This weekend, the Islamic State (ISIS) released a video of the horrific beheadings of 21 Coptic Christian workers seized in the town of Sirte in eastern Libya. This barbaric act was the latest in a series of such killings, including the beheading or immolation of hostages from the US, Britain, Japan and Jordan.
The latest ISIS atrocity has triggered predictable expressions of shock and anger by news anchors and editorialists in the United States, along with further massacres. Within hours of the release of the video, Egypt, led by US-backed dictator General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, launched a wave of air strikes killing 64 people, including seven civilians.
Washington and its political allies are politically and morally responsible for these atrocities. The Islamist beheadings in Libya are the product of a monumental crime: the 2011 NATO war in Libya to oust the regime of Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.
Prior to the intervention of NATO, there were no sectarian murders of Christians in Libya and Islamist militias tied to Al Qaeda were small groups with no broader influence. These forces were armed and promoted when, in 2011, the Obama administration and its allies in Europe, led by French President Nicolas Sarkozy, took the decision to topple Gaddafi.
The imperialist powers funneled massive amounts of money and weaponry to Islamist militias and Al Qaeda operatives, providing them with air support through a mass bombing campaign that killed tens of thousands of Libyans.
“Far from a ‘revolution’ or struggle for ‘liberation,’ what the world is witnessing is the rape of Libya by a syndicate of imperialist powers determined to lay hold of its oil wealth and turn its territory into a neo-colonial base of operations for further interventions throughout the Middle East and North Africa.”
The disastrous consequences of the rape of Libya are now all too clear to see.
The war culminated in the carpet bombing of Sirte and the torture and murder of Gaddafi, after which then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton gloated, “We came, we saw, he died.” Since then, Libya has collapsed into an ever-bloodier civil war between various Islamist factions and rival militias vying for state power. The country has also served as a training ground for CIA-backed Islamist forces preparing to fight the Syrian regime of President Bashar al-Assad.
Less than four years after the war, the American media report on ISIS atrocities in Libya as if US imperialism had nothing to do with them. No one reading the editorial produced Sunday by the New York Times (“What Libya’s Unraveling Means”) would have any inkling of Washington’s role in producing this catastrophe, or the US media’s role in supporting the operation. One of the key figures in the war, the late US Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens, who was killed in an Islamist raid in Benghazi after the war, was himself a friend of many Times journalists.
The Times worries that “this oil-rich nation [is veering] towards complete chaos,” and that “the growth and radicalization of Islamist groups raise the possibility that large parts of Libya could become a satellite of the Islamic State.” It manages to describe the conflict that led to Gaddafi’s ouster simply as a “civil war,” without even mentioning NATO’s six-month bombing of Libya.
ISIS is now strongest precisely where Washington has intervened most aggressively. Another article published in the Times over the weekend warns, “The Islamic State is expanding beyond its base in Syria and Iraq to establish military affiliates in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt and Libya.” The Times does not mention that the US has invaded or financed Islamist proxy wars in four of the six countries mentioned: Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya.
The world is now witnessing the consequences of the recklessness, brutality, greed and limitless stupidity of Washington and its NATO allies.
Responsibility for the disaster in Libya lies squarely with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, the initial champion of a NATO war in Libya; President Obama, whose administration provided the bulk of the firepower that shattered Libya’s armed forces and its major cities; and the NATO allied powers that joined in this murderous adventure.
What is unfolding across the Middle East today is an indictment of imperialism, its ruling elites, its political servants and its lying media.
For it was Baird who had gleefully embodied Canada’s ugly stance on last summer’s Israeli attack.
Not content simply to ignore the slaughter of sleeping children and unarmed civiliansfleeing while waving white flags, Baird and his Conservative Party boss, Prime MinisterStephen Harper, rose to the unconditional defense of Israel, pretending the Palestinian question originated with Hamas, implying parity between the two “sides,” smoke-screening the longstanding siege of Gaza and blaming the dead for their own annihilation.
Curiously, some pundits in Canada’s mainstream press who seemed happy with Baird’s sledgehammer statecraft during his tenure, which includes cutting all diplomatic ties withIran, have just now begun questioning his approach to Palestine.
Writing in The Globe and Mail, for instance, Middle East correspondent Patrick Martinobserves that “There were times, when John Baird was foreign minister, that people weren’t quite sure in what country’s cabinet he served.”
“Baird, for all his intelligence and charm, chose not to untangle the Arab-Israeli complexities and help build a bridge between the parties,” Martin adds, “but to take a side, that of Israel, to which he gave carte blanche.”
While many would say these observations are far too little and much too late, there’s no doubt this view is widely shared by Palestinians and their supporters.
Saeb Erekat, chief negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, wrote an opinion piece headlined “It is John Baird who needs to apologize to the Palestinian people.” According to Erekat, the Western-backed PA “has been engaged in a diplomatic effort to obtain those very same ideals Canadians hold dear — to achieve freedom and dignity. We have been working tirelessly to exercise our right to self-determination and establish a state of our own — a state that lives in peace and security with its neighbors, including Israel.”
In practice, as many Palestinian critics of the PA have pointed out, this has meant making endless concessions to Israel on fundamental issues such as settlements andJerusalem, as well as collaborating closely with Israeli occupation forces against any form of Palestinian resistance.
“Instead of rewarding the Palestinians for their insistence on pursuing peace and for their deep commitment to the stability and security of the region,” Erekat added, “Mr. Baird has chosen to deride and stand against Palestinians at every corner.”
An absent opposition
One could be forgiven for thinking that free-flying spittle seems rather un-Canadian, and admittedly the international media have bigger fish to fry than documenting the increasingly cynical immorality of the country’s foreign policy under Harper and his sidekick Baird.
And while we’re at it, it’s only fair to note that their ill-considered and ahistorical views went virtually unchallenged by either of the country’s putative “opposition” parties. There’s the formerly progressive New Democratic Party, one of whose legislators, Sana Hassainia, quit over her party’s failure to condemn Israeli aggression in Gaza, and was subsequently subjected to a smear campaign.
And then there’s the formerly centrist Liberal Party, now led by Justin Trudeau, whose father, the late former Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau, was the only real statesman to have led Canada during my lifetime.
My Lebanese-Canadian grandparents were so loyal to the pro-immigrant Liberals of their day, they kept a framed picture of their local member of Parliament (MP) on the mantelpiece alongside family photos.
In fact, at the height of last summer’s Gaza onslaught, a group of eight Liberal and Conservative MPs embarked on a “fact-finding mission” to Israel sponsored by the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs.
Not one of those MPs — who remain mute to this day on Israel’s targeting of UNRWAschools, the four-figure Palestinian death toll and Israel’s near-daily ceasefire violations— set foot in Gaza on this quest for “facts.” Instead, their time was spent visiting injured Israeli soldiers to offer sympathy and condolences.
Still, I confess to a soft spot for the former Liberal Prime Minister Jean Chretien, whose swan song consisted of refusing the invitation by US President George W. Bush and UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to help invade Iraq.
Contrast that with Baird’s ennobling cri de coeur: the announcement on 18 January of a formal pact between Canada and Israel to fight efforts to boycott Israel.
As The Electronic Intifada has reported, the move was denounced by Palestine’sBoycott National Committee, the steering group for the global boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) movement, which accused Canada of “further deepening its collaboration with Israel’s occupation and launching a shameful, propagandistic attack on free speech in the process.”
“Aversion to justice”
The pact with Israel came on the heels of Baird’s pronouncement that the Palestinian bid to join the International Criminal Court (ICC) was “a huge mistake.” This view was challenged forcefully by Paul Heinbecker, the country’s last ambassador to sit in the UN Security Council and a foreign policy advisor to former Conservative Prime Minister Brian Mulroney.
Describing the ICC as “a court of last resort,” Heinbecker writes that “Ottawa’s bluster in response to the Palestinian initiative looks more like an aversion to justice than a devotion to principle.”
There was precedent, of course. On 16 July, just a week after Israel’s 51-day-long summer assault on Gaza began, Harper’s Conservative party released the videoThrough Fire and Water, Canada Will Stand with You, a two-and-half-minute-long blank check for any acts of terror or criminality Israel might undertake.
To the beat of military drums and a backdrop of flags waving in slow motion, Harper offered this context for Canada’s unconditional support: “At the great turning points of history, Canada has consistently chosen — often to our great cost — to stand with others who oppose injustice and to confront the dark forces of the world.”
Those unfamiliar with Canadian history might wonder about the “turning points” to which Harper refers. Perhaps he’s talking about the resolution of the 1956 Suez Crisis, which earned Lester B. Pearson, the Canadian president of the United Nations General Assembly, the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.
In fact, just six weeks after the release of Through Fire and Water, B’nai Brith, an influential Canadian Jewish and pro-Israel organization, nominated Harper for the same prize to widespread outrage.
The comparison might seem risible until one considers Pearson’s proactive role in helping to create Israel in the first place. Before he took the helm at the UN General Assembly, Pearson had chaired the UN Special Committee on Palestine which supported existing plans to carve up the land, and rejected a one-state solutionproposed by the Arab Higher Committee in which all religious and ethnic groups would live side by side and be entitled to equal rights.
In fact, throughout the country’s history there has often been tension between Canadians’ self-regard as decent, honest brokers and its less principled policies. Nonetheless, Canada’s foreign policy has reached its nadir under Harper.
The writing was on the wall back in 2010 when Canada lost its bid for a non-permanent seat on the UN Security Council for the first time in history. In response, then Foreign Minister Lawrence Cannon perversely declared that “some would even say that, because of our attachment to [democratic and human rights principles] we lost a seat on the council. If that’s the case, then so be it.”
I’m not sure my friends at some of Canada’s human rights organizations shared Cannon’s analysis of the unprecedented loss, nor the misplaced chutzpah his remarks exposed. The bigger question is whether Canadians at large will recognize how far the country is shifting away from a growing consensus on Israeli aggression and Palestinian rights, and whether they’ll prioritize rehabilitating Canada’s global standing.
Juliana Farha is a Canadian writer based in London. She blogs at www.twowords.ca on politics, feminism and social issues.
A recent study by researchers from Boston University and Abraxis LLC found significant amounts of glyphosates in a food that you wouldn’t necessarily expect: honey.
Five categories of food items were tested from Philadelphia grocery stores: honey, corn and pancake syrup, soy milk, tofu, and soy sauce. Sixty-two percent of the conventional honeys and 45% of the organic honeys sampled had levels of glyphosates above the minimum established limits.
It’s hard to ignore the presence of glyphosate in a large portion of our food supply. Glyphosate is the main ingredient in Monsanto’s star herbicide, Roundup. It is interesting to note that the level of glyphosates was much higher in honey from countries that permitted GM crops; honey from the U.S. contained the highest levels.
Even the Organic Honey?
So how did so many of the 69 honey samples, including 11 organic samples, tested contain such high levels of glyphosates? There are two reasons for this. Given that a single honeybee can fly over 6 miles to find nectar and bring back a total of 250 pounds of nectar a year, modern life is set up so that it is almost impossible for them to avoid harmful substances. Pesticides, herbicides, and toxins released into the air from factories and cities make it impossible for all but the most remote beehives to maintain 100% purity.
There’s also the issue of the wax that bees use for their hives. Bees are at risk for Varroa mites, an external parasite that reproduces in the hives, so conventional beekeepers frequently use pesticides to get rid of them. Beeswax retains chemicals, so over time, these chemicals build up and make their way into the honey. While the use of pesticides directly on the beehives isn’t an issue for beekeepers using organic methods, the issue is where they source their wax. A survey of pesticide residues in beehives found that over 98% of them contained at least one pesticide. With such a large amount of wax contaminated, it’s likely that organic beekeepers who purchase commercially available wax will be unable to avoid these toxins.
Can I Ever Eat Honey Again?
Is there any way around the amount of herbicides and pesticides in honey? Short answer? Probably not. Countries that don’t allow genetically modified crops have lower levels of herbicides in their honey, but that list of countries is under attack every day that Monsanto and their buddies are in business. With increased use of chemicals in farming, a greater amount of herbicides and pesticides will make it way into beehives, causing a ripple effect throughout bee colonies.
If you’re going to purchase honey, your best bet is to do your research. Talking to local beekeepers at farmer’s markets can give you an idea of the quality of honey available directly in your area. Even though there were glyphosates in the organic honey, there were still more in the conventional honey. You can increase your odds of getting less toxic honey by researching which countries don’t allow GMOs (not a bad solution for other products, either!).
If you find yourself eating honey often, it could be a good idea to do a detox to remove Candida and toxins from your body. If you’d like to learn about what other alternative sweeteners there are, check out Healthy Sugar Alternatives.
Kali Sinclair is a copywriter for Green Lifestyle Market, and a lead editor for Organic Lifestyle Magazine. Kali was very sick with autoimmune disease and realized that conventional medicine was not working for her. She has been restoring her health by natural means and is interested in topics including natural health, environmental issues, and human rights.
“Mind control has one basic purpose: the construction of false Reality. The embedding of false Reality to such an extent that it seems absurd to question it or even notice it. Purple and pink raccoons? Of course there are purple and pink raccoons. Why do you even bring it up? Without purple and pink raccoons, the world as we know it would collapse.”(The Underground, Jon Rappoport)
In recent articles, I’ve been pointing out that the current “measles outbreak” is a CDC fabrication.
On and off, since 1987, I’ve been following the CDC and its astonishing trail of lies. Lying is its business.
Here is yet another example—
Once upon a time, the CDC claimed that roughly 36,000 people in the US died every year from the flu. Media sources parroted this figure over and over.
Lately, the CDC has chosen to change that estimate. It’s now between 3,000 and 49,000 flu deaths per year. That’s quite a loose range. Why does the CDC now waffle so egregiously?
Perhaps because they’ve been exposed…
In December of 2005, the British Medical Journal (online) published a shocking report by Peter Doshi, which spelled out a delusion and created tremors throughout the halls of the CDC.
Here is a quote from Doshi’s report:
“[According to CDC statistics], ‘influenza and pneumonia’ took 62,034 lives in 2001—61,777 of which were attributable to pneumonia and 257 to flu, and in only 18 cases was the flu virus positively identified.”
You see, the CDC had created one category that combined flu and pneumonia deaths. Why did they do this? Because they self-servingly assumed that the pneumonia deaths were complications stemming from the flu.
This is an absurd assumption. Pneumonia has a number of causes. But even worse, in all the flu deaths, only 18 were traced directly to a flu virus.
Therefore, the CDC could not say, with assurance, that more than 18 people died of the flu in 2001.
(Note: In several articles, I erred and reported “18 flu cases in 2001” instead of “18 flu deaths in 2001”.)
Doshi continues his assessment of published CDC flu-death statistics: “Between 1979 and 2001, [CDC] data show an average of 1348 [flu] deaths per year (range 257 to 3006).”
However, as Doshi showed from the year 2001, the CDC actually finds the flu virus in a tiny proportion of people who are estimated to have died from the flu. So the CDC range of flu deaths—257 to 3006—is much, much lower when lab confirmation is required. And confirmation needs to be required, unless hocus-pocus guesswork is sufficient.
To the overwhelming percentage of Americans, the idea that only 18 people were positively identified as flu deaths in a year is staggering.
It’s so staggering, they reject it. It must be wrong. It has to be wrong. If it isn’t wrong…
A pillar of reality collapses.
And we’re not just talking about a Brian Williams pillar of reality or a went-to-war-for-the-wrong-reason pillar of reality. We’re not just talking about the CIA lying or the NSA lying or the President lying.
No. We’re talking about a medical pillar collapsing.
And the medical cartel is the modern Church of Reality. It has its priests in white coats and its CDC bishops and its ceaseless propaganda about an “overwhelming concern for the well-being of humanity.”
Therefore, when many people read this, when they see that only 18 flu deaths in America were confirmed in the year 2001, it doesn’t register at all in their minds.
This isn’t “cognitive dissonance.” It’s much, much deeper. It’s “I never read that.” “I don’t remember reading that.” “18 confirmed flu deaths in one year? I never heard of that.”
Mind control par excellence.
It’s on the order of half a major city disappearing overnight and the citizens saying, “Of course, nothing disappeared. How could anything disappear?”
Going even deeper, there are two factors at work here. One, a person’s stubborn refusal to reject reality as he receives it; and two, his refusal to invent a better reality to replace the one that has just crumbled and vanished.
Those two factors underlie the success of mind control.
Jon Rappoport is the author of three explosive collections, THE MATRIX REVEALED, EXIT FROM THE MATRIX, and POWER OUTSIDE THE MATRIX, Jon was a candidate for a US Congressional seat in the 29th District of California. He maintains a consulting practice for private clients, the purpose of which is the expansion of personal creative power. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, he has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years, writing articles on politics, medicine, and health for CBS Healthwatch, LA Weekly, Spin Magazine, Stern, and other newspapers and magazines in the US and Europe. Jon has delivered lectures and seminars on global politics, health, logic, and creative power to audiences around the world. You can sign up for his free emails at NoMoreFakeNews.comor OutsideTheRealityMachine.
Leaders of TPP member states and prospective member states at a TPP summit in 2010. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)
Suppose that by enacting a particular law we’d increase the U.S.Gross Domestic Product. But almost all that growth would go to the richest 1 percent.
The rest of us could buy some products cheaper than before. But those gains would be offset by losses of jobs and wages.
This is pretty much what “free trade” has brought us over the last two decades.
Today’s “trade agreements” should really be called “global corporate agreements” because they’re mostly about protecting the assets and profits of these global corporations rather than increasing American jobs and wages.
I used to believe in trade agreements. That was before the wages of most Americans stagnated and a relative few at the top captured just about all the economic gains.
Recent trade agreements have been wins for big corporations and Wall Street, along with their executives and major shareholders. They get better access to foreign markets and billions of consumers.
They also get better protection for their intellectual property – patents, trademarks, and copyrights. And for their overseas factories, equipment, and financial assets.
But those deals haven’t been wins for most Americans.
The fact is, trade agreements are no longer really about trade. Worldwide tariffs are already low. Big American corporations no longer make many products in the United States for export abroad.
The biggest things big American corporations sell overseas are ideas, designs, franchises, brands, engineering solutions, instructions, and software.
Google, Apple, Uber, Facebook, Walmart, McDonalds, Microsoft, and Pfizer, for example, are making huge profits all over the world.
But those profits don’t depend on American labor — apart from a tiny group of managers, designers, and researchers in the U.S.
To the extent big American-based corporations any longer make stuff for export, they make most of it abroad and then export it from there, for sale all over the world — including for sale back here in the United States.
The Apple iPhone is assembled in China from components made in Japan, Singapore, and a half-dozen other locales. The only things coming from the U.S. are designs and instructions from a handful of engineers and managers in California.
Apple even stows most of its profits outside the U.S. so it doesn’t have to pay American taxes on them.
This is why big American companies are less interested than they once were in opening other countries to goods exported from the United States and made by American workers.
They’re more interested in making sure other countries don’t run off with their patented designs and trademarks. Or restrict where they can put and shift their profits.
In fact, today’s “trade agreements” should really be called “global corporate agreements” because they’re mostly about protecting the assets and profits of these global corporations rather than increasing American jobs and wages. The deals don’t even guard against currency manipulation by other nations.
According to Economic Policy Institute, the North American Free Trade Act cost U.S. workers almost 700,000 jobs, thereby pushing down American wages.
Since the passage of the Korea–U.S. Free Trade Agreement, America’s trade deficit with Korea has grown more than 80 percent, equivalent to a loss of more than 70,000 additional U.S. jobs.
The U.S. goods trade deficit with China increased $23.9 billion last year, to $342.6 billion. Again, the ultimate result has been to keep U.S. wages down.
The old-style trade agreements of the 1960s and 1970s increased worldwide demand for products made by American workers, and thereby helped push up American wages.
The new-style global corporate agreements mainly enhance corporate and financial profits, and push down wages.
That’s why big corporations and Wall Street are so enthusiastic about the upcoming Trans Pacific Partnership – the giant deal among countries responsible for 40 percent of the global economy.
That deal would give giant corporations even more patent protection overseas. It would also guard their overseas profits.
And it would allow them to challenge any nation’s health, safety, and environmental laws that stand in the way of their profits – including our own.
Translated: The White House thinks it will help the U.S. contain China’s power and influence.
But it will make giant U.S. global corporations even more powerful and influential.
White House strategists seem to think such corporations are accountable to the U.S. government. Wrong. At most, they’re answerable to their shareholders, who demand high share prices whatever that requires.
I’ve seen first-hand how effective Wall Street and big corporations are at wielding influence — using lobbyists, campaign donations, and subtle promises of future jobs to get the global deals they want.
Global deals like the Trans Pacific Partnership will boost the profits of Wall Street and big corporations, and make the richest 1 percent even richer.
But they’ll bust the rest of America.
Robert Reich, one of the nation’s leading experts on work and the economy, is Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley. He has served in three national administrations, most recently as secretary of labor under President Bill Clinton. Time Magazine has named him one of the ten most effective cabinet secretaries of the last century. He has written thirteen books, including his latest best-seller, Aftershock: The Next Economy and America’s Future; The Work of Nations; Locked in the Cabinet; Supercapitalism; and his newest, Beyond Outrage. His syndicated columns, television appearances, and public radio commentaries reach millions of people each week. He is also a founding editor of the American Prospect magazine, and Chairman of the citizen’s group Common Cause. His widely-read blog can be found at www.robertreich.org.
“Executive Order — Promoting Private Sector Cybersecurity Information Sharing” was apparently intended to coerce organizations and corporations to share more info with the government, while promoting the creation of organizations to process data collected for an unspecified end.
The executive order specifically talks about the formation of ‘Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations’ (ISAOs), Orwellian corporate and/or government organizations that process massive amounts of data collected from people through every imaginable way. This obviously can’t be good. The tech sector is already voicing its skepticism of the bill, citing government overreach and lack of reforms to the NSA’s spying program:
“Typical of these concerns were the remarks of Apple CEO Tim Cook who gave a vigorous speech at the same Stanford cyber meeting that seemed to challenge the president’s appeal for greater cooperation. Cook issued a dire warning that the threat to privacy posed by technology “risks our way of life.” […] Other major tech CEOs snubbed the White House cyber summit at Stanford, reflecting private sector worries. The no-shows included Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Google executives Larry Page and Eric Schmidt.”
“The Secretary of Homeland Security (Secretary) shall strongly encourage the development and formation of Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations (ISAOs).
[…] (b) ISAOs may be organized on the basis of sector, sub-sector, region, or any other affinity, including in response to particular emerging threats or vulnerabilities. ISAO membership may be drawn from the public or private sectors, or consist of a combination of public and private sector organizations. ISAOs may be formed as for-profit or nonprofit entities.”
The president predictably utilized his refined lying skills and charisma to fear-monger a bit; saying, “As a country, one of our greatest resources are the young people, the digitally fearless. But it also means that the problem of how we secure this digital world will only increase,”
So this order looks like it will serve to back up current NSA operations, and shift some power to the Department of Homeland Security. It also looks like they may fund the creation of ‘ISAO’s. I highly recommend you read it for yourself, it is not very long.
They essentially are expanding upon the foundation they have been constructing, for multiple government and non-government, non-profit and of course for profit ‘ISAO’s. The President want’s to build a kind of web of infrastructure reminiscent of the military-industrial-complex, except for mass surveillance.
The question is: what exactly will this function to do? What will these ‘Information Sharing and Analysis Organizations’ actually accomplish, and who will be incarcerated or targeted as a result of their work?
Perhaps an even better question, what are we citizens actually going to do about this?
Talking about it is necessary first step; but at some point some form of mass, hardcore disobedience or something along those lines must be pursued to have any chance of abolishing these power grabs. Some form of actual action is necessary to slowing or halting the progression of these webs of entrapping, fascist infrastructure. I am not advocating for violence, but mass disobedience.
Please share this with as many people as possible, and maybe it would benefit us to have some kind of roundtable discussions about this. I highly recommend keeping your eyes on this surveillance infrastructure.
A meeting of euro zone finance ministers in Brussels to discuss the debt crisis of the Syriza-led Greek government broke up in acrimony Monday.
With Germany taking the lead, the finance ministers, headed by Jeroen Dijsselbloem of the Netherlands, presented Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis with a statement to sign that unambiguously upheld the existing debt-repayment scheme, demanded further austerity measures, and reiterated the full subordination of the Greek government to the dictates of the European Union (EU), the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the banks.
German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble appeared to go out of his way to humiliate Syriza (Coalition of the Radical Left) and its leader, the new prime minister, Alexis Tsipras. In a German radio interview Monday in advance of the Brussels meeting, Schäuble said he was “very sceptical” about the prospects for a deal being reached at the gathering and accused the recently elected Greek government of acting “pretty irresponsibly.”
Schäuble accused Tsipras of “insulting those who have helped Greece in the past few years.”
Varoufakis refused to sign the statement, complaining that the European Commission’s economic chief, Pierre Moscovici, had offered him an earlier plan that he was prepared to sign. The meeting quickly collapsed, and the different parties held separate press conferences.
Varoufakis objected in particular to language in the EU draft stipulating Syriza’s adherence to the “current programme” of debt repayment. His opposition, and that of Syriza as a whole, amounts to pleading for terminological window dressing to obscure the capitulation of the Syriza-led government in substance to the current “bailout” programme and the brutal austerity agenda that has already reduced millions of Greek workers and youth to poverty.
Syriza desperately needs such a fig leaf, having campaigned on a pledge to end the current debt-repayment regime, which is hated by the vast majority of Greeks. Syriza’s election was the result of growing opposition to more than five years of savage cuts. This sentiment has been expressed in numerous anti-austerity protests held in Greece since the new government took office on January 25. On February 11, at least 13 demonstrations took place in Greece, with tens of thousands protesting in Athens and Thessaloniki. On Sunday, further large demonstrations were held.
However, EU governments fear that even the appearance of a concession to Greece will fuel popular opposition to austerity throughout Europe. To this point, they have coalesced behind the hard-line position of Berlin.
Varoufakis and Tsipras have bent over backwards to reassure the EU, the IMF, the European Central Bank and the international financial markets that they fully intend to meet Greece’s debt obligations and are committed to the “structural reforms”—i.e., further attacks on pensions, jobs and working class living standards—demanded by global capital.
In an op-ed piece posted by the New York Times Monday, Varoufakis denied that he was pursuing “some radical-left agenda,” declaring: “Our government is not asking our partners for a way out of repaying our debts. We are asking for a few months of financial stability that will allow us to embark upon the task of reforms that the broad Greek population can own and support, so we can bring back growth and end our inability to pay our dues ” (emphasis added).
Last week, he begged for a compromise in a Guardian interview, pleading, “We are a party of the left, but what we are putting on the table is essentially the agenda of a reformist bankruptcy lawyer from the City of London.”
Syriza, in fact, speaks for privileged sections of the Greek upper-middle class that want a better deal within the framework of Greek and European capitalism and the EU. It advances policies favoured by sections of the Greek and international bourgeoisie to confront a deepening breakdown of the capitalist system—at the expense of the working class. It has formed a bourgeois government in coalition with the ultra-right, rabidly nationalist Independent Greeks.
The Financial Times reported Monday that after the short-lived EU finance ministers’ meeting, Varoufakis for the first time said publicly that he had been prepared to agree to an extension of the existing debt repayment programme on the basis of conditions agreed to by Moscovici, which, he claimed, differed from those incorporated into the draft statement presented by Dijsselbloem. Financial Times journalist Peter Spiegel reported he was told by euro zone officials that, in fact, there was no difference in substance between the Moscovici and Dijsselbloem texts. According to Der Spiegel, the euro group meeting broke up before the finance ministers even had a chance to discuss the draft statement prepared by the Greek side.
Nevertheless, Varoufakis declared after the meeting, “I have no doubt there is going to be an agreement in the end.”
The draft statement, leaked to the press and published by the Financial Times and other newspapers, stated, in part: “The Greek authorities gave their firm commitment to refrain from unilateral action and will work in close agreement with their European and international partners, especially in the field of tax policy, privatisation, labour market reforms, financial sector, and pensions.”
The EU part of the loan programme for Greece is set to expire February 28, raising the possibility of a collapse of Greece’s banking system, a default on the country’s €320 billion sovereign debt, and a forced exit of Greece from the euro currency bloc. Monday had been described as a deadline for an agreement between Greece and the euro group because several national parliaments needed time to vote on a deal before the end of the month.
A study by JP Morgan released as the euro group talks got under way concluded that Greece’s financial reserves could be exhausted in several months. Estimating that Greek banks were losing €2 billion of deposits a week, JP Morgan said if such outflows continued, the country’s banks would run out of collateral for new loans in just 14 weeks.
At a press conference after the meeting, Dijsselbloem said the euro group had told Greece that the “best way forward would be for the Greek government to seek an extension of the programme,” and that in any agreement going forward Greece could not “roll back any measures” except with the agreement of the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the IMF.
Greece, he said, had to present proposals for an extension of the debt repayment programme by Friday, and warned, “We can use this week, but that’s about it.”
Asked if an extension or, in the words of the Greek government, a “bridging” agreement, would be very different from the existing programme, Dijsselbloem said, “I don’t think so.”
He added that “the ESM [European Stability Mechanism] treaty and rules and regulations talk about strict conditionalities. It would still be about fiscal sustainability and therefore also debt sustainability. It would still be about economic competitiveness…and a stable financial sector and all of the above requires next steps, more measures and reforms, some popular and some obviously not so popular.”
Speaking alongside Dijsselbloem was Moscovici, until 2014 the French finance minister, and Christine Lagarde, head of the IMF.
Moscovici said no alternative to an extension of the current programme would be considered. Lagarde said the IMF’s programme with Greece would end in March 2016. She warned that only if Greece accepted an extension of the current austerity package could further IMF funds be disbursed.
Since 2001, a group of hackers – dubbed the “Equation Group” by researchers from Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab – have infected computers in at least 42 countries (with Iran, Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and Syria most infected) with what Ars Technica calls “superhuman technical feats” indicating “extraordinary skill and unlimited resources.”
The exploits – including the ‘prized technique’ of the creation of a secret storage vault that survives military-grade disk wiping and reformatting – cover every hard-drive manufacturer and have many similar characteristics to the infamous NSA-led Stuxnet virus.
According to Kaspersky, the spies made a technological breakthrough by figuring out how to lodge malicious software in the obscure code called firmware that launches every time a computer is turned on.
Disk drive firmware is viewed by spies and cybersecurity experts as the second-most valuable real estate on a PC for a hacker, second only to the BIOS code invoked automatically as a computer boots up.
“The hardware will be able to infect the computer over and over,” lead Kaspersky researcher Costin Raiu said in an interview.
Kaspersky’s reconstructions of the spying programs show that they could work in disk drives sold by more than a dozen companies, comprising essentially the entire market. They include Western Digital Corp, Seagate Technology Plc, Toshiba Corp, IBM, Micron Technology Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd.
The group used a variety of means to spread other spying programs, such as by compromising jihadist websites, infecting USB sticks and CDs, anddeveloping a self-spreading computer worm called Fanny, Kasperky said.
Fanny was like Stuxnet in that it exploited two of the same undisclosed software flaws, known as “zero days,” which strongly suggested collaboration by the authors, Raiu said. He added that it was “quite possible” that the Equation group used Fanny to scout out targets for Stuxnet in Iran and spread the virus.
Which, as Reuters reports, strongly suggests the “extraordinary skills and unlimited resources” were funded by the NSA…
The U.S. National Security Agency has figured out how to hide spying software deep within hard drives made by Western Digital, Seagate, Toshiba and other top manufacturers, giving the agency the means to eavesdrop on the majority of the world’s computers, according to cyber researchers and former operatives.
That long-sought and closely guarded ability was part of a cluster of spying programs discovered by Kaspersky Lab, the Moscow-based security software maker that has exposed a series of Western cyberespionage operations.
Kaspersky said it found personal computers in 30 countries infected with one or more of the spying programs, with the most infections seen in Iran, followed by Russia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, Mali, Syria, Yemen and Algeria. The targets included government and military institutions, telecommunication companies, banks, energy companies, nuclear researchers, media, and Islamic activists, Kaspersky said.
The firm declined to publicly name the country behind the spying campaign, but said it was closely linked to Stuxnet, the NSA-led cyberweapon that was used to attack Iran’s uranium enrichment facility. The NSA is the agency responsible for gathering electronic intelligence on behalf of the United States.
A former NSA employee told Reuters that Kaspersky’s analysis was correct, and that people still in the intelligence agency valued these spying programs as highly as Stuxnet. Another former intelligence operative confirmed that the NSA had developed the prized technique of concealing spyware in hard drives, but said he did not know which spy efforts relied on it.
The global coverage is clearly focused in a particular region (and not in the US)…
As Kasperskey exposes, victims generally fall into the following categories:
• Governments and diplomatic institutions
• Nuclear research
• Oil and gas
• Islamic activists and scholars
• Mass media
• Financial institutions
• Companies developing cryptographic technologies
As an interesting note, some of the “patients zero” of Stuxnet seem to have been infected by the EQUATION group. It is quite possible that the EQUATION group malware was used to deliver the STUXNET payload.
So far, Kaspersky have identi?ed several malware platforms used exclusively by the Equation group. They are:
EQUATIONDRUG – A very complex attack platform used by the group on its victims. It supports a module plugin system, which can be dynamically uploaded and unloaded by the attackers.
DOUBLEFANTASY – A validator-style Trojan, designed to con?rm the target is the intended one. If the target is con?rmed, they get upgraded to a more sophisticated platform such as EQUATIONDRUG or GRAYFISH.
EQUESTRE – Same as EQUATIONDRUG.
TRIPLEFANTASY – Full-featured backdoor sometimes used in tandem with GRAYFISH. Looks like an upgrade of DOUBLEFANTASY, and is possibly a more recent validator-style plugin.
GRAYFISH – The most sophisticated attack platform from the EQUATION group. It resides completely in the registry, relying on a bootkit to gain execution at OS startup.
FANNY – A computer worm created in 2008 and used to gather information about targets in the Middle East and Asia. Some victims appear to have been upgraded ?rst to DoubleFantasy, and then to the EQUATIONDRUG system. Fanny used exploits for two zero-day vulnerabilities which were later discovered with Stuxnet.
EQUATIONLASER – An early implant from the EQUATION group, used around 2001-2004. Compatible with Windows 95/98, and created sometime between DOUBLEFANTASY and EQUATIONDRUG.
Although the implementation of their malware systems is incredibly complex, surpassing even Regin in sophistication, there is one aspect of the EQUATION group’s attack technologies that exceeds anything Kaspersky has ever seen before.
This is the ability to infect the hard drive ?rmware.
The plugin version 4 is more complex and can reprogram 12 drive “categories”
* * *
So to summarize:
1) US sanctions Russia
2) a Russian-based research group (Kaspersky Lab is an international group operating in almost 200 countries and territories worldwide. The company is headquartered in Moscow, Russia, with its holding company registered in the United Kingdom. Kaspersky Lab currently employs over 2,850 qualified specialists) reveals that through Equation group’s code, there is NSA presence across the supply chain of the highest margin US products .
3) As Reuters notes, the exposure of these new spying tools could lead to greater backlash against Western technology,particularly in countries such as China, which is already drafting regulations that would require most bank technology suppliers to proffer copies of their software code for inspection.
4) And Peter Swire, one of five members of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technology, said the Kaspersky report showed that it is essential for the country to consider the possible impact on trade and diplomatic relations before deciding to use its knowledge of software flaws for intelligence gathering. “There can be serious negative effects on other U.S. interests,” Swire said.
It seems that the Puerto Rico government is scrambling to find ways to collect tax revenues to satisfy its debt obligations. Why? Well there is a new controversial “Fat” tax bill filed by Puerto Rican Senator Gilberto Rodriguez to combat child obesity. The plan calls for school teachers to identify and locate obese children and refer them to the Puerto Rico health department officials. Then they will determine what is the cause of the child’s obesity problem and formulate a diet and exercise plan. Then they will monitor the child’s progress every four weeks. The tax penalty would start at $500 if the child’s weight does not improve within the first six months and up to $800 after another six months if there are still no improvements. This is absurd! United Press International’s (UPI) report ‘Puerto Rico may fine parents of obese children’ described the proposal:
The bill, introduced by Sen. Gilberto Rodríguez, would make the Department of Education in Puerto Rico responsible for identifying children who are at risk for obesity, but not due to preexisting medical conditions, according to El País. Health officials would indicate obesity health risks to parents. If the child’s condition does not “progress” within six months, parents could be fined $500. If after another six months the child’s condition does not improve, the fine could be $800. The case could be brought to social workers at the Puerto Rico Department of Family Affairs.
The idea is not new. Jonathan Gruber, the architect of Obamacare declared in 2010 that taxing “fat people” by body weight was an option to fight obesity in an article titled ‘Taxing Sin to Modify Behavior and Raise Revenue’ for theNational Institute for Health Care Management (NIHCM) and said:
Ultimately, what may be needed to address the obesity problem are direct taxes on body weight. While it is hard to conceive of this approach being a common public policy tool in the near term, such taxation may be happening indirectly through health insurance surcharges. Currently, employers may charge up to 20 percent higher health insurance premiums for employees who fail to meet certain health-related standards, such as attaining a healthy BMI. The new health reform legislation increases this differential to 30 percent, with the possibility of rising to 50 percent. Results of programs that use differential premiums to impose direct financial penalties for obesity will bear watching in the future.
Many on the Island-nation do not agree with the new bill including the president of Puerto Rico’s chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, Ricardo Fontanet who declared “It will bring complications because there are obese children due to medical complications and genetic factors” the report said. I agree to a certain extent, however, Puerto Rico’s obesity problem especially for children has one major problem that Mr. Fontanet did not mention and that is a direct correlation with obesity and U.S. fast food corporations. Many Fast food corporations has invaded Puerto Rico including McDonalds, Burger King, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Wendy’s, and several others have led to the domination of the local food markets. In a 2005 report by Caribbean Business stated how fast food corporations began in Puerto Rico:
The fast-food industry has come a long way since such chains as Tastee Freeze and Big Boy began appearing on the island in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Since then, the number of chains has multiplied aggressively, demonstrating Puerto Rico is an attractive market. As a whole, 2,000 fast-food restaurants in Puerto Rico are estimated to rake in $1 billion to $1.3 billion a year in revenue, according to industry sources. Studies also have shown 77% of locals visit fast-food restaurants often.
If there are 2,000 fast food restaurants with 77% of locals as consumers, then do expect obesity levels to increase. One film that fast food enthusiasts’ should watch is Morgan Spurlock’s ‘Super Size Me’, a 2004 documentary film that tracked Spurlock’s 30-day experimentation by eating three meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner) a day from McDonalds. What was the result according to Spurlock’s film?:
After six months of deliberation, Judge Robert Sweet dismissed the lawsuit against McDonald’s. The big reason? The two girls failed to show that eating McDonald’s food was what caused their injuries. Interesting, in only thirty days of eating nothing but McDonald’s I gained twenty-four and a half pounds, my liver turned to fat and my cholesterol shot up sixty-five points. My body fat percentage went from eleven to eighteen percent, still below the national average of twenty-two percent for men and thirty percent for women. I nearly doubled my risk of coronary heart disease, making myself twice as likely to have heart failure. I felt depressed and exhausted most of the time, my mood swung on a dime and my sex life was nonexistent. I craved this food more and more when I ate it, and got massive headaches when I didn’t. In my final blood test many of my body functions showed signs of improvement, but the doctors were less than optimistic.
I am not saying that fast food is the main cause of obesity. There are other factors including poverty, U.S. food imports laced with genetically modified organisms (GMO) and the lack of education on the benefits of eating healthy non-GMO foods. Puerto Rico can re-examine a policy that would benefit the Puerto Rican people. For starters, the Puerto Rico government can “Ban” fast food restaurants that are a health hazard to the local population. Bolivian President Evo Morales was a vocal critic against McDonalds and other fast food corporations. In 2013, McDonalds shut its doors after 14 years of operation. Here is what President Morales said at a speech to the UN general assembly on February 20th, 2013 prior to McDonald’s decision to close all of it’s remaining stores:
The major multinational food companies seek to control the production of food and to dominate global markets by imposing their customs and foods. The only goal of such producers is to generate profits. So they standardize food and drinks, turning them into global foods produced on a massive scale with the same formula. They are not interested in the health of human beings, only in their earnings and corporate profits.
U.S. corporate fast food chains have saturated the world with endless fast food restaurants no matter what country you visit except Montenegro, Bermuda and now Bolivia. This is an interesting turn of events concerning the backlash of fast food corporations besides the worldwide resistance against Monsanto and other GMO-based corporations. There is a growing awareness among the public on the health hazards of fast food and its exploitation of workers. There is also the question of cultural imperialism when American fast food is imposed on local communities around the world. The mainstream media (MSM) said that McDonald’s closing in Bolivia was due to its decline in sales. The truth is that the Bolivian people and the government of Evo Morales rejected globalization and corporate fast food in their country. McDonalds has opened up dozens and sometimes even hundreds of restaurants once their operations are approved. Fast food corporations have a negative impact on communities especially when it comes to local customs’ and culture. The climax of cultural imperialism imposed by American fast food corporations into almost every country on the planet for profits does undermine local economies and its dynamic culture besides the health risks customers face. In Bolivia’s case, health risks are associated with the way McDonalds prepares their food according to Lance Devon of www.naturalnews.com:
The rejection isn’t necessarily based on the taste or the type of food McDonald’s prepared. The rejection of the fast food system stemmed from Bolivian’s mindset of how meals are to be properly prepared. Bolivians more so respect their bodies, valuing the quality of what goes into their stomach. The time it takes for fast food to be prepared throws up a warning flag in their minds. Where other cultures see no risk, eating McDonald’s every week; Bolivians feel that it just isn’t worth the health risk. Bolivians seek well prepared, local meals, and want to know that their food was prepared the right way. This self respect helps Bolivians avoid processed “restructured meat technology,” often used by fast food joints like McDonald’s.
In 1999, the Island of Bermuda had constant protests by the local population against the construction of a McDonalds. The protests were so intense that the government passed a law banning all franchised restaurants in the country. According to local reports, an 83 year old senior and resident of Bermuda by the name of Phyllis Harron, said “It is not Bermudian. McDonald’s cheapens wherever it goes.” The government of Montenegro also banned McDonalds in opposition to globalization in an article published by www.viennareview.net titled ‘Montenegro: Not Lovin’ It’ stated:
By making this decision to ban McDonald’s, Montenegro has, in a way said no to globalisation. It was also an expression of concern for the health of its inhabitants, an act of solidarity with local restaurants, and maybe even a gesture of support for the trade balance. The decision also made a political statement regarding the involvement of the United States. And in the process, Montenegro may have made itself a test case of how to deal with similar problems of globalisation that may, in long term, harm the populations, trade, or health of other Eastern European countries.
Imposing a “Fat” tax on people because of their obesity will not solve the problem. The Puerto Rican government needs to stand up to U.S. corporations and Washington by “Banning” GMO laced imports and closing all of the fast food chains that serve unhealthy food to the Puerto Rican people. They need to support local farmers and businesses that produce and sell organic food. Imposing a tax on Puerto Rican families is not a solution. However, for the Puerto Rican government, it is seeking ways to collect tax revenues to satisfy its debt obligations to its creditors. More than 28% of Puerto Rican children are considered obese which means that they can generate millions in tax revenues. Puerto Rico’s governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla has made raising taxes a priority to reduce Puerto Rico’s deficit. Puerto Rico debt service burden requires between $3.4bn and $3.8bn a year for at least the next four years. The “Fat”tax is just another option for the Puerto Rico government to raise money they need to pay off their debt.
One problem with Senator Rodriguez’s proposal is how far will the government go for tax revenues? What will they tax next? Children who are under weight? What about children who have other health issues and diseases such as cancer or even epilepsy? How far will they go?
An ABC News article also reported the reaction to the proposal by a deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut:
“This proposal is very unfair and inappropriately penalizes and stigmatizes parents,” said Rebecca Puhl, deputy director of the Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity at the University of Connecticut. “Childhood obesity is a highly complex issue, and while the home environment is important to address, much broader societal changes are required to effectively address obesity.”
Policies that support parents are much more helpful than policies that penalize them, she said. Improving access to opportunities for physical activity and providing incentives toward buying healthier food, for example, have already proven effective in cities like Philadelphia, Puhl said.
One proposal I have for Senator Rodriquez is to start eating three meals a day at McDonalds for one month and see if he will gain weight and develop health problems as the result. Then maybe he can submit a new bill to end all fast food corporations from operating in Puerto Rico. Then we can reverse the obesity rate by supporting local non-GMO healthy foods which can help local businesses, farmers and improve our children’s health. Taxing parents will not solve the obesity problem; eliminating or even reducing the number of fast food restaurants is a step forward towards a healthy society. That is one option Puerto Rico should consider if they are serious about helping obese children. But as long as Puerto Rico remains a colonial territory under Washington, it will continue to be a captive market for U.S. business interests and their fast food restaurant chains.
A six part historical fiction television series recently concluded its premiere over the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) network.
It is airing over Black Entertainment Television (BET).
This dramatic representation is based on a novel of the same name by Lawrence Hill, an African Canadian writer, who took aspects of the actual history of enslaved Africans from the west coast of the continent on their journey to the Carolinas, New York, Novia Scotia, Canada and to Sierra Leone.
African American History Month Series Part VI
Title: The Book of Negroes
Writer: Lawrence Hill
Director: Clement Virgo
Executive Producer: Damon D’Oliveira
Cast Includes: Aunjanue Ellis, Cuba Gooding, Jr., Lyriq Bent, Louis Gossett, Jr.
The series examines the brutality of the Atlantic Slave Trade of the 18th Century and the nature of the system of human bondage and racism in the-then British colonies in North America. The principal character, Aminata Diallo, played by Aunjanue Ellis, is captured at the age of eleven in Guinea and shipped off to the southern colony in the 1750s.
During the course of the story, the nature of the slave system in starkly portrayed. Families are broken up, children are sold from their parents, women are harshly exploited and assaulted, while the knowledge and skills of the enslaved Africans are utilized to further enhance the profitability of plantation economy.
Despite these horrors the Africans continue to resist their enslavement. This is done through various forms of rebellion from the slave ships to the plantations where the rich landowners sought to dehumanize the Africans who were designated as property.
A Different View of the “American Revolution”
One often hidden historical fact brought out in the novel and subsequent television series is that more Africans fought alongside the British during the colonial war than with the future rulers of the United States. The British promised emancipation to those slaves who joined their ranks after 1776.
Some historians, such as Gerald Horne, maintain that the motivation behind the independence movement among the colonists was to preserve slavery. During this period a debate was developing in Britain over the abolition of slavery in England.
In his book entitled “The Counter-Revolution of 1776”, Horne re-emphasizes that “For European colonists, the major threat to security in North America was a foreign invasion combined with an insurrection of the enslaved. And as 1776 approached, London-imposed abolition throughout the colonies was a very real and threatening possibility—a possibility the founding fathers feared could bring the slave rebellions of Jamaica and Antigua to the thirteen colonies. To forestall it, they went to war.” (amazon.com)
Horne challenges the official narrative of the “War of Independence suggesting “The so-called Revolutionary War was in large part a counter-revolution, a conservative movement that the founding fathers fought in order to preserve their liberty to enslave others—and which today takes the form of a racialized conservatism and a persistent racism targeting the descendants of the enslaved. The Counter-Revolution of 1776 drives us to a radical new understanding of the traditional heroic creation myth of the United States.”
Hill places this history symbolized through the actual “Book of Negroes”, a document containing the names of Africans who were slated for freedom once the British monarchy won the war. However, they lost the war and later took thousands of former slaves to Nova Scotia, another colony, where they were met with extremely cold weather, near famine conditions and vicious racism.
In an interview with a British newspaper Hill recounts that he “used The Book of Negroes as the title for my novel, in Canada, because it derives from a historical document of the same name kept by British naval officers at the tail end of the American Revolutionary War. It documents the 3,000 blacks who had served the King in the war and were fleeing Manhattan for Canada in 1783.” (Guardian, UK, May 20, 2008)
He goes on further to say “Unless you were in The Book of Negroes, you couldn’t escape to Canada. My character, an African woman named Aminata Diallo whose story is based on this history, has to get into the book before she gets out.”
From Nova Scotia Back to Africa
After the war these Africans were taken by the British army to Nova Scotia in Canada where slavery still existed. The harsh conditions in Nova Scotia are illustrated in the series.
Conditions are not conducive to agricultural production and the weather is colder than most have ever experienced. The whites in the colony are struggling themselves to survive and view the newly-arrived Africans as being in competition with them for jobs and other economic opportunities.
Louis Gossett, Jr. plays an elderly minister who holds the African community together. He later accepts the British offer to repatriate thousands back to West Africa for the establishment of yet another colony for London.
Nonetheless, when they arrive in Sierra Leone the Atlantic Slave Trade is even more widespread than during the previous decades. They quickly realize that real safety and security cannot prevail in such an atmosphere.
The series ends with the main character intervening in the debate on the abolition of slavery in Britain leading to the outlawing of the Atlantic Slave Trade in 1806. During her period of enslavement in the Carolinas and New York, she acquires exceptional literary skills and works as a medical practitioner both on the plantation as well as on the battlefield during the war between Britain and the colonists.
This dramatization of such an important period in world history will shed light on the social development of the U.S. and Canada along with the role of racism and national oppression in shaping modern politics. With the mini-series being aired over both Canadian and U.S. television it will reach a broad audience compelling millions to alter their perspective on the character of bourgeois democracy from the 18th century to the present.
“It is highly probable that the bulk of the Jew’s ancestors ‘never’ lived in Palestine ‘at all,’ which witnesses the power of historical assertion over fact.” H. G. Wells, The Outline of History
Anti-Semitism or a justifiable demand that Israelis stop persecuting Palestinians?
The reality is that by simply asking such a valid question innocent people can become targets for unjustified accusations of anti-Semitism and Holocaust denial which together have become the most powerful weapon — by conflating Zionism with Judaism — for silencing criticism of, or preventing activism against Israeli violations of international law including a barbarous disregard for human rights. Maintaining this effective Zionist policy has required the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) and other Jewish groups to covertly contribute vast sums, to politically coerce, and to calculatingly con the mainstream media into perpetuating the totally false premise that only Jews are semites. This appropriation of the word “semite” and the subsequent evolvement of the term “anti-Semitism” has with irresponsible impunity facilitated the silencing of Israel’s critics even to the extent of wrecking their careers, their social standing, and their lives. Consequently people in politics, the media, and other public service professions cringe at at the thought of being labeled, “anti-semitic” and unfortunately — even against the better judgment of their conscience — succumb to Zionist blackmail, bribery, or bullying and publicly present themselves as being diehard supporters of Israel.
“Israelis and American Jews fully agree that the memory of the Holocaust is an indispensable weapon — one that must be used relentlessly against their common enemy . . . Jewish organisations and individuals thus labour cut continuously to remind the world of it. In America, the perpetuation of the Holocaust memory is now a $100-million-a-year enterprise, part of which is government funded.”
According to Israeli author Moshe Leshem, the expansion of Israeli power is commensurate with the expansion of ‘Holocaust’ propaganda. Balaam’s Curse: How Israel Lost its Way, and How it Can Find it Again, Simon & Schuster, 1989.
So what exactly is a semite? Diligent, impartial research will reveal that the word “semite” has no relation with any particular religious group or ethnicity, but with a group of semitic languages: Amharic (spoken by Ethiopians and Eritreans in lands formerly known as Abyssinia); Arabic (spoken by Arabs and others in Muslim countries because it is the language of the Qur’an); Aramaic (spoken mostly by the Chaldeans of Iraq, some Catholics, and Maronite Christians at least liturgically if not socially); Hebrew (spoken by Israelis, some Jews, and others outside of Israel); and Syriac (spoken by some in various parts of Syria and the Middle East). Linguistic experts also point out that Abraham, the father of the Arabs and Jews, did not speak Hebrew, but Aramaic which was then the language of the land.
Anti-Semitism: The word anti-Semitism was an invention; H.H. Beamish, in a New York address, October 30 – November 1, 1937:
“In 1848 the word ‘anti-Semitic’ was invented by the Jews to prevent the use of the word ‘Jew.’ The right word for them is ‘Jew’.”
Ever since the Jews invented the libel charge of ‘anti-Semitism’ in the 1880s. It was first printed in the Jewish Encyclopaedia (1901 Vol. 1, p. 641), and has been built up with Jewish money, organisations, propaganda and lies (such as the Holocaust — Holohoax), so that now the word is like a snake venom which paralyses one’s nervous system. Even the mention of the word ‘Jew’ is shunned unless used in a most favourable and positive context.
Charles A. Weisman, Who is Esau-Edom?, Weisman Publications, 1966.
Furthermore, actual genetic Jews are from Spain, Portugal, North Africa and the Middle East and are known as “Sephardic,” a word derived from the Hebrew “Sepharad,” which relates to Spain. Sephardic Jews, because of familiarity with their own history and the true meaning of the word “semite,” tend to avoid using the term “anti-Semite” because it is utter nonsense. Alternatively, Ashkenazi Jews who exploit Israel’s Law of Return — Israeli legislation passed on 5 July 1950, giving Jews the right of return, the right to live in Israel, and the right to acquire citizenship — have as recent studies illustrate (http://www.livescience.com/40247-ashkenazi-jews-have-european-genes.html) a maternal lineage derived largely from Europe which contradicts the notion that European Jews are mostly descendants of people who left Israel and the Middle East some 2,000 years ago. In 1970, Israel extended the right of entry and settlement to include people of Jewish ancestry, and their spouses while in the meantime forcibly expelled indigenous Palestinians (http://www.ifamericansknew.org/history/ref-nakba.html) continue to have no such right.
“Strictly speaking it is incorrect to call an ancient Israelite a ‘Jew’ or to call a contemporary Jew an Israelite or a Hebrew.”
Well organised, incessant, and shrill accusations of rampant “anti-Semitism” by Jewish organisations cannot therefore be simply accepted with silent obedience and without question. To begin with it is only right to acknowledge that anti-Jewish sentiment does exist just as does Islamophobia, inter-religious hatred and racism because fanaticism and ignorance are deleterious maladies that humanity has so far failed to overcome. It is very hypocritical of Jewish organisations to demand acknowledgement and respect for their human rights to be “Jewish” while denying those same rights to the Palestinian people with more than 60 years of persecution whose Nazi-style barbarity deserves to be classified as a “Palestinian Holocaust.” In this respect, the mainstream media has a journalistic obligation to shed its blatant Israeli bias (cowardice) and instead encourage a public debate that clearly distinguishes between anti-Jewish sentiment and justified criticism of consistent Israeli violations of international law including human rights.
“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
Jews must come to realise that if they consistently insist to the rest of humanity that as “God’s chosen people” they are by inference superior; that as such, God also promised them and no one else the Holy Land; that because of their “Jewish specialness” they must exercise an aloof separateness that discourages assimilation with others and perceives a world of their own; that if they stifle justified criticism of their criminality; that if they continue to blackmail, bribe, and bully the rest of the world so as to achieve their selfish goals — then they cannot expect to either win friends or influence people.
Jewish attitudes have also with contemptuous presumption continued to encroach upon and undermine the the rest of humanity’s right to free speech with the latest outrage being a request by Israeli politicians that other nations across the world should enact legislation outlawing any criticism of Jews or Israel. They claim that their request is due to an apparent increase in “anti-semitism” across the world. It is very hard to believe that a people chosen by God Himself are unable to differentiate between abhorrent anti-Jewish sentiment and justified criticism of Israel for its barbaric crimes against humanity.
“One has to realise that Israel’s efforts having nothing to do with hate speech, anti-Semitism or holocaust denial, but are rather about stifling critical speech that affects Israel and its lobbyists. For example, we know that Israel and its lobbyists are not offended by holocaust denial because Israel and its lobbyists are the leading proponents of Armenian holocaust denial in the world today. Israel should also not be particularly offended by anti-Semitism, because Israel is actually one of the most racist and anti-Semitic nations on the planet.”
“The crime against the Palestinian people is being committed by a Jewish state with Jewish soldiers using weapons displaying Jewish religious symbols, and with the full support and complicity of the overwhelming mass of organised Jews worldwide. But to name Jews as responsible for this crime seems impossible to do.”
It may seem impossible to do, but in order to save humanity — responsible people with a conscience and respect for other human beings — must at all costs resist Zionism’s all out onslaught on the right to free speech because without that right and an unfettered mainstream media we become just brainwashed subjects rather than enlightened citizens. The actuality of our becoming brainwashed citizens is unfortunately already with us because in Britain for example any condemnation, protest, or activism against Israel’s irrefutably barbaric treatment of the Palestinian people is immediately met with accusations of anti-Semitism by a government whose leaders threaten tough legislation to further criminalise criticism of Jews or Israel. So rather than upholding their citizens’ noble right to demand universal respect for human rights, Western leaders like Prime Minister David Cameron insist that current legislation prohibiting discrimination or racism is not good enough for Jews whose “specialism” and “separateness” require additional laws to protect them and their rights while encroaching on the rights of others. Cameron recently continued with his Jewish lobby appeasement by announcing Government plans for a new £50million Holocaust memorial in central London. Such benevolence raises the question of whether that money would be better spent on medical aid to the traumatised and physically mutilated victims of Israel’s latest genocidal assault on Gaza.
William Hanna is a freelance writer with recently published books the Hiramic Brotherhood of the Third Temple and The Tragedy of Palestine and its Children. Purchase information, sample chapter, other articles, and contact details at (http://www.hiramicbrotherhood.com/)
According to LifeSiteNews, a Catholic publication, the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association is charging UNICEF and WHO with sterilizing millions of girls and women under cover of an anti-tetanus vaccination program sponsored by the Kenyan government.
The Kenyan government denies there is anything wrong with the vaccine, and says it is perfectly safe.
The Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, however, saw evidence to the contrary, and had six different samples of the tetanus vaccine from various locations around Kenya sent to an independent laboratory in South Africa for testing.
The results confirmed their worst fears: all six samples tested positive for the HCG antigen. The HCG antigen is used in anti-fertility vaccines, but was found present in tetanus vaccines targeted to young girls and women of childbearing age. Dr. Ngare, spokesman for the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, stated in a bulletin released November 4:
“This proved right our worst fears; that this WHO campaign is not about eradicating neonatal tetanus but a well-coordinated forceful population control mass sterilization exercise using a proven fertility regulating vaccine. This evidence was presented to the Ministry of Health before the third round of immunization but was ignored.” (Source.)
Dr. Ngare brought up several points about the mass tetanus vaccination program in Kenya that caused the Catholic doctors to become suspicious:
Dr. Ngare told LifeSiteNews that several things alerted doctors in the Church’s far-flung medical system of 54 hospitals, 83 health centres, and 17 medical and nursing schools to the possibility the anti-tetanus campaign was secretly an anti-fertility campaign.
Why, they ask does it involve an unprecedented five shots (or “jabs” as they are known, in Kenya) over more than two years and why is it applied only to women of childbearing years, and why is it being conducted without the usual fanfare of government publicity?
“Usually we give a series three shots over two to three years, we give it anyone who comes into the clinic with an open wound, men, women or children.” said Dr. Ngare.
But it is the five vaccination regime that is most alarming. “The only time tetanus vaccine has been given in five doses is when it is used as a carrier in fertility regulating vaccines laced with the pregnancy hormone, Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) developed by WHO in 1992.” (Source.)
UNICEF: A History of Taking Advantage of Disasters to Mass Vaccinate
It should be noted that UNICEF and WHO distribute these vaccines for free, and that there are financial incentives for the Kenyan government to participate in these programs. When funds from the UN are not enough to purchase yearly allotments of vaccines, an organization started and funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, GAVI, provides extra funding for many of these vaccination programs in poor countries. (See: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Vaccine Empire on Trial in India.)
Also, there was no outbreak of tetanus in Kenya, only the perceived “threat” of tetanus due to local flood conditions.
These local disasters are a common reason UNICEF goes into poorer countries with free vaccines to begin mass vaccination programs.
It seems quite apparent that UNICEF and WHO use these local disasters to mass vaccinate people, mainly children and young women. Massive education and propaganda efforts are also necessary to convince the local populations that they need these vaccines. Here is a video UNICEF produced for the tetanus vaccine in Kenya. Notice how they use school teachers and local doctors to do the educating, even though the vaccines are produced by western countries.
At least in Kenya, Catholic doctors are acting and taking a stand against what they see as an involuntary mass sterilization campaign designed to control the population of Africans.
On February 12, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, announced that the IMF had reached an agreement with the Ukrainian government on a new economic reform program. Ms Lagarde’s statement, made in Brussels, came only minutes after peace negotiations between the heads of the German, French, Russian und Ukrainian governments in Minsk, Belarus, had ended. The timing was no coincidence. Washington had been left out of the negotiations and now reacted by sending its most powerful financial organization to the forefront in order to deliver a clear message to the world: that the US will not loosen its grip on the Ukraine, if not by sending weapons, then at least economically and financially.
Mme Lagarde’s assertions that the program „would support immediate economic stabilization“ and spell „a turning point for the Ukraine“ are as far removed from reality as the main stream media’s depiction of the IMF as an aid organization helping a drowning country to survive in times of trouble. Not a single cent of the loans will go to the Ukrainian working people. Instead, the money will be used to prop up the Yatseniuk government which is totally subservient to US interests, and enable it to service the debts incurred by its predecessors in the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, to pay off most of its military expenses of around $ 250 million per month for the continuation of a war against its own population and to fill at least some holes in the state budget which are due to the country’s ongoing economic deterioration.
The loans will be based on the terms of an economic program for Ukraine for 2015 – 2020, passed by the Kiev parliament in December 2014, and are tied to harsh conditions laid down in a letter of intent, signed by prime minister Yatseniuk and president Poroshenko in August 2014. Some of the measures have already been implemented, others will follow. Among those already in force is the flexible exchange rate regime which has not only led to a 67% devaluation of the hrivna, lowering the average monthly wage of Ukrainian workers to less than $ 60, but has also opened the doors for international currency speculators who have already made millions by indebting themselves in hrivnia and repaying their debts in euros and dollars.
The rate of inflation, running at 25 % in 2014 and expected to rise even higher in 2015, and a hike in gas prices by 50 % in May 2014 made survival almost impossible for the weakest 20 % of the population who already lived below the poverty line in 2013. Among the measures still to come are the layoff of 10 % of the country’s public employees and the partial privatization of health care and education. The retirement age for women is to be raised by 10 years, that for men by 5 years, most benefits for old age pensioners are to be abolished, the pharmaceuticals market is to be deregulated. Retirement pensions will be frozen, and there will be no more free lunches for school children and patients in hospitals. Benefits for victims of the 1986 nuclear disaster in Chernobyl are to be cut, and the boundaries of the officially designated radioactive hazard zone will be revised. The country’s monthly minimum wage is to remain at 1,218.00 hrivna ($ 46 at the current rate of exchange) until at least November 2015.
None of these measures will serve to „improve the living standards for the Ukrainian people“, as cynically predicted by Ms Lagarde. Nor will they „restore robust growth“ in an economy which is teetering on the verge of collapse, with a central bank left with only $ 6 billion in currency reserves and incapable of raising new fundi
ng in foreign exchange auctions. However, they will contribute to an intensification of the suffering of the Ukrainian people, deepen the social divide of a country already torn apart by a bloody civil war and lead to its complete disintegration, nurturing separatist movements and thus creating perfect conditions for a future of violence and despair.
In pursuing this strategy, the IMF is totally in line with the geopolitical policies pursued by Wall Street and the government in Washington. Both are in deep trouble, with the US torn apart by ever-increasing social inequality threatening to explode in massive social unrest, while its rulers are drowning in debt and losing control over the world financial system. Having dominated global markets for seven decades, the United States’ economic decline and a shift in global power are ringing in the end of the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency and thereby heralding the end of the US’s status as the world’s super power.
In a reckless attempt to stop this unstoppable process, Wall Street and the White House are waging an extremely aggressive campaign against Russia and China who have dared to complete an energy deal outside the petro-dollar and whom the US fear to be preparing a new, possibly gold-backed, currency that might replace the US dollar as the world’s reserve currency. To prevent this from happening and to gain control of the vast natural riches of Russia which promise enormous profits, Wall Street and the White House are pursuing a strategy of regime change in Moscow, undertaking everything possible to replace the Russian government by one that is as subservient to US interests as that of Ukrainian premier Yatseniuk and his investment banker cronies in Kiev.One of the means to this end is the integration of Ukraine into NATO in order to step up the military threat against Russia. However, as the EU – and Germany in particular – do not seem to be willing to join forces in an all-out war against Russia (not out of humanitarian considerations, but because of their dependency on Russian gas and oil and their anticipation of a new monetary world order no longer dominated by the US) and as the majority of Americans, despite a massive media campaign demonizing Vladimir Putin, are unwilling to support a war that would cost more money and more lives than any war in the past and could end up in a nuclear catastrophe, the US government’s and the IMF’s main purpose in Ukraine is to deepen and widen the already existing economic, social and ethnic conflicts. By doing so, they hope to force Vladimir Putin into a long-lasting and costly war that will weaken his position at home and eventually pave the way for the installation of new rulers in Moscow.
Looking at Ukraine as a part of the present geopolitical struggle, one can see that the IMF’s new loans to Ukraine, announced by Christine Lagarde, are anything but a „turning point“ signalling the country’s stabilization. They will lead to unspeakable human suffering and contribute to the trail of blood which Ms Lagarde and the IMF are so used to leaving behind after intervening under the pretext of „helping“ countries in times of trouble.
Ernst Wolff is a freelance journalist and the author of the book “Pillaging the World. The History and Politics of the IMF”, published by Tectum Verlag, Germany.
One could easily get the impression from watching the corporate mass media or listening to public officials like President Obama and FBI director James Comey that the police death toll is rising rapidly and policing is an especially deadly occupation.
In his Jan. 20, 2015, State of the Union address, Obama drew an equal sign between the danger faced by police and those who are the victims of police brutality and murder:
“We may have different takes on the events of Ferguson and New York. But surely we can understand a father who fears his son can’t walk home without being harassed. Surely we can understand the wife who won’t rest until the police officer she married walks through the front door at the end of his shift.”
Speaking on Jan. 4 at the funeral of a New York City police officer who was shot and killed, Comey said he was “shocked and bewildered” by the number of police killed in 2014.
“One hundred and fifteen were killed last year,” he said. “That’s a shocking increase from 2013. I don’t understand evil and I cannot try.” Comey claimed that 100 police had been killed in 2013.
But both Obama’s equal sign and Comey’s statistics are falsifications of reality.
As of February 13, U.S. police have killed at least 131 people in 2015, an average of three per day, the vast majority by gunfire. Last year, police killed more than 1,100 people according to the killedbypolice.net website, nearly three times the number reported by local and state police and sheriff’s departments to the FBI. The FBI reporting is voluntary, and many departments, large and small—including New York City—do not participate.
U.S. cops kill at up to 100 times the rate of police in other capitalist countries.
As in years past, a large majority of those killed by the police in 2015 have again been young African Americans and Latinos. The two youngest were both 17-years-old, Kristiana Coignard of Texas and Jessica Hernandez of Colorado. The oldest was 87-year-old Lewis Becker from rural upstate New York.
In the first 44 days of 2015, while 13 police died while on duty, no police were killed by hostile action, according to the pro-police website, “Officer Down Memorial Page.” All of the reported deaths have been attributed to illness or accidents.
The “Officer Down” site records every police, sheriff, prison guard, Border Patrol and other civilian agency and military police fatality, including those outside the country. It is very thorough, even reporting on the deaths of K-9 police dogs.
Many federal, state, local government agencies as well as colleges and universities have their own police departments. There are railroad police, transit police, forestry police, park police, fish and game police, and many, many more.
“Officer Down” lists 122 police fatalities in 2014. Of those, 63 were due to illness or accident, 59 by hostile action. In 2013, the same source reported 112 police killed, 73 due to illness or accident, 39 by hostile action. In 2012, 130 were killed, 65 by hostile action. In 2011, 180 were reported killed, 87 due to attacks.
All together, there are well over 1.5 million police and prison guards in the U.S. According to the 2013 report by the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics on fatal injuries, “Police and sheriff’s patrol deputies” ranked as the 41st most dangerous occupation, with far lower death rates than not only such jobs as logging, mining, fishing, and farming, but also plane piloting, truck driving and recycling.
Yet police receive far higher pay than nearly all of those employed in more hazardous occupations. The relatively high salaries and pension benefits received by police are justified to the public on the basis of the supposed great danger the police face.
The glorification of the police by the corporate media and politicians, the exaggeration of the dangers they face, and the high pay most receive are all due to the role the police play as the protectors, not of the people but of a system based on capitalist exploitation and national oppression.
More than 20,000 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem have been shortlisted to be demolished by the Israeli occupation authorities, Jerusalem Centre for Social and Economic Rights (JCSER) has revealed.
The centre’s head, Ziad Hamouri, said that the reason these homes have been shortlisted for demolition is that they were built without building licences issued by the Israeli municipality in the occupied city. Applications for such licences from Palestinians are rarely approved.
According to Hamouri, the Israelis use the licence issue as a pretext to get rid of the centuries-old Palestinian existence in Jerusalem. Few Palestinians can afford a building licence even if an application is approved. “The Israeli demands for a construction licence are punitive financially and procedurally,” said Hamouri. “Every licence takes from five to eight years to be issued and they cost from $30,000 to $50,000 each.”
Such measures do not apply to Jews living in the city, who even find apartments ready-made for them to move into and are exempt from frequent and very high taxes.
The Palestinian Authority has called for the international community to stop Israel taking ever more Palestinian land by stealth.
So: Ukraine’s troops are permitted to steal whatever they want from the residents in Donbass, the rebelling region. The particular victim here lives in an apartment, and so all that Ukraine’s troops can take from him are his belongings.
Well, both things did — the ethnic cleansing did and does, and the cover-up of it and of its source did and does.
And that’s the biggest uncovered news-story of our time: both the ongoing crime, and its ongoing cover-up.
The present news-report is being distributed to virtually all U.S. ‘news’ media for publication, so that readers of all which do publish it (which can be determined by a google-search of this news-report’s headline) can come to know, from all that do not (show there), which ‘news’ media (other than TIME) are co-conspirators with Obama, in deceiving the American public into hiding reality so as to encourage further movement toward a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia — a nuclear war in which America (and definitely not Russia) was the instigator. (Even the founder of the “private CIA” firm Stratfor acknowledges that the February 2014 overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovuch, which started this, was “the most blatant coup in history” — and it was run from the U.S. White House. It precipitated, as a purely defensive measure by Russia, Russia’s accepting Crimea’s bid to rejoin Russia: Crimea had been since 1783 the base for Russia’s crucial Black Sea fleet, which Obama wanted to kick out of there.)
Any news-media that issue this news-report are honest, because the news-report itself is (and none of them is being charged anything to publish it; so, expense is not involved here). Any that don’t issue it, each reader can judge — and nobody has to wait for a nuclear war in order to do so; the ‘news’ media can be judged right now, because this coup occurred a year ago, and yet still it has not been reported in the U.S. as having been a coup (this overthrow was supposedly instead a result of ‘the democratic Maidan demonstrations’ that were actually used merely as a cover for it).
Furthermore, the present reporter offers to all other journalists the full text of the only thorough investigation that was ever done regarding the overthrow of Viktor Yanukovych, a rigorous scientific analysis of all of the existing evidence. It concludes exactly as did the European Union’s investigator when he first reported on 26 February 2014 that it had been a coup, which had been perpetrated by “someone” allied with the EU (presumably by the U.S. White House); it shocked Catherine Ashton, the EU’s foreign-affairs chief, when she learned it from him. This lengthy subsequent independent investigation into the matter is by far the most thorough examination that exists of the event, and it is titled, “The ‘Snipers’ Massacre’ on the Maidan in Ukraine.” Its author is University of Ottawa political scientist, Dr. Ivan Katchanovski. Any ‘news’ medium that decides not to publish the present news report about this American international atrocity, and that also does not at least request from me (or from Dr. Katchanovski) that full investigative report by Katchanovski about how this ethnic cleansing started, is clearly not interested in reporting the truth, regarding what is actually the most important international-affairs news-story of the past year, since the February 2014 coup, at least — the only matter that could very possibly end up producing World War III. (Obama wanted a proxy war against Russia to soften them up for the real thing; and the result is all of this bloodshed in Ukraine during and since that coup a year ago.) So: nobody can say that the reason it’s not being reported is that it’s not important news (now become history) to report. It was, and (unfortunately) still is.
“Hypocritical” is how CIA whistleblower John Kiriakou describes his arrest and imprisonment for exposing the spy agency’s use of torture while those who actually committed the heinous acts go unpunished. In an in-depth interview with RT’s Ben Swann, Kiriakou discussed only his time in prison, but also the controversial “enhanced interrogation” program, claiming that President George W. Bush personally approved the harsh practices.
This interview with Michael Hudson makes clear that the loan to Ukraine is wildly out of line with IMF rules, making it painfully obvious that this “rescue” is all about propping up the government so it can continue to wage war rather than economic development.
SHARMINI PERIES, EXEC. PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Michael Hudson report on The Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries, coming to you from Baltimore.
A ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine has been agreed to, following a marathon all-night, 17-hour negotiation between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko. They were flanked byother European leaders keeping vigil. Russia and Ukraine may have many differences, but what they have in common is a looming economic crisis, with oil prices taking a dive on the Russian side and a very expensive war they were not counting on on the Ukrainian side.
Joining us now to talk about all of this is Michael Hudson. He is a distinguished research professor of economics at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. His upcoming book is titled Killing the Host: How Financial Parasites and Debt Bondage Destroyed the Global Economy.
Michael, thank you, as always, for joining us.
MICHAEL HUDSON, ECONOMICS PROF., UNIV. OF MISSOURI, KANSAS CITY: Good to be here.
PERIES: So, Michael, in a recent interview published in The National Interest magazine, you said that most media covers Russia as if it is the greatest threat to Ukraine. History suggests the IMF may be far moredangerous. What did you mean by that?
HUDSON: First of all, the terms on which the IMF make loans require more austerity and a withdrawal of all the public subsidies. The Ukrainian population already is economically devastated. The conditions that the IMF’s program is laying down for making loans to Ukraine is that it must repay the debts. But it doesn’t have the ability to pay. So there’s only one way to do it, and that’s the way that the IMF has told Greece and other countries to do: It has to begin selling off whatever the nation has left of its public domain; or, to have your leading oligarchs take on partnerships with American or European investors, so that they can buy out into the monopolies in the Ukraine and indulge in rent-extraction.
This is the IMF’s one-two punch. Punch number one is: here’s the loan – to pay your bondholders, so that you now owe us, the IMF, to whom you can’t write down debts. The terms of this loan is to believe our Guiding Fiction: that you can pay foreign debt by running a domestic budgetary surplus, by cutting back public spending and causing an even deeper depression.
This idea that foreign debts can be paid by squeezing out domestic tax revenues was controverted by Keynes in the 1920s in his discussion of German reparations. (I devote a chapter to reviewing the controversy in my Trade, Development and Foreign Debt.) There is no excuse for making this error – except that the error is deliberate, and is intended to lead to failure, so that the IMF can then say that to everyone’s surprise and nobody’s blame, their “stabilization program” destabilized rather than stabilized the economy.
The penalty for following this junk economics must be paid by the victim, not by the victimizer. This is part of the IMF’s “blame the victim” strategy.
The IMF then throws its Number Two punch. It says, “Oh, you can’t pay us? I’m sorry that our projections were so wrong. But you’ve got to find some way to pay – by forfeiting whatever assets your economy may still have in domestic hands.
The IMF has been wrong on Ukraine year after year, almost as much as it’s been wrong on Ireland and on Greece. Its prescriptions are the same as those that devastated Third World economies from the 1970s onward.
So now the problem becomes one of just what Ukraine is going to have to sell off to pay the foreign debts – run up increasingly for waging the war that’s devastated its economy.
One asset that foreign investors want is Ukrainian farmland. Monsanto has been buying into Ukraine – or rather, leasing its land, because Ukraine has a law against alienating its farmland and agricultural land to foreigners. And a matter of fact, its law is very much the same as what the Financial Times reports Australia is wanting to do to block Chinese and American purchase of farmland.
The IMF also insists that debtor countries dismantle public regulations againstforeign investment, as well as consumer protection and environmental protection regulations. This means that what is in store for Ukraine is a neoliberal policy that’s guaranteed to actually make the situation even worse.
In that sense, finance is war. Finance is the new kind of warfare, using finance and forced sell-offs in a new kind of battlefield. This will not help Ukraine. It promises to lead to yet another crisis down the road very, very quickly.
PERIES: Michael, let’s unpack the debt in this crisis. The war has led Ukraine into a deeper crisis. Talk about the devastation that has caused and what they have to manage in addition to what the IMF is trying to impose on it.
HUDSON: When Kiev went to war against Eastern Ukraine, it fought primarily the coal mining region and theexport region. Thirty-eight percent of Ukraine’s exports are to Russia. Yet much of this export capacity has been bombed out of existence. Also, the electric companies that fuel the electricity to the coal mines been bombed out. So Ukraine can’t even supply itself with coal.
What is so striking about all this is that just a few weeks ago, on January 28, Christine Lagarde, the head of the IMF, said that the IMF does not make loans to countries that are engaged in war. That would befunding one side or another. Yet Ukraine is involved in a civil war. The great question is thus when the IMF will even begin to release the loan it has been discussing.
Also, the IMF articles of agreement say that it cannot make loans to an insolvent country. So how on earth can it be part of a loan bailout for the Ukraine if, number one, it’s at war (which has to stop totally), and number two, it’s insolvent?
The only solution is that Ukraine will scale back its debts to private investors. And that means a lot of contrarian hedge funds investors. The Financial Times today has an article showing that one American investor alone, Michael Hasenstab, has $7 billion of Ukraine debts and wants to speculate in it, along with Templeton Global Bond Fund. How is Ukraine going to treat the speculators? And then, finally, how is the IMF going to treat the fact that Russia’s sovereign fund lent 3 billion euros to the Ukraine on harsh terms through the London agreement terms that can’t be written down? Is the IMF going to insist that Russia take the same haircut that it’s imposing on the hedge funds? All of this is going to be the kind of conflict that’s going to take much more effort than even the solutions that we’ve seen over the last few days have taken on the military battlefront.
PERIES: And so how could Ukraine imagine getting out of this crisis?
HUDSON: It probably imagines a dream world in which it’ll get out of the crisis by the West giving it $50 billion and saying, here’s all the money you need, spend it as you want. That’s the extent of its imagination. It is fantasy, of course. It’s living in a dream world – except that a few weeks ago, George Soros came out in The New York Review of Books and urged Congress and “the West” to give Ukraine $50 billion and look at it as a down payment on military or with Russia. Well, immediately Kiev said, yes, we will only spend them on defensive arms. We will defend Ukraine all the way up toSiberia as we wipe out the Russians.
Bit today a Financial Times editorial said, yes, give Ukraine the $50 billion that George Soros asked for. We’ve got to enable it to have enough money to fight America’s New Cold War against Russia. But the continental Europeans are saying, “Wait a minute. At the end of this, there’ll be no more Ukrainians to fight. The war might even spread into Poland and into elsewhere, because if the money that’s given to Ukraine is really for what the Obama administration and Hillary and Soros are all pressing for – to go to war with Russia – then Russia’s going to say, ‘Okay, if we’re being attacked by foreign troops, we’re going to have to not only bomb the troops, but the airports they are coming in through, and the railway stations they’re coming in through. We’re going to extend our own defense towards Europe.’”
Apparently there are reports that Putin told Europe, look, you have two choices before you. Choice one: Europe, Germany and Russia can be a very prosperous area. With Russia’s raw materials and European technology, we can be one of the most prosperous areas in the world. Or, Choice two: You can go to war with us and you can be wiped out. Take your choice.
PERIES: Michael, complex and interesting times in Ukraine, as well as at the IMF. Thank you so much for joining us.
HUDSON: It’s good to be here, Sharmini.
PERIES: And thank you for joining us on The Real News Network.
La sexta gran marcha anual para conmemorar a las mujeres autóctonas asesinadas y desaparecidas se realizó en Montreal. Cientos de voces reclaman al gobierno de Canadá que escuche las demandas repetidas en favor de una comisión de investigación nacional.
In recent years, the nature of the U.S.-South Korean military alliance has been undergoing a transformation. At the urging of the United States, the Alliance has adopted a more global perspective, in which South Korean armed forces provide support for U.S. military occupations. With the appointment of Ashton Carter as U.S. Secretary of Defense, South Korea can expect to be pressured into assuming a more active role in future U.S. invasions and bombing campaigns.
When South Korea signed an Individual Partnership and Cooperation Program with NATO in September 2012, it committed itself to cooperation with NATO in a number of areas, including the euphemistically termed “multinational peace-support operations.” The text of the agreement has not been made publicly available, but it is probable that it is similar to the agreement signed between Australia and NATO. That document said the partnership “aims to support NATO’s strategic objectives,” including “enhancing support for NATO’s operations and missions.” Training and other joint activities would assist Australian military forces in Afghanistan “and any possible future NATO-led mission.” That language mirrors the text of NATO’s policy document on partnerships, which identifies increasing support for NATO-led operations and missions as a primary strategic objective.
Ostensibly formed as a defensive alliance for Western Europe, NATO has never acted in self-defense. Instead, the alliance has been steadily expanding and encroaching on former Warsaw Pact territory, and it now stands on Russia’s doorstep, provocatively tightening the military noose around its designated adversary. In 1999, NATO engaged in its first war of aggression, bombing every city and town in Yugoslavia and inflicting widespread death and destruction. That was followed by NATO support for the U.S. occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq and a bombing campaign against Libya that succeeded in overthrowing the government and creating an anarchic free-for-all by Islamic militias.
Prior to its agreement with NATO, South Korea had already sent small contingents to Iraq and Afghanistan in support of U.S. occupying forces. In 2011, South Korea pledged half a billion dollars over a five-year period for Afghan government forces and development programs.
However, these support operations are not deemed sufficient by NATO. In November 2012, NATO official Dirk Brengelmann met with South Korean foreign ministry officials in Seoul, to “explore opportunities for expanding cooperation,” in the words of a NATO report.
At the seventh Policy Consultation between South Korea and NATO in October 2014, the two sides agreed to “strengthen and upgrade” their partnership. Only a few days earlier, a South Korean delegation met with U.S. officials in Washington. There, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced, “We were very grateful to hear from both Foreign Minister Yun and Defense Minister Han that South Korea intends to continue cooperating closely with us in regard to these international efforts, and in fact wants to step up its efforts in a number of regards.” The joint statement issued after the meeting stated, “Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to further develop the Alliance into a global partnership.”
Jeffrey Reynolds of the Strategic Engagement Team at NATO headquarters and Barry Pavel of the Atlantic Council co-authored an article in which they argue that NATO is already a Pacific power. The authors admit that NATO engagement in Asia “will create controversy.” As NATO pursues an Asia-Pacific strategy, “pushback from other nations in the region will be a natural response, but the alliance should be prepared for that outcome and nevertheless stride ahead.” In the view of Reynolds and Pavel, “A far riskier option for the alliance is to stay out of Asia. In doing so, it would lose the opportunity to play a constructive role in the security of the world’s emerging basin of consequence.” Considering NATO’s impact on Yugoslavia and Libya, a fair-minded person would have to substitute the word “destructive” for “constructive” in the previous sentence in order to properly characterize what NATO has to offer Asian nations.
“America’s pivot is a significant opportunity for NATO,” Reynolds and Pavel continue. “NATO must be regional in character, global in stature and Pacific in direction.”
The United States has been pushing its Asian allies for some time to establish a military alliance similar to NATO. “We must encourage our allies to move beyond bilateral alliances and towards an era of greater multilateral security cooperation,” asserts U.S. Joint Chiefs Chairman General Martin Dempsey. However, as one unnamed U.S. military official admitted, “No one expects this region to move to a NATO-type security architecture anytime in the near future.”
While it may take years to extend NATO into Asia or to build a counterpart in Asia, more immediate plans call for NATO’s Asian partners to play a more active role in U.S. wars of aggression. U.S. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter spelled out his vision back in 1999, as NATO was obliterating infrastructure in Yugoslavia. “NATO’s principal strategic and military purpose in the post-Cold War era should be to provide a mechanism for the rapid formation of militarily potent ‘coalitions of the willing’ that are able to project power beyond NATO territory.”
Moreover, Carter argued, NATO’s partnership programs “should be enhanced beyond today’s emphasis on peacekeeping.” The objective “should be to prepare partners to operate alongside NATO members in ‘coalitions of the willing’ that cover the full range of NATO’s new power-projection missions.” Membership in a NATO partnership program “for non-NATO members” should be “as similar as possible to the experience of NATO membership.”
In Carter’s view, for NATO partners to limit their involvement to post-invasion support operations is inadequate. They must send combat forces to fight alongside NATO as it attacks its next hapless victim. In the coming years, South Korea, as well as other Asian nations such as Japan, Australia and New Zealand, can expect to face strong-arm tactics to adopt the type of role South Korea played in the U.S. invasion of Vietnam in years past. South Korea has nothing to gain from making itself a tool of imperialism, and it is to be hoped that it will resist pressure to do so. It is time for the peoples of the world to say no to military madness.
Sanções econômicas, trata-se de complexas medidas para fazer pressão em outros países para obter objetivos políticos, mas, tem-se que apesar dessas sanções trazerem consequências negativas para os países sendo atacados, os premeditados objetivos políticos dos países promotores da mesma, nem sempre são alcançados. Mais frequentemente esses objetivos nunca são alcançados. Gary Hufbauer, um conhecido perito americano nessa área e seus associados mostram, de quando classificando 204 casos de sanções, que somente 30 desses teriam tido sucesso (Tabela 1).
1.Objetivo das sanções e seus reais resultados
Custo da modificação da política (43-51%)
Mudança de regime ou democratização (80-31%)
Cessação das atividades de guerra (19-21%)
Destruição do potencial militar (29-31%)
Outros tipos de mudanças de política (33-30%)
Em parênteses:- (Número de Casos-Porcentagem de Sucesso)
Fonte : Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, Kimberly Ann Elliott, and Barbara Oegg. Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 3rd edition. Novembro de 2007.
Em muitos casos as sanções mostram-se como estimulantes, exercendo uma ação de influência na economia abaixo de sanções. Foi assim que o denominado bloqueio continental que Napoleão Bonaparte organizou contra a Grã-Bretanha, deu um empurrão na segunda fase da revolução industrial nesse país, contribuindo para a finalização da sua transformação na “oficina do mundo”.
A propósito, Napoleão conseguiu até um certo ponto incluir a Rússia no bloqueio continental, tendo conseguido então que ela suspendesse o fornecimento à Inglaterra de cereais, madeira, linho, linhaça e outros bens. Ao mesmo tempo a Rússia se sentiu constrangida a rejeitar as importações de produtos industriais da produção da Inglaterra, entre eles as importações de produtos metalúrgicos e de vidro. Conhecedores da história econômica observaram que foi precisamente a entrada da Rússia no bloqueio continental que deu o necessário empurrão para o desenvolvimento das indústrias metalúrgicas e das indústrias de têxtil russas, então.
Um exemplo clássico da não efetividade do sistema de sanções mostrou-se com o caso do embargo levantado contra o comércio com a Itália pela Liga das Nações, 1935. Foi a Grã-Bretanha que iniciou essas sanções, e o motivo dado pela sua declaração foi o retornar da Itália à Abissínia, Etiópia. Esse embargo mostrou-se inefetivo. Em primeiro lugar, o comércio da Itália continuou com os países que não faziam parte da Liga das Nações, principalmente então com a Alemanha nazista de então. Depois, em segundo lugar, mesmo países que tinham concordado com as sanções contra a Itália não as observaram muito estritamente.
Um impressionante exemplo do poder de mobilização das sanções viu-se com o caso da União Soviética. Já nos primeiros meses da chegada ao poder pelos bolcheviques os países da Entente, ou seja dos outros aliados, começaram a organizar bloqueios marítimos e comerciais contra a Rússia Soviética. Ao final esses bloqueios vieram a fazer com que junto a direção do país tivesse começado a amadurecer a visão da necessidade de se decidir a respeito de uma elaboração construtiva da economia, a qual deveria ser minimamente dependente dos mercados exteriores.
Em dezembro de 1925 foi proposta uma solução socialista para a industrialização. Já depois de quatro anos saiu o primeiro plano quinquenal, ou seja de cinco anos, o qual veio a caracterizar a indústria pesada da União Soviética. No começo da Segunda Guerra Mundial construiram-se mais do que 9.000 empresas industriais. O país fez mesmo por onde se preparar para a agressão por parte da Alemanha fascista de então.
O custo para satisfazer o consumo interno da importação de meios de produção para a URSS, assim como para meios de consumo no mercado, caíram no nível de mais ou menos 2%. Depois de mais 10 à 12 anos a União Soviética conseguiu realizar o seu grandioso programa de substituição de importações.
A seguir a Segunda Guerra Mundial, uma das direções que a guerra fria do ocidente contra a União Soviética tomou expressou-se na proibição de dar a ela tecnologia militar, assim como tecnologia com possibilidades a serem usadas tanto civíl como militarmente, além de embargo a exportação de cereais, a limitação de créditos, acusações de dumping, e negação a eventuais concessões de regime de país mais favorecido em comércio, etc.
Entretanto, o efeito da guerra econômica do ocidente contra a União Soviética foi limitado. Em primeiro lugar porque a União Soviética aprendeu a contornar algumas limitações e proibições de comércio com o ocidente. Em segundo lugar porque a dependência da União Soviética tanto quanto a importação como a exportação, no decorrer dos primeiros trinta anos depois da Segunda Guerra Mundial, manteve-se num nível mínimo. Em terceiro lugar então, porque algumas importações necessárias para a URSS foram cobertas por outros países do bloco socialista.
Essa situação só começou a mudar no começo dos anos 70. Nos finais de 1973 o preço do petróleo nos mercados internacionais deu um salto quádruplo. Na União Soviética começou então a chover dólares, e gradualmente ela foi ficando dependente da exportação do petróleo. De ser uma potência industrial ela se transformou numa fonte de matéria prima, o que fez com que a potencialidade da efetividade de eventuais sanções do ocidente contra ela no quadro de uma guerra econômica foi aumentada.
Entretanto, o que serviria como um bom exemplo de baixa efetividade de sanções econômicas nos nossos tempos, seriam as ações do ocidente contra o Iraque e o Irã.
Depois da anexação de Kuwait pelo Iraque – mesmo que de caso pensado Saddam Hussein possa ter sido levado a isso por artimanhas dos americanos – em 6 de agosto de 1990, o Conselho de Segurança da ONU tomou a resolução 661 em 1990, a qual tinha como objetivo o tomar contra o Iraque medidas coercivas mas sem recurso a armas. Abaixo dessas medidas entrava o estrangulamento de todos os caminhos para transações financeiras e mercadorias, excluindo-se só o fornecimento de medicamentos e produtos alimentares, num quadro humanitário. Entretanto, tem-se que como medida principal fecharam-se todos os caminhos para exportações de petróleo do Iraque.
Naturalmente então que a influência das sanções na economia do Iraque, a qual é dependente da exportação do petróleo, tornou-se muito sensível. Nas vésperas mesmo das sanções o sector petrolífero garantia mais do que 60% do PIB do Iraque. Essas sanções fizeram então por abaixar o nível de vida da população a qual veio a sentir falta até de produtos alimentares. Observou-se também ao mesmo tempo uma contínua desvalorização da moeda nacional.
No período das muito abrangentes e inclusivas medidas, de 1990 a 1995, o valor do dinheiro do Iraque em relação ao dólar caiu mais de 20 vezes e a inflação, medida em bases anuais, ficou numa porcentagem de várias centenas.
É verdade que depois do programa “Petróleo por Alimentos” ser elaborado, em 1996, a inflação começou a diminuir, e o problema da falta de alimentos, e medicamentos, perdeu a sua natureza aguda. Entretanto o governo do Iraque gradualmente começou a construir um esquema que permitiria o negociar com o mundo exterior, contornando as sanções. Foi por causa da ineficiência das sanções que os Estados Unidos resolveram retornar ao Iraque.
No Irã que já se encontra abaixo das sanções dos Estados Unidos e seus associados a 35 anos não se observa nenhum sinal de grande crise no país. A influência negativa na economia do Irã é, em resumo, somente visível na indústria do petróleo e isso por causa da proibição quanto a importação de equipamentos para essa indústria. Depois tem-se uma pressão suplementar na economia iraniana dado que os Estados Unidos conseguiram ligar a União Europeia as suas sanções. Entretanto, tem-se que, literalmente falando, o Irã de 2 a 3 anos, conseguiu adaptar-se a esse total bloqueio ocidental da sua indústria petrolífera.
Para Washington isso apresentou-se como uma surpresa e um fato absolutamente não aceitável. Irã tornou-se depois numa espécie de manual educacional, mostrando a outros países como se poderia contornar as sanções ocidentais. Do nosso ponto de vista foi exatamente isso que motivou a que em 2013, por iniciativa de Washington, as discussões em Geneva foram iniciadas quanto ao programa nuclear do Irã, com a participação do sexteto, ou seja dos 5 permanentes membros do Conselho de Segurança da ONU, mais a Alemanha, como intermediários.
Entretanto, não pensamos que os Estados Unidos estejam antes de mais nada preocupados com o programa nuclear iraniano, como também não pensamos que como troca pela redução do programa nuclear o ocidente iria suspender, ou reduzir, as sanções contra o Irã. Mesmo no caso da promessa de Washington de descongelar parte das detidas reservas monetárias do Irã, para mostrar boa vontade, tem-se que fala-se aqui de uma muito pequena parte dessas reservas. Depois disso também, a administração dos Estados Unidos sublinhou que qualquer que fosse a decisão tomada a respeito de mudanças nas sanções contra o Irã, essas seriam sempre de “carácter reversível”.
Em termos gerais as seguintes conclusões podem ser tiradas:
1) Não se nega a influência das sanções econômicas nos países sancionados mas reconhece-se que os motivos políticos quanto aos países promotores das sanções raramente são alcançados. As negativas consequências sociais que seguem-se as sanções são normalmente compensadas através de que as autoridades governamentais acabam usando as sanções para introduzir novas idéias assim como para consolidação política da comunidade.
2) Com o tempo a influência das sanções vai diminuindo e o país sancionado vai também se adaptando. Sucede frequentemente que as sanções tornam-se numa espécie de empurrão para extensivas reorganizações e mudanças econômicas .
3) Os países promotores das sanções frequentemente sofrem também perdas relativas ao fato de que suas empresas perdem possibilidades de fazer negócios com os países sancionados. Depois disso tem-se que as empresas dos países distribuindo sanções também perdem na concorrência com as empresas de países que não fazem parte dessas.
4) De quando os países distribuindo sanções percebem a ausência de resultados, quanto aos efeitos políticos desejados, esses podem vir a valer-se do uso de outros métodos de pressão, como por exemplo pressão diplomática, guerras, operações de serviços secretos, etc.
5) O ocidente tem tentado de todas as maneiras possíveis negar os casos onde o uso de sanções econômicas tenha sido ineficiente. Isso sendo porque eles querem continuar a usar suas ameaças de sanções econômicas como arma para amedrontar os países que se desviem do curso estipulado pelos centros de forças ocidentais.
No final do artigo, na parte III dessa sequência, com base na análise da experiência internacional passaremos a examinar a questão da forma de adaptação empregadas por vários países abaixo do regime de sanções.
National mobilisation against the authorisation of permits for GM maize, October 2012-November 2014.
From October 2011 to November 2014, the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (PPT) sat in Mexico. The PPT is an independent international legal body and the successor to the legendary Russell Tribunal – which enjoyed great visibility between 1966 and 1976 when it judged the crimes of the Vietnam War and the horrors of the Southern Cone dictatorships.
In requesting the PPT’s intervention in Mexico, the petitioning group of organisations, communities and persons declared: “In light of the dense legal thicket enveloping us, it’s urgent for us to find an authority that actually goes beyond the international institutional framework. An authority that would be truly independent and allow us to document in a comprehensive, open (but nonetheless rigorous) fashion every type of grievance.”1
The problem is structural, systemic and complex. It was aggravated by the structural adjustment policies of the 1980s to the point where it acquired an irreversible character with free trade agreements and their train of “phase-in” or “review” clauses. In this analysis, the Mexican State is committing a “deviation of power” because “it creates space for corporations while preventing the population from achieving justice through legal or institutional channels. In effect, State bodies are impenetrable, the legal issues are mired in confusion, and public policies, constitutional reforms and laws are confected to abrogate collective rights, infringe on the commons and weaken the social pact.”2
The PPT’s Mexican chapter identified free trade as the core element of a systemic dynamic in which the law is subservient to the economic interests of sectors distant from the general population. The 2011-2014 PPT session as a whole is therefore entitled “Free Trade, Impunity and Peoples’ Rights in Mexico.”
Over a three-year period, Mexican civil society documented seven processes summarising an unsustainable situation: generalised violence (tens of thousands of disappeared, repression, militarisation, imprisonment and over 100 thousand assassinations); environmental devastation; precarisation of workers’ rights and repression of independent unions; gender violence and hate crimes; expulsion/inexorable migration; absence of press freedoms and violence against journalists; and the comprehensive attack against peasant life, food sovereignty and collective land tenancy. It is this seventh process that is the subject of the present document.3
In 2013, various communities and organisations – most of them close to the Red en Defensa del Maíz (Maize Defence Network) and the Asamblea Nacional de Afectados Ambientales (National Assembly of Environmentally Affected Parties) – held workshops in diverse regions and localities to systematically document the grievances arising from: the State’s abandonment of agriculture without concern for the problems of peasants and farmers in rural areas; policies undermining the indigenous peoples and peasant life; the destruction of tenancy systems and of the territories maintained by communities, subsistence and decent living conditions in communities; the voracity of the agroindustrial food system; and of course the irresponsible policy of promoting GM maize and the massive imports of maize of dubious quality for industrial uses.
Poster for the final hearing of the Mexico Chapter of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal (TPP), November 2014, Mexico DF.
During twenty workshops, five pre-hearings, a final hearing and a complementary hearing, systematic testimonies resulted in specific rulings and a final sentence bearing on this specific process wherein national and foreign jury members recognised – for the first time in the international legal sphere – the vast and systematic character of the attack against the peasantry and independent food production. (One of the pre-hearings was organised by the Unión de Científicos Comprometidos con la Sociedad [Union of Concerned Scientists]. It consolidated a multi-voice analysis on the dangers of GM crops and biased business-friendly science, i.e., a technoscience that contradicts the authentic principles of the scientific method, which acknowledges complexity and uncertainty as fundamental principles.)
All testimony provided ample evidence that the so-called structural reforms and international public policies promoted since the eighties are responsible, in conjunction with constitutional changes and reforms to laws and regulations, for the dismantling of legal and institutional protections at the expense of peasant communities. The subordination of Mexican agriculture to the interests of an industrialised global food system dominated by a few transnational corporations, the disempowering of the peasantry to the point where it isn’t profitable for them to produce their own food and the interruption or erosion of the living process of creating agricultural and cultural-social biodiversity are all direct effects of these policies and free trade agreements (which function as padlocks to make them irreversible).
The corporations of the global food system are unforgiving to farmers, whether subsistence or commercial farmers, who seek to make a living from agriculture, even under the rules imposed by the dominant model. They are marginalised “as profit rates fall and the corporations act to cut the throats of any who should impinge on their financial stability.”4Consumers in both cities and rural areas are affected as they may no longer choose their own food having become the prisoners of public policies and the designs of corporations.
It is a situation of structural violence, a process of dismantling rural environments, social property, peasant life and the possibility of people feeding themselves. Everything to ensure that transnational companies obtain legal certainty and the opportunity to accumulate vast tracts of land or establish oligopolies in key market sectors, such as seeds or grain purchasing and distribution, grain processing and retail sales. The result: a vast forced rural exodus and the inexorable growth of cities with, in turn, repercussions in the form of further aggravation of the problems in the countryside.
2. The rulings and visions
National mobilisation against the authorisation of transgenic maize permits, October 2012-November 2014.
Paragraph 3.2 of the final sentence of the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal process in Mexico painted a faithful picture of a systemic condition:
Mexico’s insertion in neoliberal globalisation has been associated with an extraordinary increase in suffering for the Mexican people. Neoliberal globalisation generates strong imbalances between the market and human rights. As the economy globalises, the democratic institutions safeguarding the majority’s rights are subordinated and marginalised; globalised institutions substitute for democratic control via the opaque regulation of international trade.
Neoliberal law provides a framework for wealth accumulation and the concentration of economic and political power required to meet the challenge of eliminating the “losers.” Moreover, neoliberal law is based on the architecture of impunity constructed in favour of multinational companies and capital. Inequality and asymmetry are integral to this process.
Workshop in the Guerrero Mountains, part of the deliberations on the systematisation of violence against maize, food sovereignty and people’s autonomy, April 2013.
The Mexican government has intervened to facilitate the transformation and forced elimination, via economic means, of masses of urban and rural populations deemed “unnecessary” or “superfluous.” Mexican governments have used the power of the State to accelerate this elimination through direct acts of dispossession of the means of production or via interventions distorting the subsistence economy.5
In November 2013, the final hearing on Violence against Maize, Food Sovereignty and Peoples’ Autonomy declared in its ruling:
There is an open war, of a criminal character, against the autonomous subsistence of broad groups, including, notably, the indigenous peoples and peasant communities. In dispossessing them of their independent means of subsistence, one condemns them to migration, dependence on assistance programs, misery, marginalisation and death… The imposition of an intensive agroindustrial model –which includes transgenics as one of its most extreme elements – by the Mexican State and corporations such as Monsanto, Syngenta, Dow, BASF or Cargill, not only constitutes an attack against a culture, but also a veritable war against subsistence, spearheaded via the confection of laws to prevent the defence of peasant agriculture and independent [food] production.
Pre-hearing on the question of attacks on community life in Acatepec, Hidalgo, part of the deliberations on systematisation of violence against maize, food sovereignty and peoples’ autonomy, November 2013.
According to the PPT, public policies and laws produce the following results: they favour corporations even if they erode the general profitability of farming activity and undermine people’s food security; they encourage the oligopolistic control of land and water; they impose laboratory seeds (hybrids and transgenics) and highly toxic inputs; they criminalise native peasant seeds and their associated fabric of relationships; and they drive vast systems of intellectual property. Corporations are taking control of the entire food chain (from the land to retail food sales). Furthermore, emptied lands are being invaded with mining, development, tourism and pseudo-conservation projects, garbage dumps, etc. This way leads only to widespread environmental devastation.
The various organisations and communities presented their cases with a comprehensive and panoramic vision of the significance of this attack for agriculture and independent food production. The rulings reflect the force with which this comprehensive vision was presented throughout the PPT process.6
The evidence emerging from the cases presented (by groups and communities) led to the identification of a central grievance revisited in both the final ruling of the general hearing of November 2013 and the PPT’s final sentence in November 2014. This central grievance received the imprimatur of the work of philosopher Jean Robert and that of Ivan Illich.7 As the adjudicators of the Tepoztlán pre-hearing put it:
The objective of the attacks [by corporations and government] is total dispossession, i.e., wresting from the people their knowledge, their forms of constructing their own vision, meaning and ways of doing things, their ways of living together and, of course, their means of subsistence. This with the objective of turning us into isolated individuals, without social ties, unrooted to a place, to the land or to a neighbourhood, dependent on work to eat, thereby leaving us with no other alternative but to become submissive, cheap and disposable labour.8
3. The grievances
The general indictment sought a comprehensive perspective as a method for interconnecting the different elements of the process. The rulings echoed this comprehensive perspective, which not only sought to elucidate specific cases but also to disentangle the system’s dynamics and structure.
1. The Mexican State and corporations are destroying with exceptional intensity the relationship of communities to their territories, which is the very foundation of subsistence and the civilising continuity of a people. With the 1992 counter-reform of the Constitution’s Article 27, and related legislation, land was stripped of its inalienable, unseizable and indefeasible character, thus paving the way for its rental, sale, mortgaging or alienation through contracts with corporations and individuals.9Land was separated from water and natural resources, and human communities from the natural environments they had safeguarded for millennia. With the new Energy Reform, the Mexican State seeks to eradicate communal and ejidal property (i.e., social ownership of land) through subsidiary laws providing for the “occupation” of any land that may potentially contain energy resources, thereby decreeing the priority of energy exploration over all other activities. This abuse does not merely imply the disposal of abstract land: it is the forced exile of entire communities and an attempt to erase the territorial memory of communities and ejidos.10
2. Nor are the rights of the indigenous peoples recognised. They are merely recognised as entities of public interest. To recognise their rights to autonomy and territory would require the Mexican State’s prior recognition of the Indian peoples as subjects of public law. In light of the designs of companies, governments and multilateral organisations – i.e., land grabs, privatisations and plundering – it was crucial to NOT recognise any possibility that indigenous peoples have rights, that is to say possess instruments of legal defence.11
3. Withdrawing support for independent food production weakens national sovereignty and food security for the population as a whole, and it undermines the country’s economic foundations and strategies. Meanwhile, the big corporations repeatedly obtain every facility to produce, import, market and/or promote the processed foods they manufacture using their own supply channels of raw materials.12
4. Support for industrial farming means implanting forced dependency. Technological packages make farming dependent on highly toxic chemicals. They also erode the soil and can make farming too costly to be profitable.13
Imposed dependency includes crop intensification programs of an alienating and authoritarian character (supposedly to increase productivity and yields). Ancestral agricultural management practices and knowledge are eradicated as ancestral seeds are replaced with a gamut of registered and certified laboratory seeds (hybrids and GM), purchased from corporations; furthermore, mechanisation, chemical fertilisers and pesticides are promoted. In their sentence, the jury members of the final maize hearing stressed the following point:
When the Green Revolution was extended to peasant areas and maize, it was central to a policy that strove explicitly to expel peasants from the land to create a supply of cheap workers for cities already undergoing an accelerated process of industrialisation. At the same time, the utilisation of hybrid seeds and the associated agrochemical inputs was progressively extended to rain-fed agricultural areas, traditionally cultivated with native seeds.14
Maintaining high yields can only be achieved through predatory land use, which consumes lot after lot, and ruthless land grabbing, premised on the notion that everything is disposable. Standards are imposed. In effect, quality standards, food hygiene and other “technical” criteria such as “good agricultural practices” (GAP), NOMs, Premium Quality, etc. are invoked to marginalise “unregulated” foods, thereby privileging food produced under corporate control, although in practice such foods may be much more harmful than foods produced by traditional small farming.15
5. The war against subsistence leads to the privatisation of knowledge and discoveries, which leads to even privatising life itself. Intellectual property, patents, plant breeders’ rights and the entire panoply of associated notions such as certification, registry and cataloguing (of plant varieties for example) are established to expressly criminalise the ownership and free exchange of native ancestral seeds.16 Corporations and various associations promote this criminalisation, in complicity with states and international organisations, through systems of laws designed to exclude all seeds NOT registered and certified by them. In their verdict at the final Maize hearing, the jury members observed: “laws and the judicial apparatus are being used to mock legal principles and peoples’ fundamental rights. The Seeds Act of 2007 makes a crime of what peoples have done for millennia to husband, improve, multiply and share their seeds.”17
6. GM crops are the greatest weapon against independent food production. They entail genetic control codified by legal frameworks for intellectual and industrial property. In the last fourteen years, the government has adopted a variety of contamination strategies. First, it intentionally penetrated the regions with transgenics, but in underhand ways. Then it minimised the effects of GMOs, enacted laws to promote them, denied Mesoamerica’s status as the centre of origin of maize, terminated the moratorium against transgenic maize and commenced authorising permits for pilot projects and experimental sowing of transgenics in northern Mexico.18 In various pre-hearings, scientific evidence and community monitoring results were presented to demonstrate the dispersion of transgenic contamination of peasant maize and cotton in various places in Mexico (the centre of origin of both crops). Another case was that GM soybeans have contaminated honey. The short and long-term effects of this transgenic invasion are catastrophic for biodiversity, agriculture, food production and people’s health, and not just for Mexico, but for the entire world, as maize is one of the world’s principal food crops.19
In its final sentence the PPT declared: “The Mexican government must adopt all necessary measures to guarantee the conservation of native maize as a principal staple food and as a cultural element of social cohesion and organisation. As Mexico is the genetic reservoir of this pillar of world food security, the sowing of transgenic maize in the country must be prohibited.”20
In 2010, Pat Mooney, director of the ETC Group affirmed: “If you lose the battle in the centre of origin of maize, then we will lose the centres of origin of agricultural diversity everywhere in the world. We cannot win if you [Mexicans] lose.”21
In the ruling rendered at the pre-hearing in San Luis Beltrán, Oaxaca, an analysis was effected concerning how the scientific establishment colluded in maize contamination, seeking to make it irreversible. The adjudicators gathered evidence on “how certain parties engaged in falsifying testing, methodological abuses, dishonest presentation of results and the withholding of information. In effect, an authentic conspiracy was constructed in which government officials, private corporations and supposed scientists realised criminal activities to withhold information on transgenic contamination.”22
After several attempts dating back to October 2012, on 5 July 2013, a group of civil society organisations, scientists and lawyers filed a class action suit against the sowing of GM maize in Mexico. This suit resulted in “a precautionary measure authorised on 17 September 2013 which required the suspension of GM maize permits for the duration of the trial”. Thanks to this measure, all permits for the sowing of GM maize throughout the country were suspended by a court order.
The injured parties allege that the Mexican State is guilty of deviation of powers as several government agencies and five companies “have brought 73 challenges against the suit and precautionary measure, as of 17 September 2014, including appeals and applications for review, revocation, the judge’s recusal, as well as amparo actions.”23 Governmental agencies have no hesitation in supporting corporations in instituting an instrument of control that automatically privatises not only a particular variety but also entire species and, in the long term, agricultural activity as a whole. The legal actions of the government and the corporations, and the deviation of power implied, are intended to stop civil society mobilisation as well as the suspension of GM maize sowing.
Poster for the prehearing on contamination of transgenic maize in San Luis Beltrán, Oaxaca, April 2013.
7. Water resource grabbing is being promoted at a frenetic pace. Any and all legal loopholes are employed to break the defence of water sources in peasant and indigenous territories. The local rural communities surrounding cities have been so dispossessed of their water resources that a significant fraction of the water left to them is a source of illness and poisoning.24
8. An expulsion of waves of human beings from their own territories is ongoing, which cuts off persons and collectivities from their roots and means of subsistence. This forced exodus to cities or agroindustrial centres engenders trafficking in persons for cheap labour as day workers or ordinary workers. Cities swell with the influx of rootless populations bereft of economic security. This in turn increases urban demands on rural areas, thereby exacerbating a rural-urban vicious circle.25
9. Forced rural exodus entails an emptying of territories and leads to their invasion by mining firms, deforestation and fraudulent speculation schemes, including carbon and oxygen as environmental services, REDD, biosphere reserves, etc. Such schemes alienate land-use management and turn communities’ ancestral environmental stewardship into a basis for speculation.26
10. Corporations are taking over the entire food production chain. The distance between where food is produced and where it is consumed is growing. A “vertical integration” of the agro-industrial food system is being imposed. This encompasses land grabs, the production and use of laboratory seeds (including GM) with toxic agrochemical packages, soil use changes, the devastation-deforestation-monopolisation-abuse of soils and water, and the transportation, processing, packaging, warehousing and delivery to corporate food marketing chains. Food safety, prices and food access are negatively affected. Local markets are dismantled in favour of agrifood corporations and major supermarket chains, thus fracturing regions and their most deeply rooted patterns of exchange.27
11. Extreme violence is brought to bear on many long duration historical processes of great importance to communities and peoples. Threats, coercion, jailings, disappearances and assassinations are increasing against community leaders and members of civil society, peasant and indigenous organisations, at the hands of paramilitary groups and hired assassins backed by agribusiness, mining, forestry and infrastructure companies, among others, in order to terrorize or disappear opponents.28
As the adjudicators of the pre-hearing in Maní, Yucatán underlined:
There is a much broader process of land grabbing and seizure of the commons, of social, environmental and territorial destruction and of annihilation of social fabrics, which is part of an orchestrated plan to displace populations and empty territories. This process of dispossession also includes a mechanism to destroy the communal fabric of the indigenous peoples by fomenting division in communities and co-opting leaders. [...] Sometimes an accomplice, sometimes the driving force, it is nearly impossible to clearly distinguish the State and its interests from those of land coveting national or foreign businessmen.29
In November 2013, a sentence was rendered at the final Maize and Food Sovereignty hearing, which ruled that the harms afflicting communities “are effected through diverse forms of systemic violence, with the apparent object of fomenting deep and generalised terror, thereby creating an environment of chaos and provoking confusion and continuous uncertainty.”30
But the people resist. They gain perspective. They understand that “today, peasant and indigenous communities and small scale farmers produce most of the world’s food,” despite the small share of the world’s land in their care, and despite the efforts to impose oppressive conditions on them.31
The Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal process opened multiple spaces and networks where the assembled participants reflected on and analysed what was happening to them. This process was about collectively understanding how to transform the conditions burdening them. Communities are reassessing the role of local agriculture, their own independent production, and “ancestral crops and native seeds.” They endeavour to keep their young people in their communities and regions to ensure that the critical mass of people who act and think as a community are not wasted, lost or broken. They know that they must, whatever the cost, open and strengthen spaces for assembly, community and reflection (as a focal point for the collective creation of knowledge and general understanding of the world and the tasks ahead). And they know that local and regional ties must grow and strengthen.
1 Petitoria formal al Tribunal Permanente de los Pueblos, Fundación Lelio Basso, Rome, Italy, encaminada a instaurar un Capítulo México donde podamos ventilar los nexos entre Libre comercio, guerra sucia y derechos de los pueblos, Comité promotor del Capítulo México, February 2011. See also the Universal Declaration of the Rights of Peoples, adopted in Algiers, 4 July 1976.
3 The seven PPT processes against the Mexican State served as an instrument for a surprising reflection/collective systematization process and a local-regional-national linking up from below, rarely seen. Over a thousand local, regional and national collectives presented 500 cases and countless witnesses testified in 25 of the country’s states, during 11 hearings, 40 pre-hearings and close to 150 systematization workshops. For information on the entire process: www.tppmexico.org
4 “Los devastadores efectos de una guerra sostenida contra la subsistencia de los pueblos,” indictment made in Process 5, Violence against Maize, Food Sovereignty and the Autonomy of Peoples, at the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Mexico City, 19 November 2013
5 Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Final Sentence rendered re the Free Trade, Violence, Impunity and Peoples’ Rights process in Mexico (2011-2014), Mexico City 12-15 November 2014. http://www.internazionaleleliobasso.it
6 Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, pre-hearing in Tepoztlán, Colisión campo-ciudad, 24 November 2012; pre-hearing in San Luis Beltrán, Oaxaca, La contaminación transgénica expresa encontrada en el maíz nativo mexicano, April 2013; pre-hearing in San Isidro, Jalisco, Territorialidad, subsistencia y vida digna, 28-30 June 2013; pre-hearing in Maní, Yucatán, Políticas de exterminio de del pueblo maya, 10 November 2013; pre-hearing Cultivos transgénicos, el caso de México con énfasis en el maíz, Mexico DF, 12 November, 2013; See complementary hearing in Acatepec, Hidalgo, Devastación de la vida comunitaria, November 2013. www.tppmexico.org
7 Jean Robert, “Por un sentido común controversial”, in GRAIN (compilation), No toquen nuestro maíz, June 2014. See Iván Illich, El trabajo fantasma. Complete Works, Tome 2, FCE, Mexico, 2008.
8 See note 6: Dictamen presentado en la Preaudiencia: Colisión Campo-Ciudad, Tepoztlán, Morelos, op. cit.
9 See Tenencia de la tierra y derechos agrarios (pdf), December 2003. http://www.sagarpa.gob.mx/sdr/evets/sm_jovenes/pdfs/1_eirr_sra.pdf.
10 Centro de Estudios para el Cambio en el Campo Mexicano and GRAIN: Reformas energéticas, despojo y defensa de la propiedad social de la tierra en México, biodiversidadla.org, 2014.
11 “El Estado mexicano no reconoce los derechos de los pueblos indios”, Ojarasca 178, February 2011.
12 Ana de Ita, “La seguridad alimentaria como negocio”, La Jornada, 28 April 2012. GRAIN; “Flujo de alimentos y TLC”, October 2008, and GRAIN, “Corporations are still making a killing from hunger,” January 2009. [http://www.grain.org/article/entries/716-corporations-are-still-making-a-killing-from-hunger]
13 See “Permanent Peoples Tribunal Verdict against the Big six Agrochemical Companies: Syngenta, Bayer, Monsanto, Dow, Dupont, Basf”, Bangalore, India, December 2011, http://www.gloobal.net/iepala/gloobal/fichas/ficha.php?id=17107
14 Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Dictamen sobre Violencia contra el Maíz, la Soberanía Alimentaria y la Autonomía de los Pueblos, third thematic hearing as part of the Free Trade, Violence and Peoples’ Rights in Mexico process (2011-2014), Mexico, 19-21 November 2013. See www.tppmexico.org.
15 GRAIN, The great food robbery, GRAIN, 2013 [http://www.grain.org/article/entries/4501-the-great-food-robbery-a-new-book-from-grain]
16 Alianza Biodiversidad, Red por una América Libre de Transgénicos, Campaña Mundial de la Semilla de Vía Campesina, “Declaración de Yvapuruvu”, www.biodiversidadla.org. Alianza Biodiversidad, Leyes de semillas y otros pesares, October, 2014. [http://www.grain.org/es/article/entries/5002-leyes-de-semillas-y-otros-pesares-los-pueblos-de-america-latina-las-cuestionan-e-impugnan]
17 Dictamen sobre Violencia contra el Maíz, la Soberanía Alimentaria y la Autonomía de los Pueblos, op. cit.
21 Pat Mooney (ETC Group), “La FAO contaminada transgénicamente”, in GRAIN, Coa, Casifop, El maíz no es una cosa, es un centro de origen, México, 2012.
22 See note 6: ruling on Contaminación transgénica del maíz nativo, San Luis Beltrán, Oaxaca, op. cit.
23 Addition to the document “De la simulación de protección de la diversidad del maíz al desvío de poder a favor de las transnacionales,” made during filing of the class action lawsuit against GM maize in Mexico and filed with the Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal, Mexico chapter, September 2014. www.tppmexico.org
24 Andrés Barreda, “La catástrofe del agua en México sólo la explican las políticas del TLC,” Ojarasca 178, February 2012.
25 Final sentence of the PPT, November 2014, op.cit,
27 The great food robbery, op. cit.
28 See note 6, Dictamen de la Preaudiencia: Colisión Campo-Ciudad, op. cit.
29 See note 6, Dictamen de la preaudiencia de Políticas de exterminio contra el Pueblo Maya, Táan U Xu’Ulsaj K-Kuxtal, Maní, Yucatán, op. cit.
30 PPT, Dictamen sobre Violencia contra el Maíz, la Soberanía Alimentaria y la Autonomía de los Pueblos, op. cit.
Nas guerras econômicas dos séculos XIX- XXI usou-se o comércio, as possibilidades marítimas, o bloqueio de créditos, o emprisionamento e a confiscação de bens. Isso foi feito, numa esmagadora maioria dos casos, tendo-se em vistas fins políticos. De quando conduzindo política exterior agressiva, em relação a países na periferia do capitalismo mundial, o ocidente evita usar o termo “guerra econômica”, preferindo outros termos mais neutrais, como “sanções econômicas”, delimitação comercial-econômica, “moratório” e “interditação”. Entretanto, todas essas medidas, no conjunto, tem o objetivo de arruinar adversários econômicos, levantar agitação social, e conduzir a mudanças de poder.
Entre as guerras econômicas do passado é necessário aqui relembrar-se do “Bloqueio Continental”. Essas foram medidas complexas com o objetivo de bloquear o comércio da Grã-Bretanha, medidas essas que foram conduzidas por Napoleão Bonaparte 1806-1814. Para esse bloqueio da ilha britânica Napoleão conseguiu convocar uma grande parte das nações da Europa continental.
De maneira geral, no século XIX, as guerras econômicas mais propagadas foram as feitas pelo bloqueio marítimo. No período 1827-1914, infligiram-se 21 bloqueios. A esses foram submetidos a Turquia, Portugal, os Países Baixos, a Colômbia, o México, a Argentina e Salvador. Os iniciadores dos bloqueios foram então a Grã-Bretanha (12 vezes), a França (11 vezes), a Itália e a Alemanha (por 3 vezes), a Áustria e a Rússia (por 2 vezes) e o Chile.
GUERRA ECONÔMICA E SANÇÕES DO SÉCULO XX
DINÂMICA DAS SANÇÕES ECONÔMICAS DO SÉCULO XX
5 ANOS QUANTIDADE
Gary Clyde Hufbauer, Jeffrey J. Schott, Kimberly Ann Elliott, and Barbara Oegg. Economic Sanctions Reconsidered, 3rd edition. November 2007.
Sanções econômicas tornaram-se nos principais, e mais usados, instrumentos da política internacional sómente depois da Segunda Guerra Mundial, especialmente então, nos últimos três decênios do século XX. No período1971-2000 tiveram-se 120 casos de sanções, o que significa 69% do total de todas as sanções registradas no período 1911-2000.
No século XX a guerra econômica ocidental foi principalmente, em grande escala, contra a União Soviética. Essa guerra manifestava-se claramente como tendo objetivos políticos – Esses eram: derrubar o poder bolchevista, levar ao poder os protegidos dos países Ententes, ou seja dos aliados – em primeira mão a Grã-Bretanha e a França – e mudar o rumo político-econômico do país.
O ocidente procurava conseguir que a Rússia tivesse necessidades de realizar despesas, assim como que essa restabelecesse o direito dos estrangeiros a ter bens e haveres, ou seja, que ela revocasse a nacionalização dos ativos estrangeiros. A guerra econômica contra a União Soviética começou em 1917, de quando os antigos parceiros Antantes da Rússia declararam contra ela um bloqueio marítimo.
Sem grandes interrupções, a principal sendo então no período da Segunda Guerra Mundial, a guerra econômica contra a União Soviética continuou até a desintegração da URSS, em dezembro de 1991. A suplementar guerra psicológica-informativa, assim como as operações de guerra econômica dos serviços secretos ocidentais contra a União Soviética, faziam parte da composição da guerra fria contra o campo socialista.
SANÇÕES ECONÔMICAS E GUERRA ECONÔMICA CONTRA A RÚSSIA
Não é possível de se entrar em um acordo quanto a afirmação de que depois da desintegração da União Soviética o ocidente não teria conduzido guerra econômica contra a Federação Russa. Nas relações entre a Rússia e os Estados Unidos continuaram as atividades de emendas da lei comercial conhecidas como Jackson-Vanik, tomadas em 1974. Essa tinha como objetivo fazer com que Moscou suspendesse as dificuldades para os hebreus de sairem da União Soviética.
As emendas tinham em vista fazer diversos tipos de delimitações, uma delas sendo em relação a exportação-importação comercial de, e para, a União Soviética. Essas emendas de lei só foram mudadas em 2012, de quando foram imediatamente então substituidas pelo “Ato Magnitisky”. Essa nova lei dava ao governo e a presidência dos Estados Unidos o direito de limitar o comércio com a Federação Russa.
Um outro exemplo – limitação do fornecimento tecnológico. Já em 1949 por iniciativa de Washington foi iniciada uma organização internacional com o nome de “Comité de Coordenação para Multilateral Controle de Exportações” – mais conhecido como CoCom.
Na época da guerra fria CoCom apresentou uma lista de mercadorias estratégicas e tecnológicas a não serem oferecidas em exportação para os países do bloco oriental. O comité apresentou sua estratégia denominada “Atraso Tecnológico Controlado” – tendo em vista os países constituintes do Pacto de Varsóvia.
Caiu o Muro de Berlim, caiu a própria União Soviética, mas CoCom continuou sua existência. CoCom só foi extinguido em 1994, mas no seu lugar entrou então o “Acordo Comercial Vasenar”, no original “Вассенаарское”. Esse acordo permitia uma não menor, assim também como uma efetiva delimitação da entrada de tecnologia militar ocidental , assim também como de tecnologias de duplo uso, para países “não-gratos” ou indesejáveis.
Dessa maneira tem-se que só a nomenclatura foi mudada, na sua essência a política do ocidente em relação a nova Rússia continuou da mesma forma como a relação que tinham com a União Soviética. A Federação Russa continuou a ser objeto de guerra econômica.
Uma peculiaridade aqui é que manifestações dessa guerra externa contra a Rússia não tinham se manifestado anteriormente, e isso por dois motivos principais.
Em primeiro lugar, nos primeiros tempos da sua existência a Federação Russa, de própria vontade, caminhou nas águas da política ocidental. Quanto a política internacional ela transformou-se num objeto dessa política, o que fez com que nenhuma atividade de coerção ou imposição tenha sido exigida em relação a ela. O ocidente tem a sua disposição um grande arsenal de métodos para guerras econômicas, mas nos anos 90, esses foram usados muito raramente.
Em segundo lugar, formalmente as medidas ocidentais não se relacionam com nenhuma guerra econômica. Entretanto, isso é só formalmente. Por exemplo, no verão de 2014 o juiz do Tribunal Internacional de Haag lançou um veredicto de demanda com o pretexto de “ofensa” a investidores estrangeiros de uma companhia petrolífera russa, a Yukos. Esse veredicto obrigava a Federação Russa a pagar uma multa de compensação no valor de 50 bilhões de dólares.
Essa determinação judicial tinha uma clara motivação política. A declaração de demanda dos inspectores encontrava-se no judicial já a muitos anos, mas foi disparada precisamente em 2014. Essa decisão foi tomada no auge da crise da Ucrânia, de quando o ocidente já tinha levantado uma série de sanções contra a Rússia, sanções essas que deveriam reforçar o efeito das sanções oficiais feitas pelos Estados Unidos e União Europeia.
ABAIXO DE SANÇÕES – MEIO MUNDO
[52% DA POPULAÇÃO MUNDIAL]
A Rússia não é o único objeto de sanções econômicas por parte do ocidente. Na avaliação da ONU, no começo do século XXI, as sanções econômicas dos Estados Unidos e outros países do “ouro bilhões” faziam-se contra dezenas de países do mundo, países esses nos quais viviam 52% da população mundial. As guerras econômicas de maior duração apresentam-se como sendo as contra Cuba e a Coréia do Norte.
As sanções contra Cuba começaram em 1960, de quando os revolucionários abaixo da direção de Fidel Castro desapropriaram propriedades e companhias de cidadãos americanos na ilha de Cuba. Em 1962 essas sanções foram reforçadas no nível de embargo, e essas atividades continuaram até os dias de hoje, sem indulgências. Por dados oficiais de Cuba, o prejuizo direto desse embargo, de mais de meio século, é de mais do que 1 trilhão de dólares. Entretanto, o seu maior objetivo – o de mudar o regime de Cuba – Washington não conseguiu realizar.
Uma guerra econômica muito longa foi, e ainda continua sendo também, conduzida contra o Irã. Sanções dos Estados Unidos em relação ao Irã começaram em 1979. Até hoje elas não foram abolidas. Uma tranformação se deu, mas sómente quanto a sua composição. Mesmo depois do começo das negociações com o Irã a respeito do seu programa nuclear o bloqueio contra o país não foi completamente revogado, sendo que o abrandamento feito foi simplesmente de carácter simbólico. A guerra contra o Irã continua.
O ARSENAL DE MÉTODOS DE GUERRA ECONÔMICANO SÉCULO XXI
No começo do século XXI o arsenal de meios para guerras econômicas ampliou-se, e de muito.
Primeiro, trata-se de sanções econômicas que são declaradas por, e para, representantes de um governo. Essas sanções poderão ser efetivadas em relação a todos os cidadãos e todos os sujeitos econômicos de um outro país, tais como companhias, bancos e outras organizações, podendo essas ser sectoriais.
Por exemplo, sanções contra a Rússia foram anunciadas no verão de 2014 em relação a três sectores – ao sector da indústria militar, ao sector do petróleo, e ao sector bancário. Em alguns casos as sanções foram adressadas a específicos alvos, e nesses casos então apresentavam-se as chamadas listas negras. As sanções também poderiam apresentar-se como sendo de duas categorias, ou tipos.
Primeiro Tipo – Atividades em relação a cidadãos e subjetos econômicos dos países abaixo de sanções. Tem-se também um outro tipo que diz respeito a atividades em relação a outros cidadãos, companhias, e bancos de países, que contribuam para uma violação de sanções. Por exemplo, contra muitos bancos europeus e americanos hoje em dia avançam-se aos árbitros e órgãos da inspecção financeira acusações de que esses bancos estariam participando na condução de pagamentos internacionais em favor de bancos e companhias do Irã, Líbia, Síria, Cuba e Sudão, contra os quais os Estados Unidos e alguns países europeus declararam sanções. Os bancos que contribuem para que isso se realize caem abaixo das denominadas sanções do segundo tipo e hoje em dia esses bancos podem ficar sujeitos a penalidades de bilhões de dólares.
Sanções podem referir-se ao fluxo de mercadorias (exportação-importação), companhias de transporte, movimentação das forças de trabalho, fluxos financeiros, e outras atividades. Efeitos destrutivos podem especialmente ser alcançados por intermédio de sanções que bloqueiem operações bancárias através do sistema de comunicação bancária SWIFT.
Apesar de SWIFT ser uma organização internacional de carácter particular – principalmente entre os fundadores apresentam-se bancos de vários países – tem-se que através do sistema SWIFT, tanto a estrutura governamental dos Estados Unidos, assim como seus aliados na Europa, ficam em condições de exercer fortes pressões na esfera internacional.
Efeitos de profunda perturbação podem ser conseguidos com sanções de congelamento das reservas de ouro e valuta de «países-párias». Já se tem precedentes. Por exemplo, U.S. deteu as reservas do Irã (a quantia exata não é conhecida). Em 2011 foram detidas as reservas do Banco Central e do Fundo Soberano da Líbia, sendo que o total da detenção de ativos seria de 150 bilhões de dólares.
Junto as fortes manobras da guerra econômica prosseguia-se com emprisionamentos, confiscações, e nacionalizações de ativos no exterior, pertencendo a companhias e bancos particulares. Isso do mesmo modo como muitos movimentos nacionalistas de liberação de quando tomando o poder em países da Ásia, África e América Latina nos anos 60 registraram uma grande quantidade de casos de nacionalização de ativos de corporações transnacionais tendo atividades em seus países.
Depois, com meios da guerra econômica seguem atividades não formalmente relacionadas com o tema de motivos políticos, ou declarações oficiais de sanções. Como exemplos claros disso tem-se manipulações nos mercados financeiros e de commodities. Países-iniciadores de guerra econômica – em primeira linha USA e Grã-Bretanha – também apoiam-se aqui nas possibilidades de que seus bancos possam artificialmente aumentar e diminuir valores e apreciações quanto aos mercados de matérias primas, de taxas de juros dos mercados financeiros, ou de taxas de câmbio dos mercados financeiros, etc.
Tudo isso pode ser acreditado a “elementos do mercado” ou a ações de “especuladores gananciosos”. O baixo preço do petróleo afetou a economia russa, mas seria difícil de ligar isso, de maneira formal, com a guerra econômica desencadeada contra a Rússia. As agências de rating descaradamente abaixaram a quotação dos títulos de valores russos a um nível muito baixo, mas essas mesmas agências declaravam que as suas avaliações eram “independentes”.
Talvez o instrumento informal mais poderoso na guerra econômica contra a Rússia seja a “Lei Fakta” que é uma lei a respeito de impostos sobre contas estrangeiras. Essa lei foi tomada para prover uma total arrecadação de impostos para o tesouro dos Estados Unidos. Os serviços de arrecadação de impostos planejam, já no corrente ano, a exigir de todos os bancos localizados nos limites dos Estados Unidos, informações a respeito de clientes seus que tenham casos suspensos com o tesouro americano.
Abaixo do pretexto de luta para aumentar a arrecadação de impostos o governo dos Estados Unidos empreendeu tentativas, sem precedentes, para colocar diretamente abaixo de sua administração o controle sobre os bancos estrangeiros. Bancos russos não excluidos. Já que os Estados Unidos conduzem uma não declarada guerra econômica contra a Rússia, um tal controle sobre bancos russos iria, com todas as probabilidades, ser usado para uma destabilização da Rússia.
Hoje em dia a Rússia deveria estar bem armada dado toda a rica experiência adquirida quanto a modernos meios de guerra econômica. Especial atenção merecem aqui duas questões: a eficácia das sanções e medidas contra elas.
Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis–an economics professor who has taught at Cambridge and the universities of Athens, Sydney and Texas–may understand the Greek debt crisis even better than New York Times reporters. (photo: Angelos Tzortzinis/NYT)
As corporate media prepared to caricature the new Greek government led by the anti-austerity SYRIZA party as dangerously naive radicals, the New York Times(1/29/15) published a piece by Liz Alderman with a devious suggestion that SYRIZA Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis does not understand the basic debt dynamics of his own country. She then followed up with her own erroneous definition of a fiscal “primary surplus,” a crucial accounting concept for the Greek debt work-out.
Here’s the Times report (emphasis added):
When pressed to describe how Greece would pay for bonds falling due in the coming months without taking the €7 billion installment, Mr. Varoufakis replied, “Let’s not talk about details.” To SYRIZA’s detractors, such remarks might signal that the new government does not understand the magnitude of Greece’s financial challenges. But Mr. Varoufakis suggested that the government could finance its obligations by reducing the target for the so-called primary surplus, the amount of cash in Greece’s coffers after expenses and interest payments.
But Alderman got the primary surplus back to front. The definition should actually be before interest payments–the primary surplus being a measure of whether a government would be spending more than it takes in if it weren’t paying back past borrowing. Could it be the Times reporter does not understand the magnitude of Greece’s financial challenges?
Varoufakis surely does. He is a top economist, author of the influential Modest Proposal for Resolving the Eurozone Crisis, a Keynesian plan offered as an alternative to austerity. Before being named Finance minister last week, he was working on debt dynamics with James Galbraith at the University of Texas at Austin.
The New York Times‘ headline characterized him as “feisty.”
Observações feitas pelo jornalista venezuelano José Vicente Rangel são geralmente vistas como bem informadas e acuradas. Para o programa de televisão Los Conficenciales (Fontes de Confiança) ele relatou recentemente a respeito do trabalho do pessoal suplementar para as estações da CIA na América Latina. De acordo com Rangel, pelo menos 500 reforçamentos chegaram as embaixadas americana, e outros U.S. tipos de quartél-general na América Latina, para ajudar operativos que já lá estavam, a aumentar suas atividades subversivas e de espionagem.
Esses agentes estão a focalizar países como a Venezuela, Bolivia, Argentina, , Brasil, Ecuador, e Cuba. Entretanto, isso não significa que outros países estariam resguardados do policiamento imperial. De qualquer modo, por muito loiais que esses governos sejam em seguir o rastro das diretivas políticas americanas, as agências de inteligência dos Estados Unidos estão sistemáticamente fortalecendo o seu pessoal secreto no México, na Guatemala, Colômbia, República Dominicana, Perú, Chile, e outros países. Na América Latina os serviços presidenciais e governamentais estão sendo deliberadamente infiltrados, assim também como a liderança das forças armadas, dos serviços secretos nacionais, e das agências de contra-espionagem. Os americanos estão forjando alianças para criar uma tropa de vanguarda, e cúmplices, para ajudá-los a opor-se a quaisquer potenciais inimigos deles no continente, especialmente então nos «regimes populares»
As posições operacionais dos serviços de inteligência U.S. na América Latina abriram muitos ramos novos e são agora capazes de levar a frente operações de destabilização. Em recente anos, tais tentativas foram feitas na Venezuela, Bolívia, Equador, e Argentina, onde os governos desses países estiveram resistindo aos planos americanos de total controle do continente abaixo do disfarce de uma criação de uma zona de comércio livre para todo o continente. Os esforços da CIA para forjar uma «revolução colorida» [lê-se golpe de estado] na Venezuela em 2002-2003 deu em nada : o Presidente Hugo Chavez não só sobreviveu mas conseguiu também ter sucesso em unir a América Latina. O seu sucessor, Nicolás Maduro, continua loial aos princípios da Revolução Bolivariana, enquanto rigorosamente resiste as tentativas dos Estados Unidos para underminar as suas realizações, isso sendo feito então através de conspirações econômicas e financeiras além de encorajar provocações vindas da oposição radical na Venezuela.
Uma estrategia similar está sendo usada pela CIA contra o governo de Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner na Argentina. Na Bolívia e no Equador estações da CIA estiveram tentando destabilizar o legitimamente eleito governo com a ajuda de forças policiais, dos quais muitos líderes tradicionalmente estiveram abaixo do domínio de instrutores americanos. O Presidente Rafael Correa do Equador por pouco escapou a morte quando rebeldes circundaram o edifício onde os seus guarda-costas o estavam protegendo do quando franco-atiradores treinados pela CIA estiveram por muitas horas atirando nas janelas do seu refúgio. Um bando de militantes da Europa, usados pela CIA para atos terroristas foram incumbidos com a tarefa de assassinar o Presidente Evo Morales da Bolívia. De acordo com investigadores, a estação da CIA na Irlanda e na Hungria montou os grupos.
A CIA na América Latina está claramente se preparando para exacerbar a situação. A vigilância eletrônica da NSA, agência nacional de segurança dos americanos, apesar das revelações de Edward Snowden, Julian Assange e outros, não só continuam como aumentam, e de muito, a sua intensidade. Os dados obtidos pela NSA está sendo distribuídos para específicos serviços da comunidade de inteligência americana, dependendo das suas áreas de especialização. A CIA é o maior consumidor desse material, o qual é usado para o planejamento de «revoluções coloridas» ou seja, golpes de estado, assim também como para chantagem, recrutamento, provocações, campanhas de propaganda subversiva, e coisas do gênero. Note-se que cada administração americana –de Bush a Obama – focusou na colheita de dados de espionagem, uma tarefa que tinha sido responsabilidade dos chamados «clean» empregados de várias agências, especialmente então do Departamento do Estado dos Estados Unidos. Isso foi motivado pela necessidade de aumentar a luta contra o terrorismo.
Num memorando assinado na época de Condoleezza Rice, mas aprovado pelos seus sucessores, U.S. diplomatas ficavam encarregados de colecionar dados a respeito de instalações militares, sistemas de comunicação usados nos países onde se encontravam, como os líderes eram protegidos, onde eles moravam e estacionavam os seus carros, quais os seus endereços de e-mails, números de telefone, etc. Um componente dessa tarefa é particularmente inquietante – os diplomatas ficaram também incumbidos de colher informação do estado de saúde de seus “alvos”, incluindo-se aqui dados a respeito da estabilidade mental de cada um. Menções também são feitas a respeito da necessidade de obter material visual, impressão digital e «material biológico». Esse último, de acordo com peritos do assunto, seriam úteis no planejamento de assassinatos com uso de tecnologia avançada. Brazil e Venezuela, assim como China e Rússia estão incluidos na lista de alta prioridade do Departamento de Estado americano para relatórios de inteligência de diplomatas na América Latina. Delegados e representantes dos países aqui mencionados devem ser seguidos continuamente, e isso não só na América Latina mas, por todo o mundo.
Entretanto a maior caça é feita contra os cidadãos da Rússia. Para aumentar sua efetividade os serviços de inteligência americanos usam um amplo arsenal de provocações e duplicidade. O piloto Konstantin Yaroshenko, que foi cusado do tráfico de drogas, foi emaranhado num desses tipos de armadilha. De acordo com agências de notícias, uma empregada do pessoal da embaixada U.S. na Colômbia deu um secreto instrumento de gravação para um cidadão local que era um agente da DEA operando abaixo do nome de «Santiago». Depois de vários encontros entre o agente e o piloto, que resultou num vídeo e numa áudio gravação de suas conversas, os mesmos foram redigidos e apresentados a Cortes dos Estados Unidos, ainda que uma significante parte do seu conteúdo tivesse sido apagada, o que deu então um impacto direto no veredito. Cidadãos do Brasil, Argentina, Venezuela, Nicaragua e muitos outros países foram vitimados por esse tipo de operações, sendo que as implicações são sempre as mesmas : A América Latina não conseguiria evadir-se de cooperação com a CIA!
De qualquer maneira, a agência tem um dossier na América Latina que levanta espanto até em governos que são loiais a Washington. Uma augorenta indicação das tácticas estilo-Gestapo da CIA foi a criação da base militar U.S. de Guantânamo, em Cuba, com um campo para prisioneiros suspeitos de atividades terroristas, ou de instigação dos Talibãs. Em dezembro de 2005, Condoleezza Rice declarou-se como defendendo a idéia desse campo, sublinhando o facto de que dessa maneira a CIA «tinha impedido ataques terroristas e salvado vidas inocentes na Europa, assim como nos Estados Unidos, e outros países. » A respeito da revelação das prisões secretas Rice arrogantemente disse que «era para todos esses governos e seus cidadãos se decidirem contra ou a favor a trabalhar com os Estados Unidos para impedir ataques terroristas contra seu próprio país.
Em dezembro de 2014, o U.S. Comité de Seleção do Senado para inteligência publicou um relatório de 500 páginas quanto ao uso de tortura pela CIA para extrair confissões de indivíduos suspeitos de terrorismo. A versão completa tinha quase que 7.000 páginas e incluia muitos detalhes das «melhoradas técnicas de interrogação» usadas pela CIA. A sua desvendação foi considerada como muito perigosa por que essa poderia deslanchar retaliação. O documento original foi redigido e retiraram-se os nomes das prisões secretas na Europa e na Ásia, assim como os nomes dos chefes da CIA que deram seu consentimento a tortura de prisioneiros, assim como o nome do pessoal que as administraram. Eles tiveram especialmente muito cuidado em apagar as informações a respeito das «tácticas avançadas de interrogação» usadas em Guantânamo.
O Secretário do Estado John Kerry também tentou tirar outros fatos do documento dizendo que a publicação iria por em perigo vidas de diplomatas americanos no exterior. Só a intervenção de organizações dos direitos humanos conseguiu impedir isso. Agora a Human Rights Watch, a American Civil Liberteis Union, e outras organizações, estão tentando obter os nomes dos que criaram essas prisões e introduziram o uso de tortura. Entretanto, esses seus esforços estão sendo impedidos pela direção John Brennan da CIA. A mesma desculpa é oferecida – a publicidade poria em perigo a vida dos empregados.
É importante para John Brennan poder manter seus empregados experientes depois das grandes reformas da CIA, projetadas por ele. Informações surgiram na mídia a respeito da natureza da planejada reorganização: em vez de ter departamentos especializados nas agências, e um serviço separado para análises do material de inteligência, centros de fusão serão criados. Esses centros de fusão deveriam ser responsáveis por regiões específicas e por ameaças sistemáticas a segurança dos Estados Unidos. Na perspectiva de John Brennan tem-se que principalmente dado ao facto de que a CIA durante muito tempo esteve concentrada nas guerras no Afeganistão e Iraque, assim também como nas operações do Norte da África e outras regiões remotas, incluindo-se aqui a Ucrânia, essas ameaças estariam agora vindo da América Latina.
Alianças estão sendo solidificadas no continente, e a formação e consolidação de organizações regionais como CELAC, UNASUR, MERCOSUR, ALBA e outras, enfraqueceram a posição dos Estados Unidos no continente. Washington vê as entradas sendo feitas pela China e Rússia [massivas ofertas de financiamentos, empréstimos e desenvolvimento da infraestrutura sem exigências de cortes no desenvolvimento social] e isso não só em comércio e economia como também quanto a tecnologia e exploração espacial. A construção do Canal da Nicaragua com a assistência da China, Rússia e Brasil é um símbolo do desgaste geopolítico dos Estados Unidos.
Tendo-se em conta a natural arrogância dos mesmos, fracassos dessa magnitude são difíceis de serem engolidos, o que poderia explicar maquinações de revange através de simultaneamente destabilizar os governos populares e incitar guerra civíl na Venezuela. As novas tropas chegando nas estações da CIA nas embaixadas americanas, e outros lugares, já estão mergulhando nos seus novos afazeres.
A comment by Financial Times columnist Wolfgang Münchau, published on the eve of today’s meeting of the euro zone group of finance ministers, points to significant differences over German-led insistence that the demand of the Syriza-led Greek government for debt restructuring should not be met.
Following the rejection of the Greek proposal at a meeting of the Eurogroup last Thursday, Münchau wrote that the Greek finance minister could expect a frosty reception when he once again confronted his colleagues in a “high noon” showdown.
“My advice to Yanis Varoufakis,” he continued,
“would be to ignore the exasperated looks and veiled threats and stand firm. He is a member of the first government in the euro zone with a democratic mandate to stand up to an utterly dysfunctional policy regime that has proved economically illiterate and politically unsustainable. For the euro zone to survive with the current geographic remit, this regime needs to go.”
The publication of such a vigorous comment in one of the world’s major financial dailies points both to the considerable opposition in financial centres to the policies of the German government and to the fact that the Syriza program, far from representing some far-left agenda, is a thoroughly bourgeois program enjoying some measure of support in ruling political and financial circles.
Münchau pointed out that there were risks involved in Greece standing up to the European Union policy elites, including a financial collapse leading to it being forced out of the euro zone. However, he writes that Greece should nevertheless maintain its stand in demanding a new loan to cover its needs over the next few months.
The Greek government has called for the “bridging finance” while a new agreement is worked out following the expiration of existing arrangements at the end of this month. With Germany taking the lead, the euro zone finance ministers have insisted that any additional finance can only be provided within the framework of the existing program.
This has been rejected by Syriza, a position which is supported by Münchau. The Greek government, he wrote, “should stick with their position not to accept a continuation of the existing financial support program.”
In so doing they would no longer be bound by
“self-defeating policy targets such as the contractual requirement to run a primary budget surplus of 3 percent of gross domestic product. For a country with mass unemployment, such a target is insane. It would, of course, be better for this nonsense to stop while Greece remains in the euro zone. But the most important thing is that it has to stop.”
In other words, even if it leads to a financial crisis in Greece and the end of the euro zone in its present form, the overriding imperative is to take a stand against the German-imposed agenda.
Münchau cited proposals from a number of academic sources as to how Greece might deal with the situation, without precipitating a withdrawal from the euro zone.
The “most sensible,” he wrote, is the introduction of a kind of parallel currency consisting of government-backed IOUs, citing a proposal by a US economist Robert Parenteau for “tax anticipation notes” based on expected future revenue. According to Münchau: “They act as a tax credit that allows government to run a fiscal deficit until the economy recovers. With such an instrument Greece could abandon austerity without abandoning the euro.”
He also cited John Cochrane, a “conservative economist from the University of Chicago, who also wants the Greek government to create IOUs, electronic money, not necessarily cash, that could be used to fund pension and other transfer payments.”
Münchau does not make the point, but the position of Cochrane is significant. The University of Chicago is the centre of the most right-wing “free market” tendency in bourgeois economists, associated with Milton Friedman. The so-called “Chicago boys” were notorious for their restructuring of the Chilean economy under General Pinochet after the CIA-backed overthrow of the Allende government in 1973. The fact that representatives of this tendency should be considering ways in which Greece can defy the dictates of the EU is some measure of the opposition to German policies in US financial and economic policy circles.
If measures for alternative financing were adopted, Münchau goes on to explain, then once set in place Greece would be able to default on its debts—mostly loans from European governments and EU institutions. Faced with a default, the official European creditors would not be able to eject Greece from the euro zone as they have no legal means for doing so. They would also be hesitant to force it out of the EU as they need Greece’s support for policy changes, such as renewing sanctions against Russia.
Setting out his bottom line, Münchau concludes that Greece should seek to avoid an exit from the euro zone. However, while such an outcome is not desirable, it would be preferable to the status quo. “The worse-case scenario would be for the Greek government to blink first, and accept defeat.” If that were to happen then the only political party left to oppose the EU agenda would be Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi party.
Münchau’s comment is significant from a number of standpoints. It underscores the opposition to the austerity agenda, at least in its present form, emanating from sections of the US, British economic establishments, with support in some parts of Europe.
In recent weeks, US President Barack Obama, as well as Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, have remarked that some way must be developed to lessen pressure on Greece. Their central concern is not the impoverishment of the Greek working class. Rather their stand underscores the point made by Marx that, while each capitalist seeks to suppress the wages of his own working class, he views the expenditure of the workers employed by others as the source of the demand for the goods he produces. On a far larger scale, the US fears that austerity and depression in Europe—a vital outlet from American goods and investment—will rebound on the US economy itself. The US thus pushes for some alleviation.
Another important aspect of the comment is what it reveals of the tactics being adopted by Syriza itself in its conflict with the EU. Far from its program representing a confrontation with the financial oligarchy in the interests of the working people of Greece, not to speak of the rest of Europe, it is a calculated attempt to win support from American and other powerful financial interests to pressure the German bourgeoisie.
However, resistance is proving hard to overcome because it is rooted in profound economic interests.
According to Münchau, reflecting the position of many other commentators: “The Germans support austerity on ideological grounds.” However, this attempt to pass off the intransigence of the Merkel government as some kind of Lutheran-based desire for discipline, a response to memories of the hyper-inflation of 1923 or some Teutonic aspiration for order misses the real forces at work.
The German opposition is not fundamentally based on these factors. Rather, it is grounded in the fear among sections of the ruling elites that if it relents on austerity then it will have to ultimately take on responsibility not only for the debts of Greece but possibly, Spain, Portugal or even Italy. Such an outcome would seriously weaken Germany’s global economic position, especially in relationship to US finance capital, which inflicted considerable damage on the German financial system through the sub-prime crisis in 2007.
These conflicts and tensions may not be openly expressed at today’s meeting of the eurogroup, but as Münchau’s column points to, they will be seething not far below the surface.
Antonio Zambrano-Montes, a 35-year-old Mexican national, was shot to death by police in Pasco, Washington last Tuesday as he was backing away from officers with his hands up. A video of the shooting clearly corroborates claims by Zambrano-Montes’s family that he was killed “execution style.”
Police claimed that Zambrano-Montes, who had lived in the city for ten years and worked as an orchard picker, may have been “armed with a rock” before he was shot multiple times. Protests erupted over the weekend, with more than a thousand demonstrating in Washington state on Saturday against the killing.
The United States has invaded, bombed and destabilized dozens of countries on the grounds that their regimes perpetrated human rights abuses. In his State of the Union address earlier this year, President Obama declared that America leads the world “with the example of our values.” He added, “That’s what makes us exceptional.”
Not only is this sanctimonious drivel completely at odds with the reality of American imperialist foreign policy, which employs mass murder, support for extreme right forces, subversion and provocation as its stock-in-trade, it is belied by the reality of life within the United States itself.
The wave of police violence in the US is one aspect of an escalating assault on the democratic rights of the working class that makes a mockery of the official human rights rhetoric. Were these events occurring in a country targeted for conquest or regime change by the CIA and the Pentagon, that country would be declared a human rights disaster area.
According to a web site that keeps track of police shootings, Zambrano-Montes was the 122nd person to be killed by police in the United States since the start of the year. In the five days since the shooting, another ten people have been killed by police: two black, two white, one Latino. The names and identities of five others have not been released.
In virtually all of these fatal police shootings, the victims have been blasted by a fusillade of bullets, their bodies riddled by ten, fifteen, twenty or more rounds fired off by the killer cops.
The recent incidents of wanton police violence include:
The beating of an elderly Indian man in Alabama as he walked in the street, leaving him partially paralyzed.
The beating of a 13-year-old schoolgirl by police in Baltimore, Maryland.
The killing of 17-year-old Jessica Hernandez as she sat in a car with her friends in Denver, Colorado.
The killing of Kristiana Coignard, a mentally disturbed teenager who was carrying a kitchen knife, in Longview, Texas.
Most of the killings and beatings that are widely known to the public have been captured on videotape, like the shooting of Zambrano-Montes. Countless similar incidents go unreported by the local and national media.
It is now six months since the August 9 police shooting of Ferguson, Missouri teenager Michael Brown, an act of wanton violence that sparked protests locally and nationally. The immediate reaction of the political establishment, from the local authorities to the Democratic governor to the Obama White House, was mass repression, including the declaration of a state of emergency and the deployment of the National Guard and militarized police with helicopters and armored vehicles to occupy Ferguson.
This was followed by a politically motivated decision not to indict Brown’s killer, officer Darren Wilson, in a sham grand jury proceeding. Officer Daniel Pantaleo, who choked to death Staten Island resident Eric Garner in broad daylight, was likewise exonerated.
These rulings signaled a counteroffensive by the state to intimidate and criminalize opposition to police violence and murder.
New York City, under the leadership of Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio, announced the formation of a special police unit armed with machine guns. The unit will be deployed for “dealing with events like our recent protests,” as New York Police Commissioner William Bratton put it. Across the country, scores of people have been arrested for posting anti-police comments on the Internet.
The wave of police beatings and killings is only one component of the escalation of state violence and the assault on democratic rights. Despite numerous “botched” executions, including the horrific state murder of Clayton Lockett in Oklahoma last April, in which the prisoner writhed in pain for an hour, America’s capital punishment assembly line continues to exact its toll, with eight people executed so far this year.
America’s vast prison gulag, which incarcerates the largest inmate population in the world, is increasingly assuming the social role of the debtors’ prisons of Dickensian England. Last week, the Vera Institute of Justice released a report documenting the extent to which American jails have become “massive warehouses” for the poor.
The organization found that more than half of the people in jail were incarcerated because they were unable to pay a bail of $2,500 or less. It concluded that “a guilty plea may, paradoxically, be the fastest way to get out of jail.”
The brutality of the “justice” system in the US is only the most visible expression of the violent and exploitative character of American society. It embodies the response of the ruling class to ever-rising levels of social inequality, which have increased at an unprecedented rate over the six years of the Obama administration.
The corporate and financial elite, whose wealth has doubled since 2009, gorges itself at the expense of an increasingly impoverished working class. The state, headed by a military-intelligence-police apparatus that operates above the law, looks on the population with distrust, fear and hatred.
Killer cops shielded by the politicians and the courts, the militarization of the police, the criminalization of social protest—these are aspects of dictatorial forms of rule being put into place to defend the interests of the financial aristocracy against the inevitable eruption of class struggle in America.
La historia tiene extrañas maneras de repetirse. Argentina ha estado transitando por un proceso similar a los años posteriores a 1990, luego que Boris Yeltsin renunció y Vladimir Putin tomó su puesto en el Kremlin como Presidente de la Federación de Rusia. El gobierno federal de Argentina en Buenos Aires ha estado luchando por deshacerse del yugo extranjero y consolidar su poder político y económico.
Sin embargo, Buenos Aires ha tenido la oposición de una diversidad de elementos del viejo régimen y de oligarcas que colaboran con Estados Unidos. Estas fuerzas se han opuesto a grandes proyectos nacionales, como ser la renacionalización de grandes compañías, al fortalecimiento de la rama ejecutiva de gobierno. A este respecto, los enfrentamientos de la Presidenta argentina Cristina Fernández de Kirchner con sus opositores son similares a los enfrentamientos de Vladimir Putin con los oligarcas rusos y los políticos que querían subordinar Rusia a Wall Street y a Washington como también a los capitales y núcleos financieros de Europa Occidental.
Todas las oportunidades se aprovechan para intentar debilitar al gobierno argentino. La Presidenta Cristina Fernández de Kirchner ha acusado incluso públicamente a sus opositores nacionales como también a Estados Unidos de estar colaborando para un cambio de régimen. Cuando el DAESH o el ISIS amenazaron con matarla el año pasado, ella se refirió a la amenaza como proveniente de Washington, la entidad que realmente quería matarla y la que movía los palillos de las brigadas del DAESH en Siria e Irak. (1)
La Muerte de Alberto Nisman
El reciente capítulo de la lucha del gobierno argentino se inició en el mes de enero del corriente. El mismo día en que Israel asesinó al General Mohammed Allahdadi, de la Guardia Revolucionaria de Irán dentro de Siria, el ex fiscal especial, Alberto Nisman, fue encontrado muerto con un disparo a un lado de su cabeza en el baño de su apartamento cerrado el día 18 de enero recién pasado. (2) Nisman había estado investigando la voladura en 1994 del edificio perteneciente a la Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina, AMIA, durante los últimos diez años. En el año 2003 le fue asignada la tarea por el Presidente Néstor Kirchner, el fallecido esposo de la actual presidenta de Argentina.
Pocos días antes, él había hecho acusaciones contra la Presidente Cristina Fernández de Kirchner y contra el Ministro de Relaciones Exteriores Héctor Timmerman, que también es judío. En palabras del New York Times, “Nisman había lanzado graves acusaciones.” (3) Nisman señalando que “funcionarios iraníes habían planeado y financiado el ataque; que Hezbollah, aliado de Irán en El Líbano, lo habían llevado a cabo; y que la presidenta argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner y sus principales asistentes habían conspirado para encubrir la participación de Irán como parte de un acuerdo para suministrar petróleo iraní a la Argentina.” (4)
El periodista judío, Damián Pachter, que huyó de Argentina luego de la muerte de Nisman, le ha echado leña al fuego desde Israel e incluso ha escrito un artículo que ha sido ampliamente citado pero no apoyado, para el Haaretz que trata de usar la polémica contra el gobierno argentino. El artículo de Pachter hace aparecer a Argentina como si se estuviera moviendo en las sombras de la Alemania Nazi o de un régimen fascista. He aquí algunos de sus comentarios:
* No tengo idea cuando regresaré a Argentina. Ni siquiera se si quiero volver. Lo que si se que el país donde nací no es el lugar feliz sobre el cual mis abuelos judíos me contaban historias.
*Argentina se ha convertido en un oscuro lugar regido por un sistema político corrupto. Todavía no logro entender todo lo que me ha sucedido durante las últimas 48 horas. Nunca me imaginé que mi regreso a Israel sería así. (5)
Antes de continuar deberíamos agregar que en los diez años de investigación de Alberto Nisman, él no fue capaz de acusar ni a Irán ni a Hezbollah. Por otra parte, es bien sabido que Nisman consultaba con frecuencia a Estados Unidos sobre el caso AMIA y que fue acusado por Roland Noble, ex jefe de Interpol de mentir en torno a muchas acusaciones que hizo en relación al caso de la AMIA. (6)
Se informó de la muerte de Alberto Nisman como un suicidio. La hora en torno a la muerte de Nisman, sin embargo, es muy sospechosa. Nisman murió a pocas horas antes que entregara un testimonio al Congreso nacional. El gobierno de Argentina ha dicho que su muerte fue un asesinato que apuntaba a perjudicar al gobierno. (7) Esta aseveración es correcta y ha dado sus frutos ya que la muerte de Alberto Nisman está siendo utilizada como ataque político que exige la eliminación del gobierno argentino.
La quinta columna argentina
El periódico Guardian publicó un artículo el día 27 de enero del 2015 donde informa que la muerte de Alberto Nisman “es una prolongada lucha” entre el gobierno argentino y la “principal agencia de inteligencia de Argentina que ha salido a la luz luego de la sospechosa muerte de Nisman, la cual es atribuida por la presidenta argentina a espías inescrupulosos que están tratando de socavar su gobierno.” (8) Algunos aspectos claves del informe incluyen lo siguiente:
*Funcionarios de gobierno han apuntado el dedo acusador a espías que, dicen ellos, estaban trabajando con Nisman entregándole información de teléfonos intervenidos.
*El más importante entre ellos es Antonio Stiuso, quien hasta el mes anterior era el Director General de operaciones y escuchas clandestinas de los opositores políticos de la presidenta. Fue despedido luego que la Presidenta Fernández descubrió que él estaba trabajando con Nisman para fabricar un caso en su contra. Se cree que actualmente está en Estados Unidos.
*En su intervención televisada—hecha desde una silla de ruedas luego de un reciente accidente—Cristina Fernández también criticó a Diego Lagomarsino, el cual fue acusado el lunes pasado por haber ilegalmente prestado un arma de fuego a Nisman. (9)
Lo que los aspectos mencionados sugieren es que la seguridad interior argentina y los agentes de inteligencia han estado trabajando para derribar a su propio gobierno. Así mismo, Antonio Stiuso y Nisman estaban secretamente trabajando para montar un caso para sacar a Cristina Fernández del poder.
La quinta columna existe en la Argentina. Es notorio que algunos individuos involucrados en este caso son elementos sobrantes del período de la dictadura militar en Argentina que colaboraban estrechamente con Estados Unidos. Esto podría explicar por qué se cree que Antonio Stiuso huyó hacia Estados Unidos. Además, es por eso que el gobierno argentino ha iniciado una investigación sobre las actividades de varios agentes de la policía federal que estaban monitoreando a Nisman y por qué se decidió reemplazar la Secretaría de Inteligencia, SI (anteriormente Secretaría de Inteligencia del Estado, SIDE) por una nueva agencia de inteligencia federal. (10) “Esto me hizo tomar la decisión de despedir agentes que han estado allí desde antes que adviniera la democracia,” señaló Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.
“Debemos iniciar el trabajo para reformar el sistema de inteligencia argentina con el objeto de deshacernos de un sistema que no ha estado sirviendo los intereses de la nación.” La Presidenta Fernández declaró en torno a las reformas. (12) La presidenta reveló que la SI estaba trabajando para socavar su gobierno e invalidar lo que Argentina ha hecho con Irán. El periódico Buenos Aires Herald señaló que la Presidenta Fernández “ha reafirmado que desde que fue firmado el Memorándum de Entendimiento con Irán sobre el ataque contra la AMIA en 1994 “pudimos ver que el acuerdo estaba siendo atacado desde la Secretaría de Inteligencia.” (13)
AMIA es el Pretexto y Argentina está en el Frente de una Guerra Global Multifacética
El caso de la AMIA ha sido politizado en dos frentes. Uno de los frentes es la lucha interna y el otro es en el ámbito de las relaciones internacionales. Un grupo de oligarcas argentinos está utilizando el caso AMIA para recuperar el control total sobre el país, mientras que Estados Unidos está utilizando el caso AMIA como una herramienta más –como el caso de los fondos buitre contra Argentina—para presionar al gobierno argentino e intervenir en los asuntos internos del país.
Las opiniones se han galvanizado al interior del país en la medida que las líneas políticas se han endurecido. La muerte de Alberto Nisman está siendo utilizada por los opositores del gobierno argentino para satanizarlo. La oposición incluso ha llegado a decir que Nisman es un mártir en la lucha por la democracia y la libertad en un país regido por un régimen crecientemente autoritario.
La pugna política en Argentina en torno al ataque contra la AMIA y su investigación refleja algo mucho más grande. Irán no es el único blanco en la polarización del caso de la AMIA. Tampoco es el caso que se busque justicia para las víctimas del ataque contra la Mutual. China, Rusia, Cuba, Brasil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia y una serie de países independientes, también son blancos en lo que es realmente una lucha global entre Estados Unidos y una coalición de estados independientes que rechazan la influencia norteamericana.
Los objetivos definitivos de Estados Unidos son la recuperación de su perdida influencia sobre Argentina y redirigir las relaciones comerciales argentinas y controlar su política exterior. Todo esto tiene que ver con las medidas que Buenos Airea ha tomado para recuperar el control de las Islas Malvinas en poder de los ingleses, las cuales están ubicadas en una rica área energética en el Atlántico Sur.
Sumado a la lucha por los recursos naturales, lo cual incluye las reservas energéticas, la guerra multifacética que lleva adelante Estados Unidos contra sus rivales, se ha estado preparando un asalto agrícola que produciría la desestabilización de los precios de los alimentos e incluso crear hambrunas. Aparte de sus reservas no explotadas de petróleo y gas, Argentina es una potencia agrícola de primer orden. Controlar a Buenos Aires sería muy útil para Estados Unidos.
1.- Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, “Las Águilas del Imperio y el Terrorismo Económico: ¿Son los fondos buitre Instrumentos de la política de Estados Unidos?” Russia Today, Octubre 24, 2014
2.- Almudena Calatrava, “Existen dudas que el fiscal argentino se suicidó,” Associated Press, Enero 20, 2015: Jonathan Watts “Gobierno argentino decide disolver la agencia nacional de inteligencia,” Guardian, Enero 27, 2015
3 – 4.- Isabel Kershner, “El Periodista que Informó sobre la Muerte del Fiscal Argentino, Huye del País Hacia Israel,” New York Times, Enero 26, 2015.
5.- Damian Pachter, “Por Qué Huí de Argentina luego de Publicar la Historia de la Muerte de Alberto Nisman,” Haaretz, Enero 25, 2015
6.- “Ex Jefe de la Interpol, Roland Noble: Lo que Dice el Fiscal Nisman es Falso,” Buenos Aires Herald, Enero 18, 2015
7 – 10.- Jonathan Watts, “El Gobierno Argentino Actúa,” op.cit.
11 – 13.- “Cristina Fernández de Kirchner Anuncia Plan para Disolver la Secretaría de Inteligencia,” Buenos Aires Herald, Enero 26, 2015.
Nota: Sus comentarios y opiniones acerca de este artículo serán bienvenidos [email protected]
The CIA and the U.S. Military Industrial Complex have now invested over 6 months of ISIS branding, promotion, and public relations. It was revealed by early January of 2015 that the U.S. had already dumped over one billion dollars to fight ISIS. All supposedly invested in failed air strikes and un-televised secret battles against ISIS where the U.S. ends up attacking Syrian targets instead.
The ISIS psyop has been worked on so hard by the architects of the plan that now we are seeing the final desired political goals of the entire operation – an operation which has become more of a global theater. The ISIS psyop theater is now coming to fruition and the globalists are speaking loud and clear about what they want, which is really an admission to why they concocted the ISIS psyop to begin with.
They want the authorization to use “unlimited” military “force” wherever they want, whenever they want and (of course) on WHO-ever they want to use it on. Isn’t this a tyrannical empire’s dream come true? And with this revelation the romance between ISIS and CIA/US/Israel and the other NATO ISIS partners is now fully exposed to anyone willing to see it for what it is.
For over 6 months Americans and people all over the world who still retain their normal critical thinking skills have been subjected to painfully sloppy fake ISIS videos, heavily scripted news reports verbally dictating to us accounts of supposed battles against ISIS. All along, as the months go by, ISIS has not been affected at all by anything the U.S. and its pro-ISIS allies have done. If anything, they keep telling us that ISIS continues to grow.
Even when it was revealed that throughout Iraq, “suspicions” were running deep back in September of 2014 that “CIA and Islamic State are united“, no one within the mainstream media did anything to stop the ISIS psyop by at least exposing the fact that not one ISIS supply line had been disrupted, not one bank account ceased, not one (illegal) NSA data mining effort able to collect the whereabouts of ISIS (as they do of U.S. innocent citizens) to gather them up and end the ISIS theater. Not one story was reported by mainstream media about the 100+ ISIS supply trucks rumbling through Turkey to get into Syria. Not one story appeared about how Turkey was supporting ISIS or about how the U.S. and its NATO allies were allowing ISIS to enjoy (food, water, toiletries and ammo) supplies without disruption.
We never did find out how ISIS was able to get on the Internet, make calls, communicate, make high production style videos and upload to the Internet. All we got was ISIS production departmentRita Katz and her (CIA approved anti-terror propaganda) SITE Institute telling us she luckily found the ISIS beheading videos and was able to show it to the world before ISIS themselves could promote their own video. Aside from this bizarre story we got not a peep from the mainstream media about anything relevant to stopping ISIS.
Since the launching of the ISIS show, mainstream media has instead been focused on only branding and praising ISIS and showing the world how incredible and unstoppable they are. Since the branding of the ISIS name began late in the summer of 2014 we’ve watched the ISIS psyop script morph from the fake James Foley beheading video blocked from the masses by YouTube claiming the video was too graphic and offensive, to an organization which is now (supposedly) full-scale global force stronger and more organized than any nation on earth.
We have also watched for over 6 months now as the 82 Comments story evolved into a tale told very differently by two opposing forms of media coverage. The true alternative independent (non-corporate) media has collectively exposed the ISIS tale showing how each story gets more and more ridiculous. On the other hand, the mainstream corporate media has pounded the ISIS brand and its greatness into its viewers daily, carefully setting them up for the war approval request we see now.
If you actually tracked mainstream media stories of the last 6 months you will very likely find that ISIS has gotten more headlines than any other single topic. In an Orwellian society that suffers from headline news amnesia, thanks to the “ministry of truth” mainstream media who regularly changes the headline news to fit the agenda of the day, we’ve seen an unusual repetition of ISIS stories that doesn’t even fit the mainstream media’s own script, much less the framework of reality, truth and reason.
This over-the-top effort by CIA’s mainstream media to over-sell the ISIS brand is now primed for being fully exposed with the latest White House bold request for unlimited military power to strike and kill anyone they please. For perspective, let’s examine the Obama/White House psyop sequence of responses with respect to ISIS over the last six months.
Timeline Of White House Reaction to ISIS
In early September 2014 on the heels of the fake beheading videos and stories of ISIS conquering Mosul and taking over U.S. weapons, Obama stated regarding ISIS, “we don’t have a strategy” – an unusual thing for any leader to say about any supposed threat. The strategy at the time was to make the U.S. FEEL like they were the underdogs. This “underdog” strategy is practiced by boxing coaches and we see this underdog strategy in sports all the time. It is well known that most people enjoy and prefer to root for the (perceived) underdog. Taking full advantage of this human tendency to root for the underdog was a significant piece of the early strategy for recruiting American sentiment and support for “action” against ISIS.
At the time, the mainstream media played right along with what clearly turned out to be the chosen strategy heading into the end of 2014 and early 2015. The plan? Blow up ISIS by talking endlessly about them and continue to show the world how they are growing, while continuing to sound weak with respect to attacking ISIS.
Following the September 2014 launching of the “we are the underdog” strategy, we heard highly unusual stories like ISIS bragging on social media about their success, ISIS making promotional videos involving the murder of non-supporters, ISIS somehow recruiting members all the way on the other side of the world, even ISIS printing their own money. By the end of 2014 there was almost nothing that ISIS had not accomplished.
By the turn of the new year (2015) the ISIS branding was secure and by January the U.S. Government announced the creation of a secret new “Task Force” to deal with ISIS. Details of this task force would be held a secret. The only thing we knew for sure was that it would require a lot of money $$$ to operate, that it would combine the efforts of the other NATO (pro-ISIS) countries, and that its location would be somewhere in the Middle East or South East Asia, smack in the middle of the region of the world where the U.S. has been illegally meddling in for years in its quest to run the world.
By early February 2015 the reaction from Obama and the White House was “Obama Warns Against Exaggerating the Islamic State Threat“. This position and this reaction to ISIS was intended as nothing more than reverse psychology. Obama, who had been positioning himself as the underdog all this time, now begins to position himself as someone not so eager to attack ISIS, someone who is calm and not wanting to sound like a warmonger. This was all by design.
Shortly after this staged comment attempting to sound calm and cool, of course Obama is now reacting to the ISIS soap opera in an exaggerated manner. Any time a staged terror group gets its ammunition, support, supplies and public relations from the same country they claim they will be attacking, responding to this staged situation with unlimited power of war is very much an exaggeration.
Just days after announcing his request for unlimited war on the Middle East, all consistent with the PNAC plans, now it is being reported that 4000 U.S. troops are heading to Kuwait to fight ISIS. This is what happens when the CIA’s mainstream media and its bought-out politicians make the decisions that please the U.S. Military Industrial Complex. The rest of us sit here watching these psychopaths lie about ISIS and give themselves power to wage limitless war.
ISIS Superpowers Transcend Reality
As I mentioned in my recent article about the deliberate mainstream media branding of ISIS, most people are not aware of the magnitude of the ISIS brand and how they have been portrayed as greater than god. ISIS is a meaningless group of ($300 a month salaried I’m told) Middle Eastern stray men with both Jesus Christ and Superman-like powers, combined into one. According to Western corporate media, ISIS has greater intelligence than all of their enemies combined. They are a super-human force able to outsmart all military intelligence at once, avoid all global surveillance and NSA illegal data-mining at once. All the while fighting multiple countries on multiple fronts, and WINNING!
As I’ve mentioned before, the ISIS brand has stood up to the world (according to the CIA’s mainstream media) showing off their razor blade sharp technological skills like programmers,hackers and techies with super-slick untraceable and effective social media prowess. Their totally retarded psychopathic view of life is no deterrent to average Americans, Canadians, Australians and citizens (apparently) all over the world including women!! Average people (as I said in a recent article) apparently suddenly decide the want to join ISIS for no reason at all. I suppose these people (if they actually exist) are overwhelmed by the over-the-top branding ISIS has received from mainstream media. Absolute evidence that marketing and branding works.
Breaking the ISIS Hypnotic Spell
Recently I saw where one major left-wing media persona tweeted doubts about the ISIS theater script. Is this a sign of things to come within left-wing media? As humanity waits for the people within the media to continue to break ranks and seek truth, we can be sure that things will get much worse before they get better. ISIS is a definitive piece of the puzzle for the new world order. It’s a powerful tool to enslave humanity by first killing off and destroying the uncooperative sovereign nations that get in the way (like Syria and Iran), then enslaving the rest of us. For now, the ongoing headache known as the ISIS theater or the ISIS psyop will continue unfortunately. The globalists have thrown the kitchen sink at the ISIS psyop hoping to make them greater than life and hopefully this over-the-top effort will be their own undoing.
Let’s do everything we can to expose this pro-war psychological operation whose main goal we are now seeing come to fruition. The globalist gangsters want to wage unlimited war, and it’s up to us to stop them. We also need to stop thinking of ISIS and the new world order gangsters as being separate entities, they are not. The Islamic state is very much a big part of the new world order plans. Without ISIS, the new world order plans are in serious jeopardy. Try to see this connection and free your mind of the ISIS psyop. Right now it’s plain and simple: No ISIS means NO new world order. Obama knows this, the White House knows this, traitor John McCain knows this and many in D.C. know this.
Now more than ever it is important to dump the mainstream corporate media and or hope that enough truth comes out of independent media to trigger enough doubt in Americans to stop this latest war authorization trick from the White House. Say no to more reckless war, say no to government (legal) propaganda designed to promote war, and say no to endless promotion of staged terror groups to be used as tools for the globalists’ final goals. At this point in history Americans are burned out with the same script: Problem-Reaction-Solution. Let’s all step back and change the paradigm that allows for this repeated script to play itself out over and over again. We know that the “solutions” offered by government are no solutions at all, instead it’s an extension of the problem. We are being fooled every time into Problem-Reaction-More Problem!
We must all now offer NEW solutions without which we will not survive. True solutions for the world that are real and effective. Our future as a humanity now hinges on our ability to shut down or replace the control system or their control over our ability to implement true solutions. How well we as a humanity are able to do this will determine our future and the future of the human race.
BernieSuarez is a revolutionary writer with a background in medicine, psychology, and information technology. He has written numerous articles over the years about freedom, government corruption and conspiracies, and solutions. A former host of the 9/11 Freefall radio show, Bernie is also the creator of the Truth and Art TV project where he shares articles and videos about issues that raise our consciousness and offer solutions to our current problems. His efforts are designed to encourage others to joyfully stand for truth, to expose government tactics of propaganda, fear and deception, and to address the psychology of dealing with the rising new world order. He is also a former U.S. Marine who believes it is our duty to stand for and defend the U.S. Constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. A peace activist, he believes information and awareness is the first step toward being free from enslavement from the globalist control system which now threatens humanity. He believes love conquers all fear and it is up to each and every one of us to manifest the solutions and the change that you want to see in this world, because doing this is the very thing that will ensure victory and restoration of the human race from the rising global enslavement system, and will offer hope to future generations.
During the waning days of the Occupy movement, a FOIA request was submitted by the Partnership for Civil Justice Fund in 2013, in regards to the Houston chapter of the movement. In return, they received a heavily redacted document from the FBI that carried some rather disturbing information.
Unbeknown to the peaceful agitators of the Occupy movement, there was a plot to assassinate their leadership, and the FBI knew all about it.
An identified [DELETED] as of October planned to engage in sniper attacks against protestors (sic) in Houston, Texas if deemed necessary. An identified [DELETED] had received intelligence that indicated the protesters in New York and Seattle planned similar protests in Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin, Texas. [DELETED] planned to gather intelligence against the leaders of the protest groups and obtain photographs, then formulate a plan to kill the leadership via suppressed sniper rifles. (Note: protests continued throughout the weekend with approximately 6000 persons in NYC. ‘Occupy Wall Street’ protests have spread to about half of all states in the US, over a dozen European and Asian cities, including protests in Cleveland (10/6-8/11) at Willard Park which was initially attended by hundreds of protesters.
As of now, we have no idea who this person is that was preparing to engage in these attacks, or if it even was person. For all we know it could have been a group of people or a state-sanctioned organization. We don’t know if this is information the FBI received on a suspect, or if this was a communication between themselves and one of their own assets.
The language of the document certainly sounds pretty creepy. Terms like “if deemed necessary” and “received intelligence” have led many to believe that this unknown person was officially sanctioned to act by the government. And if that isn’t true, if the FBI had just received a tip that a lone gunman was about to start killing peaceful protesters, what measures did they take to prevent that from happening? By all appearances, they didn’t do anything. So, best-case scenario, the government knew something could happen, and decided to ignore it; and worst-case scenario, they were playing an active role in this plot.
And there’s a good chance that we’ll never know the exact truth of the matter. Some activists are still trying to get the FBI to turn over the unredacted documents, but the FBI claims that they are exempt from the Freedom of Information Act:
The bureau claimed several exemptions from the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), primarily that the withheld information was gathered through cooperation with local law enforcement agencies investigating matters of national security surrounding the Occupy movement. The FBI argued that releasing data gathered on protesters constituted: interference with ongoing law enforcement proceedings, interference with personal privacy of law enforcement personnel, interference with law enforcement proceedings involving confidential informants and disclosure of enforcement techniques not generally known to the public–all exemptions under FOIA.
Shapiro pointed out that the FBI had denied any engagement with law enforcementover the Occupy protests, and that no major laws were broken by protesters, putting into question the existence of ongoing law enforcement proceedings. Nonetheless, a judge upheld the bureau’s claims last week, allowing the names of the plotters and any further information about the plot to remain unreleased.
All this for a bunch of idealistic college kids. I will admit, there’s a chance that we’re misinterpreting these documents, but they sure make the FBI look insane. Like I said before, it appears that they were either plotting to assassinating Occupy leaders, or they were going to look the other way while somebody else did the deed.
Honestly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the government cooks up these plans for every movement that threatens the establishment. They just keep them in place as a last resort, while they use the combined efforts of the media, informants, and provocateurs to quietly neuter these movements before they become a problem. We may have just gotten lucky by stumbling onto one of their premature plans.
History has a strange way of replicating itself. Argentina has been going through a process similar to the post-1999 years, after Boris Yeltsin stepped down and Vladimir Putin took his place in the Kremlin as the president of the Russian Federation. While it has been struggling to throw off the foreign yoke, the Argentine federal government in Buenos Aires has been consolidating its economic and political power.
Buenos Aires, however, has been opposed by a cross-section of the old regime and oligarchs collaborating with the United States. These forces have opposed major national projects, the re-nationalization of large companies, and the strengthening of the executive branch of government. In this regard, Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner’s showdowns with her opponents are similar to Vladimir Putin’s showdowns with Russian oligarchs and politicians that wanted to subordinate Russia to Wall Street and Washington, as well as Western Europe’s capitals and financial hubs.
All opportunities are being used to weaken the Argentine government. President Fernández de Kirchner has even publicly accused her domestic opponents and the US of collaborating for regime change. When DAESH or the ISIL threatened to kill her in 2014 she alluded to the threat as really being Washington that was the entity that wanted to kill her and the one pulling the strings behind DAESH’s terrorist brigades in Syria and Iraq. 
The Death of Alberto Nisman
The latest chapter of the Argentine government’s struggle started in January 2015. On the same day the Israeli’s killed Iranian Revolutionary Guard Brigadier-General Mohammed Allahdadi inside Syria, former special prosecutor Alberto Nisman was found dead with a gunshot wound to the side of his head in the bathroom of his locked apartment on January 18, 2015.  Nisman had been investigating the 1994 bombing of a building belonging to the Argentine Israelite Mutual Association (Asociación Mutual Israelita Argentina; AMIA) for ten years after. In 2003, he was appointed the task by President Nestor Kirchner, the dead husband of Argentina’s current president.
A few days earlier, he had made claims against Argentine President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner and Foreign Minister Héctor Timerman, who himself is Jewish. In the words of the New York Times, Nisman «had leveled serious accusations.»  He claimed «that Iranian officials had planned and financed the attack; that Hezbollah, Iran’s ally in Lebanon, had carried it out; and that the president of Argentina, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, and her top aides had conspired to cover up Iran’s involvement as part of a deal to supply Iranian oil to Argentina.» 
The Jewish journalist Damian Pachter, who fled Argentina after Nisman’s death, has added fuel to the fire from inside Israel and even written a widely quoted, but unsupported, article for Haaretz that uses polemics against Argentine’s government. Pachter’s article makes Argentina appear like it is moving in the shadows of Nazi Germany or some fascist regime. Here are some of his comments:
• I have no idea when I’ll be back in Argentina; I don’t even know if I want to. What I do know is that the country where I was born is not the happy place my Jewish grandparents used to tell me stories about.
• Argentina has become a dark place led by a corrupt political system. I still haven’t figured out everything that has happened to me over the past 48 hours. I never imagined my return to Israel would be like this. 
Before moving forward, it should be added that in the ten years of Alberto Nisman’s investigation, he could not indict Iran or Hezbollah. Additionally, it has been revealed that Nisman consulted the US frequently about the AMIA case and that he was accused by Roland Noble, the former head of International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol), of being a liar about a lot of the accusations he had made about the AMIA case. 
Alberto Nisman’s death was reported as a suicide. The timing of Nisman’s death, however, was very suspicious. He died merely a matter of hours before he was due to give a testimony to the Argentinean Congress. The Argentina government has said that his death was a murder aimed at hurting the government.  This claim is correct and has come into fruition as Alberto Nisman’s death is being used for political ammunition demanding the removal of the Argentine government.
The Fifth Column in Argentina
The Guardian published an article on January 27, 2015, which reported that Alberto Nisman’s death «follows a protracted struggle» between the Argentinean government and Argentina’s key «intelligence agency that has come to light after the suspicious death of Nisman, which the president blames on rogue spies who are trying to undermine her.»  Some key points to be noted from the report include the following:
• Government officials have pointed the finger of blame at spies whom they say were working with Nisman and feeding him wiretap information.
• Chief among them is Antonio Stiuso, who until last month was the general director of operations and eavesdropped on the president’s political opponents. He was fired when Fernández discovered he was working with Nisman to build a case against her. He is believed to be in the US.
• In her televised address – which she made in a wheelchair after a recent accident – Fernández also criticised Diego Lagomarsino, who was charged on Monday with illegally lending a firearm to Nisman. 
What the above points allude to is that Argentine internal security and intelligence operatives have been working to topple their own government. Additionally, as mentioned above, Antonio Stiuso and Nisman were secretly working on establishing a case to remove Kirchner from power.
A fifth column exists in Argentina. It should be noted that some of the individuals involved in this case are leftover elements from the period of the military dictatorship in Argentina that collaborated closely with the US. This could explain why Antonio Stiuso is believed to have fled to the US. Moreover, this is why the Argentine government has begun an investigation into the activities of several federal police agents that were monitoring Nisman and why it has decided to replace the Secretariate of Intelligence (SI; formerly the Secretariate of State Intelligence or SIDE) with a new federal intelligence agency.  «This led me to the decision to remove agents that had been there since before the coming of democracy», Kirchner commented herself. 
«We must start to work on a project to reform the Argentine intelligence system, in order to clear up a system that has not served national interests», President Kirchner has declared about the reforms.  Kirchner has revealed that the SI was working to undermine her government and to annul the deal that Argentina had made with Iran. The Buenos Aires Herald has written that President Kirchner has «asserted that from the moment the Memorandum of Understanding with Iran over the AMIA bombings in 1994 was signed, ‘you could see that the agreement was being bombarded from the [Secretariate of Intelligence].» 
AMIA is a Pretext and Argentina is a Front in a Global Multi-Spectrum War
The AMIA case has been politicized on two fronts. One front is a domestic struggle and the other is in the realm of international relations. A group of Argentinean oligarchs are using the AMIA case to regain control over the country, while the US is using the AMIA case as another tool—like the vulture funds case against Argentina—to put pressure on the Argentine government and interfere in Argentina’s internal affairs.
Opinions are being galvanized inside Argentina as the lines are being hardened. Alberto Nisman’s death is being used by the Argentine government’s political opponents to demonize it. The opposition is even referring to Nisman as a martyr in a fight for democracy and liberty in a country run by an increasingly authoritarian regime.
The political jockeying in Argentina over the AMIA attack and its investigation reflects something much bigger. Iran is not the only target in the polarization of the AMIA case. Nor is the case really about seeking justice for the victims of the AMIA bombing. China, Russia, Cuba, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, and a series of different independent countries are also targets in what is really a global struggle between the US and a coalition of independent states that are resisting US influence.
The ultimate objectives of the US are to regain its lost influence in Argentina, to redirect Argentinean trade relations, and to control its foreign policy. This includes ending the measures Buenos Aires has started taking to regain control of the Malvinas (Falklands) from the British, which is situated in an energy-rich area in the South Atlantic.
In addition to a resource war that includes energy reserves, the multi-spectrum war being waged by the US against its rivals has been preparing for an agricultural assault that will result in destabilizing food prices and even creating starvation. Aside from its untapped oil and natural gas reserves, Argentina is a major agricultural power. Controlling Buenos Aires would be useful to the US.
 Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, «Eagles of Empire and economic terrorism: Are vulture funds instruments of US policy?» RT, October 24, 2014.
 Almudena Calatrava, «Supporters doubt Argentine prosecutor killed self», Associated Press, Janaury 20, 2015; Jonathan Watts, «Argentinian government moves to dissolve domestic intelligence agency», Guardian, January 27, 2015.
[3-4] Isabel Kershner, «Journalist Who Reported on Argentine Prosecutor’s Death Flees to Israel», New York Times, January 26, 2015.
 Damian Pachter, «Why I fled Argentina after breaking the story of Alberto Nisman’s death», Haaretz, January 25, 2015.
 «Ex Interpol head Roland Noble: What prosecutor Nisman says is false», Buenos Aires Herald, January 18, 2015.
[7-10] Jonathan Watts, «Argentinian governments moves», op. cit.
[11-13] «CFK announces plan to dissolve SI intelligence service», Buenos Aires Herald, Janaury 26, 2015.
Hell hath no fury like a vaccine zealot during a disease outbreak, with this latest Disneyland measles fiasco a perfect case-in-point. While the corporate media foams violently at the mouth over a few children, some vaccinated, who allegedly contracted measles at Disneyland because not everyone chooses to vaccinate — one hate-filled report from a major news outlet has actually called for parents who oppose vaccinations to be jailed — the level-headed, rational segments of society will recall that many earlier measles outbreaks occurred among fully vaccinated groups of people, debunking the official myth that vaccines provide protection against disease.
In 1987, for example, a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) documented a measles outbreak that occurred in Corpus Christi, Texas, in the spring of 1985. Fourteen adolescent-age students, all of whom had been vaccinated for measles, contracted the disease despite having been injected with the MMR vaccine. Researchers noted that more than 99 percent of students at the school — basically all of them — had also been vaccinated, with more than 95 percent of them showing detectable antibodies to measles.
This highly revealing study completely contradicts the official narrative being propagated today that unvaccinated individuals are responsible for disease outbreaks like the one that reportedly began at Disneyland. None of the students in Texas who contracted the measles in 1985 were unvaccinated, and virtually none of their peers were unvaccinated. Consequently, so-called “herd immunity,” which would have been activated based on what health authorities claim as indisputable immunological fact, was also shown to be an unsubstantiated myth, further vindicating the unvaccinated as a possible cause of this particular outbreak.
So what did cause 14 fully vaccinated student to catch measles? A failure of the MMR vaccine, of course, which you will never hear about from the prostitute press. There’s no other valid explanation for why a fully vaccinated group of children, who were surrounded by an almost fully vaccinated group of peers, contracted a disease for which they should have been immune, according to the official story. And there’s no blaming the one or two students who weren’t vaccinated for this outbreak because:
1) not a single unvaccinated student contracted the measles; and
2) herd immunity would have been activated regardless, supposedly protecting everyone.
CDC data published after 1985 outbreak reveals exceptional failure of MMR vaccine
Additionally, those who were vaccinated should have been protected by the vaccine either way — that is, if vaccines really work as claimed. They obviously don’t, which is further evidenced by data later published by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in its Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).
In a 1988 issue of the report, the CDC published data on measles which documented 3,655 cases of measles in 1987, the previous year. Guess how many of these cases were in vaccinated individuals? 1,903, or roughly 52 percent — more than half! So much for the effectiveness of that MMR vaccine that health authorities want you and your family to rush out and get immediately.
MMR is the same vaccine, of course, that was exposed by the CDC whistleblower as causing autism, particularly in young African American boys. And because MMR contains attenuated (weakened) live measles virus, it can also shed from vaccinated individuals to others, which may have been behind past measles outbreaks.
There are number of possible factors here that the media is ignoring in its vicious witch hunt to demonize all those “anti-vaxxers” out there who have legitimate concerns about the safety and effectiveness of this controversial vaccine. But don’t let them bully you — it is ultimately your decision to decide what’s best for your children, even if it means foregoing what the establishment claims is the solution.
Food in the end, in our tradition, is something holy. It’s not about nutrients and calories. It’s about sharing. It’s about honesty. It’s about identity. ~ Louise Fresco
You may already know that junk food is bad for your health, but you may not realize how bad it can be. A new study from the School of Medical Sciences at Australia’s University of New South Wales points to profound brain changes that junk food causes, making a junk food habit “more deadly than war, famine, and genocide”.
Say what? Yep, the food war is real, and though the UNSW study was conducted on rats, the brain changes observed matter to us humans. As mammals we share similar brain functioning in the orbitofrontal cortex, the part of our gray matter responsible for sensing and evaluating the pleasurable aspects of food.
Makers of junk food know it is highly addictive, but the UNSW study proves unequivocally that junk food alters behavior by causing near-permanent changes in the brain’s reward circuiting, an alteration that can trigger obesity.
The study abstract concluded:
“We observed that rats fed a cafeteria diet for 2 weeks showed impaired sensory-specific satiety following consumption of a high calorie solution. The deficit in expression of sensory-specific satiety was also present 1 week following the withdrawal of cafeteria foods. Thus, exposure to obesogenic diets may impact upon neurocircuitry involved in motivated control of behavior.”
While mammals developed a natural trigger over our evolutionary history which prevents us from over-eating, a phenomenon termed “sensory-specific satiety,” the consumption of junk food overrides this natural ‘kill’ switch that allows us to regulate the calories we consume.
Junk food consumption also causes mitochondrial dysfunction and tissue inflammation, which leads to a host of other diseases. Perhaps most troubling, though, is that these fake foods also mess with our internal motivation and reward system – which causes us to seek more nutrition-less junk. It’s like programming a time bomb and just waiting for it to blow.
Here is What Happened in the Study
In the UNSW study, rats were fed a standard junk food diet, complete with cookies, cakes, biscuits, and other junk foods for two weeks. Another group of rats were fed a ‘standard lab chow’ diet. They were then observed under Pavlovian conditions, when a sound cue informed the rats it was time for their next serving. You can guess what happened.
The ‘junk-food rats’ ate until they were glutinously full, obese, and ill, and the ‘healthy –diet rats’ stopped eating naturally – when they were full, and not over-stuffed.
What’s most interesting though is what happened to the ‘junk food rats’ once they were returned to a normal diet. They still had the tendency to overeat. Their brains were literally trained to eat too much, and held that habit even after environmental factors were changed.
Dr. Amy Reichelt, lead author of the UNSW study says:
“As the global obesity epidemic intensifies, advertisements may have a greater effect on people who are overweight and make snacks like chocolate bars harder to resist.”
Professor Margaret Morris, another UNSW team member added:
“It’s like you’ve just had ice cream for lunch, yet you still go and eat more when you hear the ice cream van come by.”
It is no wonder we are facing a global obesity epidemic. The United States is the epicenter of this troubling phenomenon, with 2 our of 3 Americans being clinically overweight or obese.
If we check the numbers against the Historical Atlas of the 20th Century, 203 million people died in the last century from war and oppression – including military and collateral civilian casualties from conflicts, genocide, politicide (i.e., the extermination of people who share a political belief), mass murders, and famines. This equates to an average of 2. million deaths a year – but the junk food habit kills more.
Even at the humble and likely modest estimation of the World Health Organization, at least 2.8 million people die annually from diseases linked to obesity including heart disease, diabetes, and brain stroke.
The junk food habit is killing 40% more people than wars, famine, dictators, murderers, and politicians put-together. Still think there’s no reason to fight for food freedom so that Americans and people everywhere can enjoy healthful, non-processed, nutrient-dense, organic food? The toxic food manufactured by corporations like McDonald’s, Kentucky Fired Chicken, Pepsi-Co, and Kraft is simply killing us -slowly.
Rodale points to 31 completely pointless foods you can find in your grocery store, but we all know that there are thousands of toxic, genetically modified, high-fructose-corn syrup-containing, MSG-laden foods. The problem is that some of these foods are not so easily recognized.
Concerningly, most Americans have been tricked through brain-piercing marketing ploys into thinking these junk foods are healthful. For example, companies use terms like “healthy” or “natural” as a means to convince us it’s a good buy – this is one of many food tricks.
You know the modern food system is broken too, when even vegetables are now cause for concern – the GMO, pesticide-laden kind, that is.
So what can one do to counter-balance this literal food war? Start by eating unprocessed foods in organic form. It is really that simple. That, and growing your own food is essential. Eating better is the best weapon against the corporate coup which has us eating toxic junk straight into the hospital.
The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.
Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through the so-called “Militant Islamic Network,” of thousands of Mujahedin from the Muslim world.
The “Bosnian pattern” was then replicated in Kosovo, Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Among the foreign mercenaries fighting with the KLA-NLA in 2001 were Mujahedin from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union as well as “soldiers of fortune” from several NATO countries including Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army. Moreover, within the ranks of the jihadists, there were US military advisers and special forces.
What is important to underscore is that:
Two months before 9/11, US mercenaries on contract to the Pentagon were working hand in glove with jihadist terrorists affiliated to al Qaeda. This in itself is of crucial significance because it refutes “the theory of the blowback”. The latter was used profusely by the media in the wake of 9/11 to the effect that while Al Qaeda had been supported by the US in the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war, it had indelibly turned against its US sponsors. “We helped them [al Qaeda] and they went against us.” This argument was used to uphold the notion of the “outside enemy” which threatened America on September 11, 2001. What is documented in this July 2001 article is that two months before 9/11, the US military was firmly behind the Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists in Macedonia. Visibly the blowback theory is a lie. Al Qaeda is a construct of US intelligence.
In 2001, the US was officially waging a war against terrorism in the Balkans while providing weapons and money to the Al Qaeda affiliated brigades.
While Washington supplied National Liberation Army (NLA) terrorists with brand new weapons “Made in America,” some 3000 heavily armed NATO troops were given the mandate to “disarm the rebels” and enforce the cease-fire. Code-named “Essential Harvest,” this bogus “peacekeeping” operation under British command was intended to weaken the Macedonian Armed Forces and destabilize national institutions.
Documented beyond doubt, Washington was behind the terrorist assaults in Macedonia. While Secretary of State Colin Powell reaffirmed America’s resolve to “combat terrorism,” US military advisers were fighting alongside the NLA terrorists.
While US-NATO is now waging a crusade against the Islamic State, they are also financing and supporting the Islamic State brigades involved in countless atrocities in Iraq and Syria.
Obama’s ongoing war against the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq is a “copy and paste” of previous covert operations both “against” as well as “in support” of terrorist organizations.
In Macedonia in 2001, US mercenaries on contract to the Pentagon had integrated the NLA terror brigades. Similarly today, US and NATO Special Forces have integrated the ISIS brigades in Syria and Iraq, with Israel providing support to the Jihadists out of the Golan heights. The IDF top brass has acknowledged that “global jihad elements inside Syria” are supported by Israel.
Washington is fighting the terrorists while supporting the terrorists. And public opinion must accept the lies underlying this diabolical and criminal undertaking.
All the essential ingredients of US-NATO’s military design were previously used in the Balkans:
US Forces Protect the Terrorists,
US-NATO facilitates the recruitment of foreign mercenaries to join the ranks of jihadists.
The US sponsored terrorists commit countless atrocities
Ethnic cleansing and factional divisions with society emerge
The Terror attacks trigger a refugee crisis
The international community comes to the rescue
The end game is political fragmentation and balkanization.
It’s Déjà Vu.
Michel Chossudovsky, February 16, 2015
Washington Behind 2001 Terrorist Attacks in Macedonia
By Michel Chossudovsky
July 23, 2001
Since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest has become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress has revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through the so-called “Militant Islamic Network,” of thousands of Mujahedin from the Muslim world.11
The “Bosnian pattern” has since been replicated in Kosovo, Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Among the foreign mercenaries now fighting with the KLA-NLA are Mujahedin from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union as well as “soldiers of fortune” from several NATO countries including Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army.12
Also among NLA recruits are Albanian-American “volunteers” enlisted in New York with the tacit approval of the US government.13 In March 2001, the New York-based Albanian-language newspaper Bota Sot printed an advertisement of the National Liberation Army (NLA) “calling Albanians [in the US] to register as volunteers and to donate money.”14 Several hundred Albanian-Americans had formed an “Atlantic Brigade” which fought alongside the KLA in 1998 and 1999. In recent months, members of the “Atlantic Brigade” have reportedly joined the NLA.15
While Washington supplies National Liberation Army (NLA) terrorists with brand new weapons “Made in America,” some 3000 heavily armed NATO troops have been given the mandate to “disarm the rebels” and enforce the cease-fire. Code-named “Essential Harvest,” this bogus “peacekeeping” operation under British command is intended to weaken the Macedonian Armed Forces and destabilize national institutions.
” As much as their text ["peace plan"] is brutal, more brutal and worrying is the fashion in which they are trying to break up Macedonian state institutions,’ … All of the terrorist actions in Macedonia have been supported by the Western democracies… all threats and blackmails have been presented so far, except that NATO will conduct an air-strike on us.” ~Macedonian Prime Minister Mr. Ljubco Georgievski
It is now documented beyond doubt that Washington is behind the terrorist assaults in Macedonia. While Secretary of State Colin Powell reaffirms America’s resolve to “combat terrorism,” US military advisers are fighting alongside the NLA terrorists:
“Among the rebels that were withdrawing were 17 “instructors” – former US officers that provided military training for the rebels. Not only that: the Macedonian security forces claim that 70% of the equipment that the guerilla fighters took with them are of US production and the latter includes highly sophisticated third generation night vision devices.”1
US FORCES PROTECT THE TERRORISTS
In late June, the Macedonian ARM undertook a major assault against KLA-NLA positions in Aracinovo, a village close to Skopje. In a NATO sponsored operation which “was supposed to allow the Macedonian Army to gain significant rebel territory,” US troops were sent in to “evacuate” and “disarm” the terrorists:2
“When the terrorists were defeated and showed a white flag, the OSCE and NATO were in panic and ordered us [the Macedonian authorities] to stop immediately the [military] action. Swedish Foreign Minister Ana Lindth and the European leaders were hysterical, threatening us with economic sanctions, etc. Furthermore, the OSCE and KFOR entered Aracinovo and ‘saved’ 500 terrorists together with their weaponry and took them to another village from where they are now attacking again, killing civilians and undertaking ethnic cleansing in several Macedonian villages… NATO forbids us to defend ourselves when we are attacked; our territory is brutally abused by the terrorists. We have tried to defend ourselves, and they have saved the terrorists in air-conditioned buses. That has provoked harsh reaction of the Macedonian people.”3
The official “story” out of the US military base near Skopje was: “[Sorry]…but something went wrong”:4
“A confidential source at Camp Able Sentry [US base near Skopje] says the bus convoy [evacuating the terrorists] was stopped by tanks manned by NLA rebels … and the rebels left the buses and disappeared. ‘Now we have some extremely angry Macedonians on our hands,’ the American official said.”5
The same source stated that the rebels “were escorted by lightly armed American troops,” conveying the impression that the highly trained American GIs of the 502nd Infantry division could not do anything against “the tanks manned by NLA rebels” which had entrapped the bus convoy.6 The ambush story is a fabrication, for one KLA-NLA rebels do not have tanks in their arsenal.
OPENING A NEW FRONT
The US sponsored “evacuation” from Aracinavo had enabled the NLA terrorists – together with their American military advisers and foreign mercenaries – “to open up a new front” around the village of Radusa, 40 kilometers northwest of Skopje.7“They [NATO] are transporting the rebels, the terrorists, from one area to another and rearming them, instead of confiscating their weapons.”8 In turn, KFOR is “protecting” the NLA terrorists’ supply routes including the flow of military personnel and weapons from KLA-NLA bases in Kosovo and from training camps in Albania.
Sources in the U.S. Army in Kosovo suggest that the “evacuation” mission was also intent upon saving “the 17 ‘instructors’ among the withdrawing rebels,” presumably to avoid the diplomatic humiliation and media embarrassment of senior US military personnel captured together with the terrorists by the Macedonian Security Forces.9
Meanwhile, there are indications that US Apache helicopters and unmanned “predator” drone spy planes (UAV) (dispatched by a contingent of the US 15th Military Intelligence Battalion, stationed at Camp Able Sentry) are supporting this “new front” by transmitting military-intelligence to the rebel army’s US military advisers:
“The Pentagon… approved [mid March 2001] sending several unmanned spy planes to monitor the Kosovo-Macedonia border. The Air Force Predator unmanned drones can feed images immediately not only to troops in the region, but also to Washington.”10
And in the wake of the US sponsored “evacuation,” the KLA-NLA terrorists – together with their US military instructors – have renewed their attacks in the Tetovo region.
RECRUITING FOREIGN MERCENARIES
Since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest has become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress has revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment through the so-called “Militant Islamic Network,” of thousands of Mujahedin from the Muslim world.11
The “Bosnian pattern” has since been replicated in Kosovo, Southern Serbia and Macedonia. Among the foreign mercenaries now fighting with the KLA-NLA are Mujahedin from the Middle East and the Central Asian republics of the former Soviet Union as well as “soldiers of fortune” from several NATO countries including Britain, Holland and Germany. Some of these Western mercenaries had previously fought with the KLA and the Bosnian Muslim Army.12
Also among NLA recruits are Albanian-American “volunteers” enlisted in New York with the tacit approval of the US government.13 In March 2001, the New York-based Albanian-language newspaper Bota Sot printed an advertisement of the National Liberation Army (NLA) “calling Albanians [in the US] to register as volunteers and to donate money.”14 Several hundred Albanian-Americans had formed an “Atlantic Brigade” which fought alongside the KLA in 1998 and 1999. In recent months, members of the “Atlantic Brigade” have reportedly joined the NLA.15
THE UNITED NATIONS FUNDS THE TERRORISTS
Amply documented, the United Nations so-called “civilian” Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC) is the KLA in disguise, and the NLA is a proxy of the KLA. According to the Sunday Times: “Hundreds of KPC reservists were called up by their Albanian commander, Agim Ceku, in March . They subsequently disappeared to former KLA training camps in Albania and are now re-emerging in Macedonia.”16
NLA rebel Commander Ostremi was until recently Chief of Staff of the Kosovo Protection Corps (KPC). To maintain appearances, Washington has “blacklisted” the KPC commanders who joined the NLA. Washington’s so-called “blacklist” – which bars the former KPC commanders from entering the US – includes the names of “Commander Ostremi, his replacement as chief-of-staff at the KPC Commander Daut Haradinaj, the commander and deputy commander of the KPC’s elite force, the Rapid Reaction Corps, plus the leaders of two of its six regional divisions, Commander Sami Lushtaku and Commander Mustafa Rrustem…”17
From the horse’s mouth: Washington’s “blacklist” visibly refutes the claims of both the “international community” and the Western media mantra that “the NLA has no links to KLA.” In fact, the “blacklist” confirms that they are one and the same thing, with the same commanding officers in both the KPC and the NLA. Moreover, it also confirms that the terrorist assaults are led by military personnel paid by the United Nations.
When Commander Ostremi took leave from his UN job to lead the NLA, the UN “assumed he had gone on holiday.”18According to the Irish Times, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan failed to remove the NLA commanders from the United Nations payroll. The “international community” was still (early July) footing the bill under the disguise of UN “peacekeeping”:
.”..the United Nations says it will take no action against these five men [NLA commanders], all still serving officers [in the UN sponsored KPC] because Washington has yet to pass on details of what the men are supposed to have done.”19
This pattern of “financing terrorism” from the UN purse is nothing new. The former head of the UN Interim Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) Bernard Kouchner had established close personal ties with KLA Commander in Chief Agim Ceku, who in a bitter irony was on the list of “alleged war criminals” of the Hague Tribunal. But because he was wanted in relation to “crimes committed in Croatia” rather than Kosovo, this was not an issue in his appointment by the UN to the position of Commander in Chief of the KPC.20
An independent report submitted to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan in 2000 confirmed that the KPC had been involved in “criminal activities – killings, ill-treatment/torture, illegal policing, abuse of authority, intimidation, breaches of political neutrality and hate speech.”21 In a cruel irony, “the United Nations is paying the salaries of many of the gangsters.”22
But what the report fails to mention, however, is that barely two months after the official inauguration of the KPC under UN auspices (September 1999), KPC-KLA commanders – using UN resources and equipment – were already preparing the assaults into Macedonia, as a logical follow-up to their terrorist activities in Kosovo. According to the Skopje daily Dnevnik, the KPC had established a “sixth operation zone” which:
“included Presevo, Bujanovac, Medvedja [in Southern Serbia] and Macedonian villages in the area of Skopska Crna Gora, Lojane, Vaksince, Straza and Lipkovo… Sources, who insist on anonymity, claim that headquarters of Kosovo protection brigades [directly linked to the UN sponsored KPC] have [March 2000] already been formed in Tetovo, Gostivar and Skopje. They are being prepared in Debar and Struga [on the border with Albania] as well, and their members have defined codes.”23
According to the BBC, “Western special forces were still training the guerrillas” meaning that they were assisting the KLA in opening up “a new front” in Southern Serbia and Macedonia.24
LINKS TO ORGANISED CRIME
Also acknowledged by official US sources as well as by numerous press reports are the links of the KLA-NLA to powerful criminal syndicates involved in the Balkans’ multi-billion dollar drug trade. Albanian and Kosovar criminal organizations are providing “a very significant support to them [the NLA terrorists in Macedonia].”25 These criminal groups are also involved in the traffic of Albanian women into prostitution in several European countries including Britain, Italy and Germany. And part of the proceeds of these illicit activities is used to arm and equip the KLA-NLA terrorists.
In other words, in providing support to the KLA-NLA, Washington (not to mention the United Nations) is indirectly upholding the organised criminal-business syndicates which are behind the terrorists.
TREASON WITHIN THE MACEDONIAN SECURITY FORCES
In April, the Commander in Chief of the Macedonian Armed Forces (ARM) General Andrejevski was accused by A1 TV Skopje of having transmitted military intelligence to the NLA through MPRI General Richard Griffiths, who is director of the US “equip and train” program with the Macedonian ARM under a US military aid programme.26 Sixteen senior (retired) US military officers are advising the ARM.
But it so happens that the same US mercenary outfit on contract to the Macedonian ARM is also assisting the NLA rebels in their terrorist assaults. In other words, Washington is arming and advising both the KLA attackers and the Macedonian defenders under military and intelligence authorization acts approved by the US Congress. MPRI is helping Macedonia – as part of a US military aid package – “to deter armed aggression and defend Macedonian territory.” But MPRI is also advising and equipping the KLA, which is responsible for the terrorist assaults. In this war, the American military-intelligence apparatus is pulling strings “on both sides of the fence.”27
Faced with mounting pressure, General Andrejevski has since given up his position as Commander in Chief of the ARM. But immediately following his resignation, Andrejevski was appointed “Military Adviser” to President Trajkovski, while maintaining his personal links with MPRI`s Richard Griffith who is still in Skopje, responsible for channeling US “military aid” on behalf of the Pentagon. In other words, the US military establishment is still involved on both sides, advising the NLA as well as “assisting” the Macedonian ARM. The ultimate objective of this military-intelligence ploy is to prevent the Macedonian ARM from defeating the terrorists.
CIVIL SOCIETY PLOY
Despite the barrage of media falsehoods, Macedonian citizens are fully aware that Washington is supporting the terrorists. To diffuse public resentment, several Western “foundations” and “human rights organisations” – including the International Crisis Group (ICG) and Human Rights Watch (HRW) are working closely with local citizens groups in Macedonia. While their formal mandate is in the areas of “confidence building,” “governance,” “peace-making” and “inter-ethnic reconciliation,” in practice, they work hand in glove with NATO. They are an integral part of the military-intelligence ploy. The role of these front organisations is to ensure that public resentment is directed against the Macedonian government and Military rather than against Washington, NATO or the IMF.28
The Open Society Institute (OSI) in Skopje, controlled by Wall Street financier George Soros is also playing a central role in manipulating and ultimately weakening the civilian protest movement.29 OSI in Macedonia has launched an “Appeal for Peace” endorsed by a large number of Macedonian organisations. (More than 300 organisations and individuals have signed the OSI “Appeal for Peace”). In other words, Soros’ OSI in Skopje hosts and finances the citizens’ movement against terrorism while carefully omitting to mention the causes of terrorism.
Moreover, George Soros is also part of the Wall Street financial establishment which is colonising the Balkans. And this “economic conquest” by American financial interests is supported by the US military-intelligence apparatus, which is funneling covert support to the terrorists.
While the West finances ”peace” and “reconciliation” initatives in Macedonia, he also supports the KLA. Across the border in Kosovo, the Soros sponsored Kosova Foundation for an Open Society (KFOS) is funding the activities of “local governments” controlled by KLA appointees. This assistance was initially channeled through a World Bank “Post Conflict Trust Fund,” of which 90 percent of the financing is controlled by George Soros.30
Needless to say, Soros is close to the seat of political power in the US, he works hand in glove with the World Bank and has significant economic interests in the Balkans. His Open Society Institute is also supporting the “alternative media” in Macedonia with all the appearances of purporting to advance “democracy” and “freedom of the press.”
NATO SPONSORED REFUGEE CRISIS
The refugee crisis has been deliberately triggered by the US sponsored terrorist assaults. Both Macedonian and Albanian civilians are among the victims. More than 100,000 people are affected. According to the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) some 73,800 people have crossed the border into Kosovo, and another 34,500 people are “internally displaced” within Macedonia.31 In Albanian villages occupied by the rebels, Albanian civilians rather than being “protected” by NLA “freedom fighters” are often the object of intimidation and reprisals.
In villages inhabited by Macedonians in the Tetovo region, ethnic cleansing is being implemented in the presence of US military personnel who are advising rebel commanders. The KLA-NLA is reported to “have committed unprecedented acts of terror against the inhabitants, forcing them to leave the villages completely. The displaced persons from [these] villages have strongly criticized the OSCE and the International Committee of the Red Cross – whose representatives have consistently avoided contact with the residents of these Tetovo villages.”32
Entire communities are uprooted. According to the UNHCR, the majority of the refugees crossing into Kosovo are women, children and elderly men. Other reports suggest that the terrorists are enlisting ethnic Albanian men to join the KLA-NLA often through force and intimidation. The evidence suggests that those who refuse face serious reprisals.33 The pattern in this regard, is very similar to what occurred in Kosovo in 1999 where entire villages were uprooted.34
Washington is indelibly behind the process of ethnic cleansing in Macedonia. It is worth mentioning in this regard that MPRI (the mercenary outfit working with the KLA-NLA) was on contract with the Croatian Armed Forces in 1995, in charge of the ethnic cleansing and civilian massacres directed against the Serb population in the Krajina region of Croatia. In this regard, MPRI was working closely with Commander Agim Ceku, who at the time was a Brigadier General in the Croatian Armed Forces. Ceku was not only one of the key planners of “Operation Storm,” he was also commander of the artillery division responsible for shelling Krajina Serb civilians. It is no wonder that the pattern in Macedonia is similar to that of Krajina and Kosovo.35
The same commanding officers from the KLA and the MPRI are now involved in the terrorist assaults and ethnic cleansing in Macedonia. “Protected” by American and British troops stationed in Kosovo and Macedonia, the KLA-NLA rebels now control a significant portion of Macedonian territory.
BOGUS PEACE PLAN
Washington’s design is to prevent the Macedonian Security Forces from fighting the rebels and protecting its borders. In other words, the hidden agenda of the EU-US brokered “peace plan” is to gain time, drag out the conflict, keep the Macedonian Security Forces in the barracks while continuing to arm and equip the rebels. And this gruesome military-intelligence ploy is possible because the Macedonian President and part of his entourage are puppets of the US. Moreover, the MPRI, which is actively advising the NLA, is still on contract with the Macedonian government “helping the Macedonian Armed Forces.”
Meanwhile General Andrejevski, who recently resigned his position as ARM Commander in Chief, is still in charge as “military adviser” to the President, acting on behalf of the MPRI and the Pentagon.
In other words, key senior military officers in the ARM are collaborating with the enemy, against the lower ranking officers and the ARM rank and file who are fighting for their country. Despite the divisions within the government, Prime Minister Mr. Ljubco Georgievski, has openly accused US envoy James Pardew and EU’s Francois Leotard of “forcing Macedonia to cave in to demands from Albanian guerrillas”:36
“It becomes obvious that all of the terrorist actions in Macedonia have been supported by the western democracies. Now, we practically have 95% of Ali Ahmeti’s [the NLA leader] document on the table. It is clear that the international community has decided on its position beforehand, and now it is trying to realize it in Macedonia.”37
“‘As much as their text is brutal, more brutal and worrying is the fashion in which they are trying to break up Macedonian state institutions,’ Mr. Georgievski said … The Prime Minister further stated that the proposed peace package constituted ‘a serious interference in the internal affairs of the Republic of Macedonia’… Asked about the extent of pressure Macedonia could sustain, Georgievski said all threats and blackmails had been presented so far, ‘except that NATO will conduct an air-strike on us.’ “38
THE ANGLO-AMERICAN AXIS
In the negotiation of the “peace plan,” the Anglo-US position has prevailed over that of France and Germany. In this regard, Prime Minister Georgievski “underlined that the French expert in law [former Minister of Justice] Robert Badinter was brutally eliminated from the political process,” meaning that his recommendations on constitutional reform were turned down by James Pardew in consultation with NLA leader Ali Ahmeti.39
Although NATO is not formally part of the EU-US “mediation,” EU High Representative Javier Solana (who occupied the position of Secretary General of NATO during the 1999 bombings of Yugoslavia) has been working hand in glove with his successor at NATO Lord George Robertson. In turn, British Ambassador Mark Dickinson was appointed in May by Solana to act on his behalf in Skopje. British paratroopers and Special Forces – -which trained the KLA in 1999 – are slated to lead the bogus “Essential Harvest” operation to “disarm the rebels.”
Increasingly, the corridors of international diplomacy has been taken over by military-intelligence officials with previous experience in Bosnia and Kosovo. James Pardew started his Balkans career in 1993 as a senior intelligence officer for the Joint Chiefs of Staff responsible for channeling US aid to the Bosnian Muslim Army. Coronel Pardew had been put in charge of arranging the “air-drops” of supplies to Bosnian forces, working closely with the Chairman of the National Security Council Anthony Lake.40 NATO’s Peter Feith who has been “put in charge of contacts with the [KLA-NLA] guerillas” is a longstanding “colleague” of James Pardew. He was political advisor to the IFOR High Command in Bosnia in the mid-1990s.41
REPLICATING BOSNIA AND KOSOVO
America’s “mediator” James Pardew has been given the mandate to replicate the Bosnia-Kosovo pattern. In this regard, Washington’s military-intelligence ploy is to fracture Macedonian territory, foster internal social divisions and fuel ethnic strife. The design is to destroy all social and political ties between Albanians and Macedonians, who have coexisted for more than a half a century within a multiethnic society. These socio-ethnic divisions are deliberately created so as to curb all forms of social resistance. More importantly, they want to prevent the development of a broader “common front” against the enemy.
The US sponsored terrorist assaults as well as the bogus “peace plan” are intent upon eventually splitting up the country and transforming Macedonia into a NATO protectorate. Operation “Essential Harvest” to be led by British parachutists would constitute a first step towards a military occupation of Macedonian territory. NATO forces are not only protecting the rebels in the territories under their control, MPRI advisers on contract to the Pentagon are assisting in the implementation of “ethnic cleansing” in these territories. In the latter, Macedonian State institutions are no longer functioning.
In other words, the territories under KLA-NLA control – which border Kosovo – are de facto under the jurisdiction of NATO. Moreover, there are indications that the KLA – with NATO support – may attempt to trigger a unilateral secession of Kosovo from Yugoslavia. This would not only heighten the political crisis in Belgrade, it would also raise the issue of the political status of the territories occupied by the KLA-NLA from which the Macedonian population has been expulsed (much in the same way as the Serbs were expulsed from Kosovo). In this design, NATO’s intent is clear, it consists in fracturing and destroying Macedonia as a country.
New York Times, 19 March 2001. In March 2001, the New York-based Albanian-language newspaper Bota Sot printed an advertisement by the National Liberation Army (NLA) “calling Albanians [in the US] to register as volunteers and to donate money.” See The Guardian, London, 20 March 2001.
In this regard, recent evidence suggests that the KLA was instrumental in uprooting the civilian population in Kosovo during the 1999 bombing of Yugoslavia. See Jared Israel, What’s Behind KLA Strategy in the Balkans? Emperors Clothes, and the interview with Kosovo historian Chedomir Pralinchevich, May 2001.
President Barack Obama has initiated a series of US bombing raids in Iraq allegedly directed towards the rebel army of the Islamic State (IS).
The Islamic State terrorists are portrayed as an enemy of America and the Western world. Amply documented, the Islamic State is a creation of Western intelligence, supported by the CIA and Israel’s Mossad and financed by Saudi Arabia and Qatar.
We are dealing with a diabolical military agenda whereby the United States is targeting a rebel army which is directly funded by the US and its allies. The incursion into Iraq of the Islamic State rebels in late June was part of a carefully planned intelligence operation.
The rebels of the Islamic state, formerly known as the ISIS, were covertly supported by US-NATO-Israel to wage a terrorist insurgency against the Syrian government of Bashar Al Assad. The atrocities committed in Iraq are similar to those committed in Syria. The sponsors of IS including Barack Obama have blood on their hands.
The killings of innocent civilians by the Islamic state terrorists create a pretext and the justification for US military intervention on humanitarian grounds. Lest we forget, the rebels who committed these atrocities and who are a target of US military action are supported by the United States.
The bombing raids ordered by Obama are not intended to eliminate the terrorists. Quite the opposite, the US is targeting the civilian population as well as the Iraqi resistance movement.
The endgame is to destabilize Iraq as a nation state and trigger its partition into three separate entities.
August 9, 2014
* * *
The creation of the US sponsored Islamist Caliphate has been announced. The Islamic State of Iraq and Al Cham (ISIS) has been replaced by the Islamic State (IS). The Islamic State is not an independent political entity. It is a construct of US intelligence.
The Western media in chorus have described the unfolding conflict in Iraq as a “civil war” opposing the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham against the Armed forces of the Al-Maliki government.
(Also referred to as Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS))
The conflict is casually described as “sectarian warfare” between Radical Sunni and Shia without addressing “who is behind the various factions”. What is at stake is a carefully staged US military-intelligence agenda.
Known and documented, Al Qaeda affiliated entities have been used by US-NATO in numerous conflicts as “intelligence assets” since the heyday of the Soviet-Afghan war. In Syria, the Al Nusrah and ISIS rebels are the foot-soldiers of the Western military alliance, which oversees and controls the recruitment and training of paramilitary forces.
The Al Qaeda affiliated Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) re-emerged in April 2013 with a different name and acronym, commonly referred to as the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The formation of a terrorist entity encompassing both Iraq and Syria was part of a US intelligence agenda. It responded to geopolitical objectives. It also coincided with the advances of Syrian government forces against the US sponsored insurgency in Syria and the failures of both the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and its various “opposition” terror brigades.
The decision was taken by Washington to channel its support (covertly) in favor of a terrorist entity which operates in both Syria and Iraq and which has logistical bases in both countries. The Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham’s Sunni caliphate project coincides with a longstanding US agenda to carve up both Iraq and Syria into three separate territories: A Sunni Islamist Caliphate, an Arab Shia Republic, and a Republic of Kurdistan.
Whereas the (US proxy) government in Baghdad purchases advanced weapons systems from the US including F16 fighter jets from Lockheed Martin, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham –which is fighting Iraqi government forces– is supported covertly by Western intelligence. The objective is to engineer a civil war in Iraq, in which both sides are controlled indirectly by US-NATO.
The scenario is to arm and equip them, on both sides, finance them with advanced weapons systems and then “let them fight”.
US-NATO is involved in the recruitment, training and financing of ISIS death squads operating in both Iraq and Syria. ISIS operates through indirect channels in liaison with Western intelligence. In turn, corroborated by reports on Syria’s insurgency, Western special forces and mercenaries integrate the ranks of ISIS.
US-NATO support to ISIS is channeled covertly through America’s staunchest allies: Qatar and Saudi Arabia. According to London’s Daily Express “They had money and arms supplied by Qatar and Saudi Arabia.”
“through allies such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the West [has] supported militant rebel groups which have since mutated into ISIS and other al‑Qaeda connected militias. ( Daily Telegraph, June 12, 2014)
While the media acknowledges that the government of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has accused Saudi Arabia and Qatar of supporting ISIS, it invariably fails to mention that both Doha and Riyadh are acting on behalf and in close liaison with Washington.
Under the banner of a civil war, an undercover war of aggression is being fought which essentially contributes to further destroying an entire country, its institutions, its economy. The undercover operation is part of an intelligence agenda, an engineered process which consists in transforming Iraq into an open territory.
Meanwhile, public opinion is led to believe that what is at stake is confrontation between Shia and Sunni.
America’s military occupation of Iraq has been replaced by non-conventional forms of warfare. Realities are blurred. In a bitter irony, the aggressor nation is portrayed as coming to the rescue of a “sovereign Iraq”.
An internal “civil war” between Shia and Sunni is fomented by US-NATO support to both the Al-Maliki government as well as to the Sunni ISIS rebels.
The break up of Iraq along sectarian lines is a longstanding policy of the US and its allies. (See map of Middle East below)
“Supporting both Sides”
The “War on Terrorism” consists in creating Al Qaeda terrorist entities as part of an intelligence operation, as well as also coming to the rescue of governments which are the target of the terrorist insurgency. This process is carried out under the banner of counter-terrorism. It creates the pretext to intervene.
ISIS is a caliphate project of creating a Sunni Islamist state. It is not a project of the Sunni population of Iraq which is broadly committed to secular forms of government. The caliphate project is part of a US intelligence agenda.
In response to the advance of the ISIS rebels, Washington is envisaging the use of aerial bombings as well as drone attacks in support of the Baghdad government as part of a counter-terrorism operation. It is all for a good cause: to fight the terrorists, without of course acknowledging that these terrorists are the “foot soldiers” of the Western military alliance.
Needless to say, these developments contribute not only to destabilizing Iraq, but also to weakening the Iraqi resistance movement, which is one of the major objectives of US-NATO.
The Islamic caliphate is supported covertly by the CIA in liaison with Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkish intelligence. Israel is also involved in channeling support to both Al Qaeda rebels in Syria (out of the Golan Heights) as well to the Kurdish separatist movement in Syria and Iraq.
More broadly, the “Global War on Terrorism” (GWOT) encompasses a consistent and diabolical logic: both sides –namely the terrorists and the government– are supported by the same military and intelligence actors, namely US-NATO.
While this pattern describes the current situation in Iraq, the structure of “supporting both sides” with a view to engineering sectarian conflict has been implemented time and again in numerous countries. Insurgencies integrated by Al Qaeda operatives (and supported by Western intelligence) prevail in a large number of countries including Yemen, Libya, Nigeria, Somalia, Mali, the Central African Republic, Pakistan. The endgame is to destabilize sovereign nation states and to transform countries into open territories (on behalf of so-called foreign investors).
The pretext to intervene on humanitarian grounds (e.g. in Mali, Nigeria or the Central African Republic) is predicated on the existence of terrorist forces. Yet these terrorist forces would not exist without covert US-NATO support.
The Capture of Mosul: US-NATO Covert Support to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS)
Something unusual occurred in Mosul which cannot be explained in strictly military terms.
On June 10, the insurgent forces of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) allegedly (according to press reports) captured Mosul, Iraq’s second largest city, with a population of over one million people. While these developments were “unexpected” according to the Obama administration, they were known to the Pentagon and US intelligence, which were not only providing weapons, logistics and financial support to the ISIS rebels, they were also coordinating, behind the scenes, the ISIS attack on the city of Mosul.
While ISIS is a well equipped and disciplined rebel army when compared to other Al Qaeda affiliated formations, “the capture” of Mosul, did not hinge upon ISIS’s military capabilities. Quite the opposite: Iraqi forces which outnumbered the rebels by far, equipped with advanced weapons systems could have easily repelled the ISIS rebels.
There were 30,000 government forces in Mosul as opposed to 1000 ISIS rebels, according to reports. The Iraqi army chose not to intervene. The media reports explained without evidence that the decision of the Iraqi armed forces not to intervene was spontaneous characterized by mass defections.
Iraqi officials told the Guardian that two divisions of Iraqi soldiers – roughly 30,000 men – simply turned and ran in the face of the assault by an insurgent force of just 800 fighters. Isis extremists roamed freely on Wednesday through the streets of Mosul, openly surprised at the ease with which they took Iraq’s second largest city after three days of sporadic fighting. (Guardian, June 12, 2014, emphasis added)
The reports point to the fact that Iraqi military commanders were sympathetic with the Sunni led ISIS insurgency intimating that they are largely Sunni:
Speaking from the Kurdish city of Erbil, the defectors accused their officers of cowardice and betrayal, saying generals in Mosul “handed over” the city over to Sunni insurgents, with whom they shared sectarian and historical ties. (Daily Telegraph, 13 June 2014)
The report is misleading. The senior commanders were largely hardline Shiite. The defections occurred de facto when the command structure collapsed and senior (Shiite) military commanders left the city.
What is important to understand, is that both sides, namely the regular Iraqi forces and the ISIS rebel army are supported by US-NATO. There were US military advisers and special forces including operatives from private security companies on location in Mosul working with Iraq’s regular armed forces. In turn, there are Western special forces or mercenaries within ISIS (acting on contract to the CIA or the Pentagon) who are in liaison with US-NATO (e.g. through satellite phones).
Under these circumstances, with US intelligence amply involved, there would have been routine communication, coordination, logistics and exchange of intelligence between a US-NATO military and intelligence command center, US-NATO military advisers forces or private military contractors on the ground assigned to the Iraqi Army in Mosul and Western special forces attached to the ISIS brigades. These Western special forces operating covertly within the ISIS could have been dispatched by a private security company on contract to US-NATO.
Yaser Al-Khodor/Courtesy Reuters
In this regard, the capture of Mosul appears to have been a carefully engineered operation, planned well in advance. With the exception of a few skirmishes, no fighting took place.
Entire divisions of the Iraqi National Army –trained by the US military with advanced weapons systems at their disposal– could have easily repelled the ISIS rebels. Reports suggest that they were ordered by their commanders not to intervene. According to witnesses, “Not a single shot was fired”.
The forces that had been in Mosul have fled — some of which abandoned their uniforms as well as their posts as the ISIS forces swarmed into the city.
A contingent of one thousand ISIS rebels takes over a city of more than one million? Without prior knowledge that the US controlled Iraqi Army (30,000 strong) would not intervene, the Mosul operation would have fallen flat, the rebels would have been decimated.
Who was behind the decision to let the ISIS terrorists take control of Mosul? Who gave them the “green light”
Had the senior Iraqi commanders been instructed by their Western military advisers to hand over the city to the ISIS terrorists? Were they co-opted?
Source: The Economist
Was the handing over of Mosul to ISIS part of a US intelligence agenda?
Were the Iraqi military commanders manipulated or paid off into allowing the city to fall into the hands of the ISIS rebels without “a single shot being fired”.
Shiite General Mehdi Sabih al-Gharawi who was in charge of the Mosul Army divisions “had left the city”. Al Gharawi had worked hand in glove with the US military. He took over the command of Mosul in September 2011, from US Col Scott McKean. Had he been co-opted, instructed by his US counterparts to abandon his command?
(image left) U.S. Army Col. Scott McKean, right, commander, 4th Advise and Assist Brigade, 1st Armored Division, talks with Iraqi police Maj. Gen. Mahdi Sabih al-Gharawi following a transfer of authority ceremony on September 4, 2011
US forces could have intervened. They had been instructed to let it happen. It was part of a carefully planned agenda to facilitate the advance of the ISIS rebel forces and the installation of the ISIS caliphate.
The whole operation appears to have been carefully staged.
In Mosul, government buildings, police stations, schools, hospitals, etc are formally now under the control of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS). In turn, ISIS has taken control of military hardware including helicopters and tanks which were abandoned by the Iraqi armed forces.
What is unfolding is the installation of a US sponsored Islamist ISIS caliphate alongside the rapid demise of the Baghdad government. Meanwhile, the Northern Kurdistan region has de facto declared its independence from Baghdad. Kurdish peshmerga rebel forces (which are supported by Israel) have taken control of the cities of Arbil and Kirkuk. (See map above)
UPDATE [June 17, 2014]
Since the completion of this article, information has emerged on the central role played by the Sunni Tribes and sections of the former Baathist movement (including the military) in taking control of Mosul and other cities. The control of Mosul is in the hands of several Sunni opposition groups and the ISIS.
While these forces — which constitute an important component of the resistance movement directed against the al-Maliki government– are firmly opposed to ISIS, a de facto “relationship” has nonetheless emerged between the ISIS and the Sunni resistance movement.
The fact that the US is firmly behind ISIS does not seem to be a matter of concern to the Tribal Council:
Sheikh Zaydan al Jabiri, leader of the political wing of the Tribal Revolutionary Council, told Sky News his organisation viewed ISIS as dangerous terrorists, and that it was capable of taking them on.
“Even this blessed revolution that has taken place in Mosul, there may be jihadist movements involved in it, but the revolution represents all the Iraqi people – it has been brought about by the Sunni tribes, and some baathist elements, it certainly does not belong to ISIS,” he said.
But Mr Jabiri, [based in Amman]… also made a clear threat that without Western help, the tribes and ISIS may be forced to combine efforts targeting their shared enemy – the Shia-dominated Iraqi government. (Sky News, emphasis added)
An exiled leader of the Iraqi resistance movement calling for “Western help” from the aggressor nation? From the above statement, one has the distinct impression that the Tribal Revolutionary Council has been co-opted and/or infiltrated.
Moreover, in a bitter irony, within sectors of the Sunni resistance movement, US-NATO which supports both the Al Maliki government and the ISIS terrorists– is no longer considered the main aggressor nation.
The Sunni resistance movement broadly considers Iran, which is providing military assistance to the al-Maliki government as well as special forces- as the aggressor alongside the US.
In turn, it would appear that Washington is creating conditions for sucking Iran more deeply into the conflict, under the pretext of joining hands in fighting ISIS terrorism. During talks in Vienna on June 16, US and Iranian officials agreed “to work together to halt ISIS’s momentum—though with no military coordination, the White House stressed”.(WSJ, June 16, 2014)
In chorus The US media applauds: “The US and Iran have a mutual interest in stemming the advance of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS)” (Christian Science Monitor, June 13 2014). An absurd proposition knowing that the ISIS is a creature of US intelligence, financed by the Western military alliance, with Western special forces in its ranks.
Is a regional conflict involving Iran in the making?
Tehran is using the ISIS pretext as an “opportunity” to intervene in Iraq: Iran’s intelligence is fully aware that ISIS is a terrorist proxy controlled by the CIA.
There were no Al Qaeda rebels in Iraq prior to the 2003 invasion. Moreover, Al Qaeda was non-existent in Syria until the outset of the US-NATO-Israeli supported insurgency in March 2011.
The ISIS is not an independent entity. It is a creation of US intelligence. It is a US intelligence asset, an instrument of non-conventional warfare.
The ultimate objective of this ongoing US-NATO engineered conflict opposing the al-Maliki government forces to the ISIS insurgency is to destroy and destabilize Iraq as a Nation State. It is part of an intelligence operation, an engineered process of transforming countries into territories. The break up of Iraq along sectarian lines is a longstanding policy of the US and its allies.
The ISIS is a caliphate project of creating a Sunni Islamist state. It is not a project of the Sunni population of Iraq which historically has been committed to a secular system of government. The caliphate project is a US design. The advances of ISIS forces is intended to garnish broad support within the Sunni population directed against the al-Maliki government
Through its covert support of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, Washington is overseeing the demise of its own proxy regime in Baghdad. The issue, however, is not “regime change”, nor is the “replacement” of the al-Maliki regime contemplated.
The division of Iraq along sectarian-ethnic lines has been on the drawing board of the Pentagon for more than 10 years.
What is envisaged by Washington is the outright suppression of the Baghdad regime and the institutions of the central government, leading to a process of political fracturing and the elimination of Iraq as a country.
This process of political fracturing in Iraq along sectarian lines will inevitably have an impact on Syria, where the US-NATO sponsored terrorists have in large part been defeated.
Destabilization and political fragmentation in Syria is also contemplated: Washington’s intent is no longer to pursue the narrow objective of “regime change” in Damascus. What is contemplated is the break up of both Iraq and Syria along sectarian-ethnic lines.
The formation of the caliphate may be the first step towards a broader conflict in the Middle East, bearing in mind that Iran is supportive of the al-Maliki government and the US ploy may indeed be to encourage the intervention of Iran.
The proposed re-division of both Iraq and Syria is broadly modeled on that of the Federation of Yugoslavia which was split up into seven “independent states” (Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia (FYRM), Slovenia, Montenegro, Kosovo).
According to Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya, the re division of Iraq into three separate states is part of a broader process of redrawing the Map of the Middle East.
The above map was prepared by Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters. It was published in the Armed Forces Journal in June 2006, Peters is a retired colonel of the U.S. National War Academy. (Map Copyright Lieutenant-Colonel Ralph Peters 2006).
This year in November (21st) is going to be the 20th anniversary of the 1995 Dayton Peace Accord – a treaty signed by four Presidents (the USA, Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina) that led to an end of the civil war in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
As a result of the Dayton Peace Accord a new “independent and internationally recognized state” emerged: Bosnia-Herzegovina as a confederation of two political entities (the Republic of Srpska and the Muslim-Croat Federation) but ethnically strictly divided into three segments composed by the Serb, Croat and Muslim (today Boshnjak) controlled territories. In contrast to the Republic of Srpska (49% of the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina) the Muslim (Boshnjak)-Croat Federation is cantonized on the ethnic basis.
However, Bosnia-Herzegovina is today just another non-functional western project – a country that is not independent; it is a Western protectorate, a territory, fully dependent on international financial donations and credits. The country is ethnically divided as imposed by US-NATO without any inter-ethnic cooperation between the three leading ethnic groups.
Nevertheless, one of the most important features of post-war Bosnia-Herzegovina is a creation and existence of a new ethnolinguistic and ethnonational identity – the (Muslim) “Boshnjaks” who speak the “Bosnian” language as a separate and independent language from the family of the South Slavic languages. This is an artificial construct with a view to creating ethnic and linguistic divisions.
The political consequences of the “Boshnjak” project are of international significance: this ethnonational identity is based Islam and Muslim political ideology as all other identity components, including the language which in the 1980s was Serbo-Croatian. Subsequently, the Muslim Boshnjaks accepted all components of political Islam ideology and as a consequence the world is today faced with the fact that the Muslim part (cantons) of Bosnia-Herzegovina is the first European Islamic State (the second one is Muslim Albanian Kosovo) – a country that is a main European recruitment center for the Middle East Jihad fighters.
Nevertheless, the political project of making the “Boshnjak” ethnonation required and the creation of a separate ethnolanguage for such ethnonation in order to prove that the Boshnjaks deserved to be treated as a separate nation with their own independent state.
The object of this article is to present the process of making separate (from Serbian, Croatian and Montenegrin) Boshnjak ethnolinguistic national identity by using the technique of “linguistic engineering/chirurgic” in the process of creation of an independent (from Serbian/Montenegrin and Croatian) Bosnian language as a national language of Bosnian-Herzegovinian South Slavic Muslims (former speakers of common Serbo-Croat language). We will present as well the ways in which various elements of linguistic diversity within former Serbo-Croat language have been “emblematized” and taken as markers of ethnonational and political identity of Muslim Boshnjaks in multicultural/multiconfessional Bosnia-Herzegovina from 1993, when official Boshnjak ethnonational identity was introduced, up today.
The relationship between language, nation and state is a part of an ideological composition either in Bosnia-Herzegovina or in the rest of the Balkans (similarly to majority of European regions). Bosnia-Herzegovina is a Balkan historical province where the consequences of the clash between national ideologies, which are both domestically rooted and imported from outside with more or less autonomous currents of thinking and behaviour, have been deep and extreme.
Imported ideology of the 19th century German Romanticism of linguistically rooted ethnonational identity and solving the national-state problem (“Eine sprache, ein folk, ein staat”) is fused with more autonomous currents that were heavily imbued with “bloody memories” from WWII and resulted in what is labelled to be “post-Communist nationalism”. Such amalgamation became a basis for the creation of increasingly homogeneous states with rejuvenation of inter-ethnic intolerance.
The land of Bosnia-Herzegovina is probably the best Balkan example of a crucial interface between language and nationalism. For the purpose that they are separate nations all three major ethnoconfessional players in Bosnia-Herzegovina legally proclaimed their own national languages to be disconnected with Serbo-Croatian. That was of especial importance to the Muslims/Boshnjaks as without “evidence” that their native language is different from Serbian and Croatian they will hardly convince the international community that they are not originally Serbs or Croats, which was a crucial justification of their claims to live in internationally independent “national” state organization.
The Bosnian language (de facto of only Muslim Boshnjaks), as a separate (South) Slavic one, was officially inaugurated in 1996 by publishing the book: S. Halilović, Pravopis bosanskog jezika (Orthography of Bosnian Language) in the capital of Bosnia-Herzegovina – Sarajevo. According to the Orthography… (and other similar publications), Bosnian language is different in comparison with “relative” Serbian and Croatian because of the following main reasons:
The use of phoneme “h” in certain words differently from Serbian, Croatian and Montenegrin. For instance, the word “coffee” is written and pronounced in these languages as: in Bosnian: kahva; Serbian/Montenegrin: кафа/kafa; Croatian: kava; in Bosnian hudovica (widow), in Serbian/Croatian udovica, etc.
Greater use of “Turkish” words (i.e. of Oriental origin) like ahbab (friend); amidža (uncle); adet (custom/habit), akšam (twilight), etc. (all of these words are known in Serbian, Montenegrin and Croatian languages but not used regularly as they are replaced by the Slavic words).
Using of only one form of the Future tense: “ja ću kupiti/kupit ću” (I will buy) that is used in standard Croatian as well, but no use of forms “купићу/ја ћу да купим” as in standard Serbian/Montenegrin.
The use of Ijekavian sub-dialect of the Shtokavian dialect but not the Ekavian one of the same dialect. However, Ijekavian sub-dialect is used in spoken and standard language by all Serbs, Croats and Boshnjaks westward from Drina River (historically and politically separating Serbia from Bosnia-Herzegovina) and by Serbs in Western Serbia and by all Slavs in Montenegro.
Nominally, the Bosnian language is written in both Latin and Cyrillic scripts. However, in practice it is only in Latin (like Croatian) for the purpose to break any link with the Serbs for whom the Cyrillic script is (by language law) the first, while Latin is the second national alphabet.
It has to be emphasised that Croatian, Bosnian, Montenegrin and Serbian Latin script is identical. In a historical context, the native language of the inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina (claimed to be Bosnian one) was written by three alphabets: “latinica” (Latin), “bosančica/bosanica” (Cyrillic) and “arabica” (Arabic). However, with regard to “bosančica”, the fact that this script came to mediaeval Bosnia-Herzegovina from Serbia and during the Ottoman rule is not recognized. It was known within the Bosnian Muslim feudal circles as “Old Serbia” up to the mid-19th century. At the same time Croatian philology claims that “bosančica” is Croatian national Cyrillic script. By “arabica”, undoubtedly, it was written in one of the most beautiful profane lyric, religious and fine literature – “književnost adžamijska”.
Regardless of official domestic and international recognition of a separate Bosnian language, linguistically speaking, grammar and spelling of Serbian, Montenegrin, Croatian and Bosnian languages are broadly the same.  It shows that all four of them have the same origin, process of development and linguistic essence. Even the fact that there are 8% of lexical differences between them does not imply practical obstacles for understanding and communication in everyday life.
The common link that is connecting in practice and even in literature Bosnian with neighbouring Croatian, Serbian, Macedonian and Montenegrin languages are about 3000 Oriental words (“turcizmi”). For many of them there is no domestic Slavic alternative.
One of the main problematic issues concerning ethno-linguistic-statehood reality of Boshnjaks is the fact that their ethnic, language and state names do not have the same terminology as in the majority of European nations (ex. Polish nation; Polish state; Polish language, etc.). In the other words, their ethnonational name – “Boshnjaks” does not correspond to the name of their national state – “Bosnia-Herzegovina” and both do not correspond to their national language name – “Bosnian”. In this context, why do Boshnjaks not speak the Boshnjak language but rather speak Bosnian? In this regard, it has to be said that originally from 1991 up to 1996 Boshnjaks pretended to officially speak theBoshnjak language (but never tried to rename Bosnia-Herzegovina into “Boshnjakia”). Such practice was even internationally sanctioned by the Dayton Peace Treaty in November 1995 when the text of the agreement was signed in four languages: English, Croatian, Serbian and Boshnjak (not Bosnian!).
However, very soon the ideologists of the Boshnjak ethnonational identity understood that international science of Slavonic philology is very suspicious upon the use of Boshnjak language as it is not at all rooted in the historical sources in which from the year 1300 up to 1918 is mentioned only the Bosnian language (in fact as a provincial language spoken by the Orthodox, Catholic and from 1463 Muslim communities). The Bosnian language, as a mother tongue of all inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina was especially promoted at the time of Austro-Hungarian administration in this province from 1878 to 1918. However, such solution was decisively rejected by the Serbs and Croats from Bosnia-Herzegovina who called their languages after their ethnic names. Thus, the idea of the Bosnian language at that time (as today as well) was accepted only by local Muslim inhabitants.
Nevertheless, the Austro-Hungarian policy of the Bosnian language as a native one of all inhabitants of Bosnia-Herzegovina is accepted today by those who advocated the Bosnian language as a mothertongue of Serbs, Croats and Boshnjaks from Bosnia-Herzegovina and of the Boshnjaks from Sandžak area (Рашка in Serbian language and historiography). The last one was devided after 1913 between Serbia and Montenegro but before 1878/1908 being a part of the Ottoman province (pashaluk in Serbo-Croat) of Bosnia (not of Bosnia-Herzegovina!) which existed from 1580 to 1878/1908.
The truth is that in the 15th and the 16th centuries “Bosnian” (or “Serbo-Croat” or “Serbian” or “Croat”) language was the second diplomatic and official language at the court in Istanbul (after the Turkish one) due to the fact that at that time there were many high Ottoman officials and the Janissaries in Istanbul (including and Grand Vizirs) originating from Bosnia-Herzegovina. However, this fact became the basis for the claims that the Bosnian language was at that time some kind of Balkan lingua franca and a diplomatic language in Europe. Nevertheless, the sources are telling us that in the most cases the local South Slavic population of ex-Serbo-Croat language (especially those from Dubrovnik) have been calling their language as “our language”, “Slavic language”, “Illyrian language”, etc., but only in very rear cases by ethnic names.
The creators and promoters of a separate Bosnian language, in order to prove their standpoint, have applied the technique of “linguistic engineering”, similar to their Croatian colleagues concerning the Croatian language. In both cases, it was and is done for the very purpose to prove that their ethnic groups are linguistically independent which enables them to call themselves separate nations internationally recognized as independent nation states according with the right to self-determination. However, in contrast to Croatian case, Bosnian “linguistic engineering” is not based on the introduction of neologisms but rather on the re-introduction of Oriental words which had been brought to the Balkans by the Ottoman authorities (those words are of Turkish, Arab and Persian origin).
In conclusion, we can say that the problem of official recognition of a separate Bosnian language of the Bosnian-Herzegovinian Boshnjaks can be solved taking into consideration two standpoints:
w Linguistic standpoint
w Socio/polito-linguistic standpoint.
De facto (linguistically), Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin languages are part of one standard-linguistic system. They express unity in orthography, grammar, morphology, syntax, phonology and semantics. For instance, all of them have 30 phonemes (25 consonants and 5 vocals). Between them there are only app. 8% lexical differences (including and “neologisms”).However, there is a tendency to create lexical differences with a view to creating barriers, in order to firmly justify ethno-linguistic and state-political differentiation. The obvious fact is that the level of understanding is almost 100% (excluding the most newest neologisms).
De Jure (in socio/polito-linguistic point of view) these four languages are separate ones and internationally recognised. While Serbian, Croatian, Bosnian and Montenegrin are considered separate languages in essence they are they same language.
The crucial technique of “linguistic engineering” pertaining to the Bosnian language is its lexical Orientalization with the three sociolinguistic and ethnonational tasks to be achieved:
Inner homogenization of Boshnjak nation
Denacionalization of Croats and Serbs within Bosnia-Herzegovina (by suggestion that all inhabitants of this state speak the Bosnian language)
External heterogenization of ethnoconfessional Boshnjak nation in relation to the neighbouring Serbs and Croats.
The politics of “linguistic engineering” in the case of the Bosnian and Croatian languages was implied for the final aim to create firstly independently standardized national languages within officially common Serbo-Croatian one (during ex-Yugoslav (con)federation) and later (after collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991) internationally recognized separate languages by deepening and using as much as the dialectical/regional differences of the same spoken Serbo-Croatian language. The ultimate result was that minor speaking differences were proclaimed for the national characteristics and as such have been used to be lay the foundations of the newly declared autonomous national languages. Consequently, the common Serbo-Croatian language has ceased to exist together with a common Serbo-Croatian nationality.
Finally, the Muslim community in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the 20th century is no longer a religious community. It has been categorized and internationally recognized as a national identity with its own national language. However, Boshnjaks, Croats and Serbs from Bosnia-Herzegovina (likewise from Montenegro, Sandžak or ex-Republic of Serbian Krayina) all speak the same language which in the 20th century came to existence as Serbo-Croatian with a shared historical past.
If one were to apply a German Romanticist criteria upon ethnonational identity Serbs, Montenegrins, Boshnjaks and majority of the Croats would be considered as a single ethnolinguistic nation with the right to live in a unified nation state organization with a common identity.
 An extra ordinary feature of Bosnia-Herzegovina is that it covers the fault lines between three major confessions: Roman Catholicism, Orthodoxy and Islam. From this point of view, local nationalism(s) are not only ethnic; they are even more confessional ones.
 Lexical differences have been a primary criterion for the establishment of a separate Bosnian language.
 However, both Serbs from Eastern Herzegovina (regularly) and Western Serbia (in many cases) are using future tense construction “ja ću kupiti/kupit ću” like in standard Bosnian and Croatian.
 Former Serbo-Croat language was composed by (officially) three dialects: Chakavian, Kajkavian and Shtokavian. The last one became standardized literal language for Serbs, Croats, Montenegrins and Muslims/Boshnjaks. Shtokavian dialect was/is subdivided into three sub-dialects: Ijekavian (mlijeko = milk), Ikavian (mliko) and Ekavian (mleko). Ikavian is not standardized.
 Similar policy of using alphabet in Bosnian language was pursued by Austro-Hungarian authorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 1878–1918.
 Besides these mentioned, historically, on the territory of Bosnia-Herzegovina have been used and Glagolitic and Greek scripts.
 According to the Constitution of Bosnia-Herzegovina official languages are: Bosnian, Serbian and Croatian. Such constitutional-linguistic situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina is quite similar to the Swiss one – Italian, French and German (plus Romansh, spoken by very small community).
 During the Bosnian-Herzegovinian civil war of 1992–1995 Bosnian-Herzegovinian Serbs tried unsuccessfully to purify their language by elimination of the “Turkish” words. However, in many cases it was impossible without creation of new neologisms (ex: čarape=socks, šećer=sugar, pamuk=cotton, etc.). It is interesting that common nickname for Bosnian Muslims given by the local Christians, but also and as a group name used by Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslims to identify themselves, was Turci (the Turks). The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Christians used and the term poturice (those who became the Turks, i.e. convertors). The Bosnian-Herzegovinian Muslims, on the other hand, called the real ethnolinguistic Turks (Turkish language speakers) from Anatolia as Turkuše or Turjaši.
 In historical sources the name Bosanski jezik (Bosnian language) is mentioned for the first time in the year of 1300. It is true that the earliest Slavonic philologists like P. J. Šafaŕík, J. Dobrovský and J. Kopitar used the term Bosnian language but only as provincial speech of all inhabitants of the Ottoman Pashaluk of Bosnia but not as a language of Bosnians in ethnic term.
 For instance, according to the decree of 1880 for Austro-Hungarian administration in Bosnia-Herzegovina existed only Boshnjaks who are by confession divided into those of Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox denominations. In general, Austro-Hungarian administration in Bosnia-Herzegovina very much favored local Roman Catholic and Muslim inhabitants at the expense of the Orthodox.
 It has to be emphasized that even before Austro-Hungarian administration in Bosnia-Herzegovina the local population used the terms Bosnian (“bosanski”) for the language and Bosnians (“Bosanci”) for themselves as inhabitants of this province alongside with more pure ethnic names Serbian/Serbs and Croatian/Croats.
 Ottoman Pashaluk of Bosnia before 1683 encompasses and parts of historical territories of Croatia and Dalmatia.
 Vinko Pribojević, a Dominican friar from the island of Hvar in Dalmatia in his De origine successibusque Slavorum (Venice, 1532) pointed out that Ottoman sultans appointed many South Slavs as the commanders of his army and that 20.000 of his guard (the Janissaries) are recruited among the Thracians, Macedonians and Illyrians (for Pribojević all of them have been South Slavs – aboriginal Balkan people, speaking one language that was later on called “Serbo-Croat”). With the help of them the Ottomans subjugated many states and peoples in Europe.
 Mavro Orbini, a Benedictine abbot from Dubrovnik, in his famous pan-Slavic book (“the Bible of pan-Slavism”) De regno Sclavorum (in Italian version Il regno degli Slavi), printed in Pesaro in 1601, was very clear telling that all South Slavs are speaking the same language and composing one nation within a wider network of united ethnolinguistic Slavdom. More precisely, he inclined to call all speakers of ex-Serbo-Croat language of Shtokavian dialect as the Serbs. However, a Croatian nobleman of German origin from Senj, Pavao Ritter Vitezović (1652–1713) in his political-ideological-programmatic book Croatia rediviva: Regnante Leopoldo Magno Caesare, Zagreb, 1700 claimed that all Slavs, including and those in the Balkans, originated from the Croats and speaking in the essence Croatian language with regional dialects. The essence of both Orbini’s and Ritter’s (likewise Pribojević’s) writings is that all South Slavs (especially the Shtokavians) are composing one ehnolinguistic group (in modern sense – nation).
 “Linguistic engineering” of Croatian language can be followed even from 1967 when a majority of the most important Croatian scientific, literal and cultural institutions signed a Declarationupon the name and position of Croatian literal language (“Deklaracija o nazivu i položaju hrvatskog književnog jezika”) requiring to be officially separated from Serbian one and purified from the so-called “srbizmi” (the words of a Serbian origin).
 Croatian neologisms in fact have to replace both the international words (not translated in Serbian) and common Croato-Serbian words in order to make a deeper distance between Croatian and Serbian languages for the sake of lesser understanding as a crucial proof that these two languages and ethnic groups are separated. For instance: korjenoslovstvo (etymology), narječoslovstvo (dialectology), točnozor (sniper), vrhoskuplje (summit), odmoridbenik (tourist), veleprevrat (revolution), etc. There were and such proposals for neologisms which hardly took roots like: okolotrbušni hlačodržač (belt for trousers), uljudba (civilization), vrtolet (helicopter), prosudba (mark), etc.
 The first President of post-Yugoslav independent Bosnia and Herzegovina and a leader of ruling Muslim political Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Alija Izetbegović, was known as an author of nationalistic Islamic Declaration from 1970 according to which any form of multiculturalism and multiconfessionalism was not possible for the Muslims who have to establish pure Islamic society firstly by Islamization of the whole Muslim community.
 The most problematic and unproved in the sources hypothesis upon the ethnic origins of the Boshnjaks (supported by, for instance, Bosnian linguist Dževad Jahić) is that they are posteriors of the mediaeval Bosnian Bogumils who allegedly have been a separate ethnic group, i.e. not Serbs or Croats.
Britain and Canada were co-conspirators in the latest plot to topple Venezuela’s government.
TeleSUR provided detailed coverage of Washington’s war on Venezuelan democracy. Its dirty hands manipulate violence and instability worldwide.
US funded and supported key opposition fascist figures Antonio Ledezma, Maria Corina Machado and Leopoldo Lopez released a joint February 11 communique a day before the foiled coup.
Titled “A Call on Venezuelans for a National Accord for the Transition,” it promoted regime change. Called for Venezuela to be handed back to monied interests.
Called Bolivarian fairness “anti-democra(tic)…inefficient and… corrupt.” Run by “an unscrupulous elite (making) the State totalitarian.” Creating “a humanitarian crisis.”
“(T)he Maduro government has entered a terminal phase.” Claimed it’s “the duty of every democrat to help resolve the current crisis, to defend freedom…to make the transition…(to restore) democratic order.”
Ledezma, Marhado and Lopez want Maduro’s government violently overthrown, democracy crushed.
Washington, Britain and Canada hatched the latest plot to return Venezuela to its bad old days. TeleSUR reported new details.
“Fresh evidence” showing their involvement, saying:
“Many of the individuals being charged, included a military general – whom has confessed to participating in the plans – and a retired lieutenant colonel – have indicated you (fascist Justice Party president Julio Borges) as being a key participant in meetings, which resulted in the decision to carry out a series of bombing attacks as a part of the coup, targeting the Presidential Palace, the National Assembly,” key ministries, TeleSUR’s offices, and other Caracas sites.
Venezuelan authorities identified US embassy personnel involved. So were a Royal Canadian Mounted Police official and UK diplomatic core member, according to National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello.
They sought information on airport capabilities in case needed in an emergency.
Computers seized had detailed coup plans, including maps showing targets to be bombed.
A video showed military officials announcing Maduro’s government no longer was recognized. It was scheduled to be aired after planned bombings were launched. Either by a Venezuelan or Miami TV station.
Cabello showed a 10-year visa given to one of the plotters days ahead of the planned coup.
He noted Obama’s recent statement about “American leadership at times entail(ing) twisting the arms of states which don’t do what we need them to do.”
He said coup plotters planned to topple Venezuela’s government forcefully on the anniversary of US-manipulated 2014 street violence.
Killing 43. Injuring hundreds. Causing billions of dollars in physical and economic damage.
US planned, funded, implemented and directed economic, political, and street warfare continues to topple the hemisphere’s most vibrant democracy.
On Saturday, Maduro addressed Venezuelans a second time on national television. Following up on his Thursday coup plot revelations.
Explaining more details of Washington’s scheme to oust him forcefully. “Almost all (opposition) leaders knew about this plan, this ambush, almost all of them, including the four-time losing candidate,” Maduro explained.
Referring to Henrique Capriles Radonski. One of many Venezuelan fascists wanting power back the old-fashioned way.
“I’m not saying all of them were actively involved,” Maduro said. “But it was a rumor circulating amongst them, that something was about to happen.
Figures arrested confessed to the plot, Maduro explained. They provided more evidence of Washington’s scheme.
It involved enlisting Venezuelan political and military officials. Bribing them with large cash payments. America’s Caracas embassy was coup plot headquarters.
Maduro called on Obama to stop interfering in Venezuelan affairs, saying:
“In your name, they are organizing coup plots against (Venezuela’s) democratically elected government…”
Bolivian President Evo Morales expressed solidarity with Maduro saying “(w)e all have the obligation to enforce respect for democracy and elections, and if we have a clear conscious, not even the empire can defeat us.”
Maduro received numerous other messages of support. Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega condemned the “criminal and futile attempts of the empire to undermine the Bolivarian Revolution.”
From Mexico City, the Network of Intellectuals, Artists and Social Movements in Defense of Humanity expressed solidarity in an official statement. It condemned plans to topple Venezuela’s government.
TeleSUR reported civil and political organizations worldwide expressing solidarity with Venezuela.
Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) Secretary General Ernesto Samper denounced plans to oust Maduro.
Venezuelan opposition spokesman Jesus Torrealba lied saying “(t)he government makes up these stories about coups to avoid talking about how the country is breaking down.”
State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki lied calling accusations about Washington plotting Maduro’s ouster “ridiculous.”
She absurdly added:
“(T)he United States does not support political transitions by non-constitutional means.”
“Political transitions must be democratic, constitutional, peaceful, and legal.”
“We have seen many times that the Venezuelan Government tries to distract from its own actions by blaming the United States or other members of the international community for events inside Venezuela. These efforts reflect a lack of seriousness on the part of the Venezuelan Government to deal with the grave situation it faces.”
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.
Rocking the Cradle on Capital Hill- The Face of Nationalism You Don’t Know
When I was 4 years old I still remember standing in the warm summer sun trying to make sense of the world I was starting to know. The Vietnam war was going on and my uncles were overseas fighting the enemy. I didn’t know where overseas was or even what an enemy was beyond the fact they must be bad people if my uncles are fighting with them.
I was told God loved us because we were good people. I imagined God in the vein He was described to me, a great bearded giant that lived on a cloud. I didn’t know anyone with a beard so my image was Abraham Lincoln’s silhouette on a penny. I reasoned if God loved us He must not like the bad people. I didn’t know what a war was, just that my uncles were stopping bad people from doing bad things. I remember trying to make sense of the war images on the news my father watched. Grownups said my uncles were protecting me. I loved my uncles.
I didn’t know America outside of the people in my neighborhood and family, but I knew God loved America, that’s where I lived, and that’s what I was told. At this young age I was able to conclude however obtusely that America was special to God and our enemies were the enemies of God.
You see at 4 years old I was a perfect ultra-nationalist.
What happens if this world view that is limited by the life experience of a 4 year old is carried for a lifetime? What I have described above very simply is the basis of Nationalist/ Nazi ideology. It isn’t an image of WWII Nazis. It is the image that WWII Nazi’s had of themselves and many carried throughout their lifetimes, just change the location and only a small tweak to the details. This is the basis of a national chauvinism in the mind of a child.
The image nationalist ideologists around the world present to their people and what their children are raised in is exactly this. It can be right wing, left wing, or neither in policy. It is centers on the simplicity of thought even a 4 year old can muster.
Nationalism incorporates the symbolism of Patriotism but starts with the concept that the country is perfect. It relies on myth and rejects reality. It demands total acceptance of what you are told by community or national leaders. To be a part of the community“the myth” is accepted without question or critical thought.
“It is a loss of orientation that most directly gives rise to ideological activity, an inability, for lack of usable models, to comprehend the universe of civic rights and responsibilities in which one finds oneself located.”
Nationalism and Patriotism are entirely different things. Patriotism is a love of country and the desire to make it better, just, moral in its dealings. It seeks to elevate the standing of the country and people within the world community. It does not demand its exceptionalism. It doesn’t denigrate other countries.
Like the adage “you are only as good as your last game” patriotism demands critical thinking to constantly try to improve the nation’s standing and the people’s condition from its leaders. In a working democracy it means decisions of leaders, both local and national are constantly scrutinized on the basis of the country’s accepted principles.
While it may be fine for a child to totally trust everything they are told it has a crippling effect on adults. Imagine a world where 40 year old’s look for the Easter bunny or tooth fairy. When every experience must be filtered through the ideology first, what is good, bad, or moral rides on a sliding scale that can change with the next thing you are told.
The Real World Transformation in America
America has had a very long and amorous courtship with ultra-Nationalism. Lets be blunt and call it what it is- Nazism. In the 1930′s “the Business Plot” was a Nazi coup attempt during FDR‘s presidency. Coming out of the Depression made the situation ripe for the attempt. In the late 1960′s, once again America was able to skirt around this most despicable of ideologies, but at great cost to us.
Nazism isn’t a hard right phenomenon. The politicians in charge that wanted to depose Roosevelt were trying to set up a Nationalist/ Nazi government in the USA. If successful it would have been ideologically aligned with Adolf Hitler going into WWII. The political leadership were Democrats.
In the 1950′s & 60′s as a political force this ideology was able to impose litmus tests for national office. If you didn’t agree with their foreign policy, you were not electable. If you didn’t agree with their base for domestic policy you fared no better. The political leaders were mostly Republican.
Today in our post 9/11 world coming through “the great recession” America is yet again both primed and vulnerable. The political leaders are Republican and Democrats.
In surveys done in 2014 the same 53% of the population that supports torture also supports police killing unarmed, non threatening civilians.
This same 53% supports every war and marginalizes segments of American society like blacks and Muslims. They support Guantanamo even as those proven innocent are tortured there.
Another 14-15% of the population can be counted additionally on an issue by issue or party line support.
It is a fact that every major foreign policy move has its domestic equivalent at home. The cold war radically moved the country to the right and changed the fabric of the people. The post 9/11 wars brought us Edward Snowden’s “peeping gov,” the humiliation of “groping at airports,” the constant insistence to see what your neighbor was up to.
It developed a culture where it is godly to bomb Muslim cultures and kill their children or change their government and replace it with ultra-nationalists instead. Look at the history of the Muslim Brotherhood and its ABN connections.
Across the political platforms of Al Qaeda, IGIL, and across what we call Islamic terrorist groups we find the Islamist form of ultra-nationalism unleashed. According to John Reilly at a conference given of esoteric fascism “I don’t want to dwell on Islamicist ideology; I don’t know that much about it. Still, we should note that recent Islamicist terrorists quote Evola with facility.
Julius Evola was a 1930′s Fascist thinker and philosopher. His writings outlined the political side of ultra-nationalist ideology but more importantly added the “emotional charge” by developing nationalism into a mystical aspect of religions. This makes the host religion not only compatible to fascism or ultra-nationalism but transforms the political aspect into holy thought. It provides the basis of followers with no regard for themselves.
They live and die for the state(statism) regardless of the host religion. Killing the enemy is a sacrament and an enemy is always needed. Its no wonder the Greek Catholic OUNb-ABN-UCCA helped develop Al Qaeda in Afghanistan through UNA-UNSO, a militant subgroup present in Ukraine today. They follow the same mystical thought and political slant unquestionably.
The Muslims across the world were never a problem. Muslims are a just people.
Has America grown so stunted that the next strong leader that stands up (Republican or Democrat) doesn’t need to promise to do anything domestically to improve the country? Like Iraq, can the next president count on getting approval from the 53%+ with another Shock and Awe bombing campaign victory? It doesn’t fix anything, but damn a little victory makes you feel good.
When succeeding generations are brought up inside nationalist sectarian lines( Republican and Democrat [neo-con, neo-liberal]), religious(Christian Evangelical radicalism), or the unabated corporatist predator- the room for critical thought diminishes. Inside this no one of the above listed groups can comprehend that they live in a democratic society or that they have successfully stripped Constitutional and legal protections from themselves as well as everyone else.
Add all this up and it equals Washington’s support for Ukraine’s government that is committing crimes against humanity on American money, with American equipment, and American training. Congress is voting almost unanimously to fund and send heavy weapons into the conflict without ever looking at the real facts on the ground in Donbass.
America and its government is starting to show all the political and cultural savvy of a 4 year old, only there aren’t many grownups in the room to make things right.
Note: Dr Marcia Angell was fired from her long-held job as executive editor of the once prestigious New England Journal of Medicine because of an editorial that she wrote criticizing the pharmaceutical industry, criticisms that she elaborated on in her book, “The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It”.
“…Similar conflicts of interest and biases exist in virtually every field of medicine, particularly those that rely heavily on drugs or devices. It is simply no longer possible to believe much of the clinical research that is published, or to rely on the judgment of trusted physicians or authoritative medical guidelines. I take no pleasure in this conclusion, which I reached slowly and reluctantly over my two decades as an editor of The New England Journal of Medicine.”– Marcia Angell, M, author of “The Truth About the Drug Companies: How They Deceive Us and What to Do About It”
“Consider the clinical trials by which drugs are tested on human subjects.Before a new drug can enter the market, its manufacturer must sponsor clinical trials to show the Food and Drug Administration that the drug is safe and effective, usually as compared with a placebo or dummy pill. The results of all the trials are submitted to the FDA, and if one or two drug trials are positive—that is, if they show effectiveness without serious risk—the drug is usually approved, even if all the other trials are negative.” – Marcia Angell, MD, author of “Drug Companies and Doctors: A Story of Corruption”
“In view of this control and the conflicts of interest that permeate the enterprise, it is not surprising that industry-sponsored trials published in medical journals consistently favor sponsors —largely because negative results are not published, positive results are repeatedly published in slightly different forms, and a positive spin is put on even negative results. A review of seventy-four clinical trialsof antidepressants, for example, found that thirty-seven of thirty-eight positive studies were published.But of the thirty-six negative studies, thirty-three were either not published or published in a form that conveyed a positive outcome.” – Marcia Angell, MD
“Our health care system is based on the premise that health care is a commodity like VCRs or computers and that it should be distributed according to the ability to pay in the same way that consumer goods are. That’s not what health care should be. Health care is a need; it’s not a commodity, and it should be distributed according to need. If you’re very sick, you should have a lot of it. If you’re not sick, you shouldn’t have a lot of it. But this should be seen as a personal, individual need, not as a commodity to be distributed like other marketplace commodities. That is a fundamental mistake in the way this country, and only this country, looks at health care. And that market ideology is what has made the health care system so dreadful, so bad at what it does.” –Marcia Angell, MD
“The combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion) [in 2002]… Over the past two decades the pharmaceutical industry has moved very far from its original high purpose of discovering and producing useful new drugs. Now primarily a marketing machine to sell drugs of dubious benefit, this industry uses its wealth and power to co-opt every institution that might stand in its way, including the US Congress, the FDA, academic medical centers, and the medical profession itself. (Most of its marketing efforts are focused on influencing doctors, since they must write the prescriptions.) If prescription drugs were like ordinary consumer goods, all this might not matter very much. But drugs are different. People depend on them for their health and even their lives. In the words of Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), “It’s not like buying a car or tennis shoes or peanut butter.” People need to know that there are some checks and balances on this industry, so that its quest for profits doesn’t push every other consideration aside. But there aren’t such checks and balances.” – Marcia Angell, MD
“Six years ago, John Ioannidis, a professor of epidemiology at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece, found that nearly half of published articles in scientific journals contained findings that were false, in the sense that independent researchers couldn’t replicate them. The problem is particularly widespread in medical research, where peer-reviewed articles in medical journals can be crucial in influencing multimillion- and sometimes multibillion-dollar spending decisions. It would be surprising if conflicts of interest did not sometimes compromise editorial neutrality, and in the case of medical research, the sources of bias are obvious. Most medical journals receive half or more of their income from pharmaceutical company advertising and reprint orders, and dozens of others[journals] are owned by companies like Wolters Kluwer, a medical publisher that also provides marketing services to the pharmaceutical industry.” — Helen Epstein, author of “Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies” (http://aaci-india.org/COI/Flu_web_final.pdf)
“The FDA also relies increasingly upon fees and other payments from the pharmaceutical companies whose products the agency is supposed to regulate. This could contribute to the growing number of scandals in which the dangers of widely prescribed drugs have been discovered too late. Last year, GlaxoSmithKline’s diabetes drug Avandia was linked to thousands of heart attacks, and earlier in the decade, the company’s antidepressant Paxil was discovered to exacerbate the risk of suicide in young people. Merck’s painkiller Vioxx was also linked to thousands of heart disease deaths. In each case, the scientific literature gave little hint of these dangers. The companies have agreed to pay settlements in class action lawsuits amounting to far less than the profits the drugs earned on the market.These precedents could be creating incentives for reduced vigilance concerning the side effects of prescription drugs in general.” — Helen Epstein, “Flu Warning: Beware the Drug Companies”
“The militia went on the offensive on Debaltsevo. The fighters strengthened their positions in Logvinovo and successfully (fought) off all the attacks of AFU (armed forces of Ukraine).”
“Militias launched an offensive along the route to Debaltsevo. The plans are to enter the city and start cleanup.”
“There are fierce artillery duels on the north direction of the front. Punishers are firing with rocket launchers from Stanitsa Luganskaya, militia, in turn, suppress enemy firing points with surgical strikes.”
Fighting continues in other areas, including tank battles and artillery shelling.
A rebel fighter using the call sign “Schastlivy” said:
“It’s hell in Chernukhino. AFU corpses lying around everywhere. We are not driven out. We are there.”
“I saw an explosion in the area of Debaltsevo. Loss of Ukrainians – 74 people.”
“Plus APC burned. There are about 10 people killed around. There are wounded. We have 5 people.”
Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said:
“Today, February 13, 4 (Kiev) attempts to break through were recorded in the direction of Logvinovo.”
“Losing 2 tanks, 9 infantry fighting vehicles and up to 40 people killed and wounded.”
“The enemy retreated. DPR Army Divisions strengthened the positions and block the Ukrainian security forces there.”
“Militia destroyed Ukrainian column of ammunition and fuel on a country road through the village of Rassadki.”
“At the direction of Donetsk, enemy (forces) fired at residential neighborhoods of the DPR capital.”
“Totally 8 attacks were recorded in the city, 15 attacks in the area of Donetsk airport.”
“Two civilians were killed, 8 injured. At Mariupol direction AFU continued to fire with heavy weapons at DPR militia positions.”
US supplied cluster munitions are being used against Lugansk and Donetsk. On Friday, OSCE observers reported their use.
Fighting so far rages throughout Donbas. Expect short-term letup (not cessation) once ceasefire terms take effect on Sunday.
Followed days or weeks later by escalated fighting initiated by Kiev forces on orders from Washington. Wrongfully blamed on Russia and rebels.
The same Big Lie blame game continues since Kiev launched naked aggression last April.
A Friday US-initiated G7 statement sounded an ominous tone. Saying “Russian-backed separatist militias are operating beyond the line of contact agreed upon in the Minsk agreements of September 2014, causing numerous civilian casualties.”
Ignoring Kiev forces shelling Donetsk and Lugansk hospitals, schools, residential areas and city streets. Deliberately killing civilian men, women and children.
G7 leaders threatened more sanctions on Russia. Expressed support for Kiev’s illegitimate putschist regime.
“Commend(ed) its (nonexistent) commitment to implement…ambitious reform(s) with regard to economic, rule-of-law, and democratic reforms.”
Ukraine is a US-installed illegitimate fascist police state. It intends greater bloodshed ahead than already on beleaguered Donbas residents.
Russia justifiably calls its regime a “party of war.” On February 12, Moscow’s OSCE representative Andrey Kelin said Kiev continues “(f)ueling militarist hysteria.”
It pursues a “military path.” It’s “aggressively militarizing…There (are) calls to ‘take revenge’ for the summer ‘military failure’ and to ‘Ukrainianise Donbas’ by force” regardless of Minsk ceasefire terms.
Political censorship is rife. “Apparently, establishing a Ministry of Truth wasn’t enough.”
Regime legislation “sets ‘general criteria for classifying audiovisual materials (considered) damaging to Ukraine’s national security.’ ”
In other words, anything revealing important truths Kiev wants suppressed.
“The law prohibits the screening of all Russian films. Likewise there is the total ban on accrediting Russian journalists in Ukraine.”
“The Ukrainian journalist Kotsaba was arrested for treason for commenting on the mobilisation.”
“Now it seems any journalist or public figure may be accused of treason for statements that don’t follow the official line.”
“Where are the responses from free press activists,” asked Kelin? Western presstitute media silence is deafening.
Proposed Kiev legislation criminalizes public speech denying nonexistent “Russian aggression.”
The measure makes “public denial or justification of the Russian military aggression against Ukraine in 2014-2015 a felony.”
Punishable by heavy fines. Up to five years imprisonment for repeat offenders.
In other words, proposed Ukrainian legislation virtually certain to be enacted criminalizes truth – written or spoken publicly.
Last week, Ukrainian journalist Rusian Kotsaba was jailed for two months pending further disposition of his case for opposing military conscription.
He called Kiev’s Donbas aggression “fratricidal war.” Prosecutors charged him with high treason.
He likely faces longterm imprisonment. Perhaps death if extremist long knives kill him.
Kelin was clear and unequivocal saying war in Donbas will “only stop when (Kiev) puts an end to the rampant radicalism and nationalism; when society unites around positive values and Ukraine’s genuine interests.”
Polar opposite conditions exist so far. Right Sector and other radicalized elements vow to keep fighting.
Former Azov paramilitary deputy commander Igor Moseichuk said he’ll do whatever it takes to subvert Minsk. He called it “an act of treason.”
“Betrayal of national interests. This is the sole way of describing the text,” he said. Tass reported hard-right extremists commanding large numbers of forces determined to continue war, avoid peace.
Ukraine’s illegitimate foreign minister Pavlo Klimkin violated Minsk terms straightaway. Saying rebels won’t be granted amnesty.
He denied agreed on regime responsibility to institute constitutional reforms and grant Donbas regional autonomy.
DPR parliament Speaker Andrey Purgin commented saying Kiev won’t “implement the law on amnesty.”
It’s “forming an entire class of political prisoners. It is nothing but a witch hunt.” Dissidents are being ruthlessly persecuted.
“This is a collapse of society,” said Purgin. “Tens of thousands of criminal cases, thousands of people kept at detention wards.”
“And I would like to stress one thing. When we had the latest mass exchange of prisoners, we released people who had come here to shoot at us, but among the 220 people released by the Ukrainian side only 34 had been self-defence fighters.”
“It means that the rest of these people were political prisoners.” Thousands languish unjustly in Kiev’s gulag.
Donbas rebels are earmarked for similar treatment. Minsk terms mean nothing.
Obama’s new friends are ruthless gangsters. Cutthroat killers. Anti-Semite hate-mongers. Waging war on freedom to eliminate it altogether.
As long as Obama wants war, not peace, conflict will continue. So will outrageous Russia bashing. Blaming Moscow for Kiev crimes.
Resolving things diplomatically remains pure fantasy. Minsk changed nothing. After a short-term letup, expect escalated conflict.
Perhaps nearing a tipping point toward global warfare. America’s rage for war makes anything possible. World peace hangs in the balance.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
With Western newspapers packed daily with reports of the US-led coalition fighting against the Islamic State ISIS/IS/ISIL in the Middle East, it is important to further illustrate the deceptive nature of this latest so-called ‘war against ISIS’. The Syrian Army, Hezbollah and the Iranian Revolutionary Guard have been the main forces battling against this Western-created group since the Syrian proxy war began, with the Iraqi army and factions of the Lebanese government also heavily involved.
Russia has been steadfast in fighting against international terrorism and its support for forces that are actively battling against rebel insurgency groups, with some reports speculating that Russian special forces have been active in Syria conducting counterterrorism operations. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has repeatedly expressed his support for a coalition against ISIS, but one that is authorised through the UN Security Council and is in accordance with international law. These forces constitute the true players fighting against ISIS, not the US-led coalition, whose position on ISIS is duplicitous as they continue to fund the group they claim to be at war with.
“The US and the so-called anti-ISIL coalition claim that they have launched a campaign against this terrorist and criminal group – while supplying them with weapons, food and medicine in Jalawla region (a town in Diyala Governorate, Iraq). This explicitly displays the falsity of the coalition’s and the US’ claims”, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces, Brigadier General Massoud Jazayeri, told Fars news. Iran itself reportedly conducted airstrikes against ISIS positions outside of the US-led coalition in December 2014, which corroborates with Iran’s consistent policy of fighting against rebels that the West has been funding. Syrian government warplanes have also been bombing ISIS positions for years as the al-Assad regime has been fighting against Western-sponsored terror groups since 2011.
US Embassy in Baghdad – ISIS Command Base
Commander of Iran’s Basij (volunteer) Force, Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Naqdi, has stated that the US Embassy in Baghdad is a command base of ISIS, and that the US still “directly supports” the terrorist faction:
“The US directly supports ISIL in Iraq and the US planes drop the needed aids and weapons for ISIL in Iraq”.
This of course corroborates with the news that the US has airdropped weapons – including medical supplies, hand grenades, ammunition and other weaponry – to ISIS fighters, claiming these are just accidental drops that missed the drop zone. A captured Pakistani commander of ISIS also recently revealed that he received funds that were “routed” through the US to run an ISIS operation in Pakistan, which recruited rebels to fight against the Syrian regime. Head of the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq, Ammar al-Hakim, has criticised the US-led coalition for their hypocritical attitude towards ISIS, and has asserted that the coalition forces have not played a prominent role in “vital regions” that are strategically important for the terror group.
US-led airstrikes are “against international law”
Russian President Vladimir Putin has objected to airstrikes in Syria against ISIS without the consent of the Syrian government, and Russian FM Lavrov has stressed that using force without the governments consent “goes against international law”. As Lavrov also points out, if the coalition truly wanted to defeat ISIS it would fully cooperate with the Syrian army, Hezbollah and Iranian forces which would weaken ISIS dramatically in a matter of weeks, but this is about regime change in Syria under the pretext of fighting the terror group, not about actually wiping out the group. According to reports there has only been very limited cooperation between Iran and the US-led coalition (if any at all), with Iranian President Hassan Rouhani calling the anti-ISIS coalition a “joke” since the alliance is comprised of nations that sponsor “terrorist activities”. ISIS may well be eradicated after they have served their purpose however, or if regional players turn against the agenda due to political instability.
US President Barack Obama is set to ask Congress for further use of force tomorrow (which is Wednesday 11th Feb at the time of writing). Even though the campaign has been operational for months; Obama has had no formal congressional authorisation to use military force, which is a violation of the US constitution. The most worryingly prospect in the near future is that the US gets authorisation for a boots on the ground invasion of Syria itself (or just does it without authorisation), which many analystshave been warning will be used to weaken the position of the Syrian government and oust al-Assad.
Hezbollah’s leader Hassan Nasrallah is another prominent figure that has denounced the US-led coalition as he believes it is a “pretext” for US hegemony in the region. As the Times of Israel reported in an article titled: Hezbollah condemns US-led strikes on Islamic State, Nasrallah stated:
“We are against an international coalition, whether it is against the regime … or whether it is against Daesh/[ISIS]… This is an opportunity, pretext, for America to dominate the region again.”
The rise of ISIS is a direct result of Western foreign policy in the region that has facilitated, funded, trained and armed this assortment of rebel bandits for years, either directly or through regional channels – in the form of Saudi Arabia and Qatar. IS’s core objective is the toppling of the regime of Bashar al-Assad for the benefit of NATO powers and their regional allies such as Israel (also known as al-Qaeda’s air force).
Pre-planned Rebel Invasion of Syria
The former French minister of Foreign Affairs Roland Dumas has revealed that the war in Syria was planned at least “two years before the violence” erupted. Dumas reveals that he was approached in the UK by “top British officials” to see if he would participate in “organising an invasion of rebels into Syria”, a proposal Dumas refused. Syria’s U.N. ambassador, Bashar Ja’afari, filed a complaint to the UN against US Senator John McCain illegally entering Syria in June 2013 in violation of the country’s sovereignty to meet Syrian rebels – McCain was photographed talking with the so-called Caliph of ISIS, Ibrahim al-Badri also known as Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Jordan is now the latest country to join this deceptive alliance, another country that has facilitated the rise of ISIS through allowing their territory to be used by NATO forces to train fighters for war in Syria. It seems that in order to join this US-led coalition in their ‘war against ISIS’, you must have been complicit in supporting the rise and growth of the group in the first place. As Stuart J. Hooper correctly pointed out in an article for 21st Century Wire, the Jordanian government may well have been involved in training the very ISIS fighters that burned their pilot alive.
There is a real war going on between coalition forces and ISIS on the ground which has claimed the lives of coalition troops however, but it is a manufactured war where high-level NATO strategists control both sides of the conflict. The cost of the overt side of this operation to the US taxpayer from August 8th, 2014 to January 30th, 2015 was $1.5 billion ($8.4million a day) according to the US Department of Defense, yet more money poured down the drain on this phony war on terror. The US would save itself a fortune along with a lot of bloodshed if it simply stopped funding and creating crazed terrorists in the first place. But of course the Military Industrial Complex would be far less wealthy if they did, in addition to there being no justification for a surveillance state in the West that the Stasi would be envious of.
How long the US-led coalition can pursue this duplicitous policy against ISIS is difficult to ascertain, but with the majority of the mainstream media complicit in promulgating the deception of the ‘anti-ISIS’ coalition, I won’t be holding my breath.
Minsk reflects pause, not cessation of conflict. Call it a relative calm before a greater storm.
Previous articles explained a durable, sustainable peace in Donbass is pure fantasy.
Two previous ceasefires were agreed on. Followed by partial cessation of hostilities, then resumption of full-scale conflict.
Will this time be different? It hard imagining how given events so far.
Nothing suggests Washington abandoned its intent for total control over Ukraine nationwide – by any means necessary, including full-scale war with US troops directly involved.
Unchallenged dominance is embedded in America’s DNA. It remains to be seen how, when, and on what pretext the empire strikes Donbass next.
If past is prologue, expect a major US/Kiev false flag provocation blamed on Russia and rebels.
Ceasefire so far is fragile at best. Sputnik News said both sides accused each other of violations.
Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Prime Minister Alexander Zakharchenko called an emergency Sunday meeting. Current conditions will be discussed.
Sputnik News said “(d)espite the official beginning of a ceasefire in Donbas, Kiev forces started firing mortars and shelling the positions of the independence supporters of the self-proclaimed people’s republics of Donetsk and Luhansk (DPR an LPR).”
DPR Defense Ministry spokesman Eduard Basurin said “to avoid civilian casualties, the units of DPR are targeting the enemy’s weaponry.”
“The units of the DPR armed forces are forced to open selective fire to suppress hostilities by Kiev nationalists and saboteurs.”
Kiev propaganda is relentless. The latest claims rebels and Russian troops intend occupying Debeltsevo on Sunday. According to deputy defense minister Petro Mekhed:
“Today, having agreement on a ceasefire from 00:00, February 15, Russian-backed militants and the Russian armed forces have been ordered to raise the Russian flag over Debaltsevo” and Mariupol.
“However, while there is a fierce fighting for Debaltsevo, which has been attacked three times as of this morning, Mariupol is still under the control of the Ukrainian armed forces.”
“According to the latest information, there are more than 10,000 soldiers of the Russian armed forces on the territory of Ukraine.”
Ukrainian journalist/propagandist Yuriy Butusov claimed “Russian troops storm(ed) our strong points under the cover of (artillery) fire, trying to break through the defensive perimeter” around Debeltsevo.
“The peace agreement reached in Minsk hasn’t led to a decrease in tension, but to its escalation.”
Note: Ukrainian armed forces chief of staff General Viktor Muzhenko publicly said no Russian forces are involved in Donbas’ conflict.
Ukraine’s “army is not fighting with the regular units of the Russian army,” he explained.
Big Lies claim otherwise. Mostly from Washington, other Western capitals and supportive presstitute media.
Rebel forces surround an estimated 5,000 Kiev troops in Debeltsevo. Zakharchenko said “(t)heir every attempt to break out will be suppressed.
Munich terms said nothing about Debeltsevo, Zakharchenko explained. “Ukraine simply betrayed” its forces trapped there, he added.
Basurin said they won’t be shelled nor released. Surrender is their only option. Zakharchenko said Ukrainian security forces won’t be given control of Russian border areas.
Sunday ”an order will be issued to create the border guard service,” he said. “Not a single Ukrainian soldier will enter our territory.”
Russia’s Foreign Ministry issued a statement saying:
“Ukraine’s official representatives…as well as those of several Western countries, the US in particular, have essentially expressed solidarity with the opinion of radical nationalists in the Verkhovna Rada (Ukraine’s parliament) and have began distorting the contents of the Minsk agreements.”
On Saturday, Obama spoke to Poroshenko. A White House statement said “(t)hey agreed to remain in close contact in the days ahead.”
“Both leaders stressed the importance of establishing a lasting peace that respects Ukraine’s sovereignty and unity” while they plot escalated war strategy.
It’s just a matter of when it’s unleashed. The Financial Times published rare MSM truthful comments about Donbass’ conflict.
Short of explicitly saying so, it effectively admitted Kiev is waging a war of aggression against people wanting to live free from the scourge of fascism.
It quoted DPR school principal Lidiya Aksyonova saying “(w)e decided to inform the children from an objective point of view about the current developments of what’s happening inside the Donetsk People’s Republic.”
“The beliefs that we form here in school will in 10 years become the political views of our government.”
Twenty-year-old Donetsk National University student Yekaterina was quoted saying:
“As a student, as the future generation, I was for a united Ukraine. We thought (Poroshenko) would come to Donetsk, but he didn’t come once.”
“You don’t need to be a soldier to understand from what direction artillery fire is coming. We have access to the internet. We’re not in the stone age. We’re not zombies.”
“How can I be for a united Ukraine when Kiev has spent the past six months bombing us?”
“They came to power and destroyed the entire infrastructure of southeast Ukraine.”
Ukrainian-born businessman Enrique Menendez said “(w)e’ve lost everything: our savings, our prospects, our businesses. Some people lost their relatives.”
DPR education minister Igor Kostenok said “the Great Patriotic War (WW II) tells us that many children who were forced to grow up early because of the war took up arms and defended their home(s).”
“History is doomed to repeat itself.” It’s ongoing now in real time.
Accusations of Russian aggression persist. Despite no evidence whatever proving it.
Fabricated evidence substitutes. US ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt posted fake satellite photos on Twitter.
He lied claiming they show Russian artillery near Lomuvatka, about 20km northeast of Debaltsevo.
“We are confident these are Russian military, not separatist systems,” he said.
Russian Defense Ministry Major General Igor Konashenkov responded, saying:
“We have failed to understand how those grainy dark patches in the photos published by US ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt on his Twitter feed could prove anything.”
“Unlike the American intelligence services, Russia’s military never considered crystal ball gazing a good way to check and confirm data.”
Last July, Russia’s Defense Ministry exposed fake Pyatt posted images claiming to show Ukraine shelled from Russian territory.
At the time, Konashenkov said “(t)hese materials were posted to Twitter not by accident, as their authenticity is impossible to prove – due to the absence of the attribution to the exact area, and an extremely low resolution. Let alone using them as ‘photographic evidence.’ ”
“It is no secret to anyone that fakes like this are made by a group of US counselors staying in the Kiev building of the security service, led by (US Major) General Randy Kee.”
Pyatt and other US officials were caught red-handed several times posting and publicizing fake allegations of Russian involvement in Ukraine.
Konashenkov calls it “an informational merry-go-round.” Propaganda war by any other name. Will WW III 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.
Are Ukrainian-American children brought up to be Bandera followers? If the children of all the Eastern European and Baltic emigre populations bring their children up in American this way, will it have an effect on non-emigre children in the US? With a combined population of 20 million career age emigre ultra nationalists according to their own estimates in the United States alone, you had better find out.
“I think to the contrary that the Galicians are the foundation of the Ukrainian state,”
This definitely throws a damper on anyone in the EU or USA calling the Euro-maidan a pro-democratic protest or revolution. The Galicians that Poroshenko is referring to formulated the ideology of Stepan Bandera that is now the foundation of post Maidan Ukraine.
According to Ukrainian-American George Masni, a former UCCA Arizona state president “The “simple nationalism” Poroshenko is talking about is love of ones nation that drives to defend it from invaders. This type of nationalism is better known as patriotism.”
If ultra-nationalist ideology wasn’t part of the Ukrainian political landscape pre-Maidan, where did it come from? Before 1991 this ideology was foreign in Ukraine except for a tiny minority in the Lviv region.
According to George Masni, former State of Arizona president for the UCCA-OUNb “The type of political brainwashing you are describing never happened to me and as far as I know, in th U.S. at least, this simply does not occur. What I do remember is being thought Ukrainian language, dances, songs, and a general overview of Ukrainian literature and history.”-
Below are excerpts are from a young Ukrainian-American woman that grew up in the American heartland. She is educated and has a Masters Degree. She knows America fought the 3rd Reich and Nazism/ nationalism. Her own statements are clear that Dr. Rudlings studies and the many other papers written were in fact precise in describing the Bandera kids are even more committed to Ukrainian nationalism within the countries they live in, molding their own culture and politics, as well as Ukraine.
This upbringing is reinforced with a life long cultural education and celebration of nationalist Galician values, education, job support, and even the emigre choices of religion. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic and Orthodox religions were reworked to promote Ukrainian nationalism and reinforce it to adherents at the end of the 19th century. Later Protestant beliefs followed suit within the communities and started going mainstream in the 1950′s and 60′s.
According to the Manitoba Historical Society “…the establishment of a separate Ukrainian Catholic episcopate was as much a statement of Ukrainian “nationalism” as was the rise of the Ukrainian Greek Orthodox Church of Canada.”
With this kind of regulated upbringing it is no shock that even childhood experiences like scouting play a major role in development. Consider the following carefully against what you know about Maidan. In this American girls own words, her heroes from WWIIare the genocidal Waffen SS OUNb Bandera, the mass murderers of 500,000 people.
American Ukrainian Nationalist on Maidan
“I have often thought of my ancestors and how they must have felt during WWII (and earlier liberation movements) and the partisan struggle to liberate Ukraine from totalitarian powers. I’ve always been fascinated by WWII and the Ukrainian Insurgent Army (UPA), but never in my life did I think I would feel what they felt, get a taste of war, death, and the fight for freedom, such uncertainty, and love for Ukraine in a context similar to theirs…These sentiments which were felt by Ukrainians in WWII have been transferred to a new generation of Ukrainians who are reliving the liberation movement, re-struggling for a free, prosperous, and democratic Ukraine. Of course, EuroMaidan and Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine …. I feel that I was guided to Ukraine because the love for and attachment to Ukraine was passed down from my grandparents, and as they couldn’t return…My grandparents’ generation fight for freedom didn’t succeed, there was no independent Ukraine after the war, and so being intelligentsia and having taken part in the liberation struggle, my relatives would have been persecuted under the Soviets.
Thus in 1944 when the Soviets were again approaching western Ukraine, my grandparents had to flee west…Eventually sotnias(defense/ military units) were formed during EuroMaidan and I couldn’t help but think that the last time sotnias were formed was during the war by the UPA…The UPA slogan “Glory to Ukraine” and response “Glory to the Heroes” as well as the UPA songs sounded from maidan’s across the country, and the black and red UPA flags flew next to the yellow and blue ones. There are in fact a lot more parallels between WWII and EuroMaidan/ the Russian invasion…And once we finally had a taste of victory, finally ousted the corrupt president, finally felt we had a chance to completely reboot the country, root out the Soviet mentality once and for all.”- Areta Kovalsky
Both PLAST and CYM hold multiple summer camps each year. CYM is more Ukrainian oriented than PLAST but in addition to its education role, it is also a Ukrainian social organization were young people go to meet and have fun.
The Plast organization is strongly modeled after the American Boy Scouts. It has various numbered scout troops etc. Are the American Boy Scouts are the U.S. version of Nazi boot camps? When an American Boy Scout camp is not readily available, Americans have been known to attend Plast summer camps as a way of getting the same experiences they would get in with the American Boy Scouts (hiking, merit badges etc.). They might get exposed to Ukrainian tradition but many of them freely choose not to participate in those camp activities.- George Masni, former UCCA State of Arizona president
As noted in the UCCA press release in the link above dated 1999, OUNb leader Ivan Kobasa also took responsibility of making sure the Ukrainian-Americans received the proper secondary education at Ukrainian nationalist schools(MAUP) in Ukraine. From the mid 2000′s enrollment in this educational system has skyrocketed. Today almost all members of the current Ukrainian government are graduates of this ideological system that was taught to them by moderates like David Duke who is also a graduate of the MAUP system.
I consider myself to be a reasonably well educated and retired American of Ukrainian descent who has been somewhat active in Ukrainian affairs for over 50 years. I have never been approached to join the super secretive almost legendary OUNb or any of the OUN organizations. Why? I think the answer is quite obvious. In the U.S., other than being referenced in propaganda or other obscure publications, OUNb and its OUN peers are no longer functional organizations and have been completely inactive for at least 4 or more decades. – George Masni UCCA former State of Arizona President
The SUM members and the faithful present that day enjoyed a beautiful and emotional homily about the life and achievements of Stepan Bandera delivered by Reverend Bohdan Danylo, Rector of St. Basil’s Seminary in Stamford. He instructed the children on how they can model their own lives on Bandera’s by following his example of self-sacrifice and unwavering dedication to his country. Following the homily, Father Bohdan distributed candles to each child which burned brightly during a stirring execution of the prayer “Vichnaya Pam’yat” in honor of the great hero of the Ukrainian nation.”
…CYM Geelong(Australia) under the patronage of Stepan Bandera celebrated Stepan Bandera Day in remembrance of the OUN leader…CYM Geelong opened up the event not only to its members but also the wider Ukrainian community not only to remember Stepan Bandera but for all our Ukrainian heroes who lost their lives in the fight for Ukraine’s independence. Druh. Marko Tkaczuk showed video clips of the work of OUN and the life of Stepan Bandera..
They were the SS units that did atrocities so great that Michael Wittmann, Gaupshturmfyurer SS, one of Nazi Germany’s most famous tank commanders shows the perspective the 3 rd Reich had toward the OUNb Ukrainian nationalists this young woman writes about adoringly.
“What are Ukrainians- a feral Russian that for the idea of gaining the Ukrainian state is ready to kill even his Frau (wife, woman). They are the perfect fighters against the Red Army. But after that they are subject to a total cleansing(destruction) because they are the worst type of barbarians.”
Wasyl Veryha, former SS officer and prominent Ukrainian historian Interviewed by the CBC Radio in 1987- Veryha insisted,I have never felt to be a Nazi. I never believed in Nazism, and. . .I have never been a fascist. I feel that I am and I always was a Ukrainian patriot. And that’s what I am. And if you would ask me another question,if I would do the same thing all over, I would. . .
When Mr. Masni said that CYM and PLAST was modeled on Boy Scouts did he mean that they are told to model their lives on Nazi mass murderers too? Every scouting branch in the USA is named after an SS officer or an OUNb murderer. One branch is named June 30, 1941 after the day the Nazi Yaroslav Stetsko declared Galicia a free state under Adolf Hitler.
Each branch including those in the US has a “Patron” saint that was a Nazi war criminal. In the case of Geelong, Australia it is Stepan Bandera.
Both youth groups were both considered a nazi terrorist organization from their inception and on the CIA’s list of Nazi terrorist organizations. In the decades before the Soviet Union absorbed West Ukraine the youth groups were covert terrorist cells planting bombs and murdering the people in West Ukraine. In the decade after WWII the Ukrainian youth groups provided the ultra-nationalists that murdered over 28,000 Ukrainians on Ukrainian soil.
If NATO had any credibility the Bandera groups are the worlds masters at infiltrating and manipulating governments, societies, andintervening in protest movements and establishing themselves at the head of the table.
Post 1991 independent Ukraine, Bandera group emigre kids started migrating en-mass into the human rights field. They are the active groups and foot soldiers of the Color Revolutions.
The ABN(Anti-Bolshevik Nations) led WACL which was sustained with the resources of the emigres and over 80 countries rolled back into the (WLFD)World League for Freedom and Democracy.
This was run by Taiwan’s APCL. The APCL was formed by Yaroslav Stetsko and Chiang Kai-shek to promote ultra-nationalism throughout the world. The WLFD which is still composed of ultra-nationalists currently writes human rights reports for the UN.
Do you know who’s been influencing your little cubbie lately?
It looks like a measure of hollow desperation – Israel, left out in the cold in terms of isolating Iran, and finding itself looking like the mad hermit wondering if its days are numbered in the self-constructed asylum of life. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is looking more like a lone wolf diplomat (the more civil-minded ones might suggest that instead of terrorist) in search of an audience, and he is hoping to get it with his poorly engineered address to the US Congress. It’s all about Iran, dammit, and they are the problem at which fingers are being pointed at.
Rabbi Seymour Rosenbloom, recently retired of the Congregation of Adath Jeshurun, a conservative synagogue based in Cheltenham Township, Pennsylvania, is far from pleased. As are many in his congregation. “Most of the Jews I’ve spoken to, who are very concerned with the welfare of the state of Israel, are not comfortable with Netanyahu speaking to Congress, especially not in the way it’s being done.”
Others also see nuisance, and plain old trouble. Leader of the Union for Reform Judaism, deemed the most liberal and largest Jewish denomination in North America; Seymour Reich, former chairman of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations; and Abraham Foxman, the national director of the Anti-Defamation League, have all raised their concerns (The Guardian, Feb 15). From a “circus”, Israel’s position, argued Foxman, had to be restated as that of a sober, cautious adult – “that this was not what we intended”.
Publications such as Philadelphia’s Jewish Exponent (Jan 28) see Netanyahu’s gesture as far from helpful. “What is,” the editorial asks, “the most prudent way to proceed with Iran at this juncture?” Netanyahu and those in Congress sympathetic to his case argue that the stick of sanctions is far better, a bruising policy to convince. Rather than running, the Iranians will come to the table, eager to engage after a tactically engineered slap around. The White House position on this is that another round of sanctions at this point will defang the entire process.
While such a paper as the Jewish Exponent is hardly friendly to Teheran’s nuclear ambitions, which it finds dangerous, it takes issue with the Netanyahu school of puerile barnstorming. “At this junction, a very public spat with the Obama administration does no one good, least of all Israel. President Barack Obama will remain in office for the next two years, and Israel needs his continued support.”
On the other hand, one has figures such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Elie Wiesel, encouraging a cheery turnout to the Congressional bash when the Israeli leader descends. For Wiesel, the problem with Netanyahu’s attention-seeking tour are less significant than a nuclear Iran which would be the grand advert for genocide. The fiends that would entertain Israel’s destruction are age-old, be it that “wicked man in Persia named Haman” who suggested that, “It is not in our interests to tolerate [the Jews]” to “modern Persia” and the Ayatollah Khamenei, who declares that the “annihilation and destruction” of Israel is a paramount goal of Iran.
All other problems follow, and here, Wiesel’s isolation of institutionalised anti-Semitic wickedness finds form in that of a pimping service for Bibi’s cause. “President Obama, Vice President Biden, distinguished members of Congress, I ask you – As one man who has seen the enemies of the Jewish people make good on threats to exterminate us, how can I remain silent.”
Absurdly, Wiesel suggests that members of the US Congress “put aside the politics” to listen to a PM that has only ever been one thing: a political beast who lives and breathes the craft, using a distinct demonology to target his enemies while stirring the pot of instability. Politics is also very much part of the mix in inviting Netanyahu to speak to Congress to begin with, a crude chess game that masquerades as balance and a fair hearing. House Speaker John Boehner, ever happy to rib the Obama White House, is playing a spoiling game, economic in telling the Israelis how “bipartisan” the invitation was, while sticking his tongue out, politically speaking, at Obama.
Advocacy group Christians United for Israel (CUFI) have also joined the advertising drive coming out for Bibi. An action alert, claimed the CUFI, “generated more than 10,000 responses” within five hours of its release.
It also appeals to that rather empty suggestion that balance is needed, and that Congress have some feted obligation to listen to a politician of another state who is insisting on conflict before progress. (Mind you, he is also insisting that US money, weapons and personnel be conscripted in the task.) The point was made by CUFI executive director David Brog: “Our elected officials have a sacred duty to listen to all views on this critical issue – including those which they may disagree – before making up their minds.”
Some figures on the Democrat aisle will be cheering the Wiesel line. “A nuclear Iran is a huge threat to the United States and an existential threat to Israel,” came the broken-record line from Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY). Ergo “tougher sanctions” – the slap around treatment again – was the recipe. But it is the GOP that is doing its best to encircle Democrat dissent, with Marco Rubio (R-FL) blustering about how, “One of our strongest ally’s prime minister wants to speak before the Congress and they won’t even attend the speech?”
Historical comparisons are always fraught with danger, as most events remain inimitable instances of exception that take place because of a range of specific factors. The extermination fantasy, enrolled in the cause of justifying Israeli hegemony in the Middle East, is not a useful way to keep peace, let alone get Congress to fill the seats. It presumes, however, that Teheran, the moment it acquires a nuclear capability, will happily go its vigilante way causing a conflagration in the region.
That Israel’s own belligerent fantasies aren’t deemed equivalent in their dangers – a contemplated, pre-emptive strike on Iranian military targets; the continued violations of the UN Charter to threaten another state’s sovereignty that occurs with each statement – should be a prime cause of concern for members of Congress. This botched invitation should be put to rest, or the arena left empty. But some Israeli politicians already have someone to blame. For Netanyahu confidante and deputy foreign minister, Tzachi Hanegbi, it’s that rascal of few words, Boehner. “It appears that the speaker of Congress made a move, in which we trusted, but which it ultimately became clear was a one-sided move and not a move by both sides” (Forward, Feb 6).
Dr. Binoy Kampmark was a Commonwealth Scholar at Selwyn College, Cambridge. He lectures at RMIT University, Melbourne. Email: [email protected]
Adding another genetically modified food to the growing list of biotech creations, the USDA has now approved the first GMO apple for commercial planting inside the United States. Slated for your dinner table, the new GMO apple is reportedly ‘resistant to turning brown when sliced or bruised.’
Coming just months after the USDA approved the first genetically modified potato, the news reminds us of the USDA’s declaration to give Monsanto and other biotech organizations ‘speedy approval’ when it comes to approving genetically modified foods. In other words, less testing and more rubber stamping.
According to the New York Times, the USDA ‘considered the issues’ over the new GMO apple (including the intense opposition), writing:
“The Department of Agriculture, which approved the apples for commercial planting, said on Friday that it had considered these issues. However, it said that under the law, approval is based on whether a genetically modified crop poses a threat to other plants. The department determined that the apples posed no such risk…. The so-called Arctic apples — which will be available in the Granny Smith and Golden Delicious varieties — are genetically engineered in a way to suppress the production of an enzyme that causes browning when cells in the apple are injured, from slicing, for example.”
The good news? You may actually be able to identify these GMO apples by their sale name ‘Arctic’ — or perhaps an FDA-approved label that they are considered ‘non-browning’. An indicator that we have not yet seen with genetically modified foods — and for good reason. After all, no one would actually purchase GMO foods (including the new GMO apple) if they carried an appropriate label.
This news comes as both a surprise and an expected announcement. As the USDA continues to roll through GMO products into the dining rooms of consumers nationwide, it’s less and less of a shock as every staple food becomes modified by mega biotech — and the time is now to demand real testing and action. Or at least answers as to why the US State Department is paying for Monsanto’s marketing materials like DVDs and threatening other countries who reject their GMO crops.
As Ron Paul recently exclaimed, the war propagandists are very active and are winning over the support of many unsuspecting American citizens. So we thought the followingg 90 seconds of ‘pure Paul’ would provide a refreshingly different perspective as he explains, “I’m not pro-Russia, I’m not pro-Putin, I’m pro-facts.”
“The Ukraine coup was planned by NATO and EU… The best thing we can do for Ukraine is get the foreigners out.”
A Palestinian searches through rubble of his destroyed home hit by Israeli strikes in Towers Al-andaa—the northern Gaza Strip. (Photo:UN Photo/Shareef Sarhan/flickr/cc)
At least 844 Palestinians were killed as a result of airstrikes on homes during Israel’s summer attack on Gaza, an Associated Pressexclusive analysis has revealed.
The review published Friday found that 508 of the dead—just over 60 percent—were children, women, and older men, all presumed to be civilians. “Hamas says it did not use women as fighters in the war, and an Israel-based research group tracking militants among the dead said it has no evidence women participated in combat,” AP notes.
Among the additional findings:
Children younger than 16 made up one-third of the total: 280 killed, including 19 babies and 108 preschoolers between the ages of 1 and 5.
In 83 strikes, three or more members of one family died.
Among those killed were 96 confirmed or suspected militants—or just over 11 percent of the total—though the actual number could be higher since armed groups have not released detailed casualty lists.
The remainder of the 240 dead were males between the ages of 16 and 59 whose names did not appear in connection with militant groups on searches of websites or on street posters honoring fighters.
“Either they have the worst army in the world that constantly misses targets and hits civilians, or they are deliberately killing civilians,” Hanan Ashrawi, a Palestinian spokeswoman, told the AP. If most of those killed are civilians, “you cannot call them collateral damage,” she said.
The results of the AP count, which looked at 247 airstrikes on homes, come on the heels ofsimilar findings released at the end of January by Israeli human rights group B’Tselem. That report pointed to three factors behind the high numbers of Palestinian civilian casualties in the more than 70 incidents they investigated: Israeli forces’ overly broad definitions of legitimate military targets, their repeated violations of the “principle of proportionality,” and a lack of or ineffective warnings to civilians that the homes would be targeted.
The organization sent the report to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for his response. In a letter, B’Tselem Executive Director Hagai El-Ad wrote: “Senior officials, with you at the helm, backed the strikes, reiterating the argument that the attacks conform to international humanitarian law and eschewing any responsibility for harm to civilians.”
The United Nations reports that in all, 2,205 Palestinians died during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, including at least 1,483 civilians of which more than 500 were children. The 2014 conflict also resulted in the deaths of 67 Israeli soldiers and 5 Israeli citizens.
The only reason Iran has not accepted the deal offered by the United States, according to the standard official view, is that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is a hardliner who is constraining the more reasonable Iranian negotiating team from making the necessary compromises. (Photo: Barack Obama/flickr/cc + Wikimedia Commons)
Talking to reporters Monday, President Obama asked rhetorically, “[D]oes Iran have the political will and desire to get a deal done?” Iran “should be able to get to yes,” Obama said. “But we don’t know if that is going to happen. They have their hard-liners, they have their politics….”The idea that Iranian agreement to US negotiating demands is being held back by “politics” is a familiar theme in US public pronouncements on these negotiations. The only reason Iran has not accepted the deal offered by the United States, according to the standard official view, is that Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is a hardliner who is constraining the more reasonable Iranian negotiating team from making the necessary compromises.
But that is a self-serving understanding of the problem, and it reflects a much more profoundly distorted view of US – Iran relations on the nuclear issue. The premise of Obama’s remark was that US demands are purely rational and technical in nature, when nothing could be further from the truth. The US proposal on enrichment capacity is justified by the concept of “breakout”, which experts acknowledge is based on a completely implausible scenario. But Iran has now had a “breakout” capability – meaning the capability to enrich enough uranium at weapons grade level for a single bomb – for six years. So the US insistence on reducing its capability so that the breakout timeline is a few months longer clearly has nothing to do with denying a nuclear weapons capability.
But the official narrative clings to the idea that Iran is acting irrationally in refusing to accept that US demand. The clearest illustrations of this warped US understanding of the negotiations is a long essay last month by former US proliferation official Robert Einhorn. Analysing the reason for the failure of the talks to date, he blames “deep divisions within the Iranian elite,” and specifically the position of the supreme leader. Einhorn cites a speech by Khamenei in Qom on 7 January, where he quotes Khamenei as concluding, “[B]y relying on the nation and domestic forces, we must act in such a way that even if the enemy does not lift the sanctions, no blow will be struck against the people’s progress….”
Einhorn suggests that Khamenei believes “Iran can live without an agreement,” implying that he is not really interested in an agreement. But a crucial point in the speech was Khamenei’s statement about US intentions: “The Americans say with completely shamelessness, ‘Even if Iran makes compromises on the nuclear issue, sanctions will not be lifted altogether and at the same time.’” And Khamenei concludes, “This shows that the enemy cannot be trusted.”
Khamenei’s point was clearly not that he was any less interested in an agreement that achieved the end of sanctions, but that he was doubtful about the willingness of the Americans to do so. But in an effort to force the speech to fit the US framework, Einhorn insists that it shows the supreme leader is “deeply sceptical of the value of an agreement.”
What is missing from Einhorn’s analysis – and from the American approach to negotiating with Iran in general – is any understanding that decades of aggressive US policy toward Iran have forced the Iranian national security elite to think very hard about its strategy for negotiating with the United States to achieve Iran’s fundamental objective of getting the sanctions lifted.
Khamenei is not a simple-minded Ayatollah who likes the idea of going it alone, as Einhorn and others in the US national security elite like to believe. He has been deeply involved in every major national security policy decision Iran has made from the beginning. He was Ayatollah Khomeini’s first representative to the Supreme National Security Council from 1980 to 1982, and was president of Iran from 1982 to 1990.
Khamenei has been criticised in the West and by his successor as President Ayatollah Ali Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani for having refusing to support negotiations with the United States either in 1989 and again after President Mohammad Khatami was elected in 1997. What critics of those policy decision have failed to take into account, however, is that that Iran would have been trying to negotiate with the United States from a woefully weak position in both cases.
In her 2005 book, Persian Mirrors, New York Times reporter Elaine Sciolino quotes then Deputy Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, whom the Americans have never dismissed as a wild-eyed Islamic radical, providing a remarkably revealing explanation for the Iranian calculation in rejecting negotiations with the United States at that point:
Look at it this way. The United States has most of the cards. We discarded our rhetorical card when Khatami reached out and called for a dialog among civilisations. The United States discarded its rhetorical card when it abandoned its negative tone toward us. Now the United States wants to keep the rest of its cards but want us to discard all of ours. It wants to open a dialog while it still is keeping a number of sanctions against us. We’re saying, “You can’t keep all your cards. It’s not in our interest and it’s not in your interest.”
Khamenei and Zarif both believed the United States was seeking to force Iran to accept an agreement on normalisation under which Washington would continue to hold the sanctions over Iran’s head. The Iranian analysis further implied that it needed to accumulate more negotiating cards in order to have successful talks with the United States.
That was the point at which Iran’s nuclear program intersected with its strategy for negotiating with the United States. Iran was planning to build a uranium enrichment facility within a few years. The United States chose to interpret such a facility as evidence of a covert nuclear weapons programme, but the evidence indicates that Khamenei and his advisers were actually counting on that enrichment programme to provide it with stronger cards with which to negotiate with the United States.
Political scientist, Jalil Roshandel, who worked on a research project for the Iranian Foreign Ministry’s think tank in 1997-1998, told me that influential figures he interviewed expressed the belief that having a uranium enrichment programme would provide bargaining chips to be used in negotiating with the United States for the removal of the sanctions. Roshandel, who now teaches at East Carolina State University, recalled that those who made that connection in conversations with him included an adviser to Ali Akbar Velayati, who had been foreign minister for 16 years, and then deputy Revolutionary Guards commander Yahya Rahim Safavi, who become chief commander in 1997.
Khamenei knows very well that this is the opportunity to play Iran’s nuclear cards in order to get the sanctions removed. But the United States appears to be using its sanctions card to force Iran to accept a reduction of roughly 75 percent in its enrichment capacity and not even offering to lift all sanctions in the short run even if Iran caves in. The second problem is that Iran’s enrichment capabilities have taken on a new political significance in public opinion as symbols of Iranian technological advancement that limits how far they can go in dismantling it.
In the context of the history of the sanctions in US-Iran relations, Iran’s determination to hold out for a better deal is hardly irrational. If the Obama administration fails to understand that fact the diplomatic stalemate is likely to continue.
Gareth Porter is an investigative historian and journalist on U.S. national security policy who has been independent since a brief period of university teaching in the 1980s. Dr. Porter is the author of five books, the latest book, “Manufactured Crisis: The Untold Story of the Iran Nuclear Scare,” was published in February 2014. He has written regularly for Inter Press Service on U.S. policy toward Iraq and Iran since 2005.
Against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis, leading German politicians and military leaders are demanding a massive rearmament of the army.
On Sunday, the president of the armed forces association, André Wüstner, attending the Munich Security Conference, declared: “Whoever wants freedom must be ready for war.” He has precisely the same view as the German government, namely that the conflict in Ukraine cannot be solved militarily, but that the army must prepare itself for any emergency.
The past year has shown “how quickly risks can turn into dangers,” said Wüstner. The situation in Ukraine, Syria and Iraq is dramatic, he said.
“For us, that means insisting that the army should be fully equipped—equipment caps passed by the previous legislature must be abolished! That begins with the weapons system and goes all the way to the personal equipment of the individual soldier.”
“To achieve complete preparation of the army for deployment”, he added, “we must raise the defense budget step by step in the next few years. Otherwise, we risk losing the trust of our allies that we have only just won back.”
Wüstner was referring to “global challenges” and the German role in NATO. Germany has a “payback responsibility” with regard to the army and NATO.
The lieutenant colonel complained, “Since 1990, the budget was restructured to save money at the expense of the army,” and demanded: “It is time for that to end—there have to be credible assurances of funding for deterrence and security!”
This year’s defense report raises similar demands and read like a blueprint for the rearmament of the army. In the forward, the parliamentary defense commissioner Hellmut Königshaus (Free Democratic Party, FDP) describes the year 2014 as “the year of truth” for the army. It is being rebuilt into an army capable of intervening worldwide, but is “stretched to the limit of its capacity.”
The first part of the report creates the impression that the German armed forces are a chronically underfinanced scrapheap in need of redevelopment and in urgent need of a massive increase in budgetary allotments.
In nearly all units, there are personnel problems: the anti-aircraft missile unit stationed in Turkish territory, the speedboat squadron, the U-boat squadron, the tactical air force squadron, the marine planes and the signals division.
With regard to large military equipment, the report says there are massive “inadequacies and deficits.” It mentions, for instance, the Eurofighter, the transport helicopter NH 90, the transport airplane Transall and the marine mine warfare systems. There are not enough armored personnel carriers, and barracks are dilapidated. Replacement parts for military equipment and adequate ammunition are also lacking. And the main gun used by the army, the G36, does not shoot accurately.
Wüstner and the defense report demand what the German government and NATO have wanted for a long time but have previously only formulated cautiously because of widespread popular opposition.
Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen (Christian Democratic Union, CDU) said in her opening speech to the Munich Security Conference last weekend that Germany is working “very hard to bring the army’s weaponry and equipment into a condition that will allow us to maintain our role as enduring alliance partners.” NATO wants this to take place immediately. The military alliance has long demanded of its members that they raise their defense budgets to at least two percent of GDP. Recently, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg insisted that Germany set a good example.
Stoltenberg held talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Defense Minister von der Leyen about increasing military funding during his inaugural visit to Berlin in January. He also presented his plans to the parliamentary committees for defense and foreign policy.
Germany is a “key country” on the continent and has an important leadership role to play, said Stoltenberg. Therefore it must set an example for other NATO countries with its military. The security situation is changing “and we must adjust ourselves to that,” the NATO secretary general said.
Like Wüstner and von der Leyen, Stoltenberg directly related his plans for armaments with Russia’s “confrontation course”. NATO must stock up its arsenal, because only on the basis of a “position of strength” is a dialog with Moscow possible.
However, the most important reason for the demand to build up the army is not the NATO insistence, but the end of German restraint in matters of foreign policy announced by President Gauck and the German government a year ago. In order to be able to intervene worldwide to defend German economic, geopolitical and security interests, they need an army that is well equipped and prepared.
The complaints of the defense report about the bad condition of the army evoke historical parallels. In 1933, minister of the army of the Reich, Werner von Blomberg, prepared a memorandum in which he called the state of the German army “hopeless.” Like the current defense report, Blomberg’s memorandum complained that there were inadequate personnel reserves, military equipment and ammunition. Not even the equipment guaranteed by the Versailles treaty was available to the marines. Armoured ships were not delivered and the air force was almost nonexistent.
The dramatic development that then followed is well known. At the end of the same year, the Nazi regime began a rapid rearmament of the army. Within a short time, the German weapons industry, which had shrunk dramatically in accordance with the Versailles peace treaty, became a powerful fighting force that began the Second World War in 1939, left large parts of Europe in ruins and led a brutal war of destruction against the Soviet Union.
The CNN news-report was not posted to the Internet by CNN, because too many people noticed that it was propaganda and complained; but those three screen-prints shown here from it were posted by various individuals who had complained about the piece. Because of those many complaints, CNN’s reporter subsequently apologized for what CNN had done there, and said that “the debate in western capitals is actually about whether the United States and other NATO countries should send arms to the Ukrainian military.” But, of course, that is too long for a mere streamer — just an “error,” perhaps. The reporter who had delivered that news-segment, and who subsequently issued that apology said, “I regret that error”; so, she implicitly admitted that she was the person who had “erred” in it, even though other employees had controlled that streamer, and she was not the producer who produced that report. She took the fall for it, on the part of the organization, all the way up to the person who hired her, and to the person who had hired that person, all the way up to the person at the top — the CEO.
The RT news-report showed an incident that was not covered nor even mentioned by CNN, though the incident clearly is relevant to the question of “whether the United States and other NATO countries should send arms to the Ukrainian military.” Perhaps CNN considers propagandistic such videos as RT issues. But that’s for you to judge, whether one or both organizations are more propaganda than news organizations.
Reader-comments are consequently invited here to discuss whether, and the extent to which, readers have encountered more deception by U.S. newsmedia, or by Russian newsmedia.
The present news report — this one — will therefore consist of that discussion: It’s yours to write, because the news here (if any) will be how the public feels about the basic honesty of the press in the U.S., and in Russia. This is your news, to write here.
“Why are they bombing us? Why are they killing us? Why are they destroying us? We will be buried alive. We will starve. We will rot in basements.”
A local doctor said “(w)e hoped for that day the peace would come, the troops would be drawn off, and this bloodshed and civil war would come to an end. But it didn’t happen.”
An elderly resident said “(w)e already don’t know whether to believe if there could be any sense in the talks. We’d like to see peace. But the shelling goes on.”
RT quoted EU Reporter magazine political reporter Anna Van Densky saying “(t)he moment the coup d’etat happened was the moment when Ukraine entered this tragic path of decline and degradation.”
“People of the whole of Ukraine and Donbas are hostages of this horrendous situation.”
An injured woman told RT she “really want(s) peace, for everything to improve.”
“I wish no one to go through what I have – to be left old and alone with a crippled leg in a destroyed building.”
It’s important to keep repeating what other articles stressed. Ukraine is Obama’s war. He didn’t launch it to quit.
He’ll wage it to the last Ukrainian. It’s lawless aggression by any standard. Risking direct confrontation with Russia. Possible global war. Wealth, power and dominance alone matter.
Millions of lost lives and unspeakable human misery are small prices to pay. Lunatics running things in Washington think this way. Why stopping them matters most of all.
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.
Dozens of anti-coup activists held a demonstration in central Bangkok today, handing out roses and copies of George Orwell’s “1984″ — a rare expression of public dissent in a nation still under strict martial law.
Except in reality, these “dozens” of “activists” are merely the same loud, obnoxious minority that has ceaselessly opposed attempts by Thailand’s institutions, including the military, to restore order, peace, and stability after over a decade of turmoil created by mass murderer and dictator, Thaksin Shinawatra.
Street Mob Wants Thaksin Shinawatra, not “Democracy”
Shinawatra mass murdered nearly 3,000 people in a 90 day period in 2003. He ordered a protest put down in 2004 that saw 85 killed in a single day (after they were detained). He would oversee the assassination or disappearance of 18 human rights advocates during his first of two terms in office, and since being deposed in 2006 by a military coup similar to the one that ousted his nepotist sister, Yingluck Shinawatra just last year, he has built-up and deployed “red shirt” street mobs that have hacked to death, shot, beaten, and otherwise murdered, abused, or intimidated Shinawatra’s political opponents across the country .
Image: In 2010 “democracy” was wielding M16s and AK47s, mass slaughtering in the streets after courts ruled against deposed dictator Thaksin Shinawatra who vowed revenge. His “revenge” cost nearly 100 people their lives and left the city in literal flames before the Thai army was able to restore order. Recent mobs claimed to be “pro-democracy activists” are in fact seeking Shinawatra’s return to power, not the “return of democracy” which never existed to begin with.
In 2009 he ordered his mobs into the streets of Bangkok to riot. Two shopkeepers would be gunned down by his followers in an orgy of violence and looting. In 2010, he would again send his “red shirts” into the streets of Bangkok, this time accompanied by heavily armed terrorists wielding AK47s, M16s, M79 grenade launchers, and a variety of other weapons, triggering violence that would kill nearly 100 and leave hundreds more injured.
During unprecedentedly large protests demanding Shinawatra’s sister step down from power, he would once again deploy these militants in the streets, killing nearly 30 men, women, and children, and maiming many more in a vain attempt to help his sister cling to power.
All of these serial atrocities committed against the Thai people has been accomplished with the impunity granted by Western-backed “elections” that have seen Shinawatra’s well-oiled political machine easily return favorable poll results no matter how egregious his crimes have been. His ability to wield violent street mobs and heavily armed militants and assassins against his opponents – including the courts that would have otherwise long-ago removed him from power judicially – have further afforded him utter impunity.
With the police under Shinawatra’s control and the courts immobilized by threats and an inability to have their rulings enforced, the Thai military was left no other choice but to remove Shianwatra, his regime, and his vast US-backed political and non-governmental networks from Thailand’s political landscape via a peaceful coup. Clearly what Thailand has been under over the past decade has not been “democracy,” but rather despotism poorly dressed as “democracy.”
Thus, AFP’s “activists” are merely Shinawatra supporters, incapable of demanding the “return of democracy” since there was no democracy to begin with. Indeed, the “activists” instead seek to return to the mass murder, carnage, corruption, intimidation, and ruination of Thailand under the Shinawatra regime. Many of these “activists” emanate from Thailand’s increasingly compromised Thammasat University, encouraged by overtly US-funded faculty with direct connections to the Shinawatra regime and the many foreign interests that have helped create, install into power, and defend it against any attempts to restrain it from consolidating absolute political power within the Southeast Asian country.
The US and its media monopolies attempt to frame small mobs composed of the same people as “pro-democracy” when clearly they are anything but. Such dishonest at the expense of not only the truth, but of peace and stability in Thailand illustrates precisely why a military coup was necessary to remove such criminals from power, and why martial law will remain necessary well into the foreseeable future until these networks have been fully uprooted and a real political process can be put in place.
During a briefing with General Muzenko he announced that “To date, we have only the involvement of some members of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation and Russian citizens that are part of illegal armed groups involved in the fighting. We are not fighting with the regular Russian Army. We have enough forces and means in order to inflict a final defeat even with illegal armed formation present. “- he said.
Both of these statements further confirmed the head of the SBU position.
November 6th in an interview with Gromadske.TV, Markian Lubkivsky, the adviser to the head of the SBU (the Ukrainian version of the CIA) stated there are NO RUSSIAN TROOPS ON UKRANIAN SOIL! This unexpected announcement came as he fumbled with reporters’ questions on the subject. According to his statement, he said the SBU confirmed that there were some 5000 Russian nationals [volunteers], but no Russian soldiers in Donetsk and Lugansk Peoples Republics.
All of these statements add weight to the otherwise untrustworthy comments of Alexander Torchynov back in June of 2014.
According to speaker of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Alexander Turchynov, representatives of security agencies deliberately whipped up the situation systematically misinforming the country’s leadership about Russia’s possible military intervention, which had never happened.
“Our intelligence agencies have about ten times a month reported that the time of a military attack on the part of the Russian Federation was defined – usually it was at three or four in the morning. And we sat in combat readiness at the command post… and the rest of the army was preparing for an open war with the Eastern neighbor. But it did not happen,” Alexander Turchinov said in an interview with Novoye Vremya, which is to be released tomorrow.
It would seem we have a long and illustrious history of Russia NOT attacking Ukraine in 2014.
Who is attacking then, that’s the question.
This morning NAF scouts spotted NATO tanks inside the encirclement (Cauldron) at Debaltseve. According to their information the possibility is strong that up to 25% of the trapped army may be NATO.
Shell remnants marked clearly with US identifying numbers from 155mm shells, shot by the Paladin artillery system have been recovered from areas the Ukrainian army have attacked civilian targets. If the NATO troops are there, and who else would be running the complicated military equipment, the possibility that they won’t make it home is in the same government’s hands that brought the world a non-existent Russian invasion and is pushing the world to the brink.
This would explain both the US and EU trying to push a new peace initiative. If NATO troops are taken captive, what then? If hundreds of NATO troops are fighting for Ukraine in a war that even John McCain says is using prohibited weapons, what are the liabilities after? American troops in this case and just based on McCain’s admission are by any definition War Criminals for participating.
Support our Troops and keep them home.
What will Russia’s Reaction Be?
Until this point Russia has been the only country to show restraint and a desire to stop the conflict. The US and EU have wholeheartedly helped Kiev go forward knowing it was committing war crimes; terrorist bombings of buses, rockets and missiles at cities, and phosphorus bombs. The west knows the volunteer battalions are committing mass war crimes.
If NATO soldiers are captured or their remains recovered and confirmed it will certainly change the nature of the war. The Russian weapons that the entire MSM have insisted are here will no doubt show up. If NATO pushes back, where ever isn’t far enough. It will be the brink of WWIII.
The familiar scent of betrayal clouds just concluded Minsk ceasefire talks. Like previous times when hope exceeded reality.
Donbass is Obama’s war. Washington controls what’s ongoing. It arms, funds, trains and directs Kiev’s military.
Neocons making policy want war, not peace. Chances for ending conflict are virtually nil. Obama didn’t wage war to quit.
Kiev violated last April’s four-party agreement before the ink was dry. Hoped for peace was fantasy. A joint April 17 US/EU/Russia/Ukraine statement proved meaningless.
Saying “(t)he Geneva meeting on the situation in Ukraine agreed on initial concrete steps to de-escalate tensions and restore security for all citizens.”
“All sides must refrain from any violence, intimidation or provocative actions. The participants strongly condemned and rejected all expressions of extremism, racism and religious intolerance, including anti-semitism.”
“All illegal armed groups must be disarmed; all illegally seized buildings must be returned to legitimate owners; all illegally occupied streets, squares and other public places in Ukrainian cities and towns must be vacated.”
“Amnesty will be granted to protestors and to those who have left buildings and other public places and surrendered weapons, with the exception of those found guilty of capital crimes.”
It was agreed that the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission should play a leading role in assisting Ukrainian authorities and local communities in the immediate implementation of these de-escalation measures wherever they are needed most, beginning in the coming days.”
“The US, EU and Russia commit to support this mission, including by providing monitors. The announced constitutional process will be inclusive, transparent and accountable.”
“It will include the immediate establishment of a broad national dialogue, with outreach to all of Ukraine’s regions and political constituencies, and allow for the consideration of public comments and proposed amendments.”
“The participants underlined the importance of economic and financial stability in Ukraine and would be ready to discuss additional support as the above steps are implemented.”
A White House statement said Obama “commended the government of Ukraine’s approach to today’s discussions in Geneva, where it put forward constructive proposals to expand local governance and ensure the rights of all Ukrainians are protected.”
“…Russia needs to take immediate, concrete actions to de-escalate the situation in eastern Ukraine, including by using its influence over the irregular forces in eastern Ukraine to get them to lay down their arms and leave the buildings they have seized.”
“(T)he United States and Europe are prepared to take further measures if this de-escalation does not occur in short order.”
Donbas self-defense forces honored agreed on terms. Fighting never stopped. Kiev forces bore full responsibility.
Washington colluded with Kiev to continue conflict. Donbass freedom fighters and Russia were irresponsibly blamed for their crimes.
On September 5, both sides again agreed on ceasefire terms. At the time, illegitimate oligarch president Poroshenko said:
“I give the order to the chief of the General staff of the Ukrainian Armed Forces to cease fire, starting from 18.00 (local time) on September 5.
A statement on his web site said:
“We must do everything possible and impossible to stop bloodshed and put an end to people’s suffering.”
Donbass forces ceased fire. Kiev continued conflict. Violated agreed on terms straightaway. Including after accepting September 19 follow-up memorandum provisions.
Imposed economic blockade conditions on Donbas. Rescinded its special status after granting it.
Expect nothing different this time. Washington won’t tolerate part of Ukraine run democratically – free from Kiev fascist rule.
Following agreement in Minsk, Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR) Prime Minster Alexander Zakharchenko said:
“According to the memorandum points, all responsibility for any violation of non-implementation of some agreements lies on Poroshenko.”
If Kiev violates terms, no new memorandum will follow, he added. He hopes for peace. Based on past betrayals, he’s justifiably leery for good reason.
Some things remain unresolved, he explained. The devil is in all the details.
Mostly what Washington plans behind the scenes. Unipolar pax Americana remains official US policy.
It bears repeating. Obama wants war, not peace. It’s not hard imagining what’s coming.
Arming, training, funding and directing Ukraine’s military will continue more intensively than ever. Supplying more heavy weapons assures escalated conflict.
Especially with hundreds of US combat forces training Kiev’s military. For war, not self-defense. Ukraine’s only enemies are ones it invents.
Donbas residents want peace. They want democratic rights everyone deserves. They want regional autonomy assuring them. They reject fascist rule.
In September, Kiev agreed to end fighting, withdraw its forces, continue national dialogue, improve Donbas humanitarian conditions, allow autonomous local elections, and pursue economic recovery and reconstruction, among other promises made.
It systematically breached them all. What’s known about Thursday’s agreement leaves wiggle room enough to drive Kiev armored columns through.
Autonomy is ill-defined. So is the autonomous area covered by ceasefire provisions. Self-rule to be granted looks more fantasy-like than real.
Nothing is agreed without Washington’s OK. Nothing less than total US control over Ukraine nationwide is acceptable.
No Independent governance in Donbas will be tolerated. Washington either wants Ukraine in one piece under Kiev rule or balkanized like Yugoslavia for easier control.
Either way, autonomous regions won’t be tolerated. For sure, not independent democratic ones.
Expect more US/Kiev instigated false flags ahead. Like downing MH17, Volnovakha and Donetsk bus attacks, as well as late January Mariupol shelling and others targeting hospitals, schools, residential neighborhoods and city streets.
Maybe something more major is planned. Perhaps a Ukraine 9/11. Blaming Donbas freedom fighters and Russia like before. Expect similar future attacks to be used as pretexts to reignite conflict.
Year ago Maidan sniper killings were false flags blamed on former President Yanukovych’s government.
Former Ukrainian Security Service chief Aleksander Yakimenko later admitted it. Saying shots killing police and civilians were fired from Kiev’s Philharmonic Hall controlled by opposition forces at the time.
So-called Maidan self-defense commandant Andrey Parubiy ordered the killings. Controlled events. Later was appointed national security and defense council head.
According to Yakimenko, he worked with US special forces at the time. On Russian television Yakimenko said:
“Shots came from the Philharmonic Hall. Maidan commandant Parubiy was responsible for this building.”
“Snipers and people with automatic weapons were ‘working’ from this building on February 20.”
“They supported the assault on the Interior Ministry forces on the ground who were already demoralized and…fled.”
“When the first wave of shootings ended, many witnessed 20 people leaving the building.” They were seen carrying military-style bags used for assault weapons and optical sights.
Parubiy and others worked with US special forces. The same ones “carry(ing) out everything they were told by their leadership – the United States.”
Expect new US-instigated false flags ahead. Expect renewed fighting. Perhaps heavier than before. Peace going forward is pure fantasy.
German media said Obama threatened Putin ahead of Minsk talks with serious consequences unless he yielded to US demands on Ukraine.
It’s unknown how Putin responded. Likely more diplomatically than Obama but firm.
It’s clear how rotten the Minsk agreement is by a White House statement endorsing it.
Ludicrously saying it “represents a potentially significant step toward a peaceful resolution of the conflict and the restoration of Ukraine’s sovereignty consistent with the Minsk agreements from last September.”
Impossible when Obama wants war. Instigated conflict in the first place. Intends escalating it ahead. May be foolish enough to confront Russia belligerently.
Will surely be remembered as America’s worst ever president unless or until a successor exceeds his ruthlessness at home and abroad.
In the meantime, conflict in Donbas rages. More civilian deaths and injuries were reported.
What’s ahead shorter term remains to be seen. Longer term things look bleak.
February 12, 2015 may be remembered as a new millennium Munich agreement.
Eleven months after British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain proclaimed “peace in our time,” Hitler invaded Poland. WW II began.
Will Putin, Merkel and Hollande be responsible for the unthinkable ahead? Potentially cataclysmic East/West nuclear confrontation? The fullness of time will tell.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at [email protected]. His new book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.” http://www.claritypress.com/LendmanIII.html Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com. Listen to cutting-edge discussions with distinguished guests on the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network. It airs three times weekly: live on Sundays at 1PM Central time plus two prerecorded archived programs.
The only way that U.S. President Barack Obama can win in Ukraine now is by negotiating subsequent details to become deal-breakers to the February 12th draft agreement, such that for Russian President Vladimir Putin not to accept Obama’s proposed details would mean that no deal will be signed. This could happen, because the prestige of both leaders is on the line in this new draft deal on Ukraine.
The announcement of the agreement opens as follows:
“Russian President Vladimir Putin; President of Ukraine, Peter Poroshenko; French President Francois Hollande; and Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany Angela Merkel, confirmed full respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. They firmly believe in the inevitability of peaceful resolution.”
U.S. President Barack Obama is not mentioned there; but, for him to reject their deal, and to send lethal weapons to Ukraine now and so escalate the war and its massive bloodshed — which has already cost “up to 50,000” dead and millions of refugees — would be extremely embarrassing for the United States: no American “boots on the ground,” just tens of thousands of Ukrainian corpses under it, in a war that Obama himself had initiated (and even the founder of Stratfor, the “private CIA” firm, says that the February 2014 overthrow of Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych, which started the war, was “the most blatant coup in history,” which it certainly was, and is increasingly recognized as having been).
If, during coming days, Putin does nothing that causes Merkel or Hollande to say Putin is violating what had been understood between the negotiants, then Putin will be essentially in control on those crucial remaining details too, and the U.S. position (which favors more war) (and this is so not only from Obama but also from the Congress) will go down in flames. The next few days and weeks will thus be crucial, and Merkel and Hollande hold the top cards, because Obama needs to avoid an open break with them — something that would be an open break with the EU itself, which America’s aristocracy very much don’t want to happen (since America’s aristocracy would then lose their enormous influence over the EU).
Immediately after the coup when Yanukovych was overthrown, the EU sent an investigator, Urmas Paet, to find out whether the extremely violent overthrow of Yanukovych had been due to Yanukovych, or else to “someone from the new coalition [meaning the EU and U.S.],” and he reported, on 26 February 2014, to the EU’s foreign affairs chief, Catherine Ashton, that it was due to “someone from the new coalition [our side].” This information shocked her. (As Obama’s chief agent controlling the coup, Victoria Nuland, had said on 4 February 2014, preparing the coup, “F—k the EU!” In that same phone call, she also selected Arseniy Yatsenyuk as the person who would take over the Ukrainian Government after the coup, which he did, 22 days later. Anyone who denies that it was a coup is either ignorant or lying, because this is the first coup in history that was fully documented on live videos.) However, rejecting Ukraine as a new candidate for the EU didn’t fit Ashton’s job-description, and she could do nothing about the matter anyway; so, she accepted it, and tried to make it work, as peacefully as possible.
The EU’s reason for wanting Ukraine is chiefly economic, for its gas and agricultural resources. The chief reason that America’s aristocracy want Ukraine is as a launching-pad for NATO missiles against Moscow, because Russia is the world’s main military hold-out against control by the U.S. aristocracy, and America’s aristocracy are eager to use taxpayers’ money, which is to say the U.S. military, to bring Russia to heel and within their economic control — it’s then a freebie to them.
Russia’s President Vladimir Putin is primarily concerned to avoid Ukraine having a Government that wants U.S. strategic (i.e., aimed against Moscow) missiles; in other words: he wants to avoid Ukraine’s becoming a member of NATO — the anti-Russian military club of nations, which now surrounds Russia. The only way that he can achieve this crucial objective is for the far-eastern region of Ukraine, Donbass (the region shown in dark purple on this map), which had voted 90% for Yanukovych and 10% for America’s candidate (Yulia Tymoshenko) in the 2010 Presidential election (the last election in which all parts of Ukraine voted), to remain as being voters in Ukrainian national elections, so as to counterbalance the anti-Russian northeastern half of Ukraine and thus avoid any more nazis being elected to national power in Ukraine.
Donbass is the region where Obama’s Ukrainian Government is trying to exterminate the residents (whom they call ‘Terrorists’ and try to kill in their “Anti Terrorist Operation” there, fooling the western Ukrainian public that those are “Terrorists” instead of simply Donbass’s residents, the people who live there). If Ukraine’s President Petro Poroshenko, or whomever the U.S. supports, doesn’t succeed at exterminating or else driving out the residents in Donbass, then Ukraine’s Government will probably not be able to join NATO and bring in its strategic missiles aimed at Russia — which is what this is all about, from the standpoint of Barack Obama: it’s part of surrounding Russia with NATO missiles.
Looking at that draft agreement, it seems to meet Putin’s basic national-security needs for Russia. Doubass’s people would retain their right to vote for Ukraine’s President.
In order for him to do this, it is essential for the breakaway region to stay within Ukraine as regards the voters there participating in future elections for Ukraine’s President. As I headlined on 19 September 2014, “Russia’s Leader Putin Rejects Ukrainian Separatists’ Aim to Become Part of Russia.” The current draft agreement meets this Russian-national-security need. As I commented at that time: “Perhaps Putin’s declining to accept Ukrainian territory into Russia is part of an agreement between the two leaders in which Obama is, for his part, declining the urgings from congressional Republicans and conservative Democrats for the U.S. to provide weapons to the Ukrainian military to expedite their ethnic cleansing campaign.” However, if U.S. President Obama goes ahead with the Republicans’ position, of sending lethal weapons to Ukraine, then the United States will end up becoming internationally isolated, unless either Merkel, or Hollande, or both, declare that Putin is failing to comply with the new agreement, and rejoin with the United States in its ethnic-cleansing effort to eliminate the residents in the separatist region, “Donbass,” which includes the Donetsk and Luhansk republics.
So, although Putin has won this opening round of obtaining a new peace agreement, Obama still yet can win in the later stages and increase the ethnic cleansing, if either Merkel or Hollande abandon Putin.
The draft agreement also includes other features that would be necessary for the economic reconstruction of the Donbass region, which the Ukrainian Government has been bombing in its ethnic cleansing campaign. For the first time (if the initial statements from the IMF become borne out in additional ‘loans’ actually taxpayer donations, to Ukraine), Western taxpayers will be contributing to that economic reconstruction, which will be vast, especially considering that around 50,000 civilians and soldiers have probably thus far been slaughtered in Obama’s ethnic-cleansing campaign there, and more than a million residents have fled and become refugees (mainly in Russia), and the cities and villages have been bombed and even firebombed. So, while some aristocrats may have gained from Obama’s coup, taxpayers in the West will now be paying tens of billions to undo some of the economic damage that Obama and the U.S. Congress (especially Republicans there) have caused in Ukraine by means of the coup and of its essential ethnic-cleansing aftermath. Since ‘we’ taxpayers (the public) caused the war (from which only some international aristocrats might benefit — and those were the people behind it), we (and not those aristocrats) shall be cleaning up from it — if the current deal doesn’t fall apart and the damages from the war thus soar even further.
But, at least in the first draft of this agreement, Putin has won, and Obama has lost.
A new coalition of Arab parties running in next month’s Israeli general election faced its first serious test on Thursday when one of its most prominent members was disqualified.
Haneen Zoabi, a member of the Israeli parliament since 2009, was barred from the campaign by the Central Elections Committee, a highly partisan body dominated by the major Israeli political parties.
As expected, the right-wing parties of prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu and foreign minister Avigdor Lieberman petitioned for her disqualification, accusing her of making statements in support of armed struggle.
But, more surprisingly, they were supported by the Zionist Camp, which has positioned itself as a centre-left alternative to the Netanyahu government. It is currently the second most popular party after Netanyahu’s.
The committee members ignored the advice of the country’s attorney-general, Yehuda Weinstein, that there were no legal grounds for banning Zoabi from parliament, known as the Knesset.
Zoabi is one of 11 MPs representing the 1.5 million-strong Palestinian minority in Israel, who avoided expulsion when Israel was created in 1948 and today have Israeli citizenship.
Her disqualification is the culmination of a campaign by the right-wing parties that accuses the Arab MPs of being “terrorists” and “traitors” who have no place in parliament – or in Israel.
One of Lieberman’s campaign slogans is “Haneen to Jenin”, suggesting she should be expelled to a Palestinian city in the occupied West Bank.
The coalition of Arab parties – formed last month under the title the “Joint List” – is will appeal to the supreme court next week to overturn the ban.
Fortunately for the list, the judges are likely to intervene on Zoabi’s behalf. If they do not, the Arab coalition will face a crisis – probably the first of a series over the coming weeks and months.
If Zoabi is excluded, the other parties in the list will have to decide whether to refuse to run in a show of solidarity. If, as seems more likely, they chose to ignore her disqualification and stand anyway, that could send a troubling message to their voters – that Lieberman and Netanyahu get to decide who represents Palestinian citizens in the Israeli parliament.
An uncomfortable alliance
The list was established late last month after weeks of difficult negotiations as the Arab parties tried to set aside long-standing personality clashes and ideological disputes.
Traditionally, the parties have argued that their political differences – representing nationalist, socialist and Islamic outlooks – are important and needed to be preserved.
But the parties were forced into an uncomfortable alliance by two developments that threatened their survival in the parliament.
The first was a decision last year to raise the electoral threshold to a level that none of the Arab parties could expect to surmount separately. The move was widely interpreted as an effort by the right to rid the 120-seat chamber of Arab MPs.
Compounding their problems, the Arab parties have faced flagging support from the Palestinian public in recent elections, with turnouts falling to barely more than half the electorate.
According to a report on the election published this week by the Nazareth-based Human Rights Association (HRA), the decline in voting represents two trends.
One, based on principle, argues that elections should be boycotted to avoid conferring legitimacy on “the Zionist parliament”. That position has adherents in a small secular party, the Sons of the Village (Ibnaa al-Balad), and the more influential northern wing of the Islamic Movement, led by Sheikh Raed Salah.
But much of the recent drop-off in voting can probably be ascribed to another trend: growing disenchantment with parliamentary politics as a whole.
Mohammed Zeidan, the director of the HRA, said an increasing number of Palestinian citizens felt that Arab politicians had no hope of being effective in advancing the minority’s rights, given both the current right-wing climate and the infighting that has beset the Arab parties.
Hopes of more seats
Many supporters criticised the discord between the parties, pointing out that they shared common ground on the biggest issues facing the Palestinian minority. All want an end both to the racist laws and practices that enforce discrimination inside Israel, and to the occupation suffered by millions of their Palestinian kin across the Green Line.
Surveys showed that the parties could significantly raise voter turnout if they united – which in turn would lead to more seats in the Knesset.
When the Joint List was announced last month, its leaders said they expected to increase their tally of seats to as many as 15 in the next parliament, making it the third or fourth largest bloc in the Knesset.
The list’s campaign slogan, to be unveiled in Nazareth this weekend, is “the will of the people”, suggesting that the party leaders have finally listened to their electorates.
But indications so far are that any unity is only paper thin. The clue may be in the use of the word “joint” to describe the list rather than “unified” or “unity”.
The term was preferred for two probable reasons.
The first is that the socialist Hadash party prizes its primary identity as a Jewish-Arab party, even making sure that it has a Jewish candidate in one of its top slots. This tradition is deeply entrenched in the party’s philosophy, even though only a small proportion of its members and voters are Jewish.
That has often put it at odds with the more nationalist Balad party, to which Zoabi belongs. Balad’s key demands are that the minority be allowed educational and cultural autonomy to help preserve a Palestinian identity under constant threat from Israeli state policy, and that it begin to develop national political institutions to create a more accountable local Arab leadership.
Hadash reportedly preferred a “joint” list, conveying the impression of cooperation with the Jewish population, over a “unity” list that would have suggested an exclusive Arab identity.
Ready to bolt
The second reason is that the looseness implied in a “joint” list leaves the parties with the option to split immediately or soon after polling day. Again, this seems to be an option Hadash prefers, fearful that the confrontational style of Balad and the religious impulses of the Islamic party would damage it in the eyes of some supporters, particularly Jews.
That danger was highlighted just before the negotiations for the list began, when Hadash landed a small coup. It recruited to its ranks Avraham Burg, a distinguished Jewish politician. Burg is a former senior member of the Labour party, a former speaker of the parliament and a former chairman of the international Zionist organisation the Jewish Agency.
Burg has grown disillusioned with Zionism over the past ten years, and his move to Hadash was logical. But he was forceful in expressing a concern probably shared by many of the Jewish members of the party about a unified list.
“I left the Jewish national arena because it turned nationalistic,” he said early last month as Hadash voted to negotiate an alliance with the other parties.
He added that he did not want to replace it with Palestinian nationalism.
Hadash looks ready to bolt the political alliance soon after polling day. Such a break-up, demonstrating that the Joint List was simply an opportunistic vehicle for bypassing the obstacle of a raised threshold, would be difficult to reconcile with “the will of the people”.
“There is a danger that the Joint List creates false expectations,” said Zeidan. “Voters will feel betrayed if the coalition breaks up after the election, and that could have damaging long-term consequences for the parties.”
Rather than reversing the decline in turnout among the Arab public, the list – if it fails to hold much beyond polling day – could dramatically accelerate it.
Another problem for the list is that, to revive interest in voting, it has argued that the Arab parties together in an electoral alliance will win a larger share of seats.
The unstated assumption is that this will give them a new influence in the coalition-building negotiations after election day and force the government, whatever its hue, to listen to the Palestinian minority’s concerns.
The centrist Zionist Camp also wants to exploit this implication. Given the opinion polls, its only hope of persuading potential voters that it can defeat Netanyahu is by suggesting that it can rely on the Joint List’s support.
Both therefore have had an interest in subtly suggesting to their electorates that they may work together after polling day.
The reality, however, is that there is no possibility of such cooperation. In private, Joint List officials were saying even before the Zionist Camp’s vote in favour of Zoabi’s disqualification that they could never support a faction that places its Zionism above all else.
The Zionist Camp too has shown its hand by voting to bar Zoabi. Maintaining its image within the Zionist consensus is clearly more important to it than courting the Arab parties.
But if the Joint List cannot convert a higher number of seats into political influence, even with the centre-left, it is in trouble. It is simply proving right those who have been arguing that there is nothing to be gained from being in the parliament.
Again, the Joint List’s likely ineffectuality after election day may accelerate the long-term trend towards a falling turn-out among Palestinian voters.
According to some Balad officials, this scenario may be avoidable, but only given a set of specific conditions: the Joint List holds together after polling day; its number of seats increases; and it harnesses the greater unity between the parties to build national institutions.
Primarily, that would require overhauling the Follow-Up Committee, the only national political body representing the Palestinian minority.
In the past, the committee’s effectiveness has been seriously undermined by the same political discord that besets the parties, together with the weight it gives to local mayors, representing extended families rather than political programmes.
Balad has been arguing for the committee to become a mini-parliament, with its members directly elected, thereby making it truly representative.
However, such an outcome still appears a long way off.
Israeli governments have always deeply opposed such a move by the Palestinian minority, claiming it would be tantamount to sedition. Israeli officials could be expected to fight it tooth and nail.
They may be joined by the socialists of Hadash, both its Jewish and Arab members. They have labelled efforts to change the Follow-Up Committee into a parliament as “secessionism” – in their eyes, an abandonment of joint Jewish-Arab struggle.
The Joint List may drive up the turn-out at this election. But over the long term the Palestinian minority will probably expect more radical solutions than a unity of short-term political convenience.
Washington was the elephant in the room in Minsk. It controls Kiev’s geopolitical agenda.
Poroshenko is a convenient stooge. An impotent front man. Installed to do what he’s told.
Otherwise he’d be ousted like Yanukovych. Maybe killed by a bullet, bomb or slit throat. Coups and targeted assassinations reflect longstanding US policy.
Presstitute media scoundrels suppress what’s most important to know about Ukraine. Obama wants war, not peace.
He didn’t launch it to quit. Kiev proxies may be prelude to direct US involvement. If they continue failing, expect it.
Obama wants control over all Ukrainian territory nationwide. He wants none of it democratically, independently or autonomously governed.
He wants it used as a dagger against Russia. US bases on its borders. Multiple nuclear warhead long-range missiles targeting its heartland.
Agreements involving America directly or indirectly are meaningless. Easy to violate.
As simple as ignoring provisions agreed on. reinterpreting them, or blaming one side’s violations on the other.
Last year, Kiev systematically breached agreed on Geneva and Minsk protocol/follow-up memorandum terms.
Donbas freedom fighters and Russia were blamed for its crimes. Washington and other Western governments pointed fingers the wrong way. So did presstitute media scoundrels regurgitating propaganda like gospel.
On Thursday, State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki effectively said Washington will only condemn alleged Russian or Donbas self-defense fighter (unlikely to occur) Mnsk violations, not Kiev’s (virtually certain to occur) ones.
Asked if “there (is) any consequence or any cost to Ukraine if they’re the ones found to be not complying with” Minsk terms, Psaki lied saying:
“(W)e’ve seen over the last 24 hours even that Russia has continued to take aggressive actions into Ukraine even while this agreement is being discussed.”
“So Ukraine, over the past several months, has not only implemented and taken steps to implement the Minsk protocols, but they have been supportive of efforts to find a peaceful solution here.”
What convoluted rubbish!! Asked again if costs will be imposed on its government if breaches occur, she called the possibility “a little bit ludicrous given Ukraine is a sovereign country, and (Russia) illegally brought troops, weapons, resources into their country.”
A third time she was asked to explain why only one side, not the other, will face consequences for violations.
She lied claiming “over the last six months, Ukraine has implemented the Minsk protocols, whereas Russia has not.”
Psaki’s attempt to reinvent history fell flat. Russia and Donbas fighters scrupulously abided by Geneva and Minsk protocol terms.
Kiev violated them straightaway. It’s virtually 100% certain its forces will commit serious breaches ahead like it’s been doing all along.
Russia and Donbas fighters absolutely will be blamed for their crimes. Expect conflict to escalate, not end – after a short-term hiatus.
Dmitry Yarosh heads the radicalized Right Sector. He’s on Interpol’s wanted list for inciting terrorism. He openly boasts about wanting to kill Jews and Russians.
Media scoundrels ignore his extremism and high crimes. Including his involvement in last May’s Odessa massacre, killing hundreds of defenseless civilians. Murdering them in cold blood.
On Friday, RT International reported him saying he rejects Minsk. He reserves the right “to continue war.” Maintain “active fighting” according to his “own plans.”
RT cited him saying Minsk violates Ukraine’s constitution. So its citizens aren’t obliged to obey its terms. He’ll continue waging war.
Saying he created his own “General staff, which will work in parallel with” Ukraine’s defense ministry. In other words, his own state-supported private army waging war on Donbas.
Murdering civilians in cold blood. Committing horrendous atrocities. Totally ignored by MSM scoundrels.
Bashing Russia alone matters. Blaming Putin for Kiev’s high crimes. Expect no letup in daily Big Lies. Truth is their mortal enemy.
US heavy weapons keep pouring into Ukraine. Along with hundreds of US combat troops training and directing Kiev’s military.
Readying it for greater war than already. Expect promises made Donbas residents to be broken. Washington won’t let them be honored.
Expect no democratic autonomy allowed. No federalization. No durable ceasefire. Expect continued Kiev violations. Especially from Yarosh elements, neo-Nazi National Guard forces and other fascist battalions.
No pullback of Ukrainian forces enough to matter. Reaarming, regrouping and readying for resumed warfare.
Expect Kiev to violate every Minsk provision. Just like last time. Including:
no durable/sustainable ceasefire;
no significant withdrawal of heavy weapons as ordered;
no honest OSCE reporting on Kiev violations;
no real Donbas autonomy permitted; no recognition of democratic election results;
no meaningful dialogue with or outreach to Donbas leaders;
no recognition of their legitimate rights;
no restoration of Donbas socio-economic relations and benefits enough to matter;
no reconstruction following state-sponsored destruction; nothing to help hundreds of thousands of displaced Ukrainians; many thousands without homes, decent shelter, jobs, or income enough for bare sustenance;
no democratic constitutional reforms;
no withdrawal of foreign mercenaries; no disarming them;
no change of fascist rule;
no softening of vicious anti-Russian/anti-Putin hate-mongering;
no letup of state terror;
no durable/sustainable end of dirty war without mercy;
no chance for peaceful conflict resolution.
Expect short-term letup in fighting only. Giving Kiev forces time to regroup and rearm with greater flows of US/NATO supplied heavy weapons plus locally produced ones.
Kiev in cahoots with Washington planning renewed aggression. Expect it launched with false flag help blamed on Russia and rebels.
Analysts calling Minsk a new dawn ignore reality altogether. Perhaps they haven’t paid attention to everything ongoing since fall 2013.
Including America’s Maidan orchestrated coup. Illegitimate putschist governance installed.
Run by US puppets. Strings pulled in Washington. Fascist thugs breaking every promise they made.
Agreements they sign or commit to aren’t worth the paper they’re written on.
Merkel and Hollande aren’t born again good guys. They represent core NATO member countries.
Partnering in Washington’s war on humanity. Bashing Russia in lockstep with Obama.
Russian, German, French and Ukrainian leaders didn’t sign the Minsk agreement. Their meaninglessness statement without teeth accompanied it.
The whole business smells charade-like. An ugly sham masquerading as breaking through diplomatically.
Illegitimate Kiev governance remains. Mob rule defines it. Democracy is verboten. War is considered peace.
Good guys are called terrorists. Putschists are called democrats. Washington wasn’t in Minsk but has final say on everything.
Putin was right saying Thursday ”wasn’t the best night of (his) life.” He knows Kiev’s war on Donbas continues.
Nothing in Minsk resolved things. Pretense doesn’t change reality. Expect less conflict short-term.
A meaningless interregnum followed by escalated fighting. Likely worse than before. With greater diret US involvement.
Maybe American boots on the ground. They’re already involved in Kiev’s war overtly and covertly.
Expect Obama to do whatever it takes to secure total control of his newest colony. Mass casualties and human misery are small prices to pay.
So is risking direct confrontation with Russia. Hopefully Putin is ready to counter whatever Washington has in mind short of starting WW III. Given America’s rage for war, anything is possible.
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.