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, which is available in recognized electronic news archives, is confirmed.

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 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 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.

Michel  Chossudovsky, May 9, 2011

 

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

Ummat (in 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 very Pakistanis who are standing shoulder by shoulder with the Taleban. If such people emerge in just two countries, the domination of the West will diminish in a matter of days. Our hearts beat with Pakistan and, God forbid, if a difficult time comes we will protect it with our blood. Pakistan is sacred for us like a place of worship. We are the people of jihad and fighting for the defence of Pakistan is the best of all jihads to us. It does not matter for us as to who rules Pakistan. The important thing is that the spirit of jihad is alive and stronger in the hearts of the Pakistani people.

Copyright Ummat in Urdu, BBC translation in English, 2001

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

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.

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

April 7th, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

 

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



[scroll down for I-BOOK Table of Contents]

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GLOBAL RESEARCH ONLINE

INTERACTIVE READER SERIES

GR I-BOOK No.  7 

THE 9/11 READER

The September 11, 2001 Terror Attacks

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

Michel Chossudovsky (Editor)

August 2012


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


 

INTRODUCTION

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Click to view video

VIDEO: AFTER 9/11: TEN YEARS OF WAR

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

***

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

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

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

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

Where was Osama bin Laden on September 11, 2001?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Al Qaeda is a US Intelligence Asset

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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


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

VIDEO (30 Sec.)

The Collapse of the World Trade Center Buildings

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven

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

The Collapse of WTC Building Seven.

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

Coverup and Complicity

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

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

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

War Propaganda

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Alleged Role of Iraq in the 9/11 Attacks

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iran: Alleged State Sponsor of 9/11

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Al Qaeda: US-NATO Foot-soldiers

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

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

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

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

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

Table of Contents of the 9/11 Reader

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


PART  I

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

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

PART II

What Happened on the Planes

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

 

PART III

What Caused the Collapse of

The WTC Buildings and the Pentagon?

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

PART IV

Lies and Fabrications: The 9/11 Commission Report

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

PART  V

Foreknowledge of 9/11

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

PART VI

Insider Trading and the 9/11 Financial Bonanza

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

PART VII

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

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

 

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

PART VIII

The Alleged 9/11 Mastermind:

The Life and Death of  Osama bin Laden

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

PART  IX

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

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

PART X

“Deep Events” and State Violence

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

PART XI

Propaganda: Creating and Perpetuating the 9/11 Legend

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

PART XII

Post 9/11 “Justice”

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

PART XIII

9/11 Truth

Revealing the Lies,  Commemorating the 9/11 Tragedy

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

*   *  *

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

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

Order Directly from Global Research

America's War on Terrorism

Salafism and the CIA: Destabilizing the Russian Federation?

September 14th, 2012 by F. William Engdahl

Part I: Syria comes to the Russian Caucasus

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

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

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

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

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

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

Fundamentalism comes to Caucasus

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

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

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

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

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

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

*  *  *

WWIII Scenario

*  *  *

 

Part II: Salafism at war with Sufi tradition

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

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

Before and…After Salafist Taliban …

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

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

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

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

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

Salafism and the CIA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part III: Morsi’s Reign of Salafi Terror

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes:

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

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

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

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

[4] Ibid.

[5] Mairbek Vatchagaev, op. cit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[14] Ibid.

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

[16] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

[21] Ibid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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December 30th, 2012 by Global Research News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

….

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

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

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

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

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

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

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An official source at the Foreign and Expatriates Ministry said on Sunday that Syria strongly condemns the European Union’s insistence on continuing its policy of misinformation and hypocrisy regarding Syria and the growing threat of takfiri terrorism to regional stability and international peace and security.

In a statement to SANA, the source said that the EU’s persistence in pursuing this course and providing all sorts of support to armed terrorist organizations – whether by arming them or by purchasing stolen Syrian petroleum from terrorists, something which was legalized by the EU in April 2013 – is the main cause of the ongoing attrition of the Syrian people and the spread of terrorism in the region.

The source noted that Syria announced in a clear and unequivocal manner its readiness to cooperate with all serious regional and international efforts to combat terrorism within the framework of Security Council resolution no. 2170 and respect for national sovereignty, and that what is required from others – including the EU – is to prove that they are serious about dealing with the scourge of terrorism in a comprehensive manner, because no-one will be safe from terrorism.

The source concluded by saying that the EU must now embrace policies that are fitting for the European people and don’t contradict the values it claims to uphold, and that it should refrain from following the courses set by some of its countries which make it subservient to others and cause it to pay the price of those others’ erroneous policies.

Labor Day once had meaning. Workers had reason to celebrate hard won rights. No longer. More on this below. The day is commemorated on the first Monday of September. It’s been so since 1882.

In June 1894, it became a federal holiday. It was when workers had few rights. Management controlled things. Labor was systematically exploited.

It took many years of organizing, taking to the streets, going on strike, boycotting management, battling police and National Guard forces, and paying with blood and lives to win rights.

They included an eight-hour day, a living wage, employer-paid benefits, and passage of the 1935 landmark Wagner Act.

It established the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). It guaranteed labor the right to bargain collectively on equal terms with management. It did so for the first time.

Erosion followed. War on working Americans decimated organized labor. Hard won rights were lost.

Membership has been in steady decline from its 1950s 34.7% post-war high. It remained constant through most of the 1970s.

In 1979, it was 24%. In the late 1980s, it was 16.8%. It’s currently around 11%. It’s the lowest rate since 1916.

Private sector unionization stands at 6.5%. It’s the lowest rate in over a century.

The business of America is business. America is corporate occupied territory.

Political Action Committees, lobbyists, well-connected consultants, and business-friendly think tanks exert enormous influence.

In 1938, Franklin Roosevelt said:

“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerate the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than their democratic state itself.”

 ”That, in its essence, is fascism – ownership of government by an individual, by a group or by any controlling private power.”

 Today it’s worse than ever. Monied interests run things. Democracy in America is fantasy. Its criminal class is bipartisan.

 Politicians are bought like toothpaste. Worker rights are systematically smashed. They’re heading toward disappearing altogether.

Public sector unionization stands at 35%. Since 2008, hundreds of thousands of government jobs were lost. States and municipalities slashed services and payrolls.

 Last year, it largely affected public assistance programs, administrative and support services, public schools and state universities.

Unions did little to fight back. They’re corporate occupied territory. Corrupted union bosses and politicians sold out to management for personal gain.

Bargaining collectively with bosses on equal terms no longer exists. Battle lines are drawn. Public and private sector worker rights are threatened unless mobilized resistance saves them.

 According to economist Jack Rasmus, trade unionism in America today “is on the road to nowhere.” Decades of decline now accelerate.

Since the late 1970s, “union labor in the USA has been steadily in retreat…industrially and politically,” says Rasmus.

If current trends continue, trade unionism may disappear entirely in another decade. “Union labor is at a strategic impasse,” Rasmus believes.

He’s unaware of any “broad-based, grass roots discussion and debate within (its) ranks (to stem) its precipitous decline.”

It represents failed organization strategy. Traditional collective bargaining lost clout in terms of generating living wage jobs, healthcare, other important benefits, hours worked, and retirement benefits.

Inflation adjusted wages for full-time workers have been stagnant since the late 1970s. Wages for all union worker categories today are lower. According to Rasmus:

“…When union unemployed, involuntarily part time employed, millions of union workers who have left the labor force, those who prematurely took disability to avoid layoff, those pressured to take early retirement packages that prevent them from working and pay less, etc., are all factored in – union wages may actually be lower in adjusted real terms than they were even three decades ago.”

At the same time, offshoring, technological change, so-called free trade agreements, and other anti-labor initiatives lost up to 10 million union jobs.

Vital benefits eroded or disappeared entirely with them. Pensions were destroyed.

Increasing amounts of healthcare costs shifted from employers to workers. Obamacare provisions assure union negotiated employer healthcare coverage will end entirely within a few years.

 Workers will be on their own for what’s become increasingly unaffordable.

“Both pension and healthcare bargaining are destined to fade from the workplace in the not too distant future.” says Rasmus.

Labor’s ability to influence enactment of worker-friendly legislation has been declining for decades.

Democrats are as anti-labor as Republicans. Workers are increasingly on their own. Welcome to low-wage America.

High-pay/good benefit jobs are offshored and lost. Low-pay/part-time/temp/low of no-benefit ones replace them.

Millions live from paycheck to paycheck. Most have little or no savings.

They’re one missed payday from possible destitution, homelessness, hunger and despair.

 Most jobs pay poverty or sub-poverty wages. Households need two or more to survive.

Real unemployment exceeds 23%. It makes finding one hard. For millions, finding living wage ones with good benefits is impossible.

Obama’s job creation claims are more fantasy than real. He’s more jobs destroyer than creator.

He’s beholden to monied interests. He prioritizes cutting corporate taxes. It does nothing to create jobs.

Real unemployment persists at Depression era levels. Nothing is done to change things.

Workers deserve social justice. Bipartisan complicity denies them.

Class warfare rages. Neoliberal harshness is official policy. Inequality grows exponentially.

So-called economic recovery is fake. It’s absent on Main Street. It’s only in corporate profits, financial gains and greater than ever super-wealth.

Most US households struggle. From 2007 to 2012, real median household income declined from $55,600 to $51,017.

 The entire fabric of America changed. It did so for the worst. Three decades ago, an auto assembly worker earned $30 an hour or more plus good benefits.

Today it’s $15 an hour for new workers with greatly eroded benefits heading toward elimination altogether.

Industrial America like it once was is gone. Workers today face conditions replicating 19th century harshness.

Democrats like Republicans make low-wage labor a centerpiece of their economic policy.

Industrial hubs are shells of their former selves. Detroit symbolizes America’s decline. It lost a fourth of its population.

Once mighty Motown resembles a ghost town. It’s dying. It’s bankrupt.

Over half its working age residents have no jobs. Most others have rotten ones. They don’t pay enough to live on.

“Gary Indiana lost 22% of its population.” St. Louis 20%. Flint Michigan 18%. Cleveland 17%.

Industrialized countries alone enjoy developed economic status. Offshoring manufacturing reverses the development process.

Doing so shows a nation in decline. High-paying/good benefits/full-time jobs are disappearing in plain sight.

Rotten ones replaced them. America is being thirdworldized.

It’s increasingly a nation of low-paid/unskilled clerks, food preparers, waitresses, bartenders, dishwashers, maids, cashiers, cab drivers, hosts and hostesses, amusement park attendants, movie theater ushers and ticket takers, farm workers, home care providers, and non-professional medical ones.

Economic development depends on “capital, technology, business knowledge, and trained” skilled workers, Paul Craig Roberts explains.

“US capital and technology are being located abroad…” Skilled US workers are disappearing. De-industrialization is the new normal.

America is a shell of its former self. So is trade unionism compared to its heyday. It’s fast-tracking toward vanishing altogether.

Labor Day commemorates US worker struggles. Trade unionism’s main one is survival in a nation beholden to capital.

Corporate giants control things. Workers get the best democracy money can buy. The state of today’s America is deplorable.

It’s being systematically thirdworldized. Unemployment, underemployment, poverty and despair are today’s growth industries. A race to the bottom defines things.

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

How the Western Media Deciphers the Neo-Nazi Code

September 1st, 2014 by Prof Michel Chossudovsky

First published by GR in May 2014

There are no Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

According to the Western media, its all part of “a relentless Kremlin-driven propaganda offensive that uses World War II-era terms and imagery”.

Moscow is accused of using the words Nazi and Fascist to describe a pro-Western government in Kiev, which is indelibly committed to the tenets of “real democracy”.

In Odessa, on May 2nd, Neo-Nazi thugs set fire to the city’s Trade Union building leading to countless deaths of innocent civilians who were burnt alive within the building. This diabolical and criminal undertaking was part of a carefully planned paramilitary operation, which was barely acknowledged by the mainstream media.

The Western media blamed the Odessa tragedy on pro-Russian rebels. The criminal actions undertaken by Neo-Nazi  Brown shirts were not mentioned. The atrocities were blamed on Moscow.

In the media’s coverage of unfolding atrocities directed against civilians in Eastern Ukraine, the words Nazi, Fascist or Neo-Nazi are a taboo. They have been eliminated from the anthology of investigative reporting. The Right Sector militia are casually referred to by the Western media as “patriots”, “Ultra-conservatives” and “freedom fighters”, despite the fact that they visibly display Nazi insignia and openly pledge their allegiance to the memory of Stepan Bandera and Adolf Hitler.

Neo-Nazi Rally in Ukraine, with portrait of Stepan Bandera

On May 9, another occupied building was set ablaze in Mariupol by the regime’s National Guard, which is under the direct command of the Ukraine Council for National Security and Defense controlled by the two Neo-Nazi parties.

In a bitter irony, while there was no mainstream coverage of the role of Neo-Nazis in relation to the Mariupol atrocities, the broader Neo-Nazi issue was nonetheless making the headlines on May 9.  On the very same day, a stream of syndicated articles was released focussing on the alleged use of a “secret” Neo-Nazi insignia on a box of liquid detergent recently released by Procter and Gamble.

The sensationalist headline on the Daily Mail read as follows:

Aryan automatic! Detergent giant caught up in Nazi row after Ariel boxes feature secret far-right code in Germany

    • Packages printed with large number ’88′, used by extremists for ‘Heil Hitler’
    • Germany bans Nazi slogans, symbol used as H is 8th letter of alphabet
    • Company forced to apologise after outraged shoppers took to Twitter
    • Also forced to pull ‘Ariel 18′ liquid as ’18′ is symbol for ‘AH’ or Adolf Hitler

An Ariel liquid detergent bottle with an '18' on it sits in Berlin Germany, Friday, May 9, 2014.

The articles describe outraged German shoppers following the display of a “well known” Neo-Nazi insignia on a box of liquid detergent:

Outraged shoppers had posted pictures online of Ariel powder boxes featuring a white soccer jersey with a large number “88.” The number is sensitive because far-right extremists in Germany often use it as a code to skirt a ban on the use of Nazi slogans in public: since “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet, “88″ represents the phrase “Heil Hitler.” Similarly, “18″ is used to stand for “A.H.” or Adolf Hitler.

The company apologized for its unintended use of a secret Neo-Nazi insignia.

Number 88 has nothing to do with “Heil Hitler”, said a company representative, it  was “intended to show how many loads of laundry buyers would be able to do with one package.”

“We very much regret if there are any false associations and distance ourselves clearly from any far-right ideology,” company spokeswoman Gabi Hassig said in a statement.

The issue of Ariel “18″ being mistaken for Adolph Hitler may have been the source of laughter and ridicule, yet under the circumstances it demonstrated how the Western media actually deciphers Neo-Nazi codes.  While it  has no difficulty in “cracking the secret Nazi code” on a box of liquid detergent, it fails to acknowledge the obvious role of the two main Neo-Nazi parties in the Kiev coalition government, not to mention the fact that Western leaders are supportive of the Neo-Nazi parties and have no intention of apologizing.

On the one hand the Western media refuses to provide news coverage pertaining to the criminal actions of self proclaimed Neo-Nazi groups in Ukraine with clearly identifiable insignia. (see below)

On the other hand, it misleads public opinion’s perception of the threat of neo-Nazism by accusing Procter and Gamble of promoting unwarranted neo-Nazi symbols on a packet of detergent.

Trivia becomes Newsworthy

Number”18″ on a packet of Ariel detergent receives extensive coverage as a despicable symbol of “far-right ideology”, representing AH (Adolph Hitler).

Yet at the same time, on the same day, the Western media is not able to “decipher the atrocities” committed by Neo-Nazis in Ukraine.

Nor does it acknowledge the fact, amply documented, that the Right Sector and Svoboda militia in Ukraine are supported by Western governments, not to mention Special Forces within National Guard and Right Sector paramilitary ranks (photo: John McCain with the leader of Svoboda (centre))

While Procter and Gamble apologizes for the “false Adolph Hitler associations” on the packet of Ariel detergent, as reported profusely in mainstream news tabloids (see list below),  Western leaders including John Kerry, John McCain, Victoria Nuland and Catherine Ashton are not ready to say “sorry, we supported the Neo-Nazis who are killing innocent civilians, we made a really big mistake.”

 U.S. Assistant secretary of State Victoria Nuland with Svoboda leader Oleh Tyahnybok (left)

 A google news search for the Word “Nazi” on May 9 confirms the Western media’s self-denial of the role of neo-Nazism in Ukraine. The word is never mentioned in relation to Ukraine. Journalists and editors are instructed not to use the term.

While google will list alternative media reports including GR pertaining to neo-Nazism in Ukraine, the google list for mainstream Western media sources pertains to the unwarranted use of “secret Nazi codes” on a packet of liquid detergent, allegedly in derogation of the rights of German consumers.

To say that this constitutes “double media standards” is a blatant understatement. What we are dealing with is coverup and camouflage.

The “visible insignia” underlying Neo-Nazi atrocities in Ukraine are simply not acknowledged. They are not newsworthy.

High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy for the European Union Catherine Ashton and  Oleh Tyahnybok (left).

Instrument of war propaganda

The mainstream media by denying the very existence of Neo-Nazi formations in Ukraine is complicit under the Nuremberg Principles of “crimes against peace”. As documented by Peter Dyer:

The critical role of propaganda was affirmed at Nuremberg not only by the prosecution and in the judgment but also in the testimony of the most prominent Nazi defendant, Reichsmarshall Hermann Goering: “Modern and total war develops, as I see it, along three lines: the war of weapons on land, at sea and in the air; economic war, which has become an integral part of every modern war; and, third, propaganda war, which is also an essential part of this warfare.”

Two months after the Nuremberg hangings, the United Nations General Assembly passed Resolution 59(I), declaring: “Freedom of information requires as an indispensable element the willingness and capacity to employ its privileges without abuse. It requires as a basic discipline the moral obligation to seek the facts without prejudice and to spread knowledge without malicious intent.” (emphasis added)

What is involved is the outright “criminalization of the Western media” requiring the prosecution of those responsible within major Western media conglomerates for providing –in an organizing and systematic fashion– a “human face” to acts of war and aggression.


ANNEX

For further details on AH “18″ (aka Adolph Hitler) on Ariel detergent see the authoritative reports of the Western media on the threat of Neo-Nazism in the EU (incomplete list)

  1. Germans in lather over ‘Nazi code’

    Irish Independent-May 10, 2014
    Detergent maker Procter & Gamble has prompted anger in Germany after unintentionally placing a neo-Nazi code on promotional packages for …
  2. German detergent box pulled for neo-Nazi code

    The West Australian-May 9, 2014
    The number 88 is used by the far right in Germany to stand for the Nazi salute “Heil Hitler” because H is the eighth letter of the alphabet, thus …
  1. Procter & Gamble Pulls Laundry Detergent Over Neo-Nazi Symbol

    Investorplace.com-May 9, 2014
    Procter & Gamble (PG) has pulled a laundry detergent from shelves after consumers accused the product of promoting neo-Nazi ideals.
  1. Germany pulls detergent over neo-Nazi code

    SBS-May 9, 2014
    A laundry detergent featuring an image of a large number 88, a neo-Nazi code, on a white soccer jersey has sparked anger in Germany.
  1. Ariel caught up in Nazi row after boxes feature secret far-right code …

    Daily Mail-May 10, 2014
    However, it is common knowledge in Germany that neo-Nazis have given the number a new meaning. The symbol derives from that fact that ‘H’ …
  2. P&G Detergent Pulled in Germany Over Neo-Nazi Code …

    www.nbcnews.com/…/p-g-detergent-pulled-germany-ove…

    NBCNews.com

    4 days ago - Detergent manufacturer Procter & Gamble has prompted anger in … They use “88” to represent the phrase “Heil Hitler,” because “H” is the …

  3. Procter & Gamble pulls out detergent in Germany over neo …

    www.thestar.com/…/procter_gamble_pulls_out_detergent_i…

    Toronto Star

    3 days ago - ’18′ is the neo-Nazi code for Adolf Hitler. … BERLIN—Detergent manufacturer Procter & Gamble has prompted anger in Germany after …

  4. P&G slips up with neo-Nazi codes on German packaging …

    www.bizjournals.com/…/p-g-slips-up-with-neo-nazi-codes-on-german.ht…

    3 days ago - Procter & Gamble promotions for its Ariel laundry detergent backfired in … used numbers on packaging that are neo-Nazi codes for Adolph Hitler.

  5. Procter & Gamble : Anger at ‘Hitler’ code on detergent | 4 …

    www.4-traders.com2 days ago - Detergent firm Procter & Gamble stirred anger in Germany after accidentally putting a neo-Nazi code on promotional packs of Ariel washing …
  6. Detergent pulled in Germany: Neo-Nazi code accusations …

    www.examiner.com/…/detergent-pulled-germany-neo-naz…

    Examiner.com

    3 days ago - Detergent made by Procter & Gamble and sold in Germany has started … The Ariel Detergent packages were not meant to refer to Hitler, but the …

  7. PR-Desaster bei Procter & Gamble: Ariel wirbt mit Hitler …

    www.n24.de/…/ariel-wirbt-mit-hitler-code–88-.ht…4 days ago - Was haben sich die PR-Strategen dabei gedacht? Proctor & Gamblewirbt mit der “88″ für das neue Ariel. Die Zahl steht für den verbotenen …
  8. Peinliche Marketing-Panne: P&G wirbt mit Hitler-Code 88 für …

    4 days ago - Marketing Das ging mal richtig nach hinten los: Der Konsumgüter-KonzernProcter & Gamble bewirbt sein Waschmittel Ariel mit “neuer …
  9. Ariel wirbt mit Symbol für Hitler-Gruß – Wirtschaft – Bild.de

    4 days ago - Hersteller Procter & Gamble distanziert sich | Ariel wirbt mit Symbol fürHitler- … „88“ steht in der rechtsradikalen Szene für „HH”, „Heil Hitler”.
  10. Procter & Gamble distanziert sich von Ariel Hitler-Gruß-Symbol

    wirtschaftsblatt.at/…/Procter-Gamble-di… -

    5 days ago - Eine Werbeaktion für das Waschmittel Ariel mit einem Symbol für den Hitlergruß hat Empörung ausgelöst.

  11. Allemagne : une lessive retirée des rayons pour une allusion …

    Le Point-May 9, 2014
    Procter & Gamble a annoncé qu’il avait retiré de la vente en Allemagne … sur l’emballage pouvant être interprétée comme une allusion à Hitler.
  12. Detergent in hot water over Nazi code

    The Times of Israel-May 11, 2014
    Detergent manufacturer Procter & Gamble has kicked up a froth in Germany after … Similarly, “18″ is used to stand for “A.H.” or AdolfHitler.
  13. P&G pulls detergent in Germany over neo-Nazi code

    CBS News-May 9, 2014
    BERLIN - Procter & Gamble (PG) has apologized for “any false … “H” is the eighth letter of the alphabet, “88″ represents the phrase “Heil Hitler.
  14. Anger at ‘Hitler’ code on detergent

    Herald Scotland-May 10, 2014
    Detergent firm Procter & Gamble stirred anger in Germany after accidentally putting a neo-Nazi code on promotional packs of Ariel washing …
  15. Ariel detergent pulled from shelves over neo-Nazi code on packaging

    Descrier-May 10, 2014
    Procter & Gamble has removed promotional boxes of its Ariel … right in the country use the number “88″ to refer to the Nazi salute “Heil Hitler”, …
  16. Germans in lather over ‘Nazi code’

    Irish Independent-May 10, 2014
    Detergent maker Procter & Gamble has prompted anger in Germany after … Similarly, “18″ is used to stand for “A.H.” or Adolf Hitler.Procter …
  17. In a lather: Germans upset by neo-Nazi code on Ariel detergents

    Herald Scotland-May 9, 2014
    Detergent maker Procter & Gamble has prompted anger in Germany after … They use “88″ to represent the phrase “Heil Hitler,” because “H” is …

On August 31, Israel’s Civil Administration announced confiscation of around 1,000 acres of privately owned Palestinian land. 

It lawlessly declared it State Land. It’s to establish a Gva’ot settlement. It’s located south of Bethlehem. It’s in the Southern West Bank.

Peace Now calls itself “the leading voice of Israeli public pressure for peace.” It called Israel’s action “unprecedented.”

In 1984, Gva’ot was established as a military base. Earlier, Israel’s Housing Ministry planned to build 15,000 units. The idea was to establish a city in Gva’ot.

Smaller plans substituted. The new announcement expands Gva’ot. It’ll become a new settlement. It may connect to the Green Line.

Peace Now called Sunday’s announcement “proof (that) Netanyahu does not (want) a new ‘Diplomatic Horizon’ but” intends blocking Palestinian self-determination.

He and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon bear full responsibility for Sunday’s declaration. It “cannot pass without their approval,” said Peace Now.

By confiscating another 1,000 acres of privately owned Palestinian land, they “prove(d) again that violence delivers Israeli concessions while nonviolence results in settlement expansion(s).”

Peace Now official Hagit Ofran believes “Netanyahu will carry out a lot of expansion(s) because of the pressure he feels from his right wing and the feeling that the (Gaza) war did not end up with many successes.”

Confiscated land belongs to five Palestinian villages. They include Jaba, Surif, Wadi Fukin, Husan and Nahalin. They lie between the Etzion settlement bloc and Jerusalem.

At issue is connecting Etzion to Jerusalem and its surrounding area. Last year, Israel sought bids for 1,000 housing units on the site.

Over 500 are being built. Ten families reside on the site. Many more will follow.

Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh urged Israel to cancel the takeover. “This decision will only inflame the situation after the war in Gaza,” he said.

Senior PLO official Hanan Ashrawi called Sunday’s announcement a “deliberate intent to wipe out any Palestinian presence on the land and to willfully impose a de facto one-state solution.”

Since mid-June, Israel announced nearly 1,500 new settlement units. They’re intended for about 6,000 West Bank settlers.

They’re generally built on hills. They’re located in and around Palestinian towns and villages.

They encircle them. They isolate them. They make a viable Palestinian state impossible.

Official Israeli policy goes all-out to prevent it. It intends confiscating all valued parts of Judea and Samaria.

It wants maximum Jews and minimum Arabs. It ignores international law in the process.

Fourth Geneva’s Article 49 prohibits occupying powers from transferring its citizens from its own territory to land it occupies.

Hague Regulations ban occupying powers from making permanent changes in occupied areas they control unless what’s done benefits the entire local population.

An exception is made in cases of verifiable military necessity. None exists in this case.

Establishing settlements violate fundamental Palestinian rights. They’re enshrined in international human rights law.

Settlements prevent self-determination. They deny equality. They block free movement. They benefit the occupying power at the expense of the local population.

By legal, military and administrative means, Israel prohibits Palestinian construction and development on about 40% of West Bank land.

It includes about 70% of Area C where Israel maintains full control.

Off-limit areas include:

  • settlements and regional councils;
  • state land;
  • closed military zones;
  • nature reserves;
  • national parks;
  • area for Israel’s Separation Wall;
  • free-firing zones;
  • commercial locations;
  • no-go areas;
  • Jews-only roads;
  • checkpoints;
  • other barriers; and other exclusively Jewish areas.

Since 1967, Israel established 125 West Bank settlements, 100 outposts, and 12 neighborhoods.

Settler enclaves were built in East Jerusalem areas. They include the Old City’s Muslim Quarter, Silwan, Sheikh Jarrach, Mount of Olives, Ras al-Amud, Abu Dis, and Jabal al-Mukabber.

In 2005, 16 Gaza settlements were dismantled as part of Israel’s disengagement plan. Residents were shifted to other settlement locations.

Occupied Palestine reflects militarized colonization and discriminatory apartheid. It’s worse than what South Africa experienced. Separate and unequal is official Israeli policy.

Civil law governs settlers. Military orders deprive Palestinians of all fundamental rights. They have no control over their daily lives. Their land is systematically stolen.

Since Oslo, settler population tripled from around 200,000 in 1993 to about 600,000 today.

It’s growing exponentially. It’s on stolen Palestinian land. It doesn’t matter. Israel operates unaccountably.

Palestinian rights don’t matter. They’re denied free expression and movement. Their homes are bulldozed and destroyed. They’re uprooted and displaced.

They’re forbidden from returning to land once theirs. They’re denied redress.

West Bank reconfiguration plans intend to isolate them in ghettoized bantustans. Sovereign viability is impossible.

Two states once were possible. No longer. Israel controls around 60% of the West Bank.

It has much of East Jerusalem. More is added daily. When completed, Israel’s Annexation Wall will control over 10% of Palestine.

One state comprised of Israel and Occupied Palestine alone works now. Nothing else is viable.

Conditions for Palestinians are intolerable. Occupation, land theft, dispossessions, inequality, a permanent non-Jewish underclass, instability, and conflict reflect daily life.

Peace, equity and justice remain pure fantasy. Permanent militarized occupation is official Israeli policy.

From 1967 to 1977, around 30 settlements were established. They were mainly in Jordan Valley locations. Population numbered about 5,000.

Under Prime Minister Menachem Begin (1977 – 1983), things changed dramatically. A new pattern emerged.

Heartland/central ridge West Bank settlements were established. Construction tempo increased.

Dozens of new settlements were added. Increasing amounts of Palestinian land were stolen.

Construction today continues unabated. Palestinians are driven from their own land.

What they most value is being systematically confiscated. Self-determination remains a distant dream.

Separately, Netanyahu appeared on three Israeli television networks over the weekend. He defended the indefensible.

He called Operation Protective Edge successful. Palestinians must choose between “Hamas or peace.” Toppling Hamas remains an option, he said.

“I never removed the goal of toppling Hamas, and I am not doing that now,” he stressed.

“When I look around and see al-Qaida on the (Israeli/Syrian border), ISIS moving toward Jordan and already in Lebanon, with Hezbollah there already, supported by Iran, I defined the goal in the cabinet of delivering a hard blow to Hamas, and we did that.”

“I can not rule out the occupation of Gaza,” he added. “I don’t know if we will get to that.”

“I thought the best thing is to crush (Hamas). It might be that they are still there, but they are crushed, isolated and unable to smuggle in arms.”

“I think that creates a chance for prolonged quiet, but if not, I won’t bear a drizzle of rockets.”

Netanyahu left unexplained they’re virtually never preemptive. They follow Israeli aggression in self-defense.

It doesn’t matter. Palestinians are blamed for Israeli crimes. They repeat multiple times daily.

Western media ignore them. israel operates extrajudicially with impunity.

During the late stages of Operation Protective Edge alone, Israel conducted dozens of military incursions into Palestinian West Bank and East Jerusalem communities.

Civilian homes were raided pre-dawn. They were ransacked. Families were terrorized.

Dozens of Palestinians were arrested despite having committed no crimes.

In August, nearly 600 West Bank and East Jerusalem Palestinians were arrested. The Palestinian News & Information Agency (WAFA) called what happened “the cruelest arrest operations launched since mid-June.”

Since July 12, Israel kidnapped more than 2,000 Palestinians. They followed the killing of three settlers.

Despite no corroborating evidence, Israel automatically blamed Hamas. Mass West Bank and East Jerusalem arrests followed. So did Operation Protective Edge.

Collective punishment is official Israeli policy. The Hague Regulations, Geneva III, Geneva IV, Additional Protocols I and II as well as other international laws strictly prohibit it.

It doesn’t matter. Israeli accountability never follows.

Around 7,000 Palestinians languish in Israel’s gulag. It’s one of the world’s worst. The vast majority are political prisoners.

They include around 250 children and 19 women. Nearly 500 are serving life terms for wanting to live free on their own land in their own country.

Around 500 others are administratively detained without charges or trial. Six former Palestinian ministers are imprisoned. So are 36 legislators for belonging to the wrong political parties.

Healthcare provided Palestinian prisoners is deplorable. Around 1,500 suffer from serious illnesses and diseases.

They include cancer, heart disease, liver ailments and paralysis. Since 1967, 205 Palestinian prisoners died from torture, medical neglect, or cold-blooded murder.

Dozens more more died shortly after release. They did so from illnesses contracted in prison.

It bears repeating what other articles stressed. Israel is a lawless rogue terror state. Decades of Palestinian suffering attest to its brutality.

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

After provoking what is increasingly a devastating and expanding conflict in Ukraine, NATO appears to be out of options as its proxy regime loses its grip on both its military campaign against its own population in eastern Ukraine, as well as political control in the capital of Kiev itself. However, despite the turn of events, with NATO apparently rudderless, those seeking to undo and reserve the damage the West has created in Eastern Europe must not become complacent.

NATO still possesses several options with which it can respond to its deteriorating proxy regime and the eroding of its interests both in the region, and around the world.

Propaganda Retrenchment Before Aggressive Military Aid 

As the West has done in Syria, it now seeks to do in Ukraine – a complete retrenchment of the official narrative regarding the nature of the ongoing conflict. Previously, the Western media has gone through great lengths to obscure overt Nazism running throughout both the political front it is propping up in Kiev, as well as across the irregular forces sent alongside what remains of Ukraine’s national army. Western media outlets have briefly touched on the issue in attempts to mitigate and manage growing public concern.

Regarding the formation by the Interior Ministry in Kiev of a battalion of Nazis – the Azov Battalion – the BBC would publish, “Ukraine conflict: ‘White power’ warrior from Sweden,” the Telegraph would publish, “Ukraine crisis: the neo-Nazi brigade fighting pro-Russian separatists,” and Al Jazeera would publish, “Driven by far-right ideology, Azov Battalion mans Ukraine’s front line.” Each would in turn, admit that literal Nazis are fighting on behalf of the NATO-backed regime in Kiev – with the regime itself raising ultra-right, Neo-Nazi battle formations. But each would also attempt to downplay the implications and role of Nazism within the ongoing conflict.

That was until Foreign Policy magazine published its article, praising what it called, “fascist defenders of freedom.” It’s article titled, “Preparing For War with Ukraine’s Fascist Defenders of Freedom,” claims:

The Azov Battalion — so named for the Sea of Azov on which this industrial city is located — is one of dozens of volunteer battalions fighting alongside pro-government forces in eastern Ukraine. After separatist troops and armor attacked from the nearby Russian border and took the neighboring town of Novoazovsk, this openly neo-Nazi unit has suddenly found itself defending the city against what Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko called a Russian invasion.

3453452Pro-Russian forces have said they are fighting against Ukrainian nationalists and “fascists” in the conflict, and in the case of Azov and other battalions, these claims are essentially true.

Effectively, Foreign Policy finally admits that indeed, warnings that NATO was backing literal Nazis in Ukraine were more than mere “Kremlin propaganda,” but rather the unequivocal truth. Foreign Policy would continue by reporting:

Besides a strong defense, Ukraine needs the support of the West to defeat the invaders, Odnorozhenko argued. He called for the Europe and the United States to take a more aggressive stance on Russia and begin shipping weapons to Ukrainian pro-government forces.

And that is precisely what the United States and Europe are attempting to do – begin shipping more weapons and other forms of lethal aid to continue propping up the regime in Kiev. By embracing the Nazi militants fighting on behalf of Kiev, and simply claiming Russia is “worse,” the West can repeat the strategy it used in Syria after it became apparent that militants fighting the government in Damascus were hardcore terrorists driven by sectarian extremism and aligned to Al Qaeda.

In fact, it was also Foreign Policy who, in mid-2012, published an article titled, “Two Cheers for Syrian Islamists: So the rebels aren’t secular Jeffersonians. As far as America is concerned, it doesn’t much matter.”

The FP article also attempted to create a narrative that portrayed the Syrian government as a more pressing issue than revelations that NATO-backed militants were sectarian extremists, not the “pro-democracy freedom fighters” they were portrayed as being during and directly after the so-called “Arab Spring.” Foreign Policy would also create an array of excuses explaining why militants were extremists – a strategy expected to play out again as Kiev’s Nazism continues to emerge into greater public view.

By embracing and excusing two abhorrent ideologies and the heavily armed militant groups espousing them, NATO is able to continue backing both terrorists in Syria and Nazis in Ukraine. With the burden of covering up Nazism in Ukraine “off NATO’s chest,” it can commit to a more aggressive strategy of arming and aiding them.

Direct NATO Intervention 

6546234The self-destructive fleeing forward of the West generally takes the form of political destabilizations, terrorism, false-flag attacks, incremental mission creep, and covert proxy wars. What it has learned from Russia in both 2008 in Georgia and again this year in Crimea, is that direct, unpredictable, bold moves can pay off.

NATO recently has been very public in stating it has no intention of intervening in Ukraine. Since NATO perpetually keeps the threat of military intervention “on the table” for all other conceivable conflicts across the planet, it is strange that both it, and its proxy regime in Kiev, have gone through extra efforts to insist such a scenario in Ukraine is neither desired, nor even “on the table.”

With NATO building up troops in Eastern Europe, and its attempts to lull Russia into a false sense of security, planners in Moscow, eastern Ukrainians confronting NATO-backed troops on the battlefield in Ukraine, and in theaters across the region, sudden NATO intervention must be accounted for, as well as a swift counterstroke to disrupt what will be a precarious proposition for Western interests unaccustomed to such a risky move, and merely depending on shock, awe, and surprise to follow it through.

Incremental Escalation 

Barring a negotiated settlement brokered by Kiev that sees its forces withdrawn from eastern Ukraine and contested provinces forfeited to rebels, it is likely NATO will continue incremental escalation combining both an increasingly aggressive strategy of arming and aiding Kiev’s forces regardless of their overt Nazism, as well as an incremental NATO build-up along Ukraine’s borders and covertly within them.

Whether NATO commits to a more desperate strategy entirely depends on whether or not this incremental escalation can continue at a quicker pace than the regime in Kiev can collapse.

With NATO and the special interests driving its agenda failing in Ukraine and floundering in Syria, the West has exhibited signs of dangerous desperation causing lapses in judgement and an overall lack of deep, coherent, strategic planning. It has gone from forcing its enemies to react to its provocations in 2011, to a series of backpedaling reactions in the face of formidable counterstrokes made in return ever since. An enemy that is desperate, is an enemy that is dangerous. Feeling it has nothing to lose, it may commit to an increasingly reckless strategy of provocations in hopes that its enemies’ caution and reason force them to back down.

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

Amidst a slew of unverified allegations in recent weeks of Russian invasions, violations of Ukraine sovereignty and NATO’s current claim of Russian troops and Russian tanks fighting on the side of the federalist rebels, the upcoming annual NATO Heads of State Summit in Wales, threatens a widening violence and heightened military activity throughout eastern Europe. 

Add to the equation that the tide of war appears to be turning against the US-imposed Kiev government as a successful offensive by the rebels captured the coastal town of Novoazovsk near Crimea opening a new front in the southeast and holding the line in Elenovka as rebel forces maintain their ground in Donetsk, the Kiev government needs to save face by claiming that  Russian troops are aiding the out-manned, under-supplied rebels. Russia’s envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov added that the only Russian troops in Ukraine were the nine paratroopers who wandered across the border recently while on patrol. 

NATO Summit

It is worth noting that the largest gathering of international leaders to ever assemble in the UK, will include non NATO member Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko as part of a ‘special NATO meeting’ on Ukraine but will exclude Russian President Vladimir Putin.    While that omission may be a sure sign that negotiating a political settlement regarding the US-sponsored fiasco in Ukraine is not a NATO or US priority, the subject of Ukraine will be front and center on the agenda as the EU/NATO/US alliance already know their plans with regard to NATO expansion and the future of Ukraine.

President Obama will attend the Summit after visiting the Baltic states of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania while ‘reaffirming’ the US commitment to the region.   It did not used to be common for the US President to visit every little nickel and dime country (no offense intended) along the way but in this case such assurance along with a Presidential visit can mean only one thing:  that those self-proclaimed ‘threatened’ strategically-located countries  (with Estonia and Latvia on Russia’s border and Lithuania and Poland bordered by Russian-ally Belarus) need the President to personally shore them up for a new NATO missile defense system going further east than the former Iron Curtain, and in advance of any possible turbulence spillover within their borders.

On the eve of the Summit, outgoing Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen offered the following:

“We are at a crucial point in history, our peace and security are once again being tested. NATO support for the sovereignty and total integrity of Ukraine is unwavering.  Our partnership islong-standing.  NATO is working even more closely with Ukraine to reform its armed forces and defense institutions.   NATO stands ready to support Ukraine with advisors and assistance. We are advising Ukraine on defense planning and defense reform and are ready to intensify this cooperation.   As a sign of strong support and solidarity, we have decided to hold a ‘special meeting’with Ukraine at the upcoming NATO Summit in Wales.   We will continue to improve the ability of NATO and Ukraine soldiers to work together.   It is the right of every country to choose its own foreign policy without foreign interference.  NATO fully respects that right but today Ukraine’s freedom and future are under attack.”

In addition, in a series of recent interviews with European newspapers, when asked whether there would be permanent international deployments under a NATO flag in east Europe, NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen said:

“The brief answer is yes ….’for as long as necessary.’   In addition, Rasmussen promised a readiness action plan to provide rapid reinforcements with ‘a more visible NATO presence in the east.”

In accordance with the promise made in Bucharest in 2008 that both Georgia and Ukraine would become members, it is doubtful whether the Summit will formally act given NATO’s inability to accept new members with borders in dispute but would rather allow each to function as proxy states.   As every NATO member fully understands, membership approval of any of the encirclement countries can be expected to trigger Russia’s long time vehement opposition to a missile presence on its borders.

NATO Accusations

None of this is reassuring especially that the recent accusations have yet established whether NATO’s images are date and time stamped, accurate and reliable.  Nevertheless, just as the unfounded accusations regarding MH 17 flight continue to fuel enmity toward Putin, the latest ‘invasion’ charge will be provocative enough, as US-dominated NATO members congregate, to escalate a war effort that has already claimed over 2,600 fatalities, according to the UN. It was, of course, the ouster of the democratically elected President Yanukovych and the imposition of a pro-EU, pro-NATO and a pro-IMF government in Kiev that sparked the revolt in east Ukraine.

One immediate flaw in NATO’s latest assertion is that, given its total dependence on creating military conflict, reliance on their version of anything should be subject to intense scrutiny. With an estimated 50,000 plus Ukrainian troops in action (not counting CIA and US mercenaries), the question is whether sending 1,000 Russian troops into Ukraine is worth the risk to Putin who has consistently followed a diplomatic path while US diplomacy has been dominated by threats and bullying.

What makes more sense is that if the situation in Ukraine reached the critical point of no-return, that Putin would send in a sufficient force the size of a field army accompanied by an impressive number of tank battalions, support convoys and enough heavy artillery to finish the job – and presumably there would be no doubt about whether or not the Russians had moved into Ukraine to protect the civilian population from continued merciless attacks.  The other option is that the Russian air force could easily put an end to Ukraine’s shelling and bombing of defenseless citizens.

Perhaps the best response to the latest ‘invasion’ disinformation has come from Alexandre Zakharchenko, Chair of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk National Republic, given in a recent press briefing.  When an English speaking reporter inquired whether Russian military units were fighting with the rebels, Zakharchenko replied that if ‘you think that Russia is sending its regular units here, then let me tell you something.  If Russia was sending its regular troops here, ‘we would not be talking about the battle of Elenovka; we’d be talking about the battle of Kiev.” Zakharchenko, an attorney who made an impressive presentation, went on to remind the media that “A territory has the right of self-determination and separation after a referendum,” a referendum that was approved by Donbass voters in May.

What is not debatable is that for some weeks, a conservative estimate of 4,000 Russian volunteers (including some ‘off duty’ military and women) have crossed into Ukraine to fight on the side of the ‘rebels.’ That number may have also been augmented by volunteers sent by Chechen president Ramzan Kadyrov whose “statements in support of the illegal annexation of Crimea and support of the armed insurgency in Ukraine,”were cited as reasons for his inclusion in a recent round of sanctions.

Obama’s Unprovoked Attack on Russia

In reaction to NATO’s invasion charge, President Obama, whose State Department was intimately involved in the February coup, spoke at the White House voicing the usual provocations:

“Russia is responsible for the violence in eastern Ukraine.  The violence is encouraged by Russia.  The separatists are trained by Russia.  They are armed by Russia.  They are funded by Russia.  Russia has deliberately and repeatedly violated the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”

“In Estonia, I will reaffirm our unwavering commitment to the defense of our NATO allies”  and  “At the NATO Summit in the United Kingdom, we’ll focus on the additional steps we can take to ensure the Alliance remains prepared for any challenge”  and “There is no doubt that this is not a homegrown, indigenous uprising in eastern Ukraine.”

In a stunning denial of self-reflection, the president has consistently failed to mention his own Administration’s role as sole cause of the violence,  the $1 billion of  Congressional support for Kiev,  the $5 billion of US aid revealed by Secretary of State Victoria Nuland last spring or the NATO build up in Poland, the Baltic states and elsewhere in eastern Europe.   There is never serious mention of the humanitarian catastrophe on a civilian population, no mention of the fatalities, no mention of a ceasefire, no mention of the withdrawal of all non-Ukraine factions from meddling and no mention of requiring the Kiev government’s direct negotiations with the federalist rebels to determine the future of their own country.

Putin Redefines Russia’s National Interests

After the  Gorbachev – Yeltsin years overseeing the dissolution of the USSR in which much of its national interests were imprudently relinquished to a market economy, Putin addressed the Munich Conference on Security Policy in 2007.   During that speech, he redefined contemporary Russia’s national interests and its geopolitical concerns as he established himself as an independent, critical thinker with an international perspective – and, therefore, a threat to US dominion.

The speech is worth reading in its entirety and here are several excerpts:

Decrying a “greater and greater disdain for the basic principles of international law.   One state, first and foremost, the United States has overstepped its national borders in every way.”

In referring to “Russia’s peaceful transition to democracy.   Why should we start bombing and shooting now at every available opportunity?”

In referring to an earlier speaker,

“I understood that the use of force can only be legitimate when the decision is taken by NATO, the EU, or the UN. If he really does think so, then we have different points of view. The use of force can only be considered legitimate if the decision is sanctioned by the UN. And we do not need to substitute NATO or the EU for the UN.”

With regard to expanding NATO with missiles on Russia’s borders:

“It turns out that NATO has put its frontline forces on our borders  I think it is obvious that NATO expansion does not have any relation with the modernisationof the Alliance itself or with ensuring security in Europe.  It represents a serious provocationthat reduces the level of mutual trust. And we have the right to ask: against whom is this expansion intended? And what happened to the assurances our western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact?”

And lastly, Putin quoted the “speech of NATO General Secretary Manfred Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that:

“the fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee”.

Around the world another democracy has begun to manifest itself, one organized by people.

The United States is not a democracy. Occupy Wall Street announced this fact to the world with the 1% and inequality. The protests in Ferguson and Detroit are bringing it to the social and political spheres. Around the world another democracy has begun to manifest itself, one organized by people, from below, in plazas, parks, schools, workplaces and on street corners – a democracy where people are no longer silent and are beginning to take back control of their lives.

There are few, if any, real democracies. The United States however, is in many ways, the worst. It is a country that declares itself the most democratic in the world, and acts as the world police based on this assumption, yet there is absolutely no “rule of the people”. This truth is increasingly accepted by most people, even Princeton University published a study in April of this year attesting that not only is the United States not a democracy, but it most resembles an oligarchy. The report states, “The central point that emerges from our research is that economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while mass-based interest groups and average citizens have little or no independent influence.”[1]The Occupy Wall Street Movement in the U.S. and similar movements around the globe, from those in Greece, Brazil, Bosnia and the 15M in Spain all spoke and speak to this issue, whether using the concept of the 99% and 1% or the clear slogan No Nos Representan! (They Don’t Represent Us!). There seems to be general agreement that economic decisions are not made in a democratic way – almost anywhere. And while on the political and social front this has also been increasingly clear, it is now being brought into a more public conversation with the protests in Ferguson against the killing of another unarmed black youth, and the actions in Detroit against the cutting off of water to tens of thousand of families.

Millions continue to watch what is happening in Ferguson, with hundreds of cities and towns organizing protests and solidarity marches – against police brutality and the criminalization of young black men. Conversations, even in the mainstream media, are beginning to question the militarization of the police and use of deadly force against unarmed civilians. To not be able to walk freely in your neighborhood out of fear of being shot by the police, based on your race, and that this attack might be supported in the courts reflects a system that is a far cry from any democracy.

In Detroit, more acts of aggression are being carried out, again predominantly against African Americans. This time it is with people being denied access to water – cutting off water sources is often used as a tactic in war and is without a doubt an act of aggression. Over 15,000 homes have had their water cut off, in the height of the summer heat. While protests and direct actions temporarily put on hold the potential 300,000 more families at risk of loosing their water – those families are again at risk, with cut offs having resumed this week. Little explanation is needed here. A government that allows water to be shut off to families that have no other way to get it (collect or otherwise) is hardly one where the “people decide”.

The U.S. is not democratic. Increasingly people will agree to this, and people who are not politically active or involved. However the U.S. never was democratic, nor was it ever intended to be. In fact, a look at the “founding fathers” of modern liberal democracy reflects that fundamental democratic values, such as participation or popular sovereignty, have never been on the agenda of liberal democracy. Liberalism and democracy have been fierce enemies for hundreds of years. It was the exclusion of the social question from democratic decision-making that made the liberals accept democracy and create liberal democracy as the new form of governance of the emerging production model.

Nevertheless the idea of democracy has been a constant thread in the rule of the few with economic power, the 1%, if you will, since it can be used by critics of the existing order against their ruling interests. This is the reason why those who wield economic and political power, especially in times of crisis, as we are witnessing now in places such as the U.S, Greece, Spain and Turkey tend towards authoritarian rule and the suspension of civil and democratic rules and rights. Over the past few years the crisis of liberal democracy has become so evident that even bourgeois intellectuals cannot deny or oversee it anymore (see Princeton report). But their goal in criticizing liberal democracy is to both make the acceptance of a lack of democracy “normal” and mainstream as well as pave the way for authoritarian and less democratic forms of decision making for the sake of efficiency.

We are taught that there are certain generally shared assumptions and rights that we have as a fundamental part of liberal democracy, things such as limitations on the governments ability to restrict citizens movements and ideas, for governments not to have or use arbitrary power, that fair and free elections take place, and that civil liberties, such as freedom of speech, thought, religion, assembly etc. are respected. We are taught that these things exist and are grounded in the very nature of this democracy. But it is important to make clear those civil liberties and rights we do have are in no way an inherent part of liberal democracy. In fact they were won in long hard struggles, going back to the 19th century and took effect only after the enforcement of the new model of production. And upon closer examination, one can see that just as soon as most all of these “rights” or “liberties” were won, governments began trying to dismantle them, from the right to an eight hour work day in the US, to the right to be free from unlawful search and seizure. Volumes have been written about the encroachment of rights in modern democracies, and while many are outraged, and should be, the fact remains that these rights were never a fundamental part of the conception of liberal democracy.

As Beth, an activist in the anti-foreclosure movement, Occupy Homes Bernal in San Francisco puts it,

“The metaphor of democracy and the story that’s woven around it is I think a very beautiful thing, but it never has been put in effect. It’s really been used as a kind of decoy to keep people’s attention and their fury away from the injustices that happen around democracy.”[2]

Since the 1980s, the hegemonic discourse has usurped the concept of participation and used it in a neoliberal frame to outsource the state’s responsibilities on an individual level and strengthen market logic. Nevertheless it is not participation if you can choose your private health insurance because public health has been dismantled and it is not participatory if parents have to take over certain tasks in schools or neighborhoods because the state does not guarantee them anymore. The decentralization of tasks to a local level without the necessary financial resources was also presented as “local participation” by neoliberal politics. It is obviously neither participatory nor democratic if for example certain social services are handed over to communities while the financial resources to finance the services are cut to a level that no longer guarantees a certain quality and range of the services.

The new global movements break with the above concepts of representation and “democracy” and turn their backs on these systems of false democracy while at the same time opening spaces to experiment with alternative and direct democratic processes – spaces where everyone is heard and can participate in decision-making. Democratic mass assemblies have been and continue to pop up all around the globe, from the US, Greece and Spain to Bosnia, Turkey and Brazil. As many participants in movements all over the world described it, the assembly, as a modality, came up intuitively. Marianna from Athens explained, “The assembly is something many of us knew from the university, it’s something that we do, something close to us – even with all its problems. So it came up naturally, ‘we discuss now and decide what we want to do’.” Gülşah Pilpil, Gezi Park activist in Istanbul, Turkey reflected, “Since Gezi Park was evicted people gather in other parks to talk, share and to produce new ideas. In the universities, forums and assemblies have been set up by academics, students and workers.” And, as Amador from Madrid specifies,

“Democracy will start to include something like this, an open space for everyone, not a privatized space for those who have economic or political power, and certainly not a privatized space for professional politicians or activists, but a space open to everyone. Democracy would be to ensure that that space stays constantly open to everyone.”

Liberal democracy is not democratic. There is not one form of perfect democracy, but there are for sure many forms that are much more participatory and liberating than the one we have now. It is important to look to and participate in the alternative forms being developed and push them even further, such as going from an assembly of workers to a workplace take over, as has happened in a number of cities in Europe over the past year and has been going on in Latin America for over a decade, or going from demanding water not be shut off to community control of water, as occurred in parts of Cochabamba, Bolivia, or to go from protests against police brutality and harassment to community created and run police, as they have in Guerrero, Mexico. As the movements around the globe have been saying, Democracia Real Ya! (Real Democracy Now!) not as a demand, but as something we put into effect.

Notes:

[1http://www.princeton.edu/%7Emgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf”>]http://www.princeton.edu/~mgilens/Gilens%20homepage%20materials/Gilens%20and%20Page/Gilens%20and%20Page%202014-Testing%20Theories%203-7-14.pdf

Introduction: Crisis in Labour Politics

The issue that we can’t ignore this Labour Day is the disorientation in our movement’s politics. List the issues working people are most concerned about today – whether deindustrialization, unemployment and underemployment; access to healthcare, childcare and pensions; poverty, racism, conditions of foreign workers and appalling levels of overall inequality; the environment, transit costs and transit services; another corporate-friendly trade agreement that is insensitive to workers and communities; or the horror of Gaza – and two things especially stand out. First, how fundamental the actions of the Canadian state are to what is most important to us. Second, how distressingly unable we have been to influence those actions.

This speaks to the limits of capitalist democracy, but it also highlights the profound failure of our movement’s politics. For a good many years labour has farmed its politics out to the New Democratic Party (NDP). When members asked what the union was doing to ease the latest attack on the working class, the quick reply was often ‘wait for the next election’ and vote NDP. For some this was a matter of unquestioned principle and solidarity. It was also a convenient answer for leaders either stumped by what else might be done, or uncomfortable with – even fearful of – the implications of broader working class engagement.

Exasperation with this response had surfaced in the past, but it reached a new level of disenchantment during the recent Ontario provincial election. The frustrations were of course not unique to this province. They mirrored the experience with social democratic parties across Canada as well as in Europe, Australia and New Zealand.

The confusions and divisions of Canadian labour over its political direction raise the question of whether it will continue to stumble along with a half-hearted (and no longer unified) commitment to the NDP or finally concede that the NDP is not the answer to its problems. Until such an acknowledgement occurs, labour’s politics will remain ineffective and largely irrelevant to working people (i.e. all those who don’t have the privilege of living off their financial assets or the power to live off the labour of others – those with and those without a union, the employed, unemployed, and those condemned to poverty by the ‘labour market’).

Moving On

Breaking with the NDP is a core condition for confronting the need to develop a more creative and fruitful politics. But it is only the first condition for moving on. The issue of what might follow is a difficult one and as the socialist left addresses this, it must do so – given our own lack of success – with humility. Though there are pockets of socialists in unions, movements, at universities and indeed in the NDP, there is at this moment no socialist left in Canada with any degree of coherence, significant ties to the labour movement, or a program and strategy adequate to addressing what the Canadian working class faces.

How then do we start a process to move beyond the NDP and make the question of moving to a socialist party a matter of serious discussion within the labour movement? This is inseparable from simultaneously advancing labour’s renewal, forging more substantive ties between unions and social movements, and reviving a socialist left.

The Contradictions of Social Democracy

The issue isn’t fixing the NDP or the problems with any particular leader, policy or tactic. It’s about the essence of the party. Social democratic parties like the NDP have no vision of a society beyond capitalism, no ambition beyond administering the existing society a bit more fairly. But capitalism is a social system based (as its name itself suggests) on putting the expansion of private capital above everything else, especially the well being of workers, whose potential to make gains can threaten capitalist control and profits. So while social democratic parties like the NDP claim to represent working people, the contradiction is that a party committed to capitalism cannot ultimately defend and advance the needs of working people.

The NDP tries to get around this lack of an independent vision by looking for ‘social harmony’ between capital and labour that looks to gains for working people without risking the alienation of business. It characterizes this as being practical. What it blindly ignores, however, is that for decades now business has asserted and demonstrated that it isn’t interested in any such ‘social contract’. And so while the ‘practical’ NDP has been running around naively mumbling about creating a ‘good capitalism’, its refusal to launch at least an ideological counter-offensive against corporate Canada has left its working class constituency largely disarmed. Among other things this risks leaving workers to find answers to their frustrations in the simplistic and false remedies of the right.

This conflict between supporting capitalism and supporting workers is directly related to another contradiction: the role of mass mobilization to bring about change. Challenging capitalism is no small task and demands the development of a broad and deep-rooted mobilized social force capable of taking this powerful system on. This can’t be done without workers playing a central role because of workers’ potential leverage in the economy and their organizational resources. Yet apart from certain individuals in the party, the NDP has little respect for working people as social actors. Since it can’t imagine ‘ordinary’ workers developing the capacities to one day play a leading role in transforming capitalism, it has no reason to concern itself with – never mind prioritizing – equipping working people with the vision, analysis, ideology, organizational skills and the structures to counteract the power of, and constraints imposed by, capitalism. The NDP consequently reduces politics from the complexities of building and mobilizing the working class to the restricted politics of focusing on the next election.

But voting itself is simply not enough to get real change. Moreover, to get that vote social democratic parties engage in ‘transactional’ politics – a politics driven by cynical trade-offs. The poorest sections of the working class don’t vote so don’t worry about them. The more politicized workers don’t really have anywhere else to go electorally, so they can be taken for granted. Minimum wages are opposed by small business, and big business is scared by anti-scab legislation, so don’t push too hard on these issues.

To be fair, the constraints that social democratic governments point to can’t be ignored; capitalism imposes well-known costs on any attempt to escape its established boundaries. But such constraints are in a sense also self-inflicted since social democracy does so little to prepare for stretching those limits or overcoming them. In fact, the NDP expresses its acceptance of these constraints as a matter of being realistic. But if being realistic means more or less giving up on significant change, then this is actually an argument for the need to become more radical. In the polarized state of the current world, where moderate solutions seem ineffective, solutions demand that we be more ambitious. The radical is now what is in fact realistic/practical – something that business has, from its own perspective, well understood and acted on.

In short, the NDP doesn’t really see itself as a workers’ party. Occasional rhetoric aside, it doesn’t think, or speak, or act in class terms. Social democracy runs from the very notion that class conflict is an integral part of capitalism – even as this is today more obvious than ever – and it recoils also from worker struggles as positive expressions of resistance that should be nurtured. When running for office, the NDP finds a militant working class and its economic disruptions a liability. In office, working class expectations stimulated by the electoral success are to be kept in check, and it is social democratic governments who so often end up carrying out wage restraint and social cutbacks – think Bob Rae. In the end, social democracy tends to confuse workers rather than develop their understandings, to lower rather than raise worker expectations, and in its transactional politics it contributes to the disorganization of workers as a class.

Out of the Frying Pan Into the Fire

In raising the spectre of leaving the NDP, one particular dead-end that has been tempting for some prominent unions must be rejected: responding to the NDP’s pragmatism by going one step further and arguing that because the Liberals are in power (or generally closer to being so), they can offer more than the NDP.

The history of the Liberal party and its business base should be enough of a warning against moving in this direction but there is an additional reason to oppose such a dangerous step. The bid on the part of some unions to make deals with the Liberals to address their own particular interests reinforces the sectionalism of the trade union movement. It undermines any counter-attempts to build, out of the disparate and different segments that make up the working class, the solidarity the class ultimately needs.

So, for example, making deals that grant union rights for only the construction sector, or joining with auto employers to support corporate subsidies in the midst of cutbacks for everyone else, or accepting a wage pattern that seems to fit teachers but undermines other education workers – all this may indeed lead to some short-term gains for particular workers. But since these deals aren’t rooted in the strength of labour but its weakness, they have not surprisingly delivered only relatively weak deals, vulnerable to reversal as circumstances or political leaders change. And when the unions involved find they cannot depend on these deals and need broader labour solidarity, they not surprisingly find themselves isolated.

Breaking with the NDP

A debate over the NDP is already percolating. But this itself won’t go anywhere unless the discussions are brought to a head. One way for this to happen is for activists to put forth resolutions to end their unions’ funding for the NDP (or the Liberals as the case may be). This would initiate a more formal internal debate over labour’s direction and open the door to a discussion of prospects for a socialist party and steps to get there.

An immediate issue would be the importance of preserving (or even increasing) the political funds formerly going to the NDP and addressing alternative uses to support the development of a new politics. One obvious use of the funds is putting them toward a mass mobilization of workers and their allies around campaigns. Another is support for social movements that are currently under-resourced, with limited ties to the labour movement and still far from being mass movements, but creatively and energetically involved in organizing the non-unionized sections of the working class and servicing and mobilizing around aspects of working class lives not generally addressed by unions.

“…counter austerity programs and instead demand the expansion of social programs such as the introduction of a comprehensive childcare program, something that especially speaks to the pressures on young working class families. ”

In regard to campaigns, there are no shortages of potential struggles that address immediate needs and have a radicalizing potential. The tar sands link the environment, indigenous rights, Canada’s role as an energy supplier to the U.S., and the Conservative government’s determination to make Canada into an even more resource-dependent economy. The steady loss of manufacturing facilities raises the question of moving beyond the ransoms of ‘competitiveness’ and introducing planning to convert these productive capacities into useful products. There are also obvious social gaps to address, and provincial budgets in particular invite us to aggressively counter austerity programs and instead demand the expansion of social programs such as the introduction of a comprehensive childcare program, something that especially speaks to the pressures on young working class families. Such campaigns also suggest the revival of working class mobilization on a community-by-community basis on the model of the Days of Action.[1]

Among other things, such campaigns would aggressively counter austerity and demand the expansion of social programs like childcare.

As for contributing funds to social movements, it’s critical that this not replicate the division of labour experienced between unions and the NDP, in which union leaders sign checks and the social movements do the organizing/politics. The allocation of funds should involve building a two-way relationship: movements forging connections to union locals, unions assigning activists to work with movements as part of those activists’ education/training, movement activist sitting in on the labour educationals, joint strategizing on campaign priorities.

If at all successful, all this should inevitably pose new questions, not just about politics but also about union structures and strategies. How will, for example, the development of rank and file members into community organizers affect union tactics? How might this new direction change the relationship between the national office and the locals? What does all this mean for the role of staff and the kind of training staff would consequently need? What does it imply for the kind of research being done? What impact if any would it have on the bargaining process? Would the new context and emphasis on ‘class’ encourage greater co-operation among unions, especially in citywide organizing drives of precarious workers? Where does the CLC fit into such shifts; will it, under its new leadership, revive the campaign for a universal liveable pension but this time, do so with the serious mobilizing such a campaign demands? Should labour councils start including representatives of movements in their meetings? Should unions and movements introduce new regional structures such as class-based, community assemblies open also to non-union and unemployed workers and addressing community as well as workplace-based issues?[2]

Canadian labour’s own history in the last quarter of the 20th century included impressive examples of labour leaving its political arm aside to directly take up and lead political struggles. In the mid-70s, organized labour launched a one-day general strike against wage controls, the first such action in North America since the 30s. In the mid-80s, labour and its movement partners carried out what was perhaps the most impressive anti-free trade campaign in the developed world. And in the mid-90s, labour and the movements came together again in a remarkable series of rotating community-wide general strikes spread over two and a half years (the Days of Action). These mobilizations did not however reverse policies and for the NDP this confirmed the limits of unions acting as their own political arm or linking up with other social movements.

But how we measure success and failure and what we learn from struggles depends on our goals and how we understand ‘politics’. For the left, a more telling lesson was the revealed potential of such mass struggles, especially the Days of Action: the education done to get people to leave their workplaces; the numbers of workers and students experiencing activism for the first time; the organizing skills developed; the links made outside the workplace.

To conclude that we should therefore go back to politics as usual would have been the worst possible lesson. A more profound lesson was that militancy and protest are only the beginning of a struggle; there must be mechanisms for sustaining and building on the potentials emerging. The NDP clearly had no interest in fostering such opportunities, and at the time the unions and movements proved incapable of doing this on their own. Disparate socialists, for all their enthusiasm, also failed to take advantage of the openings created. The real message was the importance of having a political organization with its feet both inside and outside particular unions and movements, with the commitment and capacity to give these temporary protests a permanent legacy – a socialist party.

Beyond the NDP: A Party of a New Kind

The crisis of labour politics calls out for a widespread debate on the necessity of an alternative party, a socialist party. This is hardly a new idea; socialists inside and outside the union movement have long argued for ‘a party of a new kind’, though not always agreeing about exactly what it would look like. In Europe, important though uncertain initiatives are taking place in developing such a party and in 2006 a related experiment was also started in Quebec. Activists need to pay serious attention to these developments.

Socialist parties are distinguished first of all by their commitment to working people and their vision of an egalitarian, solidaristic society that supports the full development of the potentials of all. Socialists understand that this can’t be done without reaching beyond capitalism with its class divisions, subordination of all values to the pursuit of competitiveness and profits, and thin democracy limited by minority control over the economy and communication. Socialists may admit to capitalism’s past achievements, but far from accepting capitalism as the best form of society we can aspire to, they see capitalism as having become a barrier to further human progress.

To see the political project in these terms leads, as emphasized above, to redefining how we think about ‘politics’. The radical changes envisioned demand an appreciation that working class politics must go far beyond the vote (which is not to say that elections are irrelevant) and address how to build the working class into a confident social force capable of challenging capitalism and transforming society.

In placing working people at the center of socialist politics there is, however, nothing that guarantees that workers will spontaneously act as a class or do so effectively. The purpose of a socialist party is to work toward making a cohesive class out of dispersed and individualized workers through actively creating and supporting structures that respect the ability of ordinary people to analyze and understand complex issues, to evaluate options and strategize, to organize, and to act decisively. It’s only in the context of building such a base among workers and coordinating broader progressive forces that electoral politics begins to take on more substantive significance.

The problem of course is that there is no credible socialist party in English Canada and that a small group cannot simply ‘announce’ its formation. The question therefore is what labour activists supportive of such a project should be fighting for in their organizations and outside to facilitate the emergence of such a party?

The Interim Role of Socialists

What committed socialists have to offer, at least those who see the fundamental importance of the role of workers and their organizations in achieving radical social change, are their analytical, educational and organizing skills. Socialists can provide analyses of economic and political trends, historical background on past struggles and labours’ forgotten history, and reports on developments abroad. They can work on educational material such as study outlines, reading material, pamphlets on specific topics and offer speakers ready to present critical ideas and engage workers in discussion. And they can organize spaces for further discussion and outreach, such as forums for activists and forums for the general public.

Two especially critical contributions of the left are bringing the idea of socialism back into activist discussions and ensuring that this is consolidated through the ‘making of socialists’ – identifying and developing a layer of workers into confident leaders and organizers who understand capitalism, hold a vision beyond it, and are in the struggle for the long haul.

Much of this therefore revolves around both educating ourselves, and developing popular forms of education to engage those not yet convinced. Such education, more ambitious in content and reach than what is currently done in the trade union movement, might begin with workers’ immediate concerns, place them in a broader context, and move toward what kind of politics might address them. Why are workloads increasing across workplaces? What is austerity? Why isn’t childcare on the political agenda? Why does inequality keep growing? Why can’t anyone who wants to work get a decent job? Is it compatible to talk of solving the environmental crisis while also maintaining capitalism? What do we mean by capitalism, globalization, neoliberalism, the state and class? Where did the idea of socialism come from? How are people elsewhere responding to the crises in their lives and to politics? What lessons can be learned from their experience? What skills and structures do we need if we are to actually change things?

But education of course can’t take place in a vacuum. Absent on-going struggles, education can seem beside the point to people dealing with the problems of everyday life. Fighting for change on the other hand, raises questions that make education relevant. The interruption to normal life occasioned by struggles brings opportunities for socialists to engage workers on a terrain more favourable to raising radicalizing issues. The interaction of struggles and education is inseparable from generating organizers and inspiring interest in broader battles and deeper analyses. This cannot happen, we have learned, out of the good will of individuals. It requires proactive, organized interventions. As for existing socialists, the hope would be that if and as labour opens up to a new politics, this might stimulate the socialist left itself to come together as a more productive entity.

Conclusion

It’s fair to ask whether we are setting ourselves an impossible task in trying to ‘accelerate’ history. The actual capacities of the labour movement are mixed. The likelihood of trade union leaders fully supporting the process outlined here without pressures from below is low. And the prospects of such pressures being imposed seem unlikely given union members that are so demoralized, overwhelmed by the daily stresses of work and family, have no access to independent research and are also cut off from their own history, relatively isolated from other workers, and have limited knowledge of related developments abroad. Moreover, we’re not in the midst of the kind of historic upsurge in social struggles that might give such a project its oxygen. Wouldn’t it in this context be better to wait?

But wait for what? Waiting is not a strategy. Nothing is going to magically emerge to save us. And whatever does occur or whatever alternatives others come up with, the contradictions of the labour movement and the limits of the social movements and the left will still have to be addressed. Success is certainly not guaranteed but stumbling in the dark with no direction should hardly ease our uncertainty. We need to thoughtfully lay out a direction, to experiment, and to evaluate and learn as we go along so we are ready to try again and to try differently. We’ve already been waiting for far too long.

We have, in summary, laid out four steps here. First, activists in the trade union movement must organize themselves to end the NDP’s bankrupt lock on the labour movement’s politics. Second, we must clearly reject shifting the break with the NDP toward the right (i.e. by supporting the Liberals) and fight to direct the funds formerly contributed to the NDP into mass mobilization campaigns in alliance with social movements organizing on the ground. Third, to also allocate such funds to supporting the capacity of class-based movements supplementing and going beyond the work of unions and to do so in a way that integrates these movements and union activists at the base. Fourth, we’ve emphasized the need to initiate discussions in workplaces and communities that explicitly address a socialist party.

There are currently a good many individuals doing great political work but they are spread across the activist diaspora as independent and relatively isolated actors. Moreover, their preoccupation with their particular activity doesn’t address the issues confronting the working class as a whole. If we are to seriously face up to those larger challenges, we have to develop a project that connects these individuals and coordinates the pursuit toward a shared national political project. It means developing a socialist political analysis that addresses our times and distributes it among labour and movement activists for further discussion and strategizing. Past experience should make it clear that this cannot happen without developing an organizational capacity to act collectively and this in turn demands having full-time organizers – paid for out of a levy based on ability to pay – to help us pull together and facilitate everything that needs to happen but simply does not when such a capacity is absent.

Discussions on all this do not have to wait. The capacity certainly exists to hold meetings in Toronto, Ottawa, Halifax, Winnipeg, Edmonton and BC to bring together those interested in moving to a new politics and to assess possibilities. Some coordination of those discussions will be needed, to learn from the variety of experiences that occur, move to some common infrastructure of analysis, information and materials, and also to play a role in encouraging further meetings to advance the discussion in many more communities.

If these ideas resonate, get in touch with us at [email protected]. •

Michael Hurley is President of the Ontario Council of Hospital Unions, a division of CUPE.

Sam Gindin is a retired former assistant to the president of the Canadian Auto Workers (CAW).

Notes:

1. For an excellent pamphlet on developing campaign ‘readiness’ see the Toronto and York Region Labour Council’s Campaign Planning Handbook.

2. This dynamic of campaigns reviving and reinventing union structures is captured in the Labor Notes publication on the Chicago Teachers Strike: How to Jump-Start Your Union. The book also serves as one of the best available ‘how-to’ books for all union activists.

Hiroshima City’s unprecedented extreme rain and multiple landslides of August 20 took over 70 lives and wrecked several districts. The disaster was big enough to stay in the international news cycle for a few days, in spite of a summer rife with epidemic Ebola as well as worsening economic, environmental, geopolitical and other crises. This article argues that Hiroshima merits a great deal more sustained attention, indeed that it should be deliberately made a turning point in studying climate change and urban resilience. Surveys of the disaster sites, together with other evidence, suggest that Hiroshima’s calamity offers multiple warnings about the impacts of accelerating climate change. This has led to a significant flow of human, fiscal and material resources, within Japan, that could be matched and coordinated with urban-resilience programmes in the US and elsewhere.

Hiroshima’s status as the icon of the nuclear age is also important. The city’s tragedies afford an historic opportunity to broaden and internationalize ongoing American initiatives to develop new metrics for measuring the dynamic reality of climate threats and adapting with green infrastructure and other means. This disruptive effort is crucial in a world dominated by status-quo interests and likely to spend USD 78 trillion on infrastructure over the years to 2025.1 Much of that money may be wasted and countless lives put at risk because urban infrastructure decisions are largely based on the predictable past. As Marshall Shepherd, Director of the University of Georgia’s Atmospheric Sciences Program and 2013 President of the American Meteorological Society argued on Aug 13, after reviewing the compelling data on intense-rainfall events in the US, civil engineers and hydrologists continue to rely on the past as a guide for storm water engineering.2 The reality is that we inhabit a rapidly urbanizing world whose city planners and infrastructure are evidently unprepared for intensifying climate extremes. We lack the collaborative global agency dedicated to fostering cutting-edge climate science and placing it at the forefront of decision-making on critical infrastructures. Thus Hiroshima could and should become a locus of collaboration on building urban resilience in the face of an accelerating collective threat.

Image: See here.

Japan’s “Torrential Rains of August, 2014”

Since July 30 of this year, all regions of Japan have experienced floods, slides and other disasters from unusually intense rains, and much of the country has seen record-breaking rainfalls. By August 22, the number and scale of rainfall, flood and slide events had already become so exceptional that the Japanese Meteorological Agency (JMA) officially named the phenomena and their period the “Torrential Rains of August, 2014.”3 On August 26, the persistence and extent of extremes saw the JMA announce an emergency meeting of the Extreme Weather Analysis Deliberation Committee, expediting it to take place on September 3.4

Against the larger backdrop of climate change, the JMA currently believes the proximate cause of much of the extreme weather to be a weak summertime Pacific high-pressure ridge and an unusual meandering westerly flow in the archipelago’s north. This pattern is said to have led to a stalled front into which warm and moist air streamed in from the Pacific to the south.5 Record-setting rainfalls include 237.75 centimeters (94 inches) over 30 days in Kochi Prefecture’s Kami City, fully 6.3 times the norm.6 The extent of overcast skies may also be without postwar precedent. As of August 31, cumulative hours of sunshine for the month were slated to be the lowest – or tied for lowest with 1980 – since record-keeping for the region began in 1890 in much of northern Kyushu (Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Oita, Nagasaki, and Saga Prefectures), the Chugoku region (Hiroshima, Okuyama, Shimane, Tottori, and Yamaguchi Prefectures) and Shikoku (Ehime, Kagawa and Kochi Prefectures).7

The Disasters in Hiroshima

Hiroshima City (population: 1.18 million) and its environs were among the regions hit particularly hard by rain from the start of August. Japan’s excellent climate monitoring system provides a detailed empirical record of what took place. Prominent among the observation hardware are the JMA’s 1,300 Automated Meteorological Data Acquisition System (AMeDAS) monitors. They are separated at intervals of roughly 17 kilometers, and provide a steady stream of precise information, in real time via dedicated communications lines, on precipitation, temperature, humidity and other details.8 There is an AMeDAS facility in Hiroshima’s Miiri district, one of the focal points of the multiple landslides, and its data figure prominently below. The AMeDAS network is of course supplemented by monitoring facilities managed by other agencies and levels of government, in addition to Japan’s weather satellite network, all of which provide essential details.9

The Miiri district and its AMeDAS station are in Hiroshima’s 353.35 square km Asakita Ward, one of Hiroshima City’s 7 wards (population: 146,328). Together with the 117.21 square km Asaminami Ward (population: 241,251), these wards are large and heavily residential areas dominated by houses and condominiums in the city’s northern reaches. Both wards encompass numerous densely wooded mountains several hundred meters in height.

The AMeDAS data show that Asakita Ward’s Miiri district enjoyed sunny skies in late July. But then the weather turned decidedly gloomy and wet. By mid-month, Miiri’s monitor recorded only four days with three or more hours of sunshine, and fully 8 days where there was no sunshine at all. The weather then took a further turn, from unpleasant to dangerous, as warm and moist air flowing up from the southern Pacific Ocean ran into the stalled low-pressure system over western Japan. Experts suggest a “back-building” phenomenon saw thunderstorms generated one after another, along a roughly 100-kilometer line of cumulonimbus clouds.10 On the evening of August 16, the JMA warned that mudslides were a threat throughout the prefecture due to soil saturation in many areas caused by heavy rains from 2 typhoons (numbers 11 and 12) in early August as well as the other days of drizzle and the continuing bouts of intense rain from the train of storms.11 The city was spared catastrophe on the 16th and the following few days. But disaster hit in the early morning hours of August 20, after unprecedentedly intense rain fell in the city. The weeks of rain, often concentrated in bursts of severe torrents, brought devastating landslides to many neighbourhoods on or near the numerous hillsides in Asaminami and Asakita wards.

Image: Satellite image of thunderstorms and intense rain (purple) just before landslides on August 20

A satellite image taken at 3:00 A.M. on the 20th shows the intensity of the storms and rain (in purple) at that moment in Hiroshima as well as other urban centres (Fukuoka and Nagasaki) in Western Japan. At ground level, the JMA AMeDAS monitor in Miiri had recorded 25.4 centimeters of rainfall from the start of August through to the evening of the 19th, much more than its 14.31 centimeter historical average for the entire month.12 Rolling thunder and driving rain that began around 10:00 PM on the night of the 19th suddenly tapered off, to the great relief of area residents. But after most went to bed, the storms resumed with an even greater vengeance. The data are seen in the accompanying chart produced by Japanese meteorologist Yoshida Tomomi, and derived from the Miiri monitor’s data. It shows that fully 22.4 centimeters fell from 1:50 AM to 4:40 AM of the 20th, the largest amount that has ever fallen in a one-day period since monitoring began at the Miiri station.13 The left-hand side of Yoshida’s chart measures rainfall in 10-minute intervals, in gradations of 5 millimeters, and the right-hand-side the cumulative rainfall, in gradations of 50 millimeters. The X-axis is time, beginning at 1:00 A.M. and ending at 4:50 A.M. The tallest blue bar shows that the peak intensity arrived at 3:20 A.M., when a deluge of well over 20 millimeters poured down in just those 10 minutes.14

That same night, a Hiroshima Prefectural rain gauge elsewhere in Asakita Ward recorded a rainfall intensity of 13.0 centimeters per hour by 3:50 A.M., reaching a three-hour total of 21.75 centimeters by 4:30 A.M. The city as a whole saw an unprecedented total for the day of 27.5 centimeters.15

Image: Millimeters of rainfall in Asakita Ward Miiri district, August 20 from 1:00 AM to 4:00 A.M., in 10-minute interval

The landslides began at about 3:20 A.M., and unfolded with an atypical ferocity and in at least 50 places over an area roughly 11 kilometres long and just under 3 kilometers wide.16 These events were big and fast. One landslide that struck the Miiri district was surveyed by the Japanese Erosion Control Academic Association’s specialists. Their preliminary results suggest that a 3000 cubic meter, 3-meter-high wall of trees, soil and rocks roared down from the 339 meter-tall Takamatsu Mountain at about 40 kilometers per hour.17

Image: Landslides in Hiroshima’s Asakita Ward

The worst hit district was Asaminami Ward’s Yagi district, where over half of the dead or still missing were concentrated. It was struck by many slides that originated from areas with a particularly high density of large rocks.18 A survey undertaken by Professor Suga Yuzo of the Hiroshima Institute of Technology indicates that one of the slides that ripped into Yagi started roughly a kilometer away when the roughly 2 meter thick surface soil tore loose from midway up 586.4 meter-high Abusan mountain. The enormous mass of material, including boulders of several tons, then raced down the underlying granite’s 20—28 degree steep slopes. Incredibly, parts of this slide may have momentarily reached speeds of as much as 144 kilometers per hour. It devastated an area of just under 34,000 square meters.19

Image: One of the slides that struck Miire

Landslides per se are not without precedent in Hiroshima City, as well as Hiroshima Prefecture as a whole. June 29 of 1999 saw over 31 fatalities from rain-driven multiple landslides in the city, including 6 dead in the wards hit this year.20 Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MLIT) lists 525,307 areas – well over 30,000 of them in Hiroshima alone – that are at risk of landslides nationwide.21 This large number of potentially unstable areas is due to Japan’s mix of a very mountainous topography and volcanic soils, one of the features it shares with Korea. Considerable effort is made to shore up hillsides in order to prevent their collapse, especially because postwar growth saw cities and other infrastructure spread out into danger zones. Even so, the number of events is clearly climbing. MLIT studies indicate that the decade 2004 to 2013 saw an average of 1178 landslides per year. This was a striking jump over the average of 839 during the decade of 1994 to 2003, and 771 from 1984 to 1993.”22

Moreover, the evidence continues to accumulate that August’s extreme weather made the geology of this disaster exceptional in a way that has startled Japanese specialists, leading them to warn of the implications for the entire country. For example, surveys undertaken on August 20th to the 22nd by Hiroshima University Professor Kaibori Masahiro, an erosion control specialist, suggests there was another unusual and disturbing aspect to the disaster. Kaibori’s examination of damage to the Yagi district turned up little evidence of rounded weathered granite but a great deal of large (several tens of centimeters) and angular sedimentary rock and other comparatively hard volcanic (rhyolite) rock. This finding is important. Landslides in Japan most often involve the surface soil of weathered granite becoming saturated by rain and then sliding down a slope. Sedimentary and volcanic rocks are generally not implicated in landslides, particularly because the former’s sharp edges and resistance to saturation make it difficult to get them flowing. Kaibori suspects that the sheer intensity of the area’s rainfall overwhelmed these properties. He warns that extreme rain appears capable of producing slides regardless of the underlying geology, meaning a disaster such as Hiroshima’s is possible anywhere in the country.23

Image: Several of the slides that struck the Yagi district

As of August 30, thousands of volunteers as well as nearly 3400 police, firefighters and military personnel had found 72 dead amidst the wreckage. They continue the grim task of looking for bodies, with 2 still missing over a week after the disaster.24 Their efforts were often hampered by continuing rains that brought the work to a halt for several hours at a time, due to the grave risk of new slides and “secondary disasters.”25 By August 28, for example, Miiri’s total rainfall for the previous 30 days had climbed to a cumulative 53.35 centimeters, 3.76 times the historic norm, and the JMA was forecasting more rain to come.26 The extent of the disaster was reflected, shortly in its wake, in the 1,685 people in emergency shelters and the city’s evacuation orders and warnings to a total of 164,108 of its 1.17 million residents.27

Image: Rescue work in Hiroshima

No Denialism Here

For the experts who advise Japan’s MLIT and other agencies, the principal driver for the mounting number of landslides is the increasing frequency of intense-rain events, due to climate change. The intensity of the recent rain in Hiroshima is clearly part of this pattern, and should have been what Americans like to call a “teachable moment.” Yet the English-language coverage of the Hiroshima disasters has yet to mention the connection to climate change. Perhaps this reticence reflects the Anglosphere’s deeply polarized politics concerning whether climate change is indeed occurring. The lamentable state of affairs sees even (what used to be) the quality press cover climate-related disasters without mentioning climate change or citing arguments aimed at minimizing the impact.28

Image: The Japanese military at work

Fortunately, the Japanese media operate in an environment in which most adults understand that climate change is underway. Hence, the August 21 Mainichi Shimbun,29 a centrist publication, ran an interview with disaster-prevention expert Yadabe Ryouichi,30 a professor at Ehime University. Ehime is across the Inland Sea (Setou Naikai) from Hiroshima, the two prefectural capitals being just 67 kilometers apart. The Mainichi’s article centred on what to do in the face of such disasters, but Yadabe prefaced his advice by noting that increasingly intense rainfall events are a global phenomenon and thus one should not be surprised to see them occurring in Hiroshima. Unlike most press coverage in Anglo-America, the Mainichi did not search for a denialist in order to “balance” Yadabe’s remarks.

Similar matter-of-factness was seen in the August 23 Sankei Shimbun, a quite openly right-wing newspaper. In an article on the large proportion of over-65 elderly among the victims, the newspaper cited Kansai University Professor Ozawa Mamoru. Ozawa pointed out that the elderly are not only less physically prepared to flee, but also mentally less ready to recognize the need. He suggested this is because they lack experience of these extreme climate-linked events. In other words, just like so many urban planers and businesses, they often mistakenly base their decisions on a past whose lessons lead to misjudging the present threat.31

And as fate would have it, Hiroshima’s disaster hit and unfolded a day before Nagasaki University professor of water engineering, Tada Akihide, gave the keynote talk – “The Influence of Climate Change and the Coming Relationship Between Water and People” – at an August 21 “Water Symposium” held in Nagasaki City.32 This symposium is an annual event, having been initiated in 1996 by the Water Engineering Committee of the Japan Society of Civil Engineers.33 The symposia are held in a different prefecture every year, and this year’s event saw attendance by 440 representatives of governments, the private sector, academics and others.

Professor Tada noted that bouts of intense rain of 10 centimeters or more per hour have been recorded 9 times in Nagasaki Prefecture between 2002 and 2010, nearly double the 5 times recorded in the decade between 1992 and 2001.

Continual Learning From Hiroshima

Hiroshima is of course the icon of the nuclear age, as is Nagasaki. References to rain in the context of the two cities generally mean the “black rain” of radioactive fallout mixed with carbon residues from fires that consumed the cities.34 In Hiroshima, the radioactive rain began to fall about twenty minutes to a half hour after the approximately 8:15 A.M. nuclear blast on August 6, 1945. It had a devastating impact on human health, one that was completely denied at the time and covered up for years by US occupation censors.

Image: Distribution of Black Rain in Hiroshima, August 6, 1945

Less well known is the 26 kiloton (of TNT equivalent) Hiroshima atomic bomb’s use as a unit for measuring the planet’s heat imbalance due to the activity of greenhouse gases emitted by humans. The climate scientists who cooperate on the blog “Skeptical Science” determined in their research that this warming is 250 trillion Joules per second. As they point out, the figure is difficult for anyone to grasp, particularly lay persons – such as the present writer – without a strong background in science. So they quantified the number in terms of Hiroshima bombs (and other more familiar phenomena), finding that it is equivalent to four Hiroshima bombs per second. They also designed a widget that shows the accumulated number of “Hiroshima atomic bombs of heat” since 1998 a number that is well over 2 billion.

This calamitous history, and its enduring relevance, potentially opens a door to greatly expanded US-Japan scientific and technical cooperation on climate change that might save many more lives than were lost in Hiroshima’s past and present tragedies. Though the Japanese are well informed about climate change, like everyone else they are unsure about its scale, the speed at which it is accelerating, and precisely what to do about it. There are simply too many new data streaming in from satellite and ground-based observations. For example, NASA and University of California, Irvine, researchers revealed on May 12 of this year that melt in part of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet is “in an irreversible state of decline,” an incontrovertible tipping point that jolted the attentive public.35 Shortly afterwards, a summary of data from NASA’s GRACE satellites, which measure the planet’s gravitational differences, provided truly shocking revelations on the reduction of groundwater flows.36 There is very recent hard evidence that water vapor (which accelerates climate forcing) is increasing in the upper troposphere.37 There is also good reason to believe that methane releases are accelerating, some of it from fracking, but much due to pronounced Arctic-region heating (“Arctic Amplification”) and what it is doing to the tundra and beneath the shallow seas.38 Along with these disturbing findings come indications that the polar vortex is indeed out of control, and that the so-called Rossby waves driving extreme weather have been accelerating since 2000.39 These research results are not part of the draft IPCC synthesis report that was leaked to the media on August 26, a draft that used the word “risk” 351 times in 127 pages. Even so, the draft also noted that “currently observed impact might already be considered dangerous,” and warned of further extreme weather as well as conflict, refugee crises, constraints on food production, and other grave challenges.40

Image: See here.

Distracted by other crises as well as – to be blunt – cash from vested interests, many democratic governments have a poor capacity to respond to climate change. Naomi Oreskes and Eric Conway illustrated this weakness in their short 2014 book The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From the Future, in which they reviewed the successes of the “carbon combustion complex” and speculated it would continue to trump science in the democratic countries, suggesting that it might lead to their downfall.

In their book, Oreskes and Conway also point to the practices of the scientific community as a further factor inhibiting the recognition that risks are grave and require quick action. A culture of conservatism reigns among scientists, leading them to be very cautious in publishing their findings. This conservatism, as it relates to climate scientists, was described in detail by Oreskes and several other expert colleagues in a February 2013 paper in Global Environmental Change, titled “Climate change prediction: Erring on the side of least drama?”41 The authors interviewed scientists and found that a range of factors restrain them from making bold predictions even when there is considerable evidence. These factors include concerns about the loss of credibility as well as the kind of public criticism experienced by several prominent climate scientists (particularly Michael Mann). They also reviewed past climate predictions and measured them against available outcomes. They determined that climate scientists have not been given to the “alarmism” frequently referred to in the blogosphere and even the mainstream media. In fact, they found quite the reverse. They determined that scientists are biased “toward cautious estimates, where we define caution as erring on the side of less rather than more alarming predictions. We call this tendency ‘erring on the side of least drama (ESLD).’” They also warn that this bias

“needs to be appreciated because it could prevent the full recognition, articulation, and acknowledgment of dramatic natural phenomena that may, in fact, be occurring. After all, some phenomena in nature are dramatic. If the drama arises primarily from social, political, or economic impacts, then it is crucial that the associated risk be understood fully, and not discounted.”

This evidence of accelerating climate change and the factors inhibiting responses is the backdrop to what took place in Hiroshima. The Japanese themselves are hamstrung by ESLD. This can be seen, for example, in the over-reliance on IPCC scenarios in the white papers of the MLIT, the Ministry of the Environment, and other agencies and institutions charged with climate-related planning for urban and other infrastructures. This likely reflects ESLD at work in Japanese scientific circles as well as the difficulty of coordinating initiatives among Japan’s quite siloed central government agencies. Even Japan’s plethora of “smart city” programmes lack a critical engagement with the multiplicity of dynamic variables driving climate change and its extreme weather.

SERDP’s Research Programme on Climate Change

Fortunately, there is an irony at work in our collective favour. Since democratic governance in the US has largely gone AWOL in the face of climate change, the military have been left to measure its implications for their runways, piers, and other infrastructure. In particular, the US Department of Defense agency Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), co-managed by the US Department of Energy as well as the Environmental Protection Agency, is tasked with getting the best real-time information on climate change – particularly its manifestation in weather – and what it means for infrastructure. These are not people with guns or Dr Strangelove types seeking to build more lethal weapons. Moreover, they do their work via contracts with academic experts and others who apply for grants, an approach that affords academe an opportunity to get past the ESLD problem. SERDP’s November 7, 2013 FY 2015 Statement of Need in the Resource Conservation and Climate Change (RC) program area focuses on “adapting to changes in the hydrologic cycle under non-stationary climate conditions.” This phrase may seem jargonistic, but “non-stationary climate conditions” refers to conditions in which variations in rainfall and such related phenomena as snowfall and groundwater flows are outside of the range of historic patterns. The rainfall extremes in Hiroshima may or may not be deemed “non-stationary,” depending on the degree to which JMA and other research find them deviating from past patterns. SERDP’s investigations may indeed be aided, directly or indirectly, by forthcoming Japanese work. This is because the SERDP specifically point to the need to examine rainfall patterns and their influence from climate change “for geographic regions and applications of interest of the Department of Defense (DOD).” That potentially means just about everywhere, including Japan, because the US has over 7500 military bases or other facilities in much of the world.

Moreover, another area of concern for the SERDP is studying the frameworks for responding to increasingly intense climate change events. In their words

“these frameworks should (A) facilitate the phasing in of adaptive responses, including, for example, the ability to incorporate the use of green infrastructure, to account for the pace of change and the time horizon over which decisions must operate and (B) enable an evaluation of projected and realized robustness against a range of plausible climate change futures.”

That means the SERDP is committed to finding out how to use green infrastructure, such as natural barriers rather than concrete seawalls, and other means to cope with climate challenges. They also want to understand the kinds of climate extremes that may be experienced, region by region, over the ensuing decades, and how to build up resilience against those potentially non-linear threats. In addition, they note that the Department of Defense is keen to avoid overcommitting resources as well as undertaking “maladaptive responses.” In other words, they are also developing cost-benefit calculations that incorporate dynamism, something that is not yet being done anywhere else. In light of what we saw at Hiroshima, and see almost daily around the world, it is difficult to overstate the importance of the SERDP research programme.

With US military permanent installations almost everywhere in the world, the ambit of this study is potentially very large. Its content also overlaps very much with the climate-related concerns of urban communities like Hiroshima. This is because its applications of interest include “water treatment, storm water, and sewer systems; roof design; flooding, drainage, and soil erosion implications affecting infrastructure: flood zone delineation and management, and water supply quantity and quality issues.” The SERDP also makes it clear that the “users of the intended research outcomes include but are not limited to: military installations; government agencies; service supply chains, real estate, insurance and contracting industries; and private developers.”

The sophistication of the SERDP’s study is thus potentially much more timely and practical than the IPCC’s work, which is hampered by being a few years out of date as soon as it is released. The IPCC draft synthesis, bold as it is in its warnings, is almost certain to be greatly watered down by the time of its official release on November 2. And IPCC reports suffer from the additional handicap of offering little advice on what is likely to happen in local areas. The SERDP effort seems also more sophisticated than the “Risky Business” study released by Michael Bloomberg, Hank Paulson and others on June 24, 2014.42 The study is extremely important for informing business and governments about their regional risk of extreme events, especially potentially fatal combinations of high heat and humidity. But it is confined to the United States and lacks engagement with dynamic feedback effects and other variables noted above. It is also impaired by its overriding concern to be bipartisan, and thus has no policy recommendations for the phenomena it does describe. By contrast, the SERDP effort is aimed to “advance fundamental science considerations,” meaning it draws on the full range of data in the real world. It is also very policy-relevant. The SERDP authors of the Statement of Need expect that the research results “will be transitioned to practice” quite soon upon completion because of the increasing demand for clear-eyed adaptation studies.43

Making Hiroshima a Milestone

Returning to the disaster that hit Hiroshima, it is difficult to exaggerate the significance of SERDP’s initiative. It should become the benchmark approach for researching what is already happening and what may be coming as well as how to adapt to it cost-effectively.

One reason this benchmarking is an urgent imperative is that Japan’s fiscal flows are already being hit by climate change, with poor coordination among governments. Examples of this abound. An August 29 NHK broadcast highlighted, for example, the case of Atsugi City (population: 224,426) in Kanagawa Prefecture and 40.5 km southeast of Tokyo. (Atsugi City is, as it happens, is quite close to the US Naval Air Facility Atsugi.) Over the past five years, the city has thrice been inundated with rains that exceeded the 5.1 centimeter/hour perceived as the maximum when its sewerage was put in place. Last April, for instance, a storm with rainfall of 6.5 centimeters per hour delivered significant damage to the city’s waterworks. The central government recently undertook a survey to determine the system’s inadequacies and what might be done. It turns out that increasing the capacity of the system to handle floods and storm runoff would mean widening the drainage pipes in place. But that alone would not only be costly; it would also require shifting gas lines and other infrastructures close to the currently inadequate water pipes. Inter-governmental fiscal rules in Japan see the central government fund 50% of the cost of local governments’ sewerage-installation expenses. But the prospect of paying for upgrading such infrastructure nationwide already has the MLIT arguing that “budgets are limited and we’d like local governments to use them efficiently.”44 In short, a classic example of buck-passing.

At the same time, the MLIT (and other ministries) was quick to seize upon the Hiroshima slides in order to lobby for an increase in its own budget. As of August 28, the MLIT made it clear that it would be seeking a 16% increase in its allocation for the coming 2015 fiscal year, raising it to a total YEN 6.687 trillion.45 The MLIT proposes devoting YEN 293.2 of that amount to landslides and flood-control prevention. The requested increase in these two areas, if secured in the fiscal process that starts in the fall, would represent a 23% increase on the initial 2014 budget’s amounts.46 YEN 94.3 billion of that is dedicated to measures against landslides. The MLIT’s plans for the money include erosion-control dams, surveys of areas with soft ground, and YEN 11.9 billion on a special warning system to send alerts to residents’ smart phones in the event of extreme danger.47 These anti-landslide and flood-control measures may or may not be useful, but their YEN 67 billion increase certainly pales in comparison to MLIT’s request for a total increase in the year of over YEN 1 trillion. Given Japan’s well-known history of pork barrel public works, as well as the above-noted lack of engagement on climate threats, it seems legitimate to ask if expenditures are being properly prioritized. Surely some money can and should be found for a SERDP-style study.

Another potential benefit from linking Hiroshima with the American initiative would be for the Americans themselves. The Obama Administration has tried to start a nationwide initiative on local resilience, including creating a 26-members State, Local and Tribal Leaders Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience as well as getting a fiscal appropriation of USD 1 billion for a “Climate Resilience Fund.”48 More recently, US Senator Patty Murray, chairwoman of the US Senate Budget Committee, released an August1 memo on climate change, budget costs, military bases, and other items. Her memo detailed four ways in which rising temperatures and sea levels as well as increasingly extreme natural disasters would “worsen the fiscal outlook.” She pointed out that the US federal government “has spent three times more on disaster relief in the past decade,” compared to the previous one. She also sought to underline the scope of the threats by noting that they included civilian infrastructure as well as military bases, obviously emphasizing the threat to national defence in order to gain as much traction on the issue as possible. She also emphasized that the costs of climate change would continue to increase, straining already tight budgets as well as forcing the diversion of funds from other priority areas.49

What happened in Hiroshima not only illustrates the significance of what Obama and Murray, along with countless others, are trying to do. It also offers the opportunity to broaden the SERDP initiative. There are potentially significant synergies possible from Japanese and American cooperation on researching the actual speed and scale of climate change, across a variety of regions, and building new metrics for calculating cost-effective means of adaptation (which can, of course, simultaneously include mitigation). This is hardly a controversial proposal, as there is already an extensive background of Japanese and US cooperation on climate change in other spheres. One example is the US and Japanese space agencies’ (NASA and JAXA) collaboration on the new (operational from May 29, 2014) Global Precipitation Measurement Core Observatory satellite to measure rain and snow.50

A broader initiative, through building on the SERDP work, would have the advantage of putting the proper experts in an interdisciplinary context where they are less inhibited by ESLD. Precisely how to institutionalize that US-Japan cooperation in this flurry of post-disaster fiscal politics and other goings-on is not immediately evident. But Hiroshima University has a number of high-quality research centres and is closely linked to others within Japanese academe and civil society. Moreover, the Japan Society of Civil Engineers will celebrate the centenary of its founding on September 27 of this year, followed by a succession of events through the fall on sustainability, disaster management and other themes.51 American climate scientists and other experts might be well-advised to visit and network, and help turn this tragedy into a turning point. Getting collaboration going between the two countries, focused on this immensely important initiative, could then be broadened further. It would be productive to include regional partners, such as South Korea which has similar topography to Japan’s and whose damage by landslides alone has increased from 231 hectares (ha) in the 1980s to 341 ha in the 1990s and to 713 ha in the 2000s.52 The studies are also surely of interest to such city and climate-change focused international organizations as the C40 as well as the Rockefeller Foundation 100 Resilient Cities programme.53

As noted in the introduction, this deliberate effort to learn again from Hiroshima seems especially crucial in a world dominated by status-quo interests and likely to spend USD 78 trillion on infrastructure over the years to 2025. Much of that money may be squandered and countless lives put at risk because urban infrastructure decisions continue to be based on a past climate that is gone.

Andrew DeWit is Professor in Rikkyo University’s School of Policy Studies and a coordinator of The Asia-Pacific Journal. His recent publications include “Climate Change and the Military Role in Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Response,” in Paul Bacon and Christopher Hobson (eds) Human Security and Japan’s Triple Disaster (Routledge, 2014), “Japan’s renewable power prospects,” in Jeff Kingston (ed) Critical Issues in Contemporary Japan (Routledge 2013), and (with Kaneko Masaru and Iida Tetsunari) “Fukushima and the Political Economy of Power Policy in Japan” in Jeff Kingston (ed) Natural Disaster and Nuclear Crisis in Japan: Response and Recovery after Japan’s 3/11 (Routledge, 2012). He is lead researcher for a five-year (2010-2015) Japanese-Government funded project on the political economy of the Feed-in Tariff.

Notes:

1 “Infrastructure spending to more than double to $9 trillion annually by 2025,” PWC News Release, June 22, 2014.

2 Marshall Shepherd, “Recent Urban Floods: A simple equation,” Weather Underground News and Blogs, August 13, 2014.

3 See (in Japanese) “Japanese Meteorological Agency calls it the ‘Torrential Rains of August, 2014,’ NHK News, August 22. See also the Japanese Meteorological Agency press release (in Japanese) “Concerning official naming of torrential rains from July 30 of 2014,” Japanese Meteorological Agency, August 22, 2014.

4 See (in Japanese) “Concerning the emergency meeting of the Extreme Weather Analysis Deliberation Committee: Analysis of the causes of August 2014 unseasonable weather,” JMA, August 26, 2014.

5 See (in Japanese) “Extreme Weather: A succession of record-breaking torrential rains, centred on Western Japan,” Mainichi Shimbun, August 22, 2014.

6 See (in Japanese) “Continuing rains already 3.6 times annual average,” Mainichi Shimbun, August 27, 2014.

7 See (in Japanese) Sakakibara Junko “The unseasonable August is headed towards historic lows in sunshine,” Tenki.jp, August 31, 2014.

8 The relevant details are described in “Observations,” Japan Meteorological Agency, nd.

9 The satellite network is slated for expansion via the scheduled October 7, 2014, launch of Himawari 8. The satellite will see satellite photo intervals cut from every 30 minutes to every 10 minutes and the number of cloud-imaging types increased from 5 to 16. See (in Japanese) “Mitsubishi Electric completes work on Himawari 8 with liftoff scheduled for October,” Sankei Shimbun, August 23, 2014.

10 See (in Japanese) “A 100-kilometre line of 25 cumulonimbus clouds in 4 hours,” Mainishi Shimbun, August, 31, 2014.

11 Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), (in Japanese) “Please be cautious of landslide threat in Hiroshima Prefecture through late evening of the 16th,” JMA Hiroshima Station Release, August 16, 2014 (8:12 P.M.).

12 The historical (1981-2010) data for the Miiri AMeDAS station are available (in Japanese) here.

13 See (in Japanese) “Bulletin on global extreme weather events, with Hiroshima’s ‘torrential rains”.

14 See (in Japanese), “Persistent rains from typhoons, an August almost without sunshine, and then the shock from saturated ground and guerilla rain,” Sankei Shimbun, August 23, 2014.

15 See (in Japanese) “Hiroshima hit by more than an average month’s worth of rain in three hours,” Asahi Shimbun, August 20, 2014.

16 See (in Japanese) “The dead in Hiroshima total 49; multiple, simultaneous landslides in 50 locations,” Asahi Shimbun, August 23, 2014.

17 See (in Japanese) “Specialist survey suggests mudflow momentarily reached speed of 144 kilometers per hour,” Mainichi Shimbun, August 26, 2014.

18 See (in Japanese) Damage to Yagi district in the Hiroshima disaster from massive rocks that fell from area dense in them,” Nikkei Shimbun, August 31, 2014.

19 See (in Japanese) “Nagasaki Institute of Technology Professor’s survey indicates mudflow speed may have been 144 kilometers per hours, leaving not time to flee,” Sankei Shimbun, August 25, 2014.

20 Toru Hanai, “Landslides hit Japan’s Hiroshima, killing at least 36,” Reuters, August 20, 2014.

21 The number is as of November 30, 2013. See pp. 32-3 of (in Japanese) “Deliberation Committee Towards Bolstering Measures Against Landslides,” November 25, 2013.

22 See (in Japanese) “Landslides have increased by 50% over the past 20 years due to global warming and the frequency of heavy rain,” Asahi Shimbun, November 16, 2013. See also (in Japanese) “Land Protection and Erosion Control,” MLIT, November 19, 2013.

23 See (in Japanese) “Even hard sedimentary rocks slide: Unprecedentedly intense rain overwhelmed geological strength,” Sankei Shimbun, August 23, 2014.

24 See (in Japanese) “The search for 2 still missing in Hiroshima slides continues,” NHK News, August 30, 2014.

25 Takashi Nakamura and Tomoyuki Hamahata, “Rescuers vigilant for secondary disaster signs,” The Japan News, August 24, 2014.

26 The precipitation, sunshine and temperature data, from August 28, and by intervals of previous 10 days, 20 days, 30 days, 60 days, and 90 days, and for all AMeDAS stations, is available here.

27 “Japan landslide: Death toll in Hiroshima climbs to 50,” Australia Network News, August 23, 2014.

28 One example is the New York Times coverage discussed by Joe Romm, “The Brutally Dishonest Attacks On Showtime’s Landmark Series On Climate Change,” Climate Progress, April 9, 2014.

29 See (in Japanese) “An interview with Ehime University Professor Yadabe Ryouichi on how to prepare for landslides,” Mainichi Shimbun, August 21, 2014.

30 Professor Yadabe’s profile is here.

31 See (in Japanese) “Repeatedly the victims of disaster: evidence from the scene emerging that the elderly are more than half, due to physical and mental weaknesses as misunderstanding from experiential insight,” Sankei Shimbun, August 23, 2014.

32 See (in Japanese) “The threat from intense rain increases,” Nagasaki Shimbun, August 22, 2014.

33 The Society will have the centenary celebration of its founding on September 27, 2014.

34 See “Black Rain,” Hiroshima Peace Media Center, nd.

35 See Carol Rasmussen, “West Antarctic Glacier Loss Appears Unstoppable,” NASA News, May 12, 2014.

36 Carol Rasmussen, “Parched West is using up underground water,” NASA Climate Change News, July 24, 2014.

37 Climate forcing refers to the amount of energy we receive from the sun and the amount of energy radiated back into space, a product in turn of the amount of greenhouse gases. “Global warming amplifier: Rising water vapor in upper troposphere to intensify climate change,” Science Daily, July 28, 2014.

38 Chris Mooney, “Why the Scientific Case Against Fracking Keeps Getting Stronger,” Mother Jones, August 15, 2014.

39 Joe Romm, “Jet Stream Changes Driving Extreme Weather Linked Again To Global Warming, Arctic Ice Loss,” Climate Progress, August 19, 2014.

40 “Global warming is already here and could be irreversible, UN panel says,” The Guardian, August 26, 2014.

41 Keynyn Bryssea, Naomi Oreskes, Jessica O’Reilly, Michael Oppenheimer “Climate change prediction: Erring on the side of least drama?” Global Environmental Change, Volume 23, Issue 1, February 2013, Pages 327–337.

42 The “Risky Business” website is here.

43 Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP), “FY 2015 Statement of Need, Resource Conservation and climate change [RC] program area: “adapting to changes in the hydrologic cycle under non-stationary climate conditions,” SON Number: RCSON-15-02, November 7, 2013.

44 See (in Japanese) “Local governments struggling with the difficulty of dealing with rainfalls that exceed assumptions,” NHK Newwatch, August 29, 2014.

45 See (in Japanese) “Disaster prevention stressed in MLIT YEN 6.6 trillion budget request,” Yomiuri Shimbun, August 28, 2014.

46 See (in Japanese) “Landslide and flood-control measures to YEN 290 billion in MLIT budget request,” Nikkei Shimbun, August 28, 2014.

47 See (in Japanese) “Landslide countermeasures such as erosion-control dams and danger surveys total YEN 94.3 billion in MLIT budget rerquest,” Sankei Shimbun, August 28, 2014.

48 Jean Chemnick, “CLIMATE: Obama pledges federal aid for state, local adaptation efforts,” E&E News, July 16, 2014.

49 Cited in Laura Barron-Lopez, “Sen. Murray tells Dems to push fiscal impacts of climate change,” The Hill, August 1, 2014.

50 “New NASA/JAXA Precipitation Satellite Passes Check-out, Starts Mission,” NASA News, May 30, 2014.

51 The details are available in English here.

52 See p 425 Dongyeob Kim et al “Landslide Susceptibility Mapping Using a Grid-based Infiltration Transient Model in Mountainous Regions,” in (Kyoji Sassa et al, eds) Landslide Science for a Safer Geo-Environment, Volume 2: Methods of Landslide Science. Springer: 2014.

53 See here.

Many media outlets compare the contemporary situation in Europe with the days before WWII. I would like to make an important correction here. Now we are watching the West fostering another Nazi regime represented by Kiev junta and it makes remember the second half of the 1930s when it did the very same thing cooperating with Germany turned into a fascist state.

Of course, the Ukraine we know today cannot measure up to Hitler’s Germany. But the first blow is half the battle. The running amok Fuhrer started as an unknown corporal preaching xenophobia and revenge.

It’s an open secret that Adolf Hitler was supported by the United States. The US penetration was significant, especially its cooperation with the German war industry. By 1933 the United States controlled key branches of Germany’s economy, as well as several large banks such as Deutsche Bank, Dresdner Bank, etc.

Big business started to trust Hitler. Those were the days of affluence for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party as funds from abroad began to pour in. Thanks to large donations from Fritz Thyssen’s group including the United Steelworks (Vereinigte Stahlwerke AG), I.G. Farbenindustrie AG (Interessen-Gemeinschaft Farbenindustrie AG) and mining industry tycoon Emil Kirdorf the party received 6,4 million votes to become the second largest in the Reichstag (parliament). Hjalmar Schacht (22 January 1877 – 3 June 1970), a German economist, banker, liberal politician, and co-founder in 1918 of the German Democratic Party, became the key connecting link between German industry and foreign donors.

British business and banking interests also started to channel donations to the Nazi party. On January 4, 1932 Montague Norman, the Governor of the Bank of England from 1920 to 1944, met Hitler and German Chancellor Franz von Papen to conclude a secret accord on providing funds for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. The US was also represented at this meeting. Both Dulles brothers were present. Western historians shy away from mentioning the fact. John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles were politically connected Wall Street lawyers, servants of corporate power, who led the United States into an unseen war that decisively shaped today’s world.

It is worth noting, that during the 1950s, when the Cold War was at its peak, the two immensely powerful Dulles brothers led the United States into a series of foreign adventures whose effects are still shaking the world. John Foster Dulles was Secretary of State while his brother, Allen Dulles, was director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).

Federal elections were held in Germany on 5 March 1933. As a result of lavish donations coming in from abroad, the ruling Nazi Party led by Adolf Hitler, who was appointed Chancellor on January 30, 1933, registered a large increase in votes emerging as the largest party by far. Nevertheless they failed to obtain an absolute majority in their own right and needed the votes of their coalition partner, the German National People’s Party (DNVP), for a Reichstag majority.

The new German government was treated extremely favorably by US and UK ruling circles. Western democracies kept silent when Berlin refused to pay reparations. Hjalmar Schacht, President of the Reichsbank and Minister of Economics, went to the United States in May 1933 to meet President Franklin Delano Roosevelt and leading Wall Street bankers. Germany was granted a $1 billion credit. And in June, during a visit to Norman in London, Schacht requested an addition $2 billion in loans as well as a reduction and eventual cessation of payment on old loans. Thus, the Nazis got something that the previous government could not.

In the summer of 1934, Britain signed the Anglo-German Transfer Agreement, which became one of the foundations of British policy towards the Third Reich, and by the end of the 1930′s, Germany developed into Britain’s primary trading partner. Schroeder’s bank turned into Germany and Great Britain’s main agent, and in 1936, its New York branch merged with a Rockefeller holding to create the investment bank «Schroeder, Rockefeller and Co.», which the New York Times described as «economic-propagandist axis of Berlin-Rome».

The ‘Secret Memorandum’ was issued by Adolf Hitler in August 1936. The memorandum went out only to a few senior Nazi leaders and its contents – information about the Four-Year Plan – was formally announced to the party’s faithful in September 1936 at the party rally in Nuremberg. The Secret Memorandum stated that in four years Germany was to develop capable combat-ready armed forces and its economy was to be mobilized to meet the needs of war. As he admitted to himself, Hitler viewed foreign credit as the financial basis for his four-year plan, so this didn’t raise the slightest alarm.

In August 1934, American oil giant Standard Oil purchased 730,000 acres of land in Germany and built large oil refineries that supplied the Nazis with oil. At the same time, the United States secretly provided Germany with the most modern equipment for its airplane factories, which were slated to produce Germany’s military aircraft.

In turn, Germany received a large number of patents from several American companies including Pratt and Whitney, Douglas, and the Bendix Corporation, and the “Junkers-87″ dive-bomber was built using purely American technology. As the war broke out, the monopolies stuck to the good old tried-and-true rule – nothing personal, only business. By 1941, when the Second World War was in full swing, American investment in the German economy totaled $475 million: Standard Oil invested $120 million alone, General Motors — $35 million, ITT — $30 million, and Ford — $17.5 million.

What motivated the interest of Western business in the growing might of Nazi Germany?

The goal was to direct Hitler to the East involving a German invasion of Russia. The conquest of Lebensraum («living space») was for Hitler and the rest of the National Socialists the most important German foreign policy goal. At his first meeting with the leading Generals and Admirals of the Reich («Empire») on February 3, 1933, Hitler spoke of “conquest of Lebensraum” in the East and ruthless ‘Germanization’ as his two ultimate foreign policy objectives.

For Hitler, the land which would provide sufficient Lebensraum for Germany was the Soviet Union, which in Hitler eyes was both a nation that possessed vast and rich agricultural land and was inhabited by what Hitler considered as Slavic Untermenschen (sub-humans) ruled over by what he regarded as a gang of blood-thirsty, but grossly incompetent “Jewish revolutionaries”. These people were not “Germanizable” in his eyes; only the soil was.

The US and Britain, which were firmly opposed to the rise of Communism in the Soviet Union, tacitly endorsed Hitler’s “conquest of Lebensraum” in the East, as initially stated in Mein Kampf:

“We National Socialists consciously draw a line under the direction of our foreign policy war. We begin where we ended six centuries ago. We stop the perpetual Germanic march towards the south and west of Europe, and have the view on the country in the east. We finally put the colonial and commercial policy of the pre-war and go over to the territorial policy of the future. But if we speak today in Europe of new land, we primarily point to Russia and the border states”

In turn, the policy of appeasement was implemented by Western countries in the 1930s against a background of financial and economic cooperation of Anglo-American business interests with Nazi Germany.

In October 1930, Germany withdrew from both the Conference for the Reduction and Limitation of Armaments of 1932–1934 (sometimes named the World Disarmament Conference or Geneva Disarmament Conference) and the League of Nations.

In March 1936, Hitler ordered his troops to openly re-enter the Rhineland which had been demilitarized under the Versailles Treaty.

In March 1938 Austria was annexed.

The West did not react.

Fall Grün (Operation Green), a German military plan to occupy Czechoslovakia, was approved by Hitler in December 1937. The execution of Operation Green was called off after the Munich Pact was concluded between England, France, Italy and Nazi Germany on September 30, 1938.

While Hitler signed the Munich agreement along with Arthur Neville Chamberlain, Édouard Daladier and Benito Mussolini,  the operation to invade Czechoslovakia prevailed. On October 21 he ordered to start preparations for the military annexation of the rest of Czechoslovakia and the Klaipeda Region (also known as the Memel Territory) which had been part of Lithuania since 1923.

In March 1939, Germany delivered an ultimatum to Poland demanding renegotiation of the Danzig agreement. The Polish Corridor (also known as Danzig Corridor, Corridor to the Sea or Gdansk Corridor) was a territory located in the region of Pomerelia (eastern Pomerania, formerly part of West Prussia), which provided the Second Republic of Poland (1920–1939) with access to the Baltic Sea, thus dividing the bulk of Germany from the province of East Prussia. The Free city of Danzig (now the Polish city of Gdansk) was separate from both Poland and Germany.

But Memel and Danzig were not the ultimate goal of Nazi Germany. Adolph Hitler was fully aware that nobody in the West had any intention to stand in his way. On April 1939 he secretly ordered Poland to be attacked on September 1.

With the seizure of Czechoslovakia, Hitler’s duel-track policy was an open secret even for the most shortsighted politicians and diplomats. The Soviet Union still cherished hope to build a collective system of security in Europe. It managed to make London and Paris start talks on creating a really effective alliance to counter the aggressor. But these talks were to reveal that the Western partners were reluctant to hinder Hitler’s expansionary policy to the East. Sir Alexander Cadogan (Permanent Under-Secretary at the Foreign Office) cited Chamberlain saying he would rather resign the premiership than conclude an agreement with the Soviets.

When Germany attacked Poland and the Second World War started, Western leaders pointed their finger at both the Soviet Union and Germany which signed the Non-Aggression Pact of August 23, 1939. Supported by a choir of propaganda, they said it was not the Western appeasement policy, but rather the USSR-Germany Non-Aggression Pact which triggered the war.

In the wake of World War II, neither London, nor Washington, nor Paris want to hear the truth about these historical events. They signed the Nuremberg Trial verdict that found Germany guilty of grave crimes and violations of international law and the laws of war, without acknowledging who was behind Nazi Germany?  The political and financial elites of the United States, Great Britain and France were directly involved in fostering Nazi regime. They incited Hitler to move east.

The West has never recognized its responsibility for supporting Hitler’s regime.

In today’s context, it has does its utmost to prevent Russia’s return on the world stage as a leading actor.

Today it is fostering the ulcer of Nazism and xenophobia emerging right in front of our very eyes. To hide the truth it circulates the Washington-invented and Europe-inculcated story about “Russian aggression” against Ukraine.

Russia is demonized and provoked into direct confrontation with a view to triggering its involvement in Ukraine’s internal conflict.

While the Kiev junta is not “in the same league” as Germany’s Nazi regime, history shows that the ulcer of Nazism combined with the thrust of Russophobia is gaining momentum. And sooner or later it may be beyond the control of those who encouraged it in the first place.

The slogan “Ukraine above all” sounds  very much like a remake of Nazi Germany’s “Deutschland über alles”, (Germany above all). “Ukraine above all”  is being used to justify the crimes committed by Ukraine forces in Novorossiya.

Edited by Global Research

In the wake of World War I, erstwhile propagandist and political scientist Harold Lasswell famously defined propaganda as “the management of collective attitudes” and the “control over opinion” through “the manipulation of significant symbols.”[1] The extent to which this tradition is enthusiastically upheld in the West and the United States in particular is remarkable.

The American public is consistently propagandized by its government and corporate news media on the most vital of contemporary issues and events.

Deception on such a scale would be of little consequence if the US were not the most powerful economic and military force on earth.Spread_Caliphate

[Image Credit: Vice News]

A case in point is the hysteria Western news media are attempting to create concerning the threat posed by the mercenary-terrorist army now being promoted as the Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria, or “ISIS.”

As was the case with the US intelligence asset and bogey publicized as “Al Qaeda,” and Al Qaeda’s Syrian adjunct, “Al Nusra,” such entities are—apparently by design—inadequately investigated and defined by major news media. Absent meaningful historical context they usefully serve as another raison d’ểtre for America’s terminal “War on Terror.”

A seemingly obvious feature of such terrorist forces left unexamined by corporate media is that they are observably comprised of the same or comparable personnel unleashed elsewhere throughout the Middle East as part of a strategy proposed during the George W. Bush administration in 2007.[2]

With the above observations in mind, ISIS is well-financed, militarily proficient, and equipped with modern vehicles and weaponry. It also exhibits an uncanny degree of media savvy in terms of propagating its message in professional-looking videos and on platforms such as YouTube and Twitter. “Western intelligence services,” the New York Times reports, claim to be “worried about their extraordinary command of seemingly less lethal weapons: state-of-the-art videos, ground images shot from drones, and multilingual Twitter messages.”[3]

Along these lines, ISIS even received a largely sympathetic portrayal in a five-part series produced and aired by the Rupert Murdoch-backed Vice News.[4] Indeed, Vice News’ “The Spread of the Caliphate” is reminiscent of the public relations-style reportage produced via the “embedding” of corporate news media personnel with US and allied forces during the 2003 conquest of Iraq.

The overt support of ISIS, combined with the fact that it is battling the same Syrian government the Obama administration overtly sought to wage war against just one year ago, strongly suggest the organization’s sponsorship by Western intelligence and military interests.

ISIS’s curious features are readily apparent to non-Western news outlets and citizenries. For example, Iran’s PressTV recently asked its readership, “Why does the ISIL have such easy access to Twitter, Youtube and other social media to propagate its ideologies?” The answer choices are, “1) Because the ISIL has very capable technicians who can best use social media, or 2) Because the US and Britain have provided the ISIL with unrestricted social media platform[s].” Note that the first choice is the overarching assumption of Western media outlets. Yet perhaps unsurprisingly, 90 percent of PressTV readers selected choice two.[5]

No such queries are so much as alluded to by major corporate media, all of which are united in the notion that ISIS is an essentially indigenous phenomenon. Yet as coverage of the events of September 11, 2001 and subsequent state-sponsored terrorism indicates, such media are essentially a component of the national security state, their reports and broadcast scripts all but overtly written by intelligence and military organizations.

In the wake of 9/11 US news media seldom asked about the origins of Al Qaeda—particularly how it was a product of US intelligence agencies. With the history of Al Qaeda omitted, the Bush administration was permitted to wage war on Afghanistan almost immediately following those staged attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon.

Yet as is much the case with today’s manufactured ISIS phenomenon, that history was readily available, and its careful public examination might have implicated the United States intelligence community in the 9/11 attacks. “During the Cold War, but also in its aftermath,” Michel Chossudovsky observes,

the CIA—using Pakistan’s military intelligence apparatus as a “go between”—played a key role in training the Mujhadeen. In turn, the CIA-sponsored guerrilla training was integrated with the teachings of Islam. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have consistently supported the “Militant Islamic Base”, including Osama bin Laden’s Al Qaeda, as part of their foreign policy agenda. The links between Osama bin Laden and the Clinton administration in Bosnia and Kosovo are well documented by congressional records.[6]

As the United States and world approach the thirteenth anniversary of the most momentous false flag in modern history, the American public would be well-served to remind itself that ISIS is the new Al Qaeda—in other words, the new pretext that will in all likelihood be used by to take police state measures at home and military aggression abroad to new, perhaps unprecedented, levels.

With the above in mind, it is telling that one of the US government’s greatest fears isn’t ISIS at all. “The FBI’s most recent threat assessment for domestic terrorism makes no reference to Islamist terror threats,” the Washington Free Beacon reports, “despite last year’s Boston Marathon bombing and the 2009 Fort Hood shooting—both carried out by radical Muslim Americans.”

Instead, the nation’s foremost law enforcement agency is preoccupied with what it deems “domestic extremism” exhibited by its own subjects.[7] A primary manifestation of such “extremism” is possessing the curiosity to discern and seek out truths and information amidst the barrage of manipulated symbols the government and corporate-controlled media use to undermine a potentially informed public.

Notes

[1] Harold Lasswell, Propaganda Technique in the World War, Cambridge MA: MIT Press, 1927/1971.

[2] Seymour Hersh, “The Redirection: Is the Administration’s New Policy Benefitting Our Enemies in the War on Terrorism?” New Yorker, March 5, 2007; Tony Cartalucci, “Extremists Ravaging Syria Created by US in 2007,” Land Destroyer Report, May 11, 2012.

[3] Scott Shane and Ben Hubbard, “ISIS Displaying a Deft Command of Varied Media,” New York Times, August 30, 2014.

[4] Joe Bercovici, “Thanks to Rupert Murdoch, Vice is Worth $1.4 Billion. Could it be in Play Soon?” Forbes, August 19, 2014; Medyan Dairieh, “The Spread of the Caliphate: The Islamic State,” Vice News, August 13, 2014.

[5] PressTV Poll, http://presstv.ir, retrieved on August 30, 2014.

[6] Michel Chossudovsky, America’s “War on Terrorism” Second Edition, Montreal CA: Global Research, 2005, 4.

[7] Bill Gertz, “FBI National Domestic Threat Assessment Omits Islamist Terrorism,” Washington Free Beacon, August 29, 2014.

US and Europe Escalate Provocations Against Russia

September 1st, 2014 by Johannes Stern

The European Union summit held in Brussels over the weekend represents a major escalation of the aggression by the Western powers against Russia, raising the specter of full-blown war in Europe and even a nuclear war between NATO and Russia.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, the business oligarch and leader of the right-wing regime installed by the Western powers in Kiev, set the tone for the summit. He urged the EU to take a tougher stance against Russia, which he accused of “military aggression and terror.”

“We are very close to the point of no return, the point of no return is full-scale war, which is already happening in the territories controlled by the separatists,” Poroshenko said at a news conference.

Standing alongside European Commission President Juan Manuel Barroso, Poroshenko alleged that Kiev still hoped for a political settlement of the conflict, but then painted a picture of war.

“We are too close to a border where there will be no return to the peace plan,” he said, claiming that since Wednesday, “thousands of foreign troops and hundreds of foreign tanks are now on the territory of Ukraine, with a very high risk not only for the peace and stability of Ukraine but for the peace and stability of the whole of Europe.”

EU officials and European heads of state joined in the allegations and threats of war against Russia. British Prime Minister David Cameron described the situation in Ukraine as “deeply serious,” adding: “We have to show real resolve, real resilience in demonstrating to Russia that if she carries on in this way the relationship between Europe and Russia, Britain and Russia, America and Russia will be radically different in future.”

Dalia Grybauskaite, the president of Lithuania, a NATO member, took an even more aggressive tone: “It is the fact that Russia is in a war state against Ukraine. That means it is in a state of war against a country which would like to be closely integrated with the EU. Practically Russia is in a state of war against Europe,” she said from the summit.

She demanded, “We need to support Ukraine, and send military materials to help Ukraine defend itself. Today Ukraine is fighting a war on behalf of all Europe.”

Assertions that Western politicians are merely reacting to a Russian aggression against Ukraine and now have to defend Europe against Russia are lies. This crisis has been instigated by the imperialist powers, above all Germany and the US, which organized a fascist-led coup against the pro-Russian Ukrainian government of President Viktor Yanukovych. Now the EU and NATO are collaborating closely with the puppet regime they installed to militarily crush pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine as part of their broader plan to encircle and ultimately subjugate Russia.

In comments cited by Russian news agencies, Russian President Vladimir Putin blamed the crisis in Ukraine on the NATO powers, accusing them of supporting a “coup” in Ukraine in February.

“They should have known that Russia cannot stand aside when people are being shot almost at point-blank range,” Putin said. Now, despite the fact that their political adventure is blowing up in their faces, the imperialist powers continue to seize upon the manufactured crisis in Ukraine to ratchet up tensions with Russia.

Echoing Poroshenko’s comment by saying that Russia was pushing the conflict in Ukraine toward “the point of no return,” Barroso threatened that European leaders would take new, tougher measures to make Moscow “come to reason.” The president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, said that the European heads of state had agreed to take “further significant steps” if Russia did not back down within a week.

“Everybody is fully aware that we have to act quickly given the evolution on the ground and the tragic loss of life of the last days,” Van Rompuy said.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that further sanctions were needed, as “the situation has deteriorated considerably in the last few days,” and would be imposed “if this situation continues.” Despite her numerous phone calls with Putin, Merkel said she could not make “a final judgment” on his intentions and whether Putin seeks to take “further parts of the country under his control.” She said that Germany “will certainly not deliver weapons, as this would give the impression that this is a conflict that can be solved militarily,” but indicated that other European countries might take a different stance on this issue.

There are signs that the factions in the imperialist governments that foresaw a Russian reaction to the Western provocations are increasingly taking the lead in pushing for a full-blown militarization of Europe and a possible war with Russia.

The current issue of the major German news magazine Der Spiegel published yesterday runs an article under the headline, “Level 4.” It states that the “hardline faction within NATO is on the rise” and insists that “they want much more than economic sanctions.”

Der Spiegel writes,

“Poland and the Baltic States promote a demonstrative break with Moscow, and they are receiving increasing support. Canada, which hosts over one million people of Ukrainian descent, has now taken their side. ‘Diplomacy is reaching its limits in the face of continued Russian aggression,’ said even the foreign minister of Luxembourg, Jean Asselborn. ‘The question is posed, if there can be any diplomatic solution with Putin at all.’ Several Eastern European governments are coming to similar conclusions.”

On Friday, the Financial Times reported that seven NATO states plan the creation of a new so called “rapid reaction force” of at least 10,000 soldiers as part of plans to strengthen NATO. The force would be led by Britain. Countries involved include Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands. Canada has also expressed an interest. According to the FT, the force includes air and naval units as well as ground troops for rapid deployment and regular exercises in Eastern Europe. Cameron is expected to announce the creation of the force coinciding with the upcoming NATO summit in Wales later this week.

On Sunday, Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung (FAS) newspaper led with the headline, “NATO goes east: military bases, armament depots and intervention forces,” reporting that NATO plans to deploy five bases in Eastern Europe. At each base in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Romania and Poland, up to 600 servicemen will be stationed.

The paper also reports that more soldiers will be stationed at the regional NATO headquarters in Stettin, Poland, which is currently led by Germany, Poland and Denmark. In “case of emergency,” it will host 60,000 troops. The FAS writes that these plans are part of a “readiness action” plan to be discussed in detail at the summit. It brands Russia as a “threat to Euro-Atlantic security.”

Since the crisis began, the most aggressive elements within NATO, which are close to Washington and especially to the neo-conservative faction within the American ruling elite, have sought to transform the NATO into an anti-Russian alliance and place Europe on a permanent war footing against Russia. This is now happening with breathtaking speed.

In another landmark decision, European leaders decided that Polish president Donald Tusk will succeed Van Rompuy on December 1. The British Guardian described him as “a leading EU hawk on the Kremlin and the crisis in Ukraine,” stressing that “Poland has been leading the campaign for a more energetic anti-Putin and pro-Ukraine policy.“

UK Announces New NATO Military Force, Declares Terror Alert

September 1st, 2014 by Robert Stevens

Prime Minister David Cameron, who is hosting this week’s NATO summit in Wales, is to announce that the imperialist alliance will create a new joint expeditionary force (JEF) of at least 10,000 troops for rapid deployment in crisis situations.

Previewing the plan Friday evening, the Financial Times reported that the new force is being created “to bolster NATO’s power in response to Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

The FT said,

“The force will incorporate air and naval units as well as ground troops and will be led by British commanders, with other participating nations contributing a range of specialist troops and units. Countries involved at present include Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands. Canada has also expressed an interest in taking part.”

The “model for the new JEF will be Britain’s expeditionary force with France, which has been years in the making and is due to be fully operational by 2016.”

In 2010 Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy signed treaties on defence and nuclear co-operation, that included the eventual creation of a combined joint expeditionary force of 5,000 soldiers from each country, for training and possible operations.

Of the new plans, the FT article continued, “While the 28-state alliance has stopped short of permanently deploying troops in eastern Europe—a measure that would violate several long-standing agreements with Russia—it has committed to a programme of significant military exercises and the development of more flexible, rapid reaction forces.”

This strategy is in line with calls by sections of the US political establishment for “rotating” NATO forces to be placed in a number of countries bordering Russia, specifically the Baltic States.

Last week William J. Perry, secretary of defence in the Clinton administration, and George P. Shultz, a secretary of state in the Reagan administration, wrote an article in the Wall Street Journal,

“We should reassure the Baltic States by deploying forces in those countries. A permanent deployment would contravene the NATO-Russia Founding Act, but a rotating force could be consistent with the Act while indicating to Russia how seriously we take their military actions.”

The Royal United Services Institute, a British defence and security think-tank, backed up the new JEF plan and troop rotation with its international director Jonathan Eyal telling the FT,

“We need to end the idea of different zones of security in Europe. We need to be talking about prepositioning, regular rotation of troops and making it very clear that we do not accept that the eastern Europeans are in some different category of membership of NATO.”

The plan is the starkest confirmation that the ruling elite in Britain are now firmly on a war footing.

Cameron recently stated that the UK’s “military prowess” is available for use in the Middle East. The ongoing crisis in Iraq and Syria and the war being carried on by the Ukraine government against separatists has prompted demands from significant figures in the British Armed Forces that the government intervene militarily in order to defend its “national interests.”

The FT commented,

“The British army has been intensively lobbying for more deployments abroad in order to keep it fighting fit. For the first time in their history, almost all of Britain’s land forces will be permanently based on home soil after the withdrawal from Afghanistan is complete.”

Ever watchful for an opportunity for the ruling elite to reap any financial advantage over their rivals, the FT said of the plans, “[T]he requirements for participating states to integrate into a harmonious command and control structure may produce benefits in encouraging the use of British-produced equipment.”

The military buildup is being bolstered by efforts to create a crisis atmosphere at home. Home Secretary Theresa May announced Friday that the UK’s terrorist “threat level” had been raised from “substantial” to “severe,” the second-highest of the five threat levels.

The declaration was the decision of the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC), a branch of the MI5 domestic intelligence agency. May said the “increase in the threat level is related to developments in Syria and Iraq where terrorist groups are planning attacks against the West.”

This deliberately vague statement aside, the government did not give any specific reason as to why a terrorist attack on the UK was now deemed “highly likely.” Rather the Home Office added, “This means a terrorist attack is highly likely, although there is no intelligence to suggest that one is imminent.”

The decision was used by Cameron to make a fear-mongering speech in which he beat the drums ever louder in support of new wars. He used the Islamic State (IS) jihadist forces operating in Iraq as the bogeymen, saying they represented a “greater and deeper threat to our security than we have known before.”

“We now believe that at least 500 people have travelled from Britain to fight in Syria, and potentially Iraq,” Cameron added. This is hardly a surprise, especially given that the British government was actively promoting the “rebel” forces in Syria fighting against the government of President Bashar al-Assad, although the prime minister made no mention of this fact.

Referring to the 2003 US-British-led invasion of Iraq, Cameron insisted, “We must use all resources we have at our disposal—aid, diplomacy, political influence, and our military. Learning the lessons from the past doesn’t mean that there isn’t a place for our military.”

Cameron said that because there were “foreign fighters who travel from Britain to Syria and Iraq, taken part in terrorist acts and now come back to threaten our security here at home,” it was necessary to further curtail democratic rights.

There were “some gaps in our armoury,” he said, and “we need to strengthen them.” He added that on Monday he would announce further measures “to stop people travelling, to stop those who do go from returning, and to deal decisively with those who are already here.” New legislation would be introduced “that will make it easier to take people’s passports away.”

Last week the Tory Mayor of London and prospective MP Boris Johnson urged, “We need to make it crystal clear that you will be arrested if you go out to Syria or Iraq without a good reason,” he said.

Johnson, who is routinely promoted as the next likely leader of the Conservatives, said, “The law needs a swift and minor change so that there is a ‘rebuttable presumption’ that all those visiting war areas without notifying the authorities have done so for a terrorist purpose.”

Conservative MP Bob Stewart commented supportively,

“Perhaps we should be hard line on this and say it’s not you’re innocent until proved guilty, we will assume you are guilty until you are proved innocent. If you do become stateless you can always join the new caliphate called the Islamic State.”

Johnson also called for the restoration of Control Orders, first introduced by a Labour government in 2005, a form of house arrest preventing any form of contact not explicitly authorised by the state.

Labour Party leader Ed Miliband gave his support for the return of these authoritarian measures. “[T]he government should strengthen existing powers, including revisiting the case for control orders,” he said.

America’s War Hawks Back in Flight

September 1st, 2014 by Danny Schechter

Sound the bugle! Get the press to march along; we are going to war. Again! Enemies R ‘Us!

For a long time with the killing of bin Laden, a jihadi fatigue had set in. With the apparent shriveling up of the Al Qaeda menace, America’s threat-defining and -refining machinery was somewhat adrift. What had been so simple turned too complex to fuse into one sound-bite.

Former CIA official Thomas Fingar, now at Stanford University, describes his own frustration in finding out what U.S. policy priorities should be in national intelligence. He asked his colleagues to share the threats they worried about. He was soon inundated.

“When I was given responsibility for the process known as the National Intelligence Priorities Framework, almost 2,300 issues had been assigned priorities higher than zero, “ he explained. “My first instruction was, ‘Reduce the number’.”

He knew they needed only one bad-ass enemy to focus fears and attract appropriations to fight. He had too many threats to respond to. They had to go. Now, he and the Obama administration have that new bad guy: the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria or ISIS.

Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the transition.

Image: Barack Obama, then President-elect, and President George W. Bush at the White House during the transition in November  2008.

Political scientist/analyst Michael Brenner says Washington is in an ISIS panic:

“The grotesque beheading of James Foley is stirring passions in Washington policy circles. From the highest levels of the Obama administration to the media pundits, emotions are flaring over what the United States should/could do. The act in itself has changed nothing insofar as IS’ threat to the United States and its significance for Middle East politics are concerned. It is the mood that has been transformed. Irresistible impulse is displacing cool deliberation. The flood of commentary, as usual, reveals little in the way of rigorous logic but much in the way of disjointed thinking and unchecked emotion.”

The response? Give us a war plan, and not just against ISIS, let’s throw in Syria too. Money is apparently no object.

Breaking Defense.com reports:

“US operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (or whatever we’re calling it these days) have probably cost the country about $100 million so far, according to one of the top defense budget experts. It’s difficult to come up with a precise estimate for what current operations in Iraq are costing.”

Don’t forget, as Glenn Greenwald didn’t, before the current focus on ISIS, the U.S. was bombarding Syria’s Bashar al-Assad with calls that he step down amidst threats of overthrowing him.

“It was not even a year ago,” Greenwald writes,

“when we were bombarded with messaging that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad is a Supreme Evil and Grave Threat, and that military action against his regime was both a moral and strategic imperative. Now the Obama administration and American political class is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the failed ‘Bomb Assad!’ campaign by starting a new campaign to bomb those fighting against Assad – the very same side the U.S. has been arming over the last two years.”

Recall: the campaign for bombing Assad’s military was undercut when public opinion in the U.S. turned against it. The Obama administration negotiated instead, and accomplished something, eventually destroying Syria’s stash of chemical weapons. Why emulate a success when you can make more mistakes?

That was then, and this is now. ISIS is the new boogieman. The next stage of our assault is underway as we can deduce from a build up of recent press reports:

Daily Beast: Obama Wants ISIS War Plan

President Barack Obama wants to make a decision by the end of this week whether or not to expand his war against ISIS into Syria, report Josh Rogin and Eli Lake. However, nobody knows yet how we can do it, or what will happen next. Still, there are plenty of ominous headlines:

Syria and Isis committing war crimes, says UN

Alawites prepare as IS, Jabhat al-Nusra close in on regime areas

Drones a Step Toward Expanding War Into Syria

U.S. Mobilizes Allies to Widen Assault on ISIS 

Specialops.org (Elite Magazine for Elite Warriors) reports:

“Members of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, or ISIS, were trained in 2012 by U.S. instructors working at a secret base in Jordan, according to informed Jordanian officials. The officials said dozens of ISIS members were trained at the time as part of covert aid to the insurgents targeting the regime of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. The officials said the training was not meant to be used for any future campaign in Iraq.

“The Jordanian officials said all ISIS members who received U.S. training to fight in Syria were first vetted for any links to extremist groups like al-Qaida.”

Now, there are reports that the CIA is forming new hit squads to use ISIS tactics against ISIS with an ISIS-like assassination offensive, to “cut off the head of the snake.” (Sounds like beheading doesn’t it?)  Shh! Sounds like we are headed back to the dark side with killings, torture, renditions, secret sites, etc. Will that long-awaited CIA report now be seen as a manual for more of the same.

The last time the U.S. organized assassination teams in Iraq in 2003, it didn’t work out that well, And guess who else was involved? Israel trains US assassination squads in Iraq:

“Israel helping train US special forces in aggressive counter-insurgency (CI) operations in Iraq, including the use of assassination squads against guerrilla leaders, US intelligence and military sources said. … The new CI unit made up of elite troops being put together in the Pentagon is called Task Force 121, New Yorker magazine reported. … One of the planners, highly controversial … Lt. Gen. William ‘Jerry’ Boykin … with calls for his resignation after he told an Oregon congregation the US was at war with Satan who ‘wants to destroy us as a Christian army’.”

Ten years later – in 2013 – the German magazine Der Spiegel reported U.S. training Syrian rebels in Jordan. And so it goes, as once again, around and around, we become more and more like the enemy we warn against.

Back to Michael Brenner’s take on how our media hysteria is not helping,

“There is a more general lesson to be learned from this latest exercise in ad hoc policy-making by press conference. The insistence of senior officials to speak at length in public on these complex, sensitive matters when there is no set policy is inimical to serious planning and diplomacy. If they feel compelled to react to events to satisfy the media and an agitated populace, they should just say a few well-chosen words and then declare themselves on the way to an important meeting – preferably not in Martha’s Vineyard.

“Silence, though, is taken to be tantamount to death in the egocentric media age where image is all – confusing random motion with focused action.”

Amen.

Why look back? No one wants to learn anything! Iraq 2.0 was a disaster for President George W. Bush. Can we expect Iraq 3.0 under President Obama to be any better? Afghanistan is a disaster. Israel failed in its aims in Gaza, whatever bloody “urban renewal” was imposed at a high human toll. Libya is a mess.

Knock, knock: raise your hand if you think Syria will become our next miracle?

News Dissector Danny Schechter blogs at Newsdissector.net and works on Mediachannel.org. Comments to [email protected]

Labor’s Demise Is America’s Demise Thoughts for Labor Day

September 1st, 2014 by Dr. Paul Craig Roberts

Labor Day is a holiday that has outlived its time. Like Christmas, Labor Day has become a time-out period. As Christmas has become a shopping spree, Labor Day has become the last summer holiday.

 The holiday originated in 1887 to celebrate the contribution made by American workers to the strength and prosperity of the United States.  The first Monday in September was chosen by President Grover Cleveland to avoid a May date that would keep alive the memory of the previous year’s Haymarket Massacre in which workers striking for an eight-hour day suffered casualties from the Chicago police.
As time passed union leadership became a career rather than a movement in behalf of a cause, but the labor movement in its initial years was reformist.  It brought safer working conditions into industry and manufacturing. Unions served as a countervailing power and constrained the exploitative power of capital.  An industrial or manufacturing job was a ladder of upward mobility that made the US an opportunity society and stabilized the socio-political system with a large middle class. A large and thriving industrial and manufacturing sector provided many white collar middle class jobs for managers, engineers, researchers and designers, and American universities flourished as did their graduates.
The labor unions provided the Democratic Party with a financial base in labor that served as a countervailing power to the Republican base in manufacturing and finance.
Whether it was a plot or unintended consequence, jobs offshoring wrecked the industrial and manufacturing unions and destroyed the Democrats’ independent financial base.
The two-party system that had maintained a reasonable balance was transformed into a one-party system in which both parties were dependent on the same monied interests and thus answered to the same masters.
The consequence was the demise of the middle class and rise of the One Percent.  Today the US has the most unequally distributed income and wealth of all developed economies and one of the worst in the entire world.  Few Americans other than the One Percent have a stake in the American economic and political system.
The imbalance in the distribution of income and wealth cannot be corrected through the tax system. The imbalance is due largely to the loss of the jobs that provided the economic basis for the middle class. Correction requires a retreat from globalism and the return to a largely self-sufficient economy, which the US economy was during its glory decades.  Globalism is a scheme for impoverishing First World labor and taking power and influence from the hands of the many and putting them in the hands of the few. The champions of globalism are the champions of America’s destruction.
Today the Republicans are demolishing the public sector unions.  These jobs can’t be outsourced, but public schools can be replaced with charter schools, prisons can be privatized, and many public services can be contracted out to private businesses.
Public sector unions never had as strong a case for their existence as manufacturing and industrial unions. Moreover, strikes by firemen, police forces, school teachers, and trash collectors undermined public support for public sector unions as did many unpleasant experiences with the licensing bureaucracies of state and local government departments. Nevertheless, public sector unions could serve as a check on ambitious executive and legislative power.
Whether one has a favorable or unfavorable opinion of unions, their demise is also the demise of countervailing power.  A system in which there is no countervailing power is a tyranny in which power is unconstrained and unaccountable.
The American people have been subdued and turned into a flock of sheep.  Will they ever rise again?

This is a thorough press conference by Alexander V. Zakharchenko, Chairman of The Council of Ministers of The Donetsk National Republic. It touches upon a few key points regarding the war, its origins and what and whom Kiev is fighting.

So many people have died for freedom. The possibility of Federalization is discarded as no longer possible.

This is a fight for independence now.

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Subtitles in English, French, German and Korean
Transcription/Translation/Timecoding: Marina
English proofreading and editing: Erebus,Michael and Vaughan
Editing and Publishing: Augmented Ether
French Translation & Editing: Jean-Jacques
German Translation & Editing : Dagmar
Koren Translation: Choi

The Donetsk National Republic States The Facts

“Every time you come to Russia with a sword, from a sword you will perish.”

The former Russian provinces, which Soviet party leaders carelessly attached to Ukraine at a time when it seemed to make no difference as all were part of the Soviet Union, are now independent republics with their own governments. The West pretends that this isn’t so, because Washington and its puppet capitals don’t recognize the independence of formerly captive peoples. But the West’s opinion no longer counts.

In the last couple of days the newly formed military units of the Donetsk National Republic have defeated and surrounded large portions of the remaining Ukrainian military. Russian President Putin asked the Donetsk Republic to allow the defeated Ukrainians to return home to their wives and mothers. The Donetsk Republic agreed to Putin’s mercy request as long as the Ukrainians left their weapons behind. The Donetsk Republic is short on weapons as, contrary to Western lies, the Donetsk Republic is not supplied with weapons by Russia.

Washington’s puppet government in Kiev declined the mercy extended to its troops and said they had to fight to the death. Shades of Hitler at Stalingrad. Western Ukraine has remained the repository of Nazism since 1945, and it is Western Ukraine with which Washington is allied against freedom and democracy.

Thanks to The Saker we are provided with a press conference with English subtitles that Alexander Zakharchenko, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the Donetsk National Republic, held with media. Present are Russian and Western press.

You will be impressed with the ease with which Zakharchenko handles the ignorant and corrupt Western media representatives, and your sides will burst with laughter at his reply to the media question: “Are there regular Russian military units fighting on your side?”

http://vineyardsaker.blogspot.com/2014/08/watershed-press-conference-by-top.html

The British and American journalists were the most stupid, as we already knew. You will die laughing at the response to the question, “why did you parade the prisoners.”

This person Zakharchenko puts to shame every politician in the US, Europe, Canada, Australia, Japan, all of the puppet politicians of the American Empire. If only the United States had people of the character and quality of Zakharchenko.

Now that Zakharchenko has revealed himself and made mincemeat of the stupid Western media, he will be demonized and misrepresented. So use this opportunity to see for yourself who has integrity and character. Hint: no one in political and media circles in the West.

You might have to put the video on full screen to read the subtitles.

First published on August 11, 2014, this article reviews the official Kiev government’s position concerning the downing of flight MH17, as confirmed by a statement of Ukraine’s Secret Service (SBU).

According to the official SBU report entitled Terrorists and Militants planned cynical terrorist attack at Aeroflot civil aircraft , the Donetsk militia (with the support of Moscow) was aiming at a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane and shot down the Malaysian MH17 airliner by mistake. That’s the official Ukraine government story which has not been reported by the MSM. 

Following the release of the SBU report, the Western mainstream media went silent. 

The SBU report bordered on ridicule to say to the least, with fabricated evidence.

Media pundits did not want to risk their reputation in supporting Kiev’s official statement.  They chose to remain silent.  “Having built up the crash into a casus belli against Russia, the US media suddenly dropped the matter completely.” (Niles Williamson,. Cover-Up? Why Have the Media and Obama Administration Gone Silent on MH17?  wsws.org, August 18, 2014).

Nobody dared to actually accuse Russia of planning a false flag operation involving the shooting down of its own Aeroflot plane leading to the death of its own citizens, and then blaming it on Kiev.

Moscow’s hidden agenda, according to the head of Ukraine’s intelligence service (SBU) was a “false flag” with a view to providing a justification for invading Ukraine in retribution to Kiev for having ordered the downing of a Russian passenger plane en route to Cyprus. 

As we recall, immediately after the MH17 plane crash on July 17, Secretary of State John Kerry and US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power pointed their finger at Moscow without a shred of evidence. In turn,  the allegations directed against Russia were used to justify the imposition of sweeping economic sanctions  against the Russian Federation.

In the wake of this official and “authoritative” August 7 announcement by the Kiev regime, Obama, Kerry, Samantha Power et al, chose to remain mum.  Nobody is accusing Russia anymore, because the Ukraine Secret Service’ official statement concerning the crash of Malaysian airlines MH17 is so outlandish that it does not even fit within the usual mold of media disinformation.

The last substantive article in the New York Times on the MH17 crash and Russia’s alleged responsibility was on August 7, the day of the release of the report by Ukraine’s head of intelligence (SBU). 

Deafening silence. The Kiev intelligence report was not an object of commentary by the NYT.  Instead the New York Times chose to justify the economic sanctions regime imposed on Russia by the US and the EU by

“…accusing Russia of supplying the missiles that rebels used to shoot down a Malaysian jetliner on July 17, killing all 298 people aboard.” Andrew E. Kramer, and Neil MacFarquhar, “Putin Bans Some Imports as Payback for Sanctions”, August 7, 2014)

Following the release of Ukraine’s official report on the crash of flight MH17, the US media as well as Western politicians chose to remain silent. Acknowledging Kiev’s official statement concerning MH17 would have opened up a diplomatic “can of worms” which would inevitably have backlashed. Not to mention the fact that the justification for the economic sanctions rested in part on Moscow’s alleged role in downing the Malaysian airliner.

Another consideration was that real evidence pertaining to the crash of flight MH17 had emerged to the effect that the plane had most likely been shot down on the orders of the Kiev regime. This evidence came to light following statements by the head of the OSCE team to the effect that the plane’s fuselage was perforated with machine-gun like holes indicating that it could have been shot at by a military aircraft. 

Michael Bociurkiw [head] of the OSCE group of monitors at his daily briefing described part of the plane’s fuselage dotted with “shrapnel-like, almost machine gun-like holes.” He said the damage was inspected by Malaysian aviation-security officials .(Wall Street Journal, July 31, 2014,

OSCE Head of Mission Michael Bociurkiw made the above statement on July 31st, 2014 one week prior to the release (on August 7) of the SBU intelligence report entitled  Terrorists and Militants planned cynical terrorist attack at Aeroflot civil aircraft.

Did the Kiev government fast-track an “authoritative intelligence report” following revelations that the cockpit of the plane had machine gun like entry and exit holes pointing to the fact that the Malaysian plane “was not downed by a missile attack”?  (Revelations of German Pilot: Shocking Analysis of the “Shooting Down” of Malaysian MH17. “Aircraft Was Not Hit by a Missile” Global Research, July 30, 2014)

It is worth noting that the Russian media chose not to comment on the Kiev intelligence report

(For further details see Michel Chossudovsky, Support MH17 Truth”: OSCE Monitors Identify “Shrapnel and Machine Gun-Like Holes” indicating Shelling. No Evidence of a Missile Attack. Shot Down by a Military Aircraft?, Global Research, July 31, 2014

Michel Chossudovsky, August 31, 2014


Desperate MH17 “Intelligence” Spin by Ukraine Secret Service: Pro-Russian Rebels had Targeted a Russian Passenger Plane. “But Shot Down Flight MH17 by Mistake”

by Michel Chossudovsky

Global Research, August 7, 2014

The official MH17 narrative still prevails: the “pro-Russian rebels” shot down Malaysian airlines MH17 with a Buk missile system provided by Russia.

In a new and rather unusual twist, however,  according to the Kiev regime, the Donetsk militia did not intend to shoot down Malaysian airlines MH17. What the “pro-Russian rebels” were aiming at was a Russian Aeroflot passenger plane.

The MH17 was shot down “by mistake” according to an official statement by the head of Ukraine’s Secret Service, Valentyn Nalyvaichenko (Ukraine News Service, August 7, 2014)

According to SBU Chief Nalyvaichenko:

“Ukraine’s law enforcement and intelligence agencies have established during the investigation into a terrorist attack on the Boeing… that on that day, July 17, and at that time military mercenaries and terrorists from the Russian Federation planned to carry out a terrorist attack against a passenger aircraft of Aeroflot en route from Moscow to Larnaca… as a pretext for the further invasion by Russia,”

“This cynical terrorist attack was planned for the day when the [Malaysia Airlines] plane happened to fly by, planned by war criminals as a pretext for the further military invasion by the Russian Federation, that is, there would be a casus belli,” he added.

Thus, according Nalyvaichenko, the terrorists downed the Malaysian airliner by mistake.” (Ukraine Interfax News, August 8, 2014)

Nalyvaichenko said that the Kiev government reached this conclusion “in the course of its own investigation into the downing of MH17″.

According to Britain’s foremost news tabloid, The Mail on Sunday, quoting the head of Ukraine intelligence, the insidious design of the pro-Russian rebels (supported by Moscow) was to shoot down a Russian commercial airline plane, with a view to blaming the Ukrainian government. The objective of this alleged “false flag” covert op was to create a justifiable and credible pretext for Vladimir Putin to declare war on Ukraine.

In an utterly twisted logic, according to Ukraine’s head of intelligence:

“the [Donesk] rebels were meant to down [the] Aeroflot plane… to justify the invasion [of Ukraine by Russia]“,

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko (right), head of Ukraine intelligence confirms that the pro-Russian rebels were “aiming at a Russian passenger plane “so Putin had reason to invade”.

“the crime was planned as a ground for bringing of Russian troops into Ukraine, that is – CASUS BELLI for the Russian military invasion.” (Official statement of Ukraine Security Service, in annex below)

In a bitter irony, the alleged “false flag” covert op got muddled. The Donesk rebels got it all wrong and hit the MH17 plane by mistake.

That’s the “official line” now emanating from Kiev’s “intelligent” Secret Service (SBU), yet to be corroborated by their Western intelligence counterparts including the CIA and Britain’s MI6 which are actively collaborating with Ukraine’s SBU.

The head of Ukraine’s secret service has claimed rebels intended to down a Russian airliner to give Vladimir Putin a pretext for invasion – but blasted Flight MH17 out of the sky by mistake. (ibid)

In its authoritative report, the British news tabloid fails to beg the important question: why on earth would pro-Russian rebels who are at war with the Kiev regime shoot down a Russian passenger plane AFL-2074 allegedly with a view to harnessing Russia’s support?

What’s more, according to SBU Chief Valentyn Nalyvaichenko’s  statement, Moscow was helping the pro-Russian rebels in their alleged false flag op to shoot down Russia’s Aeroflot plane by providing them with a Buk missile system, which had been discretely smuggled across the border to the Donesk region of Eastern Ukraine. The Aeroflot plane was slated to be “shot down over territory controlled by Ukrainian government troops”:

Valentyn Nalyvaichenko said that Russian-backed fighters were supposed to take their BUK rocket launcher – which had been transported across the Russian border – to a village called Pervomaiskoe in Ukrainian-held territory west of Donetsk.

 

Got it wrong? Valentyn Nalyvaichenko claims pro-Russian rebels targeted the wrong civilian airliner

Image source: Mail on Sunday, August 10, 2014

But they “screwed up”. The Buk rocket launcher was apparently positioned in the wrong rural location (see image above) and because of that it targeted the MH17 by mistake:

Instead, they mistakenly positioned it in a rebel-controlled village of the same name to the east of the city.

Got it wrong? Valentyn Nalyvaichenko claims pro-Russian rebels targeted the wrong civilian airliner

If they had gone where they had been ordered, he said, they would have hit an Aeroflot flight carrying civilians travelling from Moscow to Larnaca in Cyprus.

Crucially, the crash site would have been in Ukrainian-held territory. (Mail on Sunday)

The pro-Russian rebels had allegedly planned an Operation Northwoods type “false flag” with utmost proficiency. The covert op consisted in downing a Russian passenger plane with Moscow’s support. The alleged objective was for Moscow to place the blame on the government of Ukraine for having ordered the downing of the Aeroflot plane (resulting in the deaths of Russian tourists), thereby creating a “useful wave of indignation” across the Russian Federation.

The  alleged “false flag” slated to be implemented by the Donetsk “terrorists and mercenaries” would then, according to the scenario depicted by Ukraine’s Chief Spy, spearhead public support for a Russian invasion of Ukraine, with patriotic Russian troops coming to the rescue of the “pro-Russian separatists”:

The mass killing of Russian tourists could then have been blamed on the Ukrainian army, giving Moscow a justification for invasion, said Mr Nalyvaichenko, head of the Ukrainian intelligence service, the SBU. (ibid)

The official SBU report states that the:

“Russian side would need a compelling argument for such a step, for example accusation of the Ukrainian government in mass murder of the Russian citizens [on the plane]” (See complete SBU statement in Annex below).

According to the head of Ukraine’s Secret Service: “It is incredibly cynical that the act of terrorism was planned [by the rebels] against peaceful innocent Russian citizens who were on the way to their holidays with children”:

‘This cynical terrorist act was intended to justify an immediate military invasion by the Russian Federation,’ he said.

Aeroflot flight AFL2074 was close to Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 when it was blown out of the sky on July 17, killing all 298 on board, he said.

… He claimed this was a significant conclusion of Kiev’s probe into MH17’s downing. (Ibid)

A Russian invasion plan had allegedly been scheduled –according to the official SBU report– to take place on July 18, on the day following the planned downing of Aeroflot flight 2074. But when the MH17 flight was downed by mistake, the Russian invasion plan scheduled for July 18, according to the Kiev scenario, was cancelled.

Operation Northwoods

It is worth noting that an earlier GR report pointed to the possibility of an Operation Northwoods type False Flag undertaken not by Russia but by the Kiev regime (in liaison with Washington) with a view to blaming Russia for the downing of flight MH17.

While there is no proof as yet of a Kiev sponsored false flag, the available evidence collected sofar is damning: reports confirm unequivocally the presence of at least one Ukrainian military aircraft in proximity of the flight path of MH17. Moreover, the fuselage of the plane had machine gun like bullet holes.

Mainstream Media Response to Kiev Regime’s Accusations

Normally, the Western media would provide ample coverage and commentary to an official Kiev statement pertaining to MH17 and accusing Russia. It’s part of the MSM routine of “Russia bashing” and demonizing president Vladimir Putin.

With the exception of Ukraine News Service and London’s Mail on Sunday report, however, the official statement of the head of Ukraine’s Secret Service has gone largely unnoticed. Normally, a declaration of this nature would be picked up by the wire services with syndicated reports flooding the front page of the Western news chain.

Was the mainstream media instructed to temporarily “put a hold” on reporting on the “revelations” of  Ukraine’s Secret Service.

The Kiev regime’s allegations are far-fetched to say the least: the Donesk rebels –largely involved in combat operations– have neither the capabilities nor the desire to undertake a complex intelligence operation of this nature. What purpose would it serve? Cui Bono?

Does Russia require a fake humanitarian pretext to intervene when more than 1000 civilians in the Donbass region have been killed by the Ukrainian Armed Forces, not to mention the Odessa massacre perpetrated by the Kiev regime’s Neo-Nazi national guard.

Ironically, barely four days after being accused by Kiev of planning to invade Ukraine, Russia’s President Putin agreed with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso that Moscow would not only collaborate with the Red Cross on channeling humanitarian aid to Eastern Ukraine through Russian territory, but that the agreement reached with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), had the support of the Kiev government.

Russia bashing in the MSM seems to be “on hold”. In turn, neither the Russian government nor the Russian media have commented on (or responded to) the accusations directed against Moscow contained in Ukraine’s dodgy Secret Service’s MH17 report.

Dodgy Ukraine MH17 Intelligence Report: Kiev’s Western “Allies”

Was Washington consulted before the release of the dodgy SBU False Flag report?

Did Washington give them the “Green Light” to the release of the SBU report as a means of “Framing Russia”? Or did the White House or the State Department decide that the SBU’s “fake intelligence” was visibly flawed and could not effectively be used for propaganda purposes against Russia?

Were the CIA and MI6 consulted? Britain’s Secret Service MI6 has access to the plane’s black box, which was handed over by the Dutch task force to an unnamed partner entity in the UK.

Sofar, neither the White House nor the mainstream media, not to mention the US intelligence community, have commented on the Ukraine’s August 7 SBU statement, which has been officially endorsed by the Kiev government.

It is worth noting that the statement of Ukraine’s intelligence service was made following the release of evidence by the OSCE mission that there were “machine gun like bullet holes” on the fuselage indicating that the MH17 had been brought down by cannon fire from a military aircraft.

Ukraine’s Chief Spy Valentyn Nalyvaichenko confirms that the SBU report on the downing of MH17 –which accuses the Donetsk rebels of  implementing a “false flag” operation– has been submitted to the MH17 investigation task force headed by The Netherlands.


Annex

Official Statement of Ukraine’s Security Service (August 7, 2014)

Terrorists and Militants planned cynical terrorist attack at Aeroflot civil aircraft

[emphasis added]

During the investigation of Malaysia Airlines Boeing-777 downing the law enforcement and intelligence bodies established that terrorists and militants have cynically planned the terrorist attack at Aeroflot civil aircraft, AFL-2074 Moscow-Larnaca, which was flying over the territory of Ukraine at that moment. Hereof informed the Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Mr. Valentyn Nalyvaichenko during the briefing today.

He underlined – the crime was planned as a ground for bringing of Russian troops into Ukraine, that is – CASUS BELLI for the Russian military invasion.

According to the official Ukrainian data, June 17, 2014, at the mentioned time two regular international flights were operating over the territory of Ukraine following the filed requests for aircraft clearance – MAS17 plane of the Malaysia Airlines and AFL-2074 one of Aeroflot.

The routes of the mentioned international flights were approaching the sky over Donetsk. At 16:09 in the area of Novomykolaivka town the routes of the mentioned flights crossed. It is worth noting that the flight specifications of the aircrafts were almost identical – the Malaysian aircraft flew at a height of 10,100 m at a speed 909 km/h, while the Russian one – at a height of 10,600 m at a speed 768 km/h.

At 16:20 from the area of ‘Pervomaiske’ village, north-east from Donetsk, near the town of Torez, terrorists shot down the Malaysian jet, which then crashed near Grabove, Donetsk region.

According to the intercepted and published data about the ‘Buk” missile system, the terrorists had received an order to place the system near ‘Pervomaiskoe’ village, V. Nalyvaichenko mentioned. The namesake village is located about 20 km to the north-east from Donetsk.

The terrorists (most of them are not locals, but the Russian mercenaries) misrecognized the namesake villages and moved the other way, the SSU Head said. The odd route of the ‘Buk’ missile system on the territory of Ukraine proves that fact. The system crossed the Russia-Ukraine border in Luhansk region, then was deployed westward to Donetsk and moved back to the border between Donetsk and Luhansk regions afterwards.

By setting up the ‘Buk’ missile system in ‘Pervomaiske’ village located to the west from Donetsk and taking into consideration the military specifications of the weapon, the terrorists could have shot down the Russian civilian jetliner with its further crashing on the Ukrainian territory controlled by the ATO [Ukraine] forces.

In that case Russia would receive an opportunity to accuse the Ukrainian authorities of downing the Russian plane, assaulting the Russian citizens and would use this irresistible proof for its invasion into Ukraine.

Russian side would need a compelling argument for such a step, for example accusation of the Ukrainian government in mass murder of the Russian citizens.

“A peculiar cynicism appears in the fact that the terrorist act was planned just against the peaceful, innocent Russian citizens, who were flying with their children on vacation”, – V. Nalyvaichenko, stressed.

Intelligence data proved that on July 18 the militants have already waited for the introduction of Russian Armed forces into the territory of Ukraine. The Russian side had been giving grounding for such developments for the several previous days. The Russian Mass Media had massively published information about the alleged shelling of the RF territory from the Ukrainian side.

For further details see

http://www.sbu.gov.ua/sbu/control/en/publish/article;jsessionid=73352780A12C97E27DD0BF852482D3C0.app1?art_id=129860&cat_id=35317

 

Over the last 40 years occupied Palestine has witnessed a catastrophic decline in biodiversity.  Loss of habitat, desertification and pollution of water sources have all been linked to the occupation by Israeli forces.

This summer scientific research led by Professor Mazin Qumsiyeh at new Palestine Museum of Natural History at Bethlehem University was published in January 2014 in the “Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences” and titled ‘Decline in Vertebrate Biodiversity in Bethlehem, Palestine’.  The speed of decline in biodiversity due to habitat destruction in Palestine over the last few decades has been catastrophic.  Samples in the Bethlehem area have found that of 31 species of mammals commonly witnessed in the 1960s and early 1970s 13 species have already disappeared, including 4 of 7 varieties of bat and 8 species of carnivore.  Badgers and the native gazelle are also reaching a point of critical endangerment.  Similarly, one third of species observed few decades ago were not seen in more recent surveys.

The human population has not been immune from the ongoing environmental catastrophe. In a 2013 paper on genotoxicity published in “International Journal of Environmental Studies”, Dr. Qumsiyeh and one of his master’s students showed the effect that the Israeli industrial settlement of Barqan near Salfit is having on DNA of local Palestinians.  In a sample of blood from this community, the percentage of cells with aberrations stood at 4.08%, far above the level that has been considered normal for healthy individuals (0.48% – 0.88%).  Such aberrations increase the incidence of cancers, infertility, and congenital abnormalities.

Environmental damage in Palestine is due to Israeli colonization, population growth, global climate change, and unregulated industrial development. Israeli policies have greatly exacerbated these problems.  In particular research highlights the destruction of Palestinian villages long structured to be in balance with nature for thousands of years, the creation of millions of refugees living in unsustainable conditions, and bringing in settlers from abroad (e.g. over 600,000 settlers have moved to the West Bank since 1967).

Other problems highlighted in the ongoing research are impact of draining the Hula wetlands, the diversion of headwaters of the Jordan Valley, and the impact of the annexation and segregation wall.

If nothing changes, Dr Qumsiyeh forecasts that the process of decline in biodiversity, desertification and polluting of water sources will only get worse; while temperatures in the West Bank could rise by as much as 5 degrees over the next 30 years and rainfall decline by 20-25%.  Only through a radical movement to resist Israeli policies and settlement construction, to conserve local biodiversity and clean up water supplies, can environmental Nakba be averted.  That is part of the reason why volunteers established the Palestine Museum of Natural History and its Institute of Biodiversity Research and Conservation.

To join this group of volunteers send an email to [email protected]

It’s 2014, and a national magazine has a cover story about how African immigrants might spread a deadly virus in the United States, thanks to the peculiar and unsanitary food they eat. The cover image is a photo of a chimpanzee.

Yes, this really happened.

“A Back Door For Ebola: Smuggled Bushmeat Could Spark a US Epidemic” read the headline on the August 29 Newsweek, a profoundly shocking  image and message that immediately drew criticism like this:

But the problems of the piece were bigger than just the cover. The piece is built around the idea that illegally imported “bushmeat”–what we would call “wild game” if it were being eaten in the United States–could carry the deadly Ebola virus.

Newsweek‘s Gerard Flynn and Susan Scutti note that “social media have been ablaze with fearmongering,” and they include as evidence a “highly publicized tweet from Donald Trump.”

But is there any evidence that imported meat could actually carry Ebola? On that score, Newsweek comes up empty. The article cites a “memo obtained by Newsweek that circulated among customs officers and agriculture specialists in 2007 [that] noted that bushmeat is ‘a potential vector of diseases such as Monkeypox, Ebola Virus, Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and other communicable diseases.’” Who produced this seven-year-old memo? Newsweek doesn’t say.

The magazine’s strongest case seems to come when it reports that while “researchers cannot identify with absolute certainty the cause of the current Ebola outbreak, they do know the strain of virus, while being similar to the Zaire strain, is indigenous to Guinea, suggesting bushmeat was the source.”

But that link goes to a Reuters story that does not appear to say what Newsweek thinks it’s saying. That piece notes that “according to scientific evidence, the main risk of human infection by Ebola or Marburg is not thought to be from all bushmeat, only from infected animals and only from fresh carcasses.” The main expert in the piece, University of Pretoria virologist Bob Swanepoel, seems to be saying this:

Despite the fears over bushmeat, Swanepoel says study of Ebola and Marburg outbreaks since 1976 indicate it is close contact with bats in particular that seems to be behind the transmission to humans of the deadly virus.

The idea that Ebola is spread through direct contact with certain kinds of infected animals and freshly slaughtered carcasses is quite different than the story Newsweek is pushing:

While the focus remains on the passengers of trans-Atlantic flights, there is an additional risk—all but ignored by the popular press and public—lurking in the cargo hold below: bushmeat contaminated with the virus and smuggled into the US in luggage.

The most definitive takedown of the Newsweek piece appeared at the Washington Post  website (8/25/14), where Laura Seay and Kim Yi Dionne place the article in a historical context:

Far from presenting a legitimate public health concern, the authors of the piece and the editorial decision to use chimpanzee imagery on the cover have placed Newsweek squarely in the center of a long and ugly tradition of treating Africans as savage animals and the African continent as a dirty, diseased place to be feared.

While Newsweek zeroed in on the wild game risk as being “all but but ignored by the popular press and public,” Seay and Dionne write: “The reason this ‘risk’ is ignored is because it is infinitesimally close to zero.” BBCWorldNews-Ebola 

During a BBC discussion of the story (8/26/14), host Nkem Ifejika noted that Ebola experts stress that the risks of Ebola exposure come from hunting and dissection–which would seem to undermine the point of  Newsweek‘s cover story. The magazine’s senior editor Elijah Wolfson responded by appearing to back away from the article’s premise:

I would say that the risk for contracting Ebola by eating or handling bushmeat that arrives in the U.S. through illegal importation is minimal. But that doesn’t mean it is a zero risk.

That’s a far cry from the message the magazine is telling us–unless they plan on rewriting that headline to say, “Not a Back Door for Ebola: Smuggled Bushmeat Is Unlikely to Spark a US Epidemic.” And replacing the chimp with a photo of a bat. As Seay and Dionne put it:

Newsweek’s piece is in the worst tradition of what journalist Howard French calls “Ooga-Booga” journalism: the practice of writing in exoticizing and dehumanizing ways about Africa.

Links tweeted by WikiLeaks this week called attention to the development of crowd control doctrines by the US military, the most recent of which are codified in a US Army Techniques document dated April 2014, titled “Civil Disturbances.” Main concepts elaborated in the document include crowd dynamics, behavior theories, crowd types, and a “Graduated Response Matrix.”

The document points to various dissident political groups as main targets of the Army’s crowd control planning. “Examples of well-organized groups are anarchists, antiglobalization groups, and anti free enterprise groups,” the US Army document states.

The paper further cites demonstrations coordinated by labor groups, specifically citing the 2011 protests at the Wisconsin capitol. “Labor unions played a large role in the 2011 Wisconsin protests that included passing on information and transporting participants,” the document states.

Special attention is given to “organized protests,” which are said to have more growth potential than spontaneous protests as result of their “centralized planning” and use of “modern technologies that allow for rapid information dissemination.”

Techniques outlined in the document include the use non-lethal weapons, “pain compliance” measures, lethal overwatch teams (snipers), and deployment of aircraft overhead (said to have a “psychological effect”).

The use of military working dog (MWD) teams is highlighted as an especially effective “intimidation measure.” “The presence of the MWD may produce a profound psychological effect on the crowd,” the document states.

The document calls for deployment of “overwatch” sniper teams to intimidate crowds and pick off suspected leaders and organizers. Such use of snipers to terrorize demonstrators, recently on display in Ferguson, Missouri, where protests against the killing of Michael Brown were subject to a massive crackdown by militarized police forces, is part of the Army’s integrated Graduated Response Matrix (GRM). The GRM provides for numerous levels of escalating psychological and physical pressure against a targeted crowd, including:

* Exploit the psychological effect of shows of force.

* Escalate the Military Information Support Operations (MISO) message via loudspeakers and handbills—MISO is a more recently adopted military term for psychological operations (PSYOPS).

* Demonstrate sniper precision strike capability.

* Use riot control ammunition: tear gas, pepper spray, smoke bombs, stun grenades, rubber munitions, acoustic weapons, electro-muscular disruption weapons.

* Move through the crowd using riot control formations and movement techniques.

* Target leaders and “troublemakers” with sniper fire.

* Escalate from single shot small caliber fire to automatic large caliber.

* Close air support and indirect fire (artillery, mortars).

While stating that “coercion dispersal” of crowds may become necessary, the document notes that “negotiated management of crowds … is the preferred method especially if the demonstration or protest leaders are available and willing to participate,” and advises commanders to adhere to the “goldilocks principle,” saying crowd control activities should be “neither too hard nor too soft.”

The document also calls for the use of “high powered cameras mounted on towers and aerial vehicles” to create video recordings of both the crowd and the soldiers engaged in crowd control operations.

Ominously, the document outlines conditions under which the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878, which prohibits the use of the US military for police actions on American soil, will not apply. Under a range of loosely defined “exceptional” conditions, the military can conduct unrestrained operations within the United States, the document notes.

In “emergency extraordinary circumstances,” including vaguely defined contingencies such as “unlawful obstruction or rebellion against the authority of the United States,” US military commanders are empowered to carry out, without requiring any form of civilian authorization, “activities that are necessary to quell large-scale, unexpected civil disturbances,” the document states.

Such sophisticated crowd control doctrines are an expression of the far advanced preparations by the US ruling elite, dating back decades, to establish martial law and transition to a police state dictatorship.

Congressional hearings in May of 1987 on the Iran-Contra scandal exposed plans, codenamed Operation Rex ’84, to suspend the US Constitution, transfer power to a shadow dictatorship consisting of agents of the military and intelligence apparatus, and conduct mass roundups of hundreds of thousands of political opponents of the American state.

In the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, the George W. Bush administration implemented “continuity of government” (COG) procedures virtually identical to those laid out by Operation Rex, establishing a secret network of anonymous officials working from “undisclosed secure locations.” Without any consultation with or involvement of the legislative and judicial branches, between 75 and 150 members of the executive branch were ensconced in military bunkers and legal documents were drawn up to empower these officials with authoritarian powers.

The following text was presented at  the International Conference on “9/11 Revisited – Seeking the Truth”, Perdana Global Peace Foundation (PGPF), Kuala Lumpur, November 2012

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. The post September 11, 2001 era is marked by the outright criminalization of the US State, including its judicial, foreign policy, national security and intelligence apparatus.

9/11 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. 

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

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”.

In assessing the crimes associated with 9/11 in the context of a legal procedure, we must distinguish between those associated with the actual event, namely the loss of life and the destruction of property on 9/11,  from the crimes committed in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 “in the name of 9/11″.

The latter build  upon the former. We are dealing with two related dimensions of criminality. The crimes committed “in the name of  9/11″ involving acts of war are far-reaching, resulting in the deaths of millions of people as well as the destruction of entire countries.

The 9/11 event in itself– which becomes symbolic– is used to justify the onslaught of the post 9/11 US-NATO military agenda, under the banner of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), not to mention the ushering in of the Homeland police state and the repeal of civil liberties.

The crimes committed in the name of 9/11 broadly consist in two intimately related processes:

1. The launching of the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT), used as a pretext and a justification to Wage a War of Conquest. This GWOT mandate was used to justify the 2001 and 2003 invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq. The GWOT mandate has since extended its grip to a large number of countries in Africa, the Middle East and Southeast Asia, where the US and its NATO allies are intervening selectively under a counterterrorism mandate.

2. The derogation of civil liberties and the instatement of an Orwellian police state apparatus within Western countries. In the US, the introduction of the PATRIOT legislation and the establishment of the Department of Homeland Security in the immediate wake of the 9/11 attacks set the stage for the subsequent restructuring of the judicial and law enforcement apparatus, culminating in the legalization of extrajudicial assassinations under an alleged  counter-terrorism mandate.  

The 9/11 attacks constitute what is referred to in intelligence parlance as a “massive casualty producing event” conducive to the deaths of civilians.

The dramatic loss of life on the morning of 9/11 resulting from an initial criminal act is used as a pretext and a justification to wage an all out war of retribution, in the name of 9/11 against the alleged perpetrators of 9/11, namely the “state sponsors of terrorism”, including Afghanistan, Iraq as well as Iran.

We are dealing with a diabolical and criminal project. The civilian deaths resulting from the 911 attacks are an instrument of war propaganda, applied to build a consensus in favor of an outright  war of global domination.  

The perpetrators of war propaganda are complicit in the conduct of extensive war crimes, in that they readily justify acts of war as counter-terrorism and/or humanitarian operations (R2P) launched to protect civilians. The “Just War” (Jus ad Bellum) concept prevails: The killing of civilians in Afghanistan and Iraq are “rightfully” undertaken in retribution for the deaths incurred on 9/11.

Evidence is fabricated to the effect that the “state sponsors of terrorism” had committed, on the morning of 9/11, an outright act of war against the United States.

Realities are turned upside down.  The US and its allies are the victims of foreign aggression. America’s crimes of war in Afghanistan and Iraq are committed in the name of 9/11 under a counter terrorism mandate. 

The 9/11 attacks are used to  harness public opinion into supporting a war without borders. Endless wars of aggression under the humanitarian cloak of “counter-terrorism” are set in motion. 

Video: Michel Chossudovsky’s presentation to the Kuala Lumpur 9/11 Revisited Conference, November 19, 2012

Chronology of Events

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 in-depth 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 [foreign governments] 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 war cabinet had decided to launch an an illegal and criminal war on Afghanistan, based on essentially two interrelated concepts:

1.  The 9/11 attacks although allegedly conducted by Al Qaeda were upheld as an all out military attack by a foreign power.

2. Afghanistan in allegedly supporting Al Qaeda, was responsible for an act of military aggression directed against  the United States of America.

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. In taking on this stance they provided legitimacy to the conduct of war crimes. 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. The post 9/11 era was also characterised by the development of Islamophobia, including routine ethnic profiling directed against Muslims.

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. Rawalpindi is the Headquarters of the Pakistani military including its intelligence apparatus. 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]

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”.

Recovering from his hospital treatment in Rawalpindi on the 11th of September, how could Osama have coordinated the 9/11 attacks?

How could Afghanistan be made responsible for these attacks by Al Qaeda? Bin Laden is a national of Saudi Arabia who, according to CBS News, was not in Afghanistan, but in Pakistan at the time of the attacks.

September 12,  2001: The Invasion of Afghanistan: NATO’s Doctrine of Collective Security

The immediate response of the US and its NATO 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, who at the time of the attacks was in Pakistan, protected by the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus. In a bitter irony, the Pakistani government  and military, which had facilitated bin Laden’s hospitalization in Rawalpindi on September 10, offered to assist the US in “going after bin Laden”.  An agreement to this effect was reached on September 12 in Washington between the head of Pakistan’s military Intelligence (ISI) General Mahmoud Ahmed and Secretary Colin Powell.

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”.

By allegedly harboring bin Laden, the Afghan government was complicit, according to both the US administration and NATO, for having waged an act of war against the United States.

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 (taken by the war cabinet at 11pm on September 11), invoking Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

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: First Stage of the “Global War on Terrorism”

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. Confirmed by press reports, the war on Afghanistan was already in an advanced state of readiness prior to September 11, 2001, which begs the question of foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks.

In other words, the 9/11 attacks were used as a means to trigger a military agenda which was already on the drawing board of both the Pentagon and NATO.

The repeal of civil liberties in America was launched in parallel with the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan. Immediately following 9/11, the PATRIOT legislation was adopted. The Homeland Security apparatus was launched, with a view to “protecting Americans against terrorists”. This post-911 legal and institutional framework had been carefully crafted prior to the 9/11 attacks.

Article 5 of the Washington Treaty: NATO’s Legal Argument

In invoking Article 5 on the morning of September 12, 2001, NATO’s Atlantic Council endorsed a criminal military agenda, in derogation of international law.

The legal argument used by Washington and NATO to invade Afghanistan was that the September 11 attacks constituted an undeclared “armed attack” “from abroad” by an unnamed foreign power, and that consequently “the laws of war” apply, allowing the nation under attack, to strike back in the name of “self-defense”.

On the morning of September 12, 2001, NATO’s North Atlantic Council meeting in Brussels, responded to the decision of the War Cabinet taken a few hours earlier at 11pm on 9/11, adopted the following resolution:

“if it is determined that the [September 11, 2001] attack against the United States was directed from abroad [Afghanistan] against “The North Atlantic area“, it shall be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty”. (emphasis added)

In this regard, Article 5 of the Washington Treaty stipulates that if:

“The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.” (NATO, What is Article 5,  NATO Topics – NATO and the Scourge of Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009, emphasis added)

An act of war by a foreign nation (Afghanistan) against a member of the Atlantic Alliance (the USA) was considered as an act of war against all members under NATO’s doctrine of collective security.

Under no stretch of the imagination, can the attack on the World Trade Center and Pentagon be categorized as an act of war by a foreign country. But nobody seemed to have raised this issue.

“Use of Armed Force” only “If It is Determined…”

There was an “if” in the September 12 resolution. Article 5 would apply only if it is determined that Afghanistan as a Nation State was complicit or behind the 9/11 attacks.

In practice, the “if” had already been waived prior to 9/11. The entire NATO arsenal was already on a war footing. In military terms, NATO and the US were already in an advanced state of readiness. Known to military analysts, but never revealed in the Western media, the implementation of a large scale theater war takes at least one year of advanced operational planning, prior to the launching of an invasion.

The use of article 5 of the Washington Treaty had in all likelihood been contemplated by military planners, as a pretext for waging war, prior to 9/11.

There was, however, no official declaration of war on September 12th. The Alliance waited until 3 days before the invasion to declare war on Afghanistan, an impoverished country which by no stretch of the imagination could have launched an attack against a member state of “The North Atlantic area”.

The September 12 resolution of the Atlantic Council required “determination” and corroborating evidence, that:

1) Al Qaeda led by Osama bin Laden with the support of a foreign power had ordered the “attack from abroad” on the United States of America;

2) The terrorist attacks of 9/11 constituted a bona fide military operation (under the provisions of Article 5) by an alleged foreign country (Afghanistan) against a NATO member state, and consequently against all NATO member states under the doctrine of collective security:

“Article 5 and the case of the terrorist attacks against the United States: The United States has been the object of brutal terrorist attacks. It immediately consulted with the other members of the Alliance. The Alliance determined that the US had been the object of an armed attack. The Alliance therefore agreed that if it was determined that this attack was directed from abroad, it would be regarded as covered by Article 5. NATO Secretary General, Lord Robertson, subsequently informed the Secretary-General of the United Nations of the Alliance’s decision.

Article 5 has thus been invoked, but no determination has yet been made whether the attack against the United States was directed from abroad. If such a determination is made, each Ally will then consider what assistance it should provide. In practice, there will be consultations among the Allies. Any collective action by NATO will be decided by the North Atlantic Council. The United States can also carry out independent actions, consistent with its rights and obligations under the UN Charter.

Allies can provide any form of assistance they deem necessary to respond to the situation. This assistance is not necessarily military and depends on the material resources of each country. Each individual member determines how it will contribute and will consult with the other members, bearing in mind that the ultimate aim is to “to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area”.

By invoking Article 5, NATO members have shown their solidarity toward the United States and condemned, in the strongest possible way, the terrorist attacks against the United States on 11 September.

If the conditions are met for the application of Article 5, NATO Allies will decide how to assist the United States. (Many Allies have clearly offered emergency assistance). Each Ally is obliged to assist the United States by taking forward, individually and in concert with other Allies, such action as it deems necessary. This is an individual obligation on each Ally and each Ally is responsible for determining what it deems necessary in these particular circumstances.

No collective action will be taken by NATO until further consultations are held and further decisions are made by the the North Atlantic Council. (NATO, NATO Topics – NATO and the Scourge of Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009, emphasis added)

The Mysterious Frank Taylor Report

The final decision to invoke Article 5 in relation to the 9/11 attacks came three weeks later upon the submission to the NATO Council of a mysterious classified report by a US State Department official named Frank Taylor. The report was submitted to NATO on October 2nd, 5 days before the commencement of the bombing and invasion of Afghanistan.

Frank Taylor was working in the US State Department. He had been entrusted with the writing of a brief to establish whether the US “had been attacked from abroad”, pursuant to the North Atlantic Council’s resolution of September 12 2001.

US Ambassador at Large and Co-ordinator for Counter-terrorism Frank Taylor briefed the North Atlantic Council on October 2nd, five days before the commencement of the bombings.

On October 2nd  he handed his brief to NATO “on the results of investigations into the 11 September attacks…. ” NATO – Topic: Terrorism, NATO and the fight against Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009).

The classified report was not released to the media. And to this date, to our knowledge, it has remained classified.

NATO’s Secretary General Lord Robertson casually summarised the substance of the Frank Taylor report in a press release:

“This morning, the United States briefed the North Atlantic Council on the results of the investigation into who was responsible for the horrific terrorist attacks which took place on September 11.

The briefing was given by Ambassador Frank Taylor, the United States Department of State Coordinator for Counter-terrorism.

This morning’s briefing follows those offered by United States Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage and United States Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz, and illustrates the commitment of the United States to maintain close cooperation with Allies.

Today’s was classified briefing and so I cannot give you all the details.

Briefings are also being given directly by the United States to the Allies in their capitals.

The briefing addressed the events of September 11 themselves, the results of the investigation so far, what is known about Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaida organisation and their involvement in the attacks and in previous terrorist activity, and the links between al-Qaida and the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.

The facts are clear and compelling. The information presented points conclusively to an al-Qaida role in the September 11 attacks.

We know that the individuals who carried out these attacks were part of the world-wide terrorist network of al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden and his key lieutenants and protected by the Taliban.

On the basis of this briefing, it has now been determined that the attack against the United States on September 11 was directed from abroad and shall therefore be regarded as an action covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which states that an armed attack on one or more of the Allies in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all.

I want to reiterate that the United States of America can rely on the full support of its 18 NATO Allies in the campaign against terrorism.” (Lord Robertson, NATO Secretary General, statement to the NATO Council, State Department, Appendix H, Multinational Response to September 11 NATO Press http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/10313.pdf, accessed 24 November 2009, emphasis added)

In other words, 2 days before the actual commencement of the bombing campaign on October 7, the North Atlantic Council decided, based on the information provided by Frank Taylor to the Council  “that the attacks were directed from abroad” by Al Qaeda, headed by Osama bin Laden, thereby requiring an action on the part of NATO under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty ( NATO – Topic: Terrorism, NATO and the fight against Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009):

NATO action under article 5, was outlined in an October 4 decision, 3 days before the commencement of the bombings.

Two days later, on 4 October, NATO agreed on eight measures in support the United States, which were tantamount to an illegal declaration of war on Afghanistan:

to enhance intelligence sharing and co-operation, both bilaterally and in appropriate NATO bodies, relating to the threats posed by terrorism and the actions to be taken against it;

to provide, individually or collectively, as appropriate and according to their capabilities, [military] assistance to Allies and other states which are or may be subject to increased terrorist threats as a result of their support for the campaign against terrorism;

to take necessary measures to provide increased security for facilities of the United States and other Allies on their territory;

to backfill selected Allied assets in NATO’s area of responsibility that are required to directly support operations against terrorism;

to provide blanket overflight clearances for the United States and other Allies’ aircraft, in accordance with the necessary air traffic arrangements and national procedures, for military flights related to operations against terrorism; to provide access for the United States and other Allies to ports and airfields on the territory of NATO nations for operations against terrorism, including for refuelling, in accordance with national procedures;

that the Alliance is ready to deploy elements of its Standing Naval Forces to the Eastern Mediterranean in order to provide a NATO presence and demonstrate resolve; and that the Alliance is similarly ready to deploy elements of its NATO Airborne Early Warning Force to support operations against terrorism. NATO – Topic: Terrorism, NATO and the fight against Terrorism, accessed 24 November 2009 emphasis added)

Press reports of Frank Taylor’s brief to the NATO Council were scanty. The invocation of Article 5, five days before the bombings commenced, was barely mentioned. The media consensus was: “all roads lead to Bin Laden” as if bin Laden was a Nation State which had attacked America.

What stands out are outright lies and fabrications. Moreover, prior to October 2nd, NATO had no pretext under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty to intervene militarily in Afghanistan.

The pretext was provided by Frank Taylor’s classified report, which was not made public.

The two UN Security Council resolutions adopted in the course of September 2001, did not, under any circumstances, provide a justification for the invasion and illegal occupation  of a UN member country of 28 million people. (see Security Council resolution 1368 (2001) Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts,  Security Council resolution 1373 (2001) Threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts).

UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001) called for prevention and suppression of terrorist acts, as well suppression of the financing of terrorism:

“(e) Ensure that any person who participates in the financing, planning, preparation or perpetration of terrorist acts or in supporting terrorist acts is brought to justice and ensure that, in addition to any other measures against them, such terrorist acts are established as serious criminal offences in domestic laws and regulations and that the punishment duly reflects the seriousness of such terrorist acts;

“3. Calls upon all States to:

“(a) Find ways of intensifying and accelerating the exchange of operational information, especially regarding actions or movements of terrorist persons or networks; forged or falsified travel documents; traffic in arms, explosives or sensitive materials; use of communications technologies by terrorist groups; and the threat posed by the possession of weapons of mass destruction by terrorist groups;

“(b) Exchange information in accordance with international and domestic law and cooperate on administrative and judicial matters to prevent the commission of terrorist acts;

“(c) Cooperate, particularly through bilateral and multilateral arrangements and agreements, to prevent and suppress terrorist attacks and take action against perpetrators of such acts;

“4. Notes with concern the close connection between international terrorism and transnational organized crime, illicit drugs, money-laundering, illegal arms-trafficking, and illegal movement of nuclear, chemical, biological and other potentially deadly materials, and in this regard emphasizes the need to enhance coordination of efforts on national, subregional, regional and international levels in order to strengthen a global response to this serious challenge and threat to international security;

“5. Declares that acts, methods, and practices of terrorism are contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations and that knowingly financing, planning and inciting terrorist acts are also contrary to the purposes and principles of the United Nations (excerpts of UNSC Resolution 1373 (2001, See also UN Press Release SC 7178 SECURITY COUNCIL UNANIMOUSLY ADOPTS WIDE-RANGING ANTI-TERRORISM RESOLUTION; CALLS FOR SUPPRESSING FINANCING, IMPROVING INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Security Council, 4385th Meeting, September 2001)

Nowhere in this resolution is there any mention of military action against a UN member State.

The US led war on Afghanistan, using 9/11 as a pretext and a justification is illegal and criminal.

The US and NATO heads of state and heads of government from 2001 to the present are complicit in the launching of a criminal and illegal war.

The Big Lie: Al Qaeda Made 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”.

Both the 9/11 Commission Report as well as the Western media have 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 “Global 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”.

This is why a legal procedure directed against the actual perpetrators of 9/11 is absolutely essential.

History of Al Qaeda

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)

Iraq: Alleged State Sponsor of the 9/11 Attacks

The formulation of a war of retribution conducted in the name of 9/11 was not limited to Afghanistan.

 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: Condemned by a New York City Court for Supporting Al Qaeda in the 9/11 Attacks

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 9/11 Commission’s recommendation was that 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 Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran of complicity in the 9/11 attacks, the historical record and evidence indelibly point to the “state sponsorship” of Al Qaeda by the CIA, MI6 and their intelligence counterparts in Pakistan, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.

Realities are turned upside down. Al Qaeda death squads have been recruited to wage America’s humanitarian wars throughout the Middle East an d 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/

“Crimes against Civilization”

9/11 mythology has been the mainstay of war propaganda, which in itself constitutes a criminal act under international law.

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 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.

Muslims are presented as the perpetrators of the 9/11, thereby unleashing a Worldwide demonization campaign.

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. All these various bodies are complicit in a criminal project.

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 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. According to the media, “Muslims were behind the attacks”,  thereby justifying a war of retribution against Muslim countries. 

Racism and Islamophobia are an integral part of war propaganda.

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. It strikes at the core of human values. In a sense, it destroys civilization. 

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 criminality underlying post 9/11 propaganda is of much broader nature, affecting people’s mindsets, redefining fundamental social, political and institutional relations. 

“Crimes against Civilization” have been committed.

9/11 mythology precipitates the World into barbarity.

America’s “Unlimited Imperialism”

August 31st, 2014 by Francis A. Boyle

Historically, this latest eruption of American militarism at the start of the 21st Century is akin to that of America opening the 20th Century by means of the U.S.-instigated Spanish-American War in 1898.  Then the Republican administration of President  William McKinley stole their colonial empire from Spain in Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines; inflicted a near genocidal war against the Filipino people; while at the same time illegally annexing the Kingdom of Hawaii and subjecting the Native Hawaiian people (who call themselves the Kanaka Maoli) to near genocidal conditions. 

Additionally, McKinley’s military and colonial expansion into the Pacific was also designed to secure America’s economic exploitation of China pursuant to the euphemistic rubric of the “open door” policy.   But over the next four decades America’s aggressive presence, policies, and practices in the “Pacific” would ineluctably pave the way for Japan’s attack at Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7, 194l, and thus America’s precipitation into the ongoing Second World War. Today a century later the serial imperial aggressions launched and menaced by the Republican Bush Jr. administration and now the Democratic Obama administration  are  threatening to set off World War III.

By shamelessly exploiting the terrible tragedy of 11 September 2001, the Bush Jr. administration set forth to steal a hydrocarbon empire from the Muslim states and peoples living in Central Asia and the Persian Gulf and Africa  under the bogus pretexts of

(1) fighting a war against international terrorism; and/or

(2) eliminating weapons of mass destruction; and/or

(3) the promotion of democracy; and/or

(4) self-styled “humanitarian intervention”/responsibility to protect.

Only this time the geopolitical stakes are infinitely greater than they were a century ago:  control and domination of two-thirds of the world’s hydrocarbon resources and thus the very fundament and energizer of the global economic system – oil and gas.

The Bush Jr./ Obama  administrations  have  already targeted the remaining hydrocarbon reserves of Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia for further conquest or domination, together with the strategic choke-points at sea and on land required for their transportation.  In this regard, the Bush Jr. administration  announced the establishment of the U.S. Pentagon’s Africa Command (AFRICOM) in order to better control, dominate, and exploit both the natural resources and the variegated peoples of the continent of Africa, the very cradle of our human species.  Libya and the Libyans became the first victims to succumb to AFRICOM under the Obama administration. They will not be the last.

This current bout of U.S. imperialism is what my teacher, mentor and friend  Hans Morgenthau denominated “unlimited imperialism” in his seminal work Politics Among Nations (4th ed. 1968, at 52-53):

“The outstanding historic examples of unlimited imperialism are the expansionist policies of Alexander the Great, Rome, the Arabs in the seventh and eighth centuries, Napoleon I, and Hitler. They all have in common an urge toward expansion which knows no rational limits, feeds on its own successes and, if not stopped by a superior force, will go on to the confines of the political world. This urge will not be satisfied so long as there remains anywhere a possible object of domination–a politically organized group of men which by its very independence challenges the conqueror’s lust for power. It is, as we shall see, exactly the lack of moderation, the aspiration to conquer all that lends itself to conquest, characteristic of unlimited imperialism, which in the past has been the undoing of the imperialistic policies of this kind… “

 It is the Unlimited Imperialists along the lines of Alexander, Rome, Napoleon and Hitler who are now in charge of conducting American foreign policy. The factual circumstances surrounding the outbreaks of both the First World War and the Second World War currently hover like twin  Swords of Damocles over the heads of all humanity.

On September 4 and 5, Britain will host a summit meeting of NATO heads of state. NATO Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen will chair the proceedings.

 At issue is justifying the unjustifiable. It’s doing so based on Big Lies. It’s wrongfully accusing Russia of “illegal actions in Ukraine.”

 It’s suppressing polar opposite truths. It’s supporting Washington’s imperial agenda. It’s presenting a unified anti-Russian front.

It’s deploying thousands of combat-ready forces closer to Russia’s border. It’s “sustain(ing) a robust (Eastern European) presence…”

 It’s risking the unthinkable. It’s risking open East/West confrontation. it’s risking global war.

 It’s risking the use of nuclear weapons able to extinguish life on earth. If enacted, Senate bill 2277: Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) increases the possibility.

 It’s called “(a) bill to prevent Russian aggression toward Ukraine and other sovereign states in Europe and Eurasia, and for other purposes.”

 It’s madness. It wrongfully considers Russia an existential threat. It barely stops short of declaring war.

 It provides “major non-NATO ally status for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova for purposes of the transfer or possible transfer of defense articles or defense services.”

 It effectively incorporates these countries into NATO. It makes its killing machine more formidable. It lets Washington establish bases on Russia’s borders.

 Wrongfully accusing Moscow of invading Ukraine provides added justification for challenging Russia politically, economically and belligerently.

 This writer’s book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”

It explains what everyone needs to know. It provides thorough cutting-edge analysis of the gravest geopolitical crisis since WW II.

James Petras called what happened “the biggest power grab since George Bush seized Eastern Europe and converted it into a NATO bastion confronting Russia…”

 Paul Craig Roberts accused Washington of “set(ting) the world on a path to war.”

 Andrew Kolin discussed how Washington’s orchestrated coup transformed Ukraine from a democracy to a police state.

 Rodney Shakespeare asked if Ukraine is “a turning point in history.” Is imperial America “riding for a fall?”

 Will it go the way of other empires? Will arrogance, hubris and overreach bring it down? Will a safer, healthier world follow?

 Or is WW III more likely? Russia and China prevent US world hegemony, says Paul Craig Roberts.

 Unless Washington’s longstanding geopolitical ambitions end, “nuclear war is the likely outcome,” he believes.

 Rick Rozoff explained Ukraine’s geostrategic significance of US-led NATO’s imperial advance east.

 He calls Ukraine “the decisive linchpin in plans by the US and its NATO allies to effect a military cordon sanitaire severing Russia from Europe.”

 Its NATO membership is planned. At issue is marginalizing, containing and isolating Russia.

 It’s positioning new NATO bases on its border. It’s threatening its security.

 It’s risking East/West confrontation. Humanity’s fate hangs in the balance.

 John McMurtry calls conditions in Ukraine “another variation on the great crisis of the world – the undeclared global war of transnational corporate money sequences to multiply themselves through human societies and life on earth in the diagnosable form of an invasive cancer.”

 What’s different is Southeastern Ukrainian resistance. Rejecting fascist repression.

 Demanding real democracy. Courageous freedom fighters putting their bodies on the line to achieve it. Risking all for what’s too important to lose.

 Will Ukraine “be a new turning point against the Great Sickness of our world,” McMurtry asked? Or will imperialism’s dark side worsen?

 The fullness of time will tell. In the meantime, anti-Russian propaganda war rages. Cold War geopolitics never ended.

 Since Soviet Russia’s 1991 dissolution, Western policy remained hard-wired in place.

 Obama and then Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s 2009 “fresh start” “reset” was a convenient illusion.

 Putin’s overwhelming March 2012 reelection heightened tensions. Relentless bashing followed.

 He’s public enemy No. 1. He’s targeted for supporting multi-world polarity. For defending Russian sovereignty.

 For opposing imperial lawlessness. For deploring war. For championing peaceful conflict resolution.

 Distinguished contributors make “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III” must reading.

 Its thorough analysis is polar opposite MSM rubbish. Escalating crisis conditions risk global conflict.

 Obama bears full responsibility. Complicit EU partners share it. Putin is wrongfully blamed for their crimes.

 Washington stops at nothing to advance its imperium. Millions of corpses attest to its barbarity.

 Replacing independent governments with subservient pro-Western ones is longstanding US policy.

 Washington-supported Kiev putschists staged the most brazen coup since Mussolini’s 1922 march on Rome. Claims otherwise don’t wash.

 Obama’s new friends represent mob rule. They include a rogue’s gallery of societal misfits. They’re illegitimate putschists.

 They’re xenophobic, hate-mongering, ultranationalist anti-Semites.

 They’re militant fascists. Many are neo-Nazi thugs. They openly display swastikas, Iron Crosses, SS insignia, other Nazi symbols and Sieg Heil salutes.

 For the first time since WW II, overt fascists have real power. They hold key government posts. They mock democratic values.

 Washington elevated them to power. It did so by ousting a democratically elected government.

 Rule by intimidation is policy. So is waging dirty war on its own citizens.

 Ukraine matters. It’s strategically located. It’s in Europe’s geographic center.

 It borders seven countries. They include Belarus, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Russia.

 After Western/Central Russia, it’s Europe’s largest country territorially.

 Kiev putschists reveal fascism’s dark side. Ukraine is its re-emergent epicenter.

 Ruling authorities want all opposition elements crushed. They want fascist rule institutionalized. They want democracy prevented at all costs.

 A Russian “White Book” contains documented hard evidence. It reveals appalling Kiev human rights violations.

 It covers them from late November 2013 through March 2014. They include:

 (1) Violations of human rights.

 (2) Interference by the European Union and United States.

 (3) Weapons and violent methods used by protesters.

 (4) Restrictions on basic freedoms and crackdown on dissidents.

 (5) Discrimination based on ethnic background.

 (6) Religious persecution.

 According to Moscow’s press service, content is “based on reports in the Russian and Western media, as well as statements by representatives of the current Kiev authorities and their supporters, eyewitness testimon(ies), observations and on-site interviews collected by Russian nongovernmental organizations.”

 A second White Paper covers the period April through July 2014. It calls conditions “aggravated in all areas.” They’re worse than ever.

 Evidence indicts illegitimate putschists. It includes ultranationalist extremists, Nazism’s reemergence, brazen pressure and threats, severe repression, physical violence, and suppressing press freedom.

 Kiev fascists banned Russian TV channels. They suppressed independent news sources. They want their message alone getting out.

They harass, beat, and terrorize independent journalists. They brutalize anti-fascist activists.

They’re waging war on freedom. They enjoy full US support and encouragement.

 No-holds-barred brutality is official policy. Ukraine is unsafe to live in.

 It’s reminiscent of 1930s Nazi Germany. History has a disturbing way of repeating.

 Its core elements are unchanged. They include waging war on freedom. Anti-Semitism is rife.

 Thousands of Jews left. Others prepare to do so. They’re vulnerable. They’re justifiably scared.

 Fascism gives no quarter. Things may become as horrific as before.  Ukrainians have just cause for concern. They’re on their own.

 Washington bears full responsibility for conditions. Expect worse ahead, not better.

 On Saturday, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso promised “very strong and clear (anti-Russian) measures” without change in Southeastern Ukraine or if conditions worsen.

 Barroso lied claiming the “opening of new fronts and the use of Russian regular forces against Kiev. It’s “not acceptable and represents a grave transgression,” he said.

 More sanctions are planned. Washington intends imposing additional ones.

Sergey Lavrov responded, saying:

“It’s not the first time we’ve heard wild guesses, though facts have never been presented so far.”

 ”There have been reports about satellite imagery exposing Russian troop movements. They turned out to be images from video games. The latest accusations happen to be much the same quality.”

 ”We’ll react by remaining persistent in our policies to stay bloodshed and give a start to the nationwide dialogue and negotiations about the future of Ukraine, with participation of all Ukrainian regions and political forces, something that was agreed upon in Geneva back in April and in Berlin (in August), yet what is being so deliberately evaded by our Western partners now.”

“From a military point of view, self-defense militia are doing a very simple thing.”

“They are driving Ukrainian troops and National Guards from their positions used to shell peaceful cities, destroying kindergartens, schools, hospitals, Orthodox churches and infrastructure, and killing a large number of civilians.”

“Definitely, to stop all this given the conditions of Kiev and its sponsors unwillingness to fulfill unconditional ceasefire obligations, the only way to save lives of civilians and diminish the number of casualties is to force the Kiev forces out of their positions used for bombardment.”

Vladimir Putin called on Kiev to begin constructive dialogue. Deescalate conflict, he urged. “We have agreed on a plan, so its realization must be pursued,” he said.

Kiev “must immediately start substantial talks – not a technical discussion – on the political organization of society and the state in southeast Ukraine so that the interests of people who live there are protected,” he added.

 Putin’s plan prioritizes constructive peace talks. It’s up to Kiev.

At the same time, self-defense freedom fighters won’t patiently await what so far hasn’t materialized.

Not while Kiev’s military bombs and shells their “cities and towns…to the ground…”

Not while innocent civilians are murdered. Not while hundreds of thousands flee for safety. Not while war without mercy rages.

Putin believes it’s impossible to know when crisis conditions will end or under what circumstances.

As long as Washington encourages and orchestrates them, expect conditions ahead to worsen, not improve.

Expect Russia to be wrongfully blamed. Expect war without mercy to continue. Expect innocent civilians to suffer most.

Sanctions wars cut both ways. Putin advised his counterparts to reconsider what they’re planning.

“What are the so-called European values,” he asked? “Support for an armed coup, suppression of opponents with armed forces?”

“So these are ‘European values?’ I believe our colleagues should be reminded of their own ideals,” he added.

Their policies belie their rhetoric. At issue is marginalizing, weakening, isolating, containing and co-opting Russia.

It’s smashing its sovereign independence. It’s replacing it with pro-Western stooge governance.

It’s turning Russia into another US colony. It’s stealing its resources. It’s exploiting its people. It’s eliminating a major rival.

It’s isolating China. It’s attempting to replicate the same strategy.

It’s recklessly pursuing unchallenged global dominance. It’s risking global war in the process.

 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

Vladimir Putin has criticized Washington’s unilateral actions on the international arena, saying that whatever it touches seems to be turning into Libya or Iraq.

Below are the top 10 quotes from the Russian President’s speech at the Seliger youth forum.

Unilateral decisions made outside the United Nations are usually doomed to failure, Putin said Friday, while speaking at the “Seliger-2014” annual youth forum.

Do you remember the joke: ‘Whatever Russians make, they always end up with a Kalashnikov?’ I get an impression that whatever Americans touch they always end up with Libya or Iraq,” Putin told the participants of the 10th forum held on Lake Seliger in Tver region, some 370 km north of Moscow.

When decisions are made unilaterally, they always turn out to be short lived. And the other way round: it’s difficult to reach consensus at the UN because often opposite opinions and positions collide. But that is the only way to achieve long-term decisions,” he said.

When a decision is balanced and supported by key members of the international community, Putin said, everyone starts working in order fulfill it perfectly.

‘UN won’t be needed if it serves only US and its allies’

Putin totally disagreed that the UN is inefficient. But the organization needs to be reformed and its instruments should be used efficiently.

The reform should become a result of a consensus reached by the overwhelming majority of the members of the organization, he said.

It is also necessary to preserve the fundamental grounds of the UN’s efficiency. In particular, only the Security Council should have the power to make decision on sanctions and the use of military force, Putin said. And these decisions must be obligatory for everyone. Such mechanisms should not be eroded. “Otherwise the UN will turn into the League of Nations,” the Russian President said.

The organization will lose its purpose if it is only an “instrument to serve foreign policy interests of only one country – in this case the US and its allies,” Putin. “Then it is not needed.”

Putin compared the shelling of east Ukrainian towns and cities by Kiev army to actions by the Nazi forces during the World War Two.

Sad as it might seem, this reminds me of the events of World War II, when the German Nazi troops surrounded our cities, like Leningrad, and directly shelled those cities and their residents,” Putin said.

Why they (Kiev) call this a military-humanitarian operation?” he said, adding that the conflicting sides should get to a negotiating table.

Ukrainians who did not support the coup mounted by “our western partners” with the backing of radical nationalists, are being suppressed by the military force, Putin said speaking about the situation in the neighboring state.

We’re no fools. We saw symbolic cookies handed out on [by Victoria Nuland] Maidan, information support, political support. What that means? A full involvement of the US and European nations into the process of the power change: a violent unconstitutional power change.”

And the part of the country that disagreed with that is being suppressed with the use of jets, artillery, multiple launch systems and tanks,” Putin said. “If these are today’s European values – I’m gravely disappointed.”

Putin said that Russia did not “annex” Crimea, as the peninsula’s reunion with Russia is often described by foreign media and politicians.

We didn’t not annex it, we didn’t take it away. We gave people an opportunity to have their say and make a decision, which we took with respect. We protected them, I believe.”

We had to protect our compatriots, who live there (in Crimea). When we look at events in Donbass, Lugansk, Odessa, it becomes clear to us what would have happened to Crimea if we had not taken measures to provide free expression of will to people.”

‘Russia to beef up nuclear deterrence potential’

Russia is going to boost its military forces and nuclear deterrence potential, Putin told the youth forum.

Russia is one of the most powerful nuclear states. It’s not words, it is the reality,” he said. “We are strengthening our nuclear deterrence forces, we are strengthening our armed forces…We are beefing up our potential and will continue doing so.”

This is being done “not to threaten anyone, “but to feel secure,” he added.

‘Russia is not going to get involved in large-scale conflicts’

Russia will not get engaged in any large conflicts, but will defend itself in case of aggression, Putin warned.

Russia is far from getting involved any large-scale conflicts. We don’t want that and we are not going to do it. And, naturally, we should always be ready to repel any aggression against Russia,” Putin said.

Our partners – whatever condition their countries are in and whatever foreign policy concept they adhere to – should understand that it’s better not to mess with us,” Putin said. “Thank God, I believe it doesn’t occur to anyone to unleash a large-scale conflict with Russia.”

‘Russia will seek acceptable compromises on Arctic’

Russia admits that other states have their interests in the Arctic – the region that is thought to contain vast reserves of oil and gas.

Both Russia and Canada, who along with the US, Norway and Denmark constitute the five states with Polar claims, have made legal attempts to secure their rights to large swathes of the Arctic, which is thought to contain 15 percent of the oil reserves and 30 percent of all natural gas in the world.

We will take the interests of these states into consideration and seek acceptable compromises,” Putin said, adding that Russia would “naturally” also defend its own interests.

The five Arctic states – Canada, Denmark, Norway, the Russia and the US – have for several years now been in a bitter dispute over how to divide up this resource-rich ‘pie’.

‘Crimea recognition will be long and tedious’

It will take a long while for Crimea to be internationally recognized as part of Russia, Putin believes.

He said he finds it “strange” and referred to an example with the recognition of Kosovo independence where a political will and desire were enough to make such a decision “easily.

He also recalled that in case with Kosovo, no referendum was held: the decision on independence was made by the parliament of the Serbian breakaway republic. In the situation with Crimea, there was both a decision by the parliament and a referendum. In Putin’s view, the latter was a more democratic way for a nation’s self-determination.

“Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In all this vastness there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us.” Carl Sagan

Washington poured five billion dollars into Ukraine with the aim of eventually instigating a coup on Russia’s doorstep [1]. When the former administration turned to Moscow rather than Washington and Europe for a financial package of assistance, Washington cashed in on its investment and facilitated the ousting of a democratically elected government.

To the delight of Monsanto, Chevron and others, Ukraine is now open for business and the structural plunder of its economy, which involves any IMF loans going straight into the hands of its very wealthy creditors [2,3]. It is called being ‘open for business’. It is called setting people free. It is ‘freedom and democracy’, the Wall Street version.

Washington and NATO are providing personnel, mercenary forces and advice to help the Ukraine government bomb, kill, maim and drive out those who are demanding autonomy from the US puppet regime in Kiev [4]. Washington and its proxy forces in Ukraine are ‘ethnically cleansing’ the mainly Russian speaking separatists in the east, with up to one million having fled across the border into Russia [5].

Yet it is Washington that accused Moscow of invading Ukraine, based on flimsy or no evidence at all. Washington has accused Moscow of having a hand in the downing of a commercially airliner based on no evidence at all. As a result of this invisible Russian ‘aggression’, Washington has slapped sanctions on Moscow, which are hurting Europe more they are hurting the US [6]. But that’s the point: to de-link Europe’s economy from Russia in terms of trade and energy and weaken Europe to ensure it remains dependent on Washington.

The mainstream corporate media in the West parrots the accusations against Moscow as fact, despite Washington having cooked up evidence or invented baseless pretexts. The western corporate media’s role is to cheer-lead official policies and wars.

The US has around 800 military bases in over 100 countries [7]. Russia does not.

The US has military personnel in almost 150 countries [8]. Russia does not.

US spending on its military dwarfs what the rest of the world spends together. It outspends China by a ratio of 6:1 [9].

Just who is the aggressor?

By the 1980s, according to former CIA ‘asset’ John Stockwell, Washington’s wars, death squads and covert operations were responsible for six million deaths in the ‘developing’ world [10]. An updated figure by writer Annie Day suggests that figure is closer to ten million [11].

Washington has moved into Eastern Europe and continues to install missile systems aimed at Russia. It has also surrounded Iraq with military bases. It is destabilising Pakistan and countries across Africa to weaken Chinese trade and investment links and influence. It intends to militarily ‘pivot’ towards Asia to encircle China and give it the type of ‘attention’ Russia is currently receiving.

William Blum has presented a long list of Washington’s crimes across the planet since 1945 in terms of its numerous bombings of countries, assassinations of elected leaders and destabilisations [12]. No other country can come close to matching in scale such aggression and criminality. Whether it is CIA-instigated coups in Latin America or aiding or carrying out the mass slaughter of civilians in Indonesia or South East Asia, under the smokescreen of exporting ‘freedom and democracy’, the US has deemed it necessary to ignore international laws and carry out atrocities to further its geo-political interests across the globe.

The Project for a New American Century (PNAC) is a recipe for continued barbarity [13]. It discusses taking out Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan and other countries. The outcome has been chaos and slaughter for the benefit of Wall Street and the City of London. The ultimate goal is to prevent any rival emerging to challenge Washington’s global hegemony and to secure dominance over the entire planet.

Two countries present a challenge in this respect: Russia and China. Both are in the process of being dealt with. Russia is currently the top priority: it is preventing ‘progress’ in Syria, Iran and Central Asia. At this time, all paths to Moscow are through Ukraine.

A former top CIA official recently stated that if the economic sanctions do not hurt Russian oligarchs enough to make them oust Putin then a bullet to the head would do the job [14]. And that is the whole point of Washington’s game plan. To slap illegitimate sanctions on Moscow, to squeeze Russia’s rich till the pips squeak and they oust Putin and to destabilise Russia via Ukraine and install a leader who will acquiesce to the US. The US can then proceed unchallenged to loot Russia again, as it did in the nineties. But this time the plan is to balkanise Russia to ensure it remains permanently crippled.

Washington has no morality.

In a recent speech by Putin, he stated that those forces who are lining up against Russia should remember that Russia is a nuclear power [15]. Washington believes it can win a nuclear conflict with Russia. It no longer regards nuclear weapons as a last resort but part of a convention theatre of war and is willing to use them for pre-emptive strikes [16].

Washington is accusing Russia of violating Ukraine’s territorial sovereignty without a shred of credible evidence, while it sends military and intelligence assistance to Kiev and has its military, mercenary and intelligence personnel inside Ukraine. It is putting troops in Poland and is tabling a ‘Russian anti-aggression’ act that will portray Russia as an aggressor in order to give Ukraine de facto membership of NATO and thus full military support, advice and assistance [17]. If Russia does decide to intervene to protect ethnic Russians, NATO/the US and Moscow could come face to face on the battlefield. The strength of Russia’s conventional forces in its own back yard would surely place NATO on the back foot. Staring defeat in the face, the US could well resort to the nuclear option.

Washington’s aggression amounts to a gamble with all our lives. There would be no winner, only nuclear Armageddon for the entire planet.

Washington is pressing ahead regardless and with a renewed sense of urgency as Russia begins to try to take the legs from under the US by trading oil and gas and goods in roubles and other currencies [18]. Once the dollar loses its value because no one needs it to buy oil anymore, the petrodollar system is dead and the US economy will tank.

Gaddafi and Saddam were taken care of partly because their plans or actions would or were serving to undermine the dollar’s status as the world reserve currency. Iran is a key target because of this too. Whenever a country threatens the dollar, the US does not idly stand by. Both China and Russia are abandoning the dollar. Washington’s sense of urgency to deal with both is palpable.

Unfortunately, most members of the western public believe the lies being fed to them by Washington. This results from the corporate media amounting to little more than an extension of Washington’s propaganda arm. The PNAC, under the pretext of a ‘war on terror’, is partly built on gullible, easily led public opinion, which is (often) fanned by the emotive outburst from politicians and the media about ‘saving’ this or that group of people from some tyrant or the simplistic good versus evil  narrative about ‘terror’. We have a Pavlov’s dog public and media, which respond on cue to the moralistic bleatings of condescending criminals that masquerade as respectable politicians and who rely on the public’s ignorance to fuel their barbarity in the name of ‘protecting civilians’ from an impending bloodbath, while going on to cause numerous bloodbaths under the lie of ‘defeating terror’ or tyranny.

Why for one moment would ordinary people believe that the Anglo-US Establishment cares about ordinary people in Libya, Afghanistan, Syria or elsewhere and go in to ‘save them’ when it clearly regards its own people with suspicion and contempt.

The post-war Keynesian consensus has been gradually dismantled, leading to the offshoring of millions of jobs and leaving millions in debt, in poverty, thrown onto the scrapheap or used as fodder to fight wars for the rich under the banner of ‘protecting freedoms’, while those very freedoms at home are stripped away by illegal mass surveillance and the curtailment of freedoms and rights.

Yet the lies persist and are too often believed.

Former US Ambassador Ukraine John Herbst has spoken about the merits of the Kiev coup and the installation of an illegitimate government in Ukraine. Earlier this year during an interview for RT, he called the removal of Ukraine’s democratically elected government as enhancing democracy [19]. Herbst displayed all of the arrogance associated with the ideology of US ‘exceptionalism’ and Washington having the right to act in any way as and when it deems fit (like instigating coups under the guise of democratic uprisings no doubt). Like Obama, Kerry, Clinton, Nuland and others, he also displayed complete contempt for the public by spouting falsehoods and misleading claims about events taking place in Ukraine.

Herbst, Nuland and their ilk would do well to contemplate their country’s post-1945 record of war mongering and destabilisations of democratic governments, which has led to millions of deaths, its global surveillance network exposed by Edward Snowdon that illegally spies on individuals and governments alike and its ongoing plundering of resources and countries supported by militarism, ‘free trade’ or the outright manipulation of markets.

If Herbst specialises in lies and doublespeak, the same could not be said of another former ambassador. The former British Ambassador to Uzbekistan Craig Murray has called the UK a rogue state and a danger to the world.

He recently told a meeting at St Andrews University in Scotland that the British Government is deeply immoral and doesn’t care how many people its kills abroad if it advances it aims [20 - a quick search on ‘Google News’ for this item was conspicuous by its absence among the UK media)]. Moreover, he said the UK was a state that is prepared to go to war to make a few people wealthy. He said that the actions he witnessed as a senior diplomat had changed his world view and it was now “impossible to be proud of the United Kingdom.”

He added that Libya is now a disaster and 15,000 people where killed when NATO bombed Sirte, something the BBC never told the public.

Murray told his audience what many already know or suspect but what many, many more remain ignorant of: “I’ve seen things from the inside and the UK’s foreign interventions are almost always about resources. It is every bit as corrupt as others have indicated. It is not an academic construct, the system stinks.”

Murray was a British diplomat for 20 years. But after only six months, he said that in the country where he was Ambassador, the British and the US were shipping people in order for them to be tortured and some of them were tortured to death.

As far as Iraq is concerned, Murray said that he knew for certain that key British officials were fully aware that there weren’t any weapons of mass destruction. He said that invading Iraq wasn’t a mistake, it was a lie.

It was a lie just like the ongoing demonisation of Putin and Russia is based on a series of lies. The BBC lied about Libya by not telling people the truth about NATO’s slaughter (or the real reasons Gaddafi was targeted). Furthermore, politicians, officials and the corporate media do their utmost to conceal from the public what Murray revealed: that the British Government (and US) is deeply immoral, doesn’t care how many people its kills abroad if it advances it aims and is a state that is prepared to go to war to make a few people wealthy.

Yes, prepared to sacrifice mainly working class young men’s lives to go to war for the wealthy. The working class whose jobs were sold to the lowest bidder abroad three decades back on the back of Margaret Thatcher’s treachery, again for the benefit of the wealthy. Who in their right mind would sign up to fight for Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, Monsanto, BP, Barclays and the like. Not many. However, economic conscription is always guaranteed to swell the fighting ranks. If that isn’t possible, just roll out the flag and patriotic sentiment will neatly serve to conceal the actual reality from the public.

Catastrophic events that send the world into turmoil happen on ‘just another day’. Pearl Harbour, 9/11 or the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand took place while millions of ordinary folk across the world were just going about their everyday business on ‘just another day’. An Israeli missile attack on a neighbourhood in Gaza or a drone attack on unsuspecting civilians in Afghanistan: death, destruction or war comes like a bolt from the blue as people shop at the local market or take their kids to school on ‘just another day’.

It will be ‘just another day’ when the next nuclear bomb is exploded in anger, an ordinary day when people are just going about their daily business. By then it might be too late to do anything, too late to act to try to prevent a rapidly unfolding global catastrophe on a scale never before witnessed by humans. Yet most of humanity appears too arrogant, apathetic, wrapped up in a world of gadgets, technology, shopping malls, millionaire sports players and big-time sports events to think that such a thing could be imminent? Are they so preoccupied with the machinations of their own lives in cotton-wool cocooned societies to think that what is happening in Ukraine or Syria or Iraq is (after endless news reports) just too boring to follow or that it doesn’t really concern them or it is ‘not my problem’? Do they think they are untouchable, that only death, war and violence happens in faraway places Syria or Iran?

Could any of us even contemplate that on some not-too-distant day a series of European cities could be laid waste within a matter of minutes? Could it soon be the case that the mention of Kiev, Moscow, Brussels, St Petersburg or London conjures up similar thoughts of nuclear wasted cities as has for decades the mention of the words Hiroshima and Nagasaki? It isn’t worth thinking about.

But it is. That is where we could end up very shortly if Washington continues with its madness. The USSR backed down over stationing missiles in Cuba because it knew the US would not; it was on Washington’s doorstep. This time, it will be Russia which will not back down because of what is happening on its doorstep. Its very existence as a state is at stake.

However, would the US be prepared to back down? Faced with possible defeat by conventional Russian forces if the worst case scenario comes to pass, would it use the nuclear option to avoid backing down and attempt to eradicate Russia as a potential rival and risk destroying humanity in the process?

Given its track record of reckless disregard for human life across the globe since 1945, what do you think?

Notes

1]http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article37599.htm

2]http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-the-corporate-annexation-for-cargill-chevron-monsanto-its-a-gold-mine-of-profits/5375170

3]http://rt.com/op-edge/170960-economy-imf-ukraine-oligarchs/

4]http://voiceofrussia.com/2014_03_06/US-NATO-CIA-supporting-nazis-in-Ukraine-project-2569/

5]http://news.yahoo.com/un-nearly-million-ukrainians-fled-fighting-east-174928803.html

6]http://rt.com/op-edge/sanctions-russia-west-ukraine-513/

7]http://www.alternet.org/story/141071/spending_$102_billion_a_year_on_800_worldwide_military_bases_is_bankrupting_the_country

8]http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2012/04/us/table.military.troops/

9]http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/06/defense-spending-fact-of-the-day_n_1746685.html

10]http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article4068.htm

11]http://revcom.us/a/291/zero-dark-thirty-en.html

12]http://www.thirdworldtraveler.com/Blum/William_Blum.html

13]http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article1665.htm

14]http://www.americanthinker.com/2014/08/how_to_solve_the_putin_problem.html

15]http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/don-t-mess-with-nuclear-russia-warns-putin/article1-1258033.aspx

16]http://rt.com/op-edge/dangerous-crossroads-nuclear-war-770/

17]http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-russian-aggression-prevention-act-rapa-a-direct-path-to-nuclear-war-with-russia/5397171

18]http://rt.com/business/164752-russiia-de-dollarize-yuan-china/

19]http://www.countercurrents.org/todhunter280214.htm

20]http://en.ria.ru/world/20140828/192428303/Former-British-Ambassador-to-Uzbekistan-Says-UK-Rogue-State.html

International attention has been diverted away from this year’s G20 meetings in Australia by the declaration from the leaders of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, at their meeting in Fortaleza Brazil this July, that they would launch a new “BRICS bank.”

Created by the U.S. Treasury in the wake of the Asian financial crisis at the end of the 1990s, the G20 was designed to get the major “emerging market” states to take responsibility alongside the G7 for the “new international financial architecture.” This was seen as providing legitimacy for the continuing central role of the U.S. in superintending a greatly expanded but increasingly volatile global capitalism.

This especially included what the U.S. Treasury called “failure containment” in the face of recurring financial crises. With this concern uppermost in mind, the G20 heads of state were summoned to Washington DC, in November 2008 to prevent the first global capitalist crisis of the 21st century from turning into a repeat of the 1930s breakdown of international capitalism. In this respect, the “commitment to an open global economy” in the final communiqué from the 2008 Washington Summit was especially significant:

“We underscore the critical importance of rejecting protectionism and not turning inward … we will refrain from raising new barriers to investment or to trade in goods and services.”

This commitment has been reinforced at every annual G20 meeting since, including the preparatory ones for Brisbane this November. When the finance ministers and central bank governors at their February 2014 meeting in Sydney promised “to remove constraints to private investment,” this met the central U.S. condition for sustaining global capitalism.

Still in Control

This is not to say that the U.S. has ceded much operational control to the G20, any more than it ever did to the G7. The key policy decisions are made in Washington DC where the IMF and World Bank are headquartered, but even more decisively where the Treasury and Federal Reserve are located. The coordinated G20 fiscal stimulus in 2009 was significant, but mainly because it made it easier for the U.S. Congress to accept the Treasury’s initial plan for massive deficit spending to prevent a spiral into another great depression.

After Congress turned its face sharply against this in 2010, the centerpiece of policy shifted to the Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing” monetary policy, and has remained there ever since. The impact of this was felt as much internationally as domestically, as the Fed effectively acted as the world’s central bank through its role in setting benchmark interest rates and its streaming of dollars to foreign as well as U.S. banks.

There were widespread expectations that – with the great financial crisis having had its origins in the U.S., let alone the subsequent unorthodox “easy money” policy – the “exorbitant privilege” of the dollar in the financial networks linking the BRICS into global production and trade would be undermined. Brazil, Russia, India and China, who were not so naïve as to imagine the G20 would be the venue for overseeing the demise of the dollar, also held their own first summit meeting at a meeting in Yekaterinburg in 2008.

Joined by South Africa in 2010, they soon began hatching plans for their own international bank, autonomous from the U.S. and the Washington-based financial institutions. These plans were reinforced when the U.S. Congress refused to endorse the larger vote for the BRICS in the IMF and World Bank, agreed at G20 meetings.

For Joseph Stiglitz, the Nobel-prize winning ex-chief economist of the World Bank, the announcement of the new BRICS bank at Forteleza signalled a clear challenge to the U.S.-led world order, reflecting “a fundamental change in global economic and political power.” Fidel Castro associated it with his own country’s resistance to “the most powerful empire ever to exist,” and expressed his confidence that the BRICS leaders promotion of “cooperation and solidarity with the peoples … in the achievement of sustainable development, and the eradication of poverty,” would culminate in “one of the greatest feats of human history.”

Wall Street, City of London

Yet, the main reason for the continuing central role of the dollar has very little to do with the institutional structure of the IMF, or the greater size of its capitalization relative to what the BRICS bank will muster. It primarily reflects the absence – even in Shanghai, where the new bank will be headquartered – of anything like the depth and range of the financial markets centred on Wall Street and its satellite in the City of London. And it is the ways in which these markets are, in turn, so deeply intertwined with the U.S. Treasury and Federal Reserve that explains the latter’s dominant role in global economic management.

What is more, the room for manoeuvre the BRICS bank would be allowed from the IMF is distinctly limited. Indeed, to obtain the full benefit of borrowing under the BRICS bank’s “contingent reserve arrangement” would still be contingent on a country having an “on-track arrangement” with the IMF. Indeed, this looks very much like the 2000 “Chiang Mai Initiative” arrangement for currency swaps among China, Japan, South Korea and ASEAN countries after the 1997-98 financial crisis, which was little used and proved largely symbolic.

The alacrity with which the World Bank has welcomed the BRICS bank also relates to the fact that its goals as a development bank look not very different from the resource-depleting, export-oriented economic strategies that have heretofore governed the emerging markets participation in capitalist globalization. Along the lines of Brazil’s BNDES development bank, it might promote the BRICS own multinational corporations, but this stands in sharp contrast with the cooperative socialist principles of the now defunct Latin American Bank of the South that revolutionary governments in Venezuela and Bolivia initially had in mind.

At Fortaleza, a “BRICS from below” meeting of civil society groups and independent unions stressed the extent to which the dominant classes and governments of each of the BRICS members were themselves committed to neoliberal policies, often brutally administered in their own countries.

They were in this respect at one with the recent L20 trade union statement for the Australian G20 meetings, which in criticising “austerity policies and structural ‘reforms’ that reduce wages and workers protection” saw the BRICS as no model for an alternative. Indeed, it noted that “if in emerging Asian economies income distribution had not worsened over the past 20 years, the region’s rapid growth would have lifted an extra 240 million people out of poverty.”

For all the fanfare that attended the announcement of the BRICS Bank at the Fortaleza summit, it will in fact do little to shift the balance and, even more important, the substance of global financial power. There is an old lesson here, which also certainly applies to what will be heard about the “Brisbane Action Plan” this Autumn: real change begins at home. •

Leo Panitch is editor of the Socialist Register and distinguished research professor at York University, Canada. He is co-author, with Sam Gindin, of The Making of Global Capitalism: The Political Economy of American Empire (Verso). This article first published on The Guardian website.

The Observable Facts Were Ignored …

Bill Binney is the NSA’s former senior technical director, 32-year NSA veteran widely regarded as a “legend” within the agency, one of the world’s top crypto-mathematicians, who managed thousands of employees at the agency.

Binney was the original NSA whistleblower, and one of two NSA veterans whose example inspired Edward Snowden.

Binney recently signed Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth’s petition, stating:

There is clearly evidence that needs to be considered in a review of what happened in 9/11. We the public deserve an honest complete review of the facts with scientific interpretation and implications as to what really happened.

Two days ago, Binney said in an interview that speaking with physicists and controlled demolition experts convinced him that the investigations to date have – at best - been incompetent, and failed to address the observable facts:

-

Binney said:

They felt they had to have something drastic happen so they could get a lot more money and build up an empire and do the things they wanted to do.

Washington’s Blog asked Binney what he meant by that statement, and he explained:

I had several reasons for saying that. First, Gen Minihan when he was Dirnsa [Director of the National Intelligence Agency] was internally in NSA quoted to say that we will have to have a drastic event occur before we could change the way we were doing things. Then Hayden took over as Dirnsa.

And, on 27 February 2001 he or someone from NSA approached the CEO of Quest requesting Quests’ subscriber data – meaning billing data. This is in court records. [Background here, here and here.]

This all smacked of waiting for something to happen so they could leverage it to do what they really wanted to do – which was evidenced by the request to Quest.

Also, I would add that the 9/11 Commission left out data that Tom Drake passed to them showing vital data prior to 11 Sep giving warning of an attack. This should also not be acceptable. [Background.]

Binney joins many high-level officials – including military leaders, intelligence officials and 9/11 commissioners – who are dissatisfied with the 9/11 investigations to date.

For background on Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth, watch this C-Span interview and this documentary.

Postscript:  Government officials agree that 9/11 was state-sponsored terrorism … they just disagree on which state was responsible.

Notable for its absence in the corporate media is any mention of the July 17 downing of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 over Ukrainian territory, killing all 298 people on board.

At that time, and without any evidence, all U.S. and NATO officials immediately blamed Russia and the Ukrainian rebels in eastern Ukraine for shooting down the Boeing 777. They used this charge to whip the European Union into imposing sanctions on the Russian economy.

On Aug. 11, the Dutch Safety Board announced that a preliminary report would be published in a week with the first factual finding of the ongoing investigation into the flight that departed from Amsterdam and crashed in Ukraine. The Netherlands was given custody of the flight data recorder, or black box recordings, from the crash.

As of Aug. 25, the Dutch government has refused to release the recordings. (RIA Novosti, Aug. 25) This, of course, immediately raises suspicions that the Kiev junta forces were responsible for the crash.

Questions had already been raised of why the Kiev forces would have placed numerous BUK anti-aircraft batteries in the area when the rebels have no planes, why the Malaysian flight was diverted hundreds of miles by Kiev ground control over the battle zone, and why Kiev air traffic control data and radar data of the flight have still not been made ­public.

Did the Ukrainian military shoot down the passenger plane simply to create a provocation that could be turned against the rebels in east Ukraine and Russia?

Demands for an independent inquiry into the crash are growing. One petition raises the danger of the U.S. expansion of NATO and military encirclement of Russia and posed the possibility that Flight MH17’s crash resulted from an attempt to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin, whose aircraft was returning from South America the same day.

The media’s silence now and the absence of U.S. officials providing any concrete evidence in over a month from their own spy satellites or radar add fuel to the growing questions and deep suspicions of the Kiev coup regime’s role in the crash and the growing danger of U.S./NATO military expansion.

The creation of the Truthy database by Indiana University researchers has drawn sharp criticism from free-speech advocates and others concerned over government censorship of political expression.

According to the award abstract accompanying the funding provided by the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Truthy project aims to demonstrate “why some ideas cause viral explosions while others are quickly forgotten.” In order to answer this and other questions, the resulting database will actively “[collect] and [analyze] massive streams of public microblogging data.”

Once the database is up and running, anyone can use its “service” to monitor “trends, bursts, and suspicious memes.” Several of the researchers suggested that the public will be able to discover the use of “shady machinery” by election campaigners who push faulty information to social media users to manipulate them politically.

As a seeming afterthought, the abstract concludes that this open-source project “could mitigate the diffusion of false and misleading ideas, detect hate speech and subversive propaganda, and assist in the preservation of open debate.”

This last statement provoked widespread criticism as troubling and even Orwellian. Right-wing media outlets Fox News and the Washington Timesattacked the reference to “hate speech,” in which they specialize, without highlighting the reference to “subversive propaganda,” a term of abuse usually reserved for left-wing criticism of American government and society.

While the leaders of this government-funded operation have sought to fend off attacks with the explanation that this database is merely designed to study the diffusion of information on social media networks, there is no mistaking the repressive overtones of the project.

Filippo Menczer, the project’s principal investigator and a professor at Indiana University, has responded to allegations by issuing a statement through the Center for Complex Networks and Systems Research, explaining that Truthy is not “a political watchdog, a government probe of social media,” or “an attempt to suppress free speech.” He states that Truthy is incapable of determining whether a particular scrap of data constitutes “misinformation,” and reiterates the notion that “target” is the mere study of “patterns of information diffusion.”

However, within the same statement, Menczer also echoes the abstract’s final conclusion, stating that “an important goal of the Truthy project is to better understand how social media can be abused.” This seems to contradict the claim that the database is focused only on how information is diffused, rather than its content.

Results of the project have already been widely published in peer-reviewed journals and have been presented at several conferences around the world. One of these studies shows how the researchers, including Menczer, studied the growth of Occupy Wall Street over a 15-month period. This was done by identifying Occupy-related content on Twitter and creating a dataset that “contained approximately 1.82 million tweets produced by 447,241 distinct accounts.”

In addition, the researchers also selected 25,000 of these users at random and monitored their behavior in order to study how these users may have changed over time. This effort included the compilation of the hashtags used by each user, their engagement with foreign social movements, and the extent to which these users interacted with one another.

In other words, while the creators of Truthy have presented their service as a means for the public to expose elected officials who inject misleading information into news feeds for electoral propaganda purposes, one of the primary uses is to track and keep tabs on individuals who engage in political discussions deemed “subversive” by US authorities. A previous report has already shown that local police departments were engaged in similar coordinated efforts to spy on Occupy protesters throughout the same 15-month period.

The revelations of Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks have shown the extent of domestic spying of national governments on their own citizens and the erosion of Constitutional rights to privacy and freedom of expression. Despite Menczer’s claim that the system was not “designed” to be a government watchdog program, there is no assurance that this project will not be used for that purpose.

The 25,000 Twitter users who were studied and tracked by the project’s developers certainly did not give permission to have their behaviors and tweets recorded and studied. Truthy will enable anyone, including federal officials, to similarly track and follow the actions of groups and individuals deemed to be “diffusing” ideas labeled as “misleading.” The fact that the United States government has already contributed more than $900,000 to this project only exacerbates this fear.

Ukraine: Russian Trucks Deliver Food — and Leave

August 30th, 2014 by Sara Flounders

Two hundred twenty-seven white paneled trucks ”invaded” Ukraine from Russia on Aug. 22, transporting large bags filled with grain, beans, drinking water, medicines, generators and sleeping bags. By Aug. 23, the trucks were back in Russia.

The trucks had delivered emergency survival supplies to the people in Lugansk, eastern Ukraine. Lugansk is resisting a military onslaught from the Kiev junta regime and the fascist groups active in that regime. The Kiev junta is the product of a coup against the elected government last Feb. 22.

U.S. officials, who support Israel’s slaughter of Gaza’s children, expressed outrage, shock and alarm at the truck convoy and threatened heavier sanctions against Russia, accusing that country of flagrant violation of Ukraine’s ­sovereignty.

The head of Ukraine’s security service, Valentyn Nalyvaychenko, called the Russian convoy a “direct invasion.” (cnn.com, Aug. 23)

NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen issued a statement accusing Moscow of a “blatant breach of Russia’s international commitments.” (Washington Post, Aug. 22)

U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden asserted, “Russian vehicles violate Ukraine’s sovereignty.” (whitehouse.gov, Aug. 22)

Vice President Joseph Biden denounced “Russia’s blatant provocation and disregard of Ukraine’s sovereignty.” (Associated Press, Aug. 23)

The level of hypocrisy and cynicism from the world’s biggest warmakers knew no bounds.

Britain fully supported and participated in the U.S. massive bombing, invasion and occupation of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. However, British ambassador to the U.N. Mark Lyall Grant denounced the Russian food trucks delivering supplies and withdrawing the following day as “an undeniable and blatant violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and clear breach of international law and the U.N. charter.” (abcnews.go.com, Aug. 22)

In the interests of Wall Street’s profits, the U.S. military has invaded 74 countries in the past century. There were U.S. military operations and major troop movements in 14 countries in the past 15 years. These involved tens of thousands of troops, tanks, jet aircraft, armored personnel carriers and predator drones.

The Russian Foreign Ministry issued its own strongly worded warning against an attack on the aid convoy: “We are warning against any attempts to thwart this purely humanitarian mission which took a long time to prepare in conditions of complete transparency and cooperation with the Ukrainian side and the [International Committee of the Red Cross]. Those who are ready to continue sacrificing human lives to their own ambitions and geopolitical designs and who are rudely trampling on the norms and principles of international humanitarian law will assume complete responsibility for the possible consequences of provocations against the humanitarian relief convoy.

“All the excuses to delay the delivery of aid to people in the area of a humanitarian catastrophe are exhausted. The Russian side has made a decision to act. Our column with humanitarian cargo starts moving toward Luhansk.” (globalresearch.ca, Aug. 22)

The bold distribution of supplies in east Ukraine took place just before the Aug. 24 event in Kiev where the pro-West regime celebrated Ukraine’s 23rd Independence Day. The coup leaders planned to use the occasion to call for increased defense spending.

In the lead up to this right-wing celebration and desperate for a decisive victory against the popular insurrection, the Kiev troops, led by fascist forces, had stepped up attacks on Luhansk and Donetsk with military aircraft, tanks and armored vehicles targeting residential areas and civilian facilities.

On the same day and in another type of stinging response to the fascist celebration in Kiev, rebel forces in Donetsk put two destroyed Ukrainian armored personnel carriers on display in Donetsk’s central Lenin Square and marched captured fascist thugs through the streets.

In Donetsk, an estimated one-third of the city’s population of 1 million has been evacuated, especially children. Many who remain have lived for weeks without electricity or running water and spent days hunkered down in bomb shelters.

U.N. officials estimate that more than 2,000 people have died and nearly 5,000 have been wounded in eastern Ukraine since mid-April.

Novorossiya Military Briefing – Novorossiya Shall Be!

We are currently witnessing an epic and in its own way historic event. The Ukrainian regular army and the punitive battalions are suffering a catastrophic defeat to the south of Donetsk. Only a short time ago the Republics were in dire straits: the DPR was hanging only by a thin supply thread, which the Ukrainian army was attempting to sever near Shakhtersk and Krasnyi Luch; the summit of Saur-Mogila has been abandoned, and Bolotov’s counteroffensive had failed to bring decisive victories.

To many it seemed that the Militia forces were on the ropes and just about to break, which would have led to the collapse of Novorossiya and a military victory for the fascist Junta.

Nevertheless, the Militia managed to withstand the most severe blow, which the Junta dealt with all the forces available to it in the first half of August. The Junta did not conceal its plans, and the preparations for the assaults on Shakhtersk and Lugansk were openly discussed. The bravura level of the Junta’s triumphant reports that came with each new breakthrough of its mechanized battle groups was off the charts.

pic2

The first critical moment came when the soldiers of the 25th Airborne Brigade of the Ukrainian Armed Forces (“UAF”) and the units of the National Guard broke into Shakhtersk. In those days, the fate of the DPR was hanging literally by a thread, and the Junta was on the verge of a strategic victory. But those few militiamen that mired the Junta forces in urban battles and held their ground until the reinforcements arrived saved Novorossiya from being dismembered into two parts. In subsequent battles, the Junta’s breakthrough was localized and defused, and, after sustaining heavy losses in personnel and military hardware, the Junta’s forces in this location were routed.

The second critical moment came when a strike was made from Debaltsevo through Fashchevka, intended to converge with the 24th Mechanized Brigade that was breaking out of the Southern Cauldron. It was an ambitious plan, whereby the enemy tried to bisect Novorossiya by using as a strike group the units that everybody assumed had been written off. This joint strike on Miusinsk and Krasnyi Luch triggered a severe crisis in Novorossiya because were very few troops in this area.

pic3Miusinsk, which the mechanized convoys of the junta slipped through unhindered, was hardly defended at all, and in Krasnyi Luch some of the Cossacks abandoned their positions. This gave rise to a palpable threat of Novorossiya being split in two and of the militia grouping located in the area of Torez-Snezhnoye-Saur-Mogila being eliminated. But, once again, the courage of ordinary soldiers who clung to the towns of Krasnyi Luch and Miusinsk allowed the Militia units to hold out until the arrival of the reserves that aided in the purge of the enemy from these cities. Having overcome the crisis, here also the Militia was able to win decisive battles, which had far-reaching consequences.

Because the offensive on Yasinovataya failed, the breakthrough to Verkhnyaya Krynka and Zhdanovka aimed at cutting off Gorlovka was liquidated, and the Junta failed to advance toward Yenakievo, in the second half of August the Junta’s offensive started to run out of steam and the Militia gradually began to gain offensive momentum.

pic4Objectively, the situation demanded that the Junta stop the offensive, regroup, pull up reserves, create stores of fuel and ammunition, and then continue the offensive by assembling new strike groups. Nevertheless, political considerations dictated a continuation of the offensive by the same depleted battle groups. Because the front in the LPR on the whole had stabilized, the South Cauldron was routed, and the offensive to the north of Donetsk had been stopped, the Junta continued its offensive in the south, trying to take Ilovaysk and Mospino head-on despite the serious operational risk. And as the more the Junta became embroiled in these battles, the narrower became the front of its offensive. Having begun in early August over a broad swath of the battlefront, already by August 20th the Junta’s offensive narrowed effectively to a single point.

The outer limits of this offensive were the southern slopes of Saur-Mogila, the semi-encircled Mospino and the southern suburbs of Ilovaisk. In the last few days of the offensive, it was reduced simply to a primitive frontal assault on Ilovaisk. Meanwhile, a threat that later proved to be fatal was looming on the Junta’s southern flank. Having finished off the Southern Cauldron and after repelling the offensive on Miusinsk and Krasnyi Luch, the Militia recaptured Marinovka (which in July-August twice went back and forth between the factions) and started to seep along the border toward the Uspenka border-crossing checkpoint, in the process encircling the Amvrosievka grouping.

pic5It is difficult to say why the Junta did not react to this threat – it is possible that the Ukrainian command decided that the only danger in this area was the activity of the saboteur-reconnaissance groups (“SRG”), which, though unpleasant, carried no operational significance. Alternatively, they may have thought that they will manage to achieve success near Ilovaisk and then fend off the threat coming from the south. As a result, the Militia was able to accumulate a sufficient force to the south-east of Amvrosievka, and this force carried out a cleaving strike on the supply lines of the main forces of the Junta that were embroiled in the fighting near Ilovaisk, Mospino and Saur-Mogila.

At the same time, the forces of the enemy advancing from the south were met to the west of Mospino with a strike by a mechanized battle group of the Militia. The Junta did not expect this maneuver because until quite recently they were the ones trying to encircle Mospino from both sides.

By the looks of it, the Junta’s intelligence missed this offensive entirely, and as a result of this oversight a comparatively small Militia force intercepted the main supply routes of the largest battle group of the Junta to the south of Donetsk. This grouping was comprised of the enemy’s most combat-capable units involved in the assaults on Mospino, Saur-Mogila and Ilovaisk, including the three punitive battalions – Azov, Shahtersk and Donbass-1, as well as the various reinforcement units and independent companies. More than 5,000 soldiers, approximately 180 various armoured vehicles, and up to 90 artillery pieces, mortars, and MLRS ended up being surrounded.

Though the difference in scale makes a direct comparison impossible, the militia actually carried out a mini-“encirclement operation” similar to the Stalingrad Cauldron – a classic pincer strike in converging directions. While the Junta’s battle group had no Romanians or Italians on its flanks, but it did, instead, have a gaping hole on one side, and on the other side – barrier troops that were never meant to withstand an attack by mechanized units. As a result, in addition to the unfinished remnants of the Dyakovo Cauldron, the Amvrosiyevka Cauldron was created, around which the militia began to create a ring of encirclement, spreading its offensive to the south and to the south-west and in the process occupying settlements deep in the rear of the southern grouping of the Junta. At the same time, the enemy command structures rapidly disintegrated. Battalion Azov in essence refused to subordinate, and the majority of its troops fled to Mariupol. Battalions Donbass-1 and Shahtersk became mired in urban combat for Ilovaisk and, instead of breaking out of the cauldron, started to demand tanks and artillery from the military in order to continue their assault on the city, which by that time was pretty much a lost cause.

[GR editor's Note: The following map indicates the military positions held by Ukrainian Kiev forces and those of Novorossyia, 18-24 August]

Because only rearguard unites without heavy weapons remained outside the cauldron, the Militia immediately began to develop the offensive to the south-west of Amvrosievka, toward Starobeshevo, and took it by the evening of August 26th. Meanwhile, militiamen were already moving toward Volnovakha on August 25th. Effectively, the loss of these centres means that here the Junta does not have positions from which it can try to break through to the surrounded forces. The encircled troops, in essence, ended up deep in the rear, far away from the new front line, and with a limited supply of fuel and ammunition.

pic7And this new frontline is a gaping hole for the Junta, which has nothing to plug it with. The remnants of its forces, including Battalion Azov, fled to Mariupol, in the process abandoning several settlements virtually without a shot. As a result, the Militia rolled directly into the suburbs of Novoazovsk and onto the approaches to Mariupol. On the Junta’s side, there is virtually no front from the area south of Starobeshevo and up to Novoazovsk. The Milita’s lack of sufficient troops is the only thing slowing down the looming catastrophe.

At the same time, the Militia also developed its offensive to the west of Mospino, toward Ugledar, Yelenovka, and Nikolskoye. Here the forces of the Junta are few in number, so the Militia’s offensive has been developing quite successfully, albeit not too rapidly. Near Yelenovka, yet another “mini-cauldron” has formed, and the connectivity of the Junta groups that held Donetsk in semi-encirclement has been irreparably compromised.

pic9The Junta has no reserves with which to relieve the encircled group and to patch the massive hole in the frontlines – they are now hastily withdrawing troops from Perekop (on the Crimean border) and bringing territorial battalions of questionable combat readiness to the front. They have also announced the 4th wave of mobilization and are trying quickly to drag ancient armoured vehicles from long-term storage to the frontlines, in order to compensate for the huge losses in personal and military hardware.

pic11Overall, it still is not quite clear how the Junta intends to avoid a complete defeat here. It will clearly not be able to restore the previous frontline, and the only question is whether the surrounded troops will be able to break out (and as they will have to do so on their own, it is likely that they will have to make that decision as soon as possible), and where the Militia’s offensive will stop – they still have fairly limited forces and they are now routing a larger force with a smaller force.

State Border of the Republic of Novorossiya

In the meantime, the once-solid front, which stretched from Marinovka to Yelenovka has now broken up into separate pockets of resistance with intercepted supply lines. After this disaster it became absolutely clear that the Junta does not have the capacity to destroy Novorossiya. By squandering the most combat-capable brigades in systematic offensive operations, the Junta sustained enormous losses and at the same time suffered a crushing, purely military defeat. The southern front has collapsed. Novorossiya shall exist!

We are much indebted to Slavyangrad.org for this report

Original: Colonel Cassad LiveJournal

http://slavyangrad.org/2014/08/27/the-southern-front-catastrophe-august-27-2014/

Translated from Russian by Daniel Mikhailovich / Edited by Gleb Bazov

 

“We are currently witnessing an epic and historic event. The Ukrainian regular army and the punitive battalions are suffering a catastrophic defeat to the south of Donetsk…..It still is not quite clear how the Junta intends to avoid a complete defeat here…. By squandering the most combat-capable brigades in systematic offensive operations, the Junta sustained enormous losses and at the same time suffered a crushing, purely military defeat. The southern front has collapsed.” – The Southern Front Catastrophe – August 27, 2014″, Colonel Cassad, Military Briefing, Novorossiya, Ukraine

“The reports out of Novorussia (New Russia) are nothing short of incredible… sources are reporting that Novorussian forces have bypassed Mariupol from the north and have entered the Zaporozhie region!” – News from the Front, Vineyard of the Saker

Barack Obama has pushed Ukraine to the brink of political, economic and social collapse. Now he wants to blame Russia for the damage he’s done. It’s absurd. Moscow is in no way responsible for Ukraine’s descent into anarchy. That’s all Washington’s doing, just as Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria were Washington’s doing. If you want to blame someone, blame Obama.

Ukraine’s troubles began when the US State Department toppled the elected president in February and replaced him with a compliant stooge who agreed to follow Washington’s directives. The new “junta” government quickly launched a full-blown war against Russian-speaking Ukrainians in the east which split the civilian population and drove the country to ruin. The plan “pacify” the East was concocted in Washington, not Kiev and certainly not Moscow.

Moscow has repeatedly called for an end to the violence and a resumption of negotiations, but each request has been rebuffed by Obama’s puppet in Kiev leading to another round of hostilities. Washington doesn’t want peace. Washington wants the same solution it imposed on Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, that is, a chaotic failed state where ethnic and sectarian animosities are kept at a boiling point so forward-operating bases can be established without resistance, so resources can be extracted at will, and so a formally-independent nation can be reduced to a “permanent state of colonial dependency.” (Chomsky) That’s the basic gameplan wherever Washington goes. The same rule applies to Ukraine. The only choice the people have is to arm themselves and fight back. Which is what they’ve done.

Donetsk and Lugansk have formed militias and taken the war to the enemy. They’ve engaged Obama’s proxy-army on the battlefield and pounded it into mincemeat. That’s why Obama deployed his propagandists to lie about the fictitious “Russian invasion”. The administration needs a diversion because the Novorussia forces (aka-the “pro Russia separatists”) are kicking the holy crap out of Obama’s legions. That’s why Washington and Kiev are in full panic-mode, because none of this was supposed to happen. Obama figured the army would put down the insurrection, crush the resistance, and move him one step closer to his goal of establishing NATO bases and missile defense systems on Russia’s western flank.

Well, guess what? It’s not playing out that way and it probably never will. The Novorussia fighters are too tough, too smart and too motivated to be one-upped by Obama’s feckless troopers. (Check out this short video and you’ll see why the rebels are winning: Vineyard of the Saker)

Putin hasn’t sent tanks and artillery into Ukraine. He doesn’t need to. The militias are loaded with battle-hardened veterans who know how to fight and who are quite good at it. Just ask Poroshenko whose army has been taking it in the shorts for the last couple of weeks. Check out this blurb in Thursday’s Itar Tass:

“Over the week of August 16-23, the self-defense fighters of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics seized 14 T-64 tanks, 25 infantry fighting vehicles, 18 armored personnel carriers, one armored reconnaissance and patrol vehicle, one Uragan multiple launch rocket system, two Gvozdika self-propelled artillery guns, four D-30 howitzers, four mortars, one ZU-23-2 air defense system and 33 vehicles.” (East Ukraine militias seize large amount of Ukrainian armor, Itar Tass)

Get the picture? The Ukrainian army is getting beaten to a pulp, which means that Obama’s glorious “pivot strategy” just slammed into a brick wall.

Bottom line: Russia has not invaded Ukraine. The propagandists in the media are just trying to hide the fact that the Novorussia Army Forces (NAF; aka-the pro Russia separatists) are kicking ass and taking names. That’s what’s really going on. That’s why Obama and his gaggle of miscreant neocons are in a furor. It’s because they don’t know what to do next, so they’ve returned to their default position on every issue; lie like hell until they settle on a plan.

Naturally, they’re going to blame Putin for the mess they’re in. What else can they do? They’re getting their heads handed to them by a superior army. How do you explain that to the folks at home? Check out this excerpt from the New York Times Number One fiction writer, Michael “aluminum tubes” Gordon (who, not surprisingly, co-authored pieces with infamous Judy Miller in the lead up to the Iraq War):

“Determined to preserve the pro-Russian revolt in eastern Ukraine, Russia reinforced what Western and Ukrainian officials described as a stealth invasion on Wednesday, sending armored troops across the border as it expanded the conflict to a new section of Ukrainian territory.

The latest incursion, which Ukraine’s military said included five armored personnel carriers, was at least the third movement of troops and weapons from Russia across the southeast part of the border this week, further blunting the momentum Ukrainian forces have made in weakening the insurgents in their redoubts of Donetsk and Luhansk farther north. Evidence of a possible turn was seen in the panicky retreat of Ukrainian soldiers on Tuesday from a force they said had come over the Russian border.” (Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front, New York Times)

“Stealth invasion”? In other words, Gordon has settled on a substitute for WMD. What a surprise.

This isn’t even good fiction; it’s more like Grimm’s Fairy Tales. And where are the photos? If you have evidence, Gordon, let’s see it. But, please, make sure it’s better than the last time, you know, those fake photos of Russian soldiers that were supposedly operating in Ukraine. That was another deceit, wasn’t it? (See: Another NYT-Michael Gordon Special?, Robert Parry, Consortium News)

This is like the Malaysia airlines crash, isn’t it? Remember how Kerry went on a five-TV-talk-show blitz the day after the crash, making all kinds of spurious accusations, about surface-to-air missiles and phantom Russian convoys, without a shred of evidence, and then— the very next day– Russian military experts calmly produced hard evidence, from radar and satellite data, that a Ukrainian fighter plane was seen closing in on MH17 just moments before it was downed. (BBC also interviewed eyewitnesses who saw the SU 25 approaching the passenger plane.)

So, who do you believe; Kerry or the facts? And who are you going to believe this time; “Aluminum tubes” Gordie or Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) monitor Andrey Kelin who said yesterday:

“We have said that no Russian involvement has been spotted, there are no soldiers or equipment present.”

“Accusations relating to convoys of armored personnel carriers have been heard during the past week and the week before that. All of them were proven false back then, and are being proven false again now.” (RT)

Repeat: “No Russian involvement”. All the accusations “were proven false.” “False” as in fake, phony, propaganda, bunkum, lies which, by the way, appears to be Gordon’s area of expertise.

Anyone who has been following the conflict knows that the Washington-backed junta in Kiev has waged a war against its own people in the East, and that they’ve been bombing hospitals, schools, libraries, apartments, public buildings, residential areas, etc, all in an effort to drag Putin into a war that will sabotage EU-Moscow economic integration and further US interests in the area. It’s all geopolitics, every bit of it. Remember the pivot to Asia? This is what it looks like in real time. A lot of people get butchered so the big money guys in Washington can maintain their grip on global power for another century or so.

Well, you can put that pipedream to rest now, mainly because a group of scrappy ex-military types in east Ukraine gathered themselves into an effective and lethal militia which has turned things around pronto. If you follow developments on blogs that chronicle the daily events, you’ll know that what I’m saying is true. The disorganized and demoralized rabble they call the Ukrainian Army has been routed in nearly every dust up they have with the Novorussia militia. Here’s how blogger Moon of Alabama summed it up on a post on Thursday:

“Their moral is bad, their equipment old, ammunition is low and the entire aim of their campaign is dubious. Now even a few weak counterattacks, the “counteroffensive”, have them on the run.”

The only thing he could’ve added to the litany is the fact that they are led by the biggest moron to ever hold high office, Petro Poroshenko, the overstuffed buffoon who thinks he’s Heinz Guderian deploying his Panzers through the Ardennes and on to Paris. What a joke!

The Times even admits that the Ukrainian army is badly demoralized. Take a look at this:

“Some of the Ukrainian soldiers appeared unwilling to fight. The commander of their unit, part of the Ninth Brigade from Vinnytsia, in western Ukraine, barked at the men to turn around, to no effect. “All right,” the commander said. “Anybody who refuses to fight, sit apart from the others.” Eleven men did, while the others returned to the city.

Some troops were in full retreat: A city busload of them careened past on the highway headed west, and purple curtains flapped through windows shot out by gunfire.” (New York Times)

Have you ever heard of a commanding officer asking his men whether they want to fight or not? It’s ludicrous. This is a defeated army, that much is clear. And it’s easy to understand how the average grunt feels, too. The average working guy doesn’t have the stomach for killing his own people. That’s not something he’s going to feel good about. He just wants to see the war end and go home, which is why they’re getting whooped so bad. It’s because their hearts aren’t in it. In contrast, the farmers, shopkeepers and miners who make up the militia are highly-motivated, after all, this isn’t some geopolitical game for them. Most of these people have lived in these cities their entire lives. Now they’re watching neighbors get gunned down in the streets or pulling friends out of the wreckage of bombed out buildings. For these people, the war is real and it’s personal. They’re defending their towns, their families, and their way of life. That tends to build resolve and focus the mind. Here’s more from the NY Times:

“The United States has photographs that show the Russian artillery moved into Ukraine, American officials say. One photo dated last Thursday, shown to a New York Times reporter, shows Russian military units moving self-propelled artillery into Ukraine. Another photo, dated Saturday, shows the artillery in firing positions in Ukraine.

Advanced air defenses, including systems not known to be in the Ukrainian arsenal, have also been used to blunt the Ukrainian military’s air power, American officials say. In addition, they said, the Russian military routinely flies drones over Ukraine and shares the intelligence with the separatists.” (Ukraine Reports Russian Invasion on a New Front, New York Times)

Photos? What photos? Gordon doesn’t have any photos. Ah, but he has heard about a New York Times reporter who saw a photo.

This is ridiculous, but, then again, isn’t that what you’d expect from a journalist who helped craft the pretext for invading Iraq?

Here’s how Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov responded to the claims of a Russian invasion. He said:

“It’s not the first time we’ve heard wild guesses, though, so far, the facts have never been presented…

There have been reports about satellite imagery exposing Russian troop movements. They turned out to be images from videogames. The latest accusations happen to be much the same quality…

We’ll react by persisting in our effort to reduce the bloodshed and to support negotiations about the future of Ukraine, with participation of all Ukrainian regions and political forces, something that was agreed upon back in April in Geneva, but which is now being deliberately avoided by our Western partners.” (RT)

There you have it; there is no Russian invasion anymore than there were WMD, mobile weapons labs, aluminum tubes, Sarin gas etc, etc, etc. It’s all BS concocted by a servile media pursuing the agenda of a warmongering political establishment that wants to escalate the conflagration in east Ukraine at all cost. Even if it leads to a Third World War.

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

 [Videos of Eastern Ukraine chaos (censored by US media) can be seen below]

Two churches in the Donetsk Region have been destroyed by shelling from Kiev troops, leaving three people dead. In the latest attack Monday, a church was completely destroyed, while on Saturday three worshipers were killed while praying.

In Monday’s attack on St. John Kronstadt Orthodox Church on the outskirts of Donetsk, the shelling “caused a fire, and the church was totally burned with its utensils and vestments,” wrote Georgy Gulyaev, the press secretary of the Donetsk Diocese, on his Facebook page.

In Saturday’s attack, also on a St. John Kronstadt Church, this time in the city of Kirovskoye, in the Donetsk Region, the church was totally destroyed during an all-night vigil, Gorlovsky and the Orthodox Diocese said on its website. The shell hit the roof of the building, which crashed onto worshipers.

“People were praying. Three of them were killed. We lost our loved ones,” a local woman told RT.

Among the victims of the attack was one of the church wardens and two parishioners. Several people were injured as well, added the Diocese.

St. John Kronstadt Orthodox Church, destroyed by Kiev troops in the city of Kirovskoye, in the Donetsk Region (Photo from gorlovka-eparhia.com.ua)

St. John Kronstadt Orthodox Church, destroyed by Kiev troops in the city of Kirovskoye, in the Donetsk Region (Photo from Gorlovka-                  

St. John Kronstadt Orthodox Church, destroyed by Kiev troops in the city of Kirovskoye, in the Donetsk Region (Photo from gorlovka-eparhia.com.ua)

St. John Kronstadt Orthodox Church, destroyed by Kiev troops in the city of Kirovskoye, in the Donetsk Region (Photo from gorlovka-eparhia.com.ua)

A video released by the Diocese showed that there is no roof and most of the church’s walls have been turned into rubble.

“I am asking [Kiev forces] – come to your senses! Look where you are sending your sons,” a local man told RT. “Where? What are you doing? Look at these ruins.”

Local residents in the city of Yasinovata, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine (screenshot from RT)

Local residents in the city of Yasinovata, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine (screenshot from RT)

The same shelling also hit the local hospital, killing two people and injuring several more.

Shelling in the Donetsk region has plunged the area into a worsening humanitarian crisis. For four long weeks the residents in Yasinovata, a town of 37,000 people 20 kilometers from the city of Donetsk, have been left without drinking water or food.

Local residents in the city of Yasinovata, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine (screenshot from RT)

Local residents in the city of Yasinovata, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine (screenshot from RT)

“There are 60 people in our shelter,” a local woman told RT’s Paul Slier. “We are trying to feed everyone. The conditions are terrible. There is no water, we’ve been waiting for it for a long time.”

Some of the people have nowhere to go, as their relatives have been killed.

“I’m all by myself. My son was killed,” a sobbing old woman told RT. ”Thank God they brought us bread and medicine.” She described to RT how it is to live under the attacks of the Kiev troops.

A local resident holds bread in the city of Yasinovata, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine (screenshot from RT video)

A local resident holds bread in the city of Yasinovata, Donetsk Region, eastern Ukraine (screenshot from RT video)

“We were on the ground and the missiles were flying in every direction. We thought this is the end,” she added.
The residents held in their hands bread received from a local bakery.

“Everybody knows that this is for humanitarian purposes, for hungry people, look at our bread, it’s perfect,” Natasha, a local baker, told RT.

Screenshot from RT video

Screenshot from RT video

The shelling by the Ukrainian military reached the Petrovsky and Kievsky districts of Donetsk on Tuesday morning, resulting in three deaths, according to the city council.

Also early Tuesday, self-defense forces fought with Ukrainian troops in Illovaysk, Elenovka and Yasinovata.

 

Kiev’s military operation in eastern Ukraine began in April after people in the Donetsk and Lugansk Regions refused to recognize the new coup-imposed authorities and demanded federalization of the country.

According to UN figures, over 2,000 people have so far been killed and over 5,000 wounded in the fighting.

With heavy fighting under way in the crisis-torn country, the distribution of humanitarian aid from Russia started in besieged cities in the Lugansk Region on Monday.

Download video (12.52 MB)

It makes no sense to comment in detail on the satellite imagery released by NATO as “proof” of Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine, Defense Ministry’s spokesman said, pointing out that even high NATO officials were hesitant to put their names on it.

Referring to NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Supreme Allied Commander Europe Philip Breedlove, and NATO Spokesperson Oana Lungescu, Russia’s Defense Ministry spokesman Major-General Igor Konashenkov ridiculed the so-called NATO proof.

“You know, it has become ridiculous… If earlier, someone would at least put their names on those images, be it Breedlove, Rasmussen, or even Lungescu, now, they are hesitant,” Konashenkov said as cited by RIA Novosti. “It makes no sense to seriously comment on this.”

The General also criticized western media outlets for accepting such images and anti-Russian stance at face value.

“The phrase ‘NATO published satellite shots of Russian troops’ presence in Ukraine’ has become as common in recent months as the famous ‘British scientists have discovered…” Konashenkov said, referring to a media cliché often ridiculed in Russia. “Usually those words are followed by the results of some new crazy research that has no practical sense whatsoever.”

“Apparently, the new Secretary General of NATO in the near future will have to exert much effort in order to restore the severely tainted image of the alliance as a high-status international organization,” Konashenkov added.

A handout photo provided on August 28, 2014 by DigitalGlobe via NATO allegedly shows Russian self-propelled artillery units set up in firing positions, near Krasnodon, Ukraine (AFP Photo / HO / DigitalGlobe)

A handout photo provided on August 28, 2014 by DigitalGlobe via NATO allegedly shows Russian self-propelled artillery units set up in firing positions, near Krasnodon, Ukraine (AFP Photo / HO / DigitalGlobe)

The Defense Ministry statement follows a war-mongering media rhetoric blaming Russia for invading Ukraine, after Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday, accused Russia for violating its sovereignty and called on the UN Security Council to assess the situation.

Simultaneous to Kiev’s accusations, NATO made public satellite images that were offered as “proof” that Russian self-propelled artillery was on the Ukrainian territory, as well as about 1,000 Russian troops taking part in special operations in eastern Ukraine. The images, as usual, were provided by a commercial company DigitalGlobe operating civilian satellites. The images were not altered or edited with NATO experts only adding extra information for the general public to understand what they are looking for.

READ MORE: Online list of army units ‘relocated to Ukraine’ is a fake - Russian Defense Ministry

The US as always sided with Poroshenko’s statements and NATO-offered evidence, with US Department of State spokesperson Jen Psaki saying that Washington has “no reason to doubt their [NATO's] assessment.”

Meanwhile both the head of OSCE’s Ukrainian monitoring team and Russia’s representative said there was no Russian presence spotted across the Ukraine border, refuting claims that a full-scale invasion was underway.

On Thursday, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said Russian troops had entered Ukraine. The statement came as NATO released satellite images that it claimed showed Russian self-propelled artillery on Ukrainian territory. The alliance said about 1,000 Russian servicemen were taking part in hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

Russia’s permanent representative to the EU Vladimir Chizhov also said neither NATO, the United States or the European Union have presented any evidence of Russian troop presence in the east of Ukraine.

According to him, the “stuffing of misinformation through the media and directly from Kiev” each time is carried out on the eve of important meetings at the EU level, this time ahead of the summit on August 30 in Brussels, “probably in anticipation of some critical language and even sanctions from the EU,” Itar-Tass quotes.

And indeed, US President Barack Obama joined the chorus of anti-Russian rhetoric on Thursday, warning Moscow that more sanctions are in the works as the US is currently in consultation with its “European allies” ahead of a NATO meeting next week.

Cold War 2.0 rages. It’s heading dangerously toward East/West confrontation.

Putin and Obama are geopolitical opposites. They represent conflicting values.

Putin supports multi-world polarity. He believes national sovereignty is inviolable. He opposes imperial lawlessness.

He believes no nation has the right to interfere in the internal affairs of others.

Obama claims a divine right to wage war on humanity. To invent enemies when none exist.

To ravage one country after another. To control their resources. To exploit their people.

To achieve unchallenged global dominance. To risk humanity’s survival in the process.

Propaganda wars rage. They precede hot ones. Big Lies launch them. Washington bashes Russia irresponsibly.

US-led NATO marches in lockstep. On August 29, Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen issued a statement following “an extraordinary meeting of the NATO-Ukraine Commission.”

It’s a decision-making body. It’s responsible for developing NATO-Ukraine relations. It was established in July 1997.

Big Lies followed Friday’s meeting. According to Rasmussen,”it is now clear that Russian troops and equipment have illegally crossed the border into eastern and south-eastern Ukraine.”

“This is not an isolated action, but part of a dangerous pattern over many months to destabilize Ukraine as a sovereign nation.”

“Russian forces are engaged in direct military operations inside Ukraine. Russia continues to supply the separatists with tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and rocket launchers.”

“Russia has fired on Ukraine from both Russian territory and within Ukraine itself. Moreover, Russia continues to maintain thousands of combat-ready troops close to Ukraine’s borders.”

“This is a blatant violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity. It defies all diplomatic efforts for a peaceful solution.”

“Today, we expressed strong solidarity with Ukraine. At the Wales Summit next week, we will meet President Poroshenko to make clear NATO’s unwavering support for Ukraine.”

“We condemn in the strongest terms Russia’s continued disregard of its international obligations.”

“We urge Russia to cease its illegal military actions, stop its support to armed separatists, and take immediate and verifiable steps towards de-escalation of this grave crisis.”

It bears repeating. Russia didn’t invade Ukraine. It’s not waging war on its sovereignty. It has no revanchanist aims.

It’s not supplying “separatists with tanks, armored vehicles, artillery and rocket launchers.”

It hasn’t fired on Ukraine cross border or from within its territory. It doesn’t threaten Kiev with thousands of combat-ready troops near its border.

It doesn’t interfere in its internal affairs. It goes all-out for peaceful conflict resolution. Don’t expect Rasmussen to explain.

US-led NATO is an imperial tool. It’s for offense, not defense. It’s a global killing machine. It prioritizes war. It deplores peace.

It’s heading for direct confrontation with Russia. It’s creating a so-called expeditionary force. It’ll include 10,000 troops.

According to the Financial Times, “Britain and six other states (Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Norway and the Netherlands) (will) create a fully functioning, division-sized force for rapid deployment and regular, frequent exercises.”

Increasing its size may follow. British commanders will lead air, naval and ground forces. Canada may become involved.

According to Rasmussen, at issue is establishing “a more visible (Eastern European) presence…to counter Russia.”

Putin’s NATO envoy, Aleksandr Grushko, said any attempt to encroach closer to Russia’s borders will impact Moscow’s own security planning.

Until the 1990s, Norway alone adjoined Russia. According to Stop NATO’s Rick Rozoff:

In 1999, NATO expansion began. Four new members were added “directly up to Russian territory: Estonia and Latvia to northwestern Russia proper and Poland and Lithuania to the non-contiguous Kaliningrad Oblast.”

Ukraine is a NATO partner. It’s heading toward full membership status. Most likely with Finland.

Together they’ll “cover (Russia’s) entire western flank,” said Rozoff.

It extends “from the Arctic Ocean and Barents Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south…”

Plans include “NATO air bases, naval docking facilities, firing ranges and training grounds, airfields, radar installations, storage compounds, cyber warfare centers, interceptor missile batteries, armored vehicles, troops and tactical nuclear weapons.”

Washington and its NATO allies see Ukraine “as the decisive linchpin in (their) plans to (establish) a military cordon sanitaire severing Russia from Europe.”

In 1995, Ukraine became the first post-Commonwealth of Independent States member to join NATO’s Partnership of Peace.

It aims to include all European countries “and the rest of former Soviet space not already in the bloc,” Rozoff explained.

It’s to marginalize, contain and isolate Russia. In December 2008, Washington initiated the US/Ukraine Charter on Strategic Partnership.

Its objectives include:

“Deepening Ukraine’s integration into Euro-Atlantic institutions…” Doing so is called “a mutual priority.”

Planning will “undertake a program of enhanced security cooperation intended to increase Ukrainian capabilities and to strengthen Ukraine’s candidacy for NATO membership.”

It will be “(g)uided by the April 3, 2008 Bucharest Summit Declaration of the NATO North Atlantic Council and the April 4, 2008 Joint Statement of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, which affirmed that Ukraine will become a member of NATO.”

“Recognizing the persistence of threats to global peace and stability, the United States and Ukraine intend to expand the scope of their ongoing programs of cooperation and assistance on defense and security issues to defeat these threats and to promote peace and stability.”

“A defense and security cooperation partnership between the United States and Ukraine is of benefit to both nations and the region.”

“Working within the framework of the NATO-Ukraine Commission, our goal is to gain agreement on a structured plan to increase interoperability and coordination of capabilities between NATO and Ukraine, including via enhanced training and equipment for Ukrainian armed forces.”

Before crisis conditions erupted last November, NATO sought four partners for its global Response Force, Rozoff explained. They include Ukraine, Georgia, Finland and Sweden.

With a US-installed “proxy regime” in Kiev, Ukraine is heading toward becoming “a veritable gargantuan forward base for the Pentagon’s and NATO’s inexorable, now generation-long, drive to the east…”

It’s “overrun with Western military advisers and intelligence agents…” It “host(s) warplanes, warships, armor, troops and missiles…”

It courts “Western leaders with a degree of ambitiousness and recklessness surpassing anything hitherto contemplated.”

It’s a dagger pointed at Russia’s heartland. It threatens to escalate crisis conditions into full-blown East/West confrontation.

On August 29, Ukraine’s Cabinet of Ministers submitted legislation repealing the country’s non-bloc status. According to putschist prime minister Arseniy Yansenyuk:

“In accordance with the decision adopted by the National Security and Defense Council, the government of Ukraine has submitted a bill that repeals the Ukrainian state’s non-bloc status and re-establishes Ukraine’s course towards membership in NATO to parliament for consideration.”

The law lets Ukraine belong to any other economic, political and military units as long as they don’t interfere with its EU membership plans.

If adopted, Ukraine will be banned from Customs Union, Eurasian Union and similar organization memberships.

Yatsenyuk calls them “the Soviet Union under the name of the Russian Federation.”

He urged Ukraine’s parliament to consider the bill urgent. Passage is rubber-stamp.

Ukraine and Russia share a near-1,500 mile land and sea border. Expect Washington to take full advantage.

Expect NATO bases threatening Moscow’s security. East/West confrontation looms.

Propaganda wars hasten the possibility. They rage irresponsibly. They threaten world peace.

They turn truth on its head. They blame Russia for US orchestrated crimes. Ukraine is its newest imperial tool committing them.

They risk the unthinkable – possible nuclear confrontation able to end life on earth if launched.

Imperial madness defines Washington’s agenda. Permanent war is official policy.

All US wars are based on Big Lies. Truth is suppressed to wage them. Propaganda wars precede them.

They rage to enlist public support. They stoke fear. They generate misinformation. At issue is advancing America’s imperium.

It’s making the world safe for monied interests. it’s turning ordinary people into low-wage slaves. It’s cracking down hard on non-believers.

It’s creating full-blown tyranny. It’s making America and other countries unfit to live in.

Washington’s imperial war machine is humanity’s greatest threat. Presidents use it at their own discretion.

International, constitutional and US statute lars don’t matter. World peace hangs by a thread.

Washington created Ukrainian crisis conditions. They’re the most serious since WW II.

Obama’s new friends are reckless neo-Nazi infested fascists. They ignore rule of law principles. Their human rights record is appalling.

They’re in the eye of the storm. They’re waging war on their own people.

In league with Washington and other rogue NATO states, they recklessly challenge Russia.

Possible global war looms. Today is the most perilous time in world history. Daily events should scare everyone.

Today’s upside down reality threatens everyone.Criminality is rewarded. Warmakers win peace prizes. Peacemakers are vilified.

On Friday, a Russian-sponsored Security Council Southeastern Ukraine peacemaking initiative was blocked. According to Moscow’s UN envoy Vitaly Churkin:

“The Russian delegation’s proposal on declaration of a ceasefire was blocked under a frivolous pretext.”

“The Security Council as a result of destructive efforts of a number of its members was unable to play its role in resolving the Ukrainian crisis.”

Washington’s dirty hands bear full responsibility. Britain and France are imperial partners. Other nations are pressured to go along.

Moscow’s text expressed serious concerns about Southeastern Ukrainian crisis conditions. It called for “immediate and unconditional ceasefire.”

It urged dialogue “based on the Geneva Declaration of 17 April 2014 and the Joint Berlin Declaration of July 2, 2014.”

In Geneva, US, Russian, EU and Ukrainian foreign ministers agreed all parties must refrain from “violence, intimidation, or provocative acts.”

They “call(ed) for an immediate commencement of a broad national dialogue which must be inclusive, transparent and accountable.”

It must be “within the framework of the constitutional process, which must be inclusive and accountable.”

It “must be resolved by the Ukrainians themselves concerning an end to the conflict.”

Other conflict ending provisions were agreed on. Kiev committed violations straightaway. Washington supports and encourages its crimes.

In July, German, French, Russian and Ukrainian foreign ministers met in Berlin. They reaffirmed their commitment to Southeastern Ukrainian peace and stability.

They agreed on the necessity of halting conflict. It rages daily out-of-control.

Russia has gone all-out to resolve things diplomatically. Its proposed August 29 Security Council resolution is its latest effort.

Its text included “multiply(ing) efforts to provide humanitarian assistance to the population of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions…”

Churkin was clear, unequivocal and correct. He called Southeastern Ukrainian conflict a “direct consequence of a wreckers policy of Kiev which is conducting a war against its own people.”

He called on Washington to “curb their geopolitical ambitions.” Stop interfering in the affairs of other states, he urged.

“Then not only Russia’s neighbors, but also many other countries around the world will breathe a sigh of relief,” he added.

Kiev aggression continues “(w)ith support from and under the influence of a number of well-known states,” Churkin explained.

He left no doubt which ones he means. Or which one is most responsible. Or how they influence Kiev to sabotage “all political agreements on settling the crisis in Ukraine.”

Its oligarch president Petro Poroshenko’s so-called “peace plan” promotes escalated war.

“Where is the inclusive national dialogue promised by Kiev, or the constitutional reform, or the decentralization of the authority or the special status for the Russian language,” Churkin asked?

Promises made were empty. They’ve been systematically broken.

Dissent is criminalized. Regime opposing political parties are banned. Press freedom is nonexistent. Police state authority runs things.

Ukraine is a global flashpoint. Conflict conditions risk the unthinkable.

Peaceful resolution is urgently needed. Washington’s rage to dominate blocks it. World peace hangs by a thread.

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

In one of the most decisive, shocking incidents of a brutal war, NRG reports (Hebrew) that the IDF killed three of its own soldiers after it feared they’d been captured by Hamas fighters. 

The incident was one in which Lt. Goldin was captured (possibly after he’d already been killed) and two of his comrades were killed.

Amir Rappoport, writing for NRG, says:

As a result of activation of the Hannibal Directive, three IDF soldiers were killed and 120 [ed., the actual number was 160] Palestinian civilians were killed from cannon fire [as a result of IDF fire that destroyed the surrounding neighborhood].

The incident [the Hamas attack] resulted from dealing with the tunnels, during which a suspected Hamas cell emerged from one of the houses.  The cell included a suicide bomber and began a battle during which three of the Givati soldiers were killed.  It should be stated that in the process of attempting to stop the “kidnapping” of Hadar Goldin, the Hannibal Directive was implemented.  This resulted, according to Palestinian sources, in 120 deaths, the majority of which were civilians.

…A number of terrorists emerged from a tunnel in Rafah with the goal of “kidnapping” a soldier.  At the same time, Givati troops were on patrol in the area, under the command of Maj. Benaya Sarel, attempting to locate and destroy tunnels.  The force met a cell in an open area between the houses where there it had identified an open shaft.  That’s where they [the Palestinian force] took the missing soldier and the same shaft from which they [originally] emerged [for their attack].  Givati forces recognized that a “kidnapping” had occurred and, according to reports, activated the Hannibal Directive, according to which the IDF lays down fire in the direction of the “kidnappers.”

Afterward, they commenced heavy fire in that direction, which it appears struck all the fighters [both the Hamas cell and captured IDF soldiers].  Other units arrived to assist in freeing them, at which time they understood the team leader was missing.

hadar goldin, benaya sarel, idf dead

It’s important to note that nowhere in this report does it say that the Hamas fighters killed the three IDF soldiers who died during this skirmish (though it does say the cell may’ve fled into the tunnel with Goldin’s body).  The entire premise is that the IDF killed them as a result of the massive amount of fire it used after the Hannibal Directive was declared.  This fact has never been reported in the Israeli media.  Until now, it was only suspected that Goldin had died as a result of deliberate fire from his own comrades.

What’s equally interesting is that Rappoport at no time makes much of this dramatic finding.  Instead, he focuses on blaming the Gaza division commander for refusing to allow the Givati tank force to destroy houses in which his troops suspected tunnels, due to a ceasefire.  The report seeks to blame him for not being aggressive enough and not being willing to violate the ceasefire even if it meant protecting his men.

It’s standard for Israeli media to focus on dereliction of duty in refusing the use of maximum force, rather than on a far more troubling fact that Israeli soldiers killed their own during this operation.

The nuclear talks which were infused with unnecessary optimism are no longer seen by many to yield much fruit as Washington once again reveals its true colors and pernicious intentions by imposing further sanctions on Iranian companies and individuals.

As a rule, Washington has never proved to be a trustworthy and reliable partner and any idea to the contrary stems from a naïve perception of the realities on the ground.

On Friday, the US government announced the imposition of a new round of sanctions on over 25 Iranian individuals and companies, including shipping firms, oil companies, airlines and six banks despite the fact that Iran and the six world powers Russia, China, France, Britain and the US and Germany are in the process of talks with the intention of resolving the West’s nuclear standoff with Iran.

What seems to be the truth of certitude in this regard is that Iran will by no means back down on its rights in the least bit and that further sanctions imposed by the West will only conduce to the complication of an issue which could be resolved if the West really wanted.

In point of fact, the new sanctions which fly in the face of international laws and regulations have exasperated the Iranians and the Iranian officials and fortified the swelling distrust of the Iranian nation in Washington.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has said the sanctions must be confronted because they invade the rights of a nation.

“Sanctions are an invasion of the Iranian nation. We should resist the invasion and put the invaders in their place,” Iranian president Hassan Rouhani told officials on Saturday. “We should not allow the continuation and repetition of the invasion.”

The paradox is that Washington has frequently voiced its concern over Iran’s ‘nuclear ambitions’, saying the country may achieve the required technology to produce nuclear weapons while at the same time, it is Washington which capitalizes on chaos and commotion in the world in general and in the Middle East in particular by funding and arming the Takfiri groups in Syria in cahoots with the West in order to oust a legitimate government and replacing it with a US-friendly. And quite brazenly, it turns a blind eye to the subhuman atrocities committed at the hands of the ISIL Takfiri groups in Iraq and Syria.

To crown it all, Iranian pseudo-scholars in the West come up with their uniquely ludicrous remarks concerning the chaos in the Middle East and seek to downplay the mounting sway of the Islamic Republic in the region and instead aggrandize the waning influence of Washington in the world.

In a recent post, Payam Mohseni who runs the Iran Project at the Harvard Kennedy School said, “I perceived the Iranians to be very confident about their rising power ….,” remarking that “Iran has gained much from the regional turmoil, including in Syria and recently in Iraq with the rise of ISIS. This perception was particularly striking during my discussions with leading conservative figures of the state.”

Apparently, he is far removed from the realities as he is physically removed from his country. By far, almost everyone excepting those bereft of political perception knows that it is Washington that is benefiting hugely from the chaos in the Middle East.

Even American officials have admitted to the fact that the ISIL Takfiris are being supported by the West.

Senator Rand Paul has told NBC News’s ‘Meet the Press’ that the US government has been funding ISIL allies and supporting the terrorist group in Syria.

“They’re emboldened because we’ve been supporting them … It could be Assad [could have] wiped these people out months ago,” the Kentucky senator said.

“I personally believe that this group would not be in Iraq and would not be as powerful had we not been supplying their allies in the war.”

Besides, a document released by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed that Ibrahim al-Samarrai AKA Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the man who leads ISIL, is an intelligence asset. The document reveals the United States, Israel, and Britain are responsible for the creation of ISIL.

Nabil Na’eem, the founder of the Islamic Democratic Jihad Party and former top al-Qaeda commander, has told the al-Mayadeen channel that all current al-Qaeda affiliates including ISIS work for the CIA.

To the horror of many, the NSA document disclosed that the group was formed by US, UK and Israel intelligence apparatus as part of a strategy known as the hornet’s nest in order to attract the fundamentalists from around the world to Syria.

After all, if the US has recently shown a sudden interest in combating the ISIL Takfiris who are currently on a beheading spree in Iraq, it seeks other ulterior motives. Just recently, General Martin E. Dempsey, US chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff summarized his perception of the ISIL Takfiris and said,

“This is an organization that has an apocalyptic end-of-days strategic vision that will eventually have to be defeated.”

Dempsey noted that destroying ISIL will require “the application of all of the tools of national power — diplomatic, economic, information, military.”

Then he enunciated that liquidating the ISIL militants is only possible through invading Syria.

“Can they be defeated without addressing that part of the organization that resides in Syria? The answer is no,” Dempsey told reporters at the Pentagon.

To sum up, Washington’s policies on Syria, Iraq and Iran are purely paradoxical and are only meant to incite chaos, to capitalize on the chaos and turn things to its own benefit.

In the final analysis, chaos, crisis, sanctions are tools in the hands of Washington to achieve its sinister goal in the Middle East region in the first place i.e. giving a practical shape to a long-envisioned plan in the first place, that is, creating a Greater Middle East utterly servile to the USA and in the second, to strategically stifle Iran as a burgeoning and snowballing power.

Abu Dhabi is in a “state of confusion” after American officials accused them of carrying out air strikes in Libya, according to an online report.

The Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan has not yet decided how to respond to revelations in the New York Times that the UAE’s air force bombed Tripoli on 17 and 23 August, reported Asrar Arabiya, an online site that purports to reveal “Arab secrets”.

While not the country’s president, many view Sheikh Mohammed as being the UAE’s de facto leader. President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan has reportedly been unwell for some time and rarely makes public appearances.

Emirati diplomatic sources told Asrar Arabiya that Abu Dhabi had expected “the bombardment would pass without American and Western radars detecting it” and were now concerned the incident could negatively impact on UAE-US relations.

The diplomatic sources revealed that six French-made Mirage 2000 warplanes were used in the bombing attacks, which killed at least 18 Libyan militiamen battling for control of the capital’s airport. The sources said the raids were launched from a military base near Siwa, a desert oasis close to the Egyptian border with Libya.

There is a military airport in Siwa, where the main street is named after the UAE’s President Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahyan, in honour of a 1mn Egyptian pound ($140,000) donation made last year to build a solar power plant in the town.

An MEE source, who asked to remain anonymous, confirmed the Asrar Arabiya report as being accurate.

The UAE is the fourth largest arms importer in the world, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, and spent over $19bn on military equipment in 2012. Among its arsenal are 138 jets, which include the French Mirage 2000, six of which were donated by the Emiratis for use in the 2011 NATO intervention in Libya.

Emirati officials have declined to respond publicly to the allegations, instead saying they have “no reaction”. The “confusion” in Abu Dhabi has “prevented the issuance of any denial or confirmation”, according to the Asrar Arabiya report.

Libya’s former parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), said on Tuesday they intend to take the issue to the International Criminal Court for investigation. The GNC is not recognised as the Libya’s legitimate parliament, however, after a House of Representatives was popularly elected in June.

Reports that the UAE attacked Libya have been described as a watershed moment by analysts, who said it is the first the Emiratis have directly attacked another country in its short history.

“This is incredibly significant, as it is the first hard evidence of the UAE shifting from proxy to engaging in a hot conflict for the first time in its history,” Christopher Davidson, reader in Middle East politics at Durham University and author of After the Sheikhs: the Coming Collapse of the Gulf Monarchies, told MEE earlier this week.

“There is now a leadership in place that has abandoned the UAE’s historic foreign policy pillars, which under Sheikh Zayed [the country’s first president] involved being carefully realists about the small wealthy country’s position in the regional system,” he added.

The UN Security Council on Wednesday pledged to fight instability in Libya “by all means” necessary. A strongly worded resolution vowed to use targeted sanctions against people “who threaten stability” and head off a descent into all out civil war.

There is a group of American billionaires who are apparently doing their best to make sure that negotiations with Iran go nowhere in the mistaken belief that they are doing what is best for Israel. And they would also appear to be assisted in their efforts by the White House, which is at the same time claiming that it wants the talks to be successful. The odd relationship is currently playing out in a Manhattan courtroom where the Justice Department is seeking to squash a lawsuit that it fears might expose the extent to which the government has hypocritically played fast and loose with classified information while simultaneously sending journalists and whistleblowers to jail over allegations that they have done the same.

The power and wealth of the anti-Iran groups as well as their unrivaled access to the United States government means that a policy of détente with Iran, which would be a no brainer based on both American and Iranian interests, only proceeds by fits and starts with the US Congress and much of the media lined up solidly to stop the effort. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its affiliated educational foundation, which have focused on the “Iranian threat” over the past three years, have a combined budget of more than $90 million while AIPAC’s spin-off the Washington Institute for Near East Policy (WINEP) has $8.7 million.

The American Enterprise Institute’s (AEI) efforts are more diversified but uniformly hawkish when it comes to the Middle East. It has a budget of $45 million. Identified multi-million dollar donor/supporters of AIPAC, AEI, and WINEP include Sheldon Adelson of Las Vegas Sands, Paul Singer of Elliot Management hedge fund and Bernard Marcus of Home Depot.

Other right wing think tanks including Heritage and Hudson in Washington also support unrelenting pressure directed against Iran. Even the more centrist Brookings Institute is hard core when it comes to Middle Eastern politics by virtue of its Saban Institute funded by Israeli-American billionaire Haim Saban. And then there are the mainstream Jewish organizations to include the Anti Defamation League, the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations and the American Jewish Congress, all of which have vast resources and unparalleled access to the White House, Congress and the media.

All the pro-Israel anti-Iran groups engage in pressure tactics on Capitol Hill and have been effective in dominating the political debate. Of thirty-six outside witnesses brought in to testify at seven Senate hearings on Iran since 2012 only one might be characterized as sensitive to Iranian concerns. The enormous lobbying effort enables the anti-Iran groups to define the actual policies, move their drafts of legislation through congress, and eventually see their bills pass with overwhelming majorities in both the House and Senate. It is democracy in action if one accepts that popular rule ought to be guided by money and pressure groups rather than by national interests.

Less well known is United Against Nuclear Iran, which has a budget just shy of $2 million. UANI is involved in the New York lawsuit. The group, which has somehow obtained a 501[c]3 “educational” tax status that inter alia allows it to conceal its donors, has offices in Rockefeller Center in New York City. It is active on Capitol Hill providing “expert testimony” on Iran for congressional committees, to include “help” in drafting legislation. At a July Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Iran all three outside witnesses were from UANI. It is also active in the media but is perhaps best known for its “name and shame” initiatives in which it exposes companies that it claims are doing business with Tehran in violation of US sanctions.

UANI is being sued by a Greek billionaire Victor Restis whom it had outed in 2013. Restis, claiming the exposure was fraudulent and carried out to damage his business, has filed suit demanding that UANI and billionaire Thomas Kaplan turn over documents and details of relationships regarding UANI donors who it is claimed are linked to the case. Kaplan, a New York City resident, made his initial fortune on energy exploration and development. More recently he has been involved in commodities trading in precious metals. His wife Daphne is Israeli and his involvement in various Jewish philanthropies both in the US and in Israel have invited comparison with controversial deceased commodities trader Marc Rich, who reportedly worked closely with the Israeli government on a number of projects.

The Justice department would like to the see the UANI lawsuit go away as it is aware that what is being described as “law enforcement” documents would include both privileged and classified Treasury Department work product relating to individuals and companies that it has investigated for sanctions busting. Passing either intelligence related or law enforcement documents to a private organization is illegal but the Justice Department’s only apparent concern is that the activity might be exposed. There is no indication that it would go after UANI for having acquired the information and it perhaps should be presumed that the source of the leak is the Treasury Department itself.

Who or what provided the documents to a private advocacy group that is also a tax exempt foundation supported by prominent businessmen with interests in the Middle East is consequently not completely clear but Restis is assuming that the truth will out if he can get hold of the evidence. The lawsuit claims that UANI intimidates its targets by defaming their business practices as well as by demanding both examination of their books and an audit carried out by one of its own accountants followed by review from an “independent counsel.”

Kaplan is named in the suit as he appears to be the gray eminence behind UANI. He once boasted “we’ve (UANI) done more to bring Iran to heel than any other private sector initiative.” Kaplan also employs as a director or officer in six of his companies the Executive Director of UANI Mark Wallace and reportedly arranged the awarding of the Executive Director position at Harvard’s Belfer Center to its President Gary Samore.

Kaplan is a business competitor to Restis, whose lawyers are apparently seeking to demonstrate two things: first, that the US government has been feeding sometimes only partially vetted information to UANI to help in its “name and shame” program and second, that UANI is itself supported by partisan business interests like Kaplan as well as by foreign sources, which apparently is meant to imply Israel. Or even the Israeli intelligence service Mossad. Meir Dagan, former head of Mossad, is on the UANI advisory board, which also includes ex-Senator Joseph Lieberman and former Senior Diplomat Dennis Ross, both of whom have frequently been accused of favoring Israeli interests and both of whom might well have easy access to US government generated information.

And then there is the Muhadedin-e-Khalq, the Iranian terrorist group that has assassinated at least six Americans and is now assisting the Israeli government in killing Iranian scientists, a prima facie definition of what constitutes terrorism. The group was on the State Department terrorist list from 1997 until 2012, when Secretary of State Hillary Clinton de-listed it in response to demands coming from friends of Israel in Congress as well as from a large group of ex government officials, many of whom were paid large honoraria by the group to serve as advocates. The paid American shills included former CIA Directors James Woolsey and Porter Goss, New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, former Vermont Governor Howard Dean, former Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation Louis Freeh and former United Nations Ambassador John Bolton. The promoters of MEK in congress and elsewhere claimed to be primarily motivated by MEK’s being an enemy of the current regime in Tehran, though its virulent anti-Americanism and terrorist history make it a somewhat unlikely poster child for the “Iranian resistance.”

Supporters of MEK also ignore the fact that the group is run like a cult, routinely executes internal dissidents, and has virtually no political support within Iran. But such are the ways of the corrupt Washington punditocracy, lionizing an organization that it should be shunning. MEK’s political arm is located in Paris and it has long been assumed that it is funded by the Israeli government and by at least some of the same gaggle of billionaires, possibly including their Israeli counterparts, who support the anti-Iranian agenda in the United States.

Iranian negotiators have accepted that their country should have only limited uranium enrichment capabilities coupled with a rigorous inspection regime but the talks in Geneva drag on and on as the United States continues to hesitate, raising new objections regularly in spite of claims that it operates in good faith and seeks a settlement. That an agreement is within reach is undoubtedly true and it would even be good for Israel as it would remove the regional nuclear option while making much less likely another pointless and devastating war. But the men who write the checks do not see it that way and, unfortunately, they are the ones who all too often both pay the piper and call the tune.

Why does a demonstration of hundreds of people against “anti-Semitism” in Toronto seem more like a march for white supremacy than a rally against racism?

On August 20, reported the Canadian Jewish News, several thousand took to Bathurst Street under the slogan “We Will Not be Silent: A March Against Global Anti-Semitism.” The demonstration was organized by United Jewish Appeal Federation of Greater Toronto, the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, B’nai Brith Canada, Canada Israel Experience, March of the Living Canada and the Jewish National Fund (JNF) Canada.

If one were to take the organizers’ slogan seriously this demonstration was among the largest anti-racist mobilizations in recent Canadian history. But, unfortunately it was little more than a group of “white” people calling for the further subjugation of “brown” folk.

Photos and articles suggest that many among the racially homogenous crowd carried Israeli flags and celebrated that country’s recent military onslaught on Gaza. The Times of Israel reported: “The purpose of the march was passionately summed up in Bill Glied’s closing remarks: ‘Thank God for the IDF. Thank God for Israel. And remember together we must stand. Never again!’”

Despite shrill voices claiming otherwise, most objective evidence reveals anti-Semitism to be a mere shadow of its former oppressive character. (An example of this ‘if I scream loud enough people may believe me’ tactic, Toronto businessman and board member of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs, Michael Diamond, wrote in the Canadian Jewish News last month that “we Jews are under siege right now – on campus, in Israel, in the media, even in our high schools and on the street.”)

Well, how does this compare to seven decades ago when “none is too many” was the order of the day in Ottawa, which rejected Jewish refugees escaping Nazi concentration camps. This hostile anti-Semitic climate continued into the 1950s with some neighborhoods excluding Jews from owning property through land covenants and institutions such as McGill University in Montreal imposing quotas on Jewish students.

Fortunately, Christianity’s decline, combined with a rise in anti-racist politics has significantly undercut anti-Semitism as a social force in Canada.
Today, Jews are largely seen as “white” people. Canada’s Jewish community is well represented among institutions of influence in this country and there is very little in terms of structural racism against Jews (which is not to say there isn’t significant cultural stereotyping, which must be challenged). In fact, among elite business, political and professional circles Jewish representation far surpasses their slim 1.3% of the Canadian population.

Canadian Jews are twice as likely as the general population to hold a bachelors degree and three times more likely to earn over $75,000. In The Encyclopedia of the Jewish diaspora: origins, experiences, and culture Mark Avrum Ehrlich claims that a fifth of the wealthiest Canadians were Jewish and Toronto’s Shalom Life reported that six of the 24 Canadians who made Forbes’ 2011 list of global billionaires were Jewish.

Even the sad history of structural anti-Semitism in this country should be put into proper context. When Jewish immigrants were blocked from entering Canada so were most non-Europeans. Similarly, the land covenants that excluded Jewish property ownership usually took aim at other groups as well and throughout the university quota period few South Asians or blacks had any access to higher learning. During this period of institutional discrimination against Jews, Status Indians were unable to vote and the Indian Act prohibited First Nations from practicing their religious/cultural ceremonies (such as potlatches, pow-wows, sweat lodges and sun dances).

It would be disingenuous at best to claim anti-Semitism has or had anywhere near the effect of racism against First Nations or other people of colour in Canada.

A little over-zealous defence of one’s own “tribe” could perhaps be forgiven, but not when accompanied by a ringing endorsement of the racist militarism sweeping Israeli society. Over the past two months the Israeli military has killed some 1,700 Palestinian civilians in Gaza and there has been an upsurge in racist outbursts targeting those seen as a threat to the Jewish character of the state (mostly Palestinian citizens of Israel but also African refugees and anti-Zionist Jews).
One of the groups that organized the Toronto protest has long promoted Jewish/white supremacy in the Middle East. The Jewish National Fund may be the only openly racist registered charity operating in this country.

While it was made illegal to restrict the sale of property to certain ethnic or religious groups in Canada a half-century ago, the JNF does just that in Israel today. The JNF’s bylaws and lease documents contain a restrictive covenant stating its property will not be leased to non-Jews. A 1998 United Nations Human Rights Council report found that the JNF systematically discriminates against Palestinian citizens of Israel, who make up about 20 percent of the country’s population. According to the UN report, JNF lands are “chartered to benefit Jews exclusively,” which has led to an “institutionalized form of discrimination.”

More recently, the US State Department’s 2012 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices detailed “institutional and societal discrimination” in Israel. The report noted, “Approximately 93 percent of land was in the public domain, including approximately 12.5 percent owned by the NGO Jewish National Fund (JNF), whose statutes prohibit sale or lease of land to non-Jews.”

In Israel, as in Canada, Jewish/white privilege is a much greater social problem than anti-Semitism. It’s time to check that privilege.

Syria Refugee Total Nears Ten Million

August 30th, 2014 by Patrick Martin

More than three million Syrians have fled the country and another 6.5 million are internally displaced, the top UN agency for refugees announced Friday. At nearly ten million, the total number forced from their homes amounts to nearly half the country’s total population.

A statement released by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Geneva declared, “Almost half of all Syrians have now been forced to abandon their homes and flee for their lives. One in every eight Syrians has fled across the border, fully a million more than a year ago. A further 6.5 million are displaced within Syria. Over half of those uprooted are children.”

The organization warned that its own resources are being exhausted by the unprecedented exodus from Syria, which is the largest UNHCR has ever confronted. It is surpassed in number only by the five million Palestinian refugees, who receive aid through a separate UN agency.

Those fleeing Syria are increasingly impoverished and desperate, UNHCR said, displaying signs of physical exhaustion and extreme fear. In many cases, families have been on the run within Syria for the past year before they reach the border crossings.

The vast majority of refugees from Syria have gone by land routes to the three countries that border on its north and south—Turkey, with 815,000 registered refugees, Lebanon, with 1.14 million, and Jordan, with 608,000. Few refugees have moved east into Iraq, which is ravaged by its own civil war and where the border is closed, and even fewer have the resources to leave by air or sea to countries beyond the Middle East.

The recent upsurge of fighting in Iraq and eastern Syria has not greatly increased the number of refugees, as figures nearly as high as these were tallied in a UN report on global refugee movement in late June (see: “Impact of war and persecution: More than 50 million displaced persons worldwide”).

It appears that many refugees are still trapped within Syria by the increased fighting, as well as tighter enforcement of border security measures by Jordan and Turkey. The figure of 6.5 million internally displaced is likely a gross underestimate. For example, in the city of Aleppo, one of the main battlefields, barely ten percent of the 2011 population of three million still remains in their homes.

The refugee exodus is a human catastrophe created by the imperialist intervention in Syria that began with the US-sponsored destabilization of the Assad regime in 2011. Since then, the United States, Britain and France, together with US allies like Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar, have funneled arms and other supplies to Islamist forces seeking to mobilize the majority Sunni population in an increasingly sectarian struggle against the Assad regime, whose military dictatorship has been based on political support from the minority Alawites, a sect linked to Shi’ite Islam.

There is no doubt that stepped-up US military intervention, including the widely expected launching of air strikes and drone missile strikes against territory controlled by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), will only exacerbate the humanitarian disaster in Syria.

Anecdotal accounts by refugees newly crossing the border suggest the hellish conditions facing the Syrian population. Bread costs ten times what it did a year ago, and the cost of gasoline and fuel has also skyrocketed. The economy has virtually collapsed, and along with it, the healthcare system, once among the most advanced in the region. Fifteen percent of those arriving in Jordan cited long-term medical conditions like diabetes, heart disease and cancer as the reason for moving, because they could no longer obtain medical treatment or prescription drugs.

Except for physical security, conditions are little better in the countries where they have taken refuge. Only 350,000 children are enrolled in school, although children comprise an estimated 1.5 million of the refugees. Only 400,000 people are in official shelters, with the rest either sleeping in the open, or crowded into the poorest urban areas of Beirut, Amman, Antakya and other cities.

António Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said the Syrian crisis “has become the biggest humanitarian emergency of our era, yet the world is failing to meet the needs of refugees and the countries hosting them.” The supply of aid is “far short of what’s needed,” he said.

Donor countries and organizations have provided $4.1 billion in aid since 2012, a sum that amounts to less than $700 per person per year based on the current refugee population. UN officials said that $2 billion in additional aid was required, including winter housing for 2.4 million people.

The imperialist powers are intensifying their confrontation with Russia in the run-up to today’s European Union (EU) meeting and next week’s NATO summit in Wales. The escalation, which is being driven by Washington and Berlin, is increasing the danger of a military conflict between NATO and Russia that could result in a nuclear war.

The 28 NATO ambassadors came together briefly on Friday for an emergency meeting in Brussels. “We condemn in the strongest terms the fact that Russia is continuing to ignore its international obligations,” said NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. “We are pushing Russia to halt its illegal military action, end its support for armed separatists, and undertake immediate and verifiable steps to deescalate this serious crisis,” he declared.

In fact, the entire meeting confirmed that NATO’s policy is not “deescalation,” but escalation, and that in the Ukraine conflict, it is not Putin who is the aggressor, but the Western powers.

Rasmussen, along with the government heads of all of the NATO countries, conveniently overlooks the fact that Berlin and Washington triggered the crisis by organizing a coup in close collaboration with fascist forces against the pro-Russian Ukrainian government of Viktor Yanukovych. Now they are working closely with the puppet regime they installed, led by the billionaire oligarch Petro Poroshenko, to brutally crush a separatist insurgency in Russian-speaking parts of eastern Ukraine as the first step in militarily encircling Russia and reducing it to a neo-colonial status.

Ukraine’s NATO ambassador and chief of the NATO-Ukraine commission, Igor Dolgov, used Friday’s meeting to demand weapons to prosecute the war in eastern Ukraine. “What we need is more aid, including military,” he said.

Rasmussen went a step further, suggesting that Ukrainian membership in NATO was a possibility. “Allow me to recall the decision reached by NATO in 2008, according to which Ukraine will become a member,” he stated, and added cynically, “Every country has the right to make decisions independently and without external influence.”

Just prior to the meeting, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk called for Ukraine to move toward NATO membership. At a cabinet meeting, he announced that his government planned to end the country’s non-aligned status and begin the process of applying for entry into NATO. He added that membership in the European Union was also a goal.

The moves toward Ukrainian membership in NATO underscore the fact that next week’s NATO summit is aimed at preparing for a possible war against Russia. Rasmussen told the German daily Süddeutsche Zeitung this week that the summit would strengthen NATO’s provisions for collective defense, authorize a further build-up of NATO troops in Eastern Europe, and mandate an increase in the minimum level of member states’ defense budgets.

“In the future, you will see a greater NATO presence in the east,” he said. “Every potential aggressor must know that if they even think of attacking a NATO member, they will have to contend with soldiers not only from the affected country, but with NATO troops.”

Ukrainian membership in NATO would put a direct conflict with Russia on the order of the day. According to Article Five of the NATO charter, collective defense is triggered when a member state is attacked by another country.

Rasmussen on Friday repeated the alliance’s claims that thousands of Russian soldiers had intervened in Ukraine. The previous day, Brigadier General Nico Tak, head of the crisis operation center in Mons, Belgium, had shown satellite photos allegedly proving that Russia was directly intervening militarily in Ukraine.

Russia once again rejected the allegations. “This is not the first time we have heard such speculations,” said Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. “But the US has never proven them with facts.”

The satellite pictures were not proof, but “only computer games,” he declared. He added that the Kiev government was nervous due to recent military successes by the separatists. “That’s why there are claims now about a Russian invasion.” He reiterated Moscow’s call for an immediate ceasefire in the east of Ukraine.

Russia is desperately seeking a deal with the West, but all signs point to an escalation by Berlin and Washington. On Thursday, it was apparent that US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel had agreed in a telephone conversation on a harder line towards Russia. German government spokesman Stefan Seibert said after the discussion that the two had agreed Russia’s behavior could not continue without consequences.

On Friday, the German government spoke for the first time of a Russian intervention in Ukraine. Seibert claimed that considerable evidence had emerged of the presence of Russian soldiers and weapons.

This weekend’s EU emergency summit in Brussels is set to discuss further sanctions against Russia.

Germany is already leading the build-up of NATO forces in Eastern Europe. On Thursday, four German Euro Fighter jets were moved to the Ämeri airbase in Estonia. The same squadron had previously agreed to provide 100 soldiers for NATO missions.

As German soldiers were being moved into Eastern Europe, Russian President Vladimir Putin compared the actions of the Ukrainian army against cities in eastern Ukraine with the siege of Leningrad by the Nazi Wehrmacht. Putin told Interfax, “Their tactics remind me of the fascist German soldiers in the Soviet Union in the Second World War. Major cities were besieged and destroyed by deliberate fire, along with residents.”

The German media, which has been churning out anti-Russian war propaganda for months, sought to dismiss Putin’s statement as a “dubious historical comparison” ( Spiegel Online ). But some of their own journalists on the spot in eastern Ukraine express horror over the crimes of the Ukrainian army.

Wolfgang Bauer, a reporter for Die Zeit, wrote in the newspaper’s latest edition of the siege of Donetsk, a city of over one million residents. Under the headline “In the midst of the battle,” he said: “The Ukrainian army has been firing heavy artillery into Donetsk for days. The morning after we arrived, two men died at a tram stop in the city center. A 14-year-old boy who wanted to visit his friends, and an older mine worker. Splinters of bone and blood covered the tarmac.

“People in Donetsk are dying when they cross the street to go shopping, when they sit on the park bench, or they die while having breakfast in the kitchen. The Ukrainian army is obviously trying to hit military targets with their heavy artillery, based on the grounds of the airport in the north of the city. But they are always missing them when they shoot with their thirty-year-old cannons.”

The imperialist powers are prepared not only to stoke up the devastating war in eastern Ukraine, they are utilizing the crisis which they themselves provoked to secure their geo-strategic and economic interests against nuclear-armed Russia. The enthusiastic pro-war commentary in the Western media makes clear how far they are prepared to go, and where it could lead.

The Austrian correspondent for the London-based business publications Financial Times and Economist, Eric Frey, wrote in an article in the Vienna-based Der Standard under the headline “The West must stop Putin:”

“Negotiations with Putin are currently pointless, because he lies in the face of every negotiating partner. He must somehow be made aware that he has miscalculated, that the West will not accept this aggression. Only then is there a possibility to talk. This will probably only take place with a further intensification of the sanctions, including the breaking off of all economic relations with Moscow, as well as direct military aid to Kiev. Weapons exports, the stationing of NATO troops in Ukraine, and even US air strikes against separatist positions and Russian supply lines: all of these options should be on the table at present.”

Frey knows that his “options,” which doubtless reflect plans that are being readied behind the scenes by NATO and the Western powers, could provoke a nuclear world war.

He wrote:

“It is highly risky, because Putin is not the type to back down easily. The growing war danger threatens the already weak economy in Europe, the bloodletting in eastern Ukraine will not come to an end, and the streams of refugees will grow. And at the end of this process of escalation, a confrontation between two nuclear powers threatens. Almost all major wars were the result of miscalculations, at least on one side. This could also be the outcome this time.”

Last Saturday, Angela Merkel went to Kiev to pledge increased financial and political support for the coup-installed regime’s war against separatist forces in the eastern and largely Russian-speaking part of Ukraine.

Seldom in recent history – and that is saying a lot – have we witnessed a more transparently stupid, and in the final analysis, suicidal act of statecraft.

Despite what you might have heard or read over the last six months, the goings on in Ukraine have virtually nothing to do with democracy or Putin’s supposed desire to reconstruct the Soviet Union, and everything to do with the US need to eke out a few more years of world hegemony by sowing chaos among the nations, or emerging coalitions of nations, it sees as having any ability to put a check on its now largely unchecked military and financial power.

As Putin’s advisor, Sergei Glaziev, said in a wonderfully succinct manner a few days ago, this is all about the US desire to destroy the peaceful, and until now, quite mutually beneficial set of relations between post-Soviet (and post-Yeltsin) Russia and the nations of the EU.

Why would the US want to do that?

Because the idea of an increasingly integrated economic space stretching from Lisbon to the Kamchatka Peninsula, scares the daylights out of the geopolitical strategists in Washington and New York, as well as their friends in the London poodle pound.

They realize that if peace and commerce were to continue to break out in this way, it could lead, in a relatively short period of time, to the end of the dollar’s reign as the world’s reserve currency, a change that would lead, in turn, to the end of the US’s ability to bully others, especially the Chinese, into pumping up our economy by buying our increasingly valueless – on the level of intrinsic economic production – financial instruments.

The answer? Drive a wedge between Putin and the Europeans by instigating a Civil War in Ukraine, a war which, for readily evident historical and cultural reasons, is virtually guaranteed to provoke the vigorous involvement of Russia. With Russia bogged down in this way, the emerging system of Eurasian integration, sketched out briefly above, will be stopped in its tracks, letting the militarily straightjacketed and grossly indebted US ignore the fact of its terminal decline for another day.

One can see how the pack of cocksure and deeply ignorant arrivistes making foreign policy in the Obama administration, entranced by the apparent urbanity of the geriatric and preternaturally Russian-hating Brzezinski, might sign on to such a scheme.

But Merkel?

How could this woman, who spent the first decades of her life in the deeply layered absurdity the Communist East Germany, not see through the ruse, and to the funereal effects it is not only bound, but designed, to have on the 300 million person European social, political and economic project she currently leads in her capacity as German chancellor?

Is she simply dumb? Or could it be, as some have suggested, that the US intelligence agencies had their maws into her neck for a very long time, starting well before they had the ability to read all her email and listen in on all of her phone calls?

As I am ultimately unable to substantiate or deny whether she truly is dim and/or a long-standing asset of the US, I can only speculate about her behavior in this and other crucial matters on the basis of something I do understand: the rapidly changing information environment in Europe, and more specifically, the dramatically increased ability of the US government-media complex to sell its simplistic master narratives regarding “how the world works” to the most educated sectors of continental society.

Over the last thirty years, I have spent a considerable amount of time in Europe. During the first two-thirds of that period, one of the greatest joys of my days there was reading the continental press.

During the eighties, when Michael Deaver, Reagan’s image man, was waging his wildly successful battle to neuter the oppositional vocation of US journalists, and with it, their desire and ability to transmit complex problems and ideas to the citizenry, the quality papers of Europe were still refreshingly irreverent, and quite suspicious of established power.

For example, during this time many writers at El País, practically all of whom had grown up under the heavy-handed Catholic moralizing of the Franco regime, delighted in referring to Pope John Paul II, solely by his last name of Wojtyla.

It was their way of declaring themselves free of one of the oldest and most successful controlling techniques of the established political class: insulating themselves from critique by forcing citizens to address them through the always highly protective screens of “decorum” and “protocol”.

They were especially suspicious of US claims to be, as many now like to say, “a unique force of good in the world”. Columns in mainline papers of both the center left and the center-right in countries such as Spain, France, Italy, Portugal, and yes even in Great Britain (in the Independent and the Guardian) would regularly and quite frontally take issue with the US foreign policy prescriptions, especially those enacted in Latin American and the Middle East.

It is precisely within this then still extant ideological frame that the French center-right politician, Dominique de Villepin, made his impassioned plea for peace – and against US warmongering – at the he UN in March of 2003.

Shortly thereafter, however, all this began to change. Just as intelligent people in the US were figuring out just how corrupted by their relationship to power our mainstream media – with its pompous and hollow invocations of “neutrality” and “balance” – truly were, the prestigious European papers began to ape the New York Times and its ever more aggressive efforts to narrow the parameters of “responsible” opinion in accord with the desires of the financial and military elites in New York and Washington.

Put another way, just as the more critically engaged readers here were coming to understand the need for truth-seeking, let-the-chips-fall-where-they-may, “opinion Journalism” of the type perhaps best exemplified by Glenn Greenwald, Europeans began a headlong rush to abandon their long and quite fruitful adherence to the very same tradition.

Returning to Spain and El País, this change was symbolized the rise of people like Moisés Naim, a one time minister in the kleptocratic government of Carlos Andrés Pérez in Venezuela who has recast himself as a great and wise international strategist, and the enforced marginalization, at the same time, of people like Maruja Torres, a fervent iconoclast who, not coincidentally perhaps, also happens to have a long and passionate attachment to the Arab world and to Arab culture.

This transformation was capped off last May when the paper named Antonio Caño to be its managing editor. In the ten years spent as El País’s Washington bureau chief prior to this appointment, he never met a day-old New York Times, trope, cliché or story line that he did not think was worthy of being retransmitted without modification to the good folks back in Spain.

At the outset of the Bush administration, Donald Rumsfeld and his closest advisors used to talk a lot about their desire to achieve “full spectrum dominance”. I think it is fair to say that most people hearing about this idea then envisaged its application terms of advanced military hardware and/or the strategic basing of US troops around the world. Few, I think, thought of the term primarily in the context of information warfare.

However if we recall a famous anonymous quote (widely believed to have been uttered by Karl Rove) from an article by Ron Susskind in the October 17th,, 2004 issue of the NYT Sunday magazine, we would perhaps be well-advised to begin viewing Rumsfeld’s stated aspirations through this prism.

In that piece, the unnamed White House aide said: “’We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality – judiciously, as you will – we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

“We create our own reality”. Is there any phrase more apt to describe what is going on in Ukraine?

There, the US engineered a coup with the help of self-professed Nazis and then openly supported the same Nazi-infested coalition in its efforts to provoke a bloody civil war on the doorstep of one of its two remaining strategic rivals in the world.

And this has been widely and successfully sold in to European progressives – in a way that would have been flatly unthinkable as recently as ten years ago – as a case of brutal Russian aggression!

The European press has always had it pro-American stooges, or as they are called in polite language, fervent Atlanticists, ready to spread the core postulates of the US (and by extension, Israeli) worldview to their readers. I am thinking here of the people like Joseph Joffe and the ever-ridiculous ball of vanity and intellectual superficiality known as Bernard-Henri Lévy.

But for much of the last three decades, they constituted but one current among many other competing strains in the European press.

Since approximately 2004, however, their specific gravity within European opinion-making apparatus – as evidenced by the changes at El País and other similar “liberal” media outlets – has increased dramatically. Now simplistic American assumptions about who is bad and who is good once chuckled at on the continent, are the new normal in the editorial boards Europe’s “prestige press”.

And because of this, the US can now impose its invented “imperial realities” upon Europe’s citizenry with relative ease.

In such an environment, only the most intellectually confident and morally steadfast politicians (a minuscule class in today’s Europe) can resist the need address the pressing “truths” invented in Washington.

Hence, the recent pledges of love and support from Chancellor Merkel to the US puppet in Kiev, Petro Poroshenko.

I cannot explain exactly how this dramatic transformation in the European opinion-making system was effected. But in light of what we now know from the Snowden revelations, I would not be at all surprised if, at some time in the not too distant future, we find that the US poured enormous clandestine resources into a concerted drive to make this crucial change in “consensus management” take place.

Ukrainian officials are now claiming a Russian invasion of four to five thousand ground troops backed by columns of tanks and other armored vehicles, a dramatic escalation from yesterday’s claims of about 1,000 such troops.

As with yesterday’s allegations, Ukraine is offering no evidence to back up the claims, and the reports coming out of the region suggest such a massive invasion is not likely to be happening at all.

Ukraine’s government not offering backup for its allegations is nothing new, but is particularly conspicuous today, as media provides images of the few hundred rebel fighters’ advance in southeastern Ukraine, but offers nothing to support the claims that thousands of Russian troops and armor are traveling with them.

The US, which had been rubber stamping Ukrainian allegations for months, seems to be particularly hesitant this time, and is saying they can’t independently confirm any of the allegations being made this time. President Obama, who was eager to exploit the claims to push more sanctions, still did not lend any credence to the claims actually being true, and yesterday said nothing the US saw happening in the east was a “shift” in Russian policy.

Ukraine’s wild allegations have become so common and so often untrue that they have very little credibility left, and indeed this is the third separate invasion they’ve alleged to have taken place in the past week.

So far, the only “invasion” that had any truth to it at all was the one where Russian trucks delivered humanitarian aid to the city of Luhansk, and while Ukraine was eager to chalk it up to a military invasion, the trucks left the following day.

As with the phantom “column” on armored vehicles Ukraine claimed to have destroyed earlier this month, the lack of photographic evidence speaks volumes, and the allegations seem to be aimed primarily at getting increased “emergency aid” as opposed to informing people about the actual situation on the ground.

What is happening in Rwanda? On Aug. 26, the BBC reported that Burundian officials are investigating to determine why Rwandan bodies have been found floating in Lake Rweru, on Burundi’s border with Rwanda.

The discovery is not only gruesome but also ominous because both East African nations suffer from extremely volatile Hutu-Tutsi ethnic rivalries rooted in centuries of Hutu oppression by a feudal Tutsi aristocracy, which became a colonial elite in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Attempts to institute European democracy, between 1959 and 1961 in Rwanda, and in 1993 in Burundi, turned the existing social order upside down, giving electoral advantage to the Hutu majorities, which the Tutsi minorities refused to accept. War, genocide and massacres ensued and both nations, neither of which is yet 100 years old, are commonly described as tinderboxes awaiting a match.

Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame is a Tutsi, Burundi’s President Pierre Nkurunziza a Hutu. Despite past alliances of convenience, they are now antagonists. In 1993, Burundi’s Tutsi military elite assassinated that country’s first democratically elected president, Hutu Melchior Ndadaye, triggering genocidal massacres of both ethnicities in Burundi and escalating fears of the same – which did indeed follow – in Rwanda.

In 1994, near the end of a four year war of aggression, Kagame ordered the assassination of both Rwanda and Burundi’s Hutu presidents by shooting their plane out of the sky on April 6, 1994, and then launched a carefully planned, U.S. backed military offensive to seize power and restore Tutsi rule in Rwanda, even as the country sank into chaos and genocidal massacres of both ethnicities.

Any conclusion that the bodies floating in the lake are victims of state execution, genocidal execution or both could be incendiary within the two countries and/or between them. That incendiary potential has been manipulated by both foreign and domestic elites, who are no doubt following this story closely, and most likely attempting to control its outcomes.

These bound and bagged bodies certainly have the look of state execution, genocidal or not, and the simple conclusion that they were state executions has incendiary potential in itself. Rwandan President Paul Kagame arrested three of his own top military officers last week, as resistance continued to rise within his own Tutsi elite.

Rwandan or Burundian bodies?

Burundian official Jean Berchmans Mpabansi told the BBC that, ‘‘The victims are not Burundian citizens because the bodies are coming from Akagera River flowing from Rwanda.”

The Voice of Burundi reported, translated here from the French: “In recent days corpses wrapped in plastic bags are found floating on Lake Rweru on the border between Burundi and Rwanda in Muyinga Province.

“More than 40 bodies floating in the Rweru Lake town of Giteranyi have been seen and counted since the month of July by the fishermen, as confirmed by the local administration and police. This week, these fishermen, accompanied by a unit of the Navy, saw two bodies on the mouth of the Akagera.”

Rwandan Police said that no one has been reported missing in Rwanda, and Burundian Police said the same about Burundi. Both claims are unlikely because the national police of any country of 10 or 11 million people is sure to have a list of missing persons at any given time.

It’s particularly unlikely in the case of Rwanda, because on May 16, Human Rights Watch reported that “an increasing number of Rwandans have been forcibly disappeared or reported missing” and that some were known to have been forcibly disappeared by Rwanda’s army, the Rwandan Defense Force. HRW detailed 14 cases of missing persons.

In mid-July HRW spoke to the anniversary of the murder of Gustave Makonene, coordinator of Transparency International Rwanda’s Advocacy and Legal Advice Center in Rubavu, Rwanda:

“The details of Gustave Makonene’s death are gruesome. His body was found outside the lakeside town of Rubavu, in northwestern Rwanda, on July 18, 2013. The police medical report indicated he was strangled. Local residents who saw his body gave Human Rights Watch more graphic detail. They believed his body may have been thrown from a car on a road above the lake and ended up twisted around a large tree, which had blocked its fall into the water.“

There have been neither investigations nor charges. Another HRW essayist asked, “Why is the whole world still silent on the murder of Rwandan activist Makonene?” On August 1 Transparency International issued a press release saying that the staff of all five of their Rwandan offices are in danger.

President Paul Kagame’s plausibility problem

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has never been noted for plausible or consistent explanation. After 18 years of Rwandan invasion, occupation, assassination and resource plunder in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, all copiously documented, he continues to tell Western television audiences that he cannot be held responsible for the problems of Congo, that Congo’s problems began with colonialism long before his birth.

And, of course, he continues to say that his destiny is to save and forever protect the Rwandan people from genocide, because, as he tells the story over and over, the world abandoned Rwanda in 1994. It’s a matter of record that Kagame himself threatened to fire on U.N. troops if they attempted to intervene in Rwanda in 1994, but that’s never been of concern to corporate broadcast anchors. Neither has Kagame’s U.S-backed invasion of Rwanda, commanding a detachment of the Ugandan army in October 1990. Nor has the four year war that those Ugandan troops waged in Rwanda between October 1990 and July 1994. Nor has the active intervention of the Clinton Administration to prevent the UN from intervening in Rwanda in 1994.

The story of four years of war and mass killing in Rwanda has instead been shortened and simplified into a 100-day morality play about genocide ending with “Never again!”  And, Kagame has been allowed to trump all evidence and reason by playing the genocide card for so long that he feels in no way compelled to offer a plausible or consistent explanation of anything.

Nearly 50,000 people reported missing in Rwanda this year

Although Rwandan officials denied, on August 26th, that anyone is missing, the government has, on other days, acknowledged that nearly 50,000 people have disappeared this year. The government says they’re missing, but dissident Rwandan refugees and exiles say they’re dead – and that they are Hutu victims of Kagame’s slow, silent, systematic Hutu genocide – genocide by exclusion, poverty, starvation, sterilization and execution.

Rwandans whom the government acknowledges are missing include 16,000 Hutu villagers from the country’s northwestern Ngororero District. Rwandan Interior Minister James Musoni acknowledged, in the country’s Kinyarwanda language, that these villagers are missing but said that the government has no idea where they’ve gone and fears they may have crossed Rwanda’s border with DR Congo to join the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR).

Rwandan refugee Ambrose Nzeyimana translated the English into Kinyarwanda and posted “Kigali acknowledges the disappearance of 16,000 of its citizens” to his British-based blog, The Rising Continent. Rwandans in exile write that these people have been massacred by the Kagame regime as part of its program to slowly, quietly, and systematically eliminate the Hutu population. Their belief is based on their own experience, their contact with extended family in Rwanda, and their attention to the Kinyarwanda press.

Rwandan prison authorities acknowledge that 30,000 Hutu prisoners sentenced to “community service” (hard labor) have also disappeared, Rwandan exiles, again, write that they’ve been executed by Kagame’s genocidal government.

It’s difficult to imagine how a government with one of the best trained, best equipped African military and security forces, including local forces everywhere, in one of the most tightly controlled, dictatorial regimes in the world, could lose track of 30,000 state prisoners. However, the government, again, and the Ibuka Tutsi survivors’ group, claim to fear that these people may have escaped across the border to join the FDLR in DR Congo, where they now constitute a threat to genocide survivors.

As with so much in Rwanda, including the history of the 1990-1994 war and genocide, there is a Tutsi version of the truth and a Hutu version, but the Tutsi version is legally enforced and championed worldwide by rich and powerful people, including Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, Rev. Rick Warren and Howard Buffett. Despite wholesale de facto discimination against Hutu people, they join Kagame in proclaiming that truth and reconciliation have been achieved in Rwanda, and ethnicity is no longer important.

Prisoners incinerated?

More Rwandan Hutu prisoners may have perished in a fire on June 5, 2014, in Rwanda’s largest prison, Muhanga Central Prison in Gitarama, and then in a second prison fire at Nyakiriba Prison in Rubavu (Gisenyi) on July 7.

Rwandan exiles write that prisoners in both Muhanga Central Prison and Nyakiriba Prison were intentionally incinerated in their cells, once again as part of a slow, silent, systematic Hutu genocide.

Is it likely that two, geographically distant Rwandan prisons would be destroyed or badly damaged by fire in barely more than one month? All we know is what Rwandan authorities say, and all they say is that there were two prison fires but no prisoners died.

Muhanga Prison, formerly known as Gitarama Central Prison, was known to be one of the most hellish prisons on earth. In 1995, a London Independent headline about it read, “Hutus held in ‘worst prison in world’: 7,000 suspects of Rwanda massacre are kept in jail built for 400.

On June 6, the International Red Cross reported that “the accommodations” of 3,500 prisoners went up in flames in Gitarama but that the Rwandan government said no prisoners were in their cells at the time.

Hard evidence?

There will be no hard evidence of the truth behind any of these missing persons reports, except perhaps those few filed by Human Rights Watch, unless the U.N. Security Council deems the situation in Rwanda so dangerous to international security and stability that an independent U.N. investigative team must be allowed in, as when U.N. investigator Hans Blix’s team was allowed into Iraq before the 2003 U.S./U.K. invasion.

Of course, the U.S. and U.K. ignored Blix’s conclusion that there were no weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, as the U.S. and allied states will ignore any evidence counter to the security interests now defined by their executive corporate, military and foreign policy elites, not by popular democracy.

However, that’s no reason not to call for investigation. It’s better that Hans Blix’s team was allowed into Iraq than not, for the sake of history and global consciousness, and we can continue to work for just outcomes. Independent U.N. investigations should be undertaken, post haste, into each instance of individual and mass disappearances in Rwanda, and into why bound, bagged bodies were found floating in Lake Rweru between the shores of Rwanda and Burundi.

Why has the U.S. renewed support for Kagame’s Rwanda?

Why did the U.S. renew its political and military support of Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s dictatorship at the U.S.-Africa Summit? Why is the U.S. threatening the Hutu refugees organized as the FDLR with military action if they refuse to disarm and surrender unconditionally?

The FDLR may be armed in self-defense, but Special Envoy to the Great Lakes Region Russ Feingold has acknowledged that they pose no credible threat to Rwanda. The majority of Rwandan Hutu refugees in eastern Congo are simply that – refugees – who dare not return to Rwanda for fear of having their names added to these long lists of missing persons that the Rwandan government says it’s unable to explain.

Rwandan opposition leaders, Hutu and Tutsi alike, and Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete have all called upon the Rwandan government to negotiate with the FDLR for safe repatriation to a Rwanda in which they will not be a de facto Hutu underclass threatened with elimination. ,

On January 4th, former Rwandan General Kayumba Nyamwasa told KPFA: “I understand the guiltiness that maybe some could be feeling about their failure to stop the genocide. But you don’t support somebody who’s in the process of creating another genocide. And I think they should be able to examine their consciences, look at what is happening in Rwanda, and see exactly what is taking place.”

Many Rwandan Hutus, refugees and exiles believe that if the regime now headed by Paul Kagame remains in power for another 50 years, there will be no Hutu people left in Rwanda.

Oakland writer Ann Garrison writes for the San Francisco Bay View, Counterpunch, Global Research, Colored Opinions, Black Agenda Report, and Black Star News, and produces radio news and features for Pacifica’s WBAI-NYC, KPFA-Berkeley and her own YouTube Channel. She can be reached at [email protected]. If you want to see Ann Garrison’s independent reporting continue, please contribute on her website, anngarrison.com.

America Has Undertaken Regime Change In Many Countries Before

In 1957, the U.S. and British governments planned regime change in Syria … because it was drifting too close to the Soviet Union.

20 years ago, influential U.S. government officials decided to effect regime change throughout the Middle East and North Africa.   The countries targeted were “old Soviet regimes”.

The U.S. has, of course, already carried out regime change in Guatemala, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Chile, Haiti and many other countries.  The U.S. was also instrumental in the recent regime change in Ukraine.

Soviet leader Gorbachev allowed the Soviet Union broken up only after the U.S. and NATO promised they would not encircle Russia militarily.  Ever since 1991, they have broken their promise and encircled Russia.

Is the U.S. Now Trying to Implement Regime Change In Russia?

New Republic writes:

There are now voices in Moscow saying that these sanctions are an attempt to force regime change in Russia.

Richard Becker – of the American anti-war group Answer Coalition – says:

Their (US and NATO) clear aim is to surround Russia, to weaken Russia in the long run [and] to bring about regime change in Russia…

DNA India argues:

Washington’s obvious plan is to get troublesome Putin out of the way. The expectation is that once Russians feel the crunch they will turn against the president.

***

Regime change has become the latest buzzword against rulers the West dislikes. It was Iraq’s Saddam Hussain at one time, Libya’s Muammar Gaddafi at another time and now it is Russia’s Putin. The Russian leader may not be an easy prey.

Former Indian ambassador M.K.Bhadrakumar theorizes that it is Russia’s sheltering of Edward Snowden which is the motivation for the U.S. push for regime change in Russia:

The US is undoubtedly in a punishing mood. What accounts for it? Can’t be Syria. Can’t be Iran, Iraq or Afghanistan. Can’t be the Arctic, can’t be BRICS.

Yes, it has to be the unprecedented humiliation and damage caused to the US’ global standing and foreign and security policies by the Edward Snowden affair, which Washington believes was masterminded from the Kremlin. It’s payback time for the CIA.

Former Associated Press and Newsweek reporter Robert Parry wrote in April:

Now that the demonization of Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is in full swing, one has to wonder when the neocons will unveil their plan for “regime change” in Moscow, despite the risks that overthrowing Putin and turning Russia into a super-sized version of Ukraine might entail for the survival of the planet.

There is a “little-old-lady-who-swallowed-the-fly” quality to neocon thinking. When one of their schemes goes bad, they simply move to a bigger, more dangerous scheme.

Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Russian government photo)

If the Palestinians and Lebanon’s Hezbollah persist in annoying you and troubling Israel, you target their sponsors with “regime change” – in Iraq, Syria and Iran. If your “regime change” in Iraq goes badly, you escalate the subversion of Syria and the bankrupting of Iran. [See Consortiumnews.com’s “The Mysterious Why of the Iraq War.”]

Just when you think you’ve cornered President Barack Obama into a massive bombing campaign against Syria – with a possible follow-on war against Iran – Putin steps in to give Obama a peaceful path out, getting Syria to surrender its chemical weapons and Iran to agree to constraints on its nuclear program.

So, this Obama-Putin collaboration has become your new threat. That means you take aim at Ukraine, knowing its sensitivity to Russia. [For details, see Consortiumnews.com’s “What Neocons Want from Ukraine Crisis.”]

You support an uprising against elected President Viktor Yanukovych, even though neo-Nazi militias are needed to accomplish the actual coup. You get the U.S. State Department to immediately recognize the coup regime although it disenfranchises many people of eastern and southern Ukraine, where Yanukovych had his political base.

When Putin steps in to protect the interests of those ethnic Russian populations and supports the secession of Crimea (endorsed by 96 percent of voters in a hastily called referendum), your target shifts again. Though you’ve succeeded in your plan to drive a wedge between Obama and Putin, Putin’s resistance to your Ukraine plans makes him the next focus of “regime change.”

And a former high-level CIA official says that Putin has to go, and the U.S. should assassinate him if he doesn’t leave voluntarily.

But every country we’ve regime changed have descended into chaos.

As Robert Parry warns, we might be very sorry if we succeed in forcing Putin out:

But what would it mean to destabilize Russia? Does anyone think that shattering the Russian political structure through a combination of economic sanctions and information warfare will result in a smooth transition to some better future? The Russians already have tried the West’s “shock therapy” under drunken President Boris Yeltsin – and they saw the cruel ugliness of “free market” capitalism.

Putin’s autocratic nationalism was a response to the near-starvation levels of poverty that many Russians were forced into as they watched well-connected capitalists plunder the nation’s wealth and emerge as oligarchic billionaires. For all Putin’s faults, it was his pushback against some of those oligarchs and his defense of Russian interests internationally that secured him a solid political base.

In other words, even if the neocons get the Obama administration – and maybe its successor – to ratchet up tensions with Russia enough to generate sufficient political friction to drive Putin from office, the likely result would be a dangerously unstable Russia possessing a vast arsenal of nuclear weapons. Putin loyalists are not likely to readily accept a replay of the Yeltsin years.

But the neocons apparently think the risks are well worth it. After all, the end result might finally let them kill off that pesky fly, Israel’s near-in threat from the Palestinians and Hezbollah. But we might remember what happened to the little old lady in the ditty, when she swallowed the horse, she was dead, of course.

Israeli Drone Downed in Iraq. Report

August 30th, 2014 by Global Research News

Lebanese TV channel Al-Mayadeen has said that an Israeli drone, similar to the one downed several days ago by Iran, has been downed in Baghdad.

Al-Mayadeen reported that sources said the reason behind the fall of the drone “are still unknown,” noting that the Iraqi army abstained from commenting on the incident.

According to the sources, the Iraqi army wanted to investigate the incident, but the American embassy in Baghdad interfered. A technical team arrived at the scene, collected the drone remains, and took them to the embassy.

[File photo] Al-Mayadeen reported that sources said the reason behind the fall of the drone 'are still unknown,' noting that the Iraqi army abstained from commenting on the incident.

[File photo] Al-Mayadeen reported that sources said the reason behind the fall of the drone ‘are still unknown,’ noting that the Iraqi army abstained from commenting on the incident.

Meanwhile, Iraqi forces killed 29 IS members in an operation to liberate Shamali villages. Sources from the Iraqi police said that 18 people, including IS members, were killed in different areas in the Saladin Governorate.

The mother of the American journalist kidnapped in Iraq, Steven Sotloff, broadcast a video appealing to the kidnappers of her son to release him.

Sotloff appeared in a video with IS members last week when they murdered his colleague James Foley. The IS members called for the US President Barak Obama to stop his operation, or they would murder Sotloff.

The German army said that a non-combatant unit started a mission in Erbil two days ago. The German government said that it will offer weapons to Kurdish forces so they can fight IS in the region.


Recently most of the attention has been on northern Iraq. But military action in western Iraq has been going on for months, after areas came under control of Sunni Muslim extremists and other anti-government groups. Some, like the city of Fallujah, have been under constant attack from the Iraqi government. NIQASH went there to find a city demolished, people without hope – and another potential uprising.

Getting into Fallujah is far from easy. One must pass through dozens of Iraqi army checkpoints followed by dozens of checkpoints manned by the gunmen who now control the city. Unless one is doing humanitarian work one cannot enter or exit. And if the humanitarian aid workers don’t leave the city again at a pre-specified time, they are regarded with suspicion and may be detained.

Additionally two months ago, the extremists who control the city gave an order that all journalists inside Fallujah must stop working. Any violations would be heavily punished, they said.

Tribal fighters in Fallujah earlier this year.

So anyone who enters now – whether they are coming for humanitarian purposes or to visit a relative – is put under close surveillance. Masked gunmen on the streets observe visitors’ activities and communicate visitors’ movements through a radio network. They want to be sure that anyone coming into the city is not a government spy or a journalist.

The main streets leading into Fallujah from the four major entrances to the city are booby trapped with explosive devices. These are arranged in a complicated and random fashion and nobody other than the gunmen who control the city knows where they all are. That means that nobody can enter Fallujah unless they are guided by one of the fighters.

Once inside the city, you quickly see how exhausted everybody looks. Locals’ faces reflect myriad untold, sad stories. Most have lost at least one family member during this siege. There are also plenty of serious injuries on display. Many locals have now joined the armed groups controlling the city out of a desire for revenge.

Many of the buildings are damaged or completely destroyed. Anyone who manages to get into Fallujah will see a city that looks as though it’s out of a picture taken just after World War II.

“Some areas – such as al-Hay al-Sinaie and Nazzal – have been completely levelled,” one of the city’s tribal leaders, Ahmed al-Halbusi, told NIQASH. “It would be almost impossible for people to go back and live in those areas again because they are so damaged. Additionally the Iraqi air force is still shelling those areas even though we have no idea why.”

Al-Halbusi was now looking after a five-year-old boy named Othman. “His whole family was killed in the Nazzal area,” al-Halbusi explains. “He was playing in his garden and his family were in the house when the house was hit. He was the only survivor.”

There are dozens of similar stories. The Iraqi army has been attacking Fallujah since the beginning of the year. Every day the army shells the city two different ways – with ground artillery from their camps near the city. One of the major camps is the nearby Mazra camp.

The people of Fallujah say that this method seems to be fairly ineffective and doesn’t cause a lot of damage. They are far more concerned about the second method the Iraqi army is using: air bombardment.

Military helicopters bomb the city too – some of these helicopters are old ones, dating back to Saddam Hussein’s army, and some are new Russian-made machines, received recently. The helicopters often use barrel bombs, locals say. When these land and don’t explode, they try to disarm them.

“We don’t want to hurt civilians,” says Karim al-Mamouri, a lieutenant in the Iraqi army who is supervising one of the units besieging Fallujah. “We only want to hurt the extremist groups who have been controlling this city for months now. We have coordinates about their whereabouts inside the city and that’s where we aim at.”

Obviously though, this plan doesn’t always work – there have been many civilian injuries and deaths in Fallujah. In an official statement dated August 18, 2014, Ahmad al-Shami, an administrator at Fallujah’s public hospital, wrote that an estimated 700 people have been killed in the city since the beginning of the year and around 2,200 wounded. “The general hospital has not been spared either,” he went on to say. “It has been bombed five times over the past few months.”

One thing the lieutenant is right about is that the Sunni Muslim extremist group known as the Islamic State, or IS, is in control of Fallujah now. The group forced all the other Sunni Muslim anti-government groups inside the city to hand over their weapons. In fact, a lot of the members of these factions chose to leave Fallujah rather than remain there at the IS group’s mercy.

For example, last Saturday gunmen from IS led a tour of the city, parading blindfolded prisoners from the Mujahedeen Army. This militia, which controls terrain north of Fallujah, had declared war on the IS group.

The number of IS fighters in Fallujah has also increased since anti-government forces first took over the city in January. At first there were an estimated 600 members of the IS group in Fallujah. Now there are approximately 2,000 as others from inside the city have joined and as fighters have arrived from neighbouring Syria.

The IS group has also cunningly used the feelings of resentment, frustration and desire for revenge that exist in Fallujah, particularly among local youths who have lost members of their families.

The Iraqi government estimates that before the city was lost, Fallujah had around half a million residents. Now almost three quarters of them have left the city.

“Those who stay here are living by luck alone,” says Karim al-Bajari, one of the residents who still remains. “We live as though we are playing hide and seek continuously. We hide when the shelling starts or when we hear planes.”

Even though the city is supposed to be under siege, al-Bajari says that the fighters have their own secret paths into northern parts of Baghdad. They bring food and medicine into the city along these; after all they are supposed to be responsible for the administration of the city.

The dead of Fallujah also have a story to tell. The only cemetery in Fallujah – the Al Shuhada, or Martyrs’, cemetery – is overcrowded. Some days the deceased are being buried together in mass graves, one of the cemetery workers told NIQASH.

“In one day, we were forced to bury four children in one grave,” the worker says. “Their body parts got mixed together. And slowly the cemetery is becoming way too crowded. We are even burying people on the pathways now.”

This has led to some Fallujah residents simply burying their dead at home, in their back yards. Those who live in the city’s most dangerous areas have been storing dead relatives in refrigerators until they can get out and find a piece of ground in which to bury them.

Fallujah has also stopped holding funerals. “We are not holding gatherings like that at the moment because these kinds of events are usually attended by dozens of people and that makes them an easy target for the military planes,” says Siddiq al-Tamimi, another tribal leader in Fallujah. “The Iraqi army thinks these are gatherings of militants.”

“The army has tried to enter Fallujah more than 70 times over the past eight months,” Abu Aesha al-Thiyabi, a leading member of one of the less radical militias inside Fallujah, told NIQASH. “But every attempt has failed. This is because of the strength of the tribal factions defending the city and the weak training of the Iraqi army, who usually turn and run away when confronted directly.”

“We are against the things that the IS group do,” al-Thiyabi added. “We don’t support their acts. But we do have a common enemy: the Iraqi army, who are trying to kill us all with any means available to them.”

Locals in Fallujah say that there have been a number of highly secret meetings in Fallujah over the past weeks, attended by tribal leaders and the heads of the various armed factions fighting in Fallujah.

Sources say that these meetings are being held with the aim of concocting a plan to expel the IS group from the city. The various tribal leaders and militia heads want to run the city themselves, but they want to do it in a non-extremist way.  However they also do not want to see the Iraqi army return and they only want local police to administer the city’s security.

An Open Letter to  The Executive Editor & Chief Leader Writer of The Times, London

Your recent article on antisemitism is the latest in a long line of comment condemning the alleged conflation of anti-Zionism with anti-Semitism but which, unfortunately, manages to completely avoid the obvious fact that the key driver of antisemitism, today, in both Britain and Europe is the policy agenda of the Netanyahu government of Israel.

The international community views with distaste, if not abhorrence, the policies that have illegally settled over half a million Israeli citizens on to occupied Palestinian land in gross violation of international law and in contempt of the will of the United Nations, plus the seven year old blockade of essential goods and services required by 1.82 million residents of Gaza – and the world makes a considered judgement upon the evidence it sees.

And that judgement is not only applicable to the government of Israel but also to those who indiscriminately support it, which includes AIPAC – the American Israel lobby group that has such substantiated influence over the US Congress that funds and arms the Netanyahu administration – plus also certain minority groups in Britain and Europe.

 These are the real reasons for the frightening rise in antisemitism in Europe and elsewhere that can now only be reversed by a paradigm shift in the Israeli government agenda and the attitude of the United States vis-à-vis the 4.55 million, indigenous people of the West Bank and Gaza.

And that includes, in addition to the extensive reconstruction of Gaza, urgent consideration for the planning of a deep-sea port on the Eastern Mediterranean and an international airport, to compete with those of Haifa and Tel Aviv, in Israel.   Only with an end to occupation will there be a sustainable peace and a reduction in animosity towards the State of Israel and those who support it.

 Yours etc

ANTHONY BELLCHAMBERS

America Has Sold Its Soul for Oil

Why Does the U.S. Support a Country which was FOUNDED With Terrorism

A U.S. congressman for 6 years,  who is now a talking head on MSNBC (Joe Scarborough) says that – even if the Saudi government backed the 9/11 attacks – Saudi oil is too important to do anything about it:

 

This is not an isolated incident. It is a microcosm of U.S.-Saudi relations.

http://my2bucks.files.wordpress.com/2009/01/bush-saudi-hand-holding-1.jpghttp://i.huffpost.com/gen/7992/thumbs/s-BUSHANDSAUDIS-large.jpghttp://www.usnews.com/dbimages/master/10457/FE_DA_090409publicopinion.jpg

 

By way of background, former MI6 agent Alastair Crooke notes that Saudi Arabia was founded with terrorism:

One dominant strand to the Saudi identity pertains directly to Muhammad ibn ʿAbd al-Wahhab (the founder of Wahhabism), and the use to which his radical, exclusionist puritanism was put by Ibn Saud. (The latter was then no more than a minor leader — amongst many — of continually sparring and raiding Bedouin tribes in the baking and desperately poor deserts of the Nejd.)

***

Abd al-Wahhab demanded conformity — a conformity that was to be demonstrated in physical and tangible ways. He argued that all Muslims must individually pledge their allegiance to a single Muslim leader (a Caliph, if there were one). Those who would not conform to this view should be killed, their wives and daughters violated, and their possessions confiscated, he wrote. The list of apostates meriting death included the Shiite, Sufis and other Muslim denominations, whom Abd al-Wahhab did not consider to be Muslim at all.

***

Abd al-Wahhab’s advocacy of these ultra radical views inevitably led to his expulsion from his own town — and in 1741, after some wanderings, he found refuge under the protection of Ibn Saud and his tribe. What Ibn Saud perceived in Abd al-Wahhab’s novel teaching was the means to overturn Arab tradition and convention. It was a path to seizing power.

Ibn Saud’s clan, seizing on Abd al-Wahhab’s doctrine, now could do what they always did, which was raiding neighboring villages and robbing them of their possessions. Only now they were doing it not within the ambit of Arab tradition, but rather under the banner of jihad. Ibn Saud and Abd al-Wahhab also reintroduced the idea of martyrdom in the name of jihad, as it granted those martyred immediate entry into paradise.

***

Their strategy — like that of ISIS today — was to bring the peoples whom they conquered into submission. They aimed to instill fear. In 1801, the Allies attacked the Holy City of Karbala in Iraq. They massacred thousands of Shiites, including women and children. Many Shiite shrines were destroyed, including the shrine of Imam Hussein, the murdered grandson of Prophet Muhammad.

A British official, Lieutenant Francis Warden, observing the situation at the time, wrote: “They pillaged the whole of it [Karbala], and plundered the Tomb of Hussein… slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above five thousand of the inhabitants …”

Osman Ibn Bishr Najdi, the historian of the first Saudi state, wrote that Ibn Saud committed a massacre in Karbala in 1801. He proudly documented that massacre saying, “we took Karbala and slaughtered and took its people (as slaves), then praise be to Allah, Lord of the Worlds, and we do not apologize for that and say: ‘And to the unbelievers: the same treatment.’”

In 1803, Abdul Aziz then entered the Holy City of Mecca, which surrendered under the impact of terror and panic (the same fate was to befall Medina, too). Abd al-Wahhab’s followers demolished historical monuments and all the tombs and shrines in their midst. By the end, they had destroyed centuries of Islamic architecture near the Grand Mosque.

***

With the advent of the oil bonanza — as the French scholar, Giles Kepel writes, Saudi goals were to “reach out and spread Wahhabism across the Muslim world … to “Wahhabise” Islam, thereby reducing the “multitude of voices within the religion” to a “single creed” — a movement which would transcend national divisions. Billions of dollars were — and continue to be — invested in this manifestation of soft power.

***

It was this heady mix of billion dollar soft power projection — and the Saudi willingness to manage Sunni Islam both to further America’s interests, as it concomitantly embedded Wahhabism educationally, socially and culturally throughout the lands of Islam — that brought into being a western policy dependency on Saudi Arabia, a dependency that has endured since Abd-al Aziz’s meeting with Roosevelt on a U.S. warship (returning the president from the Yalta Conference) until today.

***

The more radical Islamist movements were perceived by Western intelligence services as being more effective in toppling the USSR in Afghanistan — and in combatting out-of-favor Middle Eastern leaders and states.Why should we be surprised then, that from Prince Bandar’s Saudi-Western mandate to manage the insurgency in Syria against President Assad should have emerged a neo-Ikhwan type of violent, fear-inducing vanguard movement: ISIS?

Frontline notes:

Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, founder of “Wahhabism,” an austere form of Islam, arrives in the central Arabian state of Najd in 1744 preaching a return to “pure” Islam. He seeks protection from the local emir, Muhammad ibn Saud, head of the Al Saud tribal family, and they cut a deal. The Al Saud will endorse al-Wahhab’s austere form of Islam and in return, the Al Saud will get political legitimacy and regular tithes from al-Wahhab’s followers. The religious-political alliance that al-Wahhab and Saud forge endures to this day in Saudi Arabia.

By the 19th century, the Al Saud has spread its influence across the Arabian Peninsula, stretching from the Red Sea to the Persian Gulf and including the Two Holy Cities of Mecca and Medina.

***

By 1945, the U.S. urgently needs oil facilities to help supply forces fighting in the Second World War. Meanwhile, security is at the forefront of King Abd al-Aziz’s concerns. President Franklin Roosevelt invites the king to meet him aboard the U.S.S. Quincy, docked in the Suez Canal. The two leaders cement a secret oil-for-security pact: The king guarantees to give the U.S. secure access to Saudi oil and in exchange the U.S. will provide military assistance and training to Saudi Arabia and build the Dhahran military base.

U.S. presidents have been extremely close to the Saudi monarchs ever since.

The Progressive notes:

The ideology of the Saudi regime is that of ISIS even if the foreign policies differ,” California State University-Stanislaus Professor Asad AbuKhalil tells The Progressive.

***

Wahhabi Islam [the official ideology of the Saudi monarchy] is fully in sync with ISIS.”

But instead of isolating the Saudi regime from the global mainstream, President Obama paid a visit there earlier this year, meeting with King Abdullah. He reportedly did not discuss the regime’s dubious conduct.

“I can’t think of a more pernicious actor in the region,” British-Pakistani author Mohsin Hamid told me in an interview last year. “The House of Saud has exported this very pernicious form of militant Islam under U.S. watch. Then the United States comes in repeatedly to attack symptoms of this problem without ever addressing the basic issue: Where does it all come from? Who’s at the heart of this thing? It would be like saying that if you have skin rash because of cancer, the best option is to cut off your skin. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Yet, the United States continues with this approach.

Even establishment opinion is recognizing the dimensions of the Saudi problem.

“It can’t be exporting extremism and at the same time ask the United States to protect it,” Retired General (and onetime presidential contender) Wesley Clark recently told CNN.

“Al Qaeda, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Boko Haram, the Shabab and others are all violent Sunni Salafi groupings,” Ed Husain of the Council on Foreign Relations recently wrote in the New York Times. “For five decades, Saudi Arabia has been the official sponsor of Sunni Salafism [another term for Wahhabism] across the globe.”

Such entities “have been lavishly supported by the Saudi government, which has appointed emissaries to its embassies in Muslim countries who proselytize for Salafism,” he adds.

***

Then-U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in a December 2009 leaked diplomatic cable that entities in Saudi Arabia were the “most significant source of funding to Sunni terrorist groups worldwide.”

***

Yet the United States keeps mum because the Saudi monarchy serves U.S. interests. Due to its pivotal role in OPEC, it makes sure that crude oil prices don’t rise above a certain level. It is a key purchaser of American weapons. It invests in U.S. government bonds. And it has acted in the past as proxy for covert U.S. actions, such as funneling arms and funding to the Nicaraguan contras.

***

Until Saudi Arabia stops sponsoring the most reactionary brands of Sunni Islam, this U.S. ally will remain responsible for much of the mayhem in the Muslim world.

The Independent headlines “Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country”:

Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: “The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally ‘God help the Shia’. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them.”

***

There is no doubt about the accuracy of the quote by Prince Bandar, secretary-general of the Saudi National Security Council from 2005 and head of General Intelligence between 2012 and 2014, the crucial two years when al-Qa’ida-type jihadis took over the Sunni-armed opposition in Iraq and Syria. Speaking at the Royal United Services Institute last week, Dearlove, who headed MI6 from 1999 to 2004, emphasised the significance of Prince Bandar’s words, saying that they constituted “a chilling comment that I remember very well indeed”.

He does not doubt that substantial and sustained funding from private donors in Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to which the authorities may have turned a blind eye, has played a central role in the Isis surge into Sunni areas of Iraq. He said: “Such things simply do not happen spontaneously.” This sounds realistic since the tribal and communal leadership in Sunni majority provinces is much beholden to Saudi and Gulf paymasters, and would be unlikely to cooperate with Isis without their consent.

***

Unfortunately, Christians in areas captured by Isis are finding this is not true, as their churches are desecrated and they are forced to flee. A difference between al-Qa’ida and Isis is that the latter is much better organised; if it does attack Western targets the results are likely to be devastating.

***

Dearlove … sees Saudi strategic thinking as being shaped by two deep-seated beliefs or attitudes. First, they are convinced that there “can be no legitimate or admissible challenge to the Islamic purity of their Wahhabi credentials as guardians of Islam’s holiest shrines”. But, perhaps more significantly given the deepening Sunni-Shia confrontation, the Saudi belief that they possess a monopoly of Islamic truth leads them to be “deeply attracted towards any militancy which can effectively challenge Shia-dom”.

Western governments traditionally play down the connection between Saudi Arabia and its Wahhabist faith, on the one hand, and jihadism, whether of the variety espoused by Osama bin Laden and al-Qa’ida or by Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s Isis. There is nothing conspiratorial or secret about these links: 15 out of 19 of the 9/11 hijackers were Saudis, as was Bin Laden and most of the private donors who funded the operation.

***

But there has always been a second theme to Saudi policy towards al-Qa’ida type jihadis, contradicting Prince Bandar’s approach and seeing jihadis as a mortal threat to the Kingdom. Dearlove illustrates this attitude by relating how, soon after 9/11, he visited the Saudi capital Riyadh with Tony Blair.

He remembers the then head of Saudi General Intelligence “literally shouting at me across his office: ’9/11 is a mere pinprick on the West. In the medium term, it is nothing more than a series of personal tragedies. What these terrorists want is to destroy the House of Saud and remake the Middle East.’” In the event, Saudi Arabia adopted both policies, encouraging the jihadis as a useful tool of Saudi anti-Shia influence abroad but suppressing them at home as a threat to the status quo. It is this dual policy that has fallen apart over the last year.

Saudi sympathy for anti-Shia “militancy” is identified in leaked US official documents. The then US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton wrote in December 2009 in a cable released by Wikileaks that “Saudi Arabia remains a critical financial support base for al-Qa’ida, the Taliban, LeT [Lashkar-e-Taiba in Pakistan] and other terrorist groups.”

***

Saudi Arabia and its allies are in practice playing into the hands of Isis which is swiftly gaining full control of the Sunni opposition in Syria and Iraq.

***

For all his gargantuan mistakes, Maliki’s failings are not the reason why the Iraqi state is disintegrating. What destabilised Iraq from 2011 on was the revolt of the Sunni in Syria and the takeover of that revolt by jihadis, who were often sponsored by donors in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait and United Arab Emirates. Again and again Iraqi politicians warned that by not seeking to close down the civil war in Syria, Western leaders were making it inevitable that the conflict in Iraq would restart. “I guess they just didn’t believe us and were fixated on getting rid of [President Bashar al-] Assad,” said an Iraqi leader in Baghdad last week.

***

Saudi Arabia has created a Frankenstein’s monster over which it is rapidly losing control. The same is true of its allies such as Turkey which has been a vital back-base for Isis and Jabhat al-Nusra by keeping the 510-mile-long Turkish-Syrian border open.

As we’ve extensively documented, the Saudis and the U.S. backed the radical “madrassas” in which Islamic radicalism was spread.

Indeed, the U.S. is backing the most radical Muslim terrorists in the world: the Salafis, who are heavily concentrated in Saudi Arabia, while overthrowing the more moderate Arabs.

“The separatists are backed, trained, armed, financed by Russia. Russia determined that it had to be a little more overt in what it had already been doing, but it’s not really a shift.”Obama, 29 August 2014.

 ”If you repeat a lie often enough, it becomes the truth.”  -  Joseph Goebbels (Hitler’s Propaganda Minister)

Interestingly, most of us who are seeking the truth are primarily attempting to undo the lies – lies umpteen times repeated, lies about “Russian invasions”, first proclaimed by Poroshenko, Ukraine’s oligarch leader (sic), lies of Russia “not respecting Ukraine’s sovereignty”, demonization directed against President Putin, Malaysian airliners downed by Russia – and-so-on.

The latest accusation is that JP Morgan and four other Wall Street banks have been hacked. And the culprit is…. Of, course Russia, according to the presstitute MSM.

It doesn’t matter whether what Poroshenko said and is repeated the world over was based on a translation error (according to the German Tagesschau, the German mainstream TV news) – or whether it is just a conventional lie continuously repeated until it becomes the truth à la Goebbels – the western bought propaganda machine takes full advantage of this hundreds of years old simple strategy of deception.

The interesting part, however, is that hardly anyone on that very occasion is presenting the counter-weight, so to speak, namely to what extent Kiev is assisted by US paid mercenaries, CIA military and strategic advisers and their equipment, all paid for in one way or another by the State Department, CIA, or NATO. And these are facts. Not inventions for deception.

There is enough proof about who caused the 22 February 2014 coup (Maidan) – Madame Nuland, Kerry’s assistant, bragged about it at the Washington Press club – remember the US$ 5 billion “investment” in Ukraine’s regime change that cannot be let go down the drain because of the f….ing Europeans. She was caught hot-handed or hot-voiced on the phone with the US Ambassador in Kiev.

 Ever since that infamous coup, the US / NATO and the EU have had their dirty hands in Kiev’s Nazi killer junta – otherwise the Kiev thugs would have never had either the courage or the military knowledge to advance to the Donbas area of Ukraine, where they were literally ordered to kill their brothers. Some of them with some conscience defected early on; then they were accompanied under threats of life by CIA ‘advisers’. Eventually they defected by the thousands because of lack of food and ammunition and the resulting low-low morale.

 It is actually irrelevant whether Russia has troops and armory in East Ukraine. In fact it would be well justified for Russia to defend her countrymen from savage slaughter, as many Donbas citizens are originally Russians. But – they don’t, as Mr. Putin is too smart to spoil his diplomatic assets on a war that is already lost by Kiev.

Be this as it may, why do we, truth seekers, at a time of Obama’s lie exclamations and countless media repetitions not present more frequently the US / NATO invasion in Ukraine and their assistance to the Kiev murderers, rather than always being on the defensive, undoing lies in defense of Russia?

The truth of what the US-NATO killing machine, its vassal EU states and its paid mercenaries are up to in Ukraine, and that they won’t let go regardless of what Obama mutters to tranquilize the world — the truth is in one way or another Washington is committed to its financial and corporate elite to achieve  Full Spectrum Dominance, meaning complete subjugation of the world to Washington’s masters, the military-security industrial complex and the war financing monetary system – FED-Wall Street-IMF, the latter being a mere extension of the US Treasury.

The Endgame means encircling Russia and China with more NATO bases, including Ukraine and Moldova, as close as possible to Moscow’s doorsteps; and, foreseen by 2015, with 60% of the US naval fleet in the South China Sea.

We should not be detracted by the day-to-day details and lies, by the fires that flare up here and there, though all horrible, killing thousands of people; we should not be confused by ‘who is doing what?’ – But rather focus on the Big Picture, the intentions behind the US / NATO killing machine, not so much by denying the obvious lies, but rather by describing actual facts and the long-term strategy behind them.

Obama screamed again ‘wolf’ today, literally shouting – ‘Russia has invaded Ukraine, Russia’s military and equipment are in Ukraine, Russia is funding the separatists’ — then adds, ‘but it’s not in the cards for America to intervene now.’

Don’t be fooled. Obama and his masters won’t go away.  He says the same about American intervention in Syria – it’s not the right time, while arming and bombing (as a disguise) at the same time ISIS, created and funded in 2007 by Washington under successively different names to further confuse the public at large. At that time they came out of Turkey as Syrian Freedom Fighters, later they converted into the Al’Nusra Front of rebels, and now they are the ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, also called the Islamic State of the Levant.

 This will do until the public needs to be again confused with a new group of Islamic terrorists to justify continuous wars on terror – to feed continuously the fat profit accounts of the eternal war lords. But only, if we the people let them confuse and deceive and divide us.

At the same time, Washington’s warmonger-in-chief, encourages his EU puppets to intervene and sending their troops into Ukraine, and imposing still more ‘sanctions’ on Russia. Let Europe take the hit if there is war. Not for nothing are NATO bases spiked throughout Europe, convenient targets for Russian missiles. – One could wonder – are the Europeans blind or just don’t care – or their leaders (sic) bought to the point where they hope to just disappear to America’s paradise when Russian rockets hit their countries’ NATO bases – and let their people smolder under nuclear dust?

 We the 99.99% have all the powers to stop these US instigated murderous aggressions, by rejecting the continuously lying and deceiving propaganda machine, by rejecting and refusing to listen to the corporate presstitute media.

A few weeks ago there was hope that German Chancellor Merkel would see the light, would abandon the bandwagon of the ‘sanctioners’, because not only did she get a lot of pressure from German industrialists, but also the German people are worried about their energy supply – especially this coming winter. Germany depends by up to 40% on Russia for their energy supplies.

 Unfortunately we were wrong. Madame Merkel bent over backwards to please Obama. The naked emperor convinced her not to leave his sinking ship. – What does he have up his imaginary sleeve? Anything he may have discovered by eavesdropping on her cellphone conversations? – So strong to sway her away from reason to the detriment of all of Europe?  –  These latest sanctions are backlashing on the EU, especially the farmers, a multiple times harder than they hit Russia. European agriculture and mostly small farmers, are losing billions of euros worth on stalled exports to Russia of meat, vegetables, fruit and other food stuff, because Russia retaliated by blocking imports from the EU. Russia is now establishing new trade routes with Latin America.

 On 18 September Obama will meet at the White House with Poroshenko, to be sure he stays in line and doesn’t sway Putin’s way, because corrupt oligarchs tend to be not very reliable. Obama may promise him premature entry to NATO and all the fake fiat dollars that come with it.

 It would not be a surprise if Obama were also to receive Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the leader of the ‘new’ ISIS caliphate, to assure him of America’s continuous support, if he lets him bomb them, the ISIS troops that is, ever so often, just for show and to confuse the public mind – and, of course, as a disguise to bomb Syria to eventually topple Baschar al-Assad for – regime change.

 Obama may also promise the ISIS a key role in the new Syrian government – provided he succeeds in regime change (for now unlikely) – similar as he did to the ‘rebels’ and other Islamic fractions of Libya. What Obama needs are not well-organized new regimes, but civil wars, fighting sections of societies to keep populations dying, and those still alive on their toes, fighting for their daily survival and fleeing across borders into refugee camps of other lands, thereby swallowing up neighboring countries resources and creating anger in the local population – the old divide to rein tactic.

The Big Picture is important. The people need to see it, the End Game – what is expecting them, if they – we, the 99.99% – are not taking actions to prevent Full Spectrum Dominance from succeeding.

 Peter Koenig is an economist and former World Bank staff. He worked extensively around the world in the fields of environment and water resources. He writes regularly for Global Research,  ICH, the Voice of Russia and other internet sites. He is the author of Implosion – An Economic Thriller about War, Environmental Destruction and Corporate Greed – fiction based on facts and on 30 years of World Bank experience around the globe.

by Gaza Ministry of Health

 

 

compiled by Cem Ertür

The front pages below from August 2013 constitute a vivid example of the relentless and utterly deceptive war propaganda against Syria.

Now, with utmost impunity, the perpetrators of the genocidal war on Syria are declaring their plan to bombard Syrian territory under the guise of “collaborating” with the Syrian government against the “terrorists” who, in reality, are NATO’s mercenary death squads.

The Economist, 31 August 2013

Sunday Herald, 1 September 2013

Libération, 31 August 2013

France United-States: The Axis of War

Despite Britain’s defection, Paris and Washington are determined to strike the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad.



Wall Street Journal, 30 August 2013

Hürriyet Daily News, 29 August 2013

Note: Hürriyet Daily News is the English-language edition of Turkish newspaper Hürriyet

Daily News, 29 August 2013

New York Post, 29 August 2013

Daily News, 28 August 2013



Daily Mirror, 28 August 2013

London Evening Standard, 27 August 2013



Daily Telegraph, 26 August 2013



Daily Mirror, 26 August 2013

From the archives:

Morally bankrupt Turkish media counts down for war on Syria

by Cem Ertür, Indybay, 29 August 2013

Read the London tabloids. Russia has launched “a full-scale invasion”. A vast propaganda campaign has been launched. Where is the evidence?

The media is spreading “fake evidence” in the week leading up to the Wales NATO Summit.

The objective is to herald Russia as the aggressor.

What is at stake is a strategic public relations stunt.

Sixty countries will be represented at the NATO Summit in Wales on 4-5 September including the 28 NATO member states.

NATO Summit Wales 2014The media lies “fit the military agenda” already formulated by the Pentagon in consultation with NATO and Her Majesty’s Government.

US-NATO requires “evidence” to build a political consensus at the Wales NATO Summit on September 4-5 hosted by Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron. According to PM David Cameron in a letter addressed to heads of State and heads of government of NATO member states ahead of the Summit:

“Leaders [of NATO countries] must review NATO’s long term relationship with Russia at the summit in response to Russia’s illegal actions in Ukraine.

“And the PM wants to use the summit to agree on how NATO will sustain a robust presence in Eastern Europe in the coming months to provide reassurance to allies there, building on work already underway in NATO.” (See PM writes to NATO leaders ahead of NATO Summit Wales 2014)

A pretext for an all out war on Russia under a humanitarian cloak?  The West coming to the rescue of civilians in Eastern Ukraine?

In late July in consultation with the Pentagon, NATO’s Europe commander General Philip Breedlove had (ahead of  the Wales NATO meeting) already called for “stockpiling a base in Poland with enough weapons, ammunition and other supplies to support a rapid deployment of thousands of troops against Russia”.(RT, July 24, 2014). According to General Breedlove, NATO needs “pre-positioned supplies, pre-positioned capabilities and a basing area ready to rapidly accept follow-on forces”:

“He plans to recommend placing supplies — weapons, ammunition and ration packs — at the headquarters to enable a sudden influx of thousands of Nato troops” (Times, August 22, 2014, emphasis added)

Breedlove’s “Blitzkrieg scenario” which could escalate into a World War III scenario is part of NATO’s summit agenda in Wales next week. In substance it is a “copy and paste” of the draft Russian Aggression Prevention Act (RAPA) (in the US Senate) which directs President Obama to initiate the militarization of Eastern Europe with a view to confronting Russia.

The Convoy of Russian Tanks. Where is It?

In support of NATO’s planned deployments to Eastern Europe, the Western media is claiming without evidence that a large convoy of Russian tanks has crossed the border into Ukraine and are operating under Russian command inside Ukraine.

The satellite images released by NATO show tanks and vehicles inside Ukraine, within an area controlled by Donbass forces. Where did they come from?

Ironically, these images are not from advanced US-NATO military satellite sources, they are from a digital commercial company operating on the internet. www.DigitalGlobe.com “a leading global provider of high-resolution earth imagery”.

While the Atlantic Alliance has access to advanced military and intelligence imagery, it takes the trouble of identyfing its source:  [Image #1 provided by Digital Globe]

While media reports (with extensive photographic evidence). confirmed the  entry into Ukraine of  a convoy of Russian “white vans” which were part of Russia’s humanitarian initiative, nobody actually saw the tanks entering Ukraine.

With regard to the NATO satellite images, there is no indication as to where these tanks and armored vehicles came from and whether they were operated by the Russian military.

The Daily Mail online featured an unconvincing 20 second video of an alleged Russian tank inside Ukraine (see still image above).

 

Spinning a Russian Invasion

This is not the first time that the media is spinning a “Russian Invasion”.  Earlier reports in June alluded to State Department sources that:

“three aging Russian T-64 tanks had been sent to Ukraine,” and that the Ukrainian government was claiming that there were 10 more tanks. The Times also noted:

Adding to Western concerns, the senior Obama administration official said, artillery has been moved to a deployment site inside southwest Russia and may soon be shipped across the border.

Not only are the anonymous claims of one official the source of the information–they also provide the analysis of that information, floating a slightly-too-perfect theory that Russia is handing over old equipment in order to make it seem like they’re not actually doing so (Peter Hart, Ukraine Tips From Nameless US Officials: Good Enough for the New York Times,  Global Research, June 27, 2014, http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-tips-from-nameless-us-officials-good-enough-for-the-new-york-times/5388916

It should be noted that this as well as previous “Russian invasions” have been the object of sizable speculative gains on financial markets.

Where are the alleged Russian Tanks?

While various explanations are put forth concerning the alleged Russian tanks and armored vehicles, what is never mentioned in Western media reports is that the Donbass militia do not need Russian tanks.

According to the NATO communique:

“large quantities of advanced weapons, including air defence systems, artillery, tanks, and armoured personnel carriers [are] being transferred to separatist forces in Eastern Ukraine,”

Yet the evidence confirms that in  the course of the last two months, the Donbass militia have acquired a significant arsenal of tanks and armored vehicles captured from Ukrainian forces.

Separatist rebels operate a tank in eastern Ukraine (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

Rebels operate a tank in eastern Ukraine (Rob Stothard/Getty Images)

http://www.vox.com/2014/8/15/6006281/russia-ukraine-war-what-we-know

The large loss of military equipment is confirmed by the Ukraine Ministry of Internal Affairs, either destroyed or captured by Donbass forces.

Official Ukraine sources acknowledge a significant loss of  tanks and armored vehicles.

Based solely on a two week period in July, 35 Ukraine Army tanks and 96 Armoured Battle Vehicles were either confiscated or destroyed by Donetsk and Lugansk forces, according to an official brief  signed by Arsen Avakov (Minister of Internal Affairs) and V. Gritsak (Head of ATO [Anti-Terrorism Operation])

  1. Tanks: 35
  2. Armoured Battle Vehicles: 96
  3. Artillery: 38
  4. Aircraft: 7
  5. Helicopters: 2
  6. Automobiles: 104

While the above figures do not distinguish between  confiscated and destroyed military equipment, Cyberberkut, provides the following data based on leaked official information. 

According to Cyberberkut: some 65 tanks and 69 armoured battle vehicles and other military hardware (See list below) were captured by the Donbass militia over a period of less than 2 months (from June 20 to August 15).

tanks T-64 – 65 units;

infantry fighting vehicles (BMP) – 69 units;

armored personnel carriers (BTR) – 39 units;

combat reconnaissance patrol vehicles (BRDM) – 2 units;

airborne combat vehicles (BMD) – 9 units;

multiple artillery rocket systems (RSZO)  BM27 Uragan – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S4 “Tyulpan” – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S9 “Nona” – 6 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S1 “Gvozdika” – 25 units;

howitzers D-30 – 10 units; 82 mm. caliber mortars – 32 units;

anti-aircraft mounts ZU-23-2 – 18 units; wheeled vehicles – 124 units.

While we are not in a position to fully corroborate the Cyberberkut report (based on leaked official documents), the figures collected over the period of June 20 to August 15 are broadly consistent with the official release.

What these two sets of figures confirm is that rebel forces in Donesk and Lugansk possess a significant military arsenal and this arsenal did not originate  from Russia.  It was captured from Ukraine forces as confirmed by official Ukraine sources.

This information is of crucial significance because it refutes the accusations by Washington and NATO that the tanks and armored vehicles identified in Donbass came from Russia. With the exception of some 1000 Russian volunteers under Donbass military command, there is no evidence of Russian forces inside Ukraine.

Moreover, it should be noted that entire Ukrainian battalions have surrendered to the Donetsk and Lugansk militia; a large number of Ukrainian soldiers who have abandoned the battlefield have fled to Russia or have joined the Donbass militia:

“The 72nd Brigade for all intents and purposes has ceased to exist [in early August] due to ammunition and food rations running out. They held on while they still had resources and then began to exit into the territory of the Russian Federation – at first in separate groups, followed by the surviving remnants of the once full-fledged brigade.

The hardware was all abandoned at their positions, which continue to be controlled by Junta troops that have not yet surrendered. When militiamen would drive up on tanks as close as 400 metres away from the positions of the Junta, there was no return fire – there is simply nothing to fire back with. Some of the soldiers of the 72ndBrigade had no rounds left during the surrender; others had 1-2 magazines per automatic rifle. (Entire Ukraine Military Brigade Abandons the Battlefield and Surrenders to Donbass Militia, The Surrender of the 72nd Brigade, Global Research, August 4, 2014)

More generally, the Western media has failed to cover the war theater in Donbass. More than 2000 civilians have been killed as a result of shelling and bombing by Kiev forces, close to a million Ukrainians are refugees in Russia.

The humanitarian crisis is invariably not mentioned by the media and when it is, the blame is placed on Russia.

BuMtBF6IQAAPmQi.png-large

Entire battalions of the Ukraine forces have surrendered.

 http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-handed-military-equipment-to-militia-forces-once-again/5396869

http://www.globalresearch.ca/media-blackout-major-military-operation-in-east-ukraine-1600-soldiers-reported-killed/5392193


Annex I

July 18, 2014 – Official Ukrainian Military Accounting of Losses for July 9-15, 2014


((1) Ukrainian Version; (2) Translation)BREAKING!

TOTAL UKRAINIAN LOSSES

  1. Killed in Action: 1600
  2. Wounded in Action: 4723
  3. Tanks: 35
  4. Armoured Battle Vehicles: 96
  5. Artillery: 38
  6. Aircraft: 7
  7. Helicopters: 2
  8. Automobiles: 104

TOTAL MILITIA LOSSES

  1. Killed in Action: 48
  2. Wounded in Action: 64
  3. Tanks: 2
  4. Armoured Battle Vehicles: 0
  5. Artillery: 5
  6. Automobiles: 8

TOTAL CIVILIAN LOSSES

  1. Killed: 496
  2. Wounded: 762

SIGNED & SUBMITTED BY: Arsen Avakov (Minister of Internal Affairs) and V. Gritsak (Head of ATO)


Annex II Cyberberkut Report (Translated from Russian)

Having access to classified information of Ukrainian security services, we are able to confirm that the fratricidal war led by the Kiev regime is from a military standpoint in an impasse. The Kiev forces have experienced significant losses.

From the new documents, we are able to confirm that from 8 to 15th of August, the Army of the Southeast has captured:

tanks T-64 – 18 units;

infantry fighting vehicles (BMP) – 24 units;

armored personnel carriers (BTR) – 11 units;

combat reconnaissance patrol vehicles (BRDM) – 2 units; airborne combat vehicles (BMD) – 9 units;

multiple artillery rocket systems (RSZO) BM27 “Uragan” – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S4 “Tyulpan” – 2 units; self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S9 “Nona” – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S1 “Gvozdika” – 10 units;  82 mm. caliber mortars – 6 units;

anti-aircraft mounts ZU-23-2 – 3 units; wheeled vehicles – 44 units.

In total, from June 20 to August 15 during the punitive action, according to the reports of the Ukrainian military, the militia forces captured:

tanks T-64 – 65 units; infantry fighting vehicles (BMP) – 69 units;

armored personnel carriers (BTR) – 39 units;

combat reconnaissance patrol vehicles (BRDM) – 2 units;

airborne combat vehicles (BMD) – 9 units;

multiple artillery rocket systems (RSZO)  BM27 Uragan – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S4 “Tyulpan” – 2 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S9 “Nona” – 6 units;

self-propelled guns (SAU) 2S1 “Gvozdika” – 25 units;

howitzers D-30 – 10 units; 82 mm. caliber mortars – 32 units; anti-aircraft mounts ZU-23-2 – 18 units; wheeled vehicles – 124 units.

References

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-ukraine-civil-war-latest-developments/5394563

http://www.globalresearch.ca/ukraine-handed-military-equipment-to-militia-forces-once-again/5396869

http://www.globalresearch.ca/media-blackout-major-military-operation-in-east-ukraine-1600-soldiers-reported-killed/5392193

Claims about Russia invading Ukraine are fabricated. Big Lies  proliferate. On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki lied saying

“we’re seeing…a pattern of escalating aggression in Ukraine from the Russians and Russian-backed separatists.”

“And it’s clear that Russia has not only stepped up its presence in eastern Ukraine and intervened directly with combat forces –  armored vehicles, artillery, and surface-to-air systems – and is actively fighting Ukrainian forces as well as playing a direct supporting role to the separatist proxies and mercenaries.”

The White House is considering a range of options, she said. “We have additional tools and sanctions that we could certainly choose to put in place.”

US ambassador to Ukraine, Geoffrey Pyatt, repeated the Big Lie. His Twitter messages falsely claim “an increasing number of Russian troops are intervening directly in fighting on Ukrainian territory.”

Russia sent its newest air defense systems, he claims. At an August 28 emergency Security Council meeting, US envoy Samantha Power lied saying:

“Instead of listening, instead of heeding the demands of the international community and the rules of the international order, at every step, Russia has come before this Council to say everything except the truth.”

“It has manipulated. It has obfuscated. It has outright lied. So we have learned to measure Russia by its actions and not by its words.”

On Friday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov debunked spurious invasion claims,” saying:

“It’s not the first time we’ve heard wild guesses, though facts have never been presented so far.”

“There have been reports about satellite imagery exposing Russian troop movements.”

“They turned out to be images from video games. The latest accusations happen to be much the same quality.”

“We’ll react by remaining persistent in our policies to stay bloodshed and give a start to the nationwide dialogue and negotiations about the future of Ukraine, with participation of all Ukrainian regions and political forces, something that was agreed upon in Geneva back in April and in Berlin (in August), yet what is being so deliberately evaded by our Western partners now.”

On Friday, Vladimir Putin noted clear self-defense forces success against Kiev’s military.

At the same time, Donbass area fighting poses a “grave danger” to beleaguered residents, he said.

He and Lavrov deplore war. They’ve all-out for peaceful conflict resolution since fighting erupted in April.

“(O)nce again (he) call(ed) on the Ukrainian authorities to immediately stop military actions, cease fire, sit down at the negotiating table with Donbass representatives, and resolve all the accumulated problems exclusively via peaceful means.”

Moscow’s envoy Vitaly Churkin accused Kiev of waging war on its own people.

“Ukrainian forces in defiance of all norms of international humanitarian law and just moral principles are indiscriminately attacking cities, residential areas and infrastructures,” he explained.

His comments came on the same day Kiev forces attacked four buses of refugees seeking refuge in Russia. Its dirty war shows no mercy.

The New York Times is America’s lead source of media misinformation and propaganda.

On Thursday, it headlined “Ukraine Leader Says ‘Huge Loads of Arms’ Pour in From Russia,” saying:

“…Russian forces are on the move in Eastern Ukraine…” Its president, Petro Poroshenko, accused Russia “of an invasion to aid the separatists.”

“(H)is national security council ordered mandatory conscription to help counter what he called an ‘extremely difficult’ threat.”

Poroshenko lied claiming

“Columns of heavy artillery, huge loads of arms and regular Russian servicemen (invaded) Ukraine from Russia through the uncontrolled border area.”

“Mercenaries, along with regular servicemen, (are) trying to overrun positions held by the Ukrainian military.”

So-called NATO satellite images were cited as proof. Its web site claimed they show “Russian combat troops inside Ukraine.”

Comprehensive Crisis and Operations Management Centre director Brigadier General Nico Tak lied claiming:

“Over the past two weeks we have noted a significant escalation in both the level and sophistication of Russia’s military interference in Ukraine.”

“The satellite images released today provide additional evidence that Russian combat soldiers, equipped with sophisticated heavy weaponry, are operating inside Ukraine’s sovereign territory.”

Fact: No Russian invasion occurred.

Fact: Claims otherwise are fake.

Fact: MSM regurgitate official Big Lies.

Fact: Commercial satellite operator DigitalGlobe provided the satellite images.

Fact: Both sides use Russian weapons.

Fact: Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko said around three to four thousand Russian volunteers are aiding self-defense forces.

Fact: Many are retired Russian servicemen, he said.

Fact: Others on active duty used leave time to help “us struggle for our freedom.”

Fact: Moscow didn’t send them.

Fact: Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ukrainian monitoring team and Russia’s representative said no Russian forces are present on Ukraine’s border.

Fact: Claims of a Russian invasion are false, they said.

Russia’s Defense Ministry exposed a Forgotten Regiment (FR) Russian veterans organization hoax about Russian units involved in Southeast Ukraine fighting.

According to Ministry spokesman General Igor Konashenkov, FR claims have “no relation to reality.”

“We have studied the contents of this hoax, and are obliged to disappoint its overseas authors and their few sympathizers in Russia, who have joined forces to publish their ‘revelation…’ ”

The “combat ready” infantry, artillery, paratrooper and reconnaissance exist. They’re engaged in routine training exercises in different parts of Russia.

They’re not involved in Southeastern Ukraine conflict. Claims otherwise are spurious.

According to Moscow’s permanent EU representative Vladimir Chizhov:

NATO, Washington and EU states presented no evidence of Russian military involvement in Ukraine.

Misinformation substitutes for hard truths. Often it’s disseminated ahead of important EU meetings.

This time it precedes an August 30 Brussels summit. Expect more sanctions to follow. Expect Russia to respond in kind.

Washington Post editors are militantly anti-Russian. On August 28, they headlined “The West must make Mr. Putin pay for his aggression.”

They lied claiming Putin

“sen(t) Russian forces openly into Ukraine in the past 48 hours.” They called doing so “a watershed…”

“If Mr. Putin does not pay a high price for this naked, if still cynically denied, attack on his neighbor, the precedent could sow instability (from) the Baltic Sea…to the South China Sea…, they said.”

Despite no evidence whatever of Russian revanchist aims, they accused Putin of wanting control over Southeastern Ukraine.

“(T)he United States and its allies cannot afford to let Mr. Putin break the rules. It is time to hit Russia with the full brunt of financial sanctions” and much more, they said.

They want Ukraine provided with arms and intelligence. They want military related sales to Russia halted. They want NATO strengthened.

They ludicrously claimed nations worldwide “rely on US leadership and its commitment to the rule of law…”

No country more systematically violates it. None more egregiously. None poses a greater threat to humanity.

Don’t expect WaPo editors to explain. Or their Wall Street Journal counterparts. On August 28, they headlined “Putin Marches Ahead.”

The joined with other MSM scoundrels claiming Russia invaded Ukraine. In February, they accused Moscow of “grabbing Crimea.”

They ignored near Crimean unanimity to join Russia. They now accused Russian forces of “firing artillery at Ukrainian positions from both (their own) territory and inside Ukraine.”

They claim Putin’s strategy is “to open a land bridge between Russia and Crimea.” He wants its economy “knit more closely to Russia’s,” they said.

“(E)scalation…open(ed) up another front for the Ukrainian military as it tries to regain control over the east.”

“Kiev forces will now have to fight on a third front against Russian soldiers and armor.”

Journal editors want a “serious response to this serious challenge to Europe’s political order…” They barely stopped short of urging Obama to declare war.

The risk of direct US-led NATO confrontation grows. Doing so belligerently is madness.

It risks the unthinkable. It risks potential global war. Deescalating crisis conditions matters most.

Washington’s imperial agenda undermines it. The worst of all possible outcomes may follow.

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

The upcoming NATO summit in Wales is a public relations stunt aimed at building a political consensus directed against Russia and to accuse the country of interfering in Ukraine’s internal affairs, according to Professor Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Center for Research on Globalization.

“The fact that Russia is not invited to the NATO summit indicates that the meeting is directed against Russia, and that’s the main objective of that meeting,” Chossudovsky told RIA Novosti.

“It’s not to say that the meeting involves any kind of military planning. The military planning will take place elsewhere. The purpose of that meeting is strictly public relations,” he added.

Chossudovsky argued that many NATO members are the US’ political puppets, blindly following Washington’s strategies. 

“It’s there to twist the arms of the heads of state, heads of government from these 60 countries. Many of these leaders already are pro-US. That’s a consensus of politicians, many of whom are political puppets,” Chossudovsky asserted, adding that consensus among members is usually achieved through various forms of blackmail.

Chossudovsky expressed doubt about NATO’s willingness to solve the Ukrainian conflict in a diplomatic way and stressed that if NATO were committed to a peaceful solution in Ukraine, it would indeed invite Russia to the summit.

“That would be dialogue,” he said.

“However, they’ve lost the type of diplomacy which existed during the Cold War era, when there was a civilized East-West relationship between heads of state, polite and constructive in many cases. And now we have only people who have very little ability to actually negotiate,” he added.

This week’s meetings between the Russian president and his Ukrainian counterpart Chossudovsky considers as an another example of weak diplomacy and poor negotiations.

“While Poroshenko wants to have bilateral discussions with Russia regarding east Ukraine, he does not want to negotiate with the federalists,” the expert explained, underlining that Putin insisted that any solution to the crisis in east Ukraine has to be negotiated among the parties concerned.

Chossudovsky believes that Poroshenko’s discussions with Putin were carefully prepared in advance with Western advisers.

“Poroshenko does not make any decisions, but at the same time he is complicit in extensive war crimes committed against the people of southeast Ukraine,” he asserted.

“I have to underscore the fact that the Ukrainian government is not a legitimate government, Moreover, it does not decide on anything. Mr. Poroshenko is a puppet of the United States,” Chossudovsky concluded.

NATO members are scheduled to meet next week in Wales to discuss the alliance’s response to Russia, which it accuses of interfering in Ukrainian affairs.

The summit will focus on “the evolution of partnerships” of NATO with nonmembers and on the “narrative for the Post-2014 era” of the relevance of NATO’s existence in the post-Cold War period and its future after US troops withdraw from Afghanistan at the end of the year.

The leaders of some 60 countries are expected to attend the summit.

Russia insists on the immediate release of staff members of the Russian embassy in Kiev, detained on August 28, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

“We urge to stop provocations against Russian diplomatic institutions in Ukraine and our diplomatic staff members,” the ministry said.

According to the ministry, “another revolting action against the Russian embassy security guards, including the personal guard of the ambassador,” was staged in Kiev on August 28. They were detained at the exit of a cafe under an openly manufactured pretext of having grenades, despite the fact that they produced diplomatic passports.

“We demand the immediate release of the embassy staff members and prevention of any future violations of international conventions on diplomatic immunity,” the ministry said.

Russia urges the Ukrainian parties and Western partners to show goodwill towards solving problems exclusively by peaceful means, the Russian Foreign Ministry said on Friday.

“This is the only way whether the West really advocates for the interests of obedient Ukrainian politicians, the Ukrainian multinational people and the Ukrainian state the future of which can and should be ensured by searching for nationwide accord,”the ministry said.

“Russia will consistently do its best to create conditions for resolving the crisis in negotiations through strengthening confidence-building measures between the conflicting parties and taking concrete measures to de-escalate the situation and assist to civilians,” the ministry said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has compared the shelling of east Ukrainian towns and cities by Kiev’s troops to actions carried out by the Nazis during World War II.

“Sad as it might seem, this reminds me of the events of World War II, when the German Nazi occupants surrounded our cities, like Leningrad, and directly shelled those cities and their inhabitants,” Putin said on Friday, speaking at the “Seliger-2014” youth forum.

He recalled the signs in St. Petersburg, preserved since World War II, which warned citizens which side of the road was more vulnerable to shelling.

Now “both towns and cities are surrounded by the Ukrainian army, which is directly shelling residential areas with the purpose of destroying infrastructure, and suppressing the will of those in the resistance,” Putin said.

The president also commented on Kiev’s military units that are currently surrounded and blocked by anti-government militia. According to the latest data, Kiev has refused to try and negotiate safe passage for them to retreat.

“I think this is a colossal mistake that will lead to a lot of human casualties,” Putin said.

The Ukrainian leadership has demonstrated its inability to bring the situation under control, the Russian president said, urging talks between Kiev and the country’s east.

“Our partners’ position is clear to me,” he said. “Yes, there should be talks, but in the mean time we need to let Ukrainian troops to do a bit of shooting – maybe they will get the situation under control.”

Putin added that it was time to acknowledge that attempts to resolve the crisis by force have failed and it is “necessary to make Ukrainian authorities to begin negotiation and not over technical issues… but over the core issues.”

The main topic on the agenda should be the rights of the people living in the Donetsk and Lugansk regions, the Russian president said.

Putin said he understood why the leadership of the self-proclaimed Donetsk Republic described their military actions against Kiev troops as a “humanitarian operation.”

“I can quite understand the self-defense forces of the southeast – Donbass, Lugansk – why they call this a military-humanitarian operation, what’s the point in their today’s actions – to drive artillery and cascade bombing systems away from the cities, so that they could do no harm to people,”

Putin said.

An average of around 36 people are being killed every day in Ukraine, according to estimates from the Office of the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights.

The agency’s Friday report says around 2,600 people – many of them civilians – have died in eastern Ukraine since the start of the Kiev’s military operation against anti-government forces there started in mid-April.

The Ukrainian Security Council estimates 789 Ukrainian servicemen are among those dead in the conflict.

On Friday the Council’s spokesman said that only over the preceding 24 hours 10 Ukrainian servicemen were killed and 30 injured.

An American political commentator says there are hundreds of US troops or CIA agents with the ISIL in Iraq and Syria to help the terrorist group.  

Don DeBar, an anti-war activist and radio host in New York, made the remarks in a phone interview with Press TV on Wednesday while commenting on a recent report which says there are as many as 300 American nationals fighting alongside ISIL members.

Senior US officials have told The Washington Times that the US government is currently tracking and gathering intelligence on American militants who could return to the homeland and commit terrorist attacks with skills obtained abroad.

DeBar said the ISIL

“group is a construct of the US military intelligence. This is a terrorist cell that was organized by the US in order to destabilize Syria and perhaps other countries – they even made a threat against Saudi Arabia whether that’s just to make them look like they are on a particular ideological plane, or if it’s an actual threat, it’s a proxy threat from the US to Saudi Arabia.”

“My belief is that there are Americans that are a part of ISIL/ISIS with the knowledge of the US government and an assignment by the US government,”

he added.

DeBar stated that there are perhaps 300 Americans fighting with ISIL

“and then hundreds more US regulars, with CIA or whatever military formation they have, under the direction of US intelligence, that are a part of this. It doesn’t require that they are American nationals, of course, just that their paycheck is signed in Washington or Langley.”

“If you look at the outcomes of every action that this group has taken, they facilitate actions that the United States has wanted to take, has declared that it wanted to take a number of times, or has taken when it could, but it can’t get the authority from the [UN] Security Council to approve because they violate the integrity and sovereignty of either Iraq and/or Syria, and also would enable actions that violate a resolution that just passed the House of Representatives massively, last week or the week before, that attempt to constrains, at least on paper, the president from making anymore wars without specific authority from Congress,”

he noted.

“So, it’s no surprise for me that there are Americans in their units. There would be a surprise to me if they were all dupes and unemployed kids, who got duped, sucked into fight over there with a bunch of the crazies. It wouldn’t surprise me if you had good portion of units, including command and control, that would direct employees of the Pentagon and/or Langley,”

DeBar concluded.

ISIL controls large parts of Syria’s northern territory. The group sent its fighters into neighboring Iraq in June, quickly seizing large swaths of land straddling the border between the two countries.

The US military has begun planning for airstrikes against ISIL targets in Syria after last week’s beheading of American journalist James Foley. The US has launched a limited air campaign against the terrorist group in Iraq since August 8.

Watch the interview here