsorship of Ukraine’s neo-fascists, the direct heirs to the 14th Waffen-SS Division Galizien, who have been pulverizing Donetsk and Lugansk with artillery to fulfill IMF loan conditions and clear the Russian east for shale drilling by Exxon-Mobil and Royal Dutch Shell. Beyond all this, Hitler is secretly the Postmodern Imperium’s most valued ally, a dark totem wielded to exact psychological compliance from the nations of the West both in aggression abroad and in their very own dissolution.

In decadent madness the Pax Americana seeks to subjugate Russia, yet its advance is the same rush toward ignominy of Napoleon’s Grande Armée or Hitler’s fearsome Wehrmacht. Atlanticist elites dread not only Russian power, but the liberating potential of an ancient Russian ideal articulated by legendary thinkers like Fyodor Dostoevsky: traditional faith instead of sectarian extremism or materialist fanaticism; national and ethnic solidarity instead of either toxic chauvinism or corrosive cosmopolitanism; and a just sovereignty instead of our pleasure-dome police state. Rediscovery of these principles can move entire peoples toward nobility and sanctity, affording them true freedom and a fighting chance to crush the cult of Mammon.

Much of the international media claim that Russia’s conduct during the crisis in Ukraine has isolated the country, made her a pariah, and that all of the civilized world has turned from her into disdain. Is this really so?

Suffice it to recall the results of the voting on the UN General Assembly’s anti-Russian resolution immediately after Ukraine reunified with Russia. At that time the Americans were able to push through the resolution. One hundred nations voted in favor and only 11 were against it. However, it turns out that there were actually 93 countries that did not support the resolution – one of the representatives forgot to push his button, another was in the cafeteria at the time, and another did not even attend the discussion. Two-thirds of the earth’s inhabitants live in those 93 countries – and the representatives of two-thirds of humanity did not oppose Russia and did not support the United States.

Another episode occurred during the recent BRICS summit in Brazil. And although meetings between the leaders of those countries are fairly commonplace now, it is worth noting what happened after the summit. The leaders of every Latin American country – most of which are viewed as little more than American vassals – gathered in Brazil. They wanted to be part of a new international organization with a vision they can endorse, an organization with Vladimir Putin at its moral helm.

And even now, at the peak of the crisis in Ukraine, there is no solidarity in Europe supporting the sanctions against Russia. I believe that the proposal to “isolate Russia from the entire world” is in essence nothing more than a propaganda stunt.

Why are so many drawn to Russia? Two years ago, I fell into conversation with several prominent European scholars who were involved in the work of the Yaroslavl Global Policy Forum. I asked if they thought it would be possible to create a world-class debate forum in Russia. Their answer was surprising. They all claimed that a venue that could serve as an alternative to Western forums such as Davos could only be created in Russia. Russia would be the only destination that representatives from all countries would find acceptable and would be the best country in which to construct an alternate, non-Western agenda.

Pursuing a new agenda

What signals are coming from President Putin regarding a new agenda? How is he approaching the issue of modifying the world system and based upon what principles? Following is my interpretation, based on Vladimir Putin’s public statements.

First of all, it is very clear what Putin opposes, what actions he considers to be counterproductive and detrimental.

He stands against the imposition of a political regime of “democracy.” This type of imposition never seems to have been successful. Countries have different backgrounds and cultures and each moves at its own historical pace. Attempts to forcibly engineer such an institution are inherently risky. Unsystematically “ensconcing” such rights as freedom of speech usually results in the loss of other fundamental rights such as the right to life or the right to work. In this matter, countries such as China, which is led by its Communist Party, and Iran, with its Islamic regime, side with Russia.

He stands against intervention in another country’s domestic affairs unless it is clearly warranted. In recent years we have seen that intervention often destroys country’s infrastructures and leads to disaster.

He stands against the new imperialism that destroys states’ sovereignty - resulting in weakened countries that cannot defend their interests in a global world where the leading players set the rules of the game. Just as during the “old” period of imperialism, weakened countries develop slowly and cannot free themselves from their shackles of dependence, while in the end the profits go to the strong. On this issue Russia may find allies among low-income countries, as well as among many left-wing intellectuals, including from Western nations.

He stands against social racism. Try to find out how many people have died during the Iraq war. You can easily find information about the number of dead and wounded soldiers from the US and its allies. But there are only estimates of the Iraqi casualties, which vary almost 1,000%, ranging from 150,000 dead to over a million. No one is counting the number of Iraqis who have been killed, nor is anyone planning to. The West treats many nations today the same way it treated the “aboriginals” during the colonial era, although that relationship is now overlaid with a thin veneer of tolerance. But these people are not aboriginals. Iraq is Mesopotamia, the cradle of civilization. Iran, which was cruelly suppressed until recently, is Persia, with a history stretching back many thousands of years. China, a country the West rightly hesitates to try to instruct, is several thousand years old.

Second, Putin supports multilateral diplomacy and the establishment of complex networks within which governments can interact. On one hand, such networks would allow for different interests to be taken into account while seeking out complex compromises and reducing the risk of confrontation. American messianism, which prevents them from admitting anyone as their equal, is inappropriate in this context. That was, incidentally, how the European Union was established. That entity can be criticized from many different angles, but no one could argue that the risk of war within the EU is not lower than it has ever been.

Third, Putin seems to think that an entity should be constructed that would make it possible to seek out a balance of interests, rather than a 19th-century-style balance of power. The simple fact is that the majority of states would be treated more justly by that type of entity.

And fourth, new international institutions like the BRICS Bank need to be created that would operate on new principles and replace the old institutions created by the West to manage the world economy primarily in its own favor.

In summary, the era of domination by the concept of American exceptionalism is at an end. And although, as the Soviet philosopher and dissident Alexandr Zinovyev once wrote, “Western theorists, politicians, and media are, as always, absolutely convinced that their system is the best,” strong new players with an alternative vision have emerged and cannot be ignored within a unified world. The global, political mission that Vladimir Putin has shouldered strongly suggests that Russia will play a leading role in the creation of a new global architecture.

Valery Fadeev is the Editor-in-Chief of the Russian Expert magazine, member of the Civic Chamber of the Russian Federation.

Source in Russian: Expert

The text was adapted and translated by Oriental Review

As many had expected as soon as the announcement was made that Barack Obama would make a speech on September 10 regarding his strategy against ISIS, the U.S. President has confirmed that he reserves the right to engage in airstrikes inside Syria.

The President outlined a four-point strategy that would, according to him, “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS. Obama stated that, “if left unchecked, ISIS could prove a threat across the middle eastern region” and possibly the American “homeland.” Obama warned that ISIS terrorists originating from the United States and Europe could return home and engage in terrorist attacks on both American and European soil.

The President also announced his desire to create a “broad coalition” to “roll back the terrorist threat.”

The four-point strategy is allegedly 1) “a systematic campaign of airstrikes” against terrorists in Iraq as well as a plan to work with the Iraqi government and the Iraqi military forces. 2) To increase support to forces fighting ISIL on the ground. This will take the form of 475 additional U.S. service members. Obama claims that these troops will not have a combat mission, but instead an advisory role. Obama also stated his intention to increase assistance to Syrian death squad fighters fighting against Bashar Al Assad. 3) Increase counter-terrorism efforts, cut off funding to terrorist groups and improve intelligence on the ground. Obama stated that he intends to convene a meeting of the UN Security Council in two weeks to discuss these matters. 4) Increase humanitarian assistance to the victims of the crisis in Iraq and Syria.

Obama made clear that he will “not hesitate to take action against ISIL” and that he has “the authority to combat ISIL” but he believes that the country is stronger when the President consults Congress in these decisions. Toward the end of his speech, Obama stated that he intends to “take out ISIL wherever they exist.”

All in all, Barack Obama’s speech to the nation was nothing more than an exercise in the live broadcasting of utter insanity. Obama’s four-point plan is entirely full of deceit and contradictions.

Obama’s statement regarding ISIS in Iraq and Syria is a thinly masked lie covering up the ultimate goal of launching air strikes against the secular government of Assad in Syria. Despite all of the air strikes taking place in Iraq and those to take place in the future, ISIS/ISIL is entirely a creation of the United States and NATO. 

In the same speech, Obama professed a desire to cut off funding for ISIL while he simultaneously announced his intention to increase financial and military assistance to ISIL in Syria.

If Obama were truly serious about ending terrorism in Iraq and Syria, he would immediately cease funding it. He would also call on his NATO allies and his allies of the Gulf State feudal monarchies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar to cease their funding and assistance.

Aside from comments that have no basis in reality, such as his statement that “America’s manufacturing industries are thriving” and that American businesses are experiencing the “biggest streak of job creation in our history,” Obama also took the opportunity to take a jab at what he called “Russian aggression.” Taken with the statement that he reserves the right to “use force against anyone that threatens core American interests,” one can only surmise that the western provocation in Ukraine will continue as planned.

While echoing the Brzezinski-esque [1] cry for “dignity” Obama also proceeded to take credit for the rescue of the trapped Yazidis on Mount Sinjar despite the fact that it was the Syrian Kurds who rescued the Iraqi victims.

In the end, Barack Obama’s statements of aggression and duplicity came as no surprise to informed observers. The Western-backed terrorist organization known as ISIS will be used as an excuse to continue American Imperialism in the Middle East and to justify a military strike on Syria.

Notes:
[1] Tarpley, Webster Griffin, Obama the Postmodern Coup, Progressive Press, 2008

The University of Illinois board of trustees has a history of not taking seriously charges of racism from indigenous peoples, including those regarding the university’s former mascot. (Image source: Flickr)

Since the news broke a few weeks ago that Steven Salaita’s tenured appointment at theUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) was rejected by Chancellor Phyllis Wise and, though without a formal vote, by the board of trustees, a great deal of disappointment and outrage has been expressed in social media and in letters to the university.

Some have expressed concern that the university’s decision is unconstitutional and illegal, because it is violates Salaita’s First Amendment rights. Others have argued that the firing contravenes the principle of academic freedom, as well as those of shared governance and unit autonomy within the university. Finally, many have understood this affair as part of a broader silencing of those critical of Israel’s assault on Gaza, suggesting that Salaita is being targeted for political views that are unpopular among the university’s trustees and donors.

While all of these have been crucial interventions, very little attention has been paid thus far to the role of systemic racism and colonialism in the Salaita affair.

Systemic racism

This silence with respect to the role of racism and colonialism in this affair might be regarded as somewhat odd, considering that this affair surrounds a highly unusual and drastic action taken by the university against a Palestinian-American scholar and an American Indian Studies program. Somehow these details about the targets of this action are being treated as merely incidental by those academics who are nowconcluding that they, too, could have been Steven Salaita.

If any of us could be Salaita, then racism and colonialism must not have had anything to do with this affair. But perhaps we need to think a bit harder about this conclusion.

First, let’s be clear. Systemic racism and colonialism extend far beyond (and in fact do not require) any conscious, willful intent to be racist or a colonizer (although they often do); rather, they simply need to produce outcomes that reinforce an entrenched historical pattern in which people of color and/or the colonized are disproportionately marginalized or harmed.

As such, these systemic injustices can be produced through any number of actions that are nominally colorblind and/or contain only unrecognized biases. Furthermore, because systemic racism is primarily a trait of a social system, rather than of individuals, it can actually be perpetuated by people of color, including Chancellor Wise and others on the University of Illinois’ board of trustees. In fact, systemic racism often benefits from and seeks out the inclusion of “multicultural diversity” because it helps to deflect attention and blame from ongoing racist outcomes.

With that in mind, there are many questions we should be asking about the role of systemic racism and colonialism in this affair. First, what effect has it had on this case that Salaita is a Palestinian-American and a person of color? As in all cases of systemic injustice, it is extremely difficult to draw any straight causal connections, as these cases are usually determined by several compounding factors at once.

Mere coincidence?

Nonetheless, might it not be more than a mere coincidence that the board of trustees has taken this extremely rare, if not unprecedented, action in a case involving a scholar of color? It could hardly be denied that racism, white supremacy and colonialism shape which research, and which researchers, are considered valuable and which are considered dispensable in the academy. The concerns of those who make up the university are more likely to be recognized as “the” important concerns.

Furthermore, research that is highly critical of prevailing power structures, which is perhaps more likely to be produced by scholars of color, is routinely judged too radical, too biased, too unobjective, to bring on board. This will obviously be true to an even greater extent when one belongs to a group actively being targeted by these power structures, with which the modern university is enmeshed, and when the knowledge one is producing actively confronts and threatens those structures.

Let’s be frank — the kinds of judgments made by the chancellor and trustees about Salaita’s unsuitability happen all the time in academic hiring, but usually at the level of the department screening processes, when the stakes and public scrutiny are much lower or non-existent. Such judgments both reflect and reinforce not only the role of the modern university within structures of power, but also to the underrepresentation of people of color in the academy.

We know very well that white privilege, including that which comes from integration into white academic and administrative networks, often provides white scholars with a higher degree of protection against such actions, as they are more likely to be regarded as likeable and collegial, and to be afforded greater benefit of the doubt with respect to their qualifications, objectivity and competence. This doesn’t make white scholars immune to the type of actions taken in this case — far from it — but it does tend to provide them with a stronger buffer.

In short, the board may not be consciously targeting Salaita because he is a person of color, but race may still be affecting the type of scholar against whom the board would, and would not, be willing to take such a drastic measure.

“Civility”

Let’s also consider the language of “civility” in this affair. The justifications given for Salaita’s termination repeatedly point to the “incivility” of Salaita’s tweets. Of course, the concepts of civility and civilization have a longstanding connection with racism and colonialism in this country, with racialized and colonized peoples regularly portrayed as uncivilized brutes in need of a civilizing mission by their colonial masters and racial superiors. In this case, the board need not have actively thought of Salaita as a savage (although there is some indication that they did); it is enough that racism and colonialism have shaped our society’s standards of civility and in turn our assumptions, habits, biases and judgments about what constitutes “civil” behavior (and who tends to exhibit it).

Again, white privilege often confers greater leeway in this regard with respect to tone, comportment and decorum. But white supremacy also affects which issues are deemed worthy of outrage and “incivility” and which are not — which issues allow for “demeaning and disrespectful words” to be used, and which do not. White privilege is then further distributed to those who only get upset about the “right” things — those who, for example, only become outraged at the massacre of the right kinds of bodies.

It is quite clear that in our society the content and styles of speech (as well as the kinds of speakers) that are likely to be regarded as uncivil(ized) are disproportionately those of indigenous peoples and people of color. Again, this is especially the case when one belongs to a group against whom the United States is actively and publicly involved in carrying out immense colonial violence. Further, the language of incivility is even more likely to be deployed against indigenous women and women of color, for whom misogynistic discourses of women’s emotionality, hysteria and lack of reason come into play to challenge their ability to participate in civil public debate.

Paternalism

Finally, it cannot be regarded as merely coincidental that this highly unusual termination has been directed toward an appointment in the American Indian Studies program. The university’s largely unprecedented step of violating the autonomy of the hiring unit — comprised of those who actually possess the scholarly expertise to make academic appointments — is paternalistic and treats the hiring unit as incompetent in their decisionmaking.

Could this affair not be regarded as yet another instance of the historical pattern of colonial paternalism against indigenous peoples on this land? Is this history not shaping what kind of department the board would be willing to second guess, undermine and override in this way? The long history of colonial interactions between the United States and indigenous peoples continues to structure our society’s habits, assumptions, biases, judgments and institutions, such that indigenous peoples are more often, more easily and more reflexively treated as incapable of making their own decisions, and in greater need of guidance and tutelage.

It is the white man’s — and today an increasingly multicultural elite’s — burden to carry out this civilizing mission. As Jacki Thompson Rand has written, the UIUC administration’s actions in the Salaita affair are “painfully reminiscent of colonial practices” and have “put our colleagues on a reservation where they must ask for permission to step outside its boundaries in matters of program administration, expression of opinion and affiliation.”

The systemic colonial character of this intervention becomes even clearer against the backdrop of the University of Illinois’ ongoing mascot and team name controversy, especially the Illinois board of trustees’ longstanding reticence to take seriously charges of racism from indigenous peoples, and to deal with this controversy in a robust and comprehensive manner.

The board’s recent open letter in response to the Salaita affair provides further evidence, as the board aligns the university’s mission with the American nation-building project — and we all know how this nation-building project has dealt with indigenous peoples who have been viewed as “getting in the way.”

We need to ask some different questions about the Salaita affair, beyond those we have been asking about free speech, academic freedom and Palestine/Israel. Intertwined with all of these issues (and intersecting with related issues of racism and colonialism in Palestine) is the presence of entrenched, systemic racism and colonialism in the United States that not only shapes our society’s judgments, practices and institutional outcomes, but also enables extraordinary and heavy-handed expressions of power to be carried out more easily and reflexively against indigenous peoples and people of color.

Jakeet Singh holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and is currently Assistant Professor in the Department of Politics & Government at Illinois State University, where he teaches political theory.